I am a 41-year-old runner, about 170 pounds and 6’ 1” tall. I race all distances, from 5ks to Marathons, and spend at least half of my year training for an upcoming marathon.
After testing out the Distance 7. The two shoes are very similar, but the distinctions between them do play significant roles in their fit and function.
Compared to the Gravity 7, the Distance 7 is lighter weight, has a smaller heel-to-toe drop, and is more aggressively treaded.
The Distance 7 fit my feet much better than did the Gravity 7 of the exact same size. I’m not sure why this was the case, but the Distance 7 was exactly the perfect length for my foot.
The Distance 7 provides a spacious toe box. It is made for racing and speed, but even so, Newton did not cut any corners by making this shoe narrower than comfortably necessary. Perfect.
Compared to the Gravity 7 with a 3mm heel-to-toe drop, the Distance 7 has only a 2mm drop. This may not seem significant, but it is noticeable at speed.
There is not much arch support in the Distance 7, but remember, this shoe seems to be built for speed, so a lightweight racer necessitates a flatter bottom.
The upper portion of this shoe is very well structured and comfortable. The mesh is breathable, at least at the beginning of the runs.
I am not certain if it is the material they selected, or what, but I found that the upper portion of this shoe seemed to attract moisture. A LOT of moisture. Whatever material Newton used for the upper portion does NOT wick away moisture.
Granted, it IS very hot and humid here in Texas lately, but after EVERY run, my shoes were dripping wet, even though it was not raining. I wish the material wicked away moisture a little better. You can tell how wet the shoes remained by how much dirt they collected over the miles of road.
The shoe is moderately cushioned. I have no issues with the cushioning, as long as I understand this is built as a lightweight racing shoe.
I am a little disappointed at the speed at which the outsole wore down, however. After 275 miles, this shoe is almost done. When brand new, however, the Distance 7 is an aggressive, very responsive speedster.
Even though I know this shoe is lighter weight, and therefore may not last as long on the roads, I gave the Distance 7 a full month of marathon training. From easy paces to speedwork, to 19 milers, this shoe performed exceptionally well across the 275 miles I put on them.
Of course, the shoes were better adapted to some workouts more than others. See chart:
This is the category in which I have some disappointment for the Distance 7. By design, the lugs on the outsole forefoot are SQUARED OFF, not rounded. These squared off lugs are designed to give you the feel of aggressive, responsive racing flats, and out of the box, they work PERFECTLY!
Unfortunately, by design, those squared-off lugs become rounded after each additional use on the roads. This means that over the course of time, the shoe LOSES its responsive feel simply due to moderate wear. This is an unfortunate design flaw and one that not many other shoes share. So, you can imagine how rounded off the lugs are after only 275 miles.
I was able to race a half marathon while the shoes were fresh, and enjoyed their aggressiveness tremendously. I placed 10th overall and 1st in my age group. Unfortunately, as I write this, though the shoes are still lightweight, they have lost much of their dynamic feel, as the lugs are worn flat toward the toes.
If you are looking for a speedy shoe that will last hundreds of miles and not lose any of their aggressive vivacity, this shoe may not be for you.
With 275 miles on them, these shoes look like they’re about finished. You can make an assessment for yourself by looking at the picture, but I would guess that they may not last much beyond 350 miles.
Again, this is unfortunate, not simply because of the worn-out tread, but because of the price as well. At brand new, these were priced at $155 – more expensive than the Nike Zoom Fly – which is not a very good deal if you need your shoes to last 500 miles or more.
- Aggressive tread
- Low heel-to-toe drop (like a racing flat)
- Does not wick away moisture well
- Aggressive lugs wear away too quickly
- Still too expensive for a low mileage shoe
I loved running in the Newton Distance 7. I probably would not recommend them to a friend, however, unless you are looking specifically for a shoe to be worn in races ONLY. If that’s the case, then this might be a great fit.
If, however, you are looking for a shoe for daily training, this might not be the best deal.
Check out the video review here.
Are you indecisive when it comes to buying running shoes? Soon running stores will have 3D foot scanning to guide our decisions. Until then, it’s up to us runners to analyze, compare, and research brands.
