Two of the most popular running shoe companies are Saucony and Brooks. But, deciding between Saucony vs Brooks can be tricky because both of these brands of running shoes can seem fairly similar.
In this article, we will look at the differences between Saucony and Brooks running shoes by doing our very own Saucony vs Brooks running shoe comparison to help you narrow down your search to find the best running shoes for you.
More specifically, we will cover:
- Which Is Better, Saucony Or Brooks Running Shoes?
- Saucony Vs Brooks: The 6 Main Differences
Let’s dive in!
Which Is Better, Saucony Or Brooks Running Shoes?
When beginner runners enter a running shoe store for the first time and are greeted with the colorful wall full of running shoes, they will most likely wonder if Saucony is better than Brooks or vice versa.
It is important to establish that these are both fabulous running shoe brands that design and manufacture great running shoes well suited for many runners.
In fact, both Brooks and Saucony are running shoe brands accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), which speaks to their merit, quality, and design.
Thus, ultimately, there is no definitive, universal way to answer the question of “Which is better, Saucony or Brooks?”
Every runner has a unique body shape, foot structure, running gait, training habits, etc., so the best type and brand of running shoes is highly individualized.
Therefore, our goal in our Brooks vs Saucony running shoe comparison is not really about keeping a tally of the “winner” in each category to crown an overall victor.
Rather, we simply aim to point out the nuanced differences between Brooks and Saucony running shoes to help you identify which brand has characteristics that better align with your personal needs.
Saucony Vs Brooks: The 6 Main Differences
Saucony and Brooks both make a wide range of running shoes geared towards runners of different ability levels, biomechanics, and training habits.
There are Brooks and Saucony shoes for high-mileage runners as well as budget models for entry-level runners.
Therefore, there aren’t any stark differences in the lineup or offerings of running shoes with Brooks vs Saucony.
However, a few characteristics of the shoes, in general, vary slightly.
Saucony running shoes tend to be narrower overall, fitting snugly in the heel and midfoot, with a notably smaller toe box than Brooks.
The toe box also tapers more dramatically rather than being squared off, so if you have a wide forefoot or a bunion, Saucony may be too narrow.
If you have a narrow foot, you might appreciate the narrower fit of the Saucony shoe, particularly in the heel and midfoot.
Saucony running shoes also tend to be very lightweight, which is nice for enhancing speed and helping you feel quick on your feet.
The Saucony running shoe models are frequently updated based on feedback from the Fit Tester program, wherein everyday runners can test Saucony running shoes and provide their opinions and suggestions.
In general, compared to Saucony, most Brooks running shoes feature a wider toe box.
It is also important to mention that Brooks only designs running shoes, so they are super running-focused on their technology, R & D, etc., whereas Saucony manufactures casual shoes as well. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is a difference to point out.
Brooks also promotes their running shoes as being science-driven (usually real runners in wear-testing studies) to accommodate gait rather than correct it.
Keep in mind that there can certainly be models that are exceptions to these tendencies for either brand.
Saucony Vs Brooks Running Shoes: Fit
Probably the most significant difference between Brooks and Saucony running shoes is the general fit of the shoe.
Brooks running shoes typically have a wider toe box to accommodate natural foot splay when you run. This makes Brooks a particularly good option for runners with wide feet, bunions, metatarsalgia, or a more squared forefoot rather than a tapered one.
Saucony running shoes tend to run on the narrow side, so you’ll find a much snugger fit if you do an apples-to-apples comparison of the same size and similar style running shoe between the two brands.
They also often have a slightly lower heel-to-toe drop than Brooks.
The heel-to-toe drop refers to the difference in the thickness or height of the heel relative to the forefoot.
Brooks running shoes have a fairly standard heel-to-toe drop of 10-12mm or so, while Saucony shoes might be closer to 8mm.
A lower heel-to-drop can better mimic natural running and may reduce the tendency to heel strike.
Both Brooks and Saucony have shoe fit finders on their websites to help runners determine how to get a running shoe that fits well and feels comfortable. Here is the Brooks fit finder, and here is the Saucony one.
Saucony Vs Brooks Running Shoes: Cushioning
There are also some differences in the materials used for cushioning with Brooks vs Saucony running shoes.
Brooks shoes utilize one of several different foam materials for the midsole based on the primary purpose of the running shoes (e.g., racing flats versus cushioned trainers).
DNA LOFT is their softest cushioning. It is made from a composite of EVA foam, rubber, and air, so it’s found in their cushioned and maximalist running shoes.
DNA AMP is designed to optimize energy return because it is super springy and much stiffer than DNA LOFT. As a result, it’s ideal for lightweight trainers and speed shoes where you want to maximize forward propulsion.
BioMoGo DNA is the “Goldilocks,” as it lands in the middle of DNA LOFT and DNA AMP and is said to adapt to and accommodate your gait to provide the right support and cushion.
Lastly, DNA Flash provides very little cushioning, so it’s for racing shoes.
Saucony mostly uses its PWRRUN technology for cushioning. It’s touted to be lighter, more flexible, springier, and more durable than EVA foam.
The emphasis with Saucony cushioning is definitely on reducing the weight on the shoe, and the shoes do feel light and fast yet still soft enough.
Saucony Vs Brooks Running Shoes: Stability
Neither Saucony nor Brooks has particularly aggressive stability features in their running shoes.
Saucony adds stability features such as a stiffer TPU heel plate and medial post to control foot positioning, support the arch, and prevent excessive pronation.
Most models in the Brooks lineup have both a neutral and support/stability version, the latter of which are distinguished by the “GTS” in the product name, which stands for “Go-To-Support.”
The GTS versions of Brooks running shoes employ GuideRails Technology, which is designed to balance and support your natural running stride to optimize your degree of pronation.
Instead of being designed to correct your gait, Brooks running shoes are said to accommodate gait.
Saucony Vs Brooks Running Shoes: Feel
Given the difference in fit and cushioning technology, Saucony and Brooks running shoes have a fairly different feel.
Brooks shoes are responsive yet well cushioned for shock and have more permissible natural foot splay due to the wider toe box.
Saucony shoes have a snugger fit, which helps you feel like you have more control and support in the shoe. They also feel lighter and quicker, and your calves might notice the small difference in heel-to-toe drop.
Saucony Vs Brooks Running Shoes: Durability
The durability of running shoes—or how long they will last—depends on the qualities of the materials used and the quality of the construction.
Brooks, like many running shoe companies, recommends replacing their running shoes after 300 to 500 miles (500-800 km) of use, while Saucony recommends replacing shoes every 400 miles.
Ultimately, there’s not much difference in the durability of Saucony vs Brooks running shoes as long as you’re buying similar models from one brand to the next.
Saucony Vs Brooks Running Shoes: Price
Both Brooks and Saucony running shoes are competitively and reasonably priced for the quality of the products, but Saucony running shoes tend to be a bit more expensive.
When it comes to Saucony vs Brooks running shoes, there isn’t a definitive better option for all runners, but the differences may make one brand better than the other for you.
Here are a few Brooks running shoes to check out:
Here are a few Saucony running shoes to check out: