Last Updated on April 2, 2022 by Jim Kein Kein
Most runners’ choices in running shoes will be limited to either Nike or Brooks. While both brands offer their own strengths and weaknesses, Brooks’s focus is on stability and comfort, whereas Nike offers less support with a roomier toe box.
Brooks is arguably the most popular brand of running footwear in the world and Nike is one of the most ubiquitous brands. Brooks has been revolutionizing running over the last few years and has been doing a particularly good job at it, quickly becoming a recognizable name.
Since you can only wear one pair of shoes at a time, which pair might you prefer from the many premium quality ones that each company produces? Both companies are incredibly well-known for the line of footwear they produce; however, this does not necessarily mean that both types of products are created equal.
Overview Of The Brooks
For over a century now, Brooks has focused on designing and creating all sorts of running-related shoes, from footwear to rain boots. Starting in 1972, just before Frank Shorter won the Olympic Marathon, Brooks has been releasing popular running sneakers and bringing runners everywhere their first taste of modern comfort with their innovative technologies.
Brooks decided to focus solely on making running shoes that runners love and need instead of branching out into an assortment of footwear. Using a combination of their award-winning technology, analytics on what real runners like you have been looking for, and the insights from their loyal fan base, and they made sure their new products were well-cushioned but responsive and comfortable. And most importantly, the shoes had a wide toe-box for runners who could appreciate those features in their daily routines.
Overview Of Nike
Nike began in 1964 when Bill Bowerman was getting requests for cushioned running shoes from University of Oregon runners. So he decided to fashion some out of waffles, which got the ball rolling on the new business. Nike Air technology is named after the air pockets that Bowerman used in his shoe design. He partnered with Phil Knight to create Nike, and they released “Nike Cortez”, one of the first shoes with any kind of cushioning at all.
Nike, the makers of footwear and athletic apparel, stayed in the game by tapping into a specific niche that others overlooked. Nike has been an innovator not only within the realm of running shoes but also in branching out to clothing, devices, and accessories specifically designed with a runner’s every need topmost. Nike products are known for their superior technology and comfort as an added bonus. They’ve continued to be ahead of the curve when it comes to listening to not just what their runners want from a shoe but actually listening to what they have to say about all their products!
Nike sneakers are supposed to be the epitome of cool, right? There is one common problem – they don’t always fit! Shoes don’t seem to vary in size and neither do runners’ feet. As a result, Nike’s shoes vary greatly – everyone prefers something different. Nike makes the whole range – from snug and responsive to super cushy, from minimalist to maximalist. Take time to get fit properly because there are differences everywhere! For example, the Vapor 9.5 Men’s Running Shoe has a slim silhouette making it ideal for runners with narrow feet or high arches. The AF1 Sage Women’s Shoe is also narrower than average and will conform better to women who like to wear their sneakers tight fitting.
Let’s look into some specific shoe details of both Nike and Brooks.
Brooks shoes feature several technological advances to help provide stability, support and shock absorption for runners. One such advancement is the use of engineered mesh, which is an interwoven fabric that offers support and flexibility. Another tech used in Brooks shoes is called Fit Knit, which is a seamless design made of high-quality materials that contours well to your foot. Some models may also include 3D Fit Print, a lightweight material that provides even more support by locking your foot into place while allowing you to move freely.
Ghost GTX shoes are equipped with water-repelling GORE-TEX in the sole and outsole. They’ve also got 3D Ultralight cushioning foam that absorbs shock and helps prevent injury. The Brooks brand’s shoes feature fully breathable uppers so runners will stay comfortable and cool during their races. Their synthetic overlays are flexible, reducing the risk of blisters and rubbing. And their innersoles conform to runners’ feet for a custom fit that eliminates jamming or chafing.
The new Nike Flyknit material is used in the upper of the shoe, and is designed with a knitted, sock-like fit which makes the shoes breathable unlike other boots. Nike Flywire and Dynamic Fit technology are both incorporated into these elements of the shoes design (DRC), which provide additional support to the wearer’s foot by pulling around the ankle and midfoot areas. This is your “arch support” and kind of like how socks pull against your foot by means of tightening your laces!
Brooks shoes feature DNA and BioMoGo midsoles. The former is a unique EVA foam which adapts to the individual’s foot pressure and disperses force throughout the sole of your shoe. This type of mid sole – or cushioning – is designed to give runners and walkers a healthier option in footwear, while upgrading their footsteps with bouncier and springier soles that feel as if they’ve been custom made for them.
The evolution continues with our BioMoGo midsole technology. Embedded within this special cushion is a micro-organism that actually eats away at certain molecules within the material so that it can grow inside your shoe like a mini petri dish! Over time you’ll notice the foam molding to your exact shape without ever falling out of balance, and adjusting itself perfectly to your movement patterns whether you’re walking, running or working out (as it’s all part of daily life!)
These shoes are lightweight and allow for a smooth transition from heel to toe like a sewing machine. They have sensors that react to the person wearing them, monitoring their running style, stride and weight. The sensors then react by changing to align with the way you’re running. The sensors are made of copper wiring, which heats up before it reacts. Once the heat rises above 140 degrees F, which only takes 0.1 seconds, they activate the cushioning that’s needed in each step.
Nike midsoles are at the center of an exciting revolution. They are built around ZoomX foam, which is lightweight and springy. Zoom pods have been combined with Nike React technology in some shoes, which will give you a bouncy and responsive ride. Depending on the type of Nike shoe, you could even find a full-length Zoom bag, for extra spring.
However, in terms of innovation, it’s important to keep in mind that simply making a structure lighter does not make for a good improvement. Nike has introduced carbon fiber plates into their shoe’s midsole which improve running efficiency especially among elite runners capable of speeds over 10 miles per hour. The plates have also raised questions about what a shoe should and should not be able to do. They have led the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) to revise their regulations on shoes worn by runners during races but still insist that they must weigh at least 200 grams or 0.44 pounds.
Brooks shoes feature outsoles that are thick, blown rubber with flex grooves in the forefoot. The flex grooves provide flexibility, while keeping your foot moving naturally and providing a better toe-off. Brooks’s Podular technology is featured on some of their shoes, which offers even more flexibility by creating special pods where stress is typically most concentrated, reducing impact and stress on your joints.
In order to make the most out of your running experience and get the most out of your time spent on running, Brooks has created sections in their soles which are much firmer. These special sole-enhancers encourage a more responsive feel which helps you be less fatigued so that you can run longer and harder over the long-term. Some of the company’s shoes also feature a thick heel made from robust carbon accumulation, which makes it possible for them to take much more abuse than usual.
Nike outsoles come in a variety of choices depending on the type of movement and support required. Carbon rubber is commonly used since it’s lightweight and sturdy, but they can also be made using fiberglass if you want something a bit more flexible. The segmented grooves are placed along with flex grooves on the outsole so that the shoe will be able to mimic your foot’s natural range of motion, which is an important factor for optimal functionality in any athletic shoe.
The outsole of the shoe needs to be rigid and meant for rigorous use, but it needs to come in more than one way. Some are designed with a harder rubber compound, but others will have softer and spongier materials which cushions the impact that can be felt through the foot during everyday activities.
At the end of the day, we all agree that there isn’t a truly superior brand for running shoe manufacturing: each brand has its own unique strengths and belief which it implements into each and every one of its products. This is why it’s important to think about your feet and what you want out of a certain pair of shoes before you decide on making the purchase.
The one aspect which must take priority is: what type of shape do your feet fall under? Narrow-footed runners will benefit from a Nike option, while wider footed athletes might prefer to buy a Brooks pair. Other things that can be considered are: how much cushioning or support do you need?