I recently learned that Woman’s Health Magazine rated Newton Distance 7 as one of the Best Workout Shoes of 2018. Very impressive Newton!
|Color||Blue/Lime or Black/Yellow||Pink/Yellow or Black/Teal||I like Newton’s two color choices especially to form a shoe rotation without getting them mixed up.|
|Weight||7.6 ounces||6.6 ounces||Distance 7 is one of the lightest shoes I’ve ever owned. When I’m at the start line I feel super fast and ready to race.|
Take notice Distance 7 are close to a minimalist shoe. Runners may experience a painful break-in process but persevere because eventually you will be amazed like I was. In fact, I worked out muscles I never even knew I had before.
One mistake I made was saving strictly for racing. This didn’t work because I had to go through the entire break-in process again. What an unpleasant surprise and why didn’t I even consider this scenario!
Newton’s upper and side materials remind me of a fishing net, but more durable. Air flows throughout the upper which is perfect for hot summer climates. My feet were still sweaty, but not to the point of sliding around because moisture whisks away easily.
On the other hand, I cannot recommend Distance 7 if you live in cold winter climates. The snow and ice we had today would've frozen my toes off in no time! The only alternative would be to run indoors until spring has sprung, but many are avid outdoor runners in my area.
Consumers may think Newton is a lower quality shoe with a higher price tag. In reality, Newton makes a higher performance lightweight racer.
Manufacturing had to be the bare minimum to keep the weight down. When you examine Newton's construction, you’ll see what I mean.
As you can see from the photo below, I put Newton’s midsole to the test by running mainly on asphalt and blacktop. While Newton may not be in the top ten shoes for midsole cushioning, but quality support is still apparent even after 300 miles.
The best thing about Newton’s foam is how well the shoe absorbs the shock and impact of each stride.
Newton has patented one of the best outsoles available on a running shoe. Their 5-lug design promotes forefoot landing all on its own. I found myself experiencing the slight forward lean many experts talk about.
Notice how fast their foot turnover actually is without even trying. It’s almost like your cadence improves effortlessly.
Remember, however, due to the outsoles unique design there is a “no pain-no gain”. Before buying, however, weigh the Pros and Cons.
- Breathable mesh
- Lugs assure proper landing
- Fast for racing/improve cadence
- Slow break-in process
- Too breathable for winter
- Midsole breaks down quick
- Expensive at $155.00
Newton shoes must remain in your weekly shoe rotation once broken in. Otherwise, you’ll experience continuous muscle strain when trying to get them back in.
Once a runner works out all the aches and pains from using dormant leg muscles, they’ll reach for Distance 7 every time. Bottom line, running form is improved naturally.
Both of these shoes share certain elements which I will describe in detail in a bit but this shoe is by far my favorite. The shoe is super light, incredibly fast, comfortable and trains your foot to avoid heavy heel striking!
The Newton Distance 7 is supremely comfortable right out of the box. It needs no break in time. The toe box is ample. This shoe runs true to size.
The tongue is nicely padded and won’t rub on your forefoot and the heel has an added layer of padding for extra protection.
It is an extremely lightweight shoe and you may forget you have shoes on. The only aspect that may require some getting used to are the raised groves under the forefoot, which if you haven’t worn Newtons before, may feel a bit awkward or odd at first (see Design section for the picture of the bottom sole).
For a fairly minimalist shoe, there is still plenty of padding so that you don’t feel like you are walking right on the ground.
This is a shoe to wear on the track, on a dry day or on a treadmill. I would not wear this shoe in the mud or slush or in inclement weather due to the mesh ventilation over the majority of the shoe’s surface. If it was raining, the water would go right through the open mesh and soak your foot.
Similarly, if you happened to run through a mud or rain puddle, your foot could easily get soaked. However, the open mesh design contributes directly to the lightness of the shoe as well as the breathability. There is sufficient ventilation even for the hottest of hot days.
The most notable feature of the Newton shoes is the prominent raised ridges on the instep of the heel of all Newton shoes.
In the Distance 7, they are florescent pink and protrude about ½” from the sole of the shoe. While this looks odd, it forces your foot forward and to place additional pressure on your forefoot rather than your heel when running.
And, it really works. I am a heavy heel striker and after wearing these for a run, I notice when I wear other shoes the next day, I land significantly more on my forefoot, with significantly less impact on my heel.
