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Brooks Transcend 7 vs 6 vs Glycerin 18 Comparison Shoe Review

by Sportitude
2 Jun 2020

Josh reviews the Brooks Transcend 7 running shoe, an overpronator-friendly spin on the Brooks Glycerin 18 that fits seamlessly into the max cushioned category. He reveals the updates that set it apart from its predecessor, the Brooks Transcend 6 including the addition of thin yet durable Green rubber in the outsole.

The Transcend 7 caters to both midfoot and heel strikers, offering a 10mm offset to stack plenty of real estate underneath the heel. It delivers a stable platform to gain a solid purchase with the ground and smoothly transition into your next stride.

If softer cushioning is on your radar, the Transcend 7 doesn’t disappoint, maintaining the balance of protection and snappy responsiveness that road warriors crave. The GuideRails support system lets you run on autopilot, kicking into gear when you need extra assistance to manage overpronation and helping you maintain proper running form over long distances.

The breathable and supportive upper continues to impress with the secure heel counter you know and love from Brooks, locking your rearfoot in like a seatbelt for elevated comfort and zero distractions.

Check out the full review with transcript below.

Hey guys, Josh here from Sportitude and it’s shoe review time. Today we’re going to be doing it on the Brooks Transcend 7. It’s an ultra-cushioned running shoe from the Brooks family and obviously targeting an overpronator.

There's a few changes that have come into play with this shoe from where it was with the 6. Like all of my shoe reviews we’ll profile the foot type that should consider this running shoe and the runner that should or could introduce this into their running rotation.

We'll go over the outsole, the midsole and the upper and we'll see if it could be a shoe for you so let's get stuck in.

Runner Profile

First things first we're going to profile the runner that should be considering this running shoe. It is in the max cushioned category from Brooks but it also sits into that supportive category.

Brooks over the last couple of seasons have been using GuideRails to execute that support system. If you experience mild overpronation through your gait, then you should be looking at protecting your arches and essentially your tibial rotation. Therefore, we're talking about a foot type that has a tendency to overpronate ever so slightly.

When we're looking at that foot type in a static position it would have a slightly flatter arch through the midsection. As the runner contacts the ground, heel first then coming through to midstance, there will be a little bit of collapse in that arch. The GuideRails provide assistance into slowing down that rate of pronation.

If you happen to be a neutral runner or have a neutral gait with a higher arch, it would be a shoe that I would be cautious of running in. The GuideRails may be a little bit too much for your foot and you'll end up being pushed out too far. However, you can consider the Brooks Glycerin 18 which is a very similar shoe and we'll touch on the similarities in this review today.

When we're talking about someone who's looking at the Transcend 7, we're talking about someone that wants a lot of cushioning. It has a full DNA Loft midsole from the heel right through to the forefoot which is pure plushness. It's a great combination of cushioning and responsiveness, very similar to the Glycerin 18.

Outsole

We’re going to talk about the outsole first. Brooks have started to use a product called Green rubber in some of their premium running shoes. Green rubber is a little bit thinner but slightly more durable and it lets the midsole take the credit for the amount of cushioning underneath the foot.

Green rubber is a slightly thinner compound rubber underneath which is mainly through the forefoot and they still have that harder wearing rubber on that first purchase with the ground through the heel.

When you're looking at the Transcend 6 next to the Transcend 7, you can evidently see considerable change in how they've executed the outsole. The Transcend 6 features 3 horizontal flex grooves after midstance. That was a slightly more flexible shoe through toe-off. 

It’s still using their first iteration of the DNA Loft cushioning system. This combination worked quite well and was slightly more rigid though through the forefoot. The outsole was more of a traditional blown rubber so it's a little bit thicker underneath that forefoot.

When we're looking at the Transcend 7, we don't have full flex grooves across the whole horizontal plane. They stop roughly two-thirds the way through from the lateral to the medial side. The Green rubber that comes through just underneath your first metatarsal provides a little more rigidity.

I’m of the opinion they’ve done that because the execution of the DNA Loft cushioning in this new version is a fraction softer, so they needed a little bit more support underneath that first metatarsal. That's why the change has come through with the Transcend 7 in comparison to the Transcend 6.

As I touched on before there is harder wearing rubber in the back to create a purchase point for heel strikers. I’m a midfoot striker, I’ve ran in the Transcend 7 and I like them. They're a nice stable shoe.

You have great purchase the ground. There’s no intrusion with a Trusstic System or anything like that. It's a nice plush shoe. Not only does it provide a great contact point for midfoot runners, it also provides a smooth transition for heel strikers.

From that first point of contact through midstance to toe-off, having full surface area underneath your foot for a full contact point with the ground really makes running enjoyable.

Midsole

Coming through to the midsole which is probably where most of the change has occurred inside this shoe. The midsole is almost identical to the Glycerin 18. The only real difference is they have happened to mould in the GuideRails on top of the midsole. 

If you look on the medial side, you can see that black call-out on the midsole. When they pour the set of foam into the mould, they then also combine that with the GuideRail technology.

