A few weeks ago, I was at a local running store looking for a pair of shoes while battling plantar fasciitis. A young salesman suggested I try on a pair of Newton running shoes, to which I less than graciously responded, "I've never heard of Newton running shoes!" Fortunately, the Newtonians from Boulder, Colorado, provided me with a pair of Newton Momentum All-Terrain Trainers to try out under real world conditions.
The Momentum shoes come in a distinct orange, yellow and grey color scheme that seems to present a message of optimism at first glance. And they come with a nice, medium-width fit that's snug but not too snug. The laces, however, seem a bit short and the all-too-supportive insole wound up pushing my toes uncomfortably upward; this was easily resolved by swapping for a cheaper, thinner insole. The toe box itself is flexible.
The Momentum is first and foremost a trail runner, and one feels the obvious energy return from the four cushioned lugs in the forefoot of the shoe. But walking on a dirt trail felt odd, as if I were wearing snowshoes with crampons attached. Interestingly, this is not a problem when walking on concrete - the smooth surface allows for a comfortable "rocker" motion that makes walking quite pleasurable.
I tried this all-terrain shoe on multiple surfaces, and found that I enjoyed the run most on hard concrete. This is a surprise, but perhaps not so surprising knowing that the Momentum is loaded with cushioning spread from front to rear. It's not as comfortable when running on uneven asphalt, but this is likely true with any running shoe.
Like all Newtons, the Momentum is structured to encourage a mid-foot or front-foot strike and it's easy to get used to. One does, though, feel the new muscles that are being used (especially if you're a natural heel striker, like I am) - I quickly felt the twinges from my inner thigh muscles. Newtons should be broken in slowly and gradually, although all the padding underfoot leads one to feel quite optimistic about avoiding injury.