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Newton Kismet review: Less pronounced lugs offer more universal appeal

The new Newton Kismet running shoe.
The new Newton Kismet running shoe.
Newton Running

Newton Running Kismet


When Newton Running first launched several years ago, they were known for making high end specialty running shoes designed for the most efficient runners and triathletes. But as the brand and their offerings have grown, Newton has branched out with shoes that appeal to all types of runners, including trail junkies, mid-packers and beginners.

The Newton trademark is their Action/Reaction technology, featuring prominent lugs under the mid-foot. The new Newton Kismet still has the lugs, but they’re less pronounced, making the Kismet Newton's most accessible shoe yet.

Like all of Newton’s 2014 line, the Kismet has five lugs (instead of four) and features Newton’s new P.O.P. (Point of Power) platform. Newton now offers three different levels of P.O.P, with P.O.P. 1 providing the most pronounced and stiffest lugs and P.O.P. 3 providing the least pronounced lugs. The Kismet uses the P.O.P. 2 platform, and as you might have already guessed, it’s lugs are somewhere in between.

The Kismet is described as a “go-to shoe for a runner needing the extra bit of functional stability,” and it definitely delivers. In fact, after running in multiple Newton shoes over the last five years, the Kismet isn’t just my favorite Newton, but one of my favorite running shoes period.

Typically, when you’ve been running in another brand and you switch to Newtons, you notice the lugs. A lot. In fact, I used to describe my first Newtons as feeling like I was running in a pair of shoes with a deck of cards taped to the mid-foot. It’s a little awkward at first, but doesn’t take too long to get used to. On the Kismet, however, the lugs are barely noticeable. In fact, the Kismet feels very much like a traditional running shoe.

Unlike some of the more minimalist Newton shoes, the Kismet offers plenty of cushioning while the broader base and beveled lugs make it stable enough for over-pronators. The Kismet has a relaxed fit, with plenty of give in the mesh upper, making it an extremely comfortable shoe, even for runners with wide feet.

While I usually test shoes for a few weeks, I’ve worn the Kismet every day for the last two months, not because I’ve had to, but because I’ve wanted to. With a perfect fit, the right amount of stability and cushioning, and a relaxed ride, the Kismet is a perfect every day trainer, and will definitely be my next marathon training shoe.

I highly recommend the Kismet, for both Newton diehards and runners who have wanted to try the brand but were worried about the lugs or the high price tag. The Kismet is available online for $129, much less expensive than Newton’s top of the line Motion III and Gravity III which retail for $175.