Brooks Aduro 3 Review Facts
The Brooks Aduro 3 is a solid “entry-level” running shoe designed specifically for the European market. Closely modeled after the Brooks Ghost series in America, Brooks revered and very successful stability/cushioned running shoe, the Aduro 3 shares much of the design and pattern heritage with its top of the line US sibling. However, the Aduro 3 cuts costs where necessary to ensure the accessibility and buying appeal to both beginner and intermediate runners alike with varying needs. It’s a well-designed, long-lasting running shoe that tries to be a lot of things and is successful in most of them.
As if Brooks anticipated that the lower relative price point and the good looks of the Aduro 3 would attract newer runners, they chose to incorporate the excellent HPR Plus rubber, a proprietary material designed with higher durability and abrasion-resistance than in earlier models. The outsole holds up well under various conditions, and after a few months of use, there is no very little abrasion wear. Long-time fans of Brooks will recognize right away the unmistakable Omega-Flex groove pattern of the outsole. It lends itself to a nice supportive outsole with very little issues with pebbles and rocks.
Brooks BioMoGo material makes up the entire length of the midsole, very similar to the Ghost line. Since its debut a few years ago, Brooks has begun incorporating this multi-layer polymer compound in many of its running shoe models, and it’s great to see it utilized here in the Aduro 3. Shock absorption for midfoot runners was reported to be excellent, and the ride was nice and even over varying terrain. The responsiveness from this midsole and the generous amount of the enhanced BioMoGo DNA material in the segmented crash pad in the heel area ensured that long runs of 10 miles or more went with very little sole fatigue across the board.
The Aduro 3 utilizes a lightweight profile sockliner upper that is reminiscent of the corresponding Ghost series as well as other current Brooks models. Combined with the proprietary Element Mesh upper and moisture wicking upper technologies, it provided moderate to good comfort during longer runs
. Going beyond the marketing terminology for its synthetic material listing, of which Brooks has many, it is evident that the fit and finish of the Aduro 3 is noticeably less polished than the Ghost, which is evident in the differences in pricetag.
Weighing in at a middleweight 11.3 oz for men and 9.5 oz for women, this is neither an overtly heavy motion control shoe nor is it a minimalist
shoe. Aduro 3 is a stable shoe that is nicely weighted to balance cushioning and a good running gait. Some may wish that it was a little bit lighter towards the end of their longer runs, and though there are far lighter shoes, they are not at the same price point of the Aduro 3. The higher weight is also a result of the more durable rubber materials incorporated into the tough and strong HPR Plus outsole included in this model.
The Aduro 3 provides good breathability with the synthetic mesh upper, making for a a nice ride. It also dried out fairly quickly after some rainy runs where the shoes hit a few puddles. However, keep in mind that with the mesh comes the trade-off - feet that quickly are soaked in the rain. On warmer days, the Aduro 3 did feel a bit stuffier than other shoes in this range, likely due to the tighter weave of the mesh combined with the black upper colorway. If you run in warmer climates, you may want to consider this in your search, while in cooler temperatures and evening runs the breathability and comfort was just right.
The Aduro 3 strives for balance. As a neutral, cushioned shoe
, it falls neither under the minimalist or maximalist trend, and held up well from start of run to finish. Some reviewers noted that the cushioning did seem to break down a bit over the period of regular runs in a month, which lends itself more to the “entry-level” model aspect of the shoe. Nevertheless, for the vast majority of runners, the Aduro 3 is a great everyday trainer and could be used comfortably from 5Ks to half marathon
distances. Longer distances might require additional cushioning and support, as it does seem to cave a bit around the 15 mile mark.
Brooks running shoes have a distinctive style, and if you’re a fan of the Ghost or Adrenaline
lines, you will be right at home with the Aduro 3. The use of shiny emblems and popping colorways is evident here, so if you’re looking for an understated shoe, Brooks isn’t it. The Aduro is on the quieter side of their lineup, with liberal use of the ombre patterns from dark to light, and the large metallic Brooks chevron. They are distinctly running shoes though with function largely trumping form.
Durability and longevity of this shoe seemed to be a priority by Brooks, as the cushy yet thick outsole attends to. As mentioned earlier, the use of the high-density HPR Plus rubber compound in the Aduro 3 outsole provides a very strong and abrasion-resistant sole that showed very few signs of permanent wear, even after a month of testing. Combine this with the strong nylon uppers and reinforced stitching along each seam, and you have the usual expectation of Brooks fit and finish at this price point. The toe rubber cap is the traditional glued flap; however, overtime it could possibly be a weak point.
