This time though -with an important race in the horizon- I wasn't gonna pull any punches. Last time I got a pair of Brooks Addiction (The Junkies) as they are a bit cheaper. They work well but nothing comes close to my shoe of choice, the Brooks Beast. And what do you know, Brooks has redesigned the shoe for 2014 and since I have never really reviewed these before, what better time than now?
Here is the 2012 model compared to the new one:
Historically, Motion Control shoes has not been the most cutting edge category when it comes to aesthetics. To be honest, most look horrible, while the "coolest" ones can earn the designation of "boring" but Brooks has been working on that. The 2012 model was pretty decent and the improvements made to the new one are quite welcome. Gone are the glossier pieces, replaced by flat, textured fabrics. Think alcantara or suede.
The bottom of the shoe is almost identical to the previous version and that's a good thing. There was no reason to change what really works and I can attest from experience this is one tough sole that will stand up to plenty of miles and abuse.
From the back, you can see that this shoe clearly caters to heavy pronators, with a very pronounced lean to the inside as compensation. Neutral shoe, this is not.
The fit is excellent in my case. Snug but with plenty of room in the toe box to stretch and move the little piggies. They do feel different around the foot compared to the previous version. Like they are lighter (even thought they aren't. They are, in fact .1oz heavier) or like there is less shoe around your foot. But any concerns that might arise from that fact will quickly fade once you start running. Brooks claims even more cushioning than ever on this edition and putting them to the test seems to confirm this. Compared to the previous edition, they feel more nimble and agile. Compared to my current set of Junkies there is no contest. The Beast remains the Motion Control shoe to beat in my humble opinion. While it is pretty obvious to anyone who reads this blog regularly that I'm a Brooks nerd, I have tried other brands of shoes, especialy Motion Control shoes. However I keep coming back to the Beasties. For me, they just work and if you are a heavier runner looking for cushioning, and pronation support, this is the pair to get or at the very least, it should be on your short list.
By the way, I'm no way endorsed or affiliated with Brooks. I bought these puppies at my local running shop with my hard-earned (and not-so disposable) income. Though with all the shoes I have bought from them over the last two years, maybe they should. LOL