Best Brooks Running Shoes

If you’re looking for good quality running shoes you’ve come to the right place.  Brooks are a global best selling brand, popular in over 60 different countries worldwide.  

They’ve been specializing in footwear since 1914, started to look into running shoes in the 1970s, and in 2001 they zoned their focus more completely, committing to producing the best possible running shoes.  Brooks Running became the top selling brand in the specialty running shoe market in 2011, remained so through 2017 with a 25% market share, and grew even further in 2018.  And their shoes continue to dominate best seller running shoe charts to this day. 

But what really impresses us about Brooks is not their sales figures, but more all the technology which goes into making such a good shoe.  Brooks test their running shoes, listen to feedback from customers and athletes, and pursue new innovation to make their great products even better.

If you’re specifically looking for Brooks running shoes, you’re probably already familiar with just how comfortable they are to run in.  And you certainly won’t be alone in thinking so.  In addition to success with runners, Brooks has also received product awards from industry experts across the globe.  For the full list, check out https://www.brooksrunning.com/en_us/10-23-2018.html.

We’ve been looking at Brooks running shoes in detail, and would like to show you some of their best.  After that we have a handy buying guide for you which tells you what you can expect from a Brooks running shoe and goes through some things you might want to think about before you can determine which might be the best running shoe for you.

In our Top 5 picks, we’ve tried to include a mixture of men’s and women’s running shoes.

Best Brooks Running Shoes

OUR TOP PICK

Brooks Women's Ghost 12, Peacoat/Aqua, 6 B

Now this is the Brooks running shoe that’s simply flying off the shelves at the moment.

On the Amazon page alone there have been thousands of sales, and the customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with over 80% of customers rating it at a full 5 stars out of 5.

All in all, it’s a great shoe for neutral runners, meaning those who don’t suffer with overpronation or underpronation.  This neutral support design means you get high energizing cushioning.  

Specifically, it has a Brooks’ cushioning level of 2, meaning it’s sufficiently soft and protective to cushion your every step, which makes it a great choice for going long distances, such as marathons, but all without losing it’s responsiveness and durability.  This all comes from Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT technology.

It also has a 12mm midsole drop, which is good for runners who heel strike.

This shoe comes praised for being so lightweight, even though it isn’t the lightest in Brook’s range.

We really like the segmented crash pads in the sole of the shoe, because not only do they sport an integrated system of shock absorbers, which is great for heavier runners but they also help make for really smooth (and stable) heel-to-toe transitions.

And their 3D Fit Print tech is there for strategically placed stretch and structure as you run.

There are a whopping 28 different color options available in this shoe.  And in addition to the usual super sporty looks you always get in running shoes, what we think really stands out about this color range is the plaid look color options which look just great.  Or you could go for white all over or black all over which is good for teaming up with more outfits. 

Pros:

  • Flying off the shelves

  • Fantastic customer feedback

  • Comfortable, secure fit

  • Balanced, soft cushioning

  • Integrated shock absorbers

  • Great color options & styles

Cons:

Premium product at a premium price
Sale
Brooks Women's Ghost 12, Peacoat/Aqua, 6 B
  • THIS SHOE IS FOR: Neutral runners looking for a lightweight shoe and a smooth ride without sacrificing cushioning. Whether you’re a Ghost loyalist or are lacing one up for the first time, you’ll...
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: The neutral support type provides high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Ghost 11
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning work together to provide a just-right softness underfoot without losing responsiveness and durability - yet it feels lighter than ever.

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Brooks Ghost 12 Running Shoe Navy/Deep Water/Gold 7 D (M)

Again here’s a running shoe that really flies off the shelves.  And like the women’s version of this shoe over 80% of Amazon customers have rated them a full 5 stars out of 5.

The Men’s Ghost 12 running shoe range goes to much larger sizes than their women’s range, going up as far as 15 extra wide.  But their 

Again there are 28 color options available, many with the more traditional look, 2 checked options, one high visibility for option for running when it’s dark, and you should also check out the Black/Gold/White and the Navy/Blue/Nightlife, if you fancy something a bit funky and different.

