Outdoor Gear Review: Brooks Transcend

brooks transcend

Choosing a new running shoe can be tough work.

Often, you’ll see people looking to spend very little for a shoe that’s supposed to last hundreds of miles on the pavement or trail. These shoes will run you about $50-60 and are by no means the best bang for your buck.

You can find these shoes at almost any retailer, and the reality is they’re just trying to clear out the old stock of lower-quality shoes.

The thing to remember with any running shoe is that you get what you pay for. So, while your friend’s $165 trainers may sound ridiculous compared to any $100 shoe, theirs will probably last longer than the lower end one, in addition to having more features.

Why is this important?

Running companies like Brooks provide plenty of different shoe models, all with unique purposes and designs. The Brooks Transcend line of shoes carry the highest price tag for Brooks shoes and looks to provide the most advanced support inside of the softest ride possible.

Today, we’re going to take a deep look into the shoe and put its worth to the test.

Defining the  Line and How It Should Benefit You

Brooks Transcend Woman

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Brooks has been making specialty running shoes and is one of the premier brands in the business.

The company started out back in 1914 as a sports shoe company, offering a variety of models across a spectrum of sports. After going through some tough times in the 80’s and 90’s, Brooks decided to cut its loses and revamp their product offerings to running gear only.

This one back in 2001, and since then the company has grown to be the biggest specialty running shoe on the market.

In fact, they’ve had a 25% market share for the past 7 years running.

All this means is that Brooks knows what they’re doing when it comes to running shoes.

One of their newest versions Brooks Transcend 5, their newest offering in the line of shoes, looks to bring maximum support and comfort to a running shoe. The Transcend is a shoe that’s been designed to aid in stability control, all while providing an expert fit and plush feel.

The Transcend shoes look to provide the support and aid that anyone who suffers from pronation.

For those that don’t know, pronation is when your foot rotates inwards or outwards when planting on the ground. Plenty of runners suffer from this, so Brooks made a shoe that helps prevent injuries that can occur from this problem.

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The Overall Benefits of a Shoe Like the Transcend

If you haven’t noticed, the Brooks Transcend 5 is meant to provide the best of both world in support and soft comfort.

This shoe is made for people that crave comfort yet need maximum protection.

The best part is that the Transcend doesn’t have to be used for just running. Just because a shoe is made for running doesn’t make it a necessary activity to use it for.

Often using a running shoe for any gym workouts, walking, or other sport-related activities will provide you better quality shoes anyway, ultimately lasting longer. After all, the shoes were designed to take in the pounding forces of your body hitting the ground.

What Makes the Brooks Transcend Line Unique?

Brooks knows how to make a good running shoe, and their Transcend model provides the right, and necessary tools, to do so.

Specifically, the Brooks Transcend is designed for low to medium-arched feet, while weighing 10.8-ounces.

For this version, Brooks has updated the guide rails on the side to help keep your feet stepping the correct way. The point is a dynamic support system that can reduce and heel or shin rotation, all while keeping any excess knee motion at bay.

In addition, the Brooks Transcend 5 offers their IDEAL Pressure Zone platform. This technology is meant to disperse the force of planting your foot on the ground back to the ground when stepping, rather than into your body.

It sounds like a gimmick, but this can really minimize stress on your joints and provide a smooth transition and toe-off.

Lastly, as it is a support shoe, the Transcend carries a reinforced heel cradle that provides stability for your heels. Its new design hugs your heel, ultimately reducing any extra heel rotation that you might have.

Other minor features include the Super DNA midsole to provide dynamic, soft cushioning, and the 3D Fit Print uses a different construction method to keep the fit nice and snug.

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The Pricing of the Brooks Transcend

As you might’ve guessed, all that previously mentioned technology doesn’t’ come cheap with a running shoe.

The Brooks Transcend will set you back $160 at retail price, making them a steep purchase no matter how you cut it. That said, the point of any higher-priced product is to perform where cheaper models can’t, and that’s where the Transcend shines.

If you need to save a few bucks, you can find older models of the Transcend for cheaper. You won’t be getting the newest feature set from Brooks, but you’d still be getting a solid shoe.

Most of the time, finding an older model will can save you over $50, sometimes more.

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What Do People Think of Brooks?

People really enjoy their Brooks shoes.

It’s hard to mess with a company that primarily offers running equipment, and Brooks is constantly looking to offer new features for all its shoes.

Specifically, though, the Brooks Transcend 5 fit the bill for most professionals and enthusiast alike. It’s a daily training, designed to feel plushy no matter the miles you’ve ran in it. Lots of buyers mentioned that they experienced no heel pain or fatigue from the Transcend.

