Shoe Review – Brooks Ariel Old vs. New

I have always been a fan of Brooks Ariel for the wide, deep foot. The shoe is torsionally stable with a stiff heel counter and an inflexible forefoot sole. Recently Brooks changed the model which may or may not be a good thing depending on your foot volume.

The first change is toebox depth. The old Ariel (left) is shallower than the new Ariel (right). If you have a deep foot than this will be great. It’ won’t be great however, if you’re wearing the old Ariel and it was already too deep in the toebox.


The next change is overall length. The old Ariel is shorter, given the same size, than the new Ariel. This only applies to the toebox length, as the heel to ball measurements remain the same in both shoes. This will matter if your heel to ball is a 9 and your heel to toe measurement is a 7, because the extra toe box length may make the shoe uncomfortably long for you.


The back of the shoe in the old Ariel is lower than the back of the shoe in the new Ariel. This change is generally a good thing, as the new Ariel will accommodate an orthotic as well as reduce heel slippage.


In summary, the new Ariel is deeper, wider and longer than the old Ariel. For many people who wear this shoe, the changes won’t matter. However, if you try them on and it seems you’re swimming in them, you might want to try the Brooks Addiction which is also deep but a bit narrower.

4 responses to “Shoe Review – Brooks Ariel Old vs. New

  1. Thanks much for this! I thought I was losing my mind. I have orthotics through you all and the 07 Ariel was perfect. With the 08 Ariel, I am suffering arch blisters. Looks like it’s time to come back in for a new fitting.

  2. I went in for a new pair of Ariel’s and something didn’t feel right. Once home and walking around, my back started to hurt and I got pains in my legs.
    Bought the shoes back and found they changed!
    I hope I can find another pair of sneaks that will fit. Why does everything change when’s there’s nothing wrong with it.

  3. How would you equate the Brooks line vs. New Balance, as far as toe box height and width? I need very wide and high toe box size, even though I usually wear a D width in the whole shoe. I am having to go to 4E in New Balance to get the toe box width I need, and the shoe is too loose, and my orthotist told me to try Brooks. Thanks.

    • New Balance has the deepest toe box height and width. Brooks Beast and Brooks Addiction are also offered in 4E, however their toe box, although wide is not as deep as New Balance. Both have mesh in the toe box area which should help. I would order the Beast and Addiction from (free shipping both ways) and see what your orthotist thinks. Another option would be to try an extra-depth style. Propet , and Aetrex can also been found on and have a deep, wide toe box. Good luck.

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