I got my Gravity 5’s as an early Christmas from my Daughter back in early December and they have become my primary outside running shoes, when the winter roads in Maine are decent. That is why it took so to get them to the 50 mile review mark – the roads have been crap or the temps have been a bit chilly for running outside.
However, I have finally got them up to that magical 50 miles, so it is time to review them.
Yes, I know the Newton Gravity series is up to #7 and I am a couple of years behind the newest release of a very good running shoe, but there are reasons.
- First and foremost is the price at $175 the price of a brand spanking new pair of Gravity running shoes makes me grit my teeth pretty hard. Although many of the high-end running shoes are hitting this price and some much higher, my old dusty wallet just can’t justify those prices.
- Second, the older styles are still fabulous running shoes and retain most (if not all) of the characteristics and technology that I love about the Gravity line.
This is my third 50 mile review of a pair in the Newton Gravity line of running shoes. I had a pair of the original Gravity, (which required some shoe surgery to make them runnable – the side wall was too high and blistered my right ankle). I really am liking my Gravity 3’s which I am currently using very successfully as my treadmill/race day shoes (my 50 mile review of them here) and there are another pair of NIB Gravity 3’s in the closet waiting for the day they are needed.
Unfortunately, I was not as thrilled or happy with the G5’s compared to the G3’s initially or even now, they felt like well almost a completely different running shoe to me.
The Gravity 5’s are a bit heavier,
the fit in the heel/ankle area is not the same and the toe box felt a smidge more snug than the Gravity 3’s.
They just did not disappear on my feet like the older Gravity 3’s did.
However, the more I have run in the Gravity 5’s, the better they have begun to feel on my feet and I don’t hesitate to use them for any kind of run that I do outside on a clear road.
In other words, since about the 30 mile mark, I have started to like them enough to keep them in my running shoe rotation.
With all that being said, let’s get to the review
The Gravity 5’s are a bright green aka Harold colors, so that is cool.
I believe that I finally figured out the biggest difference between the G3’s and G5’s. It is the depth the ankle well or how high the side of the shoe comes up towards the ankle. As the photo shows:
The higher side wall and seemingly higher volume of the upper changed the fit/feel of the Gravity 5 for me and makes it less comfortable for me to run in than the G3. While the higher side wall did not result in any blistering on the ankle, like the original Gravity did, it took a while for me to get used to the differences between the shoes.
The heel cup feels a tad wider than I would like, I don’t have that “locked” down feel that I have with other Newton shoes. It is not to the point where I have to use heel lock lacing, but I do notice that it is not as snug as I would like, which results in me tightening the laces a little more than I want.
The toe box on the G5 felt a little snug at first and I thought that I was going to have some issues with it. Fortunately, after 30 or so miles, the upper stretched/formed around my right foot and I haven’t had any issue with the G5’s bothering my Tailor’s Bunionette – always a good thing.
Unfortunately, the Gravity 5’s do not have that “I love their fit” feeling, it was more that I got used to the way the G5’s felt on my feet. I figured out that if I wanted to run in them, that I would have simply accept the way they fit/feel.
Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but very wearable.
They are a POP1, so you get the most “pop” in the action/reaction technology and yes, I can tell the difference between my Kismet 2’s that have POP2 tech and the G5’s POP1 system.
I do like the Action/Reaction plate that Newton has in its running shoes. It is ever-present and “reminds” me that I need to get a little more forward on my landing and then rewards me when I manage to get it right. So from the viewpoint of a long-time heel-striker that is a good thing.
The other thing that the A/R plate does for me is to remind me to keep my feet straighter and run more with my feet pointed forward versus at angles – that famous duck-walk type of running that I tend to revert to, from all the injuries the body has gone through over the years.
As far as the wear on the outsole, there is a bit more on the A/R plate lugs in the Gravity 5′ at 50 miles than I have experienced in other Gravity models. However, it is about the same as the Kismet 2’s had at that point, so they should make it to 300-400 miles without any issues.
The biggest problem that I have with any of the Newton Running shoes is that they do pickup rocks and the tapping noise they make drives me crazy or the slight change in feel when you land with a rock in the lug does make a difference.
However, there is no real solution for that issue with Newton’s outsole. It is one of those things that you just learn to deal with to keep running in Newtons.
As far as the midsole goes, I don’t have the background to really know the differences between materials, but, they provide a nice level of cushioning and I will be using the Gravity 5’s for my many of my long runs outside going forward.
The reality is
While I like the Gravity 5 model, I do not love them, they just do not compare well to the Gravity 3’s in my opinion.
They will work well enough for me to run in them until they reach the 300-400 mile mark and then they will be retired and will go away. It has been my experience that POP1 Newton shoes do not make comfortable (for me) walking shoes. The A/R plate while great for running, is not as great for walking.
From what I can see the “improvements” in the upper from the Gravity 3 to the Gravity 5, made the Gravity 5 not fit my feet as well and the weight gain changed the focus of the Gravity 5 to more of a daily trainer category than the Gravity 3 which I consider a light-weight trainer/faster pace type of running shoe – a more minimal shoe.
Which is unfortunate because the Gravity 5 is a very good shoe, that in my opinion Newton tweaked a little too much to possibly differentiate their product lineups a bit more and possibly appeal more to those who like “more” shoe.
The apparent widening and deepening of the heel and sidewalls made the fit a bit off for me, and were the primary reason that it took so long for me to warm up to the G5’s. While I do run well in them, if I have a choice between running in the Gravity 5 or Gravity 3, the Gravity 3 is my choice without any doubts.
Otherwise the workmanship and quality are that of a $175 premium running shoe.
The Gravity 5’s are a couple of product years behind their current offerings and are now a high quality running shoe that can be found for very reasonable prices – under $50 in some cases. Which make them a great bargain for those runners who do not need the latest and greatest running shoes.
However, as for me I think that I will keep squirreling away another pair or two of the Gravity 3’s, they just fit my feet better. Unfortunately, they are getting more difficult to find everyday, so I might have to see how the newer versions are after this summer.