Saucony vs Brooks: Check the 8 Differences before buying

Saucony and Brooks are the best of the best when it comes to shoe brands. Both have been around for over a century and have mastered the art of making running shoes. But which is the best brand for you between these two?

If you are an experienced runner like me, you already have a favorite. Still, things are more complicated for most other runners. The good news is that each brand has its best traits that should make the choice easier.

For instance, Brooks shoes are the best for runners getting started. They fit perfectly and are super comfortable. Saucony is ideal for runners looking for something with lots of technology.

There is still way more to the two brands than this. I have been running for over a decade and have worn several models of the two brands. In this article, I will compare the two from my experience. I will also answer some questions you may have about the brands and compare some of their popular models. So make sure you read to the end!

Saucony vs Brooks: Which is Better?

Saucony vs Brooks Check the 8 Differences before buying

There is no straight answer to this, as it is highly subjective. Both brands have a legion of loyal followers. Their shoes are designed differently. What works for one runner might not be ideal for another.

Brooks focuses more on creating traditional running shoes that just do the job. Their shoes are always super comfortable and with a fantastic fit. They also have some of the most breathable uppers. And the quality of their outsole is hard to beat.

You should always go for Brooks if you want something traditional that you can use on most terrains. The brand is also your best bet if you have wider feet. The extra space on their roomy toe boxes makes a huge difference.

Saucony focuses more on technology. The company has invested heavily in research over the years. Their shoes use tech to create the perfect shoe cushioning. They use different foams and insoles to cater to the runner’s needs.

Saucony shoes are also quite narrow. You should hence choose this brand if you have a standard or narrow foot. It might not fit very well for runners with wider feet.

Saucony vs Brooks:  8 Main Differences

As you compare the two brands, you must remember both have several models in the market. The difference will largely depend on the specific models you look at. Still, here are 8 key differences:

1. Brand Overview

Brooks and Saucony are two of the oldest American footwear brands. Both companies have been in business for over 100 years.

Brooks started its operation in 1914 in Pennsylvania, USA. Initially, the company focused on manufacturing ballet slippers and bathing shoes. They later ventured into the manufacture of shoes for all kinds of sports. Brooks, would, however, start specializing in running shoes in the early 2000s. They dropped off most other products. This gamble has worked greatly. Brooks controlled up to a quarter of the global running shoe market at some point.

Saucony is the older of these two brands. They have been in business since 1898. The company also started in Pennsylvania, USA. They initially focused on making children’s footwear. They, however, shifted to athletic footwear in the mid-1900s as the demand increased. Saucony now has a huge sportswear catalog. It also includes clothing and accessories like hats and backpacks.

2.  Upper Construction

Both brands make running shoes with highly breathable uppers. You never have to worry about sweaty feet, no matter which one you opt for.

The main difference in their upper section is what each company prioritizes. Brooks gives more attention to the toe box. Most of their running shoes have roomy toe boxes. You never have to worry about your toes rubbing on the shoe material.

Saucony focuses more on giving you the best fit. They use FORMFIT technology to ensure the shoe cradles your fit nicely. Saucony also tries to keep the shoe weight as low as possible. They achieve this using their FlexFILM overlay technology.

3. Outsole

As I told you earlier in this article, Brooks keeps their shoe design very traditional. Like any other traditional running shoe, most of their models have rubber outsoles. These soles are one of the things I love about their shoes. They feel almost indestructible.

I have also noticed that the actual sole design you get from Brooks depends on the shoe type. For instance, my Brooks trail shoes also include ballistic rock shields. The shields ensure they will not be hit by any flung rocks when trail running.

With Saucony, it is all about keeping the weight down. Although they also have models with rubber outsoles, the rubber is light. They often use thinner or light gauge rubber to keep the weight down. Most Saucony running shoes I have worn have an XT-900 rubber outsole. They, however, have reinforcements on the high-impact points.

4. Midsole and Cushioning

The overall midsole construction and material choice differ for these two brands. While there is no doubt both are comfortable enough, the feeling is quite different.

Brooks often uses polyurethane insoles for most of their running shoes. They also have various midsoles technologies. You can hence easily choose what suits your running style. Their most common midsoles are the DNA AMP midsoles. These midsoles are known for their higher energy return of up to 20%.

Saucony’s midsole highlight is the PWRRUN Technology. It makes the shoe super comfortable for long runs. This midsole tech creates more dampening. And it provides an extra cushioning layer close to your foot.