After wearing the Distance 7 for a few days of runs in a row, parts of my body that are normally sore or just fatigued after a run, my lower back, my shins, my heels, felt no pain or signs of exhaustion. I have these shoes now in regular rotation with several other favorites and when I notice my form getting sloppy, I pull these out.
In terms of color, these are bright. The pair I tested were bright yellow and hot pink with a white glitter cursive looking N design on the side. I wore them one day with jeans and because I have rather large feet and these shoes are so vibrant, I felt a bit self-conscious.
The Distance 7 is quite noticeable, at least in the yellow color. They do also come in a teal color with black accents. Both colors feature a reflective stripe on the heel for visibility as well as reflective stripes through the laces.
There is very little plastic/vinyl on the shoe, as most of the shoe is open cloth mesh. This contributes to the incredible lightweight aspect of these shoes as well as comfort.
This shoe features a 2 mm drop from heel to toe. If you are used to a larger heel/toe drop (as in most of the Hoka shoes), you may need some time to adjust to these. A low heel/toe drop can help discourage heel striking and prevent injuries.
If you switch abruptly from a shoe with a high heel-toe drop to one like this with a low heel-toe drop, you may find that your lower legs get sore. Doing heel raises and gradually increasing your mileage in a low heel-toe drop shoe can prevent any soreness as you transition to these.
The Newton Distance 7 is incredibly responsive and energetic. When I first tried these, I expected to only do a 2 mile run with them on the treadmill, in case I didn’t like them at all. Instead, I easily ran 5 miles without stopping.
Running actually felt effortless with these shoes, which is quite remarkable for me. And, when I alternated between these shoes and heavier shoes such as the Hoka Clifton 5, I then felt like I was running with bricks on my feet.
The insole is quite springy and the raised ridges on the sole seem to help propel your body forward. Also, with your body landing more on your forefoot as a result of the shoe design, I found that I had more energy due to better body alignment.
In terms of traction, these shoes are not the greatest for slick surfaces or dirt roads. I would stick to the track, paved roads or the treadmill.
The lugs on the sole do protrude significantly as mentioned, providing some traction, however, the rest of the sole has very minimal traction. I do not think they are designed to be an all-purpose outdoor running shoe and instead, are made for racing on roads or tracks.
The mesh upper seems quite durable, however, I have concerns about the foam on the heel of the sole. If you look closely in the picture above, you can see that the sole is beginning to wear down and flake off at the edges.
These shoes have just over 60 miles on them. There should be no significant signs of wear at this point.
I didn’t expect to like the Newton Distance 7 as much as I do. It is a fabulous shoe for fast runs and anytime you feel your form needing a little boost. I would highly recommend this shoe.
This is not the shoe for me for long marathon training runs but it’s perfect for speed workouts and tempo runs.
Obviously, what sticks out the most about this shoe is the forefoot. They kind of stick out to give you a better bounce which totally works. I am noticeably faster running with these than with the Motion 7, the sister shoe of the Distance 7.
The forefoot might seem uncomfortable but trust me, you'll love it. I did.
That being said, the Distance 7 is a little expensive so if your looking for an affordable shoe, this may not be right for you.
The upper is well made. It's thin and breathable. I saw someone say that it didn't wick away moisture but I have never had that problem.
The tongue is kind of loose when you first put it on but after a few runs, they form to your feet. The laces are great too. They've never untied on me.
The Distance 7 forefoot sticks out a little which actually positively affects the comfortability a lot. I feel that it absorbs a lot of the shock to give a more stable ride without sacrificing performance.
Also, the foam Newton uses is springy and shock absorbing but it doesn't last as long as others as you can see in the picture below.
I have done different distances from track workouts to half marathons. What I realized is that the comfortability is great for speed workouts and 5ks but distance workouts felt a little less stable. I felt that they put more stress on my hamstrings and calves than other shoes so I felt some soreness after.
A problem I had at one point during testing were blisters on my toes. Something happened with the toe box and I experienced rubbing on the bottoms and tips of my toes. But that was only temporary. It happened once and went away.
I have to say, for a racing shoe, Newton did an amazing job on keeping the Distance 7 comfortable.
The major problem is the durability of the sole. They wear out much quicker than the other shoes. This isn't great since the shoes are already expensive.
