Good shoes are a key piece of gear for any type of work out from running to weightlifting. The Brooks Transcend are built to fill that need as running shoes, but there is a lot of hype revolving around them, so it can be hard to tell if they will really live up to their purpose: and yours.
Before you drop cash and crucial training time on these, understanding what the Brooks Transcend can actually provide you in terms of stability, comfort, and an all around good run is likely one of your top priorities.
So, instead of toggling back and forth between review sites, rate listings, and spec lists, we pulled all the information together in one place to make better sense of what exactly these shoes bring to the table, the pavement, the treadmill, or the track.
What Are the Brooks Transcend?
Brooks Transcend are a new style of running shoe put out by Brooks. They have a heavy focus on stability and claim that the shoe is designed to serve as a type of casing around your foot to provide your hips, knees, ankles, and joints with stability and support while you run.
Along with superior support, they also claim to provide adaptive cushioning that performs to match the needs of your stride, which could be big news for those running on rough terrains.
To further their ability on rough ground, this shoe distributes impact evenly, which means you will not end up with a bruised heel or toe pad after a long run. They also incorporated a new heel design that ensures a more natural heel strike. This addition will not only help on impact, but also in overall comfort and form. Finally, to ensure a form-fitting and comfortable shoe, there is a foam upper section that conforms to foot shape.
The outward look and design of the Brooks Transcend is slightly bulkier than its predecessors, which is understandable with the added support. They come in bright, reflective coloring as well, which is great for the on and off-roading runner.
As we mentioned above, there are a lot of features that make the Brooks Transcend stand out.
The outsole of this shoe is wide and made of carbon rubber, which provides good stabilization as well as a sticky grip for running on dry pavement. There are grooves built into the tread as well that enforce flex and impact distribution. This design is built for running indoors or outdoors on pavement or asphalt.
Moving on to the midsole, it is made of a foam layer reinforced with DNA cushioning. This means that with every foot fall, energy and support is customized. This works really well for providing a comfortable feel but still ensures the wearer is getting an energy return in terms of forward motion, so the responsiveness is also great.
The upper portion of the shoe includes mesh paneling and a lacing system to aid in breathability and flexibility. There is a removable sock in this section for wearer customization, as well as a removable sole so runners can put in their own soles if they have them.
In terms of weight and design, this shoe is bulkier than any lightweight racers would be used to. While it is not a heavy shoe, the added layers and support do add some weight and the shoes may be slightly wider than some runners are used to. The interior and exterior of the Brooks Transcend are built to last and have specific design pieces to prevent the softer more vulnerable sections from being worn down.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare. We ranked them based on criteria we felt captured the features and specs of each product.
Brooks Transcend 3
Brooks Transcend 4
Brooks Transcend 5
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This model had endless positive comments on its comfort in terms of the midsole level, cushioning build, and customizable lacing and soles. It is built to become your personal running shoe, so form-fitting customization and comfortable support and responsiveness need to be golden.
The shoe itself was built to last, and it has. The tread does not wear down, if used where it should be, and the foam midsole layer stays comfortable and responsive after many long runs.
This model was designed to be worn by a variety of runners while still being able to conform to each individual one. Being able to pull off something versatile but also individualized is difficult in this market, but given the reviews and research we conducted, the Brooks Transcend seems to have accomplished just that.
There was thought put into each layer of the build, which we feel performs well and up to the standard it portrays. Though every runner has their own preferences in terms of design and build, we feel that this model overlaps enough in most areas to be a good option.
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Brooks Transcend 3
This model has very similar specs to the Brooks Transcend. It offers the same DNA cushioning and midsole support system, but has changed the interior lining to be softer. It has mesh paneling for breathability, but also an interior cooling system for the hotter, longer days pounding pavement.
The Transcend 3 has built-in aids to prevent high-wear areas from being sanded down and offers pressure zones to distribute pressure and impact evenly.
The comfort the Brooks Transcend offers plus the added plush and softness in the interior put this model high up on the comfort scale. They work well at correcting running form without causing aches and soreness in the aftermath, which makes for an easier, better run that will not compromise the comfort of the next run either.
We have to mention the lack of durability in color and design here. Some wearers have experienced flaking of color and design smearing soon after purchasing, and as the issue has been seen in more than one model, we feel that it may be more than a simple design error.
Beyond the color issue though, the design of the shoe is proven to work well with long and short stance runners—especially those who have posture or pronation issues.
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Brooks Transcend 4
This model is designed for maximum cushion and sturdy support for overpronators especially. The Transcend 4 utilizes 3D print technology to build a better fit that is more personalized the longer you wear it. It incorporates a well-cushioned and responsive midsole layer and customizable lacing for a more supportive fit.
There are also designated full-length crash pads for impact delegation as well as heel pads for impact and comfort. Over-all this model was scientifically designed for comfort and complete stabilization.
There have been no complaints on the comfortability of this model. The effort put into each aspect of this model in terms of its purpose, feel, and durability is visible. Each part has a purpose that it fulfills well.
Many users have said that the added comfort of the soft inside lining and plush tongue are been appreciated for long runs especially, as any seams can really run a sore into your foot if not properly designed.
These shoes are built to be durable and it shows. High-wear areas are reinforced and there are no complaints if terms of the cushioning wearing down or compressing.
The top layer is made of breathable, stretchable mesh, and it lasts just a long as every other part of the shoe.
This model does not seem to have the same issue with fading colors as other models do. Beyond that, it is built to look and be functional and comfortable. The design is focused on customization, comfort, and stability, and it delivers each of those points well.
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Brooks Transcend 5
This model keeps up the Transcend title by offering amazing cushion without compromising responsiveness. It utilizes a 3D printed top for a seamless fit and has many pads in play to reduce rotating or twisting of the foot, knee, or hip.
There is a heel cradle to keep the heel in place as well as to distribute impact, and there are plenty of impact points to aid in that distribution as well.
As with previous Transcend models, comfort is excellent. Cushion is well laid out and provides good, responsive reactions to each step. The casing around the foot is mesh for added breathability and flexibility.
While the cushioned sections and main components of the shoe are durable, some wearers report a quick tearing or wearing down of the inner liner. This flaw may seem minor in the scheme of the model’s purpose, but this greatly influences the comfort of a run.
Each aspect of the shoe has a purpose that aids in the wearers comfort and form. Instead of just looking flashy, it shows off each additional feature it has to help with stability, posture, and comfort.
The reflectivity of the coloring aids in both look and purpose as it provides an extra feature to keep runners safe while running outside.
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Going back to the Brooks Transcend model, it contains may features these others models have, and while it is obviously a well-made and comfortable shoe, it may not be the best fit for every runner. Runners who have a wider toe box may find this model uncomfortable, and those wanting to do any off-road running will not find good traction with this model.
Overall, each of the Transcend models was a bulkier option than some runners are used to. Though this does mean they are heavier, it is something to consider when looking at these models.
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