This site is created to inspire, motivate and to promote a healthy lifestyle by sharing my passion in cycling and running. Advice, training and product reviews to help you achieve your goal in crossing that finish line.
If you haven’t caught up yet with the shoe
industries on what were launched this year and some recent development buzzing
in the market area today, don’t worry it’s not yet too late to catch up and
there are still plenty of new stuff out there that will be out in the coming
months. To keep you up to speed,Brooks Running is one of the
companies that launched a whole shebang and updated some of their shoe line up.
I did the review on PureFLow 5 just last month and you can read it here. But let’s not
take away the limelight to this beauty that we are going to discuss. One of the
beneficiaries of this year’s update is the Transcend 3. Again, if you
are not familiar with what the number stands for after the name…it is simply
the number of versions this shoe has gone thru. Just to give you a quick
- Transcend (1) was unveiled August 2013
and hit the market February 2014
- Transcend 2 in August 2014 and
3 in January 2016.
It took Brooks Running Company almost 1 ½
years to come up with the 3rd version (generation if you prefer)
simply because it is hard to update a shoe that is already great. The biggest update
was the reduction in weight as you can see below:
As we all know, innovation never ceases
and change is the only thing that is constant. Consumers will always demand for
better products and the industries/ manufacturers need to provide that need. So
let’s take this review in details.
Before we begin, Brooks shoes are
categorized by the following:
Soft, protective and cushion shoes.
Optimized for energy return, responsive and springy lift to every stride.
Lightweight, flexible and low profile shoes.
built for speed and low profile shoes.
The Transcend 3was
named Best Update by Runner’s World in the 2016 spring shoe guide. It belongs
to the Cushion Me category
and is considered as stability shoe; designed for runners with flat to medium
arches and perfect for runner who may pronate. The shoe weighs in at 10.9 ounces for men size 9 and 9.5 ounces for women size 7; you can
see from the above comparison the dramatic weight reduction and I wouldn’t be
surprise if Brooks will come up with T4 in a much lower weight in a near future.
The heel to toe drop is 8mm. The shoe I tested was a size 10 and it really
feels true to the size. However, I read that some of the Brooks line up tend to
run ½ size small so if you’re a little bit unsure, I suggest that you visit the
nearest store and try them on.
There are five key features that this shoe is known for:
1.) Plush upper 2.) Guide Rails
3.) Super DNA 4.) Ideal Pressure Zones 5.) Ideal Heel
that work together, giving you that unique
ride. I’ll discuss them as we go along.
You can see the exoskeletal fabric beneath the laser cut mesh
The upper material is made of a seamless
laser cut mesh that provides good air management and breathability so you don’t
have to worry about your feet being on fire. With the laser cut mesh, you can see the exoskeletal fabric beneath it which is so cool. Brooks
incorporated a flat lace and eyelets (instead of round) which gave me the ease
to pull the lace evenly and deliver the right amount of tension on the top plus
a well-padded tongue for additional comfort. The heel cup is very well padded
too giving me the right amount of hug, securing my heel from
sliding out. The Guide Rails are wrapped around the entire midsole for
stability. So what’s the Guide Rails for? Think of it like a protective barrier along the
sections of a road (or cliff), preventing the cars from falling off just in
case of an accident. The Guide Rails work similar, preventing the foot
from collapsing inside or pronating.
You'll notice the midsole is flaring out and a extremely wide forefoot
The entire sole is made of Super DNA
material giving the shoe the cushiony feeling and an extremely wide profile on
the forefoot area. Brooks added crash pads that are strategically located on
the ideal pressure zones along the heel, midsole and forefoot areas for
smoother and buttery ride. The heel is somewhat rounded but not as round like
the PF5 which according to Brooks help minimize the stress on the joints. But
the most striking feature that I noticed was the foam on the midsole area (lime green color) that
looks like it’s bulging or flaring out from the inside (see picture). I’m not
really sure what’s the purpose of that, is it just aesthetic or does some
function? Well, I’m guessing that it’s there for a reason, that somehow
function like an outrigger (used in heavy equipment machineries) giving the
equipment more stability and balance on the ground. That flaring probably works
the same way too giving the foot that extra stability, preventing the foot from
collapsing on the inside, maybe similar to Guide Rails as I mentioned above…that’s
my guess. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, trust me I wouldn’t feel offended:-).
I tested the Transcend 3 on three
different types of run, so that I can give you my fair and unbiased assessment.
As a runner, we all know that certain shoes are created to do just one thing, but
sometimes we can find some balance to use it on different types of run as well.
I believe this is important so that we can get the best on what we paid for…some
shoes are not cheap and it can put a dent in our wallet. The test runs I did consist
of tempo,interval, and long & easy runs. I’ll
tell you at the end what these shoes are best for (in my humble opinion).
The shoe was really comfortable and
responsive in all the runs I did. I love the bulkiness because it gave my feet
enough room and not feel constricted at all. When it comes to stability, the
Guide Rails on both sides and the flaring foam on the midsole do what it tends
to do preventing my foot from collapsing and gave me the additional support
for balance. However, because of the added support on the midsole area, there was not much side to side flex, which makes sense since this is a stability
shoe. On the contrary, the forefoot area has the right amount of flex exactly
along the grooves which is a big plus during the take-off. When it comes to cushioning, be advised that each
shoe company has their own ways of measuring the firmness and cushiness level
of their shoes. Brooks level of cushion tends to be firmer in comparison with
other shoes like the Hoka Clifton. I tend to heel strike on my runs and I
noticed that the outside sole has just the right balance of cushion and
firmness (at the same time) especially when landing. This was noticeable during
my long run but not much when I did my tempo and interval. Though the shoe is still
a bit heavy (despite the weight reduction), it feels fast on the tempo and
interval. I didn’t have any problems hitting the required pace.
Overall, I’m very impressed with the
Transcend 3 how it performed. If you are looking for stability shoe with just the right
amount of cushion then look no further, it will not disappoint. This shoe is very comfortable, responsive and move along with my foot. This will be one of
my "go to shoes" for
interval and tempo runs but this might not be my choice when
racing for long distances. Not that this wouldn’t do the job (I know that it
will) but just because of its weight, which I think might play a big role
especially when my body starts to fatigue.
Are there any negatives? The price. I think
the $170 price tag is a bit hefty, but that’s the price you pay for all the
bells and whistles in these shoes. Comparing this price from the previous
versions, they’re almost identical, so I think it’s justifiable plus with all
the improvements they put in. You can purchase the Transcend 3 directly on
their website or retail stores nearest you.
Thanks for reading and let me know what
you think. Hope this review has been helpful in some ways and if you have any
questions or comments, feel free to post below.