Brooks Transcend 3 ReviewApril 27, 2016
- Excellent support with a solid foundation
- Lasting durability makes it an excellent everyday trainer
- Excellent motion control
- Hefty price tag
- Overly stiff and uncomfortable
- Runs big
The Brooks Transcend 3 is a solid stability everyday trainer favoring a beginner runner with foam underfoot in a durable package. As one of the firmer shoes tested in the comfort category, the Transcend 3 stands out in motion control and support but falls short with comfort and responsiveness. Even as the 3rd iteration of the Transcend series, Brooks still needs to enhance comfort and responsiveness to compete with others in this category.
The Brooks Transcend 3 is an everyday stability trainer for the runner who needs support and enjoys a stiffer feeling trainer while not being concerned with an overly fast shoe. Totally redesigned this year, the Transcend 3 offers excellent motion control with the addition of Guide Rails which, as Brooks describes it, are similar to a bob sled track, giving the foot boundaries and still allowing for movement between the track walls. Brooks also updated the upper with a laser-cut mesh for improved breathability.
Compared to other everyday trainers, the Brooks Transcend 3 falls short in the comfort category. Brooks Super DNA midsole and Guide Rails makes the Transcend 3 an excellent stability shoe, however it makes the shoe stiff and uncomfortable. Overall the Transcend 3 lacks the padding to warrant a good comfort rating. The heel counter is stiff while the collar and tongue lack adequate padding.
All of testers agreed the Brooks Transcend 3 sized a half size too big. Most of the extra room was located in the toe box, making the Transcend 3 a good option for runners with wide feet. The new laser-cut mesh upper provided excellent breathability, but lacked that form fitting found in other shoes.
Don’t expect to be able to switch gears quickly in the Transcend 3 because it is not a responsive shoe. The heavy weight, rigid frame and bulky feel contribute to the Transcends 3’s lack of responsiveness. With 20 to 29mm of dense DNA foam underfoot it was very hard to feel the ground and adjust as needed.
Tipping the scales as the heaviest shoe in the comfort category you’ll want limit the Brooks Transcend 3 to your everyday training and recovery runs because it is not a fast shoe by any means. Weighting in at 10.9oz for men and 9.5oz for women one tester noted, “It’s kind of a clunker.” Furthermore the stiff foam underfoot made it hard to get up on your toes.
As a stiff feeling shoe coupled with a heavy overall weight, the Transcend 3 is a great stability shoe but lacks the ride quality to compete with other comfort shoes such as the Saucony Hurricane ISO 2. A rigid frame and stiff foam made for a rough ride.