The Brooks Neuro is a running shoe that turns heads. Neuro comes from the Greek word neuron meaning nerves. One look at this scintillating new shoe will have your neurons firing and set your mind racing. The Brooks Neuro introduces over-sized propulsion pods, a dynamic hammock system, and a new split-foot gearing mechanism that will blow your mind and lift your running experience to new heights.
Brooks Neuro Pods
One of the most innovative and visually striking aspects of the Brooks Neuro is the outsole made up of large pods. Some may find the look to be a little unsettling, while others like the bold new profile. The propulsion pods are designed to provide adaptive cushioning and efficient energy return.
The pods have a distinct break about 2/3 of the way back from the toes that functions as a gearing mechanism. This allows the forefoot and heel to move independently to create more powerful push-offs. Overall, the sole has a very skeletal look with deep crevices and spaces between the pods, visible guidance plates, and virtually no mid-sole with just a thin layer of material under the sock liner.
The rounded heel offers little in the way of protection for heavy heel strikers. Instead, it encourages more of a mid-foot landing style and quick toe-off compatible with faster running. It’s not as plush in the heel area as the Ghost 8. I prefer to think of the Ghost 8 as an easy day/distance trainer and the Neuro as a tempo day/ speed trainer.
Brooks Neuro Upper
The upper is made from a lightweight mesh that feels like glow-in-the-dark plastic. Visible beneath the outer layer is the Dynamic Hammock System and another layer of mesh sock liner. I found the upper to be very comfortable. My only complaint is that the toe-box seems a bit smaller and perhaps a bit more rigid than other Brooks models.
The Dynamic Hammock System wraps underfoot and tightens through the eyelets for improved foot alignment. It offers good support and hugs the mid-foot in a pleasant way during the run. The tongue isn’t uncomfortable, but it could have been a bit longer.
Brooks Neuro Road Test
After unboxing the Brooks Neuro running shoes, my first impression went something like this: “Huh… (crickets).” But, once I put them on my feet and went for a run, I was like “Wow!” They may be unsightly, look heavy, and feel like cheap plastic, but who cares. They work. And, they feel really good. I turned in my fastest 6-mile run in two months the first time out with these bad boys.
The propulsion pods provide good ground contact and cushioning and the hammock system really feels good wrapped around the foot. The toe box seemed tight or maybe just too stiff. My second toe is longer than my big toe, and these shoes left a hotspot on the end of it.
My test runs were done on three different days. The first day was raining. Needless to say, with the skeletal design of the sole and the minimal upper, my feet were wet the first day. The next two runs were very comfortable.
- Mid-foot support from Dynamic Hammock System
- Gearing Mechanism offered great transition
- Felt fast
- Toe box is too stiff
I received a pair of shoes for review.