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What happened at Newton Running?
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Maybe I've missed a thread but what has happened at Newton Running?

I understand Danny Abshire has left the company and the Running Lab in Boulder has closed its doors.

Wonder if anyone knew the inside story?

A real shame as the company really pushed natural running into the mainstream.
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [iron snorks] [ In reply to ]
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"A real shame as the company really pushed natural running into the mainstream."

i don't know anything about the goings-on at newton, but, if there is one theme that is taking over running right now it is forefoot cushion. nike's zoom vaporfly is a rewarmed sock racer / air mariah pulled out of the closet, and it's a darned good idea. hoka's revolution was not just cushion, but forefoot cushion. same with saucony's kinvara and a lot of other very popular shoes.

this is 100 percent contrary to what i understand danny abshire's thesis to be. abshire's firm belief - pardon the pun - is that the proprioceptive value of the contact with the ground required that foam and cushion not be there in the forefoot of the shoe. a lot of people (me among them) thought this was not tenable. whether he was right or wrong we'll know in the end i suspect but as of now the market has moved more toward the forefoot cushion theme.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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The newton running model also advocated the natural placement of the foot within a running shoe which is anything from 0-5mm I understand.

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't newton one of the first companies to really push this concept and run naturally.

Don't most companies now have a take on this theme.
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [iron snorks] [ In reply to ]
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"Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't newton one of the first companies to really push this concept and run naturally."

it depends on what you mean by "run naturally". if you mean your forefoot strike should occur just below the knee, and the midfoot is the place where the strike occurs or is most important, i coached this 35 years before newton was ever a company, and i learned it from others much older than i.

i began running in a shoe called a tiger marathon.



pretty low drop.

that said, what i do credit newton for is helping break the hegemony of brooks, asics, saucony, NB, et al, and making it possible for new shoe companies to come along and change the way shoes had been made for a generation.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Fair point - I suppose it would more fitting that they were responsible for 'reminding' people of the concept?
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [iron snorks] [ In reply to ]
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they were certainly a pivotal company. when you look at everything that's come along to disrupt the shoe market - hoka, skechers, altra, on running and so forth - i think a little bit of newton is in all of them, even if it's just the knowledge that you can get shoes on the shelf and move other, larger brands off the shelf. and, yes, they very much helped break the notion that shoes should have 12mm and more of drop.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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In my experience, the old four lug Newton shoes had a bunch of cushioning in the forefoot. I'd still be running in them if they hadn't dialed that back to make a bunch of shoes that performed like every other shoe on the shelf, just a lot more expensive.
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Interesting.

Danny and his wife Jennifer seem good people, I hope it all works out for them.
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [iron snorks] [ In reply to ]
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iron snorks wrote:
Maybe I've missed a thread but what has happened at Newton Running?

I understand Danny Abshire has left the company and the Running Lab in Boulder has closed its doors.

Wonder if anyone knew the inside story?

A real shame as the company really pushed natural running into the mainstream.

Newton really didn't push natural running into the mainstream. Born to Run pushed natural running into the mainstream. And really, it was Tony Post over at Vibram that truly capitalized on it, turning the positioning of the KSO into a running model, and then launching the Bikele.

Newton caught alongside that wave as the "shod" version of things, although it was deemed inferior for not having the whole separated toe thing. But, I'm digressing.

Really, Newton truly "caught fire" after Saucony put out the Kinvara. Having a mainstream manufacturer come along with the low offset, light weight story, validated a lot of the work that Newton had put into the Gravity, Motion, and Distance line-up.

Newton's downfall is two fold, really - #1 Hoka completely disrupting the marketplace after they were acquired by Deckers, and #2 way overextending the line-up beyond the core competencies.

I say this in every thread about Newton: they were always going five lug. Always, always, always. The original shoes were supposed to be five lug, but the factory they were in couldn't build them to that tolerance. So they swapped 'em out. Would Newton have ever been that popular if the original design worked its way into the marketplace in 2007? Who knows.

