Brooks running shoes are an excellent choice for runners at every level. Running requires little more than a good pair of sneakers and some motivation. There are many different sneaker styles, and new runners can become especially confused when facing a sea of different footwear styles. Making the wrong choice, however, can result in injury. Brooks running shoes are available in every possible configuration, so you can avoid getting sidelined.
All running shoe manufacturers follow a fit standard based on arch size and how a foot moves while you are walking and running. Some brands, like Brooks running shoes, invest their all into running, resulting in high-quality, consumer-respected products. Because equipment needs are minimal, it is even more crucial to focus on a quality brand.
About the Brooks Brand
Brooks is one of the few athletic shoe companies that focuses solely on running. As the company proudly states on its website, Brooks is a one-trick pony. Brooks claims to make the best running gear on the planet, nothing more, nothing less. Brooks Sports, Inc. got its start in 1914 as a sports shoe company. A hundred years ago, it had a broader product line, but after falling out of favor in the 1980s and 1990s, the brand refocused. In 2001, Brooks cut its product line in half, and for the past 17 years has grown to become the market share leader in the specialty running shoe market.
Like many other niches in sports and fitness, running has a gearhead subculture — even though the sport's gear is mostly limited to what you wear on your feet. Avid runners get serious about running shoe styles and brands. Brand loyalty is fierce. Some runners consider Brooks running shoes or other running-specific brands like Saucony or Asics to be the holy grail of the sport. Others go for shoe technology and design from larger brands such as Nike or Adidas.
Brooks running shoes are consistently top-rated by professional and amateur runners alike. Acclaim for the brand is the main reason that Brooks has a 25 percent market share. Beyond its strong brand identity, Brooks running shoes come in a wide range of styles, and choosing the right shoe is a crucial running decision.
Introduction to Running Shoe Styles Based on Foot Profile
Running shoe style doesn't refer to their color or pattern design. Feet come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and each of these impact the way you run. A flat-foot needs arch support. A high arch needs a construction that protects foot edges from to much pressure.
For some people, pronation (when a foot rolls excessively inward or outward during its normal range of motion) is the primary consideration behind shoe choice. Others believe that pronation control is less important than comfort, with a recent study indicating that pronation might not be that big of a deal. Believe it or not, body shape also plays a function in determining an ideal shoe. A heavier runner may need more support for their footbed.
Consequently, there are a few basic choices for running shoe fit. These generally are divided into three categories:
These running shoes provide maximum comfort and little rigidity
Providing pronation control, a support shoe is also helpful for a larger runner who might be at a higher risk of foot damage
A neutral running shoe is intended for those with a normal gait and optimal level of pronation
Beyond these basic levels of comfort and control, the running shoe marketplace is also filled with products that are lightweight, geared for racing, toughened-up for trails, or infused with water repellency or other features. It's easy to see how choosing the right running shoe can become an ordeal.
Male vs. Female Shoes - Is There a Functional Difference?
When shopping online or in person for running shoes, you will immediately notice that they divide selection into men's and women's. For Brooks running shoes, the only difference is color and design. For the most part, Brooks retains continuity in brand model naming. There are some exceptions, such as the Beast shoe, which is the Ariel model for women. In our overview of Brooks running shoes, we'll note when there is a model name difference between the men's and women's line.
Brooks Running Shoes
Brooks running shoes cover the needs of all types of runners and running environments. Like most running shoe brands, Brooks running shoes add a generation number to each of their models. For example, the Ghost 11 is the 11th iteration of the model.
In many cases, a runner can save a few bucks by shopping for an earlier model, if available. There are value-priced models and full-featured top of the line shoes as well. Here are 10 of the best Brooks running shoes, with details on fit, price and user sentiment.
The Ghost 11 is a lightweight, neutral trainer with a smooth and soft fit. It aims for comfort and features Brooks' DNA LOFT heel crash pad for softer landings. Regardless of foot build, running with most sneakers directs the foot to a heel-first landing. Over time and miles, repeated uncushioned crashings can cause heels to bruise.
- SHOE SIZE: "D" = Medium width, "EE" = Wide width
- FOOT SUPPORT: Ideal for runners with a medium to high arch looking for neutral support.
- BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning work together to provide a just-right softness underfoot...
Therefore, Brooks has created a running shoe that provides comfort but gives structure where needed. As a neutral shoe, the Ghost 11 is appropriate for many runners whose feet pronate in the normal range. Reviewers liken the Ghost 11 to running on a cloud, but some noted a too-roomy toe box that required sizing down.
While the Ghost provides comfort and softness, the Revel 2 is packed with Brooks' BioMoGo DNA. This proprietary cushioning system deflects impact away from the body. Not only is the Revel 2
comfortable, with a secure inner bootie that cocoons your foot, it is also responsive.
- SHOE SIZE: “D” = Medium width
- FOOT SUPPORT: Ideal for runners with a medium to high arch looking for neutral support.
- CUSHIONED FEEL: Soft and protective, these shoes provide just the right amount of cushion in each step to let you float...
