Brooks running shoes

The Best Brooks Running Shoes for 2021

As a brand, Brooks is right at the top of the pack when it comes to running shoes, so we decided to break down Brooks best running shoes of 2021. And we know all too well that, whether you’re training for your next event or you’ve just taken up running, choosing the right shoe is an extremely important decision. The trouble is, as Brooks highlights: ‘no two runners run alike.’

So, how do you find what works for you? Well, by getting advice from the experts. In this case, Matt Jeffery of Advance Performance – East of England’s top retailer of specialist running footwear, sports clothing and accessories.

Gone are the days of steady state running 3 to 4 times a week with consistent mileage. Now, a shoe really needs to fit the runner’s requirements each run. With that in mind, I’ve broken down the best Brooks running shoe recommendations into 5 categories of running, to help you find a shoe that will really fit your needs. All these shoes come in both men’s and women’s sizes.

Best Brooks Running Shoes for Cushion

Type of run: The long Sunday morning run. You’re looking to develop your endurance, while giving yourself some headspace. You’re asking a lot of your feet and legs however, and it’s crucial to be comfortable throughout the run.

Training for: You’re likely training for a half-marathon, marathon, or ultramarathon event.

For a long run, you’re looking for Brooks shoes which contain DNA loft – a perfect mix of Brooks DNA foam, air, and rubber which makes the shoe soft underfoot, while retaining its durability and responsiveness. Here are the best Brooks running shoes for cushioning:

Brooks Glycerin 19 / GTS 19

If you’re after something neutral, then opt for the regular Glycerin 19, or for something with added support then you can go for the Glycerin 19 GTS. Brooks Glycerin range are certain some of the best around for cushioning and for supporting you through those long runs.

Brooks Ghost 13

The Brooks Ghost 13 is one of the all-time best Brooks running shoes. Albeit with slightly less DNA loft than the Glycerin, the shoes provide great cushioning over a long run.

Best Brooks Running Shoes for Tempo Runs

Type of run: Tempo runs are slightly higher intensity runs that sit in that middle ground of your faster runs and your medium paced runs, they’re designed to develop your capillary beds and increase the amount of oxygen that reaches your muscles.

Training for: You’re likely highly-motivated, and working hard to smash your 10km or half marathon PB.

For tempo running, you really need a shoe that will give you something back after every step, that absorbs the shock when the foot hits the ground, but then springs back to give you much needed energy return. The best Brooks running shoes for tempo runs should include their DNA AMP material. Here’s our top picks:

Brooks Levitate 4

Brooks Levitate 4 running shoes

The Levitate has a closer-to-foot ‘fit knit’ upper, which gives it a sleek, fast looking finish.The PU foam of the shoe is designed to be highly responsive while delivering best-in-class energy return.

Brooks Bedlam 3

Brooks Bedlam 3

While the Bedlam looks very similar to the Levitate, it has Brooks Guiderail system which provides extra support should your feet need it. Generally, I find customers find this shoe slightly firmer than the Ghost or the Glycerin, but that there is a springy feeling as they push through the toe.

Best Brooks Running Shoes for Grip

Type of run: You’re out on the trails, experiencing running in its purest form. The challenge of uneven terrain places a new type of challenge on the body, and it’s crucial your shoes protect you and provide you with enough grip when you’re out on the trails.

Training for: Perhaps your first trail running event, or an ultra marathon adventure with friends.

If you’re looking for some respite from the monotony of working from home, then it’s time to turn to the trails. Given the variation of terrain, you’re going to need some serious grip. Here’s the best Brooks running shoes for trail running: 

Brook Cascadia 15

Brooks Cascadia 15 running shoes

The Cascadia 15’s rugged build provides both protection and stability. So, if you’re looking for real grip in rocky or muddy terrain, then this is the shoe for you.

Brooks Catamount

Brooks Catamount Trail Running Shoe

If you’re looking to power your way up and over the mountains as fast as possible then this is the best Brooks shoe for you. Stylish and sleek, it utilises the DNA flash midsole which means the shoe is light while retaining traction and rock protection so that it can handle any terrain.

Best Brooks Running Shoes for Speed

Type of run: Sprint interval sessions are a fantastic way of developing your VO2 max, your body’s ability to absorb oxygen, and they are very often carried out around the track or in a similar environment. It’s here where your lightweight racing inspired shoes come in.

Training for: You’re most likely looking to clock a rapid 5k time.

Sprint training? For many runners, it’s their worst enemy. However, if you’re looking to really improve your pace over distance, it’s a must. Of course if you’re looking for the best Brooks running shoes for speed, then they should be designed to go fast. Here’s my top pick:

Brooks Hyperion Tempo

Brooks Hyperion Tempo Running Shoe

This is where Brooks DNA flash midsole comes into its own. The material that makes up the midsole combines a perfect blend of lightness, rebound, and cushioning which makes the Brook Hyperion Tempo the best shoe for protecting your feet over multi-sprint sessions.

Best Brooks Running Shoes for Race Day

Type of run: You’ve made it to race day, you’ve done all the training, you’re not carrying any injuries, and you’re ready to go, let’s do this. This is where we strap on a shoe that has to be very lightweight and very responsive in order to provide as good a chance as possible to achieve our personal best.

Training for: Training is over, it’s time to race.

Brooks Hyperion Elite

Brooks Hyperion Elite running shoe

The Brooks Hyperion Elite really is the cutting edge of Brooks running shoes. Using the same DNA flash midsole as the Tempo above, the difference lies in the carbon plate which runs through the length of the shoe. In other words, it gets the power down and catapults your transition through the foot. Oh, and it looks the part. As with many great things in life though, it does come at a price.


The perfect shoe doesn’t exist. What does exist is the perfect shoe for an individual, based on the type of run, be that at an event, or in training. Buying your running shoes is an important decision, so we hope this guide of the best Brooks running shoes will help to inform you.

Where possible, I’d always recommend going into your nearest specialty running store to try the shoes out and, if you get the chance, do a gait analysis to really understand what will fit your needs.

Advance Performance is the East of England’s top retailer of specialist running footwear, sports clothing and accessories. Their team includes fully qualified coaches, sports scientists and therapists, plus they are all experienced and passionate runners! For more than 20 years’ they’ve been helping customers to be their personal best, solve and prevent injuries, get fitter and faster and achieve their goals – whatever their age, running experience or ability.

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Matt is the Buying Manager at Advance Performance and works in their Peterborough store. He has carried out gait analysis in Peterborough for the last seven years and subsequently carries a wealth of knowledge concerning the evolution of running shoes up to the current day. Matt holds a degree in Physical Education, specialising in physiology, and is a Corrective Exercise Specialist with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. His understanding of human anatomy, biomechanics and physiology combined with his experience in-store and shoe knowledge gives him a thorough understanding of the needs of the runner.

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