Evaluation Like the Glycerin, the new Illusion replaces an existing shoe – the Radius – in the Brooks line. Most of the key features are retained, including rearfoot HydroFlow cushioning and a layer of Substance 257 (a more resilient EVA) in the rearfoot.
The most important difference between the Illusion and the Radius is simply the much better-fitting last. The Illusion is built on the same, new last as the Glycerin, which is less curved (and more comfortable) than the last that the Radius was built on. Weartesters who could wear a relatively light shoe were attracted to the Illusion’s very cushioned midsole and snug forefoot fit. Our view is that it’s worth trying on as a light, comfortable shoe (if you have narrow feet), but that it’s not ideal because it flexes in the midfoot rather than the forefoot.
In short The Illusion earns a place on the biomechanically neutral runner’s shortlist because it’s well-cushioned, light and built around a comfortable last. Ironically, the lightest runners would not be suited to it, because they would have to work too hard to make the forefoot flex properly.
Try it if you liked Brooks Radius 257 (£65); Asics Gel Cumulus (£64.99); Nike Air Pegasus (£60)