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Brooks Transcend 6 Running Shoe Review

by Sportitude
20 Dec 2018

Josh reviews the Brooks Transcend 6 running shoe and highlights how it stacks up as a versatile ride for mild overpronators.

Brooks have evolved the way we think about stability shoes with the Guide Rail system that allows your feet to do their thing and only kicks in when you need it.

It offers plush comfort for longer runs and yet the cushioning isn’t overkill – it’s both soft and responsive for a snappy feel.

If you’re winding up the pace for a 5K sweat session one day and cruising over a longer distance at slower speeds the next, this fresh pick is one to consider in your running kit.

Check out the full review with transcript below.

Hey guys, Josh from Sportitude here and it’s shoe review time. The shoe I’m going to be talking to you about today is the Brooks Transcend 6.

Pretty exciting shoe, with a couple of cool updates which I’m really excited to talk to you about today. Without further ado lets get stuck in.

Foot Type

First things first, in all my shoe reviews I like to identify the profile of the shoe and what runner should be considering this model.

Brooks obviously are quite an advanced brand when it comes to running and the technology their using in their running shoes.

The Transcend is designed for that mildly overpronated foot type. Gone are the years when they had a model called the Brooks Trance in their range. That shoe was quite a supportive shoe and had a reasonably large block of dual density foam on the medial side.

It was obviously a thought pattern they had a number of years ago to remove that from their stability shoes and go with Guide Rails. They’re quite engineered forward in regard to their thought pattern and that was going back six years ago as well.

Brooks are certainly in my opinion quite a way ahead of the rest of the market. I’m not saying other brands aren't, just saying these guys do a cracker job at it.

When talking about a pronated foot type we’re talking about a foot that’s ever so slightly collapsed in that arch region.

In terms of a heel striker, when you land on the contact zone and come through to midstance, we tend to see a little bit of medial rotation as you transition through to toe-off. On the medial side you can see the arch is slightly collapsed and splays out as we go from contact to braking phase.

Brooks have identified the dual density foam they’ve used in previous models like the old Trance wasn’t working and they went with Guide Rails. I’m not teaching anyone at Brooks anything new because they’ve been doing it for six years.

The Guide Rail sits on the top layer and goes around the lateral side. It essentially holds the foot in and only works when it needs to.

The support isn’t contradicted by how much medial post we have at the medial side. If you pronate a little bit or a little bit more, the Guide Rail will kick in, in conjunction with how much you actual require that support.

Outsole

I like to start my reviews from the ground and work my way up. What we’ve got here in terms of an outsole configuration and do mind the fact that it’s a bit dirty, I’ve done a few runs in this shoe.

We’ve got very similar looks to the Brooks Glycerin underneath. The only major differences are that it’s a little bit wider at the heel base. It does have full ground contact underneath the shoe itself as well.

As you come through to the flex grooves for the forefoot you can see right under what we classify as the first metatarsal joint or the first big toe, that the outsole is encapsulated. That provides a little bit more rigidity on toe off.

The Glycerin has an extra two flex grooves and goes the whole way through, therefore it provides a little more flexibility through that toe-off phase.

When we’re not relying on dual density foam, we’re relying on Guide Rails but we can also get a little more support through that forefoot by purely encapsulating that outsole, which is what Brooks have done with the Transcend 6.

Midsole

Talking midsole now. Again, we have this convex and concave setup which is rolled out in the Glycerin 16 this year. Concave in the sense that we’ve got some dimples on this lateral side at the contact zone, so where we’ll be heel striking and midfoot striking.

Coming a little closer you might be able to see those dimples. As you swing it around to medial side, they’ve gone for that convex setup. There’s almost like 3D dimples sitting off the shoe itself.

What that does is the medial EVA won’t compress as much as the lateral EVA. The lateral EVA with those convex shapes will compress at higher density.

They're using Super DNA cushioning which is nice and soft and also responsive. They’ve got a great theme set up which is going to provide cushioning but support as well on that medial side without overdoing it.

Then obviously we introduced that Guide Rail that’s nice and supportive on the medial side and also on the lateral part of the heel where your foot can come down.

Because they’ve got that dimpling of compression rate on that cushioning system, you don’t want it to be too soft. That’s where the Guide Rail just keeps that heel in a good position so it doesn’t over collapse on that contact zone when your foot comes down.

Upper

Let’s talk about the upper. No surprises here, I am a big fan of what Brooks do around the heel. Brooks in my opinion are very comfortable. It has a nice soft collar, not too padded. You don’t feel like your heel is being suffocated, it’s just enough.

They use really good materials and a clean finish at the back. An internal heel counter gives you a nice, stable fit around the back of that heel calcaneus.

You don’t want to get too much calcanean movement when the foot comes down, whether its heel striking or midfoot striking. That in itself is a really critical factor in keeping the foot nice and posted. Providing a nice internal heel counter, which is what they’ve done, keeps your foot nice and stable.

As you come through to the midstance region they’ve got a couple of overlays which in conjunction with the really strong fitted upper through the forefoot provides a nice, stable fit.

I can only measure the success of this shoe in comparison to the previous models. Transcend 5 and Transcend 4 weren’t too bad but I find this a little more generous in terms of the height and pitch through that arch region which is nice for me personally. I do like the fit and construction around this forefoot.

I've taken these for a couple of runs. I went for a nice, slow 10km run where I was going a 5 min per km pace, nice and steady. Then I went for a 5km run where I decided to pick it up and was hitting 4:15 min/km.

Now you’re at home probably thinking that’s not very fast, but for me that’s flying. 4:15 min/km for me is really ramping up the speed.

I did like it in both environments. It feels nice and stable, cushioned and plush for that longer run. However, when I decided to pick up the pace it still felt good on the foot.

This wouldn’t be a shoe I’d be buying if I was going to be using a tempo shoe by any means. However, I do like brands that provide plenty of versatility in their running shoes. The Brooks Transcend 6, a little bit like the Kayano 25 is a nice, versatile shoe.

It is very soft and comfortable for longer runs however both have a nice responsive feel to pick up the pace as well.

There you have it guys, that’s my overview of the Brooks Transcend 6. Hopefully it’s given you enough information at home to maybe throw into your running kit.

If not or if you have any further questions please contact our Sportitude shoe experts. If you haven’t subscribed already please subscribe to our YouTube channel. We like to give as much back to the runners as we possibly can on running shoe selection.

Until next time, happy running. See you soon.