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5. Stability and Support

Regarding stability and support, the right shoe for you depends on the type of runner you are and your feet. For instance, runners with foot issues like plantar fasciitis need extra arch support.

Brooks shoes are some of the best for stability. This is thanks to their GuideRails Technology. This technology ensures your stride is always perfectly aligned when the need arises. The guide rails prevent excess ankle movement and pronation in any direction.

Saucony shoes are also quite supportive and stable. They, however, surprisingly use a traditional method to achieve them. Instead of rails like Brooks, their shoes have a TPU Guidance Frame. It still does the job, but I still do not find it as good as what Brooks offers.

6. Durability/Service Life

How long will my running shoes last? 

That is the most common question I get from many upcoming runners. When most look at the price tag of a good running shoe, they want it to last forever. No one imagines spending another $100 or $200 on running shoes every few months.

My answer is always the same. The service life of any top-brand shoe depends on you. How and where you run and care for the shoe determines how long it lasts.

That said, Brooks recommends you replace your running shoes every 300 to 500 miles. Saucony recommends you get a new pair after around 400 miles. You can easily squeeze an extra couple hundred miles from both brands with proper care.

7. Overall Fit

I am slightly biased regarding overall fit because I love the roomy toe box on Brooks’s shoes. The extra toe box space is perfect for my wide feet. While I often still have to go half a size higher, Brooks’s shoes are super cozy.

You are better off with Saucony if you prefer a more snug fit. The brand now uses FORMFIT tech for most of its models. The tech ensures the shoe wraps around the feet for a nice, snug fit. Their shoes also tend to be narrower, which allows a more snug fit, especially around the heel and midfoot.

8. Pricing

These are top brands and some of the best in the world. It should be obvious that their shoes will be costly. Still, for the quality you get, their shoes seem competitively priced. And this is more so compared to other brands.

Prices for both brands start at a little over $100. Brooks’ prices max out at between $160 and $200. Prices for Saucony running shoes can go a little higher than $200. Some models, like those on the Endorphin Line, easily retail for over $250.

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Is Saucony a Good Brand?

Yes! As a runner with many years of trail and track running experience, I can tell you it is one of the best running shoes in the world.

Saucony shoes are made with the best materials. They also have a nice fit and are designed to be super comfortable, even for long runs.

Their technological innovations are also hard to beat. The company uses amazing technologies like PWRRUN to help improve your running performance.

I also love that the company offers you a variety of shoe opinions. They have shoes for all kinds of runners, including overpronators. Their shoes also look nice, with some beautiful finishes and colors.

Why Do Doctors Recommend Brooks Shoes?

Some doctors recommend Brooks shoes for patients with specific foot conditions. Here are some reasons why:

1. Excellent Support: The stability and support you get from Brooks shoes are hard to beat. Doctors will recommend them for patients with overpronation. The shoes can help correct it and prevent leg issues like shin splints and plantar fasciitis.

2. Comfort: Brooks shoes are famous for their excellent cushioning and comfort. They are perfect for people recovering from foot problems. They will be comfortable and lightweight footwear that will not worsen the problem.

3. Orthotic-Friendly: The insoles on most Brooks’s shoes are removable. They allow you to add your doctor-recommended orthotics.

4. Biomechanics: Brooks has invested heavily in research over the years. The research has allowed them to develop shoes that ensure an efficient gait cycle. They also promote natural foot movement.

Brooks VS Saucony Walking Shoes Differences

The best way to compare walking shoes from the two brands is by using specific models. However, here is a quick overview of some general differences.

1. Toe Box

It should be obvious by this point that Brooks has some of the roomiest toe boxes. The toe box on most of their walking shoes maintains this feature. Your toes get enough room to maintain a natural position when walking.

Saucony walking shoes have a good toe box but can be quite narrow. The toe box on most of their shoes can be uncomfortable with wide feet.

2. Weight

Both brands try to make their walking shoes as light as possible. Saucony does a much better job. Most of their shoes will be between 1 and 2 ounces than similar Brooks shoes.

For instance, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 men’s shoe weighs around 10.2 ounces. Saucony’s Omni 20 men’s shoe is just 8.9 ounces.

3. Durability

These are top brands, so you can expect them to make the most durable shoes. Still, Brooks shoes seem heavier duty compared to Saucony.