Previously with the Transcend 6 they poured the midsole first and then they placed the GuideRails on top and glued it into position. It was fine and worked quite well but this is a more effortless approach so you don't necessarily notice the support as much as you did in the previous version. It’s a nice feature and it still does its intended purpose but you're not noticing the technology underneath your foot which is great.

The other big change in regard to the midsole is the stack height. The stack height of the new Transcend 7 includes a 10mm heel-to-toe drop in comparison to an 8mm drop which is where it was the last couple of seasons.

The main reason they’ve gone with a 10mm offset is to replicate the Glycerin. If you hold up the Glycerin and the Transcend to play spot the difference on the medial side, lateral side and outsole and you can guess the difference right now, then you're a genius.

There’s only a couple of little changes. There's obviously the GuideRails they’ve moulded into the midsole of the Transcend 7 and there's a subtle change with how they’ve executed the outsole.

There’s an extra cutaway on the Glycerin outsole on that medial side. The Transcend has two pieces on that medial side in comparison to three on the Glycerin.

It’s such a similar shoe, so much so that I did a bit of a run on the treadmill and I had the Glycerin on my left foot and Transcend on my right and I really couldn't tell the difference to be honest with you.

However, if you’re an overpronator and you're distance running which is what this shoe is catered for, the support from the GuideRails in the Transcend will give you some assistance. It provides extra support to help maintain form on the back end of those longer runs.

Getting back to the midsole, we’ve talked about the stack height and GuideRails, let's touch on the foam set. It’s actually a little bit softer. I did say this earlier but when you put the Transcend 7 on your foot you'll notice it is more cushioned compared to the previous version.

It's not the most cushioned shoe out there, but it's not the most responsive. They're finding that perfect balance with this shoe for runners that want a little bit of cushioning but really want that pop. When you pick up the pace it feels like you've got a nice responsive shoe on your foot.

Upper

There's not a huge amount in regard to new technologies that they’ve executed in the upper. My favourite feature of the Brooks shoes is the collar on the inside that they’ve done for a number of years now. It’s super comfortable.

The lining and the foam they use around the back of your heel and Achilles is snug and secure. Kudos to Brooks for nailing that, keep doing what you're doing please.

In terms of the support system you have an internal heel counter. On the inside of this set-up there's a plastic support system, providing a bit of support around the back of that heel. When your foot contacts the ground, you're going to get minimal movement with the calcaneus at the back. If you reduce the amount of support at the back of the heel counter to potentially shave weight, you do sacrifice support. That's not the case here. The heel counter is stable and secure.

As you come through to the midsection there’s a couple of welded overlays on top of their engineered mesh. There’s a couple of strips or welded lines on the lateral side and also the medial side. That’s going to provide extra support when you're going through midstance and minimise the amount of movement on that platform. It’ll keep you secure on top of those GuideRails and let them do all the magical work for you. The upper through the midsection is nice and supportive.

I want to point out that it’s not the deepest shoe. If you have a relatively voluminous foot through the midsection you may find it a bit of a challenge to get your foot in. It's not the deepest of shoes in regard to what is offered through the navicular or arch area, so make note of that.

A great feature you can see as you come through to the forefoot is that the midsole flares out a little bit in comparison to where the upper sits on top of the shoe. That's more to do with the width and the base underneath the foot. When you're coming through midstance to toe-off point you have a nice broad platform underneath your forefoot which helps complement what they've done with the upper.

The upper is a nice engineered mesh that’s very breathable, secure and durable. There's no external toe caps around the front and they haven't done that for a few seasons with the Transcend. It provides a seamless fit so there's no rubbing or irritation up top which is a good thing.

Widths

The ladies’ comes in a standard B width and it's a true B. If you are a D and you’re a female runner you’ll find this shoe too narrow. You should be looking at the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 if you want that GuideRails support system on a cushioned platform. The Adrenaline comes in a few more width offerings.

The men’s follows the standard width story as well. It’s just a D width in this shoe. It’s true to size and true to width so again if you are a broader foot type you should be looking at the Adrenaline to give you a little bit more comfort in regard to width.


There you have it guys, that is my take on the Brooks Transcend 7. I like this shoe, it’s a great update and we’ve had plenty of success fitting this on the shop floor here at Sportitude. If you're looking for a high mileage, nice cushioned shoe with a decent 10mm offset and you're an overpronator, this could be a shoe for you.

Like all of our videos if you have any questions on this shoe or anything else please contact our Sportitude shoe experts. If you haven't subscribed to the Sportitude YouTube channel please do so. We like to give you as much information as we possibly can in all things running shoes and running related.

Until next time happy running and we'll see on the road.

FEATURES   

  • Support: Stability   
  • Upper: Mesh   
  • Midsole: Brooks DNA Loft
  • Heel Height: 24mm   
  • Forefoot Height: 14mm   
  • Offset / Drop: 10mm
  • Weight (women): 269g / 9.5oz   
  • Weight (men): 303g / 10.7oz   
  • Width (women): B (standard)   
  • Width (men): D (standard)

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