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TOP 13 Best Brooks Running Shoes Reviewed 2020 (Run in Comfort)

Did you know, Brooks is one of the few running shoe manufacturers that only makes running shoes?

This allows them to focus their attention on where it matters, on performance and comfort, and might be part of the reason their shoes are consistently top-rated.

I’ve compiled a list of all the best Brooks running shoes available in 2020 so you can choose the best option for your running needs.

Skip to the end if you want to learn more about Brooks and their technology first.

Aside from the Beast and Ariel, all of Brooks’ shoes are available in both Men’s and Women’s versions.

TOP 13 Best Brooks Running Shoes 2020

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

Review: The highly popular Adrenaline GTS is Brooks’ ‘go-to’ stability shoe. It’s highly cushioned and highly durable making it the ideal high mileage daily training shoe. But, it’s also responsive enough for shorter runs too, hence its ‘go-to’ status.

For the stability factor, it uses GuideRails which Brooks claim provide ‘holistic support’ resulting in a smooth ride and protecting the knees from overpronation.

Pros

  • Available in wide sizing.
  • 12mm drop is well suited to heel strikers.
  • Good for long distances.
  • Durable.
  • Roomy toe box.

Cons

  • Narrow heel fit.

Takeaway

These are the best Brooks running shoes for pronation with plenty of comfortable cushioning and stability.

Brooks Ghost 12

Review: Brooks’ most sought after neutral option, the Ghost is a versatile and reliable daily running shoe with plenty of cushioning and traction on a stable platform.

Similar to the Adrenaline but without the stability features, it’s ideal for heavier heel strikers who still want a lightweight, smooth ride.

A key feature on the Ghost is the segmented crash pad which provides shock absorption and cushioning and no matter how you land.

Pros

  • Nicely breathable upper.
  • Good for long distances.
  • Durable.
  • BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft for lighter cushioning.

Cons

  • Toe box may be a little tight.

Takeaway

A lightweight but very well cushioned and highly comfortable daily trainer for neutral runners, the Ghost is also one of the best Brooks running shoes for high arches.

Brooks Glycerin 17

Review: The Glycerin 17 is Brooks’ most cushioned neutral shoe. It’s about as plush as it gets with plenty of DNA Loft cushioning and an OrthoLite sock liner for an extra soft in-shoe feel.

Designed for smooth heel to toe transitions, it’s the shoe you’ll want to be wearing for all of your recovery runs and long training runs.

Pros

  • Maximal, plush cushioning.
  • Available in wide sizing.
  • 10mm drop is well suited to heel strikers.
  • Good for long distances.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • None, if you’re looking for a cushioned shoe, this is it.

Takeaway

About as comfortable as it gets, these are another great option for heavier people or people with foot conditions like plantar fasciitis.

Brooks Transcend 6

Review: The Transcend is similar to the Adrenaline GTS but with more plush cushioning. It could be considered the stability counterpart to the Glycerin.

The stability provided by the GuideRails is subtle but smooth, while the OrthoLite sock liner combines with DNA Loft foam for maximum cushioning.

Pros

  • Maximal, plush cushioning.
  • 10mm drop is good for heel strikers.
  • Good for long distances.
  • Durable.
  • Good for shin splints and plantar fasciitis.

Cons

  • Narrow fitting.

Takeaway

Another great option for problem feet or anyone who wants maximum stability in a very plush shoe.

Brooks Beast 20

Review: The Brooks Beast 20 is a men’s motion control shoe meaning it provides the maximum amount of stability possible along with a super comfortable, plush, cushioned platform. This makes it the go-to shoe for people with problem feet such as plantar fasciitis or flat feet.

An engineered mesh upper provides a spacious forefoot fit while GuideRails are employed to provide stability from heel strike to toe-off. A segmented crash pad provides shock absorption and the Omega Flex Groove provides flexibility right where you need it.

Pros

  • Super comfortable.
  • DNA Loft cushioning.
  • Wide sizing available.
  • 12mm drop is good for heel strikers.
  • Ideal for flat feet.

Cons

  • Newly employed GuideRails don’t provide as much stability as previous versions.

Takeaway

These are the best Brooks running shoes for men with severe overpronation issues and the best Brooks running shoes for flat feet.

Brooks Ariel 20

Review: The Ariel is the women’s equivalent of the Beast. It’s a highly cushioned, women’s specific motion control shoe that is the perfect option for flat-footed women.

GuideRails provide stability through the heel-toe transition, the engineered mesh upper and embroidered midfoot provide a secure fit, while DNA Loft foam provides plush cushioning.

Pros

  • Women’s specific design.
  • Available in wide sizing.
  • Made of vegan materials.
  • DNA Loft cushioning.
  • Super comfortable.

Cons

  • GuideRails may not provide as much stability as previous versions.

Takeaway

A rare women’s specific shoe with motion control features and plush cushioning for an extremely comfortable ride. These are some of the best Brooks running shoes for women.

