Best Brooks Running Shoes – 2021 Buyers Guide
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you are a trail runner or someone who likes to hit the road, what you do need to remember is that the best Brooks running shoes should be comfortable, breathable, and durable.
Peruse our top picks below.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Good shoes support your feet and protect them from shock impact by having good soles.
One of the key aspects of a good pair of running shoes is that they're supportive. They will have good overall construction that supports your feet and keeps them stable and protected--so you don't have to worry about the risk of injury. Support is what keeps your feet from being tired and sore after a run or workout and the shoes on our list here are all highly rated in terms of the support they offer.
No pair of shoes is worth anything really if they don’t support your feet and keep you comfortable while you walk, stand, and run. Our goal was to provide our readers with a comprehensive selection of footwear that possessed varying levels of cushioning. In order to take full advantage of all the great models that Brooks has to offer, it’s crucial to start with the amount of cushion.
Different runners need different amounts of cushioning. Those with low-to-mid level arches will want to search for shoes that have both support and cushioning. Runners with high arches may like a plush midsole with arch support. We tried to include an option for every type of runner.
When you are shopping for a good pair of running shoes it is important to think about the terrain you will be in when wearing them.
Different terrains need different types of shoes. The same pair of running shoes you use for the gym or for around the neighborhood may not be the best to use when running the track or heading out on the trails. Along with terrain you also need to think about the weather and other environmental factors to make sure your shoes will keep your feet dry and warm when needed or cool and comfortable if need be.
These factors can all affect your shoe’s overall performance. Brooks provides running shoes for all terrains, and with such a wide selection to pick from, there’s no need to settle. For rugged trail runners, we have included options with durable outsoles and water-resistant or water-proofing features.
For city and treadmill runners, we have sleek and streamlined options that come with the highest runner ratings and proven performance. Whatever your terrain, as you can see on our Brooks shoes review, Brooks has it covered with great options. Our list is diverse in the options it has to offer, so make sure to take your time before making your final decision!
One factor many beginners do not give much thought to when they are looking for new running shoes is how breathable they are.
Breathability is how much airflow passes through the material of the shoes. This can be important, especially in warmer climates and during the hotter seasons. Shoes with good breathability will keep your feet cool and dry and this will help you stay comfortable and will also help reduce the chance for blisters and help ward off pain and fatigue.
Cool dry feet also do not smell as bad which is an added bonus of having shoes with good breathability built into them too. The breathability of running shoes isn’t just an important factor for runners in hotter climates. It’s crucial for all runners in terms of comfort and moisture control.
Nothing will take the wind out of your sails faster than a wet, sweaty running shoe during the last mile of your run. We listened to what testers had to say about the ability of the footwear to wick away moisture and control temperatures to eliminate hot spots. Runners agree that light and breezy running shoes can make all the difference in the world.
The style of your running shoes is also important. Style is more than just the flashy exterior designs and colors.
The style for shoes can include lacing systems, insoles, sole construction, outer fabric and materials, and much more. Little things can impact how a shot fits and feels and it can also affect how you feel when you see yourself in them. Styling issues should not be the deciding factor on whether or not you get a certain pair of shoes.
But these elements should be considered along with everything else when you are looking for a new pair of running shoes to add to your wardrobe. Running shoes are one of the major ways that a runner can express his or her style. It’s truly refreshing to see that major footwear manufacturer actually spends a significant amount of time testing different looks and colors on focus groups and style experts.
You will find that out buying guide has an option for everyone. Whether you enjoy standing out in a crowd of runners or blending in with understated style, you are sure to find the right look for you. At the end of the day, you need to make sure you get a pair of running shoes that will both feel and look great!
True value comes from what you are able to get out of the shoes and what they can do for you and your workout.
As with many other pieces of your running gear, the value of a pair of shoes is about much more than just the price tag and the dollar sign attached to them. The value in a good pair of shoes is in how good you feel while wearing them, how they affect your work out, how long they last, and all the benefits you get from wearing them.
Every runner should experience the difference between running in a pair of shoes or one of the Best Brooks Running Shoes. There’s a good reason as to why it’s one of the most popular brands for marathons and global competitions. They are known as the “running shoe designed by runners” because of the amount of research and development that they pour into each new iteration of their models.
