Brooks Beast 16

7.9
7.9 score
Runnerclick score (7.9)/10

Our overall Runnerclick score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter
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Editor rating: 7.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 12 user ratings
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Brooks Beast 16 Review Facts

The Brooks Beast 16 is truly a beast. The Brooks brand motion control shoe offers unmatched support and cushioning. The Beast 16 has seen a few updates since the 2014 edition of the shoe. The upper has been revamped, the aesthetic has been altered, and the shoe’s cushion has been improved. The shoe, meant for those dealing with excessive pronation, offers excellent arch support for flat footed runners. The shoe can handle running on pavement, indoor running, and easy trail running. The Beast is the male version of this gender-specific model. For ladies, Brooks has come up with the Ariel. This shoe is a great option for those coming back from or dealing with an injury. The model is often recommended by doctors and podiatrists for runners with imperfect biomechanics. The Brooks Beast 16 is not going to run fast and be anyone’s first choice for speedwork, but its corrective and supportive features make it a great shoe for walking or easy training runs.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Excellent cushion
  • Good arch support
  • Excellent grip
  • Very comfortable
  • Great flexibility
Cons
  • Very heavy shoe
  • Sizing issues
  • Rigid feeling underfoot
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 3.2 hours analyzing a total of 730 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • These have shown themselves to be very stable, for me, the cushion makes these the best running or walking shoes, the level of protection and comfort is 100%, one niggling downside, be careful about sizing.
  • Looked for shoes giving protection and support, these are the way forward, in just a couple of runs I notice that my foot pains were getting less. Using these for local running and walking, they are fantastic but you need to figure out sizing.
  • As I have high pronation which often means pain, I need shoes for regular walking which would give me the balanced support which I need, I'm very happy to say that so far these are perfect. The cushion support is so good it's beyond describing.
  • Plantar fasciitis in each foot and in desperation I turned to Brooks, I was right to do this, these shoes are simply amazing, I'm gradually getting back into a regular running thanks to these. It's all about the incredible cushion and support which these shoes give.
  • From thinking I might quit running due to awful foot problems, I got these and the arch support, the cushion and the amazingly good overall support fixed everything, I have even returned to 5k running.
  • I'm carrying a lot more weight than most, I need exceptional support from shoes, the cushion in these easily carries my weight, the support from the shoe structure is clearly designed to be the best and I cannot consider other shoes, these really are the best for heavy people.
  • Been with Brooks for ten years, I do lots of walking every day and running 3 times and I also wear them to referee soccer, nothing matches these for cushioning, stability, and support.
  • The 16 is lighter but the cushion miracle is still consistent, the shoe grip, provide stability, are very comfortable and have 100% support designed into the shoe, simply unbeatable.
  • I do a 15 mile run each week and shorter runs in between, these are consistent in giving the best support, protection, performance, and durability.
  • The 16 is lighter but the cushion miracle is still consistent, the shoe grip, provide stability, are very comfortable and have 100% support designed into the shoe, simply unbeatable.
  • It is just Brooks that offer this shoe to target support for extreme overpronation and this shoe works, love the support, the cushioning is amazing and the shoe is great for long distances.
  • I had knee damage and these were suggested to me, at first I used them on the treadmill and the results were so good that I moved back to running outside, now up to 3km three times a week, this was only possible using Brooks.
  • My flat feet are so bad, the resulting knee aches are terrible, a doctor suggested I try this as a shoe for walking around daily and he was right, I'm amazed at how much difference a well-designed shoe can make. All shock is absorbed and I will always wear Brooks shoes.
Negative
  • The heels in this model are less snug, the width is tighter, the sizing is whacked but the toe box feels cramped compared to the previous shoe, Brooks has redesigned but also messed up sizing. My only option is to throw these and look for the previous shoe model which was very good.
  • Very frustrating that Brooks made this shoe more narrow, I have wide feet, playing around with sizing in this way is so pointless. I love these shoes and cushion support is still the best but the narrowness gives me achy feet.
  • Wow, totally surprised, firstly as a long-term Brooks user I notice that sizing is of the target, the shoe is narrow, the sides rub and create friction on my feet, going back to the previous model if I can find it.
  • I had a good run with the different shoes put out by Brooks, they just seemed to always get better, than I got these and found them much too narrow, well done Brooks, you have just kicked thousands of loyal fans. I sent the shoes back, just can’t use these.
  • The shoes now run half a size smaller possibly even that is off, materials are questionable, after 3 months the forefoot fabric started tearing, the shoe is more narrow but that was ok. Brooks need to rethink what they are doing.
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 730 reviews we found in total, 17% were negative, and 83% were positive.
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Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of Brooks Beast 16 is composed of full-contact rubber. Uniform lugs are scattered throughout the sole and ensure an appropriate degree of traction. The forefoot and heel are composed of different types of rubber. The forefoot features soft blown rubber and Omega Flex Grooves for increased flexibility. The forefoot also contains Flextra Rubber which helps adds a bit more flexibility. The HPR rubber in the rear foot is more rigid and durable. The outsole also contains HPR Green Rubber, an environmentally friendly compound that helps with traction in both wet and dry conditions. The wide outsole provides full ground-contact which helps with stability and traction.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The Brooks Beast 16's midsole contains a lot of cushioning. The midsole cushion has been changed from Gel cushion to Super DNA foam. The midsole cushion is softer than in the previous version of the shoe. The Super DNA foam material still provides a generous amount of plush cushion. The Super DNA cushioning material intelligently responds to the runner's need for cushioning.

