>3/3/14: Shoe Review - The Brooks Transcend

When a product of any kind, be it a prototype high-tech running shoe, carbon-fiber shaped Super-G ski or zero-emissions race car with 500+ horsepower, is launched, the little kid inside can’t help but get that giddy feeling.  The simple thrills a new running shoe can give you--speed, responsiveness, nimbleness, mobility, power, excitement--never, ever gets old, no matter whether you’re a running newbie or have been at it for 30 years or more.  Brooks’ new debut, the Transcend, offers those simple thrills to the little kid inside us all, and it does so in spades and then some.

Launched this February, the new Brooks Transcend is a wonderful debut designed to delight anyone suffering from the doldrums of winter.  Its design hails Brooks’ long-lived Trance line and simultaneously gives us a potential harbinger of the future of things to come from Brooks Running. The Transcend’s bright colors and trendy appearance definitely scream “fun,” but the truth is that this shoe is also packed with all the aforementioned elements of a great running shoe.  Yes, it possesses an 8mm drop from heel to toe and feels fairly (alright, extremely) lightweight (albeit at 12.2 oz for men and 10.1 oz for women), but don’t confuse it with a minimalist shoe--the Transcend has the stability and cushioning of a Saucony Hurricane, Asics Kayano and Brooks Trance.  That said, it’s obvious that with the 8mm heel-to-drop and slightly curved heel that favors a hair more of a mid foot strike. The Transcend might also appeal to minimalist runners who wish to retain that “natural” feel they crave but want more cushioning, responsiveness, or flat-out performance from their running shoe.

With the new Transcend, Brooks debuts its new midsole material, a substance they call SuperDNA.  BioMogo, the material used in most of their products, is absolutely terrific, but SuperDNA has the potential to be even better. It’s tough but lightweight, and responsive yet durable.  In fact, the SuperDNA was so tough and responsive that in running on both asphalt and cement it was difficult to discern which surface I was running on--and that’s very, very indicative of how good a midsole material is, especially at high speeds (or if you’re like me, mostly moderate speeds).  Additionally, the new Transcend features Brooks’ new stability device, something Brooks has dubbed Guide Rails.  Medial posting for stability has worked well for many, many years, but Brooks’ new Guide Rails seemed to work just as well.  I over pronate, and felt no strain of any kind on any of my joints during any of my test runs with the Transcend--and that in turn is also very indicative of how well the stability works in a running shoe.

The Transcend is a virtual tour-de-force that reminds me of how fun and how performance-oriented a running shoe, even a high-cushioned stability shoe, can be.  The Transcends’ nimbleness, quickness, responsiveness, stability, control and lightweight feel are nothing short of remarkable, and it makes this particular author very, very excited for the future of Brooks Running.   

This shoe is available now at our Boston, Brookline, Wellesley, Melrose and Mansfield locations. Call ahead to confirm sizing.

If you'd like to purchase this shoe, be sure to click here and fill out a form with our convenient Send Me Shoes program.

A few parting facts from the good people over at Brooks Running...