Brooks offers a diverse range of price points and we looked at all their pros and cons to give our readers the absolute best sections for every budget. Be careful of review sites that simply offer a “most expensive” list without taking other important factors into consideration. All in all, however, make sure that the Brooks running shoes that you get will fit your budget and fit your needs.
Top 11 Brooks Running Shoes Reviews
1. Launch 7
Want to shave a few seconds off of your time? While dedicated training will get you halfway there, a lightweight pair of trainers made for speed will take you the rest of the way. The Launch 7 provides runners with a molded fit to naturally propel the foot forward, and lightweight materials keep you nimble and quick on your feet. The best part? They are one of the most affordable designs in the Brooks line!Read more
What makes this design ideal for high speeds is its super lightweight frame and upper. It is made from a soft knit mesh that hugs your feet. The design of the flat laces also helps to promote lockdown so that they won’t shift around on your foot as you pick up the pace.
Although it is listed as a shoe made for speed, it also provides a good deal of support in the midsole as well. It contains BioMoGo DNA midsole materials that absorb the impact when running on hard surfaces. Runners appreciate the inclusion of the Midfoot Transition Zone that offers extra stability throughout the entirety of your gait.
The design of the Launch 7 is made for speed, but its lightweight frame makes it an excellent addition to wear when engaging in workouts such as CrossFit or weight lifting. It comes in a wide variety of bright and neutral color options at a price tag that won’t break the bank.
2. Adrenaline GTS 21
If you aren’t quite sure what type of trainer that you need, you can’t go wrong with the Adrenaline GTS 21. This design blends stability and flexibility into one lightweight frame that is ideal for a myriad of workouts. We love that it comes in a wide variety of color options, and the updated versions boast a more streamlined fit to a wide variety of feet.Read more
It’s hard not to love the design of the midsole in the Adrenaline GTS 21. It is composed of Brooks’ proprietary BioMoGo DNA foam that contours to the shape of your foot while absorbing the impact of each and every set. It is reinforced with DNA LOFT Crash Pads that reinforced heavily impacted zones in the heel and the toe box for added cushion and durability.
The upper is composed of a mesh upper with a 3D fit that conforms to the shape of your foot without cutting off circulation. The material is incredibly breathable and helps to move hot air away from your foot to leave it cool and dry. Plus, the addition of guide rails along the side is perfect to naturally correct your gait, which is ideal for overpronators.
This design is the perfect blend of some of Brooks’ best materials and technology in one sleek and compact package. The materials used to make this option perfect for running long distances on hard surfaces, working out at a gym, or for days where you are on your feet from dawn to dusk!
3. Revel 4
If you engage in a little bit of everything, the Revel 4 is the perfect pair of trainers that have no trouble keeping up. It boasts a modest level of support and cushioning that doesn’t hinder your full range of motion. It really is a perfect marriage between stability and minimalism. Plus, they come in unique styles that you won’t find anywhere else out there on the market.Read more
The BioMoGo DNA found in the midsole is able to adapt to your running style to provide you the perfect amount of support where you need it most. If agility is something that you need when working out, the features of the Revel 4 promote excellent lockdown to take tight corners with ease. The design of the laces in conjunction with the internal bootie ensures that your feet stay locked in place.
Runners also love that this design has a knit upper that is incredibly soft and breathable. Unlike some of the other options that use mesh, the knit materials are less likely to drill blisters into your heels on long runs on hot days.
One of our favorite features of the Revel 4 is that it has a few whimsical design options that are sure to generate a few compliments. In addition to basic natural color opinions. Brooks throws in a few designs that host snowflakes and snowmen like a traditional knit holiday sweater! Plus, the Revel 4 comes in at an affordable price point that makes it worth checking out.
4. Beast '20
If you need extra room as well as support, the Beast ‘20 is one of your best options. While this design offers ultimate support, it has a few key improvements that make it stand apart from other stability shoes. Users love that this design is wider than other designs, that allows your foot to spread out naturally without sacrificing lockdown and control.Read more
What makes this option stand out from the pack is the contraction of the upper. It boasts a wide frame that is perfect for wide feet, or for those that need more room in the toe box for natural splay. The upper is also incredibly stiff which helps add stability and support in all points of your foot (while also being incredibly comfortable!).