The majority of reviewers praised the comfort of the shoe's cushioning. They cited that the cushioning material was plush but not too soft. The midsole also features a Roll Bar (Extended Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar), a high-density foam that helps with overpronation and ensures stability. The shoe's midsole also features great arch support and a substantial medial post which promotes stability.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The Brooks Beast 16's upper has changed quite a bit since the Beast 14. The Beast 16's new upper features synthetic overlays that connect to the lacing system and allow for flexibility of fit. The shoe also features a larger toe bumper and the Beast's tongue is no longer attached to the rest of the upper. The laces remain the same but the heel cup contains much more padding than the previous version. The mesh has been changed in the Beast 16. The Element Mesh ensures proper ventilation and the interior Element lining wicks away moisture, keeping the foot dry. The same generously padded insole is featured in the Beast 16. The Ultimate Sock Liner helps with breathability but can be taken out if the wearer needs to use a custom orthotic.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Brooks Beasts 16 weighs virtually the same as its predecessor. There's no doubt that the shoe is heavy duty. Quite a few wearers found the weight of the shoe to be a bit cumbersome. At 13.6 oz, the shoe is one of the heaviest in the Brooks lineup. It's most definitely not meant for speed work or fast runs. The full-contact rubber outsole is the likely source for the bulk of the Beast 16's weight. Still, the Beast is not marketed as a lightweight trainer. It's a hefty shoe made to provide some serious correction.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Brooks Beast 16's updated mesh still provides excellent breathability. The breathable mesh found positioned in various places around the upper helps to keep the runner's foot cool and dry. The Ultimate Sock Liner also does a good job at wicking away moisture. A lot of reviewers did comment on the fact that the fit was much snugger than they were used to. The toe box felt very tight for many wearers, which compromised the shoe's breathability. It's also important to note that the Beast 16 comes in an LE version. The all-leather construction is more durable but the material affects breathability quite a bit.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The Brooks Beast 16 is a very comfortable shoe.
Reviewers quite liked the high degree of cushioning featured in the shoe. Many runners (and walkers) found the Beast 16 was a great shoe for long-distance training. The cushion is soft without being overly so. The thickly cushioned insole of the shoe can be removed, but if you're not in need of an orthotic it adds even more cushioning underfoot. There are still fit issues that marred the comfort of the shoe for some runners. The snug toe box was a big issue for many runners. Many wearers had to go up at least a half size to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. A great deal of runners also found themselves purchasing the shoe in a wider width. The Brooks Beast 16 is available in wide and extra wide versions and for good reason since the most common complaint was that the shoe was too narrow and the toe box was too tight.
Style
Style

Style

The Brooks Beast 16 is a fairly dull looking shoe. The shoe is a bit cleaner aesthetically than the Beast 14 but it lacks style overall. The model's color options are scant and bland. Coupled with the platform-look of the shoe, the Beast 16 is not a stylish shoe by any means. At a glance, the shoe looks pretty clunky and it feels just as heavy on. The boring color options and uninspired design were a complaint that many reviewers brought up.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Brooks Beast 16 is a quality shoe. The outsole features durable rubber that can handle a lot of miles. The upper features a mesh construction and was clearly built to handle heavy use. The midsole material is meant to provide support to runners no matter what distance they choose to pursue. The cushioning felt fresh even after miles of use. In fact, it's likely that the outsole will be on its last legs while the midsole cushion still feels brand new.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The outsole of the Brooks Beast 16, made of durable rubber, keeps the shoe's sole from disintegrating, even when used for high-mileage training. The outsole material completely covers the sole of the shoe and the entire surface area comes into contact with the ground. This means that the shoe delivers a great deal of traction.

The Brooks Beast 16's midsole cushioning also protects the wearer from the impact of running. There's a lot of cushioning in this shoe and it does a great job at keeping runners from the jarring effects of pounding the pavement.

Many runners chose the Beast Beast 16 on the advice from their health-care specialist because of the shoe's corrective features and high cushion. The upper, which ventilates effectively, also helps to keep wearers protected from overheating on days when the temperatures climb high.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The Brooks Beast 16 lacks responsiveness. The shoe does not feel bouncy and there is little energy return with each footfall. The cushioning, changed from gel to Super DNA foam, has lost some of the responsiveness of the previous Beast 14 version.

