Saucony VS Brooks: Which Is Better?

As an avid runner looking to invest in a new pair of quality performance shoes, I set out to compare two leading brands – Saucony and Brooks.

With over a century of shoe-making expertise each, both companies have carved out reputations for crafting comfortable kicks that go the distance.

But how exactly do these brands stack up across factors like fit, feel, durability, and versatility? Read on as I break it down.

Comparison Table Between Saucony And Brooks:

Founded1898 1914
Comfort & FitComfortable with snug heel fitSignature cushioned feel from DNA LOFT foam
Color OptionsWide range of colorwaysMore limited color selection
DurabilityDurable carbon rubber outsolesLess durable outsoles prone to wear
PerformanceInnovative technologies like PWRRUN+GuideRails support system for stability
Design & StyleClassic sporty look with some bold colors/printsClean and modern aesthetic
PopularityPopular with moderate followingVery popular among recreational runners
Best Selling ModelEndorphin Speed 3Adrenaline GTS

Saucony Overview:

Saucony has been crafting high-quality athletic shoes since 1898 when the brand was founded in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.

Known for their cushioned and supportive fit, Saucony running shoes are designed to provide versatility for runners of all levels.

They incorporate features like PWRRUN+ midsole foam, FORMFIT uppers, and Everun in the outsole to deliver a smooth, flexible ride.

Saucony offers a wide range of pronation control options like their neutral, stability, and motion control shoes.

Their shoes also accommodate different arch types with models featuring low to high arch support.

While the average price point is around $100, Saucony has options spanning from $55 for basic models to $275 for their top designs.

They have a classic, sleek aesthetic that works for athletic training as well as casual everyday use. Saucony is a brand with broad appeal across the running community.

One of their popular model Kinvara is a light, flexible shoe perfect for tempo runs and racing. For runners seeking a reliable, well-cushioned workhorse of a shoe, Saucony delivers quality and performance.

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.

Major Differences Between Saucony & Brooks Shoes

Comfort & Fit

When it comes to comfort and fit, both Saucony and Brooks cater to neutral runners with standard arches looking for a balanced cushioned ride. They offer plenty of shoes with ample padding around the collar and tongue for next-to-skin softness.

However, Saucony tends to fit more narrowly through the midfoot and heel compared to Brooks’ more rounded roomy toe boxes. This can make Brooks the winner for runners with wider feet.

Also Check Out: Brooks VS Kuru: Which Is Better?

Durability & Performance

Saucony edges out Brooks when it comes to durability and resilience. Their shoes incorporate serious protective features like thick carbon rubber overlays along high wear areas of the outsole which enhance traction and greatly slow signs of deterioration.

They also play with more durable lightweight compounds like PWRRUN+ in their midsole vs the DNA LOFT cushioning Brooks relies more uniformly on across models.


Mid-tier daily trainers from both brands typically sit right around the $100-150 price point before being marked down. However, Saucony offers greater variety on the higher and lower ends of the spectrum.

Their top designs utilize things like carbon fiber plates for propulsion coming in upwards of $200+. Yet they also court more budget-conscious joggers through their perennially affordable Ride ISO model at just $120.

Also Check Out: Kuru VS Hoka: Which Is Better?

Design & Style

Saucony shoes have more of a classic sporty look that features prominent structured overlays and traditional engineered mesh fabrics across the upper. While the brand has cleaned up the aesthetic over the years, they still play things relatively safe from a creative standpoint outside occasional colorful pops.

Brooks on the other hand channels a little more personality into modern sleeker silhouettes using things like printed knit uppers and lifestyle-inspired color palettes.


When comparing popularity, Brooks has a slight edge over Saucony thanks to their meteoric rise initiating the exclusively running shoe company boom. They’ve cultivated an obsessive cult following around beloved neutral shoes like the Ghost and Adrenaline GTS.

While Saucony maintains plenty mainstream visibility and a loyal cadre of wearers who flock to models like the Triumph ISO and Guide, their influence doesn’t feel quite as ubiquitous as Brooks.

Also Check Out: Brooks vs La Sportiva sneakers: Which Is Better?

Target Market

The target market for both Saucony and Brooks is relatively experienced runners logging decent weekly mileage in pursuit of things like training for marathons or improving PR times.

