The New Brooks Anthem 2 shoes are now available for runners. The shoes are an immediate upgrade to the first Anthem and they look as modern as many Brooks fans expect. It goes without saying that the first Anthem release was a good release. It lacked a bit of cushioning compared to other neutral shoes. But the shoes were not bulky, they had good responsiveness and they were even chosen for their versatility as casual shoes. One problem they came with was the durability, which wasn’t helped by runners going out in the rain. However, the Anthem 2 fix many of these issues.
Made with a snug fit, a new upper and a blown rubber outsole, these neutral shoes are recommended for running on the road. They might struggle when it comes to sprints, but their overall concept is to cover most types of running. It is also why they come with a 12mm midsole drop. Their cushioned profile also means that runners can run longer without feeling pain in their feet too soon. With reduced impact on the joints, the Anthem 2 can be seen as daily trainers for enthusiastic runners. Even at an affordable price, they might offer too much cushioning for the occasional runner. But those who run every day can see the improved comfort over similar options in the affordable category.
It’s worth noting that the outsole, the midsole and the upper are now different. This doesn’t mean that it is necessarily better. However, the bulky feel of the first Anthem is gone. This makes the Anthem 2 the go-to option when it comes to a snug fit, especially for paced runs.
Brooks has listened to runners to an extent. The poor upper protection is now improved. The stability and the cushioning have also improved. It is why Anthem 2 is more in line with what other leading brands have to offer. Interestingly, even at a lower price, the re-engineered outsole design also means the Anthem 2 will last longer as well.
Similarly to Ravena 10, the shoes come with a full-blown rubber outsole. There are no special effects when it comes to the way the outsole looks. But the thick rubber does its job when it comes to providing traction for running hundreds of miles. With flex grooves, the forefoot is flexible. However, the mid area of the outsole is not as free as some of the alternatives in the class. This is why some runners might see the shoes as clunky or bulky. But for the purpose of simply running on different surfaces, they come with the durability needed for high abrasion resistance.
There’s nearly a decade since Brooks works closely with midsole cushioning improvements. This results in BioMoGo and DNA technologies for improved stride comfort. The adaptive cushioning technology is one of Brooks’ innovation areas and it was actually designed to work with BioMoGo. If Asics has the gel cushioning, Brooks has DNA cushioning.
This interesting technology is not the ordinary response from a liquid made from millions of foam particles. When the runner stands, the DNA technology has an effect which allows the feet to sink in the shoes. But this drastically changes while running. When force is applied to the DNA technology with stride impact, it actually acts as a cushioning barrier, bouncing back and offering energy which runners can interpret as bounciness. It is why Brooks has used it in most new releases, which include the Anthem 2.
The soft knit upper is a change from the mesh seen on the first Anthem shoes. It comes with a one-piece construction which improves aerodynamics and fit. The upper might not have the same stretchiness as the previous shoes but it comes with a snug fit which keeps the heel and midfoot in place while allowing the forefoot some room for pronation.
The heel collar is padded as is the tongue. Brooks also kept costs down by using traditional flat lacing with no unique technologies. Most importantly, the stable heel area allows the shoes to fit most types of runners.
Size And Fit
At the moment, the shoes are only available in normal widths for both men and women. However, this could change as runners with wide feet can feel the tightness around the ankle.