Inside the New Brooks ‘Run Proud’ Collection, Designed by Queer Illustrator Adam Dalton Blake

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For its newest “Run Proud” collection, an annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, Brooks tapped queer illustrator Adam Dalton Blake to reimagine one of its road-ready running shoes.

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The limited-edition collection — which includes a new-look Trace 3 shoe and a crew sock — is part of the Brooks Artists Series, which are collections created with and for underrepresented communities in running that are adorned with custom art.

For the “Run Proud” collection, Blake dressed the Trace 3 shoe with custom iridescent designs and illustrations centering around connectivity.

“This ‘Run Proud’ collection is all about bringing the bold colors and vibrancy of the 1980s, bringing it into the lens of celebration, exuberance and the idea of running proud together as a community that’s queer and allies,” Blake told FN.

Brooks Trace 3, Run Proud, Pride
Brooks Trace 3, Run Proud, Pride


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For his collection, Blake reimagined the Brooks Trace 3 neutral running shoe, available in men’s and women’s sizing.

The Trace 3, according to Brooks, offers the wearer a “smooth and floaty” feeling. Underfoot, Brooks added responsive DNA Loft cushioning in the midsole, as well as the brand’s Segmented Crash pad with grooves in the heel and outside the shoe to absorb impact. Also, the shoe features breathable engineered mesh uppers that are also designed to be both soft and comfortable.

Blake also updated a pair of Brooks socks, the Ghost Lite Crew. The run-ready socks, which are sold in a two-pack, are made with light cushioning at the heel and toe, snug arch support and breathable mesh zones.

“Brooks has been amazing through this whole thing,” said Blake. “They really wanted me to put a spin on their already existing product and champion what I do rather than me trying to fit into a box of what a normal corporate Pride collaboration would look like.”

Blake’s take on the Trace 3 and the Ghost Lite Crew are available now via The Brooks Trace 3 running shoe retails for $100 and the Ghost Lite Crew 2-Pack retails for $24.

“I think everyone should buy this because of all the details you get when you actually purchase it,” Blake said. “The photos are beautiful online, but in person you see all the details — the iridescent midsole, the holographic thread through the laces, all the hidden figures within the shoe itself. Honestly, to see the shoe in person is to love the shoe.”

Adam Dalton Blake, Brooks, Run Proud, Pride
The Adam Dalton Blake-designed Brooks Ghost Lite Crew 2-Pack from the “Run Proud” collection.Courtesy of Brooks

About the Author

Peter Verry is the Senior News and Features Editor for Athletic and Outdoor at Footwear News. He oversees coverage of the two fast-paced and ultracompetitive markets, which includes conducting in-depth interviews with industry leaders and writing stories on sneakers and outdoor shoes. He is a lifelong sneaker addict (and shares his newest purchases via @peterverry on Instagram) and spends most of his free time on a trail. He holds an M.A. in journalism from Hofstra University and can be reached at

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