DISCLAIMER: I'm a Brooks promotional athlete. Have been for a long time, almost 20 years. So, in a research sense, I may be biased.
Now that I have that out of the way, let me post a quick shout out to the new Brooks more-is-better model, the Transcend. Here's a promo statement from the brooksrunning.com website:
"Explore plush new worlds and leave behind the traditional laws of comfort with the all-new Brooks Transcend. On a mission to maximize the Float experience, every element of this shoe was innovated using biomechanical insights. From the Ideal Pressure Zones that disperse impact to the Guide Rails that provide on-demand support, not to mention the plush comfort of Super DNA cushioning, the Transcend’s thoughtful design will blow your mind. Head reassembly not included."
Let me add a few comments. I'm a guy who has run in almost every shoe Brooks ever made, from the early days into the more recent Pure Project line. I may be on the trail in Cascadia, then gingerly earn a few road miles in the wispy Drift. But today, let's talk Transcend.
The shoe reminds me of a Brooks flagship model, the Beast, but with a low(er) heel drop and new high tech cushioning. This shoe is beefy, supportive and soaks up impact. I wouldn't consider it a "fast" shoe, but then I'm not a fast runner, am I?
With the low heel drop comes padding that distributes across the entire foot pad. I noted that when doing some tough road ascents, I could feel the shock absorbing effect well into the toe-box.
Here comes my political statement on the day: No disrespect here, but much of the imaging for running products are fit, attractive 20-somethings who are busting out yet another PR. That's surely a segment in the sport, but there's another large, money-in-their-wallet consumer group - that's the older and possibly heavier runner.
If that's you, consider ponying up the $160 for a pair of Transcend. They are stable, support well, and will lessen the shock. You can talk shoes all day, but for many of us, that's the bottom line. We need a shoe that will help us stay in the game, at possible a slower speed and shorter distance.
I'd go as far as stating that the Transcend may buy you a few extra years in the sport. They make me feel like I'm taking care of myself when I wear them. Maybe that's enough for you, too.
For those of you who would like a bit more info...check out this Road Runner Sports review: