As far as Brooks models go, I have always had a special place in my heart for the transcend. Wind the all new five came in for a view, I knew these would be mine are well. My journey into running started with the more maximum cushion shoes, but very first iteration of the transcend is what got me hooked. I was excited to say the least and after also testing the levitate, Curious to see the differences. I was pleasantly surprised.
The upper on the Transcend 5 uses their 3D Fit Print, this applies a mix of stretch and structure for what Brooks feels is the optimal fit. The toebox area up through the tongue is well ventilated and highly breathable. The welded style overlays through the middle portion of the upper provide side to side structure and this finishes in a well padded collar. The toe itself is also reinforced and all of this leads to a pretty high level of durability. There is also a rounded external heel counter that cradles your heel and minimizes and alternate movement.
The big update on the Transcend 5 comes in their Guide Rails, this is really the shoe’s bread and butter and what prevents excess heel, shin, and knee motion. This is really structure. Lastly, the mid itself is made of their Super DNA cushion which is super soft and is made to dynamically adjust throughout the run. It is most definitely not meant to be responsive.
Aside from the nicely placed rubber placements for tracking and durability, they have also placed IDEAL Pressure Zones throughout the mid with an aim to give you a softer feel at key locations leading to an easier ride overall. This really makes for an increasingly comfortable ride across both the mid and the outsoles.
Style & Aesthetics
The Transcend 5 comes in three different colors for men and women and visually there is a lot going on, no question. The shoe itself has always maintained a very distinct styling from the rest of the Brooks lineup which I quite like, but it is different and visually to me looks like it’s ready to go into the battle.
Now let’s start this off by saying I have no need for stability. I don’t pronate or supinate, in fact my foot strike is about as close to normal as possible. All that being said, I have always felt like the Transcend platform finds a balance and provides support where needed. As I run, my legs get tired, then my feet get tired, and eventually the arches start to exhaust and you start landing heavier on the inside of your foot. Many of us do it and yes we all get stronger overtime, but the Transcend 5 provides just enough support in the right spot to keep you going. It keeps that outside edge of your foot cradled in a way that you can maintain proper foot alignment.The shoes fit similar to past versions. They do have a snug upper, but with a decent amount of stretch in the toebox to provide a little bit of movement and wiggle room. The mid is cushioned, but I would never say responsive because that is not the emphasis of the shoe. It does it’s job though which is providing both cushioning and support throughout. The outsole with it’s rubber contact points also provides a strong level of traction and control through any sort of weather.
Overall, it continues to be a solid package.I also put these up against other Brooks we have tested in the past including the Glycerin and more recently the Levitate. The thing that gets me is the fact that this a support shoe which should have a heavier weight due to material use, but the Transcend 5 is lighter. Additionally, it does so with a high amount of cushion. Now it doesn’t have the responsiveness of the Levitate, but again that’s not what it’s designed for. All I know is that when I run in these even on normal days, I find myself enjoying it and easily picking them before I would grab either of the others. It is not a performance shoe though, so don’t get me wrong.
To sum it up, there have been some quirks with the past versions of the platform, but the Transcend 5 is a solid shoe. If you could do with a little extra support, you pace in the 9+min/mile, then this is a solid shoe. I have always been a fan of the platform and while I could nitpick on minor details for improvement, Brooks seems to deliver fairly solid updates to it every year. If you don’t need the support, then there are better options of course and or performance-based options, but what it does the Transcend 5 does well so have a look.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 10.8oz (size 9)
- Drop: 8mm heel/toe
- Type: Support Road
- Stack Height: 18mm/26mm
- MSRP: $160.00
- Available: Now