10 Best Brooks Running Shoes For Women in 2021

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic on
10 Best Brooks Running Shoes For Women in 2021

Most runners agree that high-quality construction and reliable performance are the defining features of Brooks running shoes for women. But because we like to nitpick and see for ourselves if they’re really worth the hype, we take our time testing them. 

And in our scrutiny, we’ve come up with the list of the ten best Brooks running shoes for women. These models are chosen from five different categories, accommodating all runners.

How we choose the best Brooks running shoes for women

The shoes you see on this list are not here without reason. Our thorough testing methods are here to prove that they are indeed the finest Brooks running shoes for women. 

To conduct our assessment, we have our independent shoe testing lab. We also like to disassociate from brand loyalty, so we make sure to purchase each shoe with our own money. And rigidly follow these protocols: 

  • Clock up 30-50 miles of test runs 
  • Cut each shoe open 
  • Measure their parts on 30 different parameters
  • Generate a CoreScore for each model from thousands of expert and user reviews

Best overall

From easy runs to faster efforts, the Brooks Ghost 14 is runners’ reliable go-to. Even more, it’s ours too! 

There’s not one thing to not like about the Ghost. It’s comfortable and stable, our feet felt right at home. 

If you want the definition of luxurious, the shoe’s padding delivers. It’s so plush and cushy, not once did our feet feel strained. Taking everything up a notch is the shoe’s flexibility. In our lab test, we found out that it only requires 19.2N to bend while the average needs 40.2N. 

Not only does this mean a natural-feeling run. It also means it’s crazy soft, which is why we love it so much during recovery days. 

It steals the show in easy paces, but it sure is a natural in tempo runs. It’s bouncy and energetic, getting to our next stride was fast and easy. 

What’s great about the Ghost 14 is it’s as stable as a Brooks can be. Although very cushy, it didn’t have that sink-in sensation that creates excessive rolling of the feet. If anything, our feet remained centered and supported from the first mile down to the last.

See our full review and facts

After clocking up miles in the Brooks Glycerin 19, we can confirm. This is Brooks’ softest running shoe yet. 

If we can describe the Glycerin in one word, it’s premium. It’s generously padded, it was a couch to our feet. A testament to this is the shoe’s tongue and collar. At 8.4mm and 14.4mm thick respectively, it almost felt like we had pillows all over.

Cloud-like isn’t even enough to describe the plush midsole. In the forefoot, it’s 37.2HA soft and in the heel, it’s 39HA.

Although this makes the shoe sluggish in speed efforts, don’t worry. It was never designed for that. The Glycerin is intended to give you a luxe feeling during slow and easy days. 

What’s more is that it's a stable shoe. For so much softness, our steps felt anchored and surefooted. Even better, it’s built tough. After putting it through the wringer, it remained scratch-free. 

If you want to give your feet a spa-day comfort, then don’t write off the Brooks Glycerin 19.

See our full review and facts

Best for race

True to its name, the Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 made us run like one of the elites. 

To make sure we chose the best of the best, we also tested its first version. And with its propulsive and responsive ride, the Hyperion Elite 2 was the clear champ. 

Running in it replicates the feeling of having springs underfoot. It had so much energy return, it launched us forward. Seriously, running fast has never been this easy. 

Like the super shoes of today, the Hyperion Elite is made with a carbon-fiber plate, delivering a snappy performance. But what really took us by surprise was the shoe’s comfort. 

Plated shoes are typically too rigid to be truly comfortable. But of course, this shoe is here to make a mark. It was never too hard on our feet, they remained fresh even after several miles. 

To solidify its place on this list, the Hyperion Elite 2 is also extremely stable. It has a wide base that has kept our strides planted and slip-free. 

And to make it a full-fledged racing speedster, the Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 nails it in the lockdown department. If secure is what you want during competitions, this shoe won’t fail you.

See our full review and facts

If you want a shoe that screams fast, we can’t recommend the Brooks Hyperion Tempo enough. And if you want to set or beat PBs, it won’t be a letdown. 

The Hyperion Tempo paced us. With its insanely responsive and snappy midsole, it sent us flying to new records. 

And unlike other racing flats, it prioritizes comfort. Its DNA Flash foam didn’t just bolt us forward. It cushioned our feet so well, they didn’t even need recovery after.

Staying true to its Brooks roots, it’s also very stable. There’s enough firmness underfoot to keep our strides in check. Even better, it doesn’t load up on the feet. 

The Hyperion Tempo is so light, we completely forgot about it on the run. 

In the durability department, the Brooks Hyperion Tempo gets a solid 10/10. After putting it through the paces, it still has very little to no signs of wear and tear.

See our full review and facts

Best for trail

The Brooks Cascadia 16 made it clear to us that it’s not here to play. Its tank-like build made us focus on what’s ahead, and worry less on what’s underneath. 

This shoe is more than ready to take a beating. It’s so tough, gashing it won’t be easy. 

From the bottom up, it’s got plenty of protection. The upper has so much padding and reinforcement, stubbed toes should be the least of your worries. And when we did our flex test, it wowed us. 

It took us 51.1N force to bend, which means it’s solid AF. It’s even along the ranks of carbon-plated shoes! 