These athletes prioritize quality over flash but still appreciate purposeful design elements that support biomechanics. Saucony may skew slightly younger catering more actively to high school and college racers as well. Casual runners focused purely on recreation over performance represent more secondary audiences.

Performance Comparison

For Nurses

With all the running around nurses do during long shifts, their feet take a beating. Brooks is likely the superior choice thanks to cushioning technologies like DNA LOFT that remain lively hour after hour.

The GuideRails support system also promotes stability on tired legs. For extra relief at the end of the day, Brooks’ footbeds tend to be more generously padded as well.

For Walking

As a lower impact activity, walking permits bulker and heavier shoes that prioritize outright comfort over ground feel. In this case Brooks pulls ahead through their commitment plush cushioning from heel to toe optimized for stride after stride of pavement pounding.

Signature technologies like their DNA LOFT and BioMoGo midsole compounds maintain comfort mile after mile with an adaptive quality Saucony can’t quite match.

For Running

When it comes to pure running performance, Saucony stands out as the winner. Technologies like PWRRUN+ and PWRRUN PB equip Saucony shoes with exceptional shock attenuation and energy return crucial for logging long miles at faster paces across varied terrain.

Saucony also innovates more dynamically season after season when it comes to introducing new shoe silhouettes geared expressly for committed runners rather than casual gym goers.

For Flat Feet

Runners with flat feet require well-cushioned shoes that provide stability and pronation support. In this regard, Brooks offers better options specifically tailored to overpronators compared to Saucony.

GuideRails technology helps lock the heel in place and prevent excess inward rolling through each step. Saucony-neutral shoes work well enough thanks the cushioning but lack dynamic guides.

For Back Pain

Back pain relief calls for flexible low-profile shoes that grant feet the ability to move and expand naturally without restriction. Saucony’s low heel-to-toe offset combined with anatomical FORMFIT upper construction gives the advantage when running or walking.

Segmented crash pads also allow for fluid transition through foot strike. In contrast, some excessively structured Brooks models almost overcorrect movement mechanics which could potentially aggravate back issues.

For Standing All Day

Nurses and retail workers spending long hours on their feet require lightweight durable shoes with ample cushioning and arch support. For these demands, both brands offer similarly suitable options like Saucony’s Grid Omni Walker or the Addiction Walker from Brooks.

The Brooks may have a slight edge when factoring in their wicking linings and microfiber sock liners that fight odor over time. But either present comprises a comfortable choice.

For High Arches

High arches demand proper cushioning and support through the midsole. Here Brooks pulls ahead by incorporating superb arch reinforcement into choices like the Beast or Aduro models.

GuideRails technology also helps control pronation stemming from the ankle rolling inward. And their plush extended saddle wraps securely under the arches better than Saucony’s ISO lacing system that leaves some exposed gaps.

For Hiking

When heading out on rocky tricky trails, grip and stability take precedence over lightweight responsiveness. And Brooks comes out the winner in this case thanks to their durable grippy TrailTack rubber compound layered across thick lugged outsoles.

The Cascadia model provides excellent traction and underfoot protection mile after mile over uneven ground. Comparatively, Saucony shoe treads show signs of wear much faster when subjected to more abrasive surfaces.

Also Check Out: Brooks VS Merrel: Which Is Better?

For Plantar Fasciitis

The acute pain of plantar fasciitis requires proper arch support and ample cushioning through the heel. Here Brooks emerges as the shoe of choice thanks to rearfoot stability mechanisms and extended saddle construction that provide dynamic arch-gripping assistance.

Technologies like GuideRails also control pronation so the plantar fascia ligaments relax under reduced strain. Saucony offers adequate stability but foam compression may be an issue.

Final Verdict

In the battle between Saucony and Brooks running shoes, there’s no clear cut winner as each brand brings unique strengths catering to different priority areas. If you’re focused strictly on running pursuits in pursuit of PRs and ramping up weekly mileage, Saucony offers superior responsiveness and lively cushioning technology.

Where Saucony also shines is durability over the long haul thanks to fortified abrasion-resistant outsole construction. However, Brooks rises to the challenge when it comes to lifestyle usage beyond competitive running, offering adaptable comfort, support for biomechanical issues like overpronation, and modern sleek styling with wide appeal.

So whilst Saucony channels more performance spirit, the versatile comfort-driven approach from Brooks proves just as compelling for runners valuing accessibility and inclusive design.

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