This week I received an email as part of our Free Runner's Toolkit asking which shoe brand is best for running, Asics or Brooks?
This question is like asking, which is better, "chocolate cake with chocolate icing" or "chocolate cake with mint-chocolate chip icing". Both brands will get the job done, and it really comes down to personal preference. In this article, I will break down the major Asics and Brooks running shoe models so you can pick the best running shoe for you within these two brands.
What matters is not the brand of shoe, but the model of shoe.
Unlike generic footwear, a running shoe is designed to protect your feet and perform a specific function. The key to finding the best running shoe for you is finding the the best model to match your individual foot anatomy and running style.
When it comes to choosing Asics over Brooks or the other way around, know that both brands are near identical in what they offer runners. Each brand has a full line of running shoes and within each line, you are likely to find a running shoe that works for you. The trick is finding which model of running shoe is best for you and just because a model works one year, does not mean it will work in the future. Over time, your running gait can change or, slight modifications in the model itself can have a a positive or negative result.
I also want to go on record and say that Asics and Brooks, while popular among runners are not the only choice of running shoes out there. Several other shoe brands offer great choices as well. Saucony, Nike, New Balance, Mizuno, are just a few brands who have quality shoes on the market.
Over the past several years I have tried many brands of running shoes, but I keep coming back to Asics or Brooks, specifically these models (Amazon links): Asics Gel Nimbus and Brooks Ghost. Both are well-made, well-cushioned, neutral shoes. At the time of writing this article I am trying out the Brooks Glycerin 17 which is a heavy cushioned, neutral, running shoe. It definitely has a more cushioned ride, yet I have not noticed any difference in weight.
If you are a neutral runner, meaning you do not excessively pronate (some pronation is good) or supinate (does not pronate at all, often putting stress on the outside of the foot) then these are great shoe options if you want a more cushioned ride. If you are unsure, it is best to get your gait analyzed by a running store, and then test out your new shoes.
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