Earlier in this article, I mentioned that Brooks shoes can last up to 500 miles. Most Saucony walking shoes will only last up to 400 miles.

4. Heel-to-toe drop

Heel-to-toe drop affects the level of shock absorption you get and proneness to injury. A high heel-to-toe drop ensures more shock absorption. A lower one makes you less prone to injuries.

Most Brooks walking shoes will have a heel-to-toe drop of 10-12mm. They will hence give you more shock absorption. For Saucony, it is around 8mm. This means reduced shock absorption, but you will also be less prone to injuries.

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Saucony Guide vs Brooks Adrenaline differences

Saucony Guide and Brooks Adrenaline are two of the best running shoes on the market. I have owned both at some point. They were some of my best shoes since I started running. Here is how some of their main features compared

1. Overall Feel

The Saucony Guide focuses more on flexibility and making the shoe more responsive. The shoe is better if you strike the ground with your midfoot.

Brooks Adrenaline is more about stability and ensuring runners get maximum cushioning. It also has a wider toe box. This shoe will be perfect if you prefer something more supportive.

2. Heel-to-toe drop

Brooks Adrenaline has a 12mm heel-to-toe drop. This shoe will hence give you more shock absorption. The Saucony Guide has an 8mm heel-to-toe drop. This makes it more beneficial if you want a natural running gait.

3. Midsole

The Saucony Guide uses the more responsive and lightweight PWRRUN midsole. The midsole is one of the most popular from the brand. It is perfect for runners that want something more energetic.

Brooks Adrenaline has the DNA Loft v3 midsole. The cushioning and support from this foam is beneficial for runners who overpronate.

4. Weight

There is not much difference in their weight. The Saucony Guide for men weighs 10.0 ounces. Brooks Adrenaline weighs 10.2 ounces. The 0.2 oz might not look much. Still, makes a huge difference, especially when running long distances.

Saucony Ride vs Brooks Ghost differences

Saucony Ride and Brooks Ghost are two other popular shoes from the brands. They are perfect, especially for regular runners. You will be okay with either model, but here is how they compare:

1. Stability

The Ride is less stable than the Ghost. This is probably because Brooks pays more attention to stability. The Ghost will be ideal for issues like overpronation or plantar fasciitis. The Ride is perfect if you want more flexibility. 

2. Weight

As expected, the Saucony Ride is relatively lighter compared to Brooks Ghost. The Ride men’s shoe weighs 9.7 ounces, while the women’s version weighs 8.8 ounces. Ghost for men weighs 10.0 ounces, while the women’s edition weighs 9.2 ounces. 

3. Midsole

Like the Saucony Guide, the Ride uses the PWRRUN midsole. Hence, The shoe provides a more energetic feel. The PWRRUN midsole is famous for its flexibility and responsiveness. Brooks Ghosts also uses the brand’s famous DNA Loft v3 midsole. This midsole provides excellent cushioning.

4. Toe Box

The toe box on the Ghost looks and feels larger than Ride’s. This should now be obvious if you have any experience with Brooks. They make some of the largest toe boxes. The brand is unbeatable for runners with large and wide feet.

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Which Brand is Better for Long-Distance Running?

Both! It all depends on the kind of runner you are and what you prefer. 

Saucony makes running shoes with a more lightweight design and highly responsive midsoles. Their running shoes are also more snug for runners with narrow feet. The brand will be perfect if you want a more energetic and responsive feel. Here are some of their best shoes for long-distance running:

  • Saucony Triumph
  • Saucony Endorphin Speed
  • Saucony Kinvara, 

Brooks has a better, more supportive shoe fit thanks to a wider toe box. The brand also makes the best outsoles for trail and track running. They are better for long-distance running if you want comfort and stability. Their best models for long-distance running include:

  • Brooks Adrenaline
  • Brooks Ghost
  • Brooks Glycerin


You can’t go wrong by buying your running shoes from Brooks or Saucony. As a runner that has used both brands extensively, I can confirm you will be okay with either.

Brooks is a much better choice for runners with problematic and wider feet. Their shoes have wider toe boxes and offer more support and stability. They will prevent overpronation and support your feet if you have plantar fasciitis.

Saucony is a good bet if you prefer lightweight shoes. It is also the better brand if you want extra flexibility and a more energetic feel.

So, which brand do you prefer and why? What are your experiences with these two brands? Please share your answers in the comments sections. Remember to also share this article to help other runners!

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