Other than that the men’s Ghost 12 offers the same technology, cushioning, comfort and durability that the women’s version does.

It has a Brooks’ cushioning level of 2, meaning it’s sufficiently soft and protective to cushion your every step, which makes it a great choice for going long distances, such as marathons, but all without losing it’s responsiveness and durability.  This all comes from Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT technology.

This shoe comes praised for being so lightweight, even though it isn’t the lightest in Brook’s range.

We really like the segmented crash pads in the sole of the shoe, because not only do they sport an integrated system of shock absorbers, which is great for heavier runners but they also help make for really smooth (and stable) heel-to-toe transitions.

And their 3D Fit Print tech is there for strategically placed stretch and structure as you run.

Pros:

  • Flying off the shelves

  • Fantastic customer feedback

  • Comfortable, secure fit

  • Balanced, soft cushioning

  • Integrated shock absorbers

  • Great color options & styles

Cons:

  • Premium product at a premium price (although it’s priced slightly lower than the other running shoes in our Top 5 picks at the time of writing this).

Brooks Ghost 12 Running Shoe Navy/Deep Water/Gold 7 D (M)
  • THIS SHOE IS FOR: Neutral runners looking for a lightweight shoe and a smooth ride without sacrificing cushioning. Whether you’re a Ghost loyalist or are lacing one up for the first time, you’ll...
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: The neutral support type provides high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Ghost 11
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning work together to provide a just-right softness underfoot without losing responsiveness and durability - yet it feels lighter than ever.

BEST VALUE

Brooks Glycerin 17 Black/Blue/Nightlife 7 D (M)

Here’s another best selling running shoe from Brooks, and again it’s super popular with customers.  For example (there’s a pattern here) over 80% of Amazon customers have rated these shoes at a full 5 stars out of a possible 5.

Like with the women’s version of this shoe there aren’t many color options available to choose from.  Just 8 to be exact.  That said, what is on offer isn’t at all bad.  We really like the Red/Biking Red/Peacoat ones.  

But if you’re looking for something even brighter still, we’re pleased to say there’s a color option with high visibility.  It’s the Black/Blue/Nightlife one, and the high visibility colors are scattered throughout the shoe rather than taking up the shoe’s whole upper, so it doesn’t look too garish, and just looks really sporty.

Other than the color options (and available sizes) the men’s Glycerin 17 offers the same luxurious cushioning, comfort and innovative technology that the women’s version does.

The Glycerin 17 has a cushioning level of a luxurious 3 out of 3, yet still maintains a decent responsiveness and durability.  And this softness isn’t just limited to the sole of the shoe.  

And with Brooks’ own flexible 3D Fit Print technology, you get excellent fit as you move and the internal stretch bootie actually expands as necessary with your stride.

The other thing we love about the Glycerin 17 is that it comes with an OrthoLite sockliner.  It’s basically a moisture management system, which helps to move moisture away from the foot, making it both drier and cooler.

And if all that wasn’t enough, it also features Brooks’ trademark DNA LOFT technology which is all about getting those smooth heel to toe transitions.

Pros:

  • Positive customer feedback

  • Great color options available

  • High visibility color option

  • Luxurious cushioning

  • Moisture management

  • Flexible 3D Fit Print upper & liner

  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions

Cons:

  • Not many color options to choose from

  • Premium product at a premium price

Sale
Brooks Glycerin 17 Black/Blue/Nightlife 7 D (M)
  • SHOE SIZE: "D" = Medium width, "EE" = Wide width
  • THIS SHOE IS FOR: Neutral runners obsessed with softness and cushioning. Sleeker than in the past, this shoe will appeal to people who love tons of cushion but — until now — haven’t loved the...
  • SUPER-SOFT CUSHIONING: The DNA LOFT cushioning provides a soft, luxurious feeling underfoot without losing responsiveness or durability, while the OrthoLite sockliner provides premium step-in comfort.

