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Brooks vs Saucony – Which Brand is Right for You

There are so many great running shoes out there, and sometimes it can take a little while to find the brand that’s best for you. In this article, we’re going to compare two well-known brands: Brooks and Saucony.

We’ll tell you everything you need to know about how they look and feel, as well as other considerations.

Hopefully by the end, if you’ve been on the fence about these two brands, you’ll know which one is best for you.

Broad Comparison

If you’ve been running for any amount of time, you know that many runners swear by Brooks running shoes, and it’s true that they are a great shoe. Whether you’re a walker or a runner, Brooks has the perfect shoe for you.

They make a very traditional running shoe, so it’s a great option if you’re just getting into running. Plus, it has an incredible fit overall, with a cushioned midsole. It isn’t as distinctive as other running shoe brands, but it’s reliable. They also use a guide-rail system for stability.

By contrast, Saucony caters to a completely different type of runner. Saucony is known for being the technology shoe, including different types of foam in their midsoles and custom-style fit insoles.

They are a long-time running shoe company known for their unique technology.

Like Brooks, their shoes cater to all types of runners, from fast elites to walkers. They are especially known for making popular track and cross-country spikes. Founded in 1898, they’ve actually even been around longer than Brooks, which was founded in 1914.

Shoe Construction

Although hats often have the label “one size fits all,” that’s definitely not true for running shoes! Depending on how you want your shoe to fit, there’s a good chance you might prefer one brand over the other. That’s not a comment about absolute size (of course feet are different sizes!). Rather, it’s about how your feet are shaped: wide, narrow, high-arched, flat, etc. Feet vary quite a bit, and need running shoes to are made to fit.

Upper

If you have wider feet or like a lot of room in the toe box, Brooks is the shoe for you. They are known for having a larger toe box, giving your feet the opportunity to naturally splay, which helps you run better.

As always, you’ll still want to make sure that you get running shoes that are a half size larger than whatever size you typically wear in street or dress shoes.

FlexFILM is Saucony’s new overlay tech. This is melded to the upper. It helps everything weigh less and makes it less likely that you’ll deal with irritations like blisters.

For some models, Saucony has introduced a new upper construction called FORMFIT. It’s a combination of seamless upper and FlexFILM that offers a unique fit to cradle your foot.

Midsole

If you get Brooks’s DNA Amp midsole, you’ll get significantly more energy return than other running shoes on the market. Some estimates are 10-20% more. This means that you’ll experience great responsiveness with Brooks shoes.

Additionally, Brooks also uses a guide-rail system in their stability shoes that gives you support without altering how you naturally run. This means that your feet will be in their preferred alignment and natural path of motion.

In their latest models, Saucony is starting to incorporate a new technology called PWRRUN+, which is an additional layer of cushioning that is closer to your foot, making it more comfortable, especially for long runs.

This cushioning is supposed to give you better energy return and is designed to avoid breaking down with usage. Therefore, you should experience the same amount of extra cushioning whether you’re on mile 5 or mile 500.

Saucony also uses Powergrid+ technology, a grid of holes on the midsole designed to help spread the impact when you land over a wider surface.

Outsole

Brooks shoes tend to have a completely pure rubber outsole. They also have ballistic rock shields and TrailTak rubber outsoles for their trail shoes so that you aren’t hit by any flying rocks and you get the traction you need on wet and dry surfaces.

Saucony outsoles are known for being very lightweight. They often feature XT-900 carbon rubber compound in the heel to help provide traction on a variety of different surfaces. Durability is improved, as well.

Other Considerations

Brooks and Saucony definitely have different shoe construction. But they are not as different as other pairs of running shoe brands, so you might need this section to decide between Brooks and Saucony.

Durability

Brooks makes a very durable shoe. They will almost always hold up to your typical 300-500 miles, depending on what surfaces you’re running on as well as how hard you run. If you want a brand that’s known for its consistent durability, go with Brooks.

Saucony also makes very durable shoes since they have rubber on the outsole. Typically, Saucony notes that their shoes last for around 400 miles. Consider these two brands the same on the durability front.

Cushioning

Brooks shoes have plenty of cushioning, using the DNA Loft and BioMoGo DNA technology that hugs your feet. This will make them nice and comfy for long runs, and the cushioning also will hold up for a long time.

As we mentioned before, Saucony also has cushioning that will hold up for a long time and not break down. They place their cushioning close to the bottom of the foot, so you should feel it more.

Honestly, in this category, Brooks and Saucony are fairly equal. You’ll just have to try on a couple pairs in each brand to see what feels good to you personally.

Overall Fit and Comfort

Brooks and Saucony are going to have a similar fit and comfort level. The only difference is that Brooks is known for having a larger toe box, while Saucony shoes offer a snugger, more responsive fit. If you have wide feet, you might prefer Brooks. If you like your feet locked in tight, go with Saucony.

Both brands have a variety of shoes for a variety of individuals, from walkers to runners, and from support shoes to neutral shoes. If you love trying new technology, though, Saucony might be your brand.

Pricing

The average price for a Brooks shoe is around $120. That means if you get 500 miles in them, that’s roughly 25 cents a mile. While this isn’t as cheap as some other brands, it’s definitely a good price for good shoes.

By contrast, the average price for Saucony running shoes is just under $110. If you get 400 miles in them like the company suggests, that’s just over 25 cents a mile.

This means that Brooks and Saucony are about the same price, and you’ll spend about the same amount per mile depending on how many miles you get in them.

Summary

In the end, it’s up to you what running shoe brand—Brooks or Saucony—is going to be best for you. You can’t beat Brooks’s reliability and the fact that they are used by so many walkers and runners. Once people start wearing Brooks, they tend to keep wearing them.

On the other hand, Saucony is cool because the company is always coming up with new technology. You’ll likely always get to try something a little bit different. Saucony is also known for being a very reliable brand. If you need track or cross-country spikes, go with Saucony.

The good news is that no matter what type of runner (or walker) you are, Brooks and Saucony have shoes that will appeal to any type of individual, so you are sure to find a shoe that works for you!

The Wired Runner