Since Brooks and Asics are the most popular running shoes in the market, we would like to compare Brooks vs Asics and guide you to a clear decision of Brooks or Asics. We have worn both brands and the quality and the performance outputs of their running shoes excel the others.
To begin with, both Brooks and Asics produce highly recognizable running shoes and they are mainly focused on the customer feedbacks and technological innovations to deliver comfier, lighter and faster running shoes. So, if you are asking Brooks or Asics, you are in the right place! Any other shoe company except these two may not satisfy you. The following chart, we have put together will help you to understand their design intention better and compare Brooks vs Asics:
|Top Selection Running Shoe||Type of Shoe||Our Score||Our Selection for||Drop – mm (M/W)||Weight – gr (M/W)||CampArest Review|
|Asics Gel Kayano 28||Stability Shoe||91/100||Top Stability||10, 13||308, 258||In-depth Review|
|Asics Gel Nimbus 23||Neutral Shoe||90/100||Top Comfort||10, 13||309, 260||In-depth Review|
|Asics Gel Cumulus 23||Neutral Shoe||93/100||Best for Average Runner||10||280, 230||In-depth Review|
|Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22||Stability Shoe||92/100||Great Stability||12||289, 258||In-depth Review|
|Brooks Glycerin 20||Neutral Shoe||87/100||Great Comfort||10||290, 255||In-depth Review|
|Brooks Ghost 14||Neutral Shoe||92/100||Great for Average Runner||10||286, 250||In-depth Review|
|Brooks Launch 9||Neutral Shoe||88/100||Best Budged Speed Trainer||10||232/201||In-depth Review|
|Brooks Levitate 5||Neutral Shoe||85/100||Best Bouncy & Energy Return||8||292/260||In-depth Review|
|Brooks Revel 5||Neutral Shoe||92/100||Best Do-it-all||8||249/220||In-depth Review|
|Brooks Beast 20||Severe Pronation||82/100||Extreme Support||12||332/300||Brooks Beast vs Adrenaline GTS|
|Brooks Addiction GTS 15||Severe Pronation||82/100||Best for Heavy Body Weights||12||346/315||In-depth Review|
Related Article: Best Brooks Running Shoes post!
So, here is your question. Which one is better? Is Brooks better than Asics? Of course, we have a personal preference. But before claiming Brooks or Asics, we strongly recommend reading to understand the main difference between them!
Brooks vs Asics Running Shoes THe Main Differences
There are large variety of running shoes produced by both Brooks and Asics. Therefore, understanding the main difference will help you to choose correct running shoe. The key differences between Brooks and Asics are the fit, midsole structure, cushioning technology and their approach to the stability:
Generally speaking, Asics running shoes have snugger fit than the Brooks running shoes in the midfoot and heel. But, Brooks offers roomier toe-box.
Asics uses GEL technology in the midsole for over 30 years. It still works fine and gives a great dampening. The midsole structure of Brooks is mainly from polyurethane and Brooks continuously developing this material to deliver better running shoes.
The cushioning technologies of both brands are completely different. Asics is traditional, but Brooks implements more innovative technology. Brooks has developed different foam technologies (DNA Loft, DNA Amp etc.) and apply them depending on the running experience you prefer. Asics uses its Flytefoam technology to obtain cushioning in the midsole.
The stability running shoes of Asics use classic medial post design and Asics has standalone stability models like Gel Kayano. However, Brooks removed the medial post design from its stability running shoes. They are implementing GuideRails technology to obtain stability models. Also, Brooks has stability models in each running shoe category. Glycerin GTS (cushion), Adrenaline GTS (cushion), Launch GTS (speed) and Levitate GTS (energy return) are some of Brooks stability running shoes in different running experience type. Since the main contributor of stability is the midsole design & material, you can check out Midsole Review section of this post for your running shoes stability related questions.
Running Experience Types – Categorization
Both Brooks and Asics offer their running shoes in four categories. Although, there are highly bouncy Asics models out there, there is no standalone Energize models in Asics family, but Brooks does have.
Asics Running Experience Types:
Brooks Running Experience Types:
As we mentioned before, Asics have a distinct stability category (the Gel-Kayano Model), whereas, Brooks offers stability running shoe in each of its running experience type. Therefore, if you see GTS (Go-to-support) in any Brooks running shoes, this is the stability version of the corresponding category. So, Brooks offers cushioned stability shoe, energizing stability shoe and speed stability shoe.
Key Features: Brooks vs Asics Running Shoes
The following info graphic is from Huffington Post which displays the anatomy of a running shoe. It would be better to take a look at it to understand the parts of running shoe before going any further. Then, we will be comparing the Key Features of Brooks vs Asics.
Now, let’s focus on the in-depth comparison of Brooks vs Asics starting from Upper & Fit, Midsole and Outsole construction:
UPPER and Fit Review
Speaking of fit, the Asics shoes have snugger fit than Brooks. Especially, Brooks running shoes are wider in toe box. Therefore, Brooks recommends going up a half size compared to your normal shoe size.