It’s not going to be soft and comfortable, but if you want ultimate strength and stability combined, this is THE shoe. Even on the most rugged, uneven terrain, we cruised with confidence. 

The outsole is also a showstopper. With 4.3mm lugs (vs. the average 3.4mm lugs), the Cascadia bites. What’s more is it’s heavy-duty too. At 85.5HC stiff, it will take some serious pounding before you scratch this bruiser. 

To seal the deal, the Cascadia 16 from Brooks is also supportive. It fits like a glove, we never felt tippy in it.

See our full review and facts

Tank-like isn’t even enough to describe the Brooks Catamount. It’s a trail beast that places sturdiness and protection at the forefront. What’s more is it’s a trailblazer too! 

Despite its tough build, it has loads of energy, making it easy to navigate the trails quickly. 

Even more, the responsiveness we experienced didn’t come at the cost of stability. Our steps were anchored and our feet didn’t roll too far off the sides. 

Apart from the supportive midsole, there’s the claw-like outsole to thank. On rocky and highly technical terrains, this bad boy kills it. It’s more than confidence-inspiring. 

Protection is also one of the key features of the Catamount that took our breath away. It has so much cushion underneath, our feet never felt the poking of jagged rocks and roots. 

From training, race-day, and even ultras, the Brooks Catamount is your trusty off-road companion.

See our full review and facts

Best for flat feet

Of all the stability shoes we’ve ever tested, nothing comes close to the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21. 

It defies the conventions of stability shoes by offering both support and comfort. It’s anything but rigid and unforgiving. Even better, it’s a stability shoe that even neutral runners can enjoy.

Its stability features stay in the backseat until your feet need them. In short, they’re not overbearing. 

And that’s not the only reason why we can’t get enough of it. Its upper is also so fantastic, slips and missteps were the least of our concerns. 

After logging miles and miles of rough wear testing, the Adrenaline has proven itself hard-wearing. It still shows no signs of wear and tear. We are even confident it can go 400-500 miles. 

It may not be the fastest nor lightest shoe in our arsenal, but the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 was never made for this. It’s a stability trainer that will get you through your easy runs. And will allow you to make the most out of your $130 with its solid durability.

See our full review and facts

Brooks really rocked it in their roster of stability shoes. Forgoing the traditional firmness of these models, the Glycerin GTS 19 pampered our feet while giving them the support they needed. 

Like how it’s touted, it’s the brand’s softest support shoe yet. It was a hell lot cushy underneath, our feet and legs didn’t need recovery. But what’s better is it doesn’t make the ride mushy. Our feet were kept in place, and our strides were steady and surefooted. 

Comfort isn’t always about padding. The Glycerin has so much room in the forefoot, our toes were able to splay without any hitches. Even more, the upper is so soft, it didn’t need breaking in. 

To step everything up, there’s the Glycerin GTS 19’s extremely grippy outsole. Skidding on wet and snowy pavement is a thing of the past.

See our full review and facts

Best budget shoe

Having tested past versions of the Brooks Launch, we are more than confident that the Launch 8 is the best one yet. Even better, it doesn’t break the bank. 

For $100, this tempo speedster has got the makings of the higher-end shoes on the market. 

There are two features that make the Launch 8 exceptional. One, its spring-like bounce. Two, its featherlight weight. With this speed monster, you can set PBs with no sweat. 

It also puts a dent on speed training shoe stereotypes. It’s not rigid and harsh to the feet. And our lab results can back that. 

In our flex test, we found out that it only takes 18.7N to bend the Brooks Launch (vs. 23.8N average). This only goes to show how feet-friendly and natural-feeling this shoe is. 

With its rubber outsole, the Brooks Launch 8 is built to last too. It has a 3.7mm thick outsole that can withstand heavy pounding on the roads. 

Overall, the Brooks Launch 8 will surprise you with its well-rounded speedster qualities. And for such an affordable price, you’ll get a shoe that can survive daily abuse.

See our full review and facts

Running has never been this fun. Its inexpensive price aside, the Brooks Revel 5 won us over with its peppy ride. Whether it’s easy, fast, or long days, this trainer will bring your strides to life. 

We love to put our shoes through the paces, and this one was no different. During slow efforts, our feet remained cushioned and cozy. 

When it was time to pick up the pace, its bounce made it easy for us to get from one step to another. Add in its barely-there weight (8.7 oz vs 9.4 oz average), zooming through the blocks is a piece of cake. 

Eating up miles on the road? The Revel 5 dampened the impact so well, it almost felt like we could run another stretch. 

Speed and comfort are not the only defining features of the Revel 5 from Brooks. It’s also very sturdy, it will take at least 300 miles before it starts to wear out. At 79HC, its outsole is more than ready to go through the wringer.

See our full review and facts
Author
Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic

Whether it's a vertical kilometre or an ultra, climbing in the Alps or exploring local mountains, Jovana uses every opportunity to trade walls and concrete for forests and trails. She logs at least 10h/week on trails, with no off-season, and 4x more on research on running and running shoes. With a background in physics and engineering management, she prefers her running spiced with data.