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Gear and Technology

Take a run on the softer side: the science behind Brooks DNA LOFT

Runner wearing Brooks shoes with soft DNA LOFT v3 cushioning
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Ever wish the sidewalk was just a little softer? That running felt more like floating? All of Brooks’ DNA LOFT cushioning technologies bring you one step closer to making those wishes come true. It's cushioning that offers a plush feel without sacrificing weight or durability. 

So what is DNA LOFT?

DNA LOFT is our soft midsole cushioning. It’s made up of a combination of EVA foam, rubber, and air — yep, even air gets credit as a cushioning ingredient. We improved upon our initial version by making updates to both the foam formula and our production method, resulting in an even lighter DNA LOFT v2.

And we never take a rest day when it comes to your run experience, which is why we’ve been pushing the boundaries to bring new technologies to DNA LOFT v3. By infusing our DNA LOFT foam with nitrogen, runners can have a supremely soft cushion experience. Our latest DNA LOFT v3 is even softer, lighter, and more responsive than DNA LOFT.

Why is DNA LOFT so soft?

The super soft feeling comes from the specific proportions of foam, rubber, air and nitrogen. EVA foam is a common material used in running shoe cushioning, providing softness at a relatively low weight. Blending the foam with extra air - and with nitrogen in DNA LOFT v3 - ensures that the cushioning stays lightweight, while the added rubber ensures durability.

Using the proprietary DNA LOFT cushioning as our base, we infuse it with nitrogen through a supercritical foaming process that heats the liquid nitrogen until it turns to gas. This allows us to enhance and amplify the experience of the compound. For DNA LOFT v3 infusion, we went one step further and we undertook large-cell foaming, which amplifies more of the cushioning properties — increasing softness, decreasing weight, and improving energy return — all without sacrificing durability.

The result? The incredibly lightweight and amplified cushioning of DNA Loft v3 makes for a soft and responsive ride mile after mile.

How does DNA LOFT compare to other Brooks midsoles?

Out of the four current midsole technologies, DNA LOFT delivers our soft experience.

  • DNA AMP has the highest energy return, offering a super springy ride that propels you through your run.
  • BioMoGo DNA hits the sweet spot between softness and responsiveness: it’s not as soft as DNA LOFT, but feels softer than DNA AMP.
  • DNA FLASH is our lightweight cushioning, built for speed. Soft but not quite as plush as DNA LOFT, you’ll find DNA FLASH only in our fastest racing and training shoes. DNA FLASH technology is also infused with nitrogen.

How do you choose?

There’s a reason runners love ultra-cushioned shoes: they defend your hard-working feet, legs, and body from the unforgiving concrete roads and sidewalks most of us run on.

Plush cushioning like DNA LOFT helps protect you by absorbing minor changes in road texture. Pavement cracks and pesky pebbles are no match for DNA LOFT; the sidewalk might as well be silk beneath your feet.

You might also choose DNA LOFT if you want to forget about your shoes and just get in the zone — the softness helps offer a consistent ride for the duration of your run.

Which shoes have DNA LOFT?

We currently have six different shoes that feature DNA LOFT:

  • The Ghost is one of our most-loved running shoes. The Ghost 14 now features 100% DNA LOFT.
  • The Glycerin is our super soft shoe, with 100% DNA LOFT v3 cushioning to cradle your foot. If ever a shoe could snuggle, the Glycerin would be the one.
  • The Adrenaline GTS is another popular shoe that features 100% DNA LOFT in addition to GuideRails® support.
  • The Glycerin GTS is our super soft support shoe, with not only 100% DNA LOFT v3 cushioning, but a plush interior liner and soft heel collar for softness on all sides. The Glycerin GTS also features our GuideRails® support.
  • Looking for a change of scenery? Take on some nitrogen-infused distance with the Caldera. It’s got our new nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3 midsole for maximum softness on any terrain.
  • The Cascadia is made to adapt quickly on the trail, so runners stay comfortable and stable. DNA LOFT v2 technology makes its cushioning soft and light.

Ready to dive into our other technologies?

Our biomechanics experts, product developers, and insights researchers work together to create the best running gear out there. Learn more about our approach to research and product testing. And don’t forget to take a look at our Run Signature philosophy — it’s the key to understanding why we make each of our shoes.

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