I researched a lot of shoes before purchasing these for a half-marathon. (Which is in May, so I am only mildly breaking these in now, and will wear them for some distance runs in the weeks leading up to the race.) I ultimately chose Brooks because they have gotten a lot of stellar reviews from serious runners, and are known for comfort and the ability to hold up to serious training.
Straight out of the box, these are very comfortable and fit VERY nicely -- no tight spots; the toe box is adequately roomy, while still providing nice support. They feel generously supportive, and are relatively light. (In my experience, good support has required a shoe that feels much heavier on the foot, like a trail-running shoe, but not so in this case!) My arches are fairly flat and I have ankle tendon dysfunction which requires at least sports orthotic inserts to correct my gait. The Transcend 2 definitely provides more arch support than the average running shoe, out of the box. Fortunately, these shoes also have removable inserts, so if you are a serious runner who requires even more support than the standard shoe can provide, the inserts are made to come out easily While I had the inserts out, I examined the construction of the shoes -- they appear to be extremely durable, and made to last. I am very happy with the overall quality, especially after deliberating spending the extra money for a higher-end shoe. It seems these shoes live up to all the praise I have heard from loyal Brooks fans, and positive reviews.
I had thought about giving these shoes only a 4-out-of-5 rating, ONLY because I will almost certainly have to use more supportive inserts than the ones provided, but I believe the vast majority of runners would love these shoes in "as-is" condition. I look forward to getting to wearing these for longer runs, and think I'm still going to be extremely pleased with them when I cross the finish-line at the half-marathon.
As far as style goes, this is a really great-looking shoe! The salmon color is so nice. The "blue" is really more of a violet, but they're very trendy and eye-catching. Overall, definitely one of the best running shoe purchases I've ever made.