Newton Kismet ReviewSeptember 30, 2014
- POP 2 platform provides smooth ride and improved ground feel
- Strong ground stability with wide base of support in heel and forefoot
- Comfortable, breathable upper
- High stack height
- Heavy weight in natural running category
Aside from a few millimeters of width in the rear foot and a few tenths of an ounce in weight, there is very little to distinguish the Newton Kismet from the Newton Fate. Both models fit as nice entry-level shoes for those unfamiliar with the Newton ride, but the Kismet is better suited for runners trying to transition to forefoot landing.
Security (of fit)
Unlike many companies, most of Newton’s innovations come from the bottom half of the shoe; in the uppers, they stick to what they do well, and the Kismet is no exception. The mesh upper wraps the foot securely from the heel through the forefoot, with a traditional lace system to customize tension through the midfoot, and synthetic overlays that keep the upper anchored to the midsole and snug against the foot. There was no slipping or movement inside the shoe during our testing.
Stability (on impact)
Although it’s promoted as a stability shoe, there isn’t any posting or rigid material construction in the midfoot of the Kismet. Rather, the rear foot area is built just a few millimeters wider than the Fate, which creates a larger base of support and accommodates those who pronate or wear out the inside heel section easily. The Kismet incorporates two major design innovations from last season: an extended medial bridge connecting the rear foot to the forefoot, and the evolution from four forefoot outsole lugs to five, creating a wider landing area and greater stability on impact. The combination of these design elements makes the Kismet highly stable on a wide variety of surfaces, even with moderately technical off-road excursions.
The Kismet uses a Point of Power (POP) platform that fits in the middle ground between Newton’s traditionally prominent forefoot lugs (POP 1) and their barely-there (POP 3) lug models. The difference between POP 1 and POP 2 is subtle, but does make for a noticeably smoother ride than classic Newton trainers. Moderate flexibility is preserved in the forefoot, but the rear foot and medial bridge areas remained rigid in our testing.
Breathable mesh ventilates and dries effectively. Thin padding and a soft liner create a comfortable interior surface, and the anatomic toe box allows the toes to move naturally without impingement or chafing.
Speed and agility
This is more of an everyday “crank out the miles” shoe than the one you reach for on race day. Newton describes the Kismet as a relaxed version of its classic trainers, and that’s a pretty accurate description of the ideal use for the shoe.