Brooks Transcend

8.8
8.8 score
Runnerclick score (8.8)/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: 8.9 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
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Brooks Transcend Review Facts

The Brooks Transcend is one of Brook’s most well-cushioned shoes. There’s a little bit of controversy over whether it should be called a neutral or stability shoe. The Transcend doesn’t have the typical medial post. In stability shoes, this post is meant to prevent excessive inward rolling. The shoe, instead, features a great deal of cushioning which acts to support the wearer.  In the context of this review, we’ll work under the assumption that it’s a neutral shoe. With the Transcend, Brooks has clearly sought to enter the maximalist market. The shoe is highly cushioned and this cushioning provides a supportive base for the wearer. It’s a smart option for runners recovering from injury as it offers great padding underfoot. Runners who are logging high mileage each week or heavier runners might also find the Transcend to be a good daily trainer.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Very highly cushioned
  • Supportive
  • Snug and secure fit
  • Very comfortable
Cons
  • Toe box could be wider
  • Rather inflexible and rigid 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 5 hours analyzing a total of 700 reviews.

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

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • I was told that these shoes help pain and they sure do. I still have a little pain in my knee but all the back and joint pain and the pain in my feet have completely resided. They have retrained my pronation and these have really outdone it in comfort.
  • I have tried hundreds of shoes and have been disappointed over and again. However, these shoes were sent from God himself. I cannot even begin to explain how great these are but i shall try. I am a large dude and do a lot of running; these have more support than one person needs. They are durable and cushy and help with my stride. Thanks Brooks, you have a very happy customer indeed.
  • I run around 20 miles a week and these have really carried me through great. They have great support, are super cushy and cozy and seem to be very durable so far.
  • These shoes were made for big people. I am not able to use lightweight mushy shoes because I rip through them so fast. These however, they are built to take the pressure. I am walking on clouds and have a bounce n my run. I am so happy with the comfort and the fact I found a shoe that will last more than 2 weeks. I’ve had these 6 months and they are still ready.
  • I actually hated these shoes out of the box. They seemed clunky and they looked horrendous. But with that being said, after the two weeks it took to break them in and 6 months later, these shoes are extremely durable and have formed to my run and to my foot. Good thing I waited to review. These are great shoes, after a while.
  • I tried hiking shoes like a dummy to walk around in for a challenge. Nope! I was in so much pain. So, someone suggested these; no more pain. These are amazing and comfortable and they support my high arches. Thee hae healed my feet. I highly recommend these shoes too.
  • I keep buying these shoes for a reason; they are the best ever. These are the only shoes I have worn that help my foot pain. The arch support is phenomenal and they are full of cushion. They have great support for someone who walks as much as I do.
  • I have to use custom insoles and these accommodate that because they are so darn soft. I have never had a better hoe and I really hope they keep making these.
  • These absorb impact like a god and they are comfortable right out of the box. I can already tell these are going to last and they are super light, surprisingly. They give me the support I need in my ankles too. They are pricey though; I guess you get what you pay for.
  • These shoes balance me out and keep my ankle rolls to almost nonexistent. I bought these during a “change my life to be healthier” spell and, well, I have to say when I put them on I wanna dance. But, I usually just go for a jog. Either way, these are epic and all my 300lbs are grateful I found them.
  • Due to my diabetes, my ankles swell and I need a shoe with a lot of support. These shoes not only support the selling, they are also very comfortable and help my arch pain. I love these shoes; money well spent.
