Hype or Holy Grail? Brooks ‘Gravity Defying’ Aurora-BL running shoes

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Brooks promises a “weightless and effortless run” with its latest road running shoe. We tested this wild-looking Aurora-BL for first impressions.

Maybe innovates – and there is no industry – new product ideas like the shoe industry. Once upon a time there was an air pump on the tongue that promised a better vertical position. Then lights in heels became all the rage, until wheels in the soles stole the spotlight.

And then minimalist running shoes without pillows, then foot-shaped “five fingers” and then back to ultra-cushion running shoes … the list. Go. On.

Today, Brooks sets its own claim in the world of running shoe technology: foam enriched with nitrogen. This is how the centuries-old running brand claims their newest product, the Aurora-BLis lighter and “more responsive than ever”.

We quickly covered 10 miles to see what running on nitrogen felt like for this First Look Review.

In short: nitrogen, shmitrogen – if you run no more than 50 miles a week in the world’s most expensive shoes, you won’t feel lighter than air (which, by the way, is mostly nitrogen). But that does not mean Brooks didn’t create a solid running shoe.

The unique construction works hard to keep up with the bold design. The result is a shoe that builds confidence and bolder, faster steps. Just don’t expect to destroy records that aren’t your own.

Photo credit: Sean McCoy

Speed ​​sold

When it comes to shoes, we are in the age of speed. After Nike’s VaporFly 4% helped Eliud Kipchoge break the 2-hour marathon barrier (along with a fleet of step walkers and a carefully planned course), brands like HOKA and ASICS have announced their own challengers for the speed crown.

But where those brands pinned their title hopes on carbon, Brooks looked at another element.

“We injected that Auroras Pillows with nitrogen for euphoric steps, ”said the brand. By pumping the most abundant gas in the earth’s atmosphere into the midsole, Brooks wanted to make landings easier and more responsive.

But that’s not the only technology Brooks has built into the shoe. According to our testing, this isn’t the most notable aspect of the Aurora. The Aurora also has a decoupled sole so that both the heel and forefoot can move more freely from the center to the outsole.

The entire build is designed to encourage natural foot movement combined with a forgiving effect and a lively start.

Brooks Aurora-BL Running Shoe First Look Review

We received our shoe sample just 4 days before this start, so we only recorded about 10 miles of road running.

But to be honest, it only took about 5 seconds to know we had to review this shoe because that is how long it took to get in the box. While these aren’t the most bizarre shoes we’ve seen, they’re further on the “outrageous” side of the spectrum than many of the shoes you will see in the walk-in store.

Brooks Aurora-BL running shoe

  • Purpose: Road run
  • Weight (sample size): 8.5 oz. (Men) / 7.6 oz. (Women)
  • Fall: 6 mm
  • Price: $ 200


First, the lacing. The Aurora comes with pleasantly sticky, soft laces that bite well when tied. And the tongue has a very nifty offset eyelet on the tongue to keep it from slipping (a common nuisance with some shoes).

Fit & Feel

We didn’t cover enough miles to know how breathable these tops are. But, like everything else on the Aurora, they’re unorthodox. While knitted tops have caused a sensation in modern running shoe uppers, the Aurora has a translucent plasticine construction.

You can even see your feet through the toebox when you’re wearing it! This material provides moderate, but not essential, assistance. We haven’t had excessive foot sweat in our 10 miles.

We didn’t trudge through puddles either – so note: the Aurors are not marketed as waterproof or waterproof.

Running review: overall impressions

Brooks Aurora-Bl running shoePhoto credit: Sean McCoy

Strictly speaking, it is Brooks Aurora doesn’t provide a great running experience. The nitrogen-enriched midsole doesn’t feel significantly lighter or softer than other modern running shoes.

But does it make you feel faster? Actually yes – a little. According to our test, the most noticeable technology in this shoe was the decoupled sole. This really created a smoother, more natural feeling when running and pedaling / starting.

It wasn’t all great, however. We felt some numbness even after postponing the midrun. We also noticed some instability, particularly in supinating runners, which showed as a slight “flipping over” of the upper over the outer edge of the midsole.

Still, this was a first run and we didn’t break it in. Therefore, we cannot associate any problems with the shoes alone. We’ll continue to earn and update miles as we get to know each other better.

Perhaps the greatest boost the Aurors provide is just knowing what they look like. You look fast. They look high-tech. And when you run, this knowledge has a little power. There’s an old saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

Likewise the Brooks Aurora Bl feels like a shoe for the runner you want to be, not just the runner you are. Lace them up and look down; You want to take off on a recording clip.

You can buy them Brooks Aurora-BL starting June 10, 2021 for women and men for $ 200.

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