Newton rears its head again with a more sporty package this time in the form of the Distance 9 and just to save you the whole conversation around Newton’s lug system, we will imagine you read our review of the Fate 6 because there are a lot of crossovers between these two shoes. The Distance 9 is Newton’s race day shoe so expect lower weights, a more aggressive forefoot-oriented running style, and a more energetic explosive package.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- A true race day shoe that favors non-heel strikers, but can really go.
- Weighs in at 7.6oz or 215g for a US Men’s 9, 6.6oz or 187g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features a 2mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $155.00 USD and comes in 2 colors for Men and Women.
Just like the Fate 6, the Distance 9 gets an updated fifth lug which we find increases the comfort level overall when it comes to running in a Newton. And as we have said time and again, that lug system can be highly debatable and really the thing that splits people and prevents them from trying Newton. To that end, Newton has done a good job here making it more accessible than ever before. The Distance 9 is just over 7.5oz, has a slightly lower drop, and in fact when you factor in the lugs it comes right down to zero and even a negative drop. So when you try on the shoe or if you’re considering it just know that it doesn’t feel like a lot of the newer high stack plated offerings out there, this feels more reminiscent of an older school racer.
On the foot, the Distance 9 is like a gentle breeze up top. It is so light and airy from that breathable engineered mesh, it just lets your foot take in the air around it. It sounds crazy, but it almost feels like there’s nothing up there. The toolbox widens up a bit allowing for plenty of room, and the floating bottom eyelets allow for plenty of adjustment depending on how you like it to feel. It does suffer from the really long lace syndrome that Newton always does, but they stay out of the way overall. You definitely feel like you are sitting closer to the ground in the Distance 9 from something like the Fate 6, the focus here is definitely on the forefoot and less on the heel strike. They have implemented a full continuous cushion system on here and then below that anchored their lugs with just a touch of rubber on the toe and a bit on the heel.
The shoe definitely runs with way more pop than something like the Fate 6, these are just are designed to go, but with one exception. If you are a heel striker, then the shoe is going to feel a little off for you. Because it’s skewed performance and it wants to go fast come, it really wants you to get over your toes, to land and take off mid-foot to the front foot. You almost don’t feel the lugs and thereby use them if you are continually landing on your heel. Next, because the Distance 9 is so light it makes it a fantastic racing shoe especially for half marathons and below. We would have course love a bit more cushioning if we had to take these into a marathon distance, but of course, those who love more ground feel and have stronger legs will not have an issue. We definitely love the addition of that fifth lug especially during a run because it makes that whole system a bit more refined feeling and in general, more comfortable.
In terms of where this fits, it is definitely your speed day or race day shoe. If you are running in something like the Fate 6, then this can be a great addition, but again it is going to favor people who do not heal strike simply because of the design so plan ahead. We do love the updates though and this upper feels fantastic and they look pretty hot as well. You know we like our bright colors
The upper on the Distance 9 is super simple and is really just a single piece of super breathable mesh. There is very little support up top, so be aware of things like side-to-side slippage if you can’t get a good lockdown. The floating eyelets at the bottom of the lacing column are a nice touch as it allows you to really tighten down or open up that forefoot depending on the feel you like.
The midsole is basically a full piece of their “Newtonium” midsole foam and the shoe, in general, skews firmer and less flexible as it has been tuned for responsiveness. While the lugs sit on the outsole, inevitably these are part of the foot strike and almost an extension of the midsole. The updated five-lug design feels much smoother under the foot and in stride.
There is very little rubber on the outsole outside of the lugs and the very front of the toe. It is primarily exposed midsole and as their whole design kind of blurs the Midsole/Outsole metaphor, this makes some sense.
Style & Aesthetics
They launched with only one colorway but added an additional, we are partial to our Yellow review edition though. Just like every other Newton out there, it looks like it is part of the family and also always looks fast.
Newton has done a great job with the updates to the Distance 9. This is a race shoe that plenty of people will enjoy and because they modified the lug system a bit, makes it easier for people outside of the Newton loyalists to try this. It will definitely favor non-heel strikers given the design. If you are looking to add a race you to your existing Newton lineup, then it should be a no-brainer because it works really well hand-in-hand with their shoes. If you were looking to transition your foot strike, then it can also be a great shoe to play with as you can really focus on where your foot should contact which is what makes that lug system so valuable.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.