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Newton Fate 6 Multiple Tester Review

     Unique for their Action/Reaction Technology utilizing lugs in the forefoot for energy return and and smooth transitions Newton brings the updated Newton Fate 6 to the table. This specific model is the Newton model they advise as the shoe to buy for those new to running in Newton footwear.


Specifications (per Newton Website)
Weight: 9.2 oz (Men's 9), 7.4 oz (Women's size 7)
Measured Weights: XX (Men's size 10)
Stack Height: unknown
Drop: 4.5 mm
Classification: Neutral Trainer

HIGHLIGHTS

Matt: A slightly less aggressive take on Newton Running's philosophy, the Newton Fate 6 serves as a neutral daily trainer and gateway shoe into the rest of the line. Featuring a 5 lug system in the forefoot for cushioning and proprioceptive feedback and decent cushioning in the heel with Newtonium foam (no idea what it is), the Newton Fate provides a surprisingly smooth ride no matter where you land. Featuring extra room in the toebox, great breath-ability and eye catching color that every single one of my patients have commented on, the Newton Fate 6 was a pleasant surprise.

David:
The Newton Fate 6 serves as the gateway trainer for the Newton footwear company. The ART design coupled with the Newtonium cushioning in the heel creates a pleasant ride at all paces and foot strikes. The upper has also been improved with a 3D air mesh that was very breathable for me even in 100 degree weather with good lockdown! I was very pleasantly surprised.


FIT

Matt: The Newton Fate 6 fits true to size in my normal men's size 10. It initially felt like it fit a hair short due to some pressure on the medial side of my first toe, but the upper stretched quickly. The forefoot is wider than most shoes out there (not Altra wide). There is plenty of room for toe splay without being sloppy. However, the toe box tapers slightly, but not too aggressively. There is plenty of room throughout the length of the shoe, however a decent but flexible heel counter is present in the rear. The fit actually locks down the foot well and I have not had to lace lock the shoe. As mentioned, there is plenty of room, however the laces can lock down the midfoot well if you tighten them down. The upper is very breathable and has worked well in the recent +95-100 degree temperatures here in Southern California recently.

David:
The Newton Fate 6 fits true to size for me in my normal 9.5. The 3D air mesh is very breathable and is of normal to slightly wide width throughout the shoe without lacing. Once laced the shoe hugs the foot very well through the midfoot with a nice hold on the heel as well without being overbearing. One thing I noticed is the shoe does great on roads with the upper, but there is a little stretch to it so I could find a little bit of foot translation in tight turns or trails with uneven terrain (not the design of the shoe, but I take my shoes through everything under the moon). The toe box is slightly wide with plenty of room for toe splay, though not so much the forefoot moves. With the Action/Reaction Technology lugs in place, the shoe has near toe spring like design. This curves the front of the shoe up slightly. It is not excessive by any means and my toes did not feel like they were in extension. Overall very pleased with the upper.


RIDE

Matt: Having not run in a low drop shoe in a few months, I was a little nervous about wearing the Fate 6 initially. My previous experiences with Newton made me concerned that the lugs would almost create what felt like a negative drop shoe. This was not the case at all. The Newton Fate 6 is certainly low drop (4.5mm), but the action/reaction technology acts more like a pivot point. The ride is actually smooth no matter where you land. The Newtonium foam in the heel combined with a gently heel bevel provides a really smooth rearfoot landings and landing farther forward creates a nice subtle spring effect. The forefoot is also flexible after the lugs (as the joints right after the ball of your foot, called the metatarsophalangeal joints, should be) and provides a nice roll off the toes. The ride is firmer, which combined with the above components makes it feel a bit more aggressive and comfortable at uptempo speeds. Overall, the ride is pretty smooth a quick given the lower drop, smooth heel and nice pivot off the toes. Turning isn't the most stable, but that may be due to the reduced surface area contact while on the lugs.

David:
I was not expecting the Fate 6 to be as smooth as it was in terms of ride. The shoe almost looks like a shoe that would only be pleasurable for forefoot strikers but this is not the case at all. At easier paces I tend to be more midfoot/rearfoot in striking and had no issues. The lugs are noticeable, but have a contour to them that gives a rolling feel similar to a toe spring. The heel is cushioned well with Newtonium. If looking at the heel, the foam under almost looks beaded and provides a good amount of protection upon landing. The result is a pretty smooth ride with a fast toe off sensation. With the cushioned heel the shoe feels accurate to its 4.5 mm drop. The shoe definitely rides quicker than its weight. I describe the sensation similar to a cross country spike with more protection. The shoe has a slightly aggressive feel to it, almost wanting you to push and get up onto the forefoot, but enough protection on it that you don't actually have to do that to make the shoe feel good. Turning was a little difficult at sharper angles, but its hard to tell if that is the small stretch in the upper or "spinning" off of the lugs with the elevated forefoot platform.


