Saucony vs Brooks: Differences Explained

Written By: Jeremy N

Saucony and Brooks are both popular brands for running shoes, so it only makes sense that athletes will want to know the differences between them.

Ultimately, the main pros and cons of each brand complement each other, making one shoe a better all-around athletic choice while the other is better for pure running.

But why are these brands so different, and why are athletic shoes not all the same?

The key difference is that Brooks shoes offer a wider toe box and a stiffer midsole while Saucony shoes offer a tighter, more responsive and cushioned run. Wide feet runners should select Brooks and runners who prefer a tighter more supportive shoe should choose Saucony

Saucony vs Brooks

Who is Saucony? 

Saucony was founded in 1898 by four businessmen, and the first factory was constructed on the banks of Saucony Creek in Pennsylvania. It’s easy to see where the company got its name.

Saucony Originals Men's Jazz Original Running Shoe

Saucony didn’t produce much athletic footwear until a competitor, Hyde Athletics Industries, purchased the company in the 1960s. From that point on, the Saucony brand became associated with all types of athletic shoes, including ones for running and hiking.

Ownership passed from Hyde to Wolverine World Wide in 2012, which now is part of a massive group that controls shoes.

The OG shoes are the Jazz. That style never fades 🙂 

Some of the most popular Saucony running shoes are the Saucony Ride and Saucony Guide. 

Saucony Originals Men's Jazz Sneaker,Black/Silver,10 M
  • Retro-inspired sneaker with soft mesh upper featuring comfort-contoured EVA midsole

Who is Brooks?

Brooks Sports, Inc., also known as Brooks Running, was founded in 1914 and originally manufactured a broad range of athletic shoes.

The company managed to remain successful for over six decades, but floundered during the recession of the 1970s and struggled to make ends meet.

Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 19

The company was forced to file for bankruptcy protection in 1981, but didn’t quit. Around 2001, Brooks cut its product line in half, eliminating shoes that didn’t sell well.

It then focused almost exclusively on running shoes, investing in new designs and technology. By 2011, Brooks became one of the foremost running shoes recognized for its advancements and benefits for runners.

It currently remains ahead of much of its competition, and has been named the “Best Shoe” for runners by multiple publications, including Runner’s World.

A good DID YOU KNOW about Brooks Running shoes is that the company is owned by Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway. 

Some of the most popular Brooks shoes are Brooks Adrenaline, Brooks Glycerin & Brooks Ghost

Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoe - Alloy/Oyster/White - 8
  • THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: The Ghost 13 is for runners looking for a reliable shoe that's soft and smooth. The Ghost 13 offers improved transitions for zero distractions so you can focus more on what matters most: your run. This Brooks Ghost 13 is a certified PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe and has been granted the APMA Seal of Acceptance.
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: The neutral support type provides high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Ghost 12

Saucony vs Brooks - Which is RIGHT for YOU?

These are two of the most well-known athletic shoe brands in contemporary markets, so it’s only natural that people often wind up comparing their shoes when trying to find the right running pair for them.

Although on the surface these brands seem quite similar, as all running footwear does to the inexperienced, there are actually several major differences between the two companies that can affect a runner overall. Both offer neutral running shoes and stability running shoes. 

Brooks vs Saucony ... let's check out stability! 

Saucony Women's Kinvara 12, Future Black, 8 Medium


Overall, Saucony shoes tend to have a more rigid fit, meaning the material is not as flexible or form-fitting as the mesh of the Brooks models. This means the shoes hold their shape well, but also that it won’t conform to a person’s natural foot shape.

Such a feature comes as a slight disadvantage to regular runners, who tend to prefer more comfortable options for long term use.

Likewise, Saucony shoes feature a squared heel design while Brooks has a rounded alternative. Neither is more beneficial to the other, but the heel shape can affect overall fit for the average runner as well as shock absorption.

Rounded heels are more comfortable, while the square shape can absorb more force from hard strikes on the pavement.


Comfort and cushioning are similar. The comfort is based on the overall opinions of wearers about how well the shoes fits and whether or not there are areas that pinch, rub wrong, or simply feel tight.

After careful review, Saucony in general tends to be less comfortable because of the rigid structure. However, Saucony also pads the bottom with more cushioning, while Brooks uses less but tends to be more comfortable overall. 

Saucony has a focus specifically on overall feel. So they place and emphasis on cushioning and support.

This is a good thing for many runners as this helps with feet problems. The area that concerns me is that they don't spend as much focus on durability. Brooks running shoes tend to last significantly longer (often times 200-300 miles) than Saucony. 

Brooks Ghost 13 Alloy/Oyster/White 8 B (M)

Stability & Cost:

Along these same lines, Brooks has more mesh and flexibility on average, while Saucony is about mid-range for athletic shoes.

Finally, there are stability and cost. Stability refers to the rigidity of the shoes and how little they bend, flex, or otherwise flop while worn. Brooks has less stability because of the mesh, which can be bad for individuals with joint issues.

Saucony has more stability, but the rigidness can be bad for those who want something softer and more flexible. It really depends on individual preferences.

For cost, both Saucony and Brooks are average overall when it comes to pricing their athletic shoes, with neither one being cheaper than the other.

Saucony vs Brooks- Conclusion

Ultimately, Brooks vs Saucony are both brands that produce excellent shoes for the average athlete.

For long distance runners, Brooks is the preferable choice because the shoes, on average, mold and fit better to the foot while still providing a cushion to lessen the harsh impact of the feet with the ground.

Saucony, meanwhile, is a great option for other athletes like those who engage in track and field or play other sports like basketball. The sturdiness of the shoes means they don’t wear down quickly and can even last for more than one season.

So, while neither brand is better than the other, the perfect shoe will depend on personal needs and preferences. Remember to try on multiple models when trying to find the right pair because people never know what they need until they’re on the trail.


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 journeyAbout Me.

Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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 journeyAbout Jeremy. 

I have run over 250 races including the California International Marathon, Clarksburg Country Run, and various other 5K & 10K races throughout the United States. I am a former Athletics department employee at University of the Pacific and Shoe Consultant with Dicks Sporting Goods

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