When it comes to sneaker brands, there’s definitely a hierarchy of ‘cool’.
At the top sits Adidas and Nike, whose sneakers aren’t just impressive from a performance perspective but are also prized as fashion accessories, too. Then you’ve got your ASICS, Reeboks and Under Armours of the world, which are respected but don’t command the same sort of hype that ‘the big two’ generate.
Brooks sits somewhere down the bottom of the pile. If you only care about running, Brooks’ sneakers are great – but they’re not a brand that hypebeasts would line up around the block for if a new sneaker dropped. They’re the quintessential ‘dad shoe’ brand: comfortable, practical, but not stylish.
Which makes their most recent sneaker release all the more surprising. Not only are they innovative from a technical and ergonomic perspective, but they look absolutely slick – so slick, we’re genuinely surprised that they’re not from a more mainstream or fashion-focused brand.
Meet the Brooks Aurora-BL: sneakers so cool and futuristic they might just singlehandedly change the public perception of Brooks as a brand.
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From a technical perspective, the exciting thing about the Aurora-BLs is what their midsoles are made of: a material called DNA LOFT v3. DNA LOFT is Brook’s composite cushioning compound, comparable to Adidas’ boost technology or Asics’ FlyteFoam.
DNA LOFT v3 takes Brooks’ already very comfy DNA LOFT technology and injects nitrogen into the midsole, making them even lighter and more durable. In this sense, you can think of the Aurora-BLs as a ‘halo shoe’ like Adidas’ Ultraboosts or Nike’s Epic Reacts (or even Air Max range, if you want to look back in time).
But it’s not just that halo shoe positioning that Brooks has cribbed from the big brands. It’s also their design language – in the best possible way. The Aurora-BLs’ considered colour scheme, translucent panels and clean look elevate them from something that’s purely performance-focused to something truly aspirational.
Speaking of aspirational, they’ve also taken the lead from other brands and introduced a rather aspirational price. The Aurora-BLs are retailing for a hefty AU$350, which considering that Brooks is known as being a ‘value’ brand, is pretty ballsy.
Are the Aurora-BLs a sign that Brooks is evolving as a brand? Will their big gambit pay off? We’re not sure. All we know is that we’d be happy to wear these to Paris Fashion Week – because the coolest thing is being ahead of the curve.
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