The Revel 2's cushioning adapts to the runner, providing a custom-like fit at an off-the-shelf price. Users enjoyed the comfort, saying that the quality construction is worth the cost, which is actually on the low end for quality running shoes.
Considered their flagship shoe, the Adrenaline GTS 18 provides stellar support for a wide variety of runners. Some high-end cushioning and support shoes feel good and solid on the feet but can be a little awkward on the road. This is not the case with the Adrenaline GTS which combines solid construction with sleekness. It's no accident that this model has seen 18 generations.
- With stellar cushioning and a more streamlined look, the Brooks® Adrenaline GTS 18 running shoe will have you ready to...
- Predecessor: Adrenaline GTS 17.
- Support Type: Overpronation/Stability.
Runners adore this shoe and wait for the new model to come out each year. Some get quite upset if the new year brings drastic changes to their favorite model. Commenters noted that the shoe is great at fighting plantar fasciitis, which is a common runner's injury. The few negative comments were from those who preferred prior models.
Pure Flow is Brooks’ newest lightweight trainer. It is ideal for shorter distances or for those runners who like the swift feeling of a minimal shoe. Not only just a light shoe, the Pure Flow also features streamlined comfort with its 3D Fit Print technology. Users comment on the glove-like fit and featherweight but sturdy construction.
- SHOE SIZE: “B” = Medium width, “D” = Wide width
- FOOT SUPPORT: Ideal for runners with a flat to medium arch looking for support.
- ENERGIZED FEEL: Delivers a responsive and springy ride to add extra lift to your stride without compromising support or...
Designed primarily for support, the Ravenna 9 also provides a snappy, responsive feeling. A Brooks Energize model, the Ravenna 9 adds spring to your running gait, which is helpful for support shoes that can sometimes weigh feet down into a slog. Reviewers give the Ravenna 9 good marks for comfort and pronation control, while some criticized the new model saying that there are a few construction flaws.
Offering maximum pronation control and support for those with flat feet, the Beast and Ariel models are Brooks' top of the line products. Although these shoes may look a little clunky at first, they work for people who have unconventional feet.
Beasts and Ariels take a pounding and can help would-be marathoners get through the long haul. These shoes provide maximum cushioning for great comfort. Reviewers dub the Beast the best motion control shoe ever, with the same accolades rolling in for the Ariel.
Brooks running shoes normally are high-end. You can generally plan on spending a premium, but there are cheaper models with fewer features that still retain Brooks’ quality.
- Run at your best every day with the underfoot comfort and reliable grip of the Anthem running shoe from Brooks®.
- Engineered mesh upper.
- Lace-up closure delivers a secure, adjustable fit.
The Anthem is marketed to those who are likely going to use custom orthotics instead of relying on a pre-designed comfort or motion-control feature. Commenters like the low price exactly for this reason.
- BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning dynamically adapts to every step and stride
- Midfoot Transition Zone creates fast heel-to-toe transitions
- Perforated stretch-woven upper wraps the foot in a seamless, sock-like fit and allows for maximum ventilation
If you are looking to run fast, you may not be concerned with control and comfort. Brooks sells several models for racers, and the Hyperion is one of its best choices. Sleek and lightweight, the Hyperion will help runners shave off seconds from their race times.
Trail running adds another set of variables into the shoe comfort equation. Not only do trail runners need comfort and support, but they also need protection from tree roots, rocks, and all sorts of treacherous little bits on the trails. The Cascadia 13 provides top-of-the-line cushioning with neutral support. Commenters like the Cascadia's fit and durability on trails.
If you want protection from wet streets while you run, Brooks offers its popular Adrenaline model in a Gortex-infused version. The Adrenaline GTX keeps your feet dry. This is helpful for runners in colder climates who want to run all year long, as cold, wet snow is one of the worst things to run through.
- Gore-Tex upper is waterproof and breathable
- BioMoGo DNA midsole provides adaptive cushioning
- Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB) for added control
The GTX model takes Brooks' best-selling Adrenaline shoe and makes it a beast built for the trail. It features strong support and motion control, a cushioned fit and a waterproof but breathable overlay. Reviews are somewhat mixed online, with fans touting the durability, and critics noting that the sizing runs smaller than on non-Goretex models.
The best Brooks running shoe is the one that fits your needs. For many runners, the Adrenaline GTS 18 fits the bill, although some may want a lighter ride. The Adrenaline GTS 18 is time-honored, and the choice of many die-hard runners.
Wearers will feel like they are walking on clouds, and many commenters noted in user reviews that they use the shoes as casual walkers, too. Since model year changes tend to be subtle with the Adrenaline, you can even pick up a pair of GTS 16s or 17s as Amazon often carries previous models.
Since running shoe fit is personal and unique to each individual, try to get to know your foot style. Knowing whether or not you need motion control, stability or cushioning is the first step towards finding the right shoe. If you are like most runners, though, the combination of cushioning and stability from the Adrenaline model will keep you moving.