RUNNER UP

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker, Stone Blue/Neo Crimson, 11.5 M US

The New Balance Fresh Foam Roav 1 is a multi-purpose casual shoe which has generous width in the standard size, and which comes in a ‘wide’ with every size option. The size range is huge for both men and women, offering shoes up to size 18 and 12 respectively. This is great news if you happen to be a giant (6’5” or taller). 

Conversely, if you’re so very, very far from being a giant, then you may be even happier to know that the sole platform will give you nearly an inch of lift.

This is Amazon’s choice for an athletic shoe which is kind to flat feet. It is not specifically a running shoe targeted towards those with fallen arches.

That said, the standard of cushioning with the Fresh Foam Roav 1 provides real comfort to the midsole, and to the heel. Speaking of which, the ‘Ultra Heel’, as New Balance call it, is a close, snug and soft fit which provides good ankle support.

Those using these shoes for workouts or more casual exercise have many good things to say about the comfort of the Fresh Foam line in general. However, both male and female runners report that the uppers are a little too flexible and the toebox wide, so there is a tendency to slip around while on the move.

The Ndurance™ technology for a durable sole has mixed reactions: the tread can wear down sooner than expected for runners, but as this is a comparatively inexpensive shoe, it’s a great option to get back into fitness gently after an injury.

Finally, the huge range of aesthetic designs gives you the best chance of picking a super-comfortable sneaker which will go with the rest of your sportswear. They’re good with jeans too and perfect for day-long wear, taking the strain off knees, hips and backs.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Exceptional breathability and comfort
  • Decent durability
  • Outstanding size range
  • Good shock absorption and bounce

Cons

  • A little too roomy for serious runners
  • Not much adaptability with your own orthotics or insoles
  • Flat-foot friendly but not targeted at the flat-footed athlete
New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker, Stone Blue/Neo Crimson, 11.5 M US
  • Truly unique: The New Balance fresh Foam Roav V1 running shoes are the ultimate in casual Athletic style. Pairing a bold, attractive look with plush comfort, these cushioned running shoes are in a...
  • Fresh Foam midsole: feel like you're running or walking in the clouds. The first of three proprietary technologies in this athletic shoe, fresh Foam midsole cushioning is precision engineered to...
  • Endurance outsole: step up your game without wearing out your favorite running shoes. Endurance rubber outsole technology provides superior Durability in high-wear areas to help get more out of the...

RUNNER UP

Brooks Dyad 11 Black/Ebony/Blue 10.5 D (M)

This is another great running shoe.  It doesn’t sell quite as well as the Ghost 12 or the Glycerin 17 running shoes, but customers who do buy them certainly seem to love them.  On the Amazon page for example, if you scroll down you will see that over 80% of customers have rated it a full 5 stars out 5.

Where this shoe stands out is in the shoe’s support for those who suffer with overpronation.  For those who don’t know, overpronation is when you tend to flatten your foot as you run and your foot rolls inward as you move.  The Adrenaline GTS 20 helps to compensate for this by providing extra stability.

There’s also extra support in the way of GuideRails, and these provide a more holistic kind of support.  They keep excess movement in check, which means you’re less likely to find yourself suffering with a knee injury.

It has a Brooks’ cushioning level of 2, meaning it’s sufficiently soft and protective to cushion your every step, without losing its responsiveness and durability, thanks to it’s BioMoGo DNA technology.  This makes it a really good choice for going long distances.  

This shoe has the other trademark Brooks technology besides, like the DNA LOFT Crash Pad which helps cushion each footfall, and the 3D Fit Print which provides a streamlined fit that moves as you do.

There are 22 color options available, almost as much as with the Ghost 12.  And some of them are really good.  There’s a Hawain looking floral number, a very cool Grey/White/Blackened Pearl variety, and for those who like their high visibility, there’s a very striking Grey/Black/Gecko style.  They also have ones with stars, and ones with “happy running” on them.

