Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

Post Page Advertisement [Top]


Newton Running Fate 8: To Be, or Not to Be
By Andrea Myers and Bach Pham

The Newton Fate series has long been the brand's introductory shoe to the brand. It features their Action/Reaction technology at it's mildest, offering a balance between a traditional ride and their unique lug system. In 2021, the brand went through a tremendous overhaul, pushing the company ten steps forward into sustainability by incorporating everything from a fully recycled upper to a new hybrid midsole. The shoe's new hallmark besides their Action/Reaction technology is EcoPure, an additive that is incorporated into their products to help break the shoe down in landfills 75% faster. Note: it does not mean your shoe breaks down 10x faster; EcoPure activates in the right conditions typically found in a landfill, triggering itself to help decompose quickly and effectively. Pretty darn cool.

Newton Fate 8
Price: $149 at Newton Running
Weight: 8.8oz, (men's size 9), 7.4oz, (women's size 8)

Stack Height: Unknown 
Drop: 4.5mm
Classification: Neutral daily trainer


Andrea: The Newton Fate 8 is a moderately cushioned daily trainer that features Newton's signature forefoot lug system and a well-fitting upper made of 100% recycled material. The Fate 8 is significantly softer and has a more flexible forefoot as compared to the Gravity+. Newton markets the Fate 8 as the ideal shoe for those new to Newton, but I found the flexibility of the sole to actually make the ride feel closer to a minimalist shoe than the Gravity+. The Fate 8 continues Newton's tradition of exceptional uppers and a comfortable, anatomical toe box. The Fate 8 will work best for those already accustomed to running in flexible, low drop shoes.

Bach: The last Fate I ran was the Fate 6. It was my first taste of Newton and what I found to be a really fun trainer that could do a variety of terrains despite being a road shoe thanks to its unique Action/Reaction lugs in the forefoot. The Fate 8 leans into Newton's big push towards sustainability, featuring a totally recycled upper, blended midsole, and more. The model is considered their daily training introductory shoe to the brand, but as Andrea noted, the shoe has a lot of unexpected flexibility that makes it lean a bit more advanced than what one might consider a beginner-level training shoe.

SIMILAR SHOES: Altra Escalante 3, Puma Liberate Nitro


Andrea: Newton recommends that people go up 1/2 size in their shoes, so they sent me a women's 10 instead of my usual 9.5. Like other Newton shoes I have tested, the fit and comfort of the upper is unparalleled. I had a full thumb's width from the front of my big toe to the end of the shoe and experienced no foot translation during my test runs. Newton says that they "gender tune" the fit of the shoe without going into greater detail on their website. Regardless of what that means, I find the anatomical toe box, wider midfoot, and lightly cushioned heel comfortable and secure. The 100% recycled material engineered mesh upper is lightweight and breathable, which was perfect for hot summer runs. The tongue is lightly padded and is attached to the upper by elastic material that does seem to help hold it in place. There is also a lace loop on the tongue to further promote lace lockdown. The laces are flat, do not stretch, and have sufficient length if you need to use a heel lock (I did not). The upper is seamless, so those who prefer running sockless should have no issues in the Fate 8. There is a semi-rigid external heel counter with a lightly padded heel collar. I did not experience any issues with heel irritation or slippage in this shoe. Overall, I was extremely pleased with the fit and comfort of the Fate 8.

Bach: I went true to size with my pair of the Newton Fate 8 and found it to be spot on. The upper is frankly, incredible. There's a lot of room throughout to slip the feet in and get comfortable, and when you lace down the shoe, it all comes together wonderfully and gives you a really excellent lockdown. There's a decent amount of space around the toebox for splaying, but not too much that's wide like an Altra or Topo. The breathability of the upper is excellent as well, with ventilation all over the shoe.

The heel has fairly light padding and just does an excellent job of keep your foot locked in. There is a bit of structure in the bottom portion of the heel that wraps mildly. It did not bother me in any way and worked well for my needs, but those looking for less structure should be aware. I will say that I did not need to lace lock the shoe at all, and would not recommend it as this is a unique upper that is better locked directly down traditionally. I found lace-locking made the shoe feel sloppier. The fit in general was just terrific, and needed next to no adjustment, lace-locking, or finessing of any kind.

