In most physical fitness activities, including running, the feet absorb a lot of impacts. If not cushioned well, the feet, thighs, and even the spine are at a higher risk of pain or injury. As such, the choice of running shoes plays a role in your running experience.
Brooks and Asics are, without a doubt, the most popular running shoes brands in the market. There is a good reason for this; both have put in efforts in delivering lightweight, comfortable, and well-cushioned shoes. They also have shoes for all kinds of runners, be it those with flat feet, bunions, or runners with high arches.
Below, we will compare the features of these two brands to help you make a decision on Brooks vs. Asics. Before that, let’s first have a look at where these two companies have come from.
Who Is Brooks?
This is an American shoe manufacturer famous for high-quality clothing, accessories, and athletic shoes. Although it started in 1914, this brand gained popularity in the ’70s.
Brooks has since then grown to become a top-selling running shoe brand despite having faced bankruptcy in 2001. It is not only famous for sportswear but they are also known for using environmentally friendly materials and adhering to ethical and sustainable procedures.
Some of the most popular Brooks running shoes:
Who Is Asics?
ASICS is a Latin acronym whose loose translation is that pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body. This Japanese company began operations in 1949, and they were then making basketball shoes. With time, they have transitioned to a running shoe company.
Their rapid growth is attributable to the gel cushioning technology they started incorporating in their shoes back in 1986. It works by having the pieces of gel distributed throughout the shoe absorb shock, thus reducing the risk of injuries and pain in the foot muscles and joints.
Some of the most popular Asics running shoes:
Features of the Best Running Shoe: Brooks vs. Asics Comparison
Brooks shoes feature an engineered upper mesh that is breathable to allow the foot room for ventilation. They also use Fit Knit technology in some of their other shoes, which is a sock-like stretchable upper that moves together with the foot. However, Fit Knit is less breathable.
That’s not all because Brooks also uses 3D Print tech to the upper part of the shoe, making them more stable by introducing light overlays. Their shoes have a wider toe box; thus, they are great for people with bunions, wide feet, or those that don’t like a snug fit.
Asics features Fluidfit mesh uppers which give a snug fit by wrapping around the foot comfortably. The foot stays in place as you run.
Both brands deliver a breathable upper part. If you need an option with a broader toe box, go for Brooks, else Asics will be your better choice.
Brooks running shoes are some of the most cushioned in the market. They use a variety of materials in their midsoles, but the most cushioned is their DNA LOFT. It is a lightweight cushioning that features a mixture of the traditional EVA foam, air, and rubber. It is the air component that gives the superior cushioning.
They also use BioMoGo DNA which is like the DNA LOFT but more environmentally friendly and responsive. It degrades 50 times faster thanks to the non-toxic substance added to it. Another midsole foam used by Brooks is the DNA AMP that gives more energy return while giving the much-needed shock absorption.
Another element of Brooks midsole is often used in their stability GuideRail technology. It promotes the shoe’s stability by preventing the arches from collapsing and the knees from twisting. As such, it helps you to keep running in a natural manner. One of their best stability shoes is the Adrenaline GTS 21.
Asics has gel midsoles at both the heel and forefoot. It gives great shock absorption for heel striking and easier, smoother transitions. Their super lightweight Flytefoam technology delivers remarkable energy returns. It makes a great choice if you are looking to reduce the risk of muscles injury or pain.
Brooks and Asics midsoles are made with the runner’s needs in mind. If you need a shoe that promotes stability, go for Brooks. However, if you are keen on superior comfort, Asics will be the better choice.
The outsole is a vital consideration, especially if you run on a rough surface. It determines the traction and how long the shoe serves you.
Brooks outsole is purely made of rubber. The brand has changed from the use of traditional medial posts to now adopting the Dual-Arch Pod system. This new system makes the shoes more flexible and stable.
Further, Brooks uses a rock shield in their trail running shoes protecting your feet from being harm by sharp objects. You will highly appreciate this feature if you often run on rocky terrains or those with sharp objects. Even more, Brooks equips the trail running shoes with a TrailTrack. This is a system that facilitates enhanced grip when running in steep areas.
Asics features a Trusstic system in their outsole, creating a gap between a shoe’s forefoot and rearfoot. It prevents both the foot and shoe from twisting as you run. Extreme twisting is harmful as it prevents stable running. The shape of the Trusstic system used depends on whether the shoe is stability, neutral, or motion control type.
Stability in Asics shoes is highly attributable to the use of AHAR or AHAR+. This technology features long-lasting rubber that facilitates efficient resistance towards abrasions while running. As such, you get improved traction and shock absorption.
Both Brooks and Asics have outdone themselves in investing in technology and systems that make their outsoles great. If we are to be forced to pick a winner, it would be Brooks for the special consideration in their trail shoes by incorporating the TrailTrack system.
Brooks DNA Loft, BioMoGo DNA, and DNA AMP deliver excellent cushioning. However, DNA LOFT is the king of cushioning among the three. With such superior systems, you will not be disappointed by Brooks shoes regarding shock absorption. In addition, the comfortable feel around the foot keeps you running.
Asics Flytefoam and gel cushioning systems also don’t fall short. They have been tried and proven to be excellent in providing the foot with a great feel as you run.
Both Brooks and Asics running shoes are comfortable despite the fact that the two manufacturers use different techniques to achieve this.
Brooks features the DNA Loft or BioMoGo DNA in their shoes to reduce the impact on the muscles making the shoes comfortable. It also facilitates seamless heel-to-toe movement for easier running. Their uppers are breathable for an airy feel. In addition, Brooks uppers come in a breathable redesigned mesh.
Asics shoes are lightweight, meaning that your feet have less weight to lift with every stride. In addition, the gel and Flytefoam used for cushioning provide excellent shock absorption while canceling vibrations.
Asics also uses FluidFit technology in their shoes upper to hold the foot securely in place. The breathable upper mesh also facilitates ventilation. Their narrow toe box is a good choice if you prefer a close fit.
Brooks running shoes are known to be durable, offering between 300-500 miles depending on the type of surface you run on. They are designed to survive even the most challenging surfaces.
Asics say that their shoes last between 450 and 550 miles. However, users find Brooks to be more long-lasting. Asics is known to have lightweight shoes, but this means that they use less sturdy materials. This might be the reason why Asics shoes are known to have a shorter lifespan compared to Brooks.
If we were to compare durability in terms of miles, both Brooks and Asics deliver well.
We have seen how Brooks and Asics compare in terms of upper construction, midsoles, outsoles, and expected mileage. Now let’s answer the question; between Brooks and Asics, which is cheaper.
It will cost you an average of $150 for a good running shoe from either Brooks or Asics. They are almost equally priced, but if you want to buy a pair under $100, Asics will give you more variety than Brooks.
In terms of value for the money, both deliver precisely that, seeing that they pay attention to your needs by providing ideal cushioning, durable outsoles, and breathable upper.
It is evident that there is a lot that both Brooks and Asics deliver in their running shoes. Each brand has an area where it shines, and in other areas, both perform equally well. With such great qualities, it is no wonder that Brooks and Asics are some of the best running shoe brands.
Brooks has a broader toe box making their shoes some of the best running shoes for a wide fit. On the other hand, Asics shoes have a narrower fit for those who prefer a sock-like snug fit when running. Both deliver breathable upper. In terms of outsoles, both are great, but if we had to choose one, it would have to be Brooks because of the TrailTrack system in their trail shoes.
If you were to toss a coin to select between Brooks and Asics, you would end up with high-quality, comfortable, and durable shoe either way. Both brands also have shoes for different types of runners and terrain.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.