Few running shoes live up to their name in the way the Brooks Beast 11 (*Est. $100) does. This is a monster shoe with monster motion control, which experts and users say make it ideal for those looking for a seriously stable running shoe. The women's version of the Beast, the Ariel 11, receives similar user feedback. Released in October 2010, the latest version of the Beast is known for its stable platform and tremendous support. The shoe is designed to correct even the most excessive overpronators by providing a wide base to enhance balance. On the medial side, the Beast features a maximum stability posting to give first-rate arch support for flat feet. At 14.4 ounces (men's), the Beast is heavy -- typical of shoes in this category. Still, users say that despite the heft, the shoe allows enough speed for day-to-day use. Plus, the comfort level combined with excellent stability make this a good pick for heavier runners. Users admit that the shoe is somewhat unattractive and looks large on the foot, but the benefits of the Beast outweigh its aesthetic limitations. For those looking for a slightly lighter, more flexible motion-control shoe, the Saucony ProGrid Stabil 2 (*Est. $110) is a good bet.
In general, there are far fewer reviews for motion-control running shoes than for their stability or neutral-cushioning counterparts. In fact, these shoes are rarely included in fitness-magazine roundups of the best running shoes. For example, in the recent 2011 Spring Shoe Guide, Runner's World included just two motion-control shoes compared to seven stability shoes. Even so, the Brooks Beast 11 receives stellar reviews from hundreds of consumers. We found helpful user reviews for both the men's Brooks Beast 11 and the women's Brooks Ariel 11 at RoadRunnerSports.com, Zappos.com and Amazon.com.
Nearly 50 users provide feedback for the Brooks Beast 11 at this popular online retail store. Reviews are brief, but users agree: For heavier runners who like to rack up the miles, few shoes can compete with the Beast. Owners also say that while the shoe is comfortable out of the box, it becomes more so after a few weeks of being broken in. The women's version of the shoe, the Brooks Ariel 11, receives positive comments from 12 users.
Review: Men's Brooks Beast 11, Contributors to RoadRunnerSports.com, As of July 2011
More than 40 customers weigh in on the merits of the Brooks Beast 11 at Amazon.com. The motion-control running shoe earns high praise, with runners rating it an average 4.5 out of 5 stars. The only real criticism surrounds the appearance of the shoe, which many say isn't particularly attractive. Yet users say that despite aesthetics, the cushioning, control and stability the Beast provides make the shoe a must-have.
Review: Brooks Men's Beast 11 Running Shoe, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2011
More than 100 Zappos.com users provide short but insightful reviews of the Brooks Beast. The comments don't distinguish between the Beast 11 and older incarnations of the shoe. Still, reviewers rave about the comfort and support provided.
Review: Brooks Beast Reviews, Contributors to Zappos.com, As of July 2011
DailyMile.com features several reviews of popular running shoes, written and tested by real-life runners. The Brooks Beast 11 is tested by a high-mileage runner who, in a fair and balanced review, says that despite its bulk, the shoe is a good choice for those in need of major motion control. These shoes are comfortable enough for high-mileage runs and don't limit speed as much as one may expect.
Review: Brooks Beast 11 Review: Is it Worth its Weight on the Run?, Writers of DailyMile.com, Dec. 9, 2010