Pros:

  • Positive customer feedback

  • Great for overpronation

  • Helps prevent knee injury

  • Cushioning level of 2

  • Crash pads in the soles

  • Streamlined fit

  • Great color options

Cons:

  • This isn’t a particularly lightweight shoe

  • Premium product at a premium price

Brooks Dyad 11 Black/Ebony/Blue 10.5 D (M)
  • THIS SHOE IS FOR: The Dyad 11 is perfect for runners who want a secure fit and a stable feel. Runners with slightly wider feet will also appreciate extra room in the forefoot.
  • SUPER-SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA, our proprietary cushioning, adapts to your stride, weight and speed. Why? So it can help protect you by reducing impact on your joints.
  • GENEROUS FIT: Sometimes you need a little extra room to move around in. So if you need a roomier shoe because of flat or voluminous feet, your search is over.

Best Brooks Running Shoes - Buying Guide

As you can see from our Top 5 picks, we have concentrated on the Brooks running shoes that are selling the best at the moment, beginning with the Ghost range, which is then followed by the Glycerin range, and followed lastly by the Adrenaline GT range.

Any one of these would make a great choice of running shoe.  But they do have their differences, which we will summarise for you now, so you can best ascertain which is the right running shoe for you.

Support Required

The running shoes that sell the best across Brook’s range are for those with a neutral gait. However, Brooks also provide running shoes that provide the extra support and stability needed for those who suffer with overpronation.  For those who don’t know, overpronation is when you tend to flatten your foot as you run and your foot rolls inward as you move.  If you think you may have this problem, our Number 5 pick, the Adrenaline GTS 20 would be a good choice.

Cushioning Level

Brooks’ running shoes come in different cushioning levels.  A cushioning level of 2, means it’s sufficiently soft and protective to cushion your every step, without losing its responsiveness and durability.  A cushioning level of 3 meanwhile means you get tons of very soft, protective, luxurious cushion.

Amongst our Top 5 picks, Our Number 1,2, and 5 picks, the Ghost 12 and the Adrenaline GTS 20, have a cushioning level of 2, while our Number 3 and 4 picks, the Glycerin 17, have a cushioning level of 3.

Technology Included

There’s a lot of technology that goes into making a Brooks running shoe, and much of it is featured across all of their main ranges.  For example all of the running shoes in our Top 5 picks feature 3D Fit Print and the DNA LOFT crash pads.

However some of the technology used is more specific to the model, for example it’s only on the level 2 cushioned shoes that feature the BioMoGo DNA technology.  And of our Top 5 picks, it’s only the Adrenaline GTS 20, our Number 5 that features GuideRails to help prevent knee injury.

Shoe Sizing

One of the great things about Brooks running shoes is that they’re available in half sizes and they’re also available in different widths, which is great news if you have particularly narrow or wide feet.

Brooks recommends that when selecting their running shoes, you should aim for 1/2 size to one size larger than what you wear in casual or dress shoes.

With regards to the shoe’s width, for men's footwear, D is standard width, B is narrow, 2E is wide, and 4E is extra wide.  Meanwhile, for women's footwear, B is the standard width, 2A is narrow, D is wide, and 2E is extra wide.

Shoe Finder

On the Brook’s own website there’s a handy Shoe Finder which you can use to help identify the right running shoe for your workout.  This can help determine the best Brooks running shoe.

Other Features

There’s a couple of other features that might be of interest to you.  If you like to run in low light, you might like to get a high visibility running shoe.  To that end our Number 2, 4, and 5 picks have color options that will suit.  That’s the Ghost 12, the Glycerin 17 and the Adrenaline GTS 20.  (For some reason it only seems to be the men’s shoes that have high visibility options)

Brooks running shoes generally tend to have a mesh outer for breathability.  But another aid for sweaty feet that’s available in the Number 2 and 3 picks, the Glycerin 17 is the OrthoLite sockliner, which is basically a moisture management system.

Cost

Brooks running shoes tend to vary very little in price, and each pair of shoes will cost over $100.  Our view is that for serious athletes, and for people who tend to go on regular runs, or who need good comfortable running shoes for health reasons, then the superior comfort value is worth the additional financial cost.

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