Our Brooks rep Scott Young came in to show us the spring 2010 lineup of Brooks shoes this past week and the overall impression was very good for the updated models.
First up was the Glycerin 8. This was a great improvement over the Glycerin 7 and features Brooks’ new DNA cushioning system. DNA is a liquid compound that responds differently based on the force applied to it. Unlike standard midsole materials who’s energy return decreases as force increases, DNA works in reverse. Energy return increases as the impact force increases. For instance DNA would be much softer when a runner is going at a slow pace versus that same runner running at a fast pace where it would provide greater rebound. A very cool concept. The graphics on the new Glycerin 8 are much more contemporary and modern, particular when compared with past editions of the Glycerin which were pretty conservative cosmetically. Kara took a pair for a spin and declared the fit and road feel super.
The Adrenaline 10 is updated with adjusted overlays to help secure the midfoot better as well as having a new heel geometry with the addition of lateral slits in the crash pad to help deflect impact. All accounts indicate it does in fact soften up the landing for improved shock absorption without feeling too soft. Cosmetically, another home run on this new Arenaline – the shoe looks great.
The Addiction 9 is pretty much unchanged from the current model. There’s now TPU in the saddle area to help the midfoot wrap, but otherwise you’re going to be hard pressed to tell the difference from the current model.
The Defyance 3 is being constructed on the tooling of the Adrenaline 9, so fit should be outstanding. The Defyance 3 lacks the inner board of the Adrenaline models to make the shoe more flexible. The cosmetics are pretty bland though particularly given the treatments the Glycerin 8 and Adrenaline 10 received. If the idea is to not take the thunder away from the new Glycerin 8 by giving the Defyance 3 a new hot makeover, it worked because few are going to notice the Defyance 3 much at least from a cosmetic standpoint. Technically though, it’s a very nice shoe. It’s much more than a neutral Adrenaline, its morphing nicely into having its own identity. Once its cosmetics catches up with the Glycerin 8 and Adrenaline 10, expect sales to really take off.
The only real disappointment with the updated lineup was the Cascadia 5. It looks clunky and slow versus the past editions that had a pretty wild and fast appearance. The current wearers should not be too taken back, but this model probably won’t win over many new runners.
Something that has never really was a strong point for Brooks took a significant step forward, their distance spikes. The new Wire track spike is nice – real nice. Super light at under 5 oz, great spike plate, outstanding graphics. Perfect for 1500-10k. The Brooks Wire and the new Asics Japan Thunder 3 are going to give the serious distance runner a viable option outside the Nike stable of high end distance spikes which is great for competitive distance runners.
The other hot shoe was the new Green Silence. A racing flat made almost entirely of recycled materials. It’s constructed 75% from old CD’s, waterbottles and the like, the shoe laces are 100% recycled, water based adhesives are used throughout, BioMoGo makes up the midsole – even the packaging is 100% recycled. The shoe not only has a great story, the look is unique. If you didn’t know it was made of recycled parts, it would still look cool. Plenty of cushioning, light, good graphics, recycled materials, it’s gonna draw some attention.
Overall, a nice lineup from the folks up in Bothell WA. Expect it to be on the RunningWarehouse.com site in late 2009 and early 2010. We’re working on the Sneek Peak videos right now. I should have those to post soon along with still shots. I’ll make the videos hyperlink to the shoes listed above when ready. Check back after the USATF meet in Eugene and I should have them ready to view.