Shoe Review- Brooks Dyad 8

My running profile- I supinate when I run (roll my feet outward) and as a result am prone to ankle and knee pain and hip tightness.  I have flat feet.  I am a Athena/Clydesdale runner (female over 160 lbs/ male over 220 lbs) so I look for shoes with a durable sole and cushioning.

What the running experts say- If they watch me run they always recommend a neutral shoe.  If they don’t watch me run and just look at the wear on my old shoes and listen to my injury history they recommend a motion control shoe.

What I say-Motion control shoes were great when I was a sprinter but as I ran longer distances the control was too much and limited my natural stride to the point that I was consistently having to tape my ankles or wear a knee brace.  Neutral shoes are great but some models are more minimalist than neutral and don’t provide enough support.  Stability shoes (traditionally recommended for pronators- runners who roll their feet inward) work great for me.  They limit motion enough to prevent injury but not so much that they over correct my stride.

The shoe- The Brooks Dyad 8 feels awkward when you first wear it but not uncomfortable.  The running store expert said most people say this when they first put them on but end up loving the shoe.  The shoe has a lower midsole so more of the bottom of the shoe is in contact with the ground.  It felt like I was running on snow shoes at first.  But even though it feels different than other shoes it is a very easy shoe to run in.  I kept trying on other shoes with a more traditional midsole but none of them beat out the Dyad.  I have been running in the shoe for a week now with my longest run being 7 miles long.  So far, this looks like a good purchase for me.

Brooks recommends the shoe for the neutral runner who needs extra support.  The shoe has a wide toe box but fits snug around the heel and arch.  The extra support is fantastic for the rear of the shoe but does make the front of the shoe fit short.  I normally wear an 8.5 in running shoes but was much more comfortable in the 9 for the Dyad.   A lot of shoe companies assume flat feet=wide feet so it is tough to find a comfortable shoe with arch support and no heel slip.  My feet are flat but on the narrow side so this shoe works great for me.   I would recommend wearing thinner, seamless socks with this shoe to prevent bunching and blisters.

The construction of the shoe is very sturdy.  Other runners have said the shoe will stand up to high mileage and rough terrain.   Some runners feel like the shoe takes longer to break in than other shoes because the construction is too stiff.

Potential problems- The extra ground contact may prove tricky on wet or slippery surfaces.  It would be nice to have some additional cushioning in the middle of the shoe.  Even with an orthotic, this shoe might not have enough cushioning for some runners.

Compared to previous shoes- This shoe is replacing my Saucony Progrid Hurricane 12s.  The Saucony was a great stability shoe with plenty of cushioning but it is not built to last.  You will need to replace the insole early and often.  The external cushioning on the heel and arch wear down pretty quickly as well.

Prior to that I ran in three different generations of Nike Air Pegasus.  This is a neutral shoe with a lot of cushioning.  These shoes last forever but if you run in them for too long they will allow all of your running quirks to flourish and lead to more injuries.

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