STABILITY

Matt: The Newton Fate 6 is a neutral trainer and has no additional traditional stability elements (try the Kismet, Motion or Distance S for a bit more forefoot stability). However, thanks to the facilitate of forward motion, the stability is pretty good. The last (shape) of the forefoot is wider, which provides more inherent stability. The firmer ride also creates a more stable ride. The pivot over the lugs in the forefoot helps facilitate forward rather than lateral motion. This becomes more apparent the faster you go. For those that need more than inherent stability, there are several other shoes in the Newton line worth trying.

David:
Overall the stability on the Fate 6 is great. The relatively firm midsole and softer heel give a smooth transition from heel to toe. There is not much of a posterior lateral bevel on the shoe but the heel contact is still pretty smooth. There is a plastic encapsulation around the lugs up front medially and laterally. The firmness makes the shoe more stable up front, but I am wondering if that it is almost too stable and rigid there with turns? Overall that is more me knit picking. I am not sure if removing those would make the shoe any smoother, but potentially an option. The upper has a good lockdown and really only gave me trouble in trails or turns that would be hard for any shoe to make because of the slight flexibility to it.


SPEED

Matt: The Newton Fate 6 is a trainer, but it can move. It is meant as a daily trainer for mileage, but I was able to use them for an uphill tempo, fartlek and strides. The fast toe off really shines at higher speeds, but the 9.2 oz weight makes you remember the purpose is for getting mileage. Some people may be able to use this as a race day shoe if you are used to heavier shoes with lower drop. However, for a lower drop, the Fate 6 functions as a great lighter weight trainer than can handle workouts and daily training. For a more specific workout/race day shoe, check out the Newton Distance or Distance Elite.

David:
For being 9.2 oz the shoe can get moving if you ask it to. I feel the Newton Fate 6 does shine best at daily efforts and logging normal mileage but I was able to push it here and there when I wanted to. The forefoot lugs make the shoe feel a little aggressive and give a fast toe off that feels nice as the pace heats up. I wouldn't race in this shoe, but for a daily trainer it does pretty well with workout and fartlek like paces too.


DURABILITY

Matt: I have just over 35 miles in my pair and am only seeing wear at the posterior lateral heel and the anterior most aspect of the lugs. The upper looks and feels brand new and the heel is dirty but intact. There is a tiny bit of wear on the very anterior aspect of the lugs, but again only minimal. I expect an above average number of miles out of these, even as the lugs wear down as that should actually create a nice bevel on the lateral forefoot.

David:
After wear testing I am seeing hardly any wear at all the outsole or in the responsiveness in the midsole. There is some minor premature wear in the central heel area, but no more than what I would picture any other trainer would have. There is also a lot of lug to burn through so no issues up front. There is exposed midsole through the midfoot that does show some abrasion but overall should be ok in the long term life of the shoe. If the shoe had a slightly more lateral bevel to the heel I think some of that wear would decrease and make the ride a little smoother as well.


THOUGHTS AS A DPT 

     Today I wanted to focus on the Action/Reaction Technology and how it can influence the foot and ankle in terms of load and sensation. This is purely theoretical, but also felt subjectively (David) from experience. The forefoot lug pattern elevates the forefoot platform and creates a toe spring like geometry. A toe spring is where the front of the shoe is intentionally curved upwards to allow for a quicker and smoother toe off. The Newton Fate 6 does a great job of utilizing the forefoot rocker but may need a little improvement in the ankle rocker or heel rocker. The lugs on the the Newton Fate 6 are contoured and tapered as they move forward allowing for a smoother transition coming off of the lugs. On top of this there is also a small toe spring built into the shoe making the toe off very quick and snappy when coupled with the lug geometry. This takes the load off of the great toe and can help the toe off transition if someone is lacking great toe extension (60 degrees). However, the load does have to go somewhere. The initial contact of the lugs can definitely be felt and the platform is lifted without contouring posteriorly. Because of this the load can potentially get shifted to the calves and achilles tendon a little more. With a slightly more contoured lug design, or an improved heel bevel (for the heel rocker at initial contact and loading response) the shoe can be made even more smooth at a different rocker site and ease some of that strain on the calves or Achilles. Overall the Fate 6 and the Action/Reaction Technology is a unique and interesting design that still works pretty well.

