They say the one we least expect becomes a hero. This is what happened to Brooks. You may have heard of them or not, the company has been in the shade of magnates such as Adidas, Nike, or New Balance for a long. As it happens with great heroes, they stay unnoticed until they step out and do something epic.
What’s epic about Brooks is their running and walking shoes. They’ve focused solely on them for the past several years and developed some of the best running shoes on the market. They exceed in comfort, cushioning, and stability. In this article, we present you with a breakdown of the best Brooks running shoes of season 2021. Check it out.
Different feet need different shoes. This is why we picked the five best Brook running shoes for the five most common categories, like heavy running, everyday training, stability, or the springiness in your stride.
|Break-down of the Best Brooks Running Shoes in 2021||Pros||Cons||Rating||Best for|
|Brooks Men's Glycerin 18||Smooth ride|
Elastic saddle (secure foot)
|The shoe collar can rub the ankles||4,9||Cushioning|
|Brooks Women's Glycerin 18||Smooth ride|
Elastic saddle (secure foot)
|The shoe collar can rub the ankles||4,9||Cushioning|
|Brooks Ghost 13||Lighter than v12|
Great for long distances
|Not for overpronators|
Wide toe box
|Brooks Dyad 11||Midsole adjusts to all arches|
Easy when used with orthotics
|Outsoles wear down fast|
|Brooks Ravenna 10||DNA cushioning|
Good for tempo runs
For mild overpronation
|Not good for heavy overpronation|
Cushioning can be better
|Brooks Levitate 3||4,5||Energy return|
Best Brooks Running Shoes #1: Brooks Men’s Glycerin 18, Brooks Women’s Glycerin 18
For those of you who are already familiar with the work of Brooks as a company, this may not come as a surprise. Glycerin remains to be the flagship among the Brooks’ kicks, and for a good reason.
There are some minor advantages made since Brooks Glycerin 17. They’ve upgraded the seamless upper introduced with the Brooks Glycerin 16. They have added a new sock liner which is easier to maintain and frankly, is an improvement from the previous one.
DNA Loft foam is introduced, a new sole formula that adds cushioning points while leaving the responsiveness and durability points untouched. All in all, it feels like an upgraded version of the earlier shoe, without any loss made in the process.
There are some subtle differences between Brooks Glycerin 18 women’s and Brooks Glycerin 18 men’s, regarding how the sole, the heel, and the grit pattern on the outsole interact with men’s and women’s feet. It’s related to the natural differences in gain between the two. Brooks has made an effort to pull out their version of fine-tuning adjustments, and in our opinion, they pulled it off.
What they could be working on is the weight of the shoes. It’s not that it’s heavy – it’s great for mid to long runs. It can be a little lighter for speed work and tempo exercises. This may have to do with extra plush and stretchy materials used for the upper and around its saddle, and if that’s the case, it’s forgiven.
- Smooth ride
- Elastic saddle (secure foot)
- Springy cushioning
- Not as stable for low arch runners
- A shoe collar can rub the ankles
Best Brooks Running Shoes #2: Brooks Ghost 13
The thirteenth iteration of Brooks Ghost comes with a few smaller surprises. The first is the loss of weight which is noticeable. The 13 is lighter than the v12, and we are happy about this. The reason is that 12 was a top-notch shoe that promised a lot. Now it truly lives up to its name – wearing the Ghost 13 running shoes feels almost ethereal.
It’s good to mention that Ghost 13 falls into the neutral running shoe category, and it gives the best results if you have a neutral stride or just a slight crook when you step.
The soft mesh upper feels amazing, but only for a few moments until your legs get used to the new environment. Then – it’s unnoticeable. It’s very flexible and yet it stays in place and it keeps everything in place.
The sole is cushioned with the company’s finest sole foam which absorbs impact like crazy and takes a lot of energy back to the game. All this adds to the performance in a very comfortable shoe.
The other additions to the new model include the improvement to the already mentioned upper and the adjustable saddle which further customizes the shoe for a unique and perfect fit for everyone that tries to wear it. A really good shoe for everyday training.
