Clinical Analysis of Running, Running Footwear, and Injury Prevention/Performance. The Doctor(s) of Running, using knowledge of human movement, clinical biomechanics and performance to bring you cutting edge reviews, science and knowledge.

Post Page Advertisement [Top]

Newton Kismet 6 Review

Many years ago, the first Newton review on this website was the original Newton Kismet. A light stability introduction model to the Newton line, the Kismet 6 continues on as a solid stability model. The spirit of the shoe remains, while some interesting upgrades follow the progression of the Fate 6 (REVIEW), the neutral sibling to the Kismet.

Specifications (per Running Warehouse)
Weight: 9.2 oz (men's size 9)
Stack Height:
Drop: 4.5 mm
Classification: Light Stability Trainer


HIGHLIGHTS

Matt: An update to Newton's transitional trainer, the Newton Kismet 6 features a whole host of upgrades. Gender specific action reaction (forward lug) tuning, a new plate, the addition of "newtonium" cushioning in the heel, new flex grooves and updated lining and tongue make for a smoother and gender specific ride. The Newton Kismet 6 remains one of the rare stability shoes with forefoot posting, which combined with a firmer ride makes for a very stable ride. With enough cushioning for moderate length mileage and responsive for tempo runs, the Newton Kismet 6 returns with some solid updates.

FIT

Matt: The Newton Kismet 6 fits true to size, if slightly short, in my normal US men's size 10. There is plenty of room in the forefoot, which fits on the wider side. The toe box does taper, so the shoe initially feels short. This breaks in with time. The midfoot has plenty of room and fits average to slightly wide, as does the heel. I did not lace lock the heel, but for those turning more or those with more narrow feet, you may want to lock the laces down. The upper is very comfortable throughout the length of the foot. Despite there being a solid heel counter, there is cushioning between it and the foot, although those with sensitive heels may need to be wary. 

     The reinforcement around the toebox is durable, but does cause some initial rubbing that breaks in with time. The upper is very breathable and works well in heat. The inner liner is actually really comfortable and I have been able to wear this shoe sockless repeatedly without issue. Those looking to transition in triathlon type events/training should know I have had no hotspots training without socks in this shoe. Awesome job Newton on that. Overall, the fit is a hair short but fits a little wider than average throughout the length of the shoe. 

RIDE

Matt: The ride of the Kismet 6 is on the firmer side with Newton's action reaction technology up front. The heel, with new "newtonium" cushioning, feels a hair softer than previous. There is a mild heel bevel, which combined with the lower riding sole and newtonium cushioning is decently smooth. This transitions into the midfoot, which is stiffer and stable (more on that later). This goes into the forefoot, which has a nice pivot off the lugs and a bit of a stiffer ride from the medial post. The forefoot is very stable, as there is a plate in there and a solid amount of medial posting. The transition is a bit stiff until you get the most forward part of the shoe, where the final flex groove does make for a nice toe off. So the ride is a bit stiff from the heel to the forefoot until you get the last bit. There is a 4.5 mm heel drop, which feels lower or higher depending on where you land (lug compression). The lugs help pivot you forward no matter where you land and I was far less sore than expected in a lower drop shoe (also may have been from the recent transition from the Fate). Overall, the ride is on the firmer side, but the lugs and the last flex groove provide a really nice transition off the forefoot. Those used to firmer rides will enjoy this shoe, while others may use this as a workout or shorter run shoe for lower body strengthening. 

SPEED

Matt: The Kismet 6 is a lighterweight trainer and is capable of picking up the pace. The firmer ride and action reaction lugs in the forefoot make fartleks, tempo runs and uptempo runs. Where this shoe struggles a bit is with longer efforts given the close to the ground feel, stiffer ride up front (from the posting) and firmer ride overall. Where this shoe functions best is as a transitional shoe/tool for those interested in Newton running shoes or an uptempo options for those looking for light stability. This shoe isn't the best for fast intervals as the +9 oz weight and wider fit hold it back. However for everything from moderate length runs to uptempo efforts, the Kismet 6 excels.

STABILITY

Matt: The Kismet 6 has a very stable ride and is classified as a stability shoe thanks to a post that runs form the midfoot into the forefoot. The Kismet series is one of the few shoes with forefoot posting and should do well for those needing some help with frontal plane motion at the front of the foot. The post in the midfoot into the forefoot is present but mild. It does a great job of stabilizing the foot during midstance to toe off and agaThe firmer ride, extended medial bridge (EMB) and lugs already create a very balanced and stable ride. The EMB simply widens the midfoot and a wider platform is usually more stable. The lugs combined with a stabilizing plate further enhance the stability up front. Overall, the Kismet 6 has a stable ride from heel to toe, but the forefoot is one of the most stable and secure that you will experience (although as mentioned, this does stiffen up the ride a bit).