Moreover, most people enjoyed, and appreciated, the stability that was offered. There’s enough there that the Brooks can be used on roads and trails both, if wanted.

As with most positives, there are a few negatives to note that users experienced.

For starters, many wearers noted how long it took for the shoe to break-in. With running shoes this is a standard procedure, much like tires on a car, but the fact is the extra support features make the shoe less malleable at first.

The second issue that we found had to do with the fit itself.

While the shoe should be comfortable for all, it is designed for flatter feet. So, if you have medium to high arches, you might find the toe box a bit roomy, as it’s wider to accommodate flatter feet, and the upper to be snug.

That all said, the problems mentioned were all isolated incidents, and no running shoe is going to be perfect for everyone.

Remember, no matter how much a shoe may work for your friend, everyone’s feet and biomechanics-how you run-are different, all requiring a specific set of shoes to feel the best. Keep this in mind whenever shopping for shoes, even with a quality manufacturer like Brooks.

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How the Transcend Compares to the Competition

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The running shoe market is fierce game, and often when a person finds a shoe form a company they like, they’ll stick to that company for a while.

This doesn’t have to be the case with running shoes, and sometimes having multiple brands of shoes can actually benefit your body.

That said, there are plenty of shoes that size up to the Brooks Transcend.

The company that you’re probably thinking of first is Nike. They know how to make a good running shoe too, of course, and their Zoom Structure 21 is meant to provide a soft ride while presenting their ultimate support. It hits the scales at 10.4-ounces, which is about average.

One of the biggest difference you’ll see here is price: the Structure will set you back $120, which is $40 less than the Transcend.

Next up, there is the Adidas offering. For them, the Ultraboost ST provides a superior look, feel, and support system for those that need it. Plus, the shoe will catch some looks from bystanders, with a modern, refined look to them. It’s a heavy shoe, though, tipping the scales at 11.5-ounces.

While all of this sounds great, the Ultraboost ST is the most expensive shoe on our list at $180. Even so, many people swear by the comfort provided by Adidas’ latest running shoe technology.

Moving on, another big name in the running scene is Asics.

Their premier offering for support and comfort, rivaling the Brooks Transcend, is the GEL-Kayano 25.

This shoe has plenty of features and technology to power it ahead during training sessions and long runs alike, with the company pulling no punches with this shoe. The GEL-Kayano 25 is designed to deliver stellar running experience, and for the most part, does so.

You’ll find the Kayano at the same price point of $160 as the Brooks.

The last two companies to consider when choosing a plushy shoe with maximum support are Mizuno and Saucony.

Often, these smaller specialty running companies get overlooked by the bigger ones (the same we just mentioned,) but they still provide good shoes across the board.

For Mizuno, the Wave Rider 2 delivers the same promises at the Transcend: the softest, most stable ride the company has ever produced. While it hits all the right notes on paper, the Wave Rider is tied for the heaviest shoe on our list at 11.5-ounces, which is quite heavy, even by support standards.

With Saucony, their newest shoe is the Liberty ISO.

This shoe scored top marks with Runners World, taking home the award for “Best Debut” of 2018. The Liberty aims to be one of the lightest support shoes on the market, coming in at a mere 9.7-ounces, all while achieving a soft platform and medial guidance for stability.

As you can see, the competing companies have their own versions of the Brooks Transcend. Which one crosses the finish line first?

What Do We Think of the Brooks Transcend?

It’s hard to argue with the pedigree that Brooks has, and ultimately, we would highly recommend the Transcend line of shoes if you want some of the best fitting and feeling shoes around, without compromising your body to any potential injuries.

The company did a great job with adding in just enough new features to the newest model better than any previous additions. The shoe could look a little sleeker, and maybe shave a couple ounces off the total weight, but these are nitpicking.

It’s a shoe that doesn’t hide what it’s trying to do, and we like that.

Plus, there’s another benefit of buying a Brooks shoe: the True Blue Guarantee.

With this policy in effect, you’re allowed to wear your Brooks gear around the city, trails, wherever you want, and if the product isn’t working out you can return it up to 90 days after the initial purchase.

This might seem like a crazy offering for them, as they could easily lose money, but this way people like yourself won’t be nervous when buying any shoes to try out. Moreover, the company also offers a 365-day return policy on any gear that’s unused, giving you plenty of leeway to test out gear before you commit.

Overall, there isn’t much we dislike about the Brooks Transcend. If you need a shoe that will protect you for 500 miles, there’s a good chance the Transcend will fit your needs.

Looks like it’s time to hit the trail.

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