The best Brooks running shoes are beloved by thousands of runners around the globe. From the Vilanova model in 1974 to the first-ever industry use of EVA in the Vantage, launched in 1977, and the Varus Wedge technology of 1981 to reduce overpronation, Brooks has always been on the cutting edge of developing the best running shoes for every type of runner.
Innovations continued, especially in Brooks’ stability shoes, with their best-seller shoe, the Adrenaline GTS 1, hitting stores in 1999. The structure of their EVA has also continued to evolve, with MoGo, BioMoGo, DNA AMP and DNA LOFT. Their latest innovation, GuideRails, reflects a more holistic approach to creating shoes adaptable to every individual runner.
Brooks really really wants all of us to ‘Run Happy’ and invest in research and development to allow every runner to do this, with a vast range of models to suit every runner’s needs. They even have their Runfulness Project, focused on the power of running to unlock your own potential to develop new ideas. Fancy a new pair of Brooks? We’ve listed what we think are the best Brooks running shoes right now below.
Best Brooks running shoes to buy right now
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You’ve probably heard of the Brooks’ Ghost, as it’s such a classic, popular shoe for everyday runs. It’s also Brooks’ first carbon-neutral shoe, with the upper made from 30 per cent recycled material and reduced manufacturing waste in the creation process.
The Ghost 14 has 100 per cent DNA LOFT cushioning in the midsole, which gives such a soft feel on every stride. The upper has enough stretch to hold your foot, feels very soft and gives a 360-degree supportive fit. If you’ve always been a fan of the Ghost shoe, an upgrade is a no-brainer as Brooks excels in their cushioned shoes.
How does the Ghost 14 fare against the second-best Brooks shoes, the Glycerin 19? Find out here: Brooks Glycerin 19 vs Ghost 14.
Read our full Brooks Ghost 14 review
Brooks’ softest ever shoe, the Glycerin, blends foam, air and rubber to provide their top-of-the-range cushioning experience. This neutral shoe not only offers plenty of cushioning underfoot from the DNA LOFT that extends the whole length of the midsole, but the upper is also one of the most comfortable you can ever hope to run in.
The luxurious, plush upper gives a complete wrap-around luxurious fit. No edging, no rubbing. The tongue is thick and soft; the OrthoLite sock liner also has the same spongy depth – both of which help to give a snug, just-right fit. It’s almost impossible to criticise the luxurious feel of the shoe, and they really feel like they look after your foot every mile.
Designed for your long training runs, when you want to prevent fatigue for as long as possible, these aren’t fast shoes, but they are ideal for recovery runs. If you need support shoes, the Glycerin is also available with the Go-To-Support system GuideRails in the Glycerin GTS model.
We pitted the Glycerin 19 against the Launch 8; see which one came out on top here: Brooks Glycerin 19 vs Brooks Launch 8.
Read our full Brooks Glycerin 19 review
Overall, the Hyperion Tempo feels a lot easier to love than the Hyperion Elite 2 (listed below). They share the same nitrogen-infused midsole technology, DNA Flash, which is responsive, fast and fun! The fit around the heel is secure, comfortable and almost feels plush in such a lightweight shoe. The sleek stretch-woven upper feels much more comfortable than the Elite 2 design.
The Hyperion Tempo doesn’t have a carbon plate, so the price tag is more affordable, and in theory, they will last longer. You won’t feel you have to keep them aside for race day only. Whether you’re looking for a pair of trainers for your speed sessions, tempo runs or long-distance races, they seem adaptable to whatever you ask of them. These are eye-catching shoes and feel beautiful, whether you’re running fast intervals or racing.
Which are the best-cushioned running shoes, the Hyperion Tempo or the Nike React Infinity Run? Find out here: Nike React Infinity Run 2 vs Brooks Hyperion Tempo.