RECOMMENDATIONS 

Matt: I really enjoyed the ride of the Newton Fate 6. The lugs are not too aggressive and the heel cushioning is quite good. Given that this is a trainer and a gateway Newton shoe, I might suggest increasing the stack height just a little. I personally like it as I am biased toward firmer, lower stack height shoes. However, the trend currently seems to be higher stack height. So a little bit more there may help the accessibility for the rest of the population. As always, I would suggest a little more heel bevel, but it honestly is decent. The Newton Fate 6 does really well at its intended purpose.

David:
I was pleasantly surprised by the Newton Fate 6. I have very minor recommendations for the shoe since the shoe overall was smooth and good in every category. The heel could be slightly more beveled to make for an easier heel rocker transition, and I think the plastic encapsulation around the lugs could be removed or the foam softened slightly to allow for a smoother midfoot transition. The toe off is great with the contoured lug, but could be made smoother on the initial landing with also contouring the lug posteriorly as well. The upper could be reinforced slightly more on the lateral side where I had minor movement in turns or trails. Overall I'm pretty happy though!


WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

Matt: The Newton Fate 6 is a firmer, faster, neutral daily trainer for those who like a little more input into the forefoot or who like a faster forward transition. The lugs are actually pleasant and help with a faster toe off and there is plenty of cushioning for landing at the rearfoot. I have intentionally held off from discussing heel vs forefoot striking as there really is no overall benefit of one vs the other. We discussed this an extensive Youtube Video and different people respond differently to each. The Newton Fate 6 is a shoe that can be used no matter where you land. The upper has a little more room for appropriate toe splay so for those looking for a little more "natural" fit and shape without being too crazy will appreciate this shoe. For those looking for a lower drop daily trainer that can still move fast for workouts and easy runs a like, check out the Newton Fate 6.

David:
The Newton Fate 6 is for runners that like a slightly more aggressive feel to their ride without sacrificing protection of the feet. The shoe is best a daily paces but can handle some uptempo work if called upon. The Fate 6 also gives a fast toe off sensation that some may find fun and exciting when running.

GRADING
Matt
Fit                    8.5 /10 (Plenty of room. lots of forefoot room, but taper at toes. Need to lock down laces. Not so secure on turns)
Ride                 9 /10 (Firm, but good cushioning for uptempo work)
Stability           9 /10 (Decent for a neutral shoe except when turning)
Speed               9.5 /10 (Very good for a training shoe. Fast toe off)
Durability        9 /10 (Mild wear on lugs and heel. Upper in perfect condition).

David
Fit                     9.5/10 (Breathable and holds very well. Just a little more reinforcement for turns)
Ride                  9.25/10 (Fast toe off, turns a little shaky, great heel cushioning, bevel could improve)
Stability            9/10 (Upper can be reinforced a little better laterally, encapsulation of lugs improved)
Speed                9/10 (Great for daily mileage with a little uptempo work thrown in on occasion)
Durability         9/10 (Good durability, exposed midsole, increased heel wear, lug durability great)

Total Score: 90.1% (M: 9/10  D: 9.15/10 N: TBD/10 )

Thanks for reading!

TESTER PROFILES:
Dr. Matthew Klein is a 140 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-100 miles per week and trains at a variety of paces from 8min per mile recovery runs to 4:40 per mile 1k repeats.  He prefers firmer and responsive shoes with snug heels and medium to wide toe boxes.  He is particular to less cushioned shoes and close to the ground shoes, but can handle a little cushion when he gets beat up.

Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs of 3:54 1500m, 14:56 5k, 31:06 10k, 1:08 for half marathon. He typically runs 40 to 50 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, IG handle: @docsofrundavid

Dr. Brown is a 155 lb male with notable PRs of 18:18 5K, 39:25 10K, 1:29:01 half marathon, and 3:54 marathon. He typically runs between 20-40 miles per week at a variety of paces from 7:30-8:30 min/mile for recovery runs to 6-6:45 min/mile for tempo runs. He typically prefers shoes that provide some cushioning underfoot but still maintain a more firm and responsive feel. Current goals for 2020 are to break the 1.5 hour half marathon and 3:30 marathon. IG handle: @nate.docsofrunning

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Nathan Brown PT DPT MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Masters in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at Newton for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We put at least 35-50 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently we have 35 miles (Matt), (in progress) miles (Nathan) and 36 miles (David) on our pairs. Our views are based on my extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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