They just tried to go too mainstream too quickly without having enough funding to really make it work. I still think there's a place in the market for a line-up of:

Gravity
Motion
Distance
Kismet
Fate
Boco

That line-up doesn't have significant overlap in it, and because most of those shoes are built off of two lasts, reduces cost expenditures. That would help keep them around...for whoever decides to sink some money into it.

Interestingly, Newton first tried to sell their IP to Saucony before launching their own line-up. It might make more sense for a different brand to acquire the IP and bring some of it into their product line. Or, alternatively, I could also see one of the larger store chains deciding to acquire them as a house brand (similar to the exclusive distribution agreement that Karhu just signed with Fleet Feet).

TL:DR - Newton got lucky to ride a wave in 2007-2010, but made significant missteps in 2011-2013 that have led them to where they are now.

----------------------------------
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"It ain't easy being green..."
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [rrheisler] [ In reply to ]
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Interesting thanks for the info and I agree with you ref the five lungs.
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
they were certainly a pivotal company. when you look at everything that's come along to disrupt the shoe market - hoka, skechers, altra, on running and so forth - i think a little bit of newton is in all of them, even if it's just the knowledge that you can get shoes on the shelf and move other, larger brands off the shelf. and, yes, they very much helped break the notion that shoes should have 12mm and more of drop.


Yea, and they jacked up the "acceptable" price of a running shoe to well over $100.

Poop on them for doing that...(says the guy who probably bought 15 pairs over the period of 5-6 years)


"Good genes are not a requirement, just the obsession to beat ones brains out daily"...the Griz
Last edited by: stringcheese: Apr 4, 17 6:42
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [stringcheese] [ In reply to ]
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When I started in the industry in 2005, the average transaction price was...$100.

In 2007, when Newton came to market, it was...$100.

When I moved to Maine in 2009, it was...$100.

The average transaction cost started edging upward in 2009, progressing to $110, and then finally edging to the $120 mark we have now.

Newton didn't do that. The mainstream models like the Brooks Adrenaline, Saucony Guide, Asics GT-2000, etc. did that.

----------------------------------
Blog and Product Reviews | Twitter
"It ain't easy being green..."
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [rrheisler] [ In reply to ]
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rrheisler wrote:
When I started in the industry in 2005, the average transaction price was...$100.

In 2007, when Newton came to market, it was...$100.

When I moved to Maine in 2009, it was...$100.

The average transaction cost started edging upward in 2009, progressing to $110, and then finally edging to the $120 mark we have now.

Newton didn't do that. The mainstream models like the Brooks Adrenaline, Saucony Guide, Asics GT-2000, etc. did that.

Makes sense. I bought my first pair of Newtons in 2009...$150+ bucks, if i remember correctly.


"Good genes are not a requirement, just the obsession to beat ones brains out daily"...the Griz
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Are they out of business? Won't return calls/email!!! [ In reply to ]
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I just ordered my first pair of Newtons a few weeks ago and followed their sizing chart that said I needed the same size as Hoka. They are at least a full size smaller. Contacted them immediately for a return authorization and have followed up with multiple emails over the past three weeks and a phone call yesterday, all of which have gone unanswered. WTF?
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Re: Are they out of business? Won't return calls/email!!! [chrisgrigsby] [ In reply to ]
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From what I've heard, they recently laid off roughly half the staff in Boulder....they're down to something like 10 people there.
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Re: Are they out of business? Won't return calls/email!!! [chrisgrigsby] [ In reply to ]
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Call your CC company, send them the emails, and charge it back. That's unacceptable regardless. If they are still in business they better do good business... especially after racking up profits for so long at super expensive shoes for what they are.
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Re: Are they out of business? Won't return calls/email!!! [rodchaves31] [ In reply to ]
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Just called them again and there was no answer and their voicemail is full. Guess I'll be charging these back!
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [iron snorks] [ In reply to ]
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I think a lot of people bought a pair, maybe two. After they got injured or got fed up with the chronic achilles or calf injuries, they moved on. I wouldn't be surprised if a large percentage of Hoka users were former Newtonians.
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [rrheisler] [ In reply to ]
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rrheisler wrote:
When I started in the industry in 2005, the average transaction price was...$100.

