Our History

Our History

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1914

Bath and Ballet Shoes

Brooks begins in a small factory in Philadelphia that makes ballet slippers and bathing shoes. While we can’t take much credit for revolutionizing the ballet or bath shoe industries, we remain just as committed to specialized gear for a specialized activity.

1921

First Brooks baseball cleats

Baseball Cleats

We move into mainstream sports with the development of our first baseball cleats, which will go on to be worn by championship teams and famous athletes like Mickey Mantle. Our past business was America’s Favorite Pastime.

1929

Bumper on roller skates

Roller Skates

You know that little bumper on the front of your roller skates that sometimes, but not often enough, prevents you from crashing into parked cars? That's us.

1930

Brooks football cleats

Football Cleats

Brooks makes one of its first innovations for serious athletes: Natural Bend Arch Support. It quickly becomes a favorite technology among players. Another patent, Lock Tight, helps reduce injury by preventing cleats from coming off during the game.

1938

Children's Shoes

Many are surprised to learn we no longer make pint-sized ped-wear. At one point, we launched a line called “Pedicraft” that was scientifically engineered for children. We eventually grew out of them, as did all the children who wore them.

1940

Brooks softball cleats

Softball Cleats

Brooks develops shoes with soft rubber cleats for softball. They become extremely popular, alongside an extensive and growing lineup that also includes ice skates, gym, bowling, basketball, baseball, soccer, boxing and wrestling shoes.

1962

Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris

A Moment with Mickey

Long before Brooks could take part in major sports endorsements, then-CEO Jerry Turner made his way into the Yankees' locker room with a box of Brooks cleats under each arm. He asked Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle if they'd like to try them on. Maris declined, but Mantle tried them, loved them and bought both pairs with a check for $44.

1972

Frank Shorter

Things Change in Munich

It could be said that Brooks' focus on running shoes actually began in 1972, when Yale graduate Frank Shorter won the Olympic marathon. Running suddenly captivates the world’s attention. Instead of making anything — from athletic shoes to combat boots — that would keep the factory turning, Brooks starts to think about limiting its focus.

1974

Brooks Villanova shoe

Villanova

Brooks begins its true commitment to innovation through runner insight by developing the Villanova with feedback from Olympic middle-distance runner Marty Liquori. The shoe puts Brooks in a league with the other big names in running of the time.

1977

Brooks Vantage shoe

Vantage

Brooks' first shoe to hit #1 in Runner's World. In addition to developing the industry-first use of EVA (which replaced slow-rebounding rubber in midsoles), the Vantage features a removable sockliner that molds to the runner's foot and the Varus Wedge. President Jimmy Carter orders a pair.

1980

Brooks Hugger GT shoe

Hugger GT

Despite its friendly name, the Hugger GT is an aggressive step forward in running shoes. The innovative shoe is the first to feature a breathable GORE-TEX upper; it also features a heel-hugging side strap that makes your foot “a more biomechanically efficient (and less injury-prone) structure.”

1981

Varus Wedge

Rated the best running shoe in the world by Running Times, the Brooks Nighthawk features the Varus Wedge, which solves a big problem for runners by reducing overpronation.

1982

Brooks Chariot shoe

Diagonal Rollbar

The Chariot uses two different density foams instead of the Varus Wedge — a denser foam on the inside of the shoe to keep runners from rotating inward and toward the outside, softer EVA to keep the shoe from tilting awkwardly for walkers. Brooks calls this innovation the Diagonal Rollbar. The Chariot also features an ultra-sturdy heel counter that wraps around the heel and extends to the ball of the foot. A third game-changer — a dual-density rubber outsole — features hard rubber on the edges for stability and softer rubber in the middle to absorb impact.

1987

Kinectic Wedge Cushioning Technology

Kinetic Wedge

Brooks releases a new cushioning technology designed to stabilize the forefoot: a piece of soft, flexible material under the ball of the foot. The Kinetic Wedge allows the foot to arch more naturally, reducing stress-related injuries. This development is said to be the first of several innovations that makes Brooks for Women the first shoes designed to be anatomically correct for women.

