The Aha is a POP3 and the Fate is POP2. Essentially this means that the Aha offers a more cushioned ride and have the most subtle feeling of the lugs. That would make the Aha likely the best introductory shoes to try when initially venturing into the Newton lug system and moving up the ladder (like to the Fate) from there. My Thoughts:
POP1 – Fast & Responsive (the most pronounced of their lug system)
POP2 – Peppy & Smooth
POP3 – Soft & Lively (the most subtle of their lug system)
When trying out new shoes, I find myself always feeling uneasy. Luckily, I have been able to find some solid shoes I otherwise would probably never have tried. Both Newton shoes (the Aha and the Fate) passed the initial test, each holding up well and piling on between 50-100 miles. As a reminder, here are some of my initial feelings on each.
Price: $89.99 ($77 on Amazon)
…my calves became a little tired while I made the initial transition, but I anticipate that will even out as I get more and more runs in. The shoes are relatively light at a little under 8 ounces and seem to fit into that perfect trainer shoe – solid and reliable, but not too heavy…While I am not one who takes fashion too seriously, the Aha color I received is a solid and crisp black with some baby blue trim and gold logo. It’s got a really classic feel to it in a world full of bright running shoes.
One of the main thoughts behind the lug system is that it teaches proper form by forcing your foot to strike in the middle which, in turn, assists with creating a more neutral striking pattern. As a heel-striker, I definitely felt the way it was changing my strike, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s one thing to be told to change your strike, and quite another to be assisted in doing so. It didn’t feel completely unnatural, but was likely some of the reason my calves became sore on initial runs – I just wasn’t used to running like this! Even with the lugs, I felt there was a good amount of cushion – supportive, but not so much that the road couldn’t be felt underneath. Apparently the upper on the Newton’s has improved a lot over time. They fit snugly (not too snug) and the material was breathable and comfortable.
Price: $129.00 ($94 on Amazon)
The weight (nearing 10 ounces) is definitely heavier than many shoes out there, so know your top-end limits and don’t be surprised. I personally, like having at least one heavier pair that can take the beating of daily runs and can hold up to the ongoing wear and tear. It also is pretty stiff and not as flexible as some recent pairs I have had.
The Fate’s took me a little longer to get used to than the Aha – which makes sense. Being as the Aha was their POP3, or most introductory style, the Fate’s were a POP2, making the lugs a little more pronounced. The shoe felt more stiff early on, though it did loosen up as I put in more miles with them. I also found the upper on these to be very well made and comfortable.
- For me, they took a little bit more time to get used to and comfortable with. They weren’t pairs that I could just slide on out of the box and hit the ground running (that’s probably not even a good idea anyways). They necessitated me alternating in and out of my old shoes and working up to longer distances as my calves became used to the new feel.
- I found the Fate to be able to take some pavement pounding, but if you need more flexibility in your shoes, these may not provide the amount you desire.
- The prices are relatively high, though not astronomical. Most shoes on their website run between $120 and $160 (though Amazon has them cheaper).
I am really pleased with the quality that Newton has shown in these shoes. As a big heel-striker, these definitely took longer to get used to. However, if you are already a neutral striker, the transition to Newton’s may be quicker and easier. That’s not to say heel-strikers should avoid, but just be cautious. And now that my body is used to the feel and design, it has opened the door to more possibilities within their shoe repertoire.