Verdict from 7.5 hours of research from the internet

5 reasons to buy

  • Some runners were impressed by the arch support of the Brooks Defyance 9.
  • It has Segmented Crash Pad that promotes a smooth heel-to-toe transition.
  • This shoe delivers great flexibility because of the Omega Flex Grooves based on several comments.
  • The breathable mesh upper keeps the foot cool and dry.
  • Most runners liked the Defyance 9 because it is durable and comfortable to wear.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some runners observed a poor cushioning in the Defyance 9.
  • This shoe is slightly expensive.
  • It is a bit stiff.

Bottom line

The Brooks Defyance 9 is a neutral shoe that is great for road running. It is a versatile running shoe that offers a combination of smooth ride and cushioning. However, some felt that it lacks the necessary cushioning for long-distance runs. But despite the negative comments, overall, users still consider the shoe a successful release.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

  • Flexibility and underfoot comfort are highlights of the Defyance 9 which is carried all to the way to the latest model of this series, the Defyance 10. It’s a neutral shoe that’s great for daily running. Its mid-sole unit is robust when it comes to the cushioning systems; it’s outsole is efficient in delivering protection & traction, and its upper is secure and breathable. It’s a running shoe that focuses on the comfort of the foot, thus making each step as efficient as it can be.
  • The upper unit of this running shoe focuses on security, flexibility and dryness. It features supportive components that hug the foot and keep it in place. The seamless design reduces irritation and allows the foot to wear the shoe without socks. The mesh material is breathable and comfortable, as well.
  • In addition to responsive cushioning and flexibility, the mid-sole unit of the Brooks Defyance 9 provides balanced support to the mid-foot. The platform assists the foot in transitioning from the heel to the forefoot, thus making the stride much smoother and efficient.
  • The outsole unit features rubber compounds that deliver robust protection against wear and abrasion. It’s a thick layer that doesn’t peel off easily because of its high quality nature. The forefoot section even uses a type of rubber that gives additional cushioning, responsiveness and flexibility, essentially making each toe-off more powerful.

The 9th version of the Brooks Defyance has a standard running shoe length. It can accommodate runners who desire a sizing scheme that correctly follows their preferences. It has a medium width when it comes to its heel, mid-foot and forefoot areas. The semi-curved shape of this shoe welcomes the natural curved shape of the human foot.

The HPR Plus is a rubber material that is highly resistant to abrasion. It holds well against friction, surface contact and scratches. It can even protect the sole unit and the foot from impact.

The forefoot section has Blown Rubber. It’s a durable material that’s also responsive and flexible. It adds a bit of cushioning, so each toe-off is more comfortable.

Cushioning is not compromised because Omni Grooves deliver flexibility. It essentially makes the sole unit more capable of following the natural movements of the foot. The forefoot can flex more capably, making each toe-off more enabled.

The shoe's midsole is made of the BioMoGo DNA which is the same material used for a fellow Brooks road running shoe, the Glycerin 16.  It is a combination of the BioMoGo and DNA mid-sole technologies. It offers a customized underfoot experience by allowing the foam to conform to the shape of the wearer’s foot.
The S-257 Cushsole is another mid-sole material that’s used as an insole and it gives the runner additional cushioning and flexibility.

A thermoplastic polyurethane unit, the DRB Accel supports the mid-foot by cradling the arch. It makes each stride more efficient as it provides torsional rigidity.

A segmented Caterpillar Crash Pad flexes with the foot. It gives cushioning & stability while keeping each heel-to-toe transition smooth and efficient.

Midsole flexibility is afforded by the Omega Flex Grooves. They make sure that the foam flexes with the foot to give a more responsive ride. These grooves in the inner sole unit works with the outsole in delivering an unfailingly pliable platform.

The Element Mesh is an upper material that’s soft and durable. It provides breathable and comfortable coverage during every activity. It also manages moisture, so it keeps the upper unit dry. An adjustable saddle construction secures the mid-foot of the runner well. It doesn’t make the fit any less comfortable, but it keeps the foot in place.Synthetic Overlays are placed strategically to help in locking the foot down and maintaining the structure of the upper. They work with the lacing system in making the fit more adaptable and customizable for each runner’s needs.Beneath the main upper mesh lies the Element Lining. It’s a soft material that is capable of staving off moisture. Even when the runner doesn’t use any socks, the inner sleeve remains dry and comfortable.

Additional underfoot support and cushioning is given by the Profile Sock Liner. Made from BioMoGo tech, it shapes itself to the runner’s underfoot, thus adding contoured support and security that’s unique to each wearer.

Size and fit

True to size based on 109 user votes
Small (0%)
True to size (86%)
Large (14%)
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Same sizing as Brooks Defyance 10.

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How Defyance 9 compares

This shoe: 90
All shoes average: 86
53 98
This shoe: $120
All shoes average: $119
$40 $350
This shoe: 10.5oz
All shoes average: 9.5oz
3.5oz 16.2oz
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.