Brooks vs La Sportiva sneakers: Which Is Better?

Brooks and La Sportiva are two popular sneaker brands known for their high-quality, performance-focused footwear. Brooks specializes in running shoes while La Sportiva is renowned for its outdoor and activity-specific shoes. This article compares the key differences between the two brands across comfort, durability, price, style, and intended use.

Comparison Table Between Brooks And LA Sportiva Sneakers

FeaturesBrooksLa Sportiva
Founded In1914 in Michigan, United States1928 in Trento, Italy
Comfort and FitDesigned for comfort during runs and racesCreated for outdoor activities and adaptability on rugged terrains
Color OptionsWide range of color optionsMore limited color options
DurabilityDurable outsoles and materialsHighly durable construction
PerformanceOptimized for running and racesPerformance-driven for outdoor activities
Design and StyleContemporary running shoe stylesSpecialized designs for outdoor activities
PopularityExtremely popular running shoe brandPopular among outdoor enthusiasts
Best Selling ModelAdrenaline GTSLa Sportiva Bushido

Brooks Overview:

Brooks running shoes originated in 1914 in Seattle, Washington when the Brooks Shoe Company was founded. Though it started as a specialty shoe brand, Brooks eventually pivoted to focus on athletic and performance footwear in the 1970s.

Some of the long-running iconic features of Brooks shoes include:

  • BioMoGo DNA: An adaptive midsole foam that provides soft landings followed by firm toe-offs for propulsion.
  • GuideRails: An engineered support system around the midsole to limit excess pronation or inward foot rolling.
  • Flextra: Outsole rubber strategically placed for flexibility where the foot needs to move.
  • Ideal Pressure Zones: Designated cushioned zones on the outsole positioned under important areas.
  • Adjustable saddle: A structured component that customizes midfoot support and fit.
  • HydroFlow: Shock-absorbing cushioning units in the midsole for plush softness.

In addition to catering to regular neutral runners, Brooks offers stability, trail, walking, and casual shoes. Some of their most popular models through the years include the Ghost, Adrenaline GTS, Glycerin, and Ravenna.

With over 100 years of experience, Brooks uses proven technologies and innovations to create high-performance shoes suited for runners of all types.

La Sportiva Overview:

La Sportiva is an Italian footwear company renowned for its technical, high-performance outdoor shoes.

Founded in 1928 by Narciso Delladio and Francesco Casagrande in Trento, Italy, the family-operated company has pioneered innovative sole technologies and construction methods aimed at the unique demands of outdoor activities like hiking, trail running, climbing and mountaineering.

Key innovations include their FriXion rubber outsoles that provide unparalleled grip and control on slippery surfaces, along with shock-absorbing midsoles crafted from ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam and polyurethane (PU).

La Sportiva also incorporates thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) shanks into their midsoles to enhance stability and torsional rigidity. Meanwhile, uppers utilize durable meshes, synthetic leather and abrasion-resistant textiles lined with moisture-wicking linings to keep feet cool, dry and protected.

With trail running models like the Wildcat and Bushido II, La Sportiva delivers secure footing and agility over rugged terrain, while approach shoes like the TX4 and Boulder X excel at scaling rocky faces with their sticky Vibram outsoles.

And innovations like the No-Edge construction on performance climbing shoes enable advanced edging precision. Backed by decades of Italian craftsmanship, La Sportiva continues pushing innovative designs to equip outdoor athletes for any adventure.

Major Differences Between the Brands

Comfort and Fit

Brooks focuses on delivering a smooth, cushioned ride for running while La Sportiva prioritizes a locked-in fit and stability for outdoor activities and unpredictable terrain. Hence, La Sportiva shoes tend to fit snugger while allowing freedom of motion.

Durability and Performance

Both brands use durable materials but La Sportiva sneakers are built to handle more rugged activities, hence using reinforced uppers and super-grippy rubber outsoles. Performance-wise, Brooks targets running efficiency while La Sportiva focuses on traction and control.


Most Brooks sneakers range from $100-$150 while La Sportiva shoes fall between $80-$200 depending on technology used. On average, La Sportiva shoes tend to cost more.

Design and Style

Brooks sneakers come in stylish and contemporary looks befitting urban runners while La Sportiva shoes assume more distinct, specialist designs catered to specific outdoor sports.


Brooks enjoys tremendous popularity and brand recognition among runners while La Sportiva has an ardent following among climbers, mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Target Market

Brooks targets regular fitness runners looking for cushioning and support. La Sportiva specifically caters to outdoor adventurists and extreme athletes who demand grip, precision and robust construction to overcome elements.

