I’ve had the Brooks Asteria for a couple of months now. I’ve been really impressed by them so thought I’d post a review here.
For my own situation I’m seeing these shoes as a marathon racing shoe that will replace my Brooks ST Racers. The ST did a great job at carrying me through the Blackmores Sydney marathon this year and now I’m looking ahead to my marathons in 2017. The Asteria is the new upgrade.
So far I’ve done a few speed workouts in the Asteria as well as a few mid-paced long runs and they have held up really well.
Compared with a much lighter racing flat like the Brooks T7 racer, there is quite a bit more support in these shoes. Just enough to keep me supported in the tired end of a marathon. Yet compared with a heavier support shoe, they are light enough that they don’t add much to the weight of your tires legs.
I did a comparison of the Asteria against the T7, the ST racer and the GTS. Of course, there are always official weights of shoes but I find there is sometimes inconsistency across which sizes are used. So I prefer to weigh them myself.
I’m a size 8, so that’s what I used for all 4 of these shoes. The Asteria came out at 230g per shoe as comparable to the ST (215g), but slightly heavier. This surprised me because the Asteria feels and looks narrower with less material. I can only assume that the material used (perhaps due to the BioMoGo – see below) is slightly denser.
As another comparison, all the rest of my race kit weighs about 150g in total, so the shoes is a significant factor. Having said that even the GTS at 280g is less than 1% percent of my body weight for both shoes. But that still feels like it is adding a chunk to the weight of each leg at the 40km point in a marathon.
The fourth shoe I weighed was the T7 at a mean 160g. Very light but not enough protection for me for a longer race (half marathon+).
Toe box width
The toe box on the Asteria feels slightly narrower than the ST racer. I prefer this as I like a good fit, but others may find it too narrow. The Asteria feels quite similar in fit to that of the T7 racer. It’s not super snug but I wouldn’t describe it as a wide fit.
Sole – feel under foot
One big update for the Asteria over the ST (and also the Hyperion over the T7) is that the sole has the Brooks BioMoGo material. This material is soft under low impact and hard under big impact. So, it feels softer on a long run and racing-tough -but not too tough – on a fast workout.
I have had some problems with the T7 shoe leaving my toes in a bad way after a half marathon with the constant pavement pounding. I’ve done one race – a 5km – in the Asteria and felt a big difference on the downhills with my feet feeling much less under stress.
Upper – seams / blister proofing
One thing I am conscious of are seams in a shoe as potential blister hot spots. The upper of the Asteria does well on this point. It is comfortable, smooth and seamless – a step up from the ST racer.
Race day test
I used the Asteria last week at the local parkrun to give them a good run out. They fared really well – in fact, they almost snatched me the course record! It was only a 5km event but I still felt that they gave a good balance between feeling fast and cushioning my feet, which is just what I am looking for in a marathon shoe.
I’m pretty happy with the Asteria. A well designed shoe with some great updates on the ST racer. I’m pleased to say I’ve found my shoe of choice for the Sydney and Canberra marathons in 2017!