Brooks Ariel 16

8.0
8.0 score
[Editors rating (8.0) + Users rating (8.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.0)/10

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Brooks Ariel 16Review Facts

The Brooks Ariel 16 is a highly-cushioned women’s motion control road running shoe. As a Brooks shoe, moisture wicking is important, and being part of the Ariel series means it’s a comfortable yet stable shoe for over-pronators or those who need a lot of cushioning. The Ariel 16 has a Full-Length Segmented Crash pad that helps improve transitions to allow runners to comfortably pick up speed. The Extended Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar works to slow the inward rolling of the foot in order to create more natural running motions. The Super DNA Midsole conforms to the shape of the foot and provides bouncy cushioning. The mesh and no-sew upper help keep the foot cool, dry, and irritation-free. The Ultimate Sockliner adds plush, form-fitting cushioning. To secure the foot and prevent it from rolling or sliding, there is an External TPU Heel Counter that stabilizes the heel and a Conformable Saddle that locks down the sides of the foot. If you’re a severe over-pronator who is looking for an everyday or racing shoe, the Brooks Ariel 16 could be the shoe for you!

Pros
  • Great for over-pronators or runners with fallen arches
  • Excellent cushioning
  • Normal, wide and extra wide width options are available
  • Testers who normally experience muscle or joint pain in their feet, legs or back either did not experience any pain at all or the level of pain was minimized
  • Roomy toe box
  • Good for everyday use
Cons
  • Only one color option
  • Sizes run small: this shoe is shorter than the previous version
  • Can take some time to break in
  • A bit pricey compared to other running shoes
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

As a Brooks shoe, moisture wicking is important, and being part of the Ariel series means it's a comfortable yet stable shoe for over-pronators or those who need a lot of cushioning. The Ariel 16 has a Full-Length Segmented Crash pad that helps improve transitions to allow runners to comfortably pick up speed. The Extended Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar works to slow the inward rolling of the foot in order to create more natural running motions. The Super DNA Midsole conforms to the shape of the foot and provides bouncy cushioning. The mesh and no-sew upper help keep the foot cool, dry, and irritation-free. The Ultimate Sockliner adds plush, form-fitting cushioning. To secure the foot and prevent it from rolling or sliding, there is an External TPU Heel Counter that stabilizes the heel and a Conformable Saddle that locks down the sides of the foot. If you're a severe over-pronator who is looking for an everyday or racing shoe, the Brooks Ariel 16 could be the shoe for you!
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole uses two kinds of durable foam. The Super DNA cushioning forms to the shape of the foot and creates a bouncy feel. S-257 Cushole covers the length of the shoe to add cushioning and flexibility. The Extended Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar extends up from the outsole and helps slow over-pronation and supports the arch for those with flat to medium arches. The midsole absorbs shock well enough to protect joints, and testers who normally experience foot, knee, or back pain either had minimal discomfort or no pain at all while wearing this shoe. The upper is flexible enough for movement but stable enough to help over-pronators or those prone to injury.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The durable upper is made of mesh, fabric, and synthetic material. The mesh protects the foot against heat and moisture, and the synthetic no-sew upper creates a more comfortable fit and reduces the risk of irritation. The overlays add structure and support without taking from breathability. The fabric Ultimate Sockliner adds plush-feeling cushioning. The toe box is roomy enough to allow the toes to splay comfortably, and the toe cap protects against rocks and debris. The tongue and ankle collar are padded for additional support and comfort. The laces provide a snug fit, the Conformable Saddle locks in the midfoot, and the External TPU Counter secures the heel.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Ariel 16 weighs 11.4 oz. The mesh and sockliner have low weights, but the thick cushioning and outsole, along with the diagonal roll bar, heel counter and midfoot saddle, make the shoe relatively heavy. Although heavier than other running shoes, it is soft, stable, and flexible enough to be used as a racing or everyday shoe for severe over-pronators or runners who are injury-prone and need extra cushioning. Runners who do not need extra cushioning or stability would probably prefer a lighter shoe.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Breathability comes from the upper. The mesh and sockliner allow air to travel into the shoe and around the foot in order to keep it cool and dry. They also wick moisture to allow users to run in wet or humid conditions. The overlays do not take away from the breathability. The no-sew design allows air to flow around the overlays and also reduces the risk of blisters, irritation, or hot spots in those areas.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The Brooks Ariel 16 is a very comfortable shoe. The outsole has a segmented crash pad to make movement more natural and comfortable. The midsole has cushioning that is responsive and shock absorbent, allowing runners who are injury-prone or who normally experience back, knee, leg, or foot pain to run with either no pain or a minimal amount of discomfort. The Super DNA cushioning is extra comfortable because it conforms to the shape of the foot and gives a customized feeling. The upper is sew-free and breathable, allowing users to wear the shoe all day or use it for competitions. The sockliner feels soft and adds cushioning. The laces allow the user to wear the shoe as tight as they like and the Conformable Saddle hugs the midfoot. The toe box is roomy and the tongue and ankle collar are padded. The shoe is available in regular, wide, and extra wide sizes in order to accommodate different foot types. Although the fit is generally good, sizes run small, so potential buyers should order a half or full size up. Also, due to the stability features, the shoe can take some time to break in according to some reviewers.
Style
Style

