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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

25 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
318 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Brooks women’s running shoes

Last Updated April 2020

Comfortable, supportive running shoes are undoubtedly a contributing factor to training success. One particular pair of running shoes won’t guarantee that you’ll win the race, but if Brooks is your brand of choice, you know that the shoe you purchase is quality-made and includes a variety of rigorously tested technologies designed to help boost your performance. Your foot and shoe needs are as unique as your personality. That’s why it’s important to find the women’s running shoe that best suits your running style, training, and goals.

Brooks encourages its employees to live an active lifestyle. It is dedicated to green living and reducing its environmental impact. In 1914, the now well-known running shoe company exclusively sold bath and ballet shoes. Later it entered the realms of designing and manufacturing cleats, roller skates, and children’s shoes. In 1972, Brooks narrowed its focus to the world of running. Several years later, Brooks released the Vantage, which was dubbed number one by Runner’s World magazine.

Whether you’re interested in a shoe with maximum cushioning or lighter footwear for racing, Brooks has you covered. Our buying guide and recommendations can help you find the right pair for you.

Brooks has been around for so long that some of their most popular running shoes have gone through many iterations.

Key considerations

Activity

Brooks has a variety of shoe types designed for different activities.

Road: These are shoes designed for pounding the pavement whether you’re jogging on city roads or suburban sidewalks. Pick a road shoe if you mainly run on asphalt or concrete.

Trail: Shoes designed for running on trails are a little more rugged than those made for pavement. They offer additional traction and typically have a thick, sturdy upper to prevent debris from piercing the material. Some trail shoes are fully or partially waterproof.

Race: These are shoes designed for track or cross-country racing. They are outfitted with spikes for traction and to help propel the runner forward.

Walk: Similar to road-running shoes, walking shoes are made for comfort and have plenty of cushioning. If you like to walk and run, opt for a road-running shoe.

Gait

Identifying your gait will help you decide on the category of shoe you should buy. Scope out the shoe display at your local running store and you’ll notice that the shoes are separated into neutral, stability, and motion-control categories. Within each category you’ll find variations of each type of shoe (such as high stability, medium stability, and low stability). Your gait determines which kind of shoe is right for you.

We all move a little differently, but most people fall into the following categories:

Are you a supinator? Also known as underpronation, this means you run on the outer edges of your feet. Many underpronators have high arches. If you have an old pair of running shoes, you’ll notice heavier wear on the outer edges of your shoes’ outsoles. Choose a neutral shoe with plenty of support for your high arches.

Do you have a neutral gait? You distribute weight evenly on your feet as you run. Your foot doesn’t roll excessively inward or outward. Pick a neutral shoe.

Are you an overpronator? Your foot rolls inward a little too much, and most of the wear on your soles is on the inside part of the rubber. Select a stability shoe and choose between different degrees of stability depending on the severity of your pronation.

Are you a super-pronator? Severe pronation occurs when the foot rolls inward excessively to a degree where nearly all of the wear on your outsole can be seen on the inner edge. A high-stability shoe should do. Heavier runners may want to consider a motion-control shoe.

EXPERT TIP

If you’re interested in a natural connection with the ground and want feedback as you run, choose a Brooks shoe from the Pure lineup.


Staff  | BestReviews

Brooks women’s running shoe features

Categories

Brooks has a unique method of categorizing its running shoes that includes four distinct labels: Cushion, Energize, Connect, and Speed. Shoes in any of these categories may either be neutral or stabilizing. Check the shoe’s description for additional details.

Cushion: These are shoes with plenty of midsole padding designed to protect the body from repeated impact forces.

Energize: These shoes offer more feedback and energy return than other models.

Connect: Shoes in this category are lightweight and offer a stronger connection with your running surface.

Speed: These shoes are designed for racing or speed work and are very lightweight.

What sets Brooks women’s running shoes apart

Running companies each have their own proprietary shoe technologies. Here are a few Brooks technologies of note:

DNA LOFT cushioning: An adaptive cushioning material that’s both lightweight and soft as a cloud. This midsole padding is durable yet responsive.

DNA AMP cushioning: A cushioning material that’s designed with energy return in mind.

GuideRails: A supportive component that provides unobtrusive stability and support.

3D Fit Print: High-tech 3D-printed upper technology that translates into a comfortable, effortless fit.

Engineered mesh: This upper material is designed to improve breathability and airflow without compromising fit and support.

