Best Brooks Running Shoes Reviewed & Rated For Performance
Brooks is one of the most reputable athletic footwear brands on the market. Every shoe made by this company is engineered from the needs of runners and crafted through in-depth biomechanical research to ensure that the feel, fit and ride of their running gear is crafted to optimize performance. In addition to this, improperly fitted running shoes and incorrect shoe shape for your foot are the main causes of routine-stopping injuries like ingrown toenails, corns and hallux valgus (bunions) and can lead to muscular imbalances and possible knee and hip injuries. We have compiled a list of what we believe are the Top 10 Brooks Running Shoes on the market today in hopes of helping you narrow down your search for the best shoe for your foot!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 16 hrs of research
Great for Wide Feet
Good for High Mileage
Short Break-in Period
- Ghost 11
- Levitate 2
- Adrenaline GTS 18
- Launch 5
- Transcend 4
- Ravenna 9
- Glycerin 16
- Addiction Walker
- Beast 18
- PureFlow 7
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Brooks Running Shoes
1. Ghost 11
Great for Wide Feet
Good for High Mileage
Short Break-in Period
Pebbles Get Stuck in Grooves
The Ghost 11 is a great running shoe option for those runners who need a neutral running shoe that offers plushness, maximum cushioning, a smooth ride and is made of lightweight materials. As an added bonus for the environmentally-conscious folks, the Ghost 11 is made with Brooks’ groundbreaking BioMoGo mid-sole that will biodegrade in 20-25 years, while most other mid-soles on the market will last 1000 years in our landfills.Read more
BioMoGo DNA Midsole
Brooks’ BioMoGo midsole is more than just good for our environment, it helps to deliver a soft feel and adapts to your every stride while providing flexibility and a personalized-feeling in cushioning. With an added layer in the midsole from the Ghost 10, it gives slightly more cushioning than its predecessor.
The Ghost is one of Brooks’ flagship styles but the newly released Ghost 11 differs from its very successful predecessors in its newly engineered mesh uppers. They now feature 3D printed overlays to help aid in integral foot support and provide a consistent, supportive and adaptive fit.
Cost and Value
On the pricier end of the spectrum, the Ghost 11 is an investment for the runner who is searching for a running shoe that will last through any workout - tempo runs, long runs, 50k’s. There’s a reason this shoe won the Runner's World "Editor's Choice" award!
2. Levitate 2
Breathable Mesh Upper
One of the newer models of running shoes from Brooks in 2018, the Levitate was designed for neutral runners, boasting of a lightweight design with energy returned upon each foot strike. The newer DNA Amp technology found in this midsole helps to cushion but releases energy back in response to impact. Sleek styling and 3D Fit Print and FitKnit uppers help keep this shoe cool and breathable.Read more
DNA Amp Midsole
New to Brooks technology, the DNA Amp midsole was designed for energy efficiency, helping to give energy back to cushion the foot and you, after each foot strike and impact. The end result is a cushiony invigorating sensation, which will help keep you going for long distances better than before, but also help shorten recovery from long runs or efforts.
With it’s classical Brooks 3D Fit Print and FitKnit technology constructed into the uppers, your foot will stay cool and dry even on those hot afternoon runs in the summer. Flexible, and made to help bend with your foot and unique individual foot shape, it gives smart lightweight support without restricting natural flattening of the foot when running.
Cost and Value
Premium new technology holds a price tag with the Levitate, but if you’re a Brooks lover, this shoe is well worth the investment for a feel of their new technology. Lightweight, neutral runner designed, it’s great for those marathon runners who are looking for cutting down recovery time between long runs, or need extra cushioning for the long haul.
3. Adrenaline GTS 18
Breathable Mesh Upper
Not Good for High Arches
An upgraded version of the Brooks favorite, this running shoe comes with a newly streamlined mesh upper and soft flexible cushioning. This breathable, cushioning shoe comes with an adjustable midfoot saddle to help create a more form-fitting, customizable feel. The BioMoGo cushioned outsole and the removable foam insole create the perfect amount of comfort needed during any run.Read more
Mesh is a great feature in any running shoe because it provides breathability and proper air circulation need to keep your feet dry and cool. This mesh upper is also very handy because of how tight it's woven. The mesh upper provides a form-flexible fit that will never feel too loose.
