Newton's sneakers are as close to running barefoot as a person can get. Much has been made recently of returning to the elemental movement of walking or running. The logic suggests that our bodily structure is best served when motion is as close as possible to its primal state (i.e. running while barefoot). Newton attempts to fulfill this role for casual and professional runners, basing their technology on the suggestion that running on the forefoot more closely mimics the natural state. Through unique design elements and ultralight materials, the shoes aim to increase efficiency while decreasing bodily stress.
The most distinct design feature is a handful of "actuator lugs" on the forefoot, which ensure that they are the first point of contact with the ground. Less surface contact equates to less friction, which in turn cuts down on energy loss. They have specific shoes emphasizing cushioning and stability, with different models for training and race-day. Their latest edition is the Motion AW (pictured above). An amalgamation of the others, it has a more substantial upper that is both wind-resistant and water-repellent.
The switch to forefoot running is dramatic, though, and doesn't happen overnight. To ease into it, Newton recommends starting with low-mileage runs until your body adapts.
Newton shoes range from $155 to $175 and can be ordered through their site or various retail stores.