  • My knees and feet are usually sore when I walk, due to my pronation and fasciitis. These shoes have not allowed the pain to creep in and have supported my high arches with grace. I love this shoe.
  • After I broke my leg and ankle, I haven't really found a shoe that doesn't bother me. That is, until I found these. These have great support and structure. They keep my legs from fatigue and are like pillows on the inside. I couldn't ask for a better shoe.
  • I am not a fan of the arch support on these. However, I have a slight pronation and these have almost fixed it, it seems like. I’ve owned quite a few of these shoes and they fit me great and handle my high intensity workouts for longer than other sneakers.
  • I have arthritis in my feet and these have become the only shoe I can use that don't cramp my toes. They are light and cushy and my feet love that they subside the pain a bit.
  • I have never found such a supportive shoe for my weight. I always tend to get a pain in my body with other shoes from standing all day at work, but not these. I had foot surgery and needed a good arch support; these have proven to be just what the doctor ordered. Be careful with online sizing charts because these were of and had to exchange them.
  • The arch is just right and they are very stable shoes. The soles seem to wear a little fast and I think that is ridiculous for how much they cost. They are very comfortable though.
  • These make a sound when I walk at the toe bend, which is really annoying. However, that is overshadowed by the comfort, stability and great fit of these really expensive shoe. They have also helped me with straightening my step.
  • These are very consistent with the older models, which I am in love with and have been wearing for years. They fit and feel amazing on your feet and keep my pain at bay always..
  • These are very consistent with the other model Brooks that I have, which I am in love with and have been wearing for years. They fit and feel amazing on your feet and keep my pain at bay always..
  • For the price, they do not disappoint. They are worth every penny in comfort and they fit like a cloudy foot glove.
  • These are the best made shoes on the market. I but them for the fit and the comfort and they haven't changed that in years. I have started added insoles and it just adds to the comfort.
  • Other shoes always cause me to be in pain, not Brooks. These shoes are always consistent with comfort and structure. These allow me to keep going all week and that is what I like in a shoe since I am constantly on my feet.
  • I walk 5 to 10 miles a day and these have proven to be the best shoes I have ever bought. They were so soft and light, I forgot that I had them on. I would suggest these to any runner or, like me, speed walker. THey are just fantastic.
Negative
  • These are a true downgrade for Brooks. Aesthetically, they have not held up either . The color is fading and the accents are smearing.
  • Thes price wsa really high for the quality. I had another pair of these so I assumed that they would fit like the others. Boy oh oy, was I wrong. These hurt after about 20 minutes of wear every time I would put them on.
  • I have only tried one other Brooks model and I enjoyed them. These however, They are way too tight and they hurt my arches badly. I wouldn’t recommend this style.
  • The toe box on thee is horrendous. I had to go to the doctor after wearing these. My foot is actually permanently damaged from these shoes. I do not recommend anyone buy these at all.
  • I am not sure why, but these shoes seem to have shrunk. I bought the same exact pair as my last pair and these suck. They are too small and they are leaving blisters. How does that happen? Plus, they are really high dollar.
  • The tongues on these cut into the top of my feet, which cause a lot of discomfort. After using it for a bit, my feet would go to sleep. They were loose but made me feel like they were small. I do not recommend this style Brooks to anyone; horrible design.
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 700 reviews we found in total, 11% were negative, and 89% were positive.
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Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The Brooks Transcend's outsole is composed of carbon rubber. The rubber that makes up the sole of the shoe is quite soft. The full-contact outsole is wide enough to provide stability and deliver excellent traction. The lugs featured on the outsole are a bit flat but they are made of a sticky substance which enhances grip. The outsole works well to provide traction when running on dry pavement.

