Brooks Defyance 5 Review
For the neutral runner that is looking for good all around fit and performance in a running shoe, the Brooks Defyance 5 is a great choice. The defyance used to play in the category of mild stability, but with time Brooks has been transitioning this shoe to more of a neutral ride.I’ve been running in the Brooks Defyance 5 for the past few months including runs anywhere from shorter speed workouts to longer distance runs up to 15 miles.
To start, the Defyance 5’s midsole is made with a combination of blown EVA and Brooks DNA. The blown EVA allows the shoe to stay light (10.8oz) and providing a nice flowy cushioned ride. The Brooks DNA allows the shoe to spring back helping your foot push into your next stride and is located in the heel and the toe. Unlike previous additions of the Defyance running shoe, Brooks has taken out the firmer EVA near the arch that helps prevent your foot from caving inward. Instead, there is a small plastic plate out the outside of the midsole that provides a very small amount of support, a little more on the inside of the foot than the outside.
The Outsole of the Brooks Defyance 5 is broken up from the heel to the toe. In the heel, there are two separate pieces of durable outsole rubber, one on the inside of the heel and one on the outer of the heel. This allows the shoe and foot to flex a little and provides a nice transition going from heel to toe. From the midfoot to the toe, the outsole has horizontal grooves that help provide a steady heel to toe transition.
On the upper of the Brooks Defyance 5, there is a wider mesh pattern for added breathability with a smaller knit weave on the inside to provide a good foot wrap and to keep small pieces of debris out. Around the arch of the foot, there is a synthetic piece of leather that reaches up to the laces providing a small amount of support helping keep your foot from sliding inwards. In the lacing system, you get additional 4 elastic straps that allow the lacing to expand and contract as your foot begins to swell while running. (Yes, our feet do swell while running, that is why we often size up a half size when buying running shoes) On the inside of the shoe, the inside lining is patterned vertically to help prevent unwanted heel rubbing that can cause blisters. While you would think a horizontal pattern would hold the foot in best, I was not able to notice a difference.
I tested out a D width and I found the Defyance 5 to have the standard fit, but the shoe also comes in a narrow and wide fit as well.
Overall, I was very happy with the performance and ride of the Brooks Defyance 5 from a neutral running standpoint. If you have any additional feedback or questions on the performance of the shoe, please leave a note in the comments section.