Another thing that users really love about this design is found in the midsole. It is composed of DNA LOFT which makes runners feel like they are training on a light and fluffy cloud. The addition of GuideRails is great for overpronators because they guide the foot to an even stride, which takes the pressure off knees and joints.
If you love lots of cushioning from the bottom of your foot to the top, the Beast '20 is a great choice. Users love that it has a wider frame than many of the other designs in this line, and it boasts all of the supportive features that are incredibly helpful for runners that need a little extra help and comfort. They may cost more than others, but we feel they are well worth it.
5. Glycerin 18
If cushioning is what you are after, the Glycerin 18 has it! What we love most about this trainer is that it boasts ample cushioning and support in a sleek frame that is ideal for long-distance road running. It has a lightweight and breathable upper to keep feet cool and dry, and it comes in a wide variety of bright and neutral color options.Read more
This design boasts DNA LOFT cushioning in the midsole, which adds a good deal of spring in your step. Users love that this midsole provides excellent energy return, and absorbs the shock from running on hard sidewalks or treadmills. It also boasts extra cushioning in your transition zone for added durability as well as support.
The upper is composed of lightweight mesh materials that help move hot air away from your feet to keep them cool and dry when training on hot pavement. It has an internal stretch bootie that contours to the shape of your foot for a great fit and excellent lockdown.
If you are in the market for a pair of trainers that provide excellent support and comfort, you can’t go wrong with the Glycerin 18. While it costs more than some of the other designs that we have seen, the added support as well as enhanced durability makes this a great value that will hold up to hundreds of miles of continued use.
6. PureFlow 7
The close to ground feel is retained and changes involve FIT and the shoe appearance, the aesthetic indents are gone from the midsole sides, the upper is updated and this gives a lighter running shoe with a weight reduction of 2oz, now the shoe offers a comfortable internal bootie and an exterior which is stretch woven. The new updated styling of Brooks running sneakers ensures less restriction for FIT and a sleek appearance.Read more
BioMoGo DNA LT midsole which is an adaptive type of cushioning that will provide lightweight comfort, customized to your foot. The rounded heel provides good stability and better alignment. The blown rubber outsole provides a solid base underfoot and excellent traction on roads for a stable ride.
The adaptive midsole was able to provide excellent comfort for the long haul. Reviewers were happy with how the shoe held up overall with few reports of premature wear. The shoe remains similar to the PureFlow 6 apart from updating for the aesthetic indents are gone from the midsole sides and the updated upper.
This updated version offers a lot more breathability and ventilation and ensures that you stay cool and dry.
An updated Brooks Pureflow 7 for the lady runner. This shoe gives flexibility and freedom to move naturally while shock impacts are directed away from the body resulting in a very comfortable feel underfoot. Very much a buyer-friendly investment.
7. Ravenna 11
Looking for a good race-day sneaker? The Ravenna 11 is the perfect option for training as well as racing because it is crafted from supportive yet lightweight materials that are designed to help you reach high speeds effortlessly. Runners love that this design is very lightweight and hosts minimal spots that can dig into your feet for an overall comfortable ride that is great for short sprints or long distances.Read more
It hosts Brooks’ proprietary BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning that adapts to your movements to give you support in your gait where you need it most. We also love that it hosts guide rails along the outside to ensure that your stride is even to protect your knees as well as your joints. This feature is perfect for runners that overpronate, causing undue strain on their knees.
The upper of this design is composed of a lightweight knit mesh that has very few seam lines to reduce hot spots. The laces are designed to increase lockdown so that the shoe doesn’t slip around on your foot as you move. This design on the upper makes the Ravenna 11 a perfect fit for taking tight corners at high speeds.
If you are in the market for a sleek design that is lightweight and easy, you can’t go wrong with this design. Users love that it boasts a lightweight frame that stays put while you train, and has a cushioned midsole and guide rails to protect your feet, knees, and joint when running long distances.
