A bunch of cushion and a bunch of pronation control could make for a bit of a brick, but not in the smooth and responsive Brooks Trance 11.
Testers expected big-time cushioning in the Trance 11, and that’s exactly what they got. But this shoe is not a gelatinous blob under your foot - the Trance 11 is stable, flexible and also pretty responsive according to our tests.
This shoe is built for the heel-striking, heavily pronating runner. Unsurprisingly, testers felt most comfortable when heel striking in the Trance 11. The shoe feels heavy and a bit “odd” when coming down on your midfoot, though with either strike pattern the progression to toe-off is good.
Testers were split on the perceived level of responsiveness in the forefoot. One tester didn’t feel there was enough response when she picked up the pace, but other testers found the spring in the forefoot to be pretty satisfying, especially for the amount of cushioning that cradles your metatarsals.
The downside of all the goodies loaded into the Trance 11 is the added weight. On longer runs, testers noticed the weight particularly in the rear of the shoe. Still, it compares favorably with other luxury rides in the maximum support category and does a very good job of retaining its “out of the box” feel many hundreds of miles down the road.
These shoes fit like Brooks used my foot as the mold. They feel surprisingly plush just walking around but firm up a bit at speed.
The heel sops up the shocks, and I feel like I could heel strike all day long in comfort. Speaking of comfort, the upper is supportive in all the right places and moves intuitively with my foot.
A little firmer than I expected, but otherwise great cushioning and plenty of support for overpronation.