Salomon and Brooks are both well-respected running shoe brands.
I think this comparison becomes a little bit more fun because both brands are known for making extremely high-quality running shoes, just for different purposes.
Brooks comes in as one of the more reliable and comfortable road running shoe designers on the market. From the Ghost, Glycerin, Adrenaline GTS, and Launch you’ll (click each for our latest reviews) find few companies that produce as many different amazing road running shoes across the spectrum from performance to comfort.
Salomon makes its living in a different arena: the trails. In a world with an ever-growing trail running community, Salomon has solidified itself as one of the, if not the most high-quality trail running shoe brands across the entire market.
Salomon vs Brooks
These can be seen to subtly niche down even more like a performance-oriented trail running shoe brand with specific models made to take on even the most technical of trails.
That being said, both brands make some solid shoes for both arenas. Brooks Caldera and Catamount are awesome trail running shoes and Salomon Sonic and Predict take on the roads just fine.
So which is a better brand for you?
We may have already answered that depending on your general running interests, but for further clarification let’s break it down to some of the most notable differences between these brands.
Salomon vs Brooks Running Shoes - The Biggest Difference:
When comparing pretty much any brand against each other, there are some obvious differences in the general construction and design intentions between each brand, so we are going to look at the biggest difference between Salomon and Brooks.
Everyday Running vs. Performance Running
Keep in mind that I am generalizing a little bit hare, but personally, I see this as maybe the biggest difference between Salomon and Brooks running shoes.
Let’s get this out of the say first, yes, both Salomon and Brooks make everyday running shoe and performance-oriented shoes, but when you take a look at the shoe lineups they both offer, it becomes quite obvious that they have a slightly different focus.
From my experience: Brooks really does seek to provide a good experience to everyday runners that just like to get out there, enjoy the community, and have a good time. This is awesome and removes a lot of entry barriers to the sport of running.
Even when comparable to other popular brands, such as Asics, Brooks really does focus on the overall experience.
The level of accessibility is friendly and non-threatening and it keeps new people coming into the sport every day, which we need more of from other shoe brands if you ask me.
Salomon focuses more on high-performance and technically advanced shoes (particularly for trail running). This is also great because we need shoe brands to push the boundaries of what we think is possible, and with a brand, as highly regarded as Salomon, they might just be the ones to keep the innovation pushing forward.
The niche of making beautiful and advanced shoes is one that needs to be filled, and Salomon does a great job in this area.
Still though, this difference of ideology is apparent through each company’s marketing, branding, and product lines. Although they both make great shoes, each brand really does have a different focus.
Salomon vs Brooks Running Shoes - The Other Aspects to Consider
Beyond the rift of product line focus, there are some other features to consider when deciding between any shoe brand, and this is no different with Salomon and Brooks.
Durability is an important factor to look at while selecting a running shoe, and because both brands do make some extremely capable trail running shoes, that’s what we will be looking at closely in the next couple of segments.
Brooks running shoes in general are quite well known for being able to go the distance and handle many miles of running (especially on the trail). Its outsole lugs are known to maintain grip and protect the midsole from any combination of rocks, dirt, and mud.
The BioMoGo DNA midsole foam features in many Brooks trail shoes because it is a little firmer than its traditional DNA Loft midsole, and this helps increase responsiveness and ground contact while on the trail.
Salomon is also well known for its overall high quality, and this definitely includes durability. This company uses many different midsole foams that provide some slightly different features, but one this is certain, they are all lightweight, responsive, and can take a great beating.
The general outsole used by Salomon these days is the Contragrip MA, which provides multi-directional traction and grip for greater stability while crushing even the most technical trails.
This outsole is complemented by an EnergyCell+ midsole that has an amazing weight to durability ratio if you ask me!
Both brands make shoes that provide outstanding durability, so you’ll find few issues in this regard.
Let’s be honest here, comfort is probably the most highly sought-after feature in a daily trainer. If you are going to spend a lot of time in these shoes then they should feel comfortable on and around your feet!
Both Brooks and Salomon make some super comfortable shoes, but right now I would need to give the bigger nod to Brooks, which harkens back to our biggest difference between these two brands. Brooks makes shoes centered towards the everyday runner, and this includes a lot of extra features for comfort.Salomon does not suffer from a lack of comfort, but when faced with a decision to enhance a feature for performance or for comfort, Salomon will generally throw its lot in with the performance feature. This is not bad either, it’s just not in the same category.
The bottom line is that generally, I will say that Brooks makes more comfortable shoes. However, Salomon makes better “high-performance” shoes. So we can split the difference and say it really is up to your personal preferences.
The Brooks Caldera is one of the most comfortable trail running shoes that I have ever worn, and if you go one step further to look at other reviews, you’ll see that many share a similar sentiment.
We have talked about this a little bit already, but it is apparent that good cushion can really be the backbone of a running shoe and bring up the comfort, durability, and performance of a shoe, so let's take a look at the technology of each company and note some best uses.
The Brooks line of trail running shoes mostly features its BioMoGo DNA foam, which forms to your individual foot shape the longer you wear it. This can feel super nice on a long trail run, and it only gets better as time goes on (within reason).
Past the fact that it is comfortable, it does tend to be slightly stiffer than the other DNA Loft foam that Brooks implements in its road shoes. However, this is a welcome sight for the trails, as it is nice to have a slightly stiffer foam for better ground feedback with each step.
Salomon has some high-performing midsole cushioning systems. From its Optivibe foam, which decreases muscle vibration, to the energy surge foam that masterfully mixes energy return with solid cushioning it is hard to go wrong here.
The key with Salomon shoes is that you should be seeking a more responsive midsole ride over a soft one. You still have a completely safe amount of cushion in all of the shoes, but it encourages you to go faster rather than just enjoying each stride while slogging.
You may be interested in: Asics vs Salomon
- Trail Running Shoes: The Salomon Sense Ride 4 combines Optivibe cushioning to absorb shock and decrease muscle fatigue with trail specific features like anti debris mesh, a breathable upper, and a grippy outsole
- Go All Day Everyday: The Sense Ride 4 combines the cushioning of road running shoes with extra grip and protection; Take on any trail with a Contagrip outsole and Profeel film to protect feet from sharp objects
- Go The Distance: Whether you love road running in your neighborhood, an escape to a local trail, or something more rugged, Salomon makes shoes that ensure you have a smooth ride on any and all terrain
So as far as cushioning goes between Salomon and Brooks, you can’t go wrong with either. A general rule of thumb will be to go with Brooks if you are seeking comfort and Salomon if you are some more responsive high-performance.
Brooks vs Salomon: Wrap Up
Quite frankly, Salomon and Brooks are both amazing brands making some great running products. You’ll find plenty of innovations, durability, and reliability no matter which side you choose.
If you really want it plain and simple here it is:
Go with Brooks if you are looking for a more comfortable and pleasant overall shoe that allows you to just get out there and enjoy a run each and every day.
Salomon is your go-to if you need a trail shoe that can handle technical terrain and squeeze out every drop of performance from your body!
Hi, Jeremy Here,
I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journey. About Me.
Last update on 2022-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API