One of our more popular reviews from 2015 was for the Brooks Transcend 2 and people seemed really blown away by the shoe, both in terms of comfort and performance. The whole premise of the Transcend This year, i got a chance to take the female version of the Launch 3 for a spin to see how much it has changed and to see if its still as good as its predecessor.
First off, this is designed as a stability road shoe and is designed to provide some extra level of cushion and guidance. In fact, it’s actually one of the highest cushion shoes that Brooks makes. This isn’t necessarily their forte and it’s very different from something like the Launch 3 which is designed to be lighter and quicker and more neutral. Because its a stability shoe, you really need to be someone who has medium to high arches, find you pronate or supinate, and might require that additional support or you may find yourself thinking it’s too firm or needs to be broken in. You mistake the support elements for problems, so keep that in mind when you try these out.
Construction: The Upper
The upper is a laser cut mesh complete with synthetic and microfiber overlays. These are all designed to keep your foot snug and in place while also managing breathability and moisture. It also has a plastic heel cup which is designed to hold you in place and not allow for any sort of slippage. The interior is designed to be super comfy and plush and the sock like liner really holds your foot nicely.
The mid on the Transcend 3 is composed of dual density co-molded EVA foam Brooks refers to as Super DNA, basically 20% more than their other shoes. Guide rails are built into the mid to provide side to side support and keep your foot on track.
The sole is carbon rubber under your heel and then features softer blown rubber under the front of the foot. This shoe is really made with heel strikers in mind giving you substantial cushion, but also durability in the heel. That being said if you are a forefoot runner then the softer blown rubber in the front will still feel very comfortable.
Style and Aesthetics
The Transcend 3s come in 4 different color options for women (and men). The colors range from the ultra hot pinks into more subtle blacks and greys. I’m not a big fan of pink, so the styling of this shoe is very appealing with the teal blue and deep purple tones. It’s a nice happy medium between being ultra girly and a little boring, but the point is they have something for everyone.
In terms of the in-run experience this shoe is extremely comfortable to wear. I have put a lot of miles on these with no discomfort from the first time out. They are decently lightweight and very breathable, so my feet do not overheat, and there is quite a bit of room in the toe box, which never cramps my toes. The sole of the shoe has a crash (or transition) pad that truly helps to stabilize your stride and the guide rails definitely keep your foot on track throughout the run. I found it to be very supportive when going up and down curbs and over varying elevation levels on my runs. I would highly recommend this shoe, as it is the one I gravitate towards when hitting the pavement.
The Transcend is evolving with very iteration and as a stability running shoe and even just as a maximum cushion shoe in the Brooks lineup, we are still big fans. The one big callout we have it that they are expensive at $170. Most shoes in this range will hit in the $130 range, so the additional $40 hike is a lot to bite off. That being said, if you are really only looking for one shoe and you are a Brooks fan and have tried a Transcend before, then definitely take a look at the 3.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 9.5oz (size 9)
- Drop: 8mm heel/toe
- MSRP: $170.00
- Available: Now