- Lighter than v12
- Great for long distances
- Not for overpronation
- Wide toe box
Best Brooks Running Shoes #3: Brooks Dyad 11
If you are thinking about hitting the road or do some heavy running, Dyad 11 can offer you the best company on the market. This is a really popular shoe among heavy running and road running enthusiast that is not afraid to look beyond the common and popular shoe brands.
Comfort and endurance were the priority when designing this shoe, so you can expect to wear these kicks in many running sessions, and gladly. We say gladly because shock absorption is paramount even without rock soles.
It’s a traditional design that’s brought to the next level with dual arch pods that improve stability and the heel with a segmented crash pod. This way the impact is dispersed throughout the sole and the feet take up minimal energy on themselves. After short and mid runs the feet will probably still feel rested.
The upper is seamlessly made of engineered mesh that’s created to allow maximum breathability, gentle flexibility, and a firm grip on the leg. The inner upper is made of irritation-free materials that protect the feet reducing the development of common inconveniences.
Older models suffered from a narrow toe box and many customers complained of that. Brooks cares about what their buyers think and feel, so they added a more rounded toe box to counter the issue. This and the general shape of the shoe made available the use of custom orthotics while doing heavy and light running sessions.
- Midsole adjusts to all arches
- Extra support
- Easy when used with orthotics
- Outsoles wear down fast
Best Brooks Running Shoes #4: Brooks Ravenna 10
Overpronation is something most people don’t even know they have. When it comes to stepping, it’s important whether we approach it with the whole foot, or we kind of roll our leg from the outside to the inside or vice versa.
Pronation can add up over time to provide various issues. The most common is the amount of road we can endure before our feet and ankles have too much of it. The second is those nasty deviations and irritations at the point of impact some of us might develop. The third is the risk of injuries during speedwork, sudden turning, and uneven road.
There is nothing much you can do about it since it’s usually not considered a condition. It’s just the natural way the feet of an individual function. But one thing you can do is to buy good stability shoes that will counter the pronating tendencies. The result should be slightly better performance and a noticeable prolonged length of exercise.
Ravenna is one of the stability shoes we are talking about. Along with a great shock-absorbing yet springy midsole, it has guide rails that help with mild overpronation. This doesn’t add to the shoe’s weight, and it remains light and plushy.
- DNA cushioning
- Good for tempo runs
- For mild overpronation
- Not good for heavy overpronation
- Cushioning can be better
Best Brooks Running Shoes #5: Brooks Levitate 3
Shoemaking science and technology is going into a new era, where we have to redefine the meaning of ‘cheat’. Really, using Levitate 3 kind of feels like cheating on occasions, and we mean it in a good way.
It’s all about the sole, especially the midsole. Levitate 3 is equipped with a very special variant of the DNA foam – the DNA AMP foam. DNA AMP is a material that maintains excellent absorption with the ability to return much more energy to the run. This provides you with a powerful head start with every stride.
The ramifications are drastic. With Levitate you will feel your every step being lighter and propelling, the whole run will feel fluid, and your form will remain unchanged for much longer, just as at the start of the run.
The cushioning also keeps up with the springiness and it remains unchanged for longer than other materials, especially EVA. It doesn’t change on temperature, so it remains both flexible and firm regardless of the weather.
- Very springy
- Soft and secure upper
- Great feeling when putting them on
- Narrow toe box
This was our brake-down of the best Brooks running shoes for this season. In our opinion, Glycerin Men’s 18, Glycerin Women’s 18 wins for both men and women because of the close-to-perfect balance of stability, support, the softness of stride, and springiness. They are great for both long and short distances, and the outsole allows for great grip even on rough terrain.
For mild overpronation, we recommend Ravenna 10 because it can truly add stability to strides while staying comfortable and absorbable for impacts. Our best heavy-duty running shoe award goes to Dyad 11 because of its paramount durability and ability to adapt the foot.