The only shoes Brooks makes are running shoes, and it’s damn good at it.
Brooks is a 100-year-old company that has been making running shoes since 1977. In fact, it’s one of the few companies that produces only running shoes, and that allows it to be competitive with much larger brands. For proof, look no further than its Adrenaline GTS (Go To Shoe), which has a loyal following and dominates sales through specialty retailers.
Cascadia 14 Ghost 12 Glycerin 17 Ravenna 10
Most cushioned trail Best daily trainer Plushiest cushioning lightweight stability
$ 229.95 $219.95 $249.95 $199.95
First in Foam
Brooks has pioneered a number of key technologies over the years. Its initial running model, the Villanova, was introduced in 1974 and was the first running shoe to use EVA foam—a revolutionary technology at the time because it was both lighter and softer than other cushioning options. The company’s Vantage model, introduced in 1977, was the first to include a varus wedge, which helped runners whose feet rolled too far to the inside (overpronated). This technology is still popular today.
But Brooks didn’t stop there. The Beast burst onto the scene in 1992 and included a modified Progressive Diagonal Rollbar design, another company hallmark. This midsole feature uses a high density post placed under the arch of the foot to provide exceptional stability and help runners roll through their stride. The Progressive Diagonal Rollbar was also a part of the Adrenaline GTS when it debuted in 1994 (Brooks swapped the rollbar for GuideRails in the Adrenaline’s 19th iteration). This shoe became a bestseller for its ergonomic fit—and it remains a top model in the company’s lineup to this day.
Refined Cushioning, Improved Support
In 2017, Brooks introduced a soft, bouncy foam in the Levitate called DNA AMP. It’s a polyurethane-based foam encased in a TPU “skin” that allows the foam to expand in only one direction (vertically). That harnesses the polyurethane’s natural tendency to expand after impact to create more energy return as you run. Since then, Brooks has also introduced DNA Loft, a rubber-EVA blend that’s refined to be soft and lightweight. The added rubber also increases the foam’s durability, so it won’t break down and compact over time like traditional EVA. The result is a cushioning system that stays soft and comfortable through high mileage, and makes shoes like the Ghost and Glycerin especially plush.