In 2007, when Newton came to market, it was...$100.

When I moved to Maine in 2009, it was...$100.

The average transaction cost started edging upward in 2009, progressing to $110, and then finally edging to the $120 mark we have now.

Newton didn't do that. The mainstream models like the Brooks Adrenaline, Saucony Guide, Asics GT-2000, etc. did that.

I thin a $20 uptick for a $100 shoe over 10 years is normal inflation. Thats what you can and should expect for all shoes.

I do recall that the first few runs of the Newtons back <2010 were $170+ when the more typical shoe price was $85 at the time for a top-of-the-line running sneaker.
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [rrheisler] [ In reply to ]
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Newton got lucky to ride a wave in 2007-2010, but made significant missteps in 2011-2013 that have led them to where they are now.


Newton got some early traction and action, by going big and deep in triathlon. However, this can come back to haunt a brand, and I think this is part of the reason that Newton has struggled.

1) Tell a triathletes that something, anything will make them 5% - 10% better/faster, and you immediately have their ear and are well on your way to a sale.

2) When Newton launched, triathlon in North America was at peak growth

Fast forward to just a few years ago and Newton seems to have made a number of attempts to go beyond being a "tri-brand", but the specialty run market while much much bigger than triathlon it is VERY hard to break into, and can take A LOT of work, effort and resources. Also being known, even if it's just a perception, as a tri-brand, can act as a bit of an anchor for you in the single sport markets.

And now the running shoe business is very crowded with not just the main stays (Asics, NB et al ), but all these other players Hoka etc . . Now Newton's challenge has become even bigger.

And I'm not even going to go to the actual technology of the shoe


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
Last edited by: Fleck: Apr 4, 17 13:28
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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The "top-end" market was at $130 for a Gel Nimbus 9. Mid-level shoes were between $90-$100.

Most increases over the 2008-2011 period were due to oil.

Fleck...in the US, at least, Newton sure had additional exposure in triathlon. But to say that it was banking on tri I think it an underrepresentation of how they did in specialty run through about 2011 and the Kinvara.

They then made the mistake of looking to massively expand their door count, and wound up in a lot of stores they probably shouldn't have, which wound up leading to a lot of discounted product that didn't sell and a lack of inventory for dealers who sold through their initial B-level futures orders.

The fatal mistake, IMO, was trying to pay for all the new tooling of the 5-lug shoes, pay for their Boston Marathon activation, and the Ironman sponsorship, all while sell-through had deteriorated at retail due to overexpansion of doors, depressing futures orders.

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Blog and Product Reviews | Twitter
"It ain't easy being green..."
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Re: Are they out of business? Won't return calls/email!!! [chrisgrigsby] [ In reply to ]
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I had been writing/calling for a couple weeks to try to find out when Distance Elites would be back in stock in size 11 (or nearly any of their shoes in size 11). I finally heard back a couple weeks after my first email and was told the person answering is the only one in the department right now and wasn't sure about timing. He did mention they are waiting on a shipment of Distance VI, but again, no specifics on timing. I imagine they will get back to you...eventually...
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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What I can tell is that they have moved into an office on Pearl St. & Foothills Parkway. It is actually right next store to UPS, about a block from the Ironman Boulder pathway that crosses under the FP. That would be the WEST side of the highway. The sign above the door says Newton, there is a lot of junk crammed up against the windows on the side of the building. It looks like a "downsized" outpost of their downtown Boulder facility. Maybe rent got too high & there was too much room for 10 people.

This would be right across from the new LaSportiva Retail Store (which is where I was when I discovered the Newton facility).
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [Rocky M] [ In reply to ]
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I've been running in Distance for 6-7 years and love them, but they are getting harder and harder to find. I've tried Hoka Clifton and Tracers but the toe box gives me fits (and blisters more importantly).

For those that have transitioned out of Distance...what brand/model have you gone to?
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Re: What happened at Newton Running? [jb4iu] [ In reply to ]
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Zappos has the gravity 6 and the distance 6 both men and women. Kinda weird they have them before the actual Newton website, but....... get em where you can get em!
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