I assumed that this shoe would be all sizzle and no steak - but it is an amazing daily trainer. It is packed with a ton of cushioning and smart designs in the midsole that is great for speed or long distances. BlueLine is where Brooks experiments with modern engineering and materials, and all of these components really work together in this shoe. Even though it is packed with a ton of support and cushioning, it is still surprisingly light.
Below, I wanted to take a deep dive into the advanced features that make the Brooks Aurora worth checking out for daily runs whether you want to conquer distance or shave a few seconds off of your PR.
Nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3 midsole
Ultra-thin upper is very breathable
Decoupled midsole for strong toe-offs
Great for distance or speed
Very cushioned but surprisingly lightweight
Roomy toe box
It may not be as durable as other Brooks daily trainers
Everything about this running shoe veers a good deal from Brooks’s classic designs, including the midsole. This midsole is composed of DNA LOFT v3 that is infused with nitrogen for a higher cushioning without adding a lot of extra weight. It’s important to note that the super thick midsole can be a little clunky for agility training, but it really shines on the road. It provides runners with plush cushioning that you can feel with every step, and firms up as you pick up the pace for a more responsive ride.
What I also love about the design of this midsole is that it boasts a decoupled contraction. What this means is that the heel and the forefoot come in two separate pieces. Many daily trainers include a type of rocker to help keep your gait cycle nice and even, but the decoupled midsole in this design works as a stability plate. This design gives you more flexibility in your midfoot for strong toe-offs and supported landings on your heel.
Since this shoe is relatively new, the verdict is still out on how well this minimalistic outsole will perform over time. The outsole design of the Aurora is super lightweight and allows you to stay light and springy on your feet. Unlike other daily trainers out there on the market, Brooks’ BlueLine Lab used very little rubber on the outsole of this shoe. It has thin rubber cutouts on high-impact areas and an exposed midsole on the inside of your foot. I do love that the rubber cutouts are super grippy and great for running on slick sidewalks.
The minimal use of rubber on the outsole of this shoe was clearly designed to keep the weight low. The midsole on this design is a lot bulkier and heavier than similar daily trainers. If they also added a thick layer of rubber on the outsole, they would be way too heavy for light daily runs. You’ll be able to log well over 100 miles in this shoe, but whether it is capable of logging over 500 like similar Brook’s trainers is yet to be seen.
The upper isn’t just all for show. While it boasts a sleek and modern design, the materials used will help to keep your feet locked in as well as cool. The mesh upper is insanely thin, and allows the world to judge your choice in running socks (so you better make them good!). It has super breathable mesh along the top of the foot and on the sides, and a more rigid heel counter to keep your feet locked in place.
I also love the design of the laced s on this shoe. These laces are soft and have a bungee-cord feel that really allows plenty of room to tinker to find that perfect locked-down feel without the laces cutting into the top of your foot. A flared elf heel is something I see on most modern running shoes as we move through the roaring ’20s, and it may not be for everyone. The elf heel may look a bit peculiar (I’m slowly warming up to it), but it actually helps to increase lockdown and prevent rubber and chafing to cut down on your overall break-in period.
Overall, I would suggest this running shoe for anyone in the market for a great daily trainer that is able to conquer over 10 miles in a single training session. While it may look like a casual daily trainer that is made for easy tempo runs, the Aurora really kicks into gear once you start to pick up speed, While the nitrogen-infused midsole is super soft and cushioned, it tenses up as your pace becomes faster to offer a more responsive and speedy ride. The midsole on this shoe is made for just about anything.
There are some instances where the Aurora is not so great. It’s designed as a great daily running shoe, which means that it doesn’t translate very well when engaging in workouts other than running. The decoupled midsole is great for your gait cycle, but not ideal for agility work. If you are looking for a shoe that is able to transition from the treadmill to a CrossFit training session, this may not be an ideal choice.
The design of this shoe is made to accommodate a wide variety of feet. The mesh upper is stretchy and flexible and doesn’t boast a lot of stiff and rigid overlays that could potentially rub against your feet. Users found that the detailed lacing system allows them to craft the perfect lockdown, and the heel counter really holds your feet firmly in place. Plus, the wide toe box allows your feet to naturally splay inside of the shoe which is great for stability.
Since its release, runners have been quite pleased with the overall fit of this shoe. If you have even worn a pair of Brooks training shoes before, it runs true to side. If you were a size 9 in your Glycerin, the same can be said for the Aurora. If you have never worn Brooks training shoes before, be sure to take accurate measurements of your feet and compare them to their sizing chart.
Oh yes, let’s talk about the styling of this shoe. If you love to be noticed while out there on the road or running at the gym, this shoe is bound to generate quite a few envious glances. It’s important to note that this shoe is only offered in one color option, but that color option is incredibly unique. The various shades of gray with poppy orange accents are designed to look like you stepped off of the space station.
BlueLine Lab wanted to design a shoe that is ready for running to the moon, and I think that they really hit it out of the park!
BlueLine Labs is where designers really get to play with cutting edge design as well as materials, the price point reflects the engineering that went into the construction of this shoe. Basic Brooks trainers clock in at a fairly competitive price point, but the BlueLine serious is one of the more expensive running shoes out there on the market. However, if you love Brooks shoes but just wish they had a more stylish design (like we see from Nike), the slightly higher price tag may be well worth it to you.
It’s also important to note that the jury is still out on the overall durability of this shoe. Exposed midsole foam on the outsole often means that it is not up for the challenge of 500+ miles, but so far there have been no complaints in the overall durability department.
While the style is what everyone is talking about at the moment, it’s important to note that this is an insanely responsive and comfortable daily trainer. Unlike other shoes that opt for unusual designs at the cost of performance, the Aurora walks that line perfectly between unusual design and advanced performance.
If you have the extra cash to invest in an amazing running shoe, the Brooks Aurora is worth checking out!