At first glance the Neuro could almost pass for the Reebok ATV, but once I picked the shoe up and handled it I knew that this was nowhere near the same shoe.
The Neuro definitely appears bulky and heavy, however once I placed the shoe on I found it to be light and didn’t weigh me down.
The unique feel of the podded sole unit was immediately felt providing an enhanced ground feel and flexibility.
Brooks Neuro General Info
Looking to shake up the running shoe market Brooks releases a revolutionary design and category with its newest shoe the Neuro.
The Neuro is the first shoe in the new Propel Category which is centered on propulsion pods that adapt cushioning and provide energy return.
This neutral shoe is designed to deliver flexibility in all directions with an increased road feel, and quick responsive transition.
Brooks Neuro Sole Unit
So, as I made mention earlier the Neuro is the first shoe in the “Propel” or “Propel Me” categorization of shoes which translates to fast and bouncy.
This ride is created by taking BioMoGo DNA foam and encompassing it with a rubber ring, or put much more simply they made a pod. The Pods have then been strategically placed in series to form the sole unit.
What this design does for the shoe is still allows the BioMoGo DNA to do what it has always done and apply adaptive cushioning throughout the platform, but by adding the ring to the outside limits the amount of compression returning that energy or “bouncing” it back to the runner.
This gives the shoe a snappy quick transition that only seemed to improve the faster I ran. Along with the fast bouncy transition the pod design also adds flexibility and a level of ground feel that is definitely unique.
By having individual pods rather than a one piece segmented outsole the foot is allowed to move more naturally and independently in all directions.
This independence is also taken one step further by decoupling the pods at the midfoot releasing the sub-plantar joint which Brooks has coined “the Gearing Mechanism”; allowing the forefoot and heel to move independently the Neuro has a noticeably powerful push off.
Brooks Neuro Upper Info
Just like the outsole of the shoe the upper of the Neuro is also a new and unique design featuring a light 3-layer mesh construction.
The outmost layer is a exoskeleton made of a thin PVC like material that is durable and capable of withstanding a lot of abuse, but unfortunately does not allow the shoe to breathe as well as it could.
The Exoskeleton is fused to a very fine mesh that does a good job of keeping out debris. The third innermost layer is a much softer more basket mesh that is comfortable against the foot and wicks quite well.
What really makes the upper of the Neuro special is the HAMMOCK lacing system. This system is assembled from a series of cords, slid in between the outer and inner mesh layers, which wrap the entire foot and not just the midsole.
The cords tighten at the eyelets to hold the foot securely to the sole and provide alignment of the shoe and foot.
What is great about this system is that it allowed me to create an almost custom fit along the length of my foot simply by adjusting the laces.
Brooks Neuro Conclusions
Brooks has definitely taken a much different approach to how running shoes can be made with the Neuro, and I must say at first glance I was skeptical. However, after a few hundred miles I really like what they have built.
The responsiveness of this shoe is surprisingly fast despite its bulky appearance, and I would definitely rank it as one of the most responsive shoes I have ever worn.
The Neuro comes in a little steep at $130.00 but in my opinion is worth the investment. I really think that Brooks is on to something and will have other companies evaluating how they build shoes.
We thank the nice people at Brooks for sending us a pair of Neuro to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.