Padding and Cushion
From the padded tongue and collar to the cushioned foam insoles, this running shoe provides optimum comfort. The soft fabric lining also creates a light plush feel that protects your feet and keeps them comfortable no matter how hard you perform.
Cost and Value
Of course, since this is another upgraded model you can guess that it's going to be at an expensive price. The features of this shoe are good but may be too high for those of a budget. Since this is a newer version, the previous model is now priced at a lower cost and can still offer the similar features of this same great shoe.
4. Launch 5
Available in ten different color combinations, the Launch 5 is a great running shoe option for those people who crave springy and fast footwear. The Launch 5 will energize your run with blown rubber in the forefoot to help your toe-off spring you forward on your well-cushioned and responsive ride and has been upgraded from its predecessor version.Read more
Brooks’ 3D Fit Print technology uses screen-print technology to apply carefully engineered structure to the uppers of their shoes and helps to apply stretch and structure to the Launch 5 for a better fit and feel.
Thanks to the rebounding rubber under the forefoot in the Launch 5, this style offers a chance to utilize your neutral stride while providing you with a lightweight ride that helps you to feel bouncy mile after mile.
Cost and Value
Competitively priced, the Launch 5 is worth the investment for runners who require a little more spring in their step and covet a shoe that will keep this cool and dry. Sure to keep you running in comfort for the cost.
5. Transcend 4
Good for Over-pronators
Suitable for Plantar Fasciitis
Breathable Mesh Upper
Narrow Toe Box
Similar to its popular predecessor, the new Transcend 4 model includes a softer midsole and a more aesthetic and clean upper with an updated structure for a more customized fit and feel. Brooks’ 3D Fit Print technology offers a snug and comfortable fit in the mesh layer of the shoe without over-constricting the foot.Read more
Super DNA Midsole
The Transcend 4 offers customized cushioning thanks to Brooks’ Super DNA Midsole technology. Adapting to your specific pace, running surface and gait, this midsole will help add a cushioned spring to your step.
As with its predecessors, the Transcend 4 offers guide rails that sit on each side of the midfoot area inside the shoe. The guide rails assist the foot in correcting pronation and guiding the body back into its natural motion path.
Cost and Value
The Transcend 4 is competitively priced with other supportive shoes on the market. With the guide rails, Super DNA midsole and other supportive features in this style, you can expect to pay to receive all of the technological features of this shoe.
6. Ravenna 9
Suitable for Over-pronators
High Mileage Training
The Ravenna 9 is a great lightweight running shoe option for those who have problems with overpronating while they run. Thanks to the Brooks DNA, the company’s unique and adaptive cushioning system, the Ravenna 9 will offer its wearers a personalized run fit for all different sizes, speeds, and foot shapes as well as a midsole that will adapt to your particular stride for custom cushioning.Read more
Omega Flex Grooves
The sole of the Ravenna 9 is highly flexible due to Brooks’ Omega Flex Grooves allowing the foot to move naturally through the gait cycle which helps to optimize running performance.
The Ravenna 9 offers more versatility than its predecessors because of its luxurious fit and stable, cushioned platform. Another update to this updated style was the choice to change the foam layering, resulting in a slightly more energetic ride making it a perfect choice for longer training runs and marathon races.
Cost and Value
Competitively priced, the Ravenna 9 is a great option for runners who need more of a customized fit from their running shoe. If you have issues such as overpronation, it is worthwhile to invest in a shoe optimized to help correct your gait.
7. Glycerin 16
Plush Ankle Lining
Featuring a fresh and current update to the Glycerin 15, these running shoes have been upgraded in performance to bring you the most stable, comfortable run. Adding cushion on the inside and around the ankles, this upgrade is more comfortable and lightweight than the previous version. Brooks has also upgraded their midsoles to provide 25% more flexible and adaptable cushioning. All around created for comfort and flexibility, you can't go wrong with this running shoe.Read more
Adding 3D printing technology, these shoes have been designed to add plush cushioning around the ankles. The material has the ability to move as you move while still keeping your foot in its perfect place.
