TheBOCO AT from Newton Running aren’t intended to be your everyday door-to-light trail runners. Instead, they are specifically designed to get down and nasty with the most challenging of trails and conditions. Pavement be damned!
On Performance and Design…
When it comes to running shoes, there’s no denying that Newtons are a breed apart. The designs feature unique elements which aim to improve your form for a more natural running experience. And while the Newton run experience has gained incredible traction on the road, there’s been a noticeable void in the Newton line for trail runners.
Previously, Newton attempted to bridge the divide between their road shoes and the trail with the Terra Momentum. However, conquering two worlds through one design proved still left a slight void for trail purists. Enter the BOCO AT (which stands for ‘Boulder Colorado All-Terrain’), that not only fills a void in their shoe arsenal with a legitimate trail shoe, but gives runners the option to go bright, beefy and well sufficiently lugged.
What sets Newton apart from every other running shoe on the market are those protruding lugs four lugs (five lugs on the new line of Newton Running shoes) located just under the metatarsal heads of the foot. We’ve previously written about the benefits Newton’s Action/Reaction Technology here and you can learn more about it here.
While the 2014 line of Newton Running shoes makes the jump to a 5-lug configuration to improve stability and ground feel, the BoCo AT keeps the 4-lug configuration adds multi-directional lugs with traction ridges on the medial and lateral forefoot. The result is a trail running shoe that still promotes forefoot running while offering terrain-grabbing traction to handle slippery ascents and free-flowing uneven descents with confidence.
As one might expect from a trail shoe born in Boulder, BOCO ATs are in their comfort zone when the trails get technical and the obstacles become pronounced. A minimal 3mm heel-to-toe drop brings you close to the trail allowing you to handle awkward landings without hesitation and technical descents with grace and power.
In typical Newton fashion, the BOCO AT is not only light and level, but bright and unmistakable. The incandescent lime-green and black upper has been treated with a durable water repellant coating and has a closed mesh to block out dirt and debris.
Notes from the Trail…
While the transition from road to trail offers a definitive change, the BOCO AT ensures that the familiar Newton feeling remains the same. Although the forefoot is slightly wider than its road shoe brethren, the sock-like feel coupled with a secure and comfortable fit from the heel through the forefoot, will be appreciated by Newton runners.
What stood out most (besides the lime-green color) was two specific factors related to the overall feel and run experience of the shoe. First, while the BOCO AT keeps feet protected from muck on the trail, our run team did find the water repellent treatment also serve to trap in heat and moisture during those lengthy trail runs under the summer sun. Secondly, while the design of the mid and outsole easily protect feet from protruding roots, rocks and trail impediments, there is a downside. The BOCO AT does provide a muted ground feel which is a drawback for those accustomed to a minimalist style of running where a tactile interaction with the trail is a prominent part of the run experience.
For those who revel in the traditional Newton running experience, the flexion of the lugs on the BOCO AT does provide a slightly different feel. Unlike the lugs used on Newton’s running shoes, the BoCO AT’s lugs don’t move in and out which reduces the shoe’s responsiveness and that Newton traditional running feel so many have fallen in love with.
Bottom Line …
The trail-throbbing design of the BoCo AT will cause you rethink your run routes as you quickly realize those daily runs along local fire trails and groomed dirt urban paths aren’t quite challenging enough. It may be time to step up your game with the BoCo AT.
*Gumption Gear Review received the product samples featured in this review from Newton Running. The items featured were provided solely in exchange for testing the products and providing our honest views and opinions. We received no other form of compensation for this or any related review.