minutes per mile blog

women’s running shoe review: Brooks vs. New Balance

Remember when I wrote that post about how much I was loving my New Balance w1400sNew Balance w1400 vs brooks pureconnect vs wave hitogamiAs a light, neutral shoe with pretty solid reviews, I felt confident that these shoes could take me through a good 16-20 weeks of training and across the finish line on race day. New Balance w1400 vs brooks pureconnect vs wave hitogamiBut I was wrong. It’s been about four months since I bought them (489 miles, according to my calculations!) and they’re totally busted. I guess I jumped the gun when I wrote my initial review — I was clearly in the honeymoon phase! 😉brooks pure connect vs new balance 1400 women's running shoes reviewMidway through my 20-miler the other weekend, I felt like I was basically running barefoot — and though I’m all for minimal-style shoes, feeling the burn of the pavement on the balls of my feet takes it a bit too far!

As you can see, the outside edges of the shoes have been worn super thin. My friend Lizzie bought the same pair of shoes a few months ago, and she said that her 1400s have an actual hole in them! Yikes.brooks pure connect vs new balance 1400 women's running shoes reviewI’ve always been pretty tough on my shoes and extend their life to a good six months (700-800 miles or so?) before retiring them. I’ve never beat up a pair of shoes so bad, in such a short amount of time. I won’t write off the New Balance 1400s as a completely terrible shoe altogether, but I will write them off as completely terrible marathon training shoes.

So: lesson learned. I was attracted to the W1400s because they were cute and super cheap — only about $60. And now they’re ugly and broken! I guess you get what you pay for.

With a marathon coming up in a few weeks, I can’t risk running in what are now basically flip-flops. So I splurged the other week and returned to my long-lost, very expensive loves: The Brooks PureConnects.brooks pure connect vs new balance 1400 women's running shoes reviewIt’s been a glorious reunion, indeed! As soon as I slipped these babies on, I remembered why they’ve been so good to me over the years. They’re light, soft, and (as you can see above) a bit narrower than the New Balances — which means that they they hug my foot in a beautiful embrace every.single.mile.brooks pure connect vs new balance 1400 women's running shoes review It’s difficult to explain, but with the New Balances I felt like my feet were the ones taking the shoes out for a run, not the shoes taking my feet out for a run. The 1400s were in the passenger seat while my feet did all of the work!

In the Brooks, I feel like the shoes are just an extension of my legs! A beautiful neon-pink-and-yellow extension, that is :)brooks pure connect vs new balance 1400 women's running shoes reviewYou can just tell that the Brooks PureConnects are superior in quality, too. Little details like the stretchy laces and fit-to-your-foot tongue show that the goddesses who make these shoes put a lot of thought into them.brooks pure connect vs new balance 1400 women's running shoes reviewPlus, the soles seem a lot more durable than the NB’s. Since this is my 5th?6th? pair of PureConnects, I’m pretty confident that they’ll last for a good six months or so. I’ll be sure to check back in and let you know, though!brooks pure connect vs new balance 1400 women's running shoes reviewAnd just so you know: I’m writing this post 100% un-endorsed or encouraged by either shoe brand. It’s just me pouring out my true emotions for running shoes on the Internet for you fine people. brooks pure connect vs new balance 1400 women's running shoes reviewBut if anyone from Brooks is reading, please hire me to be your next shoe model. Your shoes make my face AND my feet smile. :)

  • How much do you spend on running shoes?
  • How many miles do you put in yours before you retire them?
  • Marathon training in racing flats/minimalist shoes – yay or nay?

13 thoughts on “women’s running shoe review: Brooks vs. New Balance

  1. I put in about 300-400 per pair, with a few getting close to 500. By 300 though, I need to start at least adding another shoe into the rotation and phasing them out. Those Brooks are so cute, good color choice! I was reading about the NB Vazee before getting a new pair recently and they sort of seemed like a good idea, but every review I read mentioned the wear-out factor. You put some impressive wear on those shoes!

    • yeah, i really “run down” my shoes, mostly because i get emotionally attached to them in a weird way and also because i am cheap. lastly, i’m not very injury prone (knock on wood) so i can tough it out in a pair of worn shoes. but when the soles are literally shredding i have to stop! haha

  2. My shoes usually last 400-500, but I have shoes that help with guidance and the cushioning starts breaking down by then. I have 3 in the mix right now………….Mizunos (which I loved the older model of Wave Inspire and ran my first marathon in them………….these are a little more stiff but ok for shorter runs)………….Saucony Guide (I really like this shoe, really like it. It’s wide enough at the toebox for me and feels lighter than it looks but provides lots of cushion)…………..and Brooks Ravenna (using these for long runs and the upcoming race! So far so good……………prob a close second to the Saucony’s right now).

    Do you name your shoes? I do-probably stupid but I think it’s fun!

    • haha no, i don’t name them, but that’s a great idea and i should start doing that today! i also like mizunos — always a solid choice. i have narrow feet and mizunos generally feel pretty slim around the toe. saucony and nike are too wide for me.

  3. Oh wow – those shoes are DONE. I go through shoes rather quickly. Up until very recently, I didn’t really have a shoe rotation, so I would change my shoes 2-3x a year. I wear fairly supportive shoes and find that after awhile, the support runs out and my feet hurt.

    I have a pair of NB 1260’s which are supportive shoes and probably one of the most expensive shoes that you can get from NB (I won them through Canadian Running Magazine thankfully) – loving them.

    On my feet right now are a pair of Brook’s Glycerins that just arrive yesterday. We will see how a neutral shoe feels :-) Although I’m mainly wearing my 1260’s for all runs because of my injury – I wear minimal/neutral shoes for track/treadmill work and supportive shoes for LR. I accidently wore my Brook’s Ravennas on the treadmill last week and it was AWFUL

    • i’ve heard good things about the glycerins! i would like to rotate shoes more, but i get really stubborn and like to stick to one pair for everything (except for track — i do have a special pair of track flats!). i don’t think NB is total crap, i just happened to buy one of their cheaper shoes and trained too hard in them. just checked out the 1260s – those look cute!

  4. Loooove my Brooks (Glycerins)! I hate how expensive they are but they are totally worth it! Thanks for doing this post- I have always debated switching to another brand, but they’ve been so good to me so I think I’ll stick to them!

  5. I am a Brooks girl. I tried New Balance once and they wore out so fast on the side where my foot is the widest. I was not happy. Brooks ghosts are my jam!!! Sorry about the bad experience.

  6. Running shoes are incredibly expensive in Australia so unfortunately I spend a lot. I always have one pair of trail shoes and one pair of Brooks Ravenna’s on rotation & they last about 6 – 8 months.

  7. I couldn’t agree more that different shoes can make a HUGE difference! Even just testing out different brands at the running store I felt pain in my knees, pain in my shins, or general discomfort. When I put the latest version of Saucony’s on that I’ve been running in for about four years I felt like I was back in heaven :)