FYI: The insole is removable.


Andrea: The Fate 8 performs best at easy paces due to its cushioning and flexible sole. The cushioning provides a sufficient soft feeling without the instability of cushioned shoes with a higher stack height. The forefoot lugs, which Newton refers to as their Action/Reaction Technology, are not as noticeable in the Fate 8 as they are in the Gravity+. I found this to make the Fate 8 more comfortable at easy paces as compared to the Gravity+. Newton categorizes their lugs as either POP1 or POP1, with POP standing for "Point of Power." Newton states that the Fate and Kismet models have POP2, which features rounded and articulated lugs, which they says helps guide you onto the ball of your foot. They contrast this with POP1, which they say is their most responsive lug platform and features isolated and squared off lugs. POP1 is found in the Gravity, Motion, and Distance models.

The Fate 8 feels like a zero drop shoe due to the lugs and the flexibility of the sole. The decreased longitudinal bending stiffness and flex grooves in the forefoot do somewhat dampen the cushioned feel of the shoe. I definitely found it to be more stressful on my feet and calves as compared to the Gravity+, particularly on runs greater than one hour. I tested it on a 90 minute run that included 12x20" mile pace strides and found it to be too flexible for the faster pace of the strides and a longer overall run. I was also testing the Altra Escalante 3 and the Newton Gravity+ at the time without any issues, but after this run my feet and calves were sore, which I attributed to the flexibility of the sole.

The outsole has good grip on wet roads and the extensive rubber coverage should give the Fate 8 greater than average durability.

Bach: Newton's patented lug technology in my experience is best described as a device that you land on through your forefoot that works to roll your foot forward and off the ground when it's at its best. I was excited about the Fate 8 after my experience in the Fate 6 awhile back as that shoe had a really lovely rolling sensation. The Fate 8 has a lot of changes though, particularly a more flattened lug set up in the forefoot which comes off a bit firmer than before and less rolling. Additionally, the shoe has a lot more flexibility than before, foregoing a lot of rigidity it had through the midfoot in the prior iteration. It put a lot of strain on my flat feet as a result and made it difficult to turn up the pace. I just had a lot of trouble finding the rolling sensation I was expecting, and got a bit more of a traditional neutral ride in tandem with the firmer forefoot in this edition which also felt a bit slappy hitting the ground.

I did feel that the Fate 8 was solid at easy paces, and racked  up some decent miles in the shoe despite my issues. Somewhere in the Fate 8, there are signs of positives as getting into rhythm does feels good. Shorter runs felt fine, but as my effort lengthened, the discomfort from the instability just cranked up and made it hard to really maintain the positives of the shoe. The shoe does feel light on foot; it feels less than the 8.8 oz for men suggested because of how well the Fate locks down. It's a nimble piece of footwear, which makes it a lot of fun in that regard.

The outsole is grippy though and is versatile enough to handle some light trails which I enjoyed. The lugs do a great job of grabbing the ground and carrying you confidently. Durability, however, has been a little conflicting as I've gotten a lot of wear right on the front of the forefoot lugs after just 25 miles.


The Fate 8 is definitely a neutral shoe and is not for runners with stability needs. The flexible sole and low drop place greater range of motion and strength requirements on the ankle and great toe. The potential stabilizing benefit of the wider platform in the forefoot is somewhat negated by the flexibility of the forefoot. The well-fitting upper does provide excellent lockdown, but otherwise this is a truly neutral shoe.

Bach: This is absolutely a neutral shoe. The flexibility of the midsole is a lot, even with the lugs providing a lot of rigidity in between. Like all Newton models, the lugs do provide some stability in the forefoot, especially in regards to proprioception. The upper also does its job here, holding the foot down and keeping it secure.

Going back to drawbacks, I couldn't quite place the exact reason - whether it was the flexibility or lack of support under the midfoot in general - but my flat footed arch would flare up in longer efforts and I would have to pause and shake it out before getting back on the run. Just a lot of subtle issues compounded.


Functional Tests for 1st MTP and Ankle Range of Motion
By Andrea Myers

Zero drop shoes place greater range of motion requirements on the ankle and 1st MTP joint (big toe joint at the ball of the foot). How might a runner know if they have sufficient ankle and 1st MTP range of motion prior to trying a zero drop shoe?