Ortholite: This is a type of sock liner that provides support underfoot.

Sizing

Brooks offers a combination of tools to help runners find the shoe with the right fit. A shoe size chart is available online, and wearers are encouraged to go up half a size from their everyday shoe size when purchasing Brooks running footwear. The company also has a handy Shoe Finder that can help you narrow down your choices. Brooks shoes are available in four widths as well: narrow, standard, wide, and extra-wide.

The logo on most Brooks shoes is made of reflective material to help keep you visible in low-light conditions.

Accessories

Use these accessories in conjunction with your Brooks running shoes to enhance comfort and to keep your shoes smelling fresh.

Running socks: MudGear Premium Compression Socks
A pair of quality running socks is essential for both training and racing. Comfortable MudGear compression socks wick away sweat to keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters. Compression socks also enhance blood flow and speed post-run recovery.

Insoles: Powerstep Insoles
Brooks shoes feature removable insoles so that wearers can insert their own custom orthotics or insoles. Powerstep’s full-length insoles have two layers of cushioning, firm arch support, and antimicrobial fabric.

Shoe deodorizer: Rocket Pure Foot Deodorant Spray
Absorb nasty odors and keep your closet from smelling like a gym locker by using shoe deodorizer. The Rocket Pure natural spray is made from essential oils and comes in scents of cedarwood, lemon, peppermint, and eucalyptus.

Brooks women’s running shoe prices

Brooks shoes are available in a range of prices from $85 to $160. Shoes that feature fewer proprietary technologies are typically lower in cost. A highly cushioned shoe, for example, costs a lot more than one with limited midsole padding. The least expensive Brooks women’s running shoe is the Anthem, a light and flexible shoe designed for low-mileage running. In contrast, the priciest Brooks women’s running shoe is the Cascadia GTX, a trail-running shoe with a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane.

EXPERT TIP

Even if your shoes are too worn for running, they’re still usable. Wear them to perform outdoor chores or donate them to those in need.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Watch for limited editions of popular Brooks shoes. The company often releases fun styles for a limited time, such as the recent “sprinkles” soles inspired by a vanilla ice cream cone.
  • Don’t assume a new version will fit the same as the last. Like other shoe companies, Brooks works to improve on each shoe model by making slight changes and releasing new iterations of tried and true designs. Even if you’ve worn the style before, check the sizing chart and read reviews before making your purchase.
  • Check the midsole drop. Brooks lists a few critical pieces of information to help you decide on a pair of shoes, including midsole drop — the difference between the highest and lowest points of the shoe’s midsole. It ranges from 0 mm to 12 mm. Drop height may affect the feel of the shoe. If you’re used to a 12 mm drop, a 0 mm drop may feel awkward and put undue strain on your leg muscles.

Other products we considered

Brooks has no shortage of women’s running shoes to try. If the models in our matrix don’t suit you, here are a few more styles. The Brooks Women’s Levitate is a newer model from the company and is known to have one of the highest energy-return rates in the Brooks lineup. In addition to a bouncy midsole, the shoe is well cushioned and suitable for long runs.

The Brooks Women’s Bedlam combines a springy feel with a supportive design. The sleek running shoe is available in multiple trendy colors and features a standard 8 mm midsole drop.

The Brooks Women’s Ricochet is another shoe sure to put some spring in your step. The neutral runner is suitable for medium to high arches and features Brooks’ proprietary DNA AMP cushioning.

Carefully read reviews to find out about any individual shoe sizing quirks. If you’ve never been fitted for running shoes, visit a local running shop for a thorough analysis.

FAQ

Q. How often should I replace my running shoes?
A
. It depends entirely on how often you run, where you run, and your weight. A lightweight runner who primarily runs on the treadmill a few days a week may get away with replacing their shoes once a year or so. If you’re running mostly outside or completing more miles, you’ll need to replace your shoes more frequently than the occasional indoor runner. We recommend that you replace your shoes approximately every 300 to 500 miles. Avoid replacing your shoes right before a goal race, though!

Q. One foot is longer than the other. What size shoe should I pick?
A.
Opt for the larger size to avoid squeezing your toes to oblivion!

Q. I feel like my foot is slipping out of my shoe, but the size is right. What do I do?
A.
Lace your shoes correctly. A special lacing technique called a heel lock can help prevent annoying heel slippage for those who have small ankles. If this type of lacing doesn’t help, try another shoe.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Writer

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