The Beast 16 doesn't have the best ground feel. Runners felt that they could not properly feel the surface underfoot. Many couldn't even discern whether they were running on pavement or grass.
Support
Support

Support

As a motion control shoe, the Brooks Beast 16 is meant to deliver maximum support. The upper fits securely around the foot and delivers ample stability to the wearer. The lacing system can also be used to tighten or loosen the fit of the upper. In addition, the midsole cushioning is rigid enough to act as a support platform for the runner. The outsole, equipped with grippy rubber, delivers adequate traction so runners feel stable on the move. The stiff midsole, and supportive upper ensure that runners do not feel unstable as they enjoy their runs.

Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Brooks Beast 16 can take on the roads thanks to the shoe's tough outsole. The full-contact outsole ensures runners stay upright as they move. This shoe is not meant to be taken off-road. The lugs underfoot are flat in profile and do not offer aggressive traction, but runners should still feel okay enjoying a run on well-groomed forest trails.

Even when the weather is stormy and gloomy, runners will have no problem keeping steady when running on the roads. The Beast 16 provides adequate traction on pavement, but when the winter months come along you should be careful. If you’ll be training when it's cold outside, with the potential for ice formation, you'll need some extra gear to ensure you've got enough traction underfoot.
Price
Price

Price

The Brooks Beast 16 has a high price tag thanks to its maximal support and cushioning. This version of the Beast has actually seen a slight increase in price. Many runners were confused as to why the shoe price went up and found there was little justification for the hike. Regardless, the maximally cushioned, supportive motion control shoe is well suited for runners who need a lot of correction. With all of these features, you're getting a lot of bang for your buck.

In addition, the Brooks Beast 16 should be able to tackle several hundred miles before needing to be replaced. The shoe is a good choice for recently injured runners running long distances. The Beast 16 is a good option as a daily trainer for these types of runners.

Traction
Traction

Traction

The Brooks Best 16 features a full-contact rubber outsole which can grip pavement quite well. The rubber outsole also provides enough traction to provide stability for the wearer.

For runners who live in rainy climates or those who actually prefer to run in the rain, the Beast 16 offers a comfortable and stable ride. The lugs underfoot are fairly flat but can still handle wet conditions fairly well.

If you hate the treadmill and find yourself outside regardless of the weather conditions, be careful when running in icy weather with the Beast 16. It performs poorly is very icy conditions. It's also not great when it comes to most trail running conditions but can handle pavement and hard packed dirt no problem.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The Brooks Beast 16's outsole is outfitted with Flex Grooves. These help to ensure the shoe is not completely rigid. The outsole also features Flextra rubber in its forefoot, which helps add some flexibility to the rubber sole. Even with these small additions meant to improve flexion, the shoe remains fairly rigid. The firm midsole cushioning makes the shoe stiff so runners looking for a natural feel should look elsewhere in the Brooks lineup.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The Brooks Beast 16 is a motion control shoe so it features the highest level of stability. The Beast 16 is made for those seeking a lot of correction for excessive inward rolling. The full-length Super DNA foam provides a stable platform for runners. The DRB Accel feature in the shoe provides structural integrity and mimics natural foot mechanics.

The large medial post is apparent when looking at the Beast 16's side profile. The grey colored section contains firmer foam, while the blue sections are made of a softer foam. The full-contact rubber outsole provides additional stability for the runner and the snug upper adds an extra layer of security and stability. The shoe also features plenty of arch support for flat footed runners. Many reviewers commented that the shoe helped a great deal with plantar fasciitis pain.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Brooks Beast 16 has a significant 12mm drop from heel to toe. This is a fairly large heel-to-toe drop. Most reviewers found no issue with the drop. It's clear that the shoe is not marketed towards so-called "natural runners." It's meant to offer maximum cushion and stability for runners who need it.
Key Features of the Brooks Beast 16
Key Features of the Brooks Beast 16

Key Features of the Brooks Beast 16

  • Gender Specific Fit - Beast for men / Ariel for women

  • Super DNA Cushion (adaptable cushion)

  • Extended Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar provide stability and helps with overpronation

  • Element Mesh featured in the upper provides excellent ventilation

  • Element Lining wicks moisture effectively

  • Removable Ultimate Sock Liner

  • Large medial post offers superior stability

  • Available in wide and extra wide widths

  • Shoe is available in an LE version (all leather upper)

  • Bottom Line
    Bottom Line

    Bottom Line

    The maximally cushioned Brooks Beast 16 is motion control road shoe meant to provide maximum stability for the wearer. The responsive midsole cushioning reacts to the wearer's footfall to provide the perfect mix of impact protection and rebound.

    Despite the bland color options, the shoe performs like it's meant to. It's a great option for excessive overpronators seeking a distance trainer. It's also a good choice for runners with freshly healing injuries. The fit issues gave many runners pause but the shoe is available in wide and extra wide widths and thus can accommodate a variety of foot shapes. The Beast 16 offers enough protection to satisfy a myriad of runner types. The shoe is also well-built and can definitely give you ample value for your dollar.