For the online purchasing, we strongly encourage you to take a look at the Brooks’ Own Shoe Finder Tool in the Amozon.com. This tool will guide you very well for a clear decision making about the fit and running type experience.
The midfoot and heel of Asics running shoes are tighter in general. Asics presents FluidFit in their shoes which hugs your foot and keep it in place via elastic and non-elastic mesh. On the other hand, Brooks uses 3D Fit Print mesh structure in the upper. Both technologies are pretty much good in locking and conforming the foot shapes.
Brooks mainly focused on the flexibility and the weight reduction on the upper construction. The engineered mesh upper is stretchy (highly flexible), covers the feet well and it is durable. Nowadays, both Brooks and Asics offers sock like fit models. The sock liners are perfectly comfortable and by the help of soft collars of Brooks, it is exceptionally plush. You can check out our in-depth Brooks Levitate review for a sock-like fit example.
Speaking of Breathability, the upper of the shoe is extremely important. In this case, Brooks offers two different type of design in their running shoes. The first one is the Engineered Mesh upper which is a woven material that is stretchy and structurally a little stiff. The second is the Fit Knit Upper which is extremely stretchy. You can check out our in-depth Brooks Revel review for Fit-Knit Upper. The Fit-Knit upper allows highly comfortable movement but feels loosen when downhill. Asics offers Engineered Mesh upper as well in their products.
The main difference between the midsole of Brooks and Asics is the material and its construction. For instance, Brooks uses polyurethane insoles, whereas, Asics has the GEL in midsole. This is what makes the huge difference between these two brands.
Depending on the running experience you seek, Brooks offers different technology in the midsole. All of them are fine considering the purpose of use. As an example, the DNA AMP midsole returns up to 20% more energy in energize category running shoes (Levitate) compared to the its contenders on the market.
Asics uses gel pockets in the midsole (in the forefoot and heel), this creates a smoot transition and reduces the heel strike. Frankly, Asics’ Gel technology works perfectly well on dampening. But considering the energy return, bouncy feeling and cushioning, it lags behind Brooks’ DNA technology.
Similar to DNA Amp midsole of Brooks, Asics has Flytefoam. Principle is the same, but it gives less energy return compared to DNA AMP. Plus side, the Flytefoam is lighter than the DNA Amp and it is highly durable as well.
About the Stability, Brooks implements its GuideRails Technology on their shoes. The GuideRails prevent pronation too far in one direction and excess ankle movement. It is less noticeable compared to the conventional stability elements. The GuideRails aligns your stride when it is needed. Check out following video for Brooks GuideRails Technology:
Therefore, you can conclude that the stability shoes of Brooks does not fix it but help guide and stabilize your stride. Extended progressive diagonal roll-bar of Brooks is a great feature, if you are an over-pronator and spend a lot of time on your feet.
The Asics mindset considering the stability is completely different than Brooks. Asics establish the stability by implementing traditional medial post which is called Duomax. They reduce the stress on foot by changing the density of the foam (inner midsole have higher density). Their external heel counter also helps to support natural foot movement. It locks and keep your heel firmly in place.
So, which one is more stable, Brooks or Asics? If you do not have any excessive over-pronation, then we would recommend Brooks stability shoes (GTS versions). Brooks stability shoes do not interfere the natural movement of your stride and most widely used stability model of Brooks is the Adrenaline GTS line. For severe pronation, we recommend Brooks Men’s Beast (Women’s Counterpart is Ariel).
In case of severe pronation, Asics stability shoes are straight forward. They classified their stability shoes as little support, structured cushioning (mild over-pronators – a bit more support), and max support for excessive over-pronation.
On the other hand, Brooks offers two versions for each running shoe lines. So, you can find both stability/support and neutral running shoe in each model.
Considering the outsole, both Brooks and Asics have rubber based material on it. ASICS High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) and AHAR+ are highly durable and give great traction.
Brooks implements pure rubber on entire outsole. However, Asics splits the outsole into rearfoot and forefoot via Trusstic System. This is a stability feature at the middle of outsole, which prevents the twisting of shoe and creates lateral stability of the running shoe.
Brooks removed the medial post and instead they implement dual arch pod to increase the stability. It still gives fairly enough stability but more importantly, it increases the forefoot flexibility.
Brooks or Asics: Key Points
The life expectancy of a running shoe is a trade of between the weight vs durability. In this case, Brooks is more durable than the Asics. Based on the past trials, Asics tend to produce lightweight shoes. As a result of this, durability problems have been reported in the field. On the other hand, Brooks’ engineered mesh upper is both durable and flexible. It is also getting lighter.
Based on the statements from the companies;
- Brooks claims their running shoes have a life expectancy of a range from 300 to 500 miles.
- Asics recommend replacing their shoes in between 450 to 550 miles.
Asics offers 1 year warranty for the manufacturing defects but not for wear and tear. This is so sad right! Frankly, Brooks has True Blue Guarantee! You can return Brooks running shoes in 90-day trial period.
At the end, we did not encounter with any durability issues with both brands. However, the actual life expectancy of a running shoe is totally depending on your weight, gait and type of the terrain you are running (trail or road).