Performance Comparison

For Nurses

For nurses who are on their feet all day, Brooks sneakers like the Addiction Walker offer superior arch support, cushioning and slip-resistance. The dual midsoles provide pillowy comfort during long shifts.

However, La Sportiva trail runners like the Ultra Raptor II also deliver reliable traction and shock absorption. Their moisture-wicking linings help keep feet drier too.

Ultimately nurses may appreciate Brooks more for workplace utility, while La Sportiva excels for outdoor excursions.

For Walking

Brooks walking shoes like the Addiction Walker provide excellent shock absorption and midfoot support to reduce fatigue. Their High Energizing Cushioning and segmented crash pad also deliver smooth transitions.

Meanwhile, La Sportiva approach shoes like the TX4 and hiking shoes like the Nucleo High II GTX offer versatile traction for varied terrain during walking adventures, be it paved streets or woodland paths.

So Brooks suits urban walking while La Sportiva excels for off-road exploits.

For Running

With advanced cushioning and targeted support for all pronation types, Brooks specializes in keeping runners comfortable mile after mile. Technologies like GuideRails Support also help reduce injury risk.

Meanwhile, La Sportiva trail runners like the Jackal and Bushido II help grip uneven terrain while providing cushioning to smooth out strides. So Brooks dominates roads while La Sportiva conquers trails.

For Flat Feet

Brooks running shoes like the Beast and Addiction Walker come with optimal arch reinforcement, pronation control and cushioning essential for flat feet. Technologies like Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar also help promote smoother transitions.

La Sportiva trail runners like the Ultra Raptor II and Wildcat also offer quality stability, traction and shock absorption to aid flat-footed runners. However, the Brooks models edge out slightly with better medial arch support.

For Back Pain

Runners with chronic back pain will benefit from Brooks shoes like the Glycerin 19 with DNA LOFT cushioning that attenuates shock impressively. The plush midsoles combined with fluid transitions ease impact for more comfortable mileage.

La Sportiva trail runners like the Akyra also incorporate EVA and TPU midsoles to smooth out strides on bumpy paths. But the Glycerin 19 has slight advantage for road running, while the Akyra redeems over unpredictable trails that can further aggravate backs.

For Standing All Day

For workers and professionals on their feet daily, Brooks has stellar choices like the Addiction Walker and Glycerin 19 with DNA LOFT and triple-layer cushioning to reduce fatigue. Meanwhile their slip-resistant outsoles provide footing security on hard floors.

However, La Sportiva approach shoes like the TX4 also deliver reliable grip thanks to their Vibram soles. And they provide torsional stability during lateral motions while working. So Brooks comfort reigns indoors, but La Sportiva offers versatility for active jobs.

For High Arches

Brooks caters well to high arched-feet with options like the Ravenna and Launch GTS which have midfoot support and adaptive cushioning technologies to attenuate shock. The GuideRails Support also helps control excess motion.

Meanwhile La Sportiva trail running shoes like the Jackal have EVA midsoles that mold comfortably even for rigid high arches while providing terrain adaptability. So for roads, Brooks Ravenna and Launch GTS stabilize better while the Jackal redeems over blazing trails.

For Hiking

For hiking versatile but less technical trails, Brooks Cascadia 16 offers great balance between cushioning and support to cover miles in comfort, aided by their grippy TrailTak outsoles.

But for conquering more advanced mountain paths and scaling rocky ridges, La Sportiva hiking shoes like the Nucleo High II GTX are specially equipped. Their FriXion rubber soles and Impact Brake System provide unrivaled traction over any terrain or gradient. Plus the Gore-Tex waterproofing enables use in any weather.

For Plantar Fasciitis

To alleviate plantar fasciitis pain, Brooks Ghost shoes have the perfect blend of soft BioMoGo DNA cushioning and GuideRails support which attenuate shock very effectively during heel strike and toe off motions.

Comparatively, La Sportiva’s Karacal shoes also utilize EVA and polyurethane midsoles for shock absorption. But the Brooks Ghost 13 edges out slightly with DNA LOFT cushioning that specifically helps ease plantar discomfort over longer miles.

Final Verdict

In summary, while both brands create high-performing and comfortable sneakers, Brooks excels for the general fitness runner with their unparalleled cushioning technologies catered to road running.

La Sportiva sneakers are more specialized for various outdoor activities where grip, stability and foothold over unpredictable terrain take priority in their designs.

So runners looking purely for pavement mileage and training may appreciate Brooks better for the smooth cushioned ride that reduces impact and joint strains.

But for daring off-road adventures, La Sportiva redeems itself as the footwear of choice when traction trumps all on steep ascents or uneven topography.

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