Running requires dorsiflexion range of motion when the knee is bent, which places greater flexibility demands on the soleus muscle as compared to the gastrocnemius (because the gastrocnemius attaches above the knee joint and the soleus attaches just below the knee joint). To perform the knee to wall test, you need to place a tape measure on the ground, perpendicular to the wall. The heel needs to be flat on the ground and the great toe should be 10cm from the wall. Keep the center of the knee over the second toe. Next, lunge forward in an attempt to touch the front of the knee to the wall. If you are able to do this while keeping your heel on the ground, move your foot 1cm back, away from the wall. If you are unable to touch the wall with your knee, move your foot 1cm towards the wall. Repeat the test in 1cm increments until you are unable to touch the front of your knee to the wall without your heel rising off the ground. Studies have found that for every 1cm the big toe is away from the wall, it is equivalent to 3.6-4.1 degrees of dorsiflexion. 20-30 degrees of dorsiflexion in weight bearing with the knee bent is required for running.

The technical term for reduced 1st MTP extension range of motion is hallux limitus. Functional hallux limitus is a reduction in 1st MTP extension range of motion during functional activities, specifically when pushing off during walking or running. A study in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy in 2006 found no relationship between weight bearing passive 1st MTP extension (referring to standing and lifting your big toe off the ground with your hands) and the amount of 1st MTP extension observed in the same subject while walking. Another study in 2020 that assessed several methods of determining whether a person has functional hallux limitus found that the presence of a pinch callus was the sign most associated with the condition (as compared to static measurements of 1st MTP extension range of motion). A pinch callus results from the medial aspect of the big toe rubbing on the shoe at push off due to limited 1st MTP extension range of motion. If you get a pinch callus from running in a particular pair of running shoes, it may be a indication that your functional 1st MTP range of motion is not sufficient for the geometry of the shoes.


Powden, C. J., Hoch, J. M., & Hoch, M. C. (2015). Reliability and minimal detectable change of the weight-bearing lunge test: A systematic review. Manual therapy, 20(4), 524–532.

Sánchez-Gómez, R., Becerro-de-Bengoa-Vallejo, R., Losa-Iglesias, M. E., Calvo-Lobo, C., Navarro-Flores, E., Palomo-López, P., Romero-Morales, C., & López-López, D. (2020). Reliability Study of Diagnostic Tests for Functional Hallux Limitus. Foot & ankle international, 41(4), 457–462.

Halstead, J., & Redmond, A. C. (2006). Weight-bearing passive dorsiflexion of the hallux in standing is not related to hallux dorsiflexion during walking. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy, 36(8), 550–556. 


Andrea: The Fate 8 feels more minimal than many zero drop shoes I have tested, including the Newton Gravity+, the Altra Escalante 3, and the Topo Magnifly. It feels closer to the more flexible Escalante 2. I think that Newton should reconsider marketing this shoe as its entry point to Newton shoes, because it requires greater ankle and foot range of motion and strength as compared to other Newton shoes with greater longitudinal bending stiffness. There is nothing wrong with this, but consumers should be aware of the greater biomechanical demands of this shoe. If Newton wants this shoe to be a better entry point to the brand, they should consider increasing the bending stiffness to make it more similar to the shoes I mentioned above, which are more accessible shoes for those trying zero drop for the first time.

Bach: I have to applaud Newton for their sustainable development of not just the Fate 8, but for their entire lineup. They've done a really great job of taking a huge leap forward in that regard. Now they have some work bridging the build of the shoe to match these monumental changes. One of the immediate things about the Fate that I think could use an update is stack height. Adding as much as 3mm to the shoe throughout could help provide a little more density to the ride and comfort. They have such a good performance shoe in the Gravity+, I think making the Fate feel more relaxed and softer, while more stable throughout would be impactful. I think the lugs, finding a way to get to a more rounder configuration that was in the Fate 6 which made the ride really smooth would also be a good direction for the shoe to help introduce newcomers. Those changes would not only be exciting, but also make the Fate stand out in the lineup and offer a really intriguing first step into the brand.


