Choosing a pair of running shoes is one of the most vital steps for any trainer. Even so, it can be a challenging one because there are several running shoe brands to choose from in the market.
Brooks and Saucony are some of the best brands you can find when it comes to running shoes. The two deliver distinct yet highly competitive running shoe models. Each seems to have figured the art of running shoemaking while remaining unique.
If you’ve been wondering, between Brooks and Saucony, which is the best running shoe brand? Well, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we will dwell on the similarities, uniqueness, and distinct features of these two brands. Now, let’s dive in, but first, a little background on the two.
Who is Saucony?
Saucony was founded in 1898 as a shoe manufacturing company in Pennsylvania. It was not until the 1970s when Saucony became the famous running shoe brand it is today. It is known to name most of their shoes after places.
Some of the most popular running shoes by this brand are the Saucony Guide and Saucony Ride. In the 1960s, the company was acquired by Hyde Athletics Industries, who later sold it to Wolverine World Wide in 2012.
Fun Fact: This shoe brand is named after a creek in Pennsylvania. If you’ve been keen, then you might have noticed that Saucony’s logo represents the flow of water.
Check out some of the recent popular Saucony running shoes:
Who Is Brooks?
Also referred to as Brooks Running, this is a versatile shoe brand that was founded in 1914. It has had its fair share of financial challenges, having filed for bankruptcy protection 70 years into the business.
In 2001, Brooks reduced their production by half and stopped producing shoes that were not doing well in the market. They now focus on running shoes, and this seems to have paid off.
Fun Fact: Brooks has not always been a running shoe company. Far from it, they actually started as a small factory making bathing shoes and ballet slippers.
Now that we know a little background on each of these competing running shoe brands, let’s see how they rank in terms of the top features that make an excellent running shoe.
Check out some of the recent popular Brooks running shoes:
Features That Make the Best Running Shoe: Brooks Vs. Saucony Comparison
Good running shoes pay attention to features that improve the runner’s experience.
The nitty-gritty details in each of the shoes make one running shoe better than the other, depending on your needs. Below, we get to look at how Brooks and Saucony compare in the making of these features.
Different training activities require particular shoe features to help the trainers attain optimal results. Unknown to most people, even running is different from jogging, and so are the shoes you should buy for either of the two activities.
Brooks is known for having shoes that come with a large toe box. This allows your feet to have wiggle room for a better run. With Brooks, it is recommended to go half a size higher for a more comfortable fit.
Most Saucony running shoes either have FlexFILM or FORMFIT upper construction. FlexFILM gives the shoe a great fit and makes it even more lightweight. On the other hand, FORMFIT includes FlexFILM but also combines it with a seamless upper.
Upper construction is one of the aspects where we can’t say which brand is superior; the choice between Saucony and Brooks depends on your preference because both brands deliver well, but for types of runners.
Brooks midsoles target to deliver optimal durability and comfort. As such, you will find lots of cushioning in the midsoles of this brand’s shoes. They use a guide-rail system in some shoes to deliver support without interfering with your running style.
If you opt for Brooks DNA Amp sole models, you will get a superior energy return than possible with any other stability running shoe you can find.
Saucony has recently started to incorporate a new technology that puts an extra layer of cushioning nearer to where the foot sits in their running shoes. This tech is known as the PWRRUN +. Because of its close location to the foot, you are more protected from muscle pain and injuries with each stride.
The new tech also facilitates more energy return irrespective of how short or long you have worn the shoes. Saucony also uses a Powergrid+ Technology which reduces the impact on your foot when you land because the foot spreads on a grid of holes.
If you are big on cushion and comfort in a midsole, then Saucony has got you covered.
Saucony running shoes are known to feature a sleek design; their outsole is no different. They are also lightweight and feature an XT-900 carbon rubber compound in the heel. It makes the shoe durable and gives traction.
The outsole of Brooks shoes is quite different. It has pure rubber. Their trail running shoes have a TrailTrack system that facilitates enhanced grip for steep trails. Further, ballistic level shields between the midsole and outsole protect you should you step on sharp objects while running.
Brooks and Saucony approach the construction of outsoles differently. If you are keen on the grip in a trail running shoes’ outsole, Brooks is the go-to brand.
Brooks uses two distinct technologies to enhance breathability; Engineered Mesh and Fit Knit. An engineered mesh is a woven fabric that gives the shoe structure while making it stretchable. On the other hand, a fit knit offers a sock-like fit that allows room for comfortable running.
Saucony running shoes also feature a breathable upper mesh that moves away moisture and keeps your feet comfortable and dry for a better running experience.
Breathability in shoes is critical not only when running outdoors but also on a treadmill. The best treadmill running shoes should not compromise on breathability just because you are indoors.
The lifespan of both Brooks and Saucony shoes is quite comparable.
Even so, Brooks shoes have a more impressive lifespan. On average, they last between 300 and 500 miles. This depends on various factors, such as your running style and terrain. If durability is your topmost consideration, Brooks is the best brand for you.
On the other hand, Saucony also makes very durable running shoes. They say that their shoes last about 400 miles which is impressive but not as with Brooks. It is worth noting that the new Endorphin Pro by Saucony, which is more of a racing shoe, has a carbon fiber plate, and as such, it only lasts about 200 miles.
Comfort and Fit
Comfort is a personal experience. It all depends on how the wearer feels in terms of how well a shoe fits, tightness or looseness, and whether there are pinch areas.
Saucony shoes give a more responsive fit. This brand focuses on the overall feel, and as such, they pay more attention to support and cushion. The bottom of Saucony running shoes is well-padded with additional cushioning. However, they have a more rigid structure.
Brooks shoes are famous for having a wider toe box. This makes them an excellent choice for people with wide feet. If you prefer a secure, tight fit, go for Saucony; but if you like a little wiggle room, Brooks is the brand for you.
Comfort and fit for both brands are reasonable depending on whether you prefer wide-toed shoes or normal fitting ones.
Brooks running shoes deliver stellar cushioning. This is attributable to the two types of cushioning they use; DNA LOFT and BioMoGo DNA. DNA LOFT offers soft cushioning that molds into your stride and running speed.
Brooks BioMoGo DNA also molds into your stride and running speed, but in addition, it gives a more balanced experienced thanks to the spring. Brooks Glycerin 19 is one of the best-cushioned running shoes in the market.
Saucony shoes are also well-cushioned thanks to the PWRRUN tech that delivers better cushioning than the regular EVA Foam. In addition, PWRRUN makes Saucony’s shoes lighter, more flexible, and durable. One of Saucony’s most cushioned running shoes is the Triumph 19.
In terms of cushioning, these two brands do not disappoint, and they rank equal.
Brooks and Saucony running shoes cost almost the same price. Most Brooks shoes range between $100 -$160. When it comes to Saucony, their price starts a bit higher at $110 – $150. This is with the exemption of the Endorphin line, which costs about $250 depending on the edition.
For such a price range and the average number of miles each delivers, we can say that both Saucony and Brooks give an absolute value for money.
As is evident above, there’s a lot that both brands offer in their running shoes. After having an in-depth look at the features of both brands, it’s pretty clear why Saucony and Brooks are some of the top running shoe brands you can find.
If you are a lover of technology, Saucony is the best brand for you. You will most likely get something new and different in each Saucony running shoe model. If you also prefer a great fit and superior midsole cushioning and comfort, this shoe delivers precisely that.
Brooks running shoes have a wide toe box. They also deliver a reliable outsole experience and durability. For all the other features, you can toast a coin, and whether you choose Brooks or Saucony, you will get a great shoe whether you are in the market for stability, neutral, or motion control.
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.