The outsoles have been redesigned to create a plush zone of transition that allows your foot to feel at ease during heel to toe strides. The outsoles are soft, smooth and provide lightweight traction as well.
Cost and Value
Another highly expensive running shoe, but completely worth the cost with all their current technological upgrades. These shoes are a step up from the Glycerin 15 and come equipped with features that make every running experience a better one.
8. Addiction Walker
A casual, contemporary shoe designed for support and great for beginning level runners. Featuring shock absorption, cushioned midsoles, and slip-resistant outsoles, this shoe was completely designed for the comfort of the runner. This top-rated Brooks shoe was designed in an efficiently balanced position that helps the flow of movement from heel to toe. Great for long walks and basic, beginners run, this shoe will provide ultimate support and comfort during all your activities.Read more
Flat shoes are no good for running. You need shoes with a slightly curved bottom to allow for an ease in movement. This running shoe comes with just that. This feature provides maximum motion control and foot flexibility, overall making for an easy shift between movements.
This Brooks shoe is lined with cushion from the inside to the out. Equipped with MoGo midsole cushioning and a fully functional arch, these shoes will keep your feet supported and comfortable during all types of runs. And of course, you can't forget the durable soles that will ease tension and pressure.
Cost and Value
These shoes, like most Brooks shoes, are on the more expensive side. The multiple quality features make the shoe durable and long-lasting, which in return should make the initial cost worth the overall value of the shoe.
9. Beast 18
Recommended by Podiatrists
Suitable for Plantar Fasciitis
Great for Unruly Stride
For Flat Feet
Made for the runner who excessively overpronates, the Beast 18 is a great option for those who require a little extra support from their running shoe. This is one of Brooks’ most supportive shoes in their lineup making it a perfect option for daily runners. The Beast 18 also features Brooks’ Omega Flex Grooves to support natural forefoot movement and fluidity.Read more
Extended Diagonal Rollbar
This feature adds control to help guide the runner’s body back into alignment for a controlled stride. This is a great feature for runners who excessively overpronate when they run.
The comfortable saddle wraps the runners mid-foot ensuring a secure fit while the mesh upper helps to protect from various elements to keep feet dry and cool. The Beast 18 features additional cushioning and a plush in-shoe feel thanks to the ultimate sock liner.
Cost and Value
Priced higher than other options on this top ten list, the Beast 16 would be an investment for the runner requiring extra support and assistance on correcting overpronation.
10. PureFlow 7
Durable Synthetic Construction
Not For Flat Feet
Designed for road runners with a neutral arch, this shoe brings back the wide toe box from the previous version, and an improvement in the construction to be less stiff and more pliable for comfort and foot flexion. The seamless upper construction helps ward off seam irritation, and the outsole is durable and more abrasion resistant.Read more
Outsole and Upper Design
Made from Blown Rubber, this outsole of the PureFlow 7 is tougher and more durable than softer rubber soles around. Still able to provide proper cushioning for impact absorbance, the outsole is abrasion resistant and can provide increased traction on road surfaces. A seamless upper with cushioned sockliner helps prevent any irritation from seams to the foot.
Similar to other Brooks, the midsole boasts of BioMoGo DNA LT midsole, helping lighten the overall shoe weight while cushioning your step. A Rounded Heel helps enhance foot support, and the Dynamic Flex Grid at the forefoot improves toe-off traction. Omega Flex Grooves help position you for the best natural gait during your run.
Cost and Value
One of the more budget-friendly Brooks running sneakers, it’s great for beginners or advanced racers alike. Cushioning combined with durability, backed with Brooks technology makes this shoe a bargain buy for those with a neutral arch who prefer the feel of low drop running shoes.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The first thing you should do before buying a pair of running shoes is to consider the types of running you’re going to be doing while you wear them. Running shoes are categorized by models that enhance their specific features, and some features are specially created only for certain types of running.