Brooks Ravenna 11

Review: The Ravenna 11 is a really popular lighter weight and faster alternative to the Adrenaline GTS. It’s still got great stability but its firmer cushioning makes for a more responsive and energized ride.

It still has a 10mm drop so it’s still a better option for heel strikers than forefoot or midfoot strikers, but it’s an overall fresher, lighter, faster ride.

Pros

  • GuideRails support system.
  • Midfoot Transition Zone.
  • Good for snappy, medium distance runs.
  • Lightweight mesh upper.
  • Good for narrow feet.

Cons

  • Upper is a little stiff.
  • Narrow fitting.

Takeaway

This is a lightweight and responsive shoe with a nice level of cushioning, ideal for tempo runs.

Brooks Launch 7

Review: The Launch 7 is a less cushioned but more responsive alternative to all the highly cushioned shoes above.

It’s slightly lighter weight and designed for speed, with a sleek design and Midfoot Transition Zone aimed at promoting a quick heel to toe transition. However, unfortunately, it might end up feeling a little too stiff and firm for some people.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Designed for quick transitions.
  • Sleek and lightweight.

Cons

  • A little stiff and firm feeling.
  • Higher drop encourages heel striking but there may not be enough cushioning for this.

Takeaway

An affordable option for short, fast runs, especially if you’re a lighter runner or have access to some softer surfaces than asphalt to run on.

Brooks PureCadence 7

Review: The PureCadence 7 is an even more lightweight, low drop alternative making it the shoe of choice for forefoot and midfoot strikers.

It’s a more minimalist option with a good amount of flexibility and good ground feel. But, it’s still a stability shoe so if you’re prone to overpronation but aim for a more natural running style, this shoe is a great choice.

Pros

  • 4mm drop.
  • Lightweight.
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole.
  • Good traction.

Cons

  • Narrow fitting.

Takeaway

The PureCadence 7 is a lightweight tempo shoe for neutral runners who appreciate a low drop.

Brooks PureFlow 7

Review: Another great lightweight option for experienced runners, the PureFlow 7 is a neutral shoe with a low 4mm drop which makes it a popular choice for forefoot and midfoot strikers.

Full length BioMoGo DNA foam retains a comfortable amount of cushioning despite the light weight of the shoe. It’s also super flexible and manages to be durable at the same time.

Lastly, it’s excellent value for money, responsive enough for shorter runs but also capable of going the distance.

Pros

  • 4mm drop.
  • Lightweight.
  • Good for long distances.
  • Highly flexible.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Upper is not as breathable as it could be.
  • Sole attracts stones.

Takeaway

This is a highly versatile, well priced and super popular running shoe for experienced neutral runners.

Brooks Cascadia 14

Review: This popular trail shoe is extremely versatile, handling a wide range of terrains and conditions with excellent traction, balance and durability.

It’s relatively light, very flexible and well-cushioned for a trail shoe, making for a super comfortable but well-controlled ride.

Just as it’s versatile with terrain, it’s also highly versatile with speed, as the adaptive BioMoGo cushioning changes its responsiveness or cushioning level based on the speed you run.

Pros

  • Versatile 8mm drop.
  • TrailTrack rubber outsole provides excellent traction.
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole.
  • Cordura Mudguard protects against water, mud and debris.

Cons

  • None.

Takeaway

These are the best Brooks trail running shoes and some of the best trail running shoes of 2020 all-around.

Brooks Asteria

Review: A super lightweight racing flat with stability features, the Asteria is pretty unique when it comes to competition shoes. It offers a GuideRail system to keep mild overpronators comfortably supported while remaining impressively well cushioned and responsive for such a lightweight shoe.

The cushioning can handle heel strikers, midfoot strikers and forefoot strikers, as well as races or training runs from 5km right through to marathon distance.

Pros

  • Versatile 8mm drop.
  • Comfortable cushioning.
  • Excellent responsiveness.
  • Very light weight.
  • Good traction.

Cons

  • None.

Takeaway

The Asteria is a super popular racing flat offering a unique combination of stability and cushioning in a crazy lightweight package.

Brooks Hyperion

Review: A little less cushioning and stability than the Asteria, the Hyperion is a neutral race shoe with plenty of responsiveness and a good amount of comfort.

It’s suitable for 5km through to half marathon distance, after that the cushioning gets a bit on the thin side.

Brooks has actually recently brought out two new versions of this shoe that aren’t yet widely available, the Hyperion Elite and Hyperion Tempo.

The Elite is pricey, and has a super short life span, but if ultra-lightweight is what you’re after, you might be interested. The Tempo is more of a lightweight and responsive up-tempo training shoe for fast workouts.

Pros

  • Durable for a race flat.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Nicely cushioned for such a light weight shoe.
  • Blown rubber outsole and propulsion pods create extra spring.

Cons

  • None.

Takeaway

Versatile and comfortable seems to be the name of the game with all Brooks shoes but especially the Hyperion.

woman runner running on city bridge

Only Running Shoes

Brooks is focused on running. They produce only running shoes and running-related apparel meaning they’re not dividing their attention between other sports or lifestyle shoes.