Style

The Ariel 16 comes in one style: Mood Indigo/Capri Breeze/Grisalle. The upper and bottom of the heel are dark blue. The outside edges of the laces, logo, sockliner, midsole, and the bottom of the midfoot and forefoot are aqua/teal. The side of the outsole is white. Some reviewers liked or didn't mind the color of the shoe, while others did not like that there was only one option and/or thought that the shade of blue didn't go well with anything.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Brooks Ariel 16 has good durability and can last for a few hundred miles before signs of deterioration. The outsole uses thick rubber to last longer and the HPR+ rubber is placed in high-abrasion areas to absorb impact. The midsole's foam creates a customized fit and is able to absorb shock and bounce the foot back into the air without beginning to wear down for many miles. The upper's mesh, overlays, sockliner, and heel and midfoot counters all keep their form without wearing out or tearing.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The Ariel 16 is a protective shoe. The outsole protects the runner from feeling any cracks in the pavement or objects on the ground. The midsole protects joints by absorbing shock, preventing knee or back pain, shin splints or muscle pain. The extra padding in the heel protects runners with plantar fasciitis. The upper protects against heat, cold, and moisture. The toe cap protects against debris or accidental stubbing. The Extended Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar protects the arches, and the Heel Counter and Conformable Saddle protect against rolling or sliding.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Although a bit heavy, the Brooks Ariel 16 is responsive enough to use in races and competitions. The outsole has Omega Flex Grooves to bend with the joints of the foot and a Full-Length Segmented Crash Pad to make transitions smooth. The midsole has Super DNA cushioning that moves with the foot, sinking in during landings and bouncing back during takeoffs. The upper moves with the foot and the toe box is roomy enough to allow the toes to splay and push off, letting the user pick up speed.
Support
Support

Support

The Ariel 16 provides support from every direction. The outsole picks the foot off the ground and the midsole supports the foot from below. The Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar in the outsole and midsole supports the arch and slows over-pronation. The level of arch support is rated as motion control, which is good for severe over-pronation or runners with flat feet. The upper supports the top of the foot with its overlays and inside padding, the heel with the Heel Counter, and the midfoot with the Conformable Saddle.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Brooks Ariel 16 is a road running shoe. The treads indicate that the shoe can go on dirt or paved roads, light gravel, tracks, and paths. The HPR Green silica allows runners to go on wet, dry, or slightly slippery terrain. The shoe does not have aggressive lugs to go on technical trails or spikes to go on snow or ice.
Price
Price