DURABILITY

Matt: I am seeing extra wear at the lateral heel and on the anterior lugs on the Kismet 6 at 40 miles. While this has not effected the ride and the lugs continue to function, this wear is occurring a bit early. The upper however is extremely solid and I am not seeing any loose seams. The upper is still comfortable against bare skin and I have not had any issues. Overall though I expect to get an average to below average number of miles out the the Kismet 6 due to early outsole wear. 

THOUGHTS AS A DPT

I have frequently mentioned how the front of the arch is usually missed in traditional methods of stability. Most footwear classified as stability shoes on the market feature posts (firmer material compared to the rest of the shoe) in the heel or midfoot. It appears that is where the industry thinks "control" is needed, however we know from the evidence that posts and many forms of stability do not control motion (Nigg et al., 2017). While they may slow down the rate of motion in some individuals, often they have little or no influence on mechanics (pronation, ankle motion, knee motion, etc). I see this as the industry still not understanding the role of pronation (it is important) and also not understanding how many components there are to the arch(es) of the foot. The 1st MTP joint is the most forward part of the medial arch, which includes the 1st metatarsal bone, navicular, calcaneus and all the interconnecting joints. Even that description does NOT do justice as even the medial componenets of the arch are only a small piece of how this works. For explanatory reasons, we are going to keep this simple, but know it IS NOT this simple the the whole foot is involved. When a person transitions their weight to the forefoot during midstance to toe-off, part of your natural stability system lies in the ability to keep that first toe and metatarsal down. Forefoot pronation involves dorsiflexion of the 1st ray, which is important for shock absorption. To stabilize it to push off from during terminal stance to toe off, the peroneus longus, flexor hallucis and plantar fascia (yes that tissue is super important for performance) all need to be able to pull that long 1st metatarsal bone into plantarflexion (down). Just like the rear and midfoot a certain amount of strength is needed to adequately control this motion during running. Pronation/supination does need to occur here for normal shock absorption (high levels of stiffness are usually not a good thing). Often untrained individuals will focus solely on the heel/midfoot when it comes to excessive uncontrolled foot motion. However, Newton and a few others provide a great tool in the Kismet 6 (and motion/distance S series) with forefoot stability. If you need a little extra help stabilizing up front, a forefoot post like the Kismet 6 may be good tool for you to use to keep running while you improve your strength. Remember this is a tool, which means some people will benefit from it and others won't. Make sure you are looking at the whole picture (whole runner) to accurately figure out what each individual needs. 

RECOMMENDATIONS

While I prefer firmer and more stable shoe, the current market trends are going toward more cushioning. I encourage Newton to consider adding a bit more sole underneath to be a bit more forgiving. The ride is on the firmer end, so if they intend to have this as a transitional shoe, there needs to be more differenatiation between this shoe and the Motion/Distance S series. This does NOT need to be a max cushion shoe but a little more substance may help more people go longer in this shoe. 

CONCLUSION

Matt: The Newton Kismet 6 is for those looking for a firmer, lightweight trainer with great mid to forefoot stability. The Kismet 6 is a great introduction to the Newton line and while the action reaction lugs require some adaptation, they provide interesting forefoot cushion and a nice pivot point. The fit is a little wider, which should accommodate more foot types and allow for some wiggle room. An added plus is the inner liner is fantastic for sockless wear! Overall the shoe is best at moderate length and uptempo runs. I applaud Newton for providing a unique shoe/tool on the market with forefoot stability and look forward to trying more of the line!

GRADING

MATT

Fit/Upper       9 /10 (Nice wider fit throughout, not the most secure at high speeds and fits a hair short initially )
Ride/Midsole 8.5 /10 (Improved heel cushion, still a little firm and stiff overall and up front)
Stability          9.5 /10 (Great mid to forefoot stability, a little too stiff at recovery paces)
Speed              8.5 /10 (great at uptempo speeds, but a little too firm for fast long miles)
Durability       7.5 /10 (early wear noted at heel and lugs at 40 miles)

TOTAL: 86 % (8.6/10 M)

TESTER PROFILES

Dr. Klein is a 145 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.  IG handle: @kleinrunsdpt

Thanks for reading!

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 35-75 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently I have 40 miles (Matt) on my pair. 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.
 
References
 
1. Neumann, D. A. (2010). Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System; Foundation for Rehabilitation. Mosby & Elsevier.
 
2. Nigg, B. M., Vienneau, J., Smith, A. C., Trudeau, M. B., Mohr, M., & Nigg, S. R. (2017). The preferred movement path paradigm: influence of running shoes on joint movement. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; 49(8): 1641-1648.

Like and Follow Doctors of Running
Facebook: Doctors of Running Youtube Channel: Doctors of Running

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!

Featured Shoe Review: Saucony Endorphin Pro Multiple Tester Review

Featured Footwear Science Post

Footwear Science: An Evidenced Based Review of PEBAX and Carbon Fiber Shoes

Bottom Ad [Post Page]