Their running shoes are known for their comfort, stability and cushioning, making them a go-to brand for many people.

However, in line with the industry as a whole, Brooks is moving away from traditional stability shoes and categorizing their shoes according to stability.

Instead, they’re categorizing their shoes based on the ride.

people running a marathon

Stability Versus Ride

Brooks shoes are now divided into four categories: Cushion, Energize, Connect and Speed.

These are fairly self-explanatory.

  • Shoes in the Cushion category are a little heavier and more robust but with maximum plush cushioning for an extremely soft, pillowed ride. All of Brooks’ cushioned shoes are excellent for runners with problems such as runner’s knee, shin splints and plantar fasciitis.
  • Shoes in the Energize category are a little less cushioned and more responsive making them a good choice for slightly faster runs.
  • Connect are less cushioned and lighter again. These shoes have a lower drop and are more designed for runners looking for a good ground feel and natural running style.
  • Speed shoes are exactly that, built for speed and little else. They’re not cushioned enough for training but they’re as lightweight as it gets giving you a fast ride for when it matters.

Stability shoes are still available in each of the above categories, but they provide a different kind of stability now with GuideRails instead of the traditional medial post.

This may not be enough for some people who prefer the more robust arch support of medial posts.

But, something tells me that for better or worse, the number of options for traditional stability shoes is going to continue to decrease as the industry finds a middle ground between the Born to Run barefoot movement and traditional corrective approaches to running style.

Regardless, Brooks still includes great options for people with overpronation issues. Their Beast and Ariel are some of the best motion control running shoes on the market and are also an excellent choice for flat-footed runners. The new GuideRails system is likely to be highly popular with people who underpronate or supinate as well.

If you’re looking for more options for stability and are perhaps looking for more of a traditional medial post style, check out our guides to the best stability running shoes and best running shoes for flat feet for a range of great options from different brands.

DNA – Adaptive Cushioning

Brooks’ DNA midsole technology is the mainstay of its running shoes. It’s a non-Newtonian material which means that rather than following Newton’s laws of physics, it reacts differently depending on the amount of force applied.

DNA is adaptive to each runner’s footstrike. This means that runners can experience more cushioning during easier parts of their run, and more responsive energy return when they choose to run faster.

It’s kind of amazing!

DNA Loft

DNA Loft foam is the softest version of DNA out.

It’s used in all of Brooks’ cushioned shoes and in smaller amounts in the other running shoes.

DNA Flash and DNA Zero

DNA Flash and DNA Zero foam are the two latest releases. DNA Flash is designed to be lightweight but super responsive by including little bubbles of Nitrogen in the foam.

DNA Zero is designed to be as lightweight as possible. They are used in the Hyperion Tempo and Hyperion Elite.

fitness woman runner athlete running at road

BioMoGo and Sustainability

The BioMoGo component is the other great innovation of Brooks and scores massive points from an ethical and environmental perspective.

BioMoGo is naturally biodegradable meaning that unlike other midsole materials that take up to 1000 years to break down once in the landfill (that’s right – every pair of running shoes you have chucked away are still sitting in a landfill somewhere and will be for another thousand years or so), BioMoGo takes only 20 years to break down.

AND, perhaps the most impressive part of this, is that Brooks haven’t patented this technology because they want other running shoe brands to use it and be more sustainable. I’m sold!

A Women’s Specific Shoe

There aren’t loads of options out there when it comes to truly women’s specific shoes, but Brooks has one!

The Ariel is the women’s version of the Beast and is a highly stable, highly cushioned motion control shoe that is super comfortable and great for a range of runners including women with flat feet or plantar fasciitis.

Hopefully, there are more women’s specific shoes in the making!

FAQs

woman running on sunrise seaside trail

What is the Most Comfortable Brooks Running Shoe?

The Glycerin is arguably the most comfortable Brooks running shoe due to its maximal cushioning.

Which Brooks Shoes are Best for Running?

All of Brooks’ running shoes are excellent for running. The best shoe for you will depend on what you want to get out of your run.

But the Ghost and Adrenaline GTS are both highly popular, top-rated Brooks running shoes.

Are Brooks Shoes Worth the Money?

Definitely. Brooks running shoes are very well priced for the quality and performance they deliver.

Are Brooks Ghost Good for Plantar Fasciitis?

Yes, Brooks Ghost running shoes are great for plantar fasciitis. In fact, all of Brooks’ cushioned shoes are great choices for plantar fasciitis.

Which Brooks Running Shoe is Best for Stability?

Brooks’ motion control shoes, the Beast and Ariel provide the most stability, followed by the Adrenaline GTS and Transcend.

Do Brooks Shoes Fit True to Size?

Yes, most of Brooks running shoes fit true to size with a few running a little narrow. However, wide sizing is available in most of Brooks’ shoes.

Thank you for reading this guide to the best Brooks running shoes of 2020.

Brooks truly is one of the best running shoe brands and you can’t go wrong with one of their shoes.

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