Also featured in the outsole are grooves which enhance the shoe's ability to flex with the foot. These Flex Grooves ensure the shoe has some give so the runner can experience a smooth ride. The shoe also features a crash pad in the rearfoot area.

Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The Brooks Transcend is a very well-cushioned shoe. The midsole of the shoe contains a single layer of high-density foam. Additionally, the midsole also contains Super BioMoGo DNA cushioning. This "super" material can respond to the needs of the wearer. With each footfall, the amount of energy return is adjusted depending on the wearer. The cushioning material also offers a lot more padding than Brook's regular cushioning material.

Most reviewers felt that the midsole cushioning was extremely comfortable without having too much give. The midsole cushioning is a touch rigid to ensure runners are moving forward upon a supportive platform.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The Brooks Transcend upper fits snugly around a runner's foot. This is achieved with the mesh overlays and via the lacing system.

Most reviewers were pleased with the fit of the shoe and, in particular, the upper. Some runners found the toe box was much too tight and commented that the fit felt "pointy", with toes squishing together uncomfortably. Toe blisters are likely to be a major issues when the toe box fit is too tight. Inside the shoe, there is a removable BioMoGo insole. The comfortable sock liner can be removed so a custom orthotic can be used instead. Runners can also go without socks in the Transcend thanks to its comfortable and seamless interior.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Brooks Transcend weighs in at 12.8 oz for the men's size 11 version. The shoe certainly looks a bit clunky, but when worn runners found it didn't feel as heavy as they expected it to be. The shoe does not feel heavy when running in it. Most runners felt that the Transcend actually felt fast. It's obviously a chunkier shoe - Brooks isn't billing the Transcend as a lightweight racer. But it doesn't feel obtrusive on a run. Runners won't feel like they have a weight hanging off their foot on the run.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Brooks Transcend features a mesh upper which offers a good amount of breathability. The mesh overlays are numerous. These overlays are composed of a flexible material, so there's some give to the upper. Some runners did find the toe box was much too cramped. They commented by saying that the pointy toe box compromised ventilation. Most reviewers were very disappointed with this aspect of the shoe. The shoe fits pretty tightly elsewhere but not uncomfortably.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The most impressive aspect of the Brooks Transcend's is that it's an extremely comfortable shoe.

Reviewers praised the plush midsole cushioning that worked to pad underfoot, even on long-distance training runs. Even towards the end of a run, the shoe's DNA cushioning provided long-lasting energy-return.

The inner sock liner can be removed to accommodate an orthotic but used on its own offers its own kind of comfort inside the shoe.

A few reviewers did have some fit issues, but moving up a size usually solved this problem for most runners. The toe box could use a revamp since a high percentage of runners found it was cramped and uncomfortable. The rest of the shoe, though, offers supreme comfort.
Style
Style

Style

The Brooks Transcend features a variety of flashy, loud colors. Adding to the aesthetic of the shoe is a big Brooks logo featured on the side of the shoe. The shoe's marketing originally featured a lot of space-age imagery. The design itself looks almost space-age too. The shoe looks like it came from a NASA lab! This is not a shoe that will blend into the ether. The numerous overlays provide support and add an attractive design element.

The shoe is quite chunky, thanks to its maximally cushioned midsole. When worn, the shoe feels lighter than expected but the look of the shoe looks a bit clunky. You might feel as if you have clown shoes on for your first few runs in the Transcend.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Brooks Transcend is a quality shoe in the Brooks running shoe lineup. The tough outsole of the shoe is meant to protect the sole from withering away. The upper, made of mesh material, is also tough enough to withstand tearing. The midsole cushioning continues to offer a responsive ride, even after miles of use.

The Brooks Transcend is a good choice for beginner marathoners looking for a dedicated training shoe.

Reviewers had nothing much to say in terms of the shoe's durability. The shoe can definitely handle a fair bit of pavement pounding. It's a more expensive shoe but it's also a shoe that should last you a long time.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Protection comes in many forms with the Brooks Transcend. The outsole, made of carbon rubber, covers the entire sole of the shoe. The fully covered outsole is tough enough to handle high-mileage running without tearing apart. The midsole cushioning offers another layer of protection. The highly cushioned midsole provides padding for the wearer. The cushioning can absorb shock and ensure a comfortable run.

Finally, the upper also features reflective components. These reflective bits allow runners to be seen even in very low-light conditions.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The Brooks Transcend does an okay job when it comes to responsiveness. The midsole's Super DNA BioMoGo material offers a fair bit of rebound but not enough to beat out other shoes in the same category. Brooks offers other models that are much more responsive, like the shoes in the PureProject line.

Despite this, the shoe does offer a bit of rebound thanks to the midsole material and the soft rubber outsole. The Transcend does a poor job when it comes to ground-feel. Runners won't be able to detect much of anything going on beneath them. This is the tradeoff for getting maximum cushioning, though.
Support
Support

Support

The Brooks Transcend is a mildly supportive shoe.
The upper fits snugly around the foot to provide some support. The fit is adjustable thanks to the shoe's lacing system.

Another element of the Transcend that provides some support is the Guide Rails. The side rails stop overpronation in its tracks. The midsole also offers some degree of support. The firm cushioning ensures runners have a stable platform to run on. The outsole of the Transcend also helps to keep runners grounded since the rubber material covers the entire sole to provide the best traction.


Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Brooks Transcend's outsole is made of fairly tough carbon rubber. The material covers the entire sole and helps to provide traction to the wearer. The shoe is not meant for surfaces other than pavement (except indoor running or track running). The flat treads do not provide enough grip for runners to use the shoe on technical trails. The shoe can handle running on the roads just fine, but when the weather takes a turn the grip is just not as good. The lugs underfoot, although they are outfitted with sticky material, have trouble when it comes to wet surfaces.
Price
Price

Price

The Brooks Transcend is one of the pricier shoes in the Brooks lineup. Close to $200, the shoe is not a good choice for beginner runners. While it delivers ample cushioning and a good deal of support, it's probably too much for most newbies. It's pointless to pay for that much cushioning if you're just running 5Ks. You simply don't need that much padding unless you're going long or you're someone who is always dealing with injuries.

If you're a heavier runner or just a veteran runner who wants a bit more cushioning than usual, the Brooks Transcend might work for you. It's an even better choice if you're looking to run a marathon for your goal race.

Traction
Traction

Traction

The Brooks Transcend's outsole is made of carbon rubber. The soft rubber material ensures runners get a decent amount of grip. The shoe performs best in nice weather conditions. The sticky tread underfoot ensures runners are stable when out for a training run.

Runners who prefer to run or find themselves running in mostly rainy weather may not be happy with the grip provided by the Transcend. The shoe performs particularly poorly on icy surfaces but it's pretty hard to find a shoe that can handle the winter. It seems almost easier to just stay inside!

Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The Brooks Transcend's outsole has prominent Flex Grooves which enhance the pliability of the shoe. The grooves don't do a good enough job, though, since the shoe is still pretty stiff overall. The rigidity of the shoe comes from the firm midsole material. To help with this stiff construction, Brooks has rounded off the heel of the shoe. This is meant to help enhance the smoothness of the shoe's ride by encouraging a rolling forward motion. The upper is probably the most flexible part of the shoe. It's snug fitting but there's enough room to breathe so the shoe is still comfortable. Some reviewers did comment on fit issues. Going up a half size seems to eliminate any potential fit issues.
Stability
Stability

Stability

In our intro, we commented on the confusion regarding the Brooks Transcend's status as a stability shoe. There are varying opinions floating around but there's no debating the fact that the shoe doesn't have a medial post. Does this mean it's definitely a neutral shoe? Let's not jump to conclusions!

The shoe does have a fair bit of very rigid midsole cushioning which acts to support the wearer. Also important, in terms of stability, are the shoe's Guide Rails. These rails ensure that runners do no pronate excessively.

To be sure, the Transcend isn't a good choice for serious overpronators. It really only offers mild support. In addition, you won't find much in terms of support for the arch in this shoe. But the upper definitely locks down the wearer's foot and keeps the ankle stable.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Brooks Transcend features an 8mm drop. The drop is pretty standard in the running shoe world. Most reviewers didn't have a problem with the drop. Brooks does offer shoes with a lower heel to toe drops, for those interested. Reviewers found the drop, along with the unique rounded heel aided with a natural rolling movement of the foot when running.

Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

  • Soft Carbon Rubber Outsole

  • Flex Grooves help with flexibility

  • Heel crash pad

  • Super BioMoGo DNA Cushioning (25% more cushion than regular BioMoGo)

  • Guide Rails help with overpronation

  • Removable insole

  • Rounded heel promotes natural footstrike

  • Bottom Line
    Bottom Line

    Bottom Line

    The maximally cushioned Brooks Transcend falls into the neutral category. Despite this, it still offers some impressive stability features, though does not have a medial post. The responsive midsole material works with the runner to provide support, rebound, and protection from impact. The futuristically designed shoe is perfect for runners looking to train for long-distance races. It will work equally well for injury-prone runners needing a bit of extra cushion.

    The shoe does feel a bit rigid underfoot and lacks the flexibility to ensure a very smooth ride. Brooks has chosen to curve the heel to help with this but it does not make up completely for the shoe's inflexibility.

    Regardless, the Transcend offers more padding than most runners will ever need and can handle high-mileage long-distance training.