For example, runners who compete in marathons or only run long distances are going to need specific shoes to help ease the long periods of stress created against the foot. It is also important for these types of runners to wear a running shoe that provides comfortable cushions that are breathable and can help keep your feet cool. The longer you run, the quicker your feet are going to tire, so it’s truly important to wear running shoes that provide long-lasting support.
The terrain is important to consider, as it goes hand in hand with the type of running you’re doing. If you run uphill, on dirt trails or off road, you’re definitely going to need a running shoe with good grip and traction. Another feature that important for this type of running is durable soles and materials. Dirt and mud can easily wear down the quality of your shoes, so either be prepared to clean them often or find a pair with strong, long-lasting materials.
If you’re running on flat concrete or man-made tracks, you won’t need a feature like traction as much. Instead, you need to look for features that absorb shock and help ease the pressure on your feet from contact on hard surfaces. Durable and flexible soles that can provide a little rebound or bounce back is also a good feature to look for. Features like these help to ease the flow of movement on unnatural surfaces.
If you like to sprint and fully maximize your body’s potential, you’re going to want specific features for that too. You’ll want to find breathable running shoes with lightweight protection against the solid terrain. A feature like mesh uppers is good to look for because the material is lightweight and also allows for proper air circulation to keep your feet from getting hot. Another feature is padding around the contact areas of the foot so you can avoid the quick friction and potential for blisters.
Once you can identify the types of running, you’re going to do, finding features that are better suited to your performance are much easier to locate. This also helps to narrow down Brooks large selection of running shoes.
Arch support is a key feature for all running shoes. If your running shoes have completely flat insoles then they are going to do much more harm to your feet than good. Even providing a simple, light curve around the arch is much more beneficial for runners.
Arch support is a necessary feature for evenly distributing the pressure to the whole foot. Like walking barefoot, if your shoes don’t provide proper arch support, the heel and ball of your foot is the only part coming in contact with the surface. This can create hot pressure points that cause discomfort, calluses, and a warm, uncomfortable burning feeling.
The proper amount of arch support will help to ease the pressure created against your foot. Being able to use the arch of your foot while you move will keep your feet at ease for long periods of time. Since your feet take you to all the places you aim to go, it’s important to not make some parts work harder than the rest. The even distribution is key to lasting longer on the track or beating your fastest run time.
All Brooks running shoes come with some form of arch support, from light to high. Our best list includes all these types of arch support. For those of you runners out there with flat feet, it’s especially important that your running shoes be equipped with this feature. For those of you who have ‘normal’ feet, arch support is still a key feature in preventing future health concerns.
Another additional way to enhance a form fit and your foot from sliding forward in your shoe is again, arch support. This support helps to form to the shape of your foot, not only creating a comfortable feel, but also a secure fit. Shoes without this kind of support make your feet slide around which can cause many injuries while running.
Arch support is important for a variety of reasons and can truly improve the condition of your feet while running. It is an essential feature that all Brooks shoes come with, but you should still always keep an extra eye out for it. Each shoe is created with a different level of arch support that uniquely helps enhance the runner performance.
Brooks has been creating the most functional and innovative designs since 1914; that’s over a century! This company has built a quality reputation for themselves as a brand who specializes in running shoes and still to this day are creating the most popular designs on the market. From basic styles to modern, current technology, you’ll find it all here from Brooks.
Their large team of professionals, scientists and runners are constantly doing in-depth research on what features work better and how to enhance previous designs for better performance. Every shoe by Brooks is created with smart technologies to provide the proper functions for each shoe.
For starters, Brooks creates their shoes with a DNA midsole that adapts to the shape of your feet and the type of running you do. Also located in the midsole area, Brooks equips their shoes with guide rail construction that allows the runner to move freely in your joints and knees. Between the midsole and the outsole of the shoe lies a ballistic rock shield that helps to spread out blows and protect the shoes and feet from sharp objects.
On the outside of the shoes, Brooks uses 3D fit print, a high-tech revolutionary process that adds structure to the uppers of the shoe using screen-print technology. Not only does it enhance the overall structure of the shoes, but it also adds flexibility and a lightweight feel.