1989

HydroFlow Technology

HydroFlow

Like a hydraulic shock absorber, HydroFlow reacts uniquely to each runner’s weight and gait. This technology starts as a two-chambered system that moves silicone fluid from a rear chamber into a front chamber of the shoe with each heel strike and then springs back when the heel lifts. In 1991, HydroFlow wins the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance. Later, HydroFlow is improved to dampen impact by moving a silicone-oil compound from the center of the pad to the edges.

1992

Brooks Beast shoe

Beast

Brooks’ next big shoe takes motion control to a new level with improvements to the Diagonal Rollbar. Doctors prescribe the Beast for runners with shin splints and other injuries. The Beast and the Addiction (the “Baby Beast”) go on to become some of Brooks’ most successful shoes.

1995

Podular Technology

A new Brooks concept makes the outsole more flexible than ever. Instead of linear grooves, Podular Technology introduces pods on the outsole, allowing the shoe to bend in every direction. The innovation is now so common, it seems strange to think of it as revolutionary so recently.

1999

Brooks first GTS (go-to-shoe)

Adrenaline GTS 1

One of Brooks’ all-time best sellers hits the market, marking Brooks’ first big move into the fast-growing stability category. The Adrenaline GTS (Go-To Shoe) is developed through feedback from running retailers seeking a go-to shoe that was supportive but more flexible and responsive than the Addiction. The Adrenaline adds flexibility to the forefoot, smoother transitions from heel strike to toe-off and flex grooves that offer the right amount of support and traction, among other innovations.

Substance 257

Brooks introduces another cushioning innovation. Substance 257 was 25 percent rubber and 75 percent ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). This compound makes the midsole more durable and simultaneously cushy.

2001

Full Commitment to the Run

When you focus on what you do best, you do it even better. Brooks enters the new millennium focused on one thing: running. We're proud of our heritage. We're grateful for all the wearers of Brooks sporting goods over the years. But now we're singular in our pursuit.

2002

gts4

Adrenaline GTS 4

A new last "tunes" the fit, balance and ride of the Adrenaline GTS to perfection. The Progressive Diagonal Rollbar is introduced, using triple-density foam contoured not only to prevent pronation from the outside in, but also to gradually guide the foot forward from heel strike to toe-off. These innovations lead the Adrenaline GTS 4 to Runner's World's "Best Update" award and Running Network's "Best Renovation" Gold Medal; it also becomes Brooks' best-selling shoe.

2006

MoGo

A whole new polymer-based substance represents a complete update to the industry standard EVA foam midsole. MoGo gives runners more cushioning, more rebound, more durability and more energy return. A more efficient and environmentally friendly compression-molded preform process cuts waste in half.

2007

BioMoGo

Brooks improves upon the revolutionary MoGo midsole by making the world’s first fully biodegradable midsole cushioning material. Tests show that BioMoGo breaks down 50x faster than EVA, with the potential to save landfills nearly 30 million pounds of waste over a 20-year period. And then Brooks does the unthinkable by freely sharing BioMoGo’s formula with the competition.

2011

pure_project

PureProject

While never adopting the "less is more" philosophy of the minimalist running boom, the PureProject line delivers a more biomechanically sound product in a lighter package. Runner's World says in its review of the PureConnect that it "strikes a balance between barefoot-inspired minimalism and cushioning-required training ... it has a lightweight, barely-there feel yet is substantive enough to handle long tempo runs."

2013

Transcend

Instead of trying to “correct” a runner’s gait, Brooks embraces emerging biomechanics research that the “right way” to run is as individual as runners themselves. The Transcend is the first shoe to feature GuideRails technology.

2017

dna_amp

DNA AMP

Brooks launches its most responsive midsole ever, featuring technology that returns more energy to the runner than any shoe from leading competitors. DNA AMP absorbs the impact of the foot strike and returns it directly upward, so energy expelled by runners is translated back into longer, faster runs.

2018

DNA LOFT

The softest midsole ever created by Brooks hits the market. With a balance of foam, air, and rubber that disperses impact away from the body, runners are offered a plush, comfortable ride without sacrificing responsiveness or durability.

GuideRails 2.0

Brooks unveils a whole new approach to support technology that embraces the individuality inherent in each runner’s stride. GuideRails are specialized plates that allow runners’ hips, knees and joints to move through their own unique Habitual Motion Path, only intervening when the runner exceeds this zone. This holistic approach to support takes into account the natural coupling between the feet and the joints, recognizing that no shoe could hope to outsmart the human body.