Let me preface by saying that I am no stranger to Newton Running. I've read in places that Newton almost seems to have a cult-like following. I have been a member of that cult for 3 years now and I was very excited to take Newton Running to the trails and see if they did as good a job as they did on the road.
At first glance: They looked like Newtons due to their bright colors and lugs but didn't quite feel like a Newton due to their weight. At first thought doesn't seem to be a big deal because they would need to have a little more durability since they are a trail shoe. Anyone that is at least a little familiar with Newtons is aware of their lugs set in the forefoot to promote forefoot running. The Terra Momentus has these same lugs, but are not as prominent as with your street shoe and are rounded towards the front of the shoe. The tread in the shoe looks like it would be enough to get you safely up hills and the tread at heel of the shoe gives you a sense of stability, for going downhill. The plate feels strong yet durable enough to not have to worry about any rock punctures. The Momentus has a more weather and abrasion resistant fabric than other Newtons.
The Terra Momentus reminds me of the comparison of a carbon bike frame to an aluminum frame. The aluminum gets the job done, yet the carbon is a definite step up not just in form and function but in feel. The shoe is obviously more durable with a lot less overall give and is able to handle the trails of Utah.
On the trails: I am fortunate enough to have an assortment of trails less than ¼ mile from my house- everything from soft equestrian trails, to dirt roads and technical single-track surrounded by dense trees. While running on the road to enter my trail paradise, I immediately noticed I could still feel the presence of the lugs although not as exaggerated as my road shoes. Once on the dirt trail leading up to the single track, I could feel that these shoes already had a different feel to them. The lugs still kept my gait quick and were small enough to not trip over any roots or trail debris. I soon moved onto an equestrian trail to see how they would feel with more room for my feet to move around. That is one place where the natural movement seemed to play against me as the wood chips formed more of a cushion around my feet and my foot was more apt to move in a lateral direction than forward. Once I moved into the single track, I felt at home. Again, the lugs are rounded in such a way to keep me from falling forward, yet I was still able to anticipate the upcoming trail with ease. My foot moved to each turn and bounced over each puddle of mountain slush. To date, I have put on about 40+ miles on the shoes, and I feel more confident in them every time I’m in them. My longest run in them has been up to 10 miles and I have never felt any pain or discomfort from them.
Pros: True to Newton fashion, aesthetically, these shoes do not disappoint with their bright colors- of course, it goes deeper than that. The Momentus are designed for forefoot striking and this shoe encourages good form over trails and confidence on hills. It is a great shoe for someone looking to change the way the way they run on the trails. They are light enough to almost make you think you are not wearing a trail shoe, yet gives you the support you need at all the right times.
Cons: As mentioned earlier, on very loose terrain, I did not feel that I had the stability because the lugs promote you to move forward and doesn't give you the lateral stability. The heel box and toe box give you the stability, but the lugs seem to counteract that.
Overall: Is it worth the MSRP price tag of $139? Yes, I think so-especially if you are looking to improve your running form and you want a reliable trail shoe that you can always depend on. Join the Newton Running cult and you won’t be disappointed. I’ll be there waiting for you...
For more information about Newton products go to: www.newtonrunning.com