8. Transcend 7
If you feel that there is no such thing as too much cushioning, Transcend 7 is your perfect pair of trainers. This design packs in all of the bells and whistles available to craft one of the most cushioned and comfortable options in their entire line. It’s one of the more expensive models offered, but for runners that want ultimate support and comfort, it is worth every single penny!Read more
What we love most about this design is that the midsole provides the highest level of comfort and cushion. It boasts DNA LOFT in the midsole, which is the softest cushioning offered in the Brooks line. It also boasts a GuideRail system along the side, which helps naturally correct your gait to ensure that each step is even and measured.
Users also love that the upper is composed of stretchy and lightweight materials that are supportive but won’t hinder your full range of motion. The 3D print saddle hugs your foot and promotes excellent lockdown to ensure that the shoe stays firmly in place as you take tight corners or pick up the pace.
This is an ideal choice for users that need a little bit of extra cushioning and support when training on hard surfaces. If you carry a little extra weight, are a heavy heel striker, or overpronate, the Transcend 7 is the perfect companion. It may cost a little bit more than most, but we feel that it is an excellent choice that is well worth it.
9. Ghost 13
The Ghost 13 provides runners with a higher drop than other designs in the Brooks line, as well as neutral cushioning which is ideal for a variety of movements. If your workouts take you from the treadmill to CrossFit to the squat racks, Ghost 13 is one of your better options. They may cost a bit more than some of the other options on our list, but their excellent durability makes them a great value.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it boasts a midsole that is composed of quality materials that hold up well no matter what you throw at them. By using a blend of BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT, users can expect spring in their step with a slight rigidity that makes them incredibly durable. Users report racking up hundreds on miles on these trainers before they start to shows signs of aging.
When compared to other designs, the upper of the Ghost 13 boasts a much lower profile. This lower profile creates more flexibility and ease of motion which is beneficial for running tight corners and picking up speed. It also boasts a Segmented Crash Pad which makes the transition from heel to toe smooth and effortless.
If you are in the market for a neutral pair of trainers that are packed with features to help you run fasts and for longer periods of time, you need to check out the Ghost 12. The natural design and high durability make it great for long-distance road running, but also workouts like weight lifting and CrossFit.
10. Cascadia 15
Tired of boring old sidewalks and treadmills? The Cascadia 15 is a sleek trail runner that hosts all of the stability and cushioning as many of the leading Brooks roadrunners. We selected it for our list because it boasts a strong and structured frame from the bottom of your feet to the top without feeling heavy and bulky.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about the Cascadia 15 lies in the outsole. It hosts a series of serious treads that really grip the ground under your feet. The addition of the Pivot Post System inside ensures that you keep your footing while traveling over jagged rocks and tree roots.
The upper of this design is also built to contend with muddy and uneven trails as well. The lightweight mesh upper is reinforced with a 3D Rubber Print Mud Guard overlay to keep the mud on the trail and off of your socks! The midsole provides users with a modest level of cushioning that feels rigid without hindering your full range of motion.
If you need a pair of trainers to take off-roading, Cascadia 15 is one of your best options. It is composed of tough materials that can withstand any muddy and jagged trail with ease. Users love that this design provides a good deal of support and stability without being too cumbersome and heavy.
11. Levitate 3
If you want something that is great for a lot of quick and easy movements, you can’t go wrong with the Levitate 3. What we love most about this design is that it has a super-soft knit upper that hugs your foot and keeps it in place as you navigate through tight corners. It also boasts Brooks’ top-notch cushioning to help protect your joints when workout out on hard and unforgiving surfaces.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it has an upper that it is built to fit like a sock. The heel cuff has an elastic band that hugs your ankles and greatly reduces the chance of rubbing blisters into your heels. This knit upper design also promotes a full range of motion to feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all.
While the upper is easy and lightweight, the midsole provides users with a good deal of support which helps when training on hard surfaces. The midsole boasts DNA AMP which offers runners with the highest level of cushioning available in the Brooks line. You can actually feel the spring in your step when lacing up the Levitate 3.
If you need something that is lightweight and easy for fast and agile movements, the Levitate 3 is a great option. Users love that it offers a full range of motion while still providing unmatched cushioning from heel to toe. We love that the arrow design of the outsole will help propel runners forward to stay quick on their feet.