As the Aduro 3 is primarily a road running shoe, there is no specific technology built in for extra protection against extreme terrain or surface running. The tread pattern is a road-based flat pattern, and there is no extra toe-plate or rock-plate in the sole or the toe area, which a feature in trail running shoes
. With most road running shoes, it’s recommended that you avoid hazards and any extreme running conditions (snow, ice, technical trails), and this particular model is no exception. When hitting milder trails, however, there was a good amount of general protection and no discomfort when traversing loose gravel, thanks to the thicker outsole made of the proprietary Brooks HPR Plus, which is firm and strong against larger, sharper off-road features. As long as you are not kicking lots of larger boulders and negotiating foot-traps along tech trail, the Aduro 3 can make easy transitions on and off road.
With the thickness of the BioMoGo sole in the Aduro 3, this particular model of shoe provided reasonable responsiveness, but nowhere near as much as Brooks more minimal models in its Pure line. Testing showed that the shoe was very well cushioned over the course of their rides in this shoe, which comes at the expense of responsiveness and underfoot feel. This is not a racing shoe by any means, and more of an everyday trainer in that regard.
With the combination of the firm and well-designed upper, which includes a sock-liner and thick, spiral-woven lacing system, as well as the stability provided by the liberal use of Brooks proprietary BioMoGo in the midsole and outsole, the Aduro 3 is a very good stability
shoe for neutral runners. The insert inside is also comprised of the very comfortable, form-fitting Brooks DNA (terminology for their foam inner liner of the footbed), which provided a very nice landing with each step and little sacrifices to foot stability. The Aduro 3 helped with pronation and foot roll, indicating that the sum of the footbed and upper features worked well in keeping the ride stable throughout the run.
This is very specifically a road running shoe, and is not recommended for anything but the mildest and least technical of trails. The sole was resistant to gravel and pebbles, but any larger obstacles and rocks might prove to be hazardous in these shoes. For a more well-equipped running shoe from Brooks, the Aduro 3 is trumped by models like the Brooks Cascadia or the PureGrit
line, the latter being better for neutral runners.
At the Aduro 3’s price point, you are getting a discounted package for a shoe that is similar in style, look, and feel to the Ghost 7 model, one of Brooks’ top of the line US running shoes - just a step beneath the Ghost on every level, yet still great. Nevertheless, the Brooks brand and materials command a premium overall pricing structure that might turn away some of the entry level market to which this particular shoe is targeted to. The Aduro 3 is a good value, but not an excellent one, and a reminder to consumer runners that this sport isn’t as cheap as many make it out to be.
The Aduro 3 did well on the various road surfaces thrown at it: asphalt, sidewalk, gravel, and packed dirt/grass turf. Brooks has a well-designed a well established tread pattern that is tried and true for the road. With that experience, it needs to be reiterated that this shoe’s sole is not designed for performing well at all on moderate to technical trails and should be avoided. In wet conditions, the traction remained solid on road and flat surfaces. The Aduro 3 is a sure-footed performer on traditional roads.
Pick up the Aduro 3 and do your traditional shoe-bend, and you will find that for such a well-cushioned, stable shoe, it flexes very well. This is in part to the outsole design that Brooks is known for, which they call the Omega-flex tread pattern. It works well and translates to a comfortable and seamless heel-to-toe transition and push off. Power transfer is not an issue here, and you have good stiffness throughout. Over time, the shoe does show some break-in and flexibility actually improves even further. If you are looking for an extra-stiff shoe for sprints and racing, you may want to look at models other than the Aduro 3.
With a 12 mm drop from heel to toe, the ride is fast with foot positioning leaned forward. It’s important to note your own preference when running, as the drop is a bit higher than usual for a neutral stability shoe of this nature. As a general rule, understanding your personal running style and knowing the ideal drop for your gait mechanic is especially important - midfoot strikers may not like this steep of a heel-to-toe drop in the Aduro 3, and might want to instead look into the Pure line of shoes that Brooks offers for the more neutral, minimalist shoe drop profile, as the hit to your running gait can both be dramatic and lead to injury.
• A less-expensive version of the Brooks flagship Ghost series
• Brooks tech utilized in the midsole and outsole
• Breathable and supportive upper
• Understated colorways relative to the more loud Brooks models
• A good value for the money
• Very suitable for training and middle-distance racing
• Fits right into the Brooks trainer aesthetic
• Built to last
The Brooks Aduro 3 is a solid performer across the board, with good cushioning, incorporation of Brooks’ excellent material technologies trickling down into this beginner-intermediate range, and its only real hindrance being the slightly higher price point compared to others competing in this bracket of running shoe. Overall, it hits all the marks for a durable shoe that should perform well for many miles of training and shorter distance racing. Those who are looking for a more minimalist experience or something to transition easily to off-road and back, should look elsewhere.