Verdict from 2 experts and 100+ user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • Most users have noted that the stability mechanisms of the Brooks Ariel '20 are efficient and reliable.
  • The cushioning system is lauded for being consistently comfortable, even during casual strolls.
  • Those who have leg and knee concerns believe that the underfoot platform of this Brooks running shoe is able to protect them from injury.
  • Some purchasers are appreciative of the minimalist upper unit, stating that the coverage didn’t seem bulky nor heavy.
  • The traction capacity of the outsole unit is welcomed by people who value the surface control given by performance footwear.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Some individuals consider the forefoot section of this product to be too loose and wobbly.
  • Stiffness has been felt by some runners; they associated this phenomenon with the extreme steadiness of the pronation-correcting midsole.

Bottom line

The aim of the Brooks Ariel '20 is to utilize modern technologies to maintain the quality performance associated with the series. This optimized-for-women road running shoe features a less bulky construction and a stable platform that consistently steadies the foot at all times. Performance and style meet with the 2020 iteration of the Ariel.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Good to know

Brooks’ for-women motion control running shoe, Ariel, confidently springs forth with a 2020 update that aims to deliver solid performance in a sleeker-looking package than what was present in the previous iteration. The upper doesn’t have a lot of overlays as it now mixes prints and embroidered patterns. The underfoot platform still offers full-fledged stability but via a sidewall-type system called GuideRails®.

The external pad of the Brooks Ariel '20 utilizes blown rubber. This layer is meant to protect the bottom portion of the midsole unit from the abrasive nature of the ground, especially since the material is touted to be resistant to scratches and other effects of the surface contract. Traction is naturally given because of the naturally sticky nature of rubber. Furthermore, blown rubber has a slightly spongy build to add some extra responsiveness to the underfoot experience.

Flex grooves permit the platform of this running shoe to move with the foot as it goes through the gait cycle. The bending of the foot can better the quality of the run and the speed of the performance. The forefoot lift is the part of the step that benefits the most from these channels as it involves toe-joint flexibility the most.

BioMoGo DNA is the technology that is used for the midsole unit of the Brooks Ariel '20. The purpose of this compound is to provide a supportive underfoot platform on which the foot can rest. It is able to follow the contours of the foot-pad, giving customized buttressing that fits the exact footprint of the wearer. Moreover, the foam itself is mixed with a natural additive that allows it to break down quicker (after its effective use) than traditional cushioning units.

The GuideRails® Holistic Support System is a stability mechanism that involves raised sidewalls that steady the foot at all times. These accoutrements also aim to prevent the foot from pronating excessively when taking a step or even when standing still. The GuideRails® System is also used in many of Brooks’ offerings, including the updates to the well-known Ravenna line.

The Ultimate Sockliner offers additional cushioning for the underfoot. This add-on is also able to wick off moisture, thus averting sweat from accumulating inside the foot-chamber and causing odor-causing bacteria from proliferating. It can be removed or replaced with a new insert if the wearer wants to do so.

The upper unit of the Brooks Ariel '20 is made of engineered mesh. This material resembles woven cloth, and it acts like so because it has a soft and stretchy nature that accommodates the form of the foot. Also, it has a seamless and breathable construction that aims for long-term comfort and ease-of-access.

The sides of the upper unit feature printed overlays that take the form of the Brooks logo. The job of these synthetic prints is to help the rest of the silhouette in maintaining its upright position and providing a secure wrap.

A fabric saddle is embroidered onto the sides of the facade. These fit-adapting elements don’t have the bulk of their non-fabric counterparts, though they still function to lock the foot in place. Also, they add some more oomph to the overall durability of the cover system.

The tongue and collar are padded. These elements of the upper are meant to cushion the topmost parts of the foot, including the Achilles tendon, the ankles, and the instep. They also prevent accidental shoe removals.

A traditional lacing system graces the bridge of this shoe. Flat shoelaces snake through embroidered lace-holes, and they allow the wearer to adjust the tightness or looseness of the fit in a convenient and well-known fashion.


How Brooks Ariel 20 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 30% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Bottom 48% Brooks running shoes
All Brooks running shoes
Top 36% motion control running shoes
All motion control running shoes


The current trend of Brooks Ariel 20.
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Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.