Rounded heels help to align the force of the center of your ankle joint, reducing pressure on the feet and internal stress on the body. On a basic innovative level, Brooks also make their running shoes with colored materials that can be seen in the dark. This is especially good for those thrill seekers who insist on late night runs. All runners can be seen in all types of lighting with their quality materials and outstanding science.
If all that isn’t exciting enough for you, there’s more! From shock absorbing crash pads to evenly distributing pressure points, Brooks has found all the features to bring comfort to your running experience. It doesn’t stop here either, Brooks is always working hard to research and find better ways to enhance the running experience. If a new feature comes along, you can expect Brooks to make a running shoe with it.
Comfort can be found in all aspects of a good running shoe. Brooks knows how important it is to ease the pressure on your feet during running and aims to use their designs to help the runner enhance their optimal performance. They take the design a step further by putting themselves in the runner’s shoes, truly understanding what features are needed pad for the comfort of each run.
Starting from basic features like a padded tongue and collar, the smallest enhancements can sometimes be the most essential. Since the tongue and collar of the shoe is what comes most in contact with the foot, it’s important to have this cushion there to prevent the possibility of friction. These contact areas can create irritation and blisters which is why Brooks lines their shoes with comfortable cushioning to protect your skin.
On the inside of the shoe, Brooks uses light cushioning fabrics that are soft against the foot but also breathable and able to keep your feet dry. Their padded insoles are created with moisture wicking technologies and foam cushions to help form the shoe better to your foot. Their insoles are removable and can be washed to keep your shoes fresh and long lasting.
On the outside, these running shoes are equipped with shock absorbing technology, plush transition zones and durable rubber outsoles that provide traction and grip against all running terrain. These features are essential in providing comfort and allowing the runner to work harder and longer without feeling the pressure. The bottom curves of the shoe also help to ease the transitional strides from heel to toe, creating a more comfortable flow of movement.
All around, Brooks uses their innovative technology and quality materials to create running shoes that offer complete comfort and support. From lightweight cushioning to thick, strong soles it’s no wonder why Brooks has been a leading brand in running shoes for over a century.
Running can be extremely rough on your feet, which is why having proper running gear is crucial to staying healthy and maximizing your performance. Shoes that don’t provide the proper amount of support can cause unwanted pressure on your feet. This is not only uncomfortable, but it can also damage your feet and your performance.
Brooks works hard to use their biomechanical, innovative technology to create running shoes that alleviate pressure and provide proper support. One of their main goals is to ease the flow of movement and keep your shoes from weighing you down. While shoes protect your feet against the rough environments you run on, it’s also vital that they come equipped with the proper shock absorption so your feet don’t feel what your shoes do.
Using their revolutionary technology, Brooks reshaped their outsoles to evenly disperse pressure throughout the entire foot, instead of being directed in unbalanced pressure points that create heat and friction. These hot spots no longer exist in Brooks running shoes. The balanced distribution in pressure creates easier transitions in your flow of movement while allowing your feet to stay comfortable and perform longer.
Brooks segmented crash pad, found in the midsole of the shoe, is another feature that helps to ease pressure and aid the transitions in movements. This midsole is fully integrated with a shock absorbing feature that takes the pressure off of running on hard surfaces. The midsole is flexible forms to each movement you make.
Brooks put themselves in the runner’s shoes to create shoes that let the runner feel free and lightweight during every movement. No longer do you have to feel the heat and pressure of running on concrete. Let Brooks shoes help you maximize your performance and keep your feet happy and healthy.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
A few brands of running sneakers actually tend to make roomier toe boxes than others. Brooks is one of those brands. With ample room in the toe box, those with wider feet will have no problem fitting properly into one of the brands many models.
Each year, many running sneaker brands come out with a new version of an older model sneaker. Tested and true, the basics of the model usually remain the same, but new technology may be found in the footbed, insole, or sole of the shoe.