Read our full Brooks Hyperion Tempo review
This shoe feels fast, with Rapid Roll tech (the curved heel and toe ends of the midsole) to propel you forward and encourage a quicker cadence. A carbon fibre plate also contributes to what feels like effortless speed, helping your legs keep up the pace while conserving energy. Then there’s DNA FLASH in the midsole, which Brooks claims will last for 400 miles.
This shoe would be ideal for those runners going for a marathon PB or wanting to push their speed during their longer tempo sessions. It’s also versatile enough to try on all your faster sessions. Expect this shoe to feel quite stiff and stable, making it a good choice for those who don’t like softer, squidgy shoes. Even though it ticks all the boxes, the upper isn’t as impressive as you’d hope. It’s also heavier than similar models from other big brands, and the heel feels a little loose. It’s fast but didn’t feel like the ultimate speed shoe or really leave a ‘WOW’ feeling.
Designed specifically for runners who need extra stability and support, focusing specifically on your knees, the Adrenaline GTS 21 offers comfort without compromising on stability. This is the partner shoe of the Ghost featuring soft DNA Loft, plus Brooks’ holistic GuideRails support system.
The GuideRails aim to keep excessive movement in the ankle in check, providing added support and contributing to quite a ‘dreamy’ experience. Everything seems to have been well designed in this shoe, and even though, on paper, they are the heaviest shoe in this guide, they don’t feel heavy while you’re moving. For me, they probably gave the most comfortable and enjoyable ride and just instantly felt suited to my feet and running style.
These are the perfect shoe for those wanting a balanced cushioned ride with added support, who want their runs to feel smooth and soft. The upper really hugs your foot without creating hotspots, and the mesh ensures an optimum level of ventilation.
I haven’t run in the Cascadia 15, but the 16 is 20 per cent lighter, largely due to its improved DNA Loft v2 midsole. These are a rare pair of shoes that look the part. All the essentials you need, from good traction, cushioning, and protection from debris underfoot to a flexible midsole that adapts well to changing terrain, have been integrated.
The lugs don’t gather mud, the rubber gives a secure grip, and the ballistic rock shield feels protective on chalky paths covered in debris. These are very easy to pull on and off in bad weather due to the larger than normal gaiter heel tab and worked just as well on compact, drier trails as through bog and deep puddles. As a trail shoe, they would be a great first investment for anyone thinking of exploring local trails as they offer everything you want; although other brands do offer better trail shoes, you will pay a lot more for them.
Twenty years ago, paying £85 for a ‘cheap’ trainer would have left runners laughing all the way to the finish line, but in today’s money, this is a value shoe that you can still rely on to give some of the signature features of more classic Brooks shoes. It’s got to be a good choice for a new runner as you are assured of cushioning with their BioMoGo DNA midsole, which adapts nicely to you and your stride. The upper is probably the best feature of the shoe, as it still feels soft and supportive.
As a first purchase, the Launch 8 will give you a reliable trainer with enough cushioned support to keep niggles at bay, but they’re not as sophisticated as the Glycerin or Adrenaline. Keep in mind these aren’t designed for more specific speed work, so reach for these if you’re thinking about doing a C25K or just want a cheaper pair for easy miles. They’re surprisingly light, too.
Read our full Brooks Launch 8 review
How to choose the best Brooks running shoes for you?
Not sure which shoe is right for you? Click on the Brooks website and navigate to their online Shoe Finder (opens in new tab). In less than five minutes, Brooks will match you up with your dream shoe by asking you 10 interesting questions that give them hints on your flexibility, stability and goals.
Brooks offers three different experience categories: Cushion, Energize, and Speed. So, you should have no problem finding your perfect fit, feel, and ride. The results I got were interesting! Alternatively, for a more in-depth fitting, find your local specialist running retailer and ask for your gait to be analysed.
[A word of wisdom: if you’re trying a new model of Brooks, walk around in them for a few days at home to see if they suit you, as you can often tell with all brands if they are markedly different to your old pair, or will be uncomfortable, without running in them. Brooks gives you 90 days to return shoes if you’re unhappy with them.]