Price

At around one-and-a-half times the average running shoe price, the Ariel 16 is an expensive shoe. However, it does have a lot of cushioning, lifts the foot high off the ground, has great arch support, helps reduce heavy over-pronation, and absorbs shock to protect joints and muscles in those who normally experience back, muscle or joint pain. Runners who have these problems may want to consider making the investment in this shoe. This shoe is also durable, so it will last a while. As a relatively new shoe, most stores are selling it for full price, although some retailers are offering a slight discount on some sizes.
Traction
Traction

Traction

As a road running shoe, the Ariel 16 gets its best traction on hard surfaces. The square-shaped groove patterns allow the shoe to grip these surfaces to take off and land, even going up or down hills in the road. The HPR Green allows the shoe to grip wet or dry surfaces. Some reviewers experienced good traction on slippery surfaces. The shoe is not designed to go on rough trails, ice, or snow, so users may experience slipping and sliding if they attempt to run on those types of surfaces.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The Brooks Ariel 16 has a decent level of flexibility. The outsole has Omega Flex Grooves that allow the shoe to bend with the foot and the ground. The Full-Length Segmented Crash Pad allows smooth transitions. The midsole has S-257 Cushole that was specifically designed to improve flexibility. The upper's mesh, overlays, and sockliner easily move with the foot. Taking away from flexibility are the thickness of the sole, the Extended Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar that supports the arch and slows inward rolling, the External TPU Heel Counter that locks in the heel, and the Conformable Saddle that locks in the midfoot. The forefoot is not locked in and is flexible enough to allow the toes to push off. The shoe can take some time to break in, meaning it starts out slightly stiff and gets comfortably flexible after a few runs.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The Ariel 16 has such a high level of stability that it was rated as motion control. This means that runners with severe over-pronation or fallen arches can wear this shoe without rolling their ankles. The thick sole helps stabilize the bottom of the foot. The Extended Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar slows over-pronation and supports the arch. In the upper, the Conformable Saddle secures the midfoot, and the External TPU Counter locks in the heel.
Drop
Drop

Drop

This shoe has a drop of 12mm, which has been standard since the 1980s. Cushioning is distributed throughout the shoe, but more is in the heel with the least amount in the forefoot, although even the forefoot is highly cushioned. This promotes forward momentum in heel strikers. It also takes the strain off the Achilles heel and is good for runners with plantar fasciitis. Some forefoot and midfoot strikers, as well as runners who want a barefoot feel, would prefer a lower or zero drop.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

  • Full-Length Segmented Crash Pad creates smooth heel-to-midfoot transitions

  • Extended Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar helps slow over-pronation to create natural motions

  • Super DNA Midsole provides responsive cushioning

  • No-Sew Upper creates a more comfortable fit and reduces risk of irritation

  • Mesh Upper protects against heat and moisture

  • Ultimate Sockliner adds plush cushioning

  • Conformable Saddle secures the midfoot

  • External TPU Heel Counter stabilizes the heel to prevent rolling or sliding
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Ariel 16 is a great running shoe for those who are looking for a high level of cushioning and stability. It can be worn by neutral runners as well as over- and under-pronators. It is soft and shock absorbent enough to be worn by runners who are prone to injury. It is durable, flexible, and responsive enough to be used as an everyday shoe or for races or competitions. The Ariel 16 is very comfortable and comes in regular, wide, and extra wide sizes to allow any foot width to enjoy this shoe. It has great traction on roads and can be used on dry, wet or slightly slippery surfaces. It is moderately heavy and expensive, but the cushioning and stability make it worth the extra cost for those who need them. Possible areas for improvement include: fixing the sizes so they don't run a size small in length, allowing more color options for people with different tastes, and reducing the amount of time to break in the shoe. In short, if you're injury-prone or over-pronate and want a daily running or racing shoe, the Ariel 16 is great; if you're a neutral runner who does not need extra cushioning, you will probably want a lighter and less expensive shoe.