When going to pick up a new pair of a model you love from a brand, ask the sales specialist what the differences are between the new version and it's predecessor. Sometimes fit can be affected based on materials used, or the construction of the sole or upper.
Other Factors to Consider
While many people choose to run as a form of exercise because it is free and doesn’t require the use of space-hogging equipment or pricey gym memberships, beginner runners often overlook the importance of properly-fitting running shoes. Though the price of this type of footwear may take one by surprise at first, it is imperative to invest in proper shoes as they will not only help improve your performance, but they can help to alleviate stress and strains on your feet, as well as prevent injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is very important to find a running shoe that can properly support the user. If you’re someone who has flat feet, the most important feature you’ll want to look for in a shoe is padded arch support. Arch support helps to alleviate pressure in the main contact areas, which are the ball and heel of your feet. With the balance being evenly distributed across your foot, heat, pressure, and irritation can all be eliminated. If you can’t find a running shoe with enough arch support, it’s recommended to add an insole insert. The more support you can provide to your arch, the better your feet will feel during running.
First things first, never put your Brooks running shoes (or any) in the washing machine or dryer! This can shrink, warp, and damage the material of the shoes. What you want to do is clean your shoes as soon as they’ve come in contact with dirt, mud, swampy water, etc.. To clean them, the best method is to dampen a washcloth with lukewarm water (not hot or cold) and scrub out any stains with hand soap or mild detergent. It’s recommended to stay away from soaps with harsh chemicals as they can damage shoe materials over time. Using a plant-based or non-GMO soap will work best to clean and keep your shoes in long-lasting condition.
Wearing Brooks running shoes isn’t going to guarantee a personal increase in speed. However, the features that each running shoe comes equipped with can help to enhance your performance and create a more comfortable feel, which in return may display itself in the form of faster running. Features like shock absorption, durable soles and comfortable cushioning can all help to improve the performance in your feet.
Brooks running shoes are designed specifically for running. Some of the features the shoes come with may be beneficial for similar activities like walking, or tennis, but most sports are going to be better played with specific shoes to that sport. For example, soccer and football players rely heavily on their feet and in a much different may than a runner would. These types of sports need less cushion and more durability as well as tight gripping traction. Wearing a running shoe for a sport like that really wouldn’t help to increase your performance. All in all, I’d say it’s better to stick to specific shoes for each specific sport.
Yes, while these shoes aren’t going to be specifically labeled ‘for beginners’, you can find styles that fit this need. Brooks lightweight running shoes are a really good place to start. Bringing you the basic needed features for a good run, but keeping the design simple makes for a perfect, easy to use starter shoe. If you’re just taking an interest in running it’s important to not get too overwhelmed by features, the more you run, the more you will understand what you personally need from your running shoes. I would never recommend buying an expensive, top quality running shoe as your first pair. Start simple and go on from there.
There are many features that make up a good quality running shoe. While a lot of the features can be personal preferences, there are a few key elements you’ll want to make sure you have first. To start, having thick-cushioned, durable soles is a must. The types of terrain you run on can be very damaging and rough against your feet. The protective soles will help your feet stay at ease during long runs. Another important feature is arch support and insole cushioning. These two features usually go hand in hand but are key features in supporting your foot and distributing balance. Other features that make up a good running shoe but can be more selective are quality materials, form fit, and weight.
Brooks, as a company, is more invested in the runner itself and truly helping to make each run a better experience. Their large group of team members is always doing heavy duty, in-depth biomechanical research to bring forth the most innovative features on the market. Every small detail is important to Brooks; any edge, curve or line you see on the shoe was designed for a specific function no matter how small it is. The quality of Brooks running shoes is very high and it’s a brand that truly cares about each individual’s running experience.
Shoes, in general, should be replaced as soon as you start to notice wear or damage in them. Loose seams, holes in the material and wearing soles are all signs that it’s probably a good time to replace your shoes. Brooks lightweight running shoes will last to about 300 miles while their standard running shoe can last between 300-500 miles. Overall, you’ll be able to get full use out of these running shoes but as soon as they start to show signs of aging, we recommend replacing them as it’s better for your health and preventing injuries.