Although both Asics and Brooks offer great cushioned models, Brooks superiors the Asics. Brooks mainly focused on plush feel and super soft transitions in their running shoes.
Both Brooks and Asics implemented the OrthoLite Sockliners in most of their shoes. The OrthoLite Sockliners is actually a moisture barrier between foot and shoe. It also provides a plush feel. You can see an example of OrthoLite Sockliner from the photo below.
Credit for photo: ortholite.com
We already mentioned about Asics’ FlyteFoam and Brooks DNA Amp. But there are other technologies that have been used by these companies to obtain cushioning.
The softest material of Brooks is DNA Loft and along with the BioMoGo DNA, Brooks creates really smooth heel to toe transition. The DNA Loft gives both comfort and protection together. It is a combination of rubber, air, and foam. It is extremely soft and durable. The BioMoGo blends the DNA cushioning into the midsole instead of using inserts. It adapts to the surface you run on.
Here is the full list of cushioning material developed and being used by Brooks:
- DNA LOFT: This is the softest midsole cushioning of the Brooks. It is a combination of EVA foam, rubber and air.
- DNA AMP: This material offers highest energy return and it is super springy. It is being used in energize models of the Brooks, which are intended to propels you forward. The DNA AMP is stiffer than the DNA LOFT.
- BioMoGo DNA: This material is in between the DNA Loft and DNA AMP. So, it is not as soft as DNA Loft but neither as stiff as the DNA AMP.
- DNA Flash: You should not expect the plush feeling of the DNA Loft from DNA Flash but it gives the lightest cushioning out there. Brooks uses the DNA Flash (nitrogen-infused cushioning) in their fastest racing running shoes (Example: Hyperion Tempo Men’s & Women’s).
On the Asics’s side, they implement Flytefaom technology to obtain cushioning. This material provides bounce back and highly responsive. Comparing the energy return of Brooks vs Asics, the Flytefoam of Asics provides less energy return than Brooks’ DNA Loft & DNA AMP. However, from the shock absorption standpoint, the GEL technology of the Asics works very well more than 30 years. It is placed in both rearfoot and forefoot and it cuts the effect of shear force in each step.
The prices are very similar for Brooks and Asics. But it is possible to find an Asics shoe below $100. Especially, the high-end running shoes of both company goes up to $160. The good thing is, the last year’s models are always comes with a huge discount. Therefore, we usually recommend checking the clearance (Asics’ Clearance on Amazon) for the last year’s models. It is good to note that some of the features we mentioned in this post may not exist in the clearance models. So, please pay attention to this before making your decision.
Latest Online Rates for Brooks and Asics
You can check out the following links to see the latest rates on Amazon.com and compare Brooks vs Asics from pricing stand point.
Asics Rates for:
Brooks Rates for:
- Adrenaline GTS (Cushion & Support)
- Ghost (Cushion)
- Glycerin (Cushion & Support)
- Beast / Ariel (Extreme Support)
- Launch (Speed Work)
- Revel (Energy Return – Springy)
- Levitate (Energy Return –Springy)
- Dyad (Flat Feet)
- Addiction (Flat Feet)
- Addiction Walker (Flat Feet)
Bottom-line for Brooks vs Asics:
We compared and tried to explain the differences between Brooks and Asics. We learned the technology and the design points of each brand. Now, you can make a clear decision for Brooks or Asics.
Although we rotate them too often and use them both, our personal preference is to go with Brooks Running Shoes instead of Asics.
Brooks implements innovative approaches to their running shoes depending on the running experience types. After all, they offer comfier, lighter and more supportive shoes. You can find tons of color options in the Brooks running shoes as well. The best thing about this company is 90-days return policy for online purchasing.
Asics technological improvements are fine as well. They are mainly focused on developing variants of Flytefoam. Compared to the Brooks, Asics has a tighter fit in general and you can assume they usually implement traditional technologies in their running shoes.
Brooks has different cushioning technologies, the DNA foam has multiple variants (activity specific). Each experience type (Brooks’ categorization of Running Shoes) uses different type of DNA foam variant. Therefore, it serves better than traditional FyteFoam of Asics.
We like the mindset of Brooks for the Stability running shoe. They do not completely fix the pronation issue, but they guide your stride perfectly. If you have an excessive over-pronation, than the Asics Gel-Kayano is a good option. If you do not have severe pronation, pick the Brooks Adrenaline GTS!
How to Choose the Best Running Shoe?
Both Asics and Brooks have several products which offer different type of fit, stability, cushioning, and responsiveness. You can order multiple running shoes at once and try them. Both Brooks and Asics give great importance to customer satisfaction. What we recommend is to rotate several running shoes, until you find the best running shoes for your gait and foot shape or you can check our Best Running Shoes for Men & Women Article to make a clear decision.
If you are addicted to Brooks running shoes and wondering the Best Brooks Running Shoes – check this out.
If you are a Trail Runner or a Hiker, the following guides may help you to pick correct pairs:
If you already pick your running shoes, I will strongly encourage you to find a solid running smartwatch to record your daily performance. I recommend considering the Garmin Forerunner 55 Series, if you are looking for dedicated running watch.