I am honestly not sure where to begin with the Transcend 2. On paper its just an update to the Transcend which did pretty well, but I’ll admit I didn’t love the look of the originals so I wasn’t sure what I was in for testing out the new iteration. Boy was I in for a pleasant surprise, these things knocked my socks off and while they may not be for everyone as I’ll mention more below, they definitely will find a spot in my arsenal.
WHATS NEW WITH THE TRANSCEND 2
Brooks honestly didn’t change a ton in terms of technology in the 2, but one change came in the dual mesh upper. Having no sew lines creates a very plush feel. The shoe is still incredibly soft and slightly oversized which accounts for the additional weight. They did bring the weight down quite a bit losing about a half an ounce from the original.
What they did change dramatically was the colorways and I honestly think they hit it out of the park here. Its subtle, but still very catchy and a real head turner.
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SHOE
The build of the Transcend 2 is the most important thing and while they didn’t change a ton in this iteration that is a really positive thing, if it ain’t broke as the saying goes. The shoe was designed to be big, soft, almost zero gravity like, providing a whole new level of plushness so you felt like you were walking on air. The trick with a soft shoe though is still providing a certain level of stability so you don’t roll out and while most handle this in the footbed, Brooks has implemented what they call Guide Rails. Essentially, these keep your foot in the correct position throughout and don’t allow you to roll side to side. I had no problems with the softness and felt like the rails kept me on track consistently.
The shoe is aimed definitely at bigger runners or even those who are recovering from an injury, and for those looking for neutral or stability shoes. They are most definitely easy on the legs so those that experience any knee, achilles, hamstring, or other leg pain will probably fall in love very quickly. The offset puts you in a great position to relieve any potential strain so all strikers will find a good balance here.
The Transcend 2 is heavier than many others, but it doesn’t feel that way at all. You would think after looking at the shoe that its bulky, but it feels entirely the opposite. I found it to be very light and almost bouncy, some of which would be generated by the sole, but this allowed me to maintain over distance. The funny thing here is that its a mental game, they don’t look fast and maybe aren’t meant to be, but they can be.
THE RUN TEST
The first time I laced up was interesting. I immediately noticed the sock like interior and how solid the lacing system was. These small things sometimes get missed, but this was so apparent I actually did a double take. It really shows an attention to each aspect of the shoe design process when even the small things seem well designed. I noticed they were large in appearance, even more so than the Hoka’s and similar to an Altra, and they did feel heavy at first. That all changed when I got running.
The 5-10K Range
The first several runs I tried to keep light because I wasn’t sure what to expect. That being said, my first run quickly went from a 5K to an 8 miler. My legs simply felt solid so I kept pushing and didn’t experience any issues. The next runs went the same way, I consistently pushed longer not forcing myself, but letting the shoes take me further. I truly feel like the design of the shoe enabled me to extend the distance without putting too much additional strain on my legs physically.
Half-Marathon and Beyond
I pushed forward from here and the teens felt just as solid as the lower miles. I noticed very little variation in road feel, my legs consistently stayed true and they never felt over-tired or strained and this includes the knees which is really important to me. The best part was I never had to focus on the running and I could just keep pushing against them and they bounced right back, very much like the in the lower miles. I feel like these shoes are definitely a massive step forward for Brooks and runners of all type will be able to take advantage of the extra cushioning mixed with their traditional design.
TECHNICAL STATS, PRICING & AVAILABILITY
- Weight: 11.9oz
- Drop: 8mm heel/toe
- MSRP: $169.95
- Available: January 2015