Hi Laura, you are the product manager at Newton Running. Could you introduce yourself briefly and maybe let the readers know what you are doing as product manager?
Hi, I am Laura, the Product Manager at Newton. I am from Nebraska, which is farm country for you European folks. I swam and ran track in college before racing triathlon professionally. I have been at Newton for 10 years. I was originally in the Retail Sales department, followed by a stint as the Marketing Manager for 4 years before becoming the Product Manager. I run the wear test program, direct imagery creation, handle Media/PR, manage our Corporate Athlete and Ambassador programs, and collaborate on Newton’s social media.
The Newton HQ is located in Boulder Colorado. A place which is known across the world among outdoor enthusiasts. How is this environment affecting the work at Newton Running?
Boulder is a forward thinking town in terms of environmental responsibility, ie composting is mandatory, there is a fee for bags to take your groceries home in, etc- so the environment definitely pushes us to continually ask how we can make a more eco-friendly product in a sustainable manner. The Newton warehouse, store and headquarters are now entirely powered by wind energy.
Could you briefly explain what is the DNA of Newton Running from your point of view?
We firmly believe there is a better way to do things, there is always room for innovation. That mindset encompasses product to make running more accessible and enjoyable to a broader population, and manufacturing processes that will leave a solution instead of a problem for the next generation.
How is Newton defining “natural running”?
It is how a person runs if they are running barefoot. If they are running barefoot, they are going to be leaning forward slightly and landing on their mid-foot. That being said, we are continually working on a product line that hits all ends of the running gait spectrum, which is why we upgraded the heel foam in the Fate 6 and Kismet 6 models.
In contrast to some other brands in the market Newton seems to be quite conservative when it comes to new features in the shoes. Could you elaborate on the process of product development?
For a lot of our customers, their Newton model is their favorite shoe. We aren’t going to change someone’s favorite shoe just for the sake of changing it. The upgrades we make every year are because we KNOW that we have made the shoe better. Not different, better. We have done a crazy amount of prototype building and wear testing in the last 18 months. These things take time to perfect, but we will start selling the fruits of that wear test labor in February, 2021. We could not be more excited about it. We have new initiatives, new features, new materials all rolling out in the next year, we are literally just getting started with what we are looking to achieve in footwear.
This summer we can see some significant changes on the Fate 6 and Kismet 6. Would you agree when I say that this is one of the biggest upgrades for Newton we have seen in a few years?
Definitely. It was the biggest upgrade we have made to our women’s line ever. So many companies talk about women’s specific shoes, and yet it is just a men’s shoe in a pink colorway. Or at best, a women’s foot shape (a last as we call it in shoe world) on a men’s shoe. The Fate 6 and Kismet 6 have a women’s last, but also we tuned the technology specifically to better accommodate women. The plate thickness and technology’s material hardness are specific to women. It took three years of wear testing, third party biomechanical testing and mechanical testing at a Univeristy to get the formula right. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Gender aside, the webbed lug technology, heel foam update and extended top plate in the shoes were one of the biggest model upgrades we have ever made.
Will we see similar adaptations on the POP1 shoes as well?
Die Gravity-, Motion- und Distance-Modelle bekommen alle im Jahr 2021 ein Upgrade, aber sie werden sich von den Updates 2020 Fate und Kismet unterscheideThe Gravity, Motion and Distance models will all get upgrades in 2021 but they will vary from the 2020 Fate and Kismet updates. In our efforts to make a product line with great depth, we will continue to differentiate these models to meet a larger customer need. That being said, the attention to detail when it comes to making gender specific shoes will make it’s way into the entire product line to varying degrees.
Additionally, we had a few questions from runners via social media:
Are there any plans to add more foam / support to the existing models?
We are currently testing various foams and plate configurations, which may be used in existing models, but when it comes time for a more cushioned shoe- that will most likely be a new model. Stay tuned!
Why are the colorways so nerdy?
The company is named after a scientist- it’s in our DNA. Just kidding, we will continue to roll multiple color schemes in our popular models every year- the goal is to hit something to everyone’s liking at some point in the year. We will have everything from black on black, to neon on neon next year.
Are there any plans for shoes with a BOA system?
Not for spring 2021!
Will there be Newton sneakers?
We created the Newton Fusion, an athleisure shoe, last year and will continue to expand that genre of footwear in 2021.