Wednesday, June 22, 2016

First Run Impressions of the "Bumble Bee"-Brooks Running Asteria

I took the Brooks Running Asteria a/k/a Bumble Bee out on its first run, a moderate start 5 mile progression tempo run. Astoria has a very smooth directed ride reminding me somewhat of the Saucony Zealot ISO 2 RTR (just reviewed here), a firm stable heel landing followed by a softer forefoot. In the case of the Asteria it is lighter and the contrast between firm heel with its posting and softer forefoot is far more subtle and the ride livelier and quicker at toe off.



Asteria has a super stable heel due to Guide Rails posting insert around the heel.  I was well directed forward with the heel reminding me somewhat of the Saucony Kinvara 7 but a touch firmer and more stable.


The Guide Rails are not a mid foot posting insert and it is not a motion control shoe in the traditional sense. It is more than decently cushioned, but not soft, with a long easy flexing forefoot. Not a snappy toe spring shoe.

Great upper. Soft with overlays in the right places. A gentle yet secure foot wrap with a well padded tongue. It is quite roomy and soft in the toe box if a bit short.
It is a tempo race shoe with very decent responsive cushioning. 
Update: Raced them this past Saturday in a somewhat hilly 10K. Improved my 10K time from an earlier June 10K on a warmer day and hillier course. They were stable and comfortable. This is a racer with room to stretch due the soft front material in forefoot yet with a well held foot, a hard feet to pull off.

8.3 oz 10mm drop. $110. Available 8/1/16

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15 comments:

Andrew McIver said...

How does it compare to the Racer ST5?

sam winebaum said...

Hi Andrew, Never have run the ST 5 but think there are significant differences. Astoria is 0.5 oz lighter 10mm drop vs 12, less sewing and a very comfortable toe box, and most significantly does not have a midfoot plastic stability element or nearly as much posting as ST 5. I generally run neutral shoes but like a touch of stability in my racers and have for that reason have in recent years really liked the adios Boost and Altra Impulse. The Asteria fits the bill for me for shorter racing. Sam Editor Road Trail Run.

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on this shoe as a half marathon racer? I like a little more shoe for anything over 10K.

sam winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous, a fine shoe for a half if you want a racer on the firmer side. I have run up to a 10K in them and would use for a half. What do you run in now?

Anonymous said...

I have used an Adios boost for 5-10K but they are not enough for me for anything longer.

sam winebaum said...

Adios Boost for me too for up to half Anonymous. And fine for a half but not beyond 25K for me. Astoria will be firmer in the heel about the same in the forefoot. I think you should look for something else. Have you tried Boston Boost? Also I am crazy about the Altra Torin 2.5, not a race shoe but light enough and very versatile. My last downhill half was in them.. Also the Kinvara 7 if the fit is ok for you. Hoka Clayton another good options. See this page for all our reviews of these and others. http://www.roadtrailrun.com/p/blog-page.html Thanks for reading.

BRETT said...

I've been a avid supporter of the Brooks ST-5's---having run most of my 22 marathons in them. Thus, I was obviously disappointed to hear Brooks is discontinuing them. With them 'shifting' me to try the Asteria's, I too am curious if this will be 'enough shoe' for the marathon distance...I will likely buy a pair and check them out, but at least still have ST-5's for my marathons this fall. I am eager to hear any and all feedback in regards to the Asteria's ---especially for those that have run/trained long distances of 13+ miles in them. Thanks.

Brett

Andrew McIver said...

Brett, I have run in the Asterias now for some longer runs, 8, 14, 18, and 19 miles. I was running in the ST5s previously for faster long runs and I like the Asterias much better for the faster long miles. I plan to run in them at the Chicago marathon in October (hopefully to break 2:55). They have a little less pronation support than ST5s, but the guide rails seem to keep my foot where it needs to be so I don't have any soreness after those long runs at all. The width is still there, similar to the ST5s and not too narrow like other lighter marathon shoes like the Adidas Bostons or Adios. They aren't quite as firm as the ST5s, but the foam is firmer when you go faster and softer when you slow down it felt like to me. The upper on the Asterias is much better. I was worried they looked too flimsy in the photos, but they were nice and supportive. They hug my foot snug and keep it in place for long runs, but not too tight and have some good padding in the tongue for the longer miles. I was very excited these felt so good and I think I could run all my training runs in them as well as races from 10k-marathon. I suggest you try them out.
Andrew

sam winebaum said...

Thanks for your comment Andrew. Much appreciated! I would only add that I think the Adios Boost 3 is of similar width upfront for me but the Asteria is a softer overall upfront upper feel.

BRETT said...

Andrew-

Likewise, THANK YOU very much for your comments regarding the Asteria and the positive differences between that shoe and the ST-5. I echo your thoughts and worries about the Asteria's looking too flimsy in the photos, but your testimonial will definitely help. Meanwhile, I too will be running Chicago in October---my ninth consecutive year...one of the great marathons for sure. BEST OF LUCK on trying to break 2:55! Very impressive...My P.R. is 3:14---hoping to B.Q. this year...I just turned 39 and, thus, with the 3:15 qualification time that's needed, I'm guessing I'll need a 3:12ish marathon due to the staggered Boston registration format.

Again, Andrew, thanks and see you in Chicago come October.
Brett

BRETT said...

Sam-

My apologies as, also, thank YOU for all of your comments regarding the ST-5's and Asteria's. Much appreciated.
Brett

Anonymous said...

How would they compare to the NB 1500 series?

sam winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous, I have not run in the 1500 but have the 1400. The "posting" of firmer midsole for pronation control is very different in the Asteria as it is concentrated at the heel and not the midfoot as in the 1500. Generally a firm midfoot post is felt under midfoot and something I don't care for. The Asteria has a firmish stable heel rear of the shoe. I am not a pronator but do appreciate some light stability in a race shoe. Hope this helps,
Sam Editor Road Trail Run.

Anonymous said...

Cool, thank you for the response. I'll probably buy a pair and give them a try, once I can get them in Canada.

RunGearGuy said...

I have been a huge ST Racer 5 fan as well. While I like the Asteria, I think I like the ST Racer more. I'm hoping that as time goes on that will change. Definitely worth trying out, but I did think they were more narrow than the original ST Racer 5. Her is my review if anyone is interested.

http://www.theactiveguy.com/review/brooks-asteria-shoe-review/