It's only the treads that have worn out though. The support hasn't worn out much at all so the shoe still functions well. Even though the soles are shaved off, the Distance 7 is still extremely nice to run in.
I would not recommend running on trails too much with these. The foam on the soles is a little more prone to falling apart than other sneakers.
Looks & Design
They have 2 different styles and both are cool as hell. They both stick out from the crowd. People will always know you're a runner!
The Distance 7 is fast. My times for all my workouts I've done on the road were definitely faster with these than the Motion 7. I also did a few workouts on the grass and saw that these didn't offer anything special.
The traction is pretty average. There isn't anything special here. It does its job. The shoe is thin and breathable which makes sense for a racing shoe. The overall performance is a little above average for road racers.
- Laces won't untie on you
- The durability is a little shaky
Good for road racers that run anywhere from a 5k to a marathon. I would not recommend this for training.
- Newton has made minor changes in this latest version of the Distance model. First, the previous upper material of standard mesh was switched to the highly breathable air mesh for better ventilation. With this material in place, the upper is ready for hot weather conditions.
- The semi-flat laces have been updated to full, flat ones that are high-performance. Flat laces don’t come undone easily compared to rounded ones, which is why most runners prefer them. Also, they help distribute pressure evenly on the top of the foot.
When choosing the right size for the Newton Distance 7, it’s important to check the official website. It does come in standard running shoe measurements for both length and width. However, there is a specific fit guide on the Newton website indicating whether to go true to size or go a half size up, depending on the brand of shoe that is usually worn by the runner.
On the forefoot, a high-density rubber can be found. Since the forefoot area is one of the main spots that get the most beating, this tough material was introduced to improve durability. Aside from that, the high rebound characteristic of the rubber aids in propelling the runner forward during the toe-off phase of the running gait cycle.
Another material found on the outsole is called S.H.A.R.C which stands for super high abrasion rubber compound. Just like the high-density rubber, it also enhances the durability of the outsole. It affords the Newton Distance 7 more mileage while enhancing the grip provided by this part of the shoe on flat and uneven surfaces.
The main structure that’s responsible for the spring effect runners feel is the lug membrane that has been tuned tighter than previous Newton shoes. This mechanism acts like a trampoline, providing a solid amount of power during the take-off phase.
Underneath, a Full Flex Zone accommodates the natural spreading of the foot while running. With this in place, the toes are encouraged to spread naturally without being restricted, allowing the runner to feel more stable.
The Action/Reaction technology is unique to Newton Running. It is another structure that focuses on responsiveness. It is composed of the P.O.P 1 platform which accommodates natural foot function. On the midsole, there are spaces for the lugs that are visibly be seen on the outsole. The lugs sink into these spaces, then spring back to their original state during toe-off. The mechanism helps the runner move forward energetically. The Gravity 8, another Newton road running shoe, also possesses this technology.
A plate called the Biomechanical Metatarsal Sensor was introduced to the midsole to help support the foot, providing better stability and protection to the wearer. The structure allows the runner to have a better feel of the ground, giving sensory feedback while maintaining the level of cushioning the shoe provides.
As for the cushioning itself, the midsole has been equipped with the Newtonian foam which provides a more responsive, full-length cushion. The foam sits closer to the foot delivering that premium underfoot feel with enough shock attenuation.
The entire upper is made up of a highly breathable material called air mesh. This type of mesh promotes better ventilation, permitting air to go in and out of the shoe easily. The material enables the foot to stay cool and dry at all times, even during hot weather conditions. The material also extends to the shoe’s tongue, making the upper ventilated all over.
The same upper material possesses a stretchable characteristic, allowing the foot to fit comfortably inside the shoe. Because the material can stretch, the runner’s foot won’t feel restricted or pinched.
The lacing system of the shoe is standard and is coupled with high-performance flat laces. An additional two eyelets were added at the part near the collar for runners to easily do a heel lace lock technique when tying their shoes to further prevent the heel from slipping out. Because the laces are flat and high-performance, they evenly distribute the snugness on top of the foot as the lacing is tightened. Runners also don’t have to worry about the laces breaking.
To make the runner more visible in low-light conditions, the upper was made to be reflective. A 360 degree-reflectivity ensures that runners remain safe and visible when running at night.
How Distance 7 compares
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5 shoes (0.64% of shoes)