Andrea: The Newton Fate 8 is for runners who are accustomed to running in zero drop shoes who prefer a flexible sole and moderate cushioning. Fans of the Escalante 2 who find the new Escalante 3 too stiff may really enjoy running in the Fate 8. Due to the greater biomechanical demands of the shoe, runners should have sufficient great toe and ankle range of motion and foot intrinsic and plantar flexor strength to handle running in such a shoe. Check out this episode of the DOR podcast for more information about transitioning to zero drop shoes:

Bach: The Fate 8 is a shoe that could speak to neutral runners who love a ton of flexibility and want something that gives a unique forefoot ride. If you like the Puma Liberate Nitro and want an even lower drop, this could be an interesting shoe to test out. Additionally, if you are someone who has a lot of light trails that you do most of your runs on, this is actually a really fun option there as the light trails or dirt roads respond really nice to the Fate 8.

In general though, for most people checking out the brand, whether newcomers or veterans, I really feel the Newton Gravity+ is such a versatile, exciting performance trainer that can also handle a lot of what the Fate 8 delivers, but in a more stable, more fun package. That would be my recommendation for veteran runners, and for many newcomers who want to try the brand as well if I had to pick between that and the Fate 8.


Fit: A (Newton continues to have one of the best fitting and most comfortable uppers on the market)
Performance: B- 
(best for shorter, easy runs due to decreased longitudinal bending stiffness and low drop; sole flexibility limits the shoe to easy paces)
Stability: B- (a truly neutral shoe that places high demands on the foot and ankle, not for runners with stability needs)
DPT/Footwear Science: Grade (Rationale for grade)
Personal: B- (while I enjoyed the lightweight cushion of the Fate 8, I found it too flexible to be comfortable for runs >1 hr or faster paces)
Overall: B

Fit: A (Just an excellent, excellent fit throughout that will accommodate most runners)
B- (There is something there when you get into rhythm, but the flexibility is difficult to manage)
Stability: B- (a very neutral shoe with a high level of flexibility that asks for a lot of demands on the foot)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (The sustainable design is really excellent, but the performance is not matching the technology which brings it down a bit)
Personal: C+ (The flexibility and discomfort was too much for me, despite how incredible the fit is)
Overall: B-

Price: $149 at Newton Running

Shop Men
| Shop Women

These are not affiliate links above, but the ones below are! Using these link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Check out Gear We Love
Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt: The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist. (Also recommend the Naked belt)
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
goodr Sunglases: Run in style with goodr's super fun sunglasses.
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle: Perfect for long runs when you need hydration in the summer
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Theragun Massager: This small version is great on the go for working tired legs
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!



Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

Thanks for reading!


Facebook: Doctors of Running
Youtube Channel: Doctors of Running
Instagram: @doctorsofrunning
LinkedIn: Doctors of Running
Strava: Doctors of Running
Podcast: Virtual Roundtable
Pinterest: Doctors of Running


Matthew Klein, PT DPT PhD(c) OCS GCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy - West Coast University
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic & Geriatric Physical Therapy
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Dr. Matthew Klein is a 150 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.  The stability guy of the group, he also prefers a little guidance in his footwear. However, as a researcher, clinician, and running shoe aficionado, he will run in anything.

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

Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 60 to 70 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,

Nathan Brown PT DPT OCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

Dr. Brown is a 155 lb male with notable PRs of 18:18 5K, 39:25 10K, 1:29:01 half marathon, and 3:29:44 marathon. He typically runs between 20-50 miles per week at a variety of paces from 8:00-9:00 min/mile for recovery runs to 6:45-7:15 min/mile for tempo runs. He typically prefers shoes that provide some cushioning underfoot but still maintain a mildly firm yet cushioned feel. 

Bach Pham MS
Marketing and Social Media Manager
Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology

Bach Pham is a 140 lb male with PRs of 23 5K, 52 10K. He typically runs between 25-35 miles per week at a variety of paces between 8:30 (tempo) -10:00 (recovery) min/miles. He typically prefers shoes that provide some mild to firm cushioning underfoot that is lightweight and responsive. Currently, his goals are to complete the half and marathon distances.

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.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at *** for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our 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.

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


Bottom Ad [Post Page]

// ]]>