Summary

We spent 6.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

7 reasons to buy

  • The Brooks Bedlam 2 is comfortable, according to many runners.
  • A user, with flat feet, noted that it is suitable for athletic purposes. 
  • Some buyers appreciated the flexible upper of the shoe. 
  • Several consumers said that the shoe is responsive. 
  • The tongue helps offer a snugger fit, some wearers claimed. 
  • One consumer mentioned that it offers good arch support. 
  • Many runners appreciated the performance of GuideRails® technology.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some buyers complained because the plastic ankle support is hurting their ankles.  
  • The upper material tends to rub against the foot causing discomfort, some users reported. 
  • This version is tighter compared to its predecessor, said some runners.

Bottom line

The Brooks Bedlam 2 is a stability running shoe designed to support individuals who overpronate. It is built with a support system that helps protect the knee and control excessive movements. This shoe also features energizing midsole and outsole technologies, which aim to enhance speed and comfort. It is suitable for running and casual walks. 

Facts

Terrain: Road
Arch support: Stability
Weight: Men: 11.6oz | Women: 10.3oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 8mm | Women: 8mm
Fit: Medium forefoot, Medium heel, Narrow toe box
Pronation: Overpronation
Arch type: Medium arch
Use: All-day wear | Jogging
Material: Knit upper, Rubber sole
Features: Breathable | Cushioned | Comfortable
Strike Pattern: Midfoot strike
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Technology: BioMoGo
Heel height: Men: 26mm | Women: 26mm
Forefoot height: Men: 18mm | Women: 18mm
Brand: Brooks
Type: Heavy | Big guy | Low drop
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $150
Colorways: Black, Grey, White
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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84 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews

  • 82 / 100 | Jeff Binder

    Brooks Bedlam 2: Stability ride in sock-like fit

    More photos

    The Brooks Bedlam 2 is a sexy shoe! Brooks continues to embrace the balance between performance and aesthetics with the Bedlam 2 stability road running shoe.

    I love the sleek profile, the materials used, and the design/color scheme options. But will the good looks of the Bedlam 2 carry over onto the road test?

    Let’s talk about some of the specifics...

     

    Upper

    The upper of the shoe looks great. Brooks updated a flat-knit upper to provide for a comfortable sock-like feel throughout the upper, including the collar.

    The laces sit flat on the upper, along with a “pseudo-integrated” tongue for a compact, uniform feel throughout. The shoe is exquisite out of the box!

     

     

    Unfortunately, the performance of the upper left me wanting more stability.

    The first thing that I noticed was that the material provided for a snug feel throughout the upper, which is great to an extent but felt a little overbearing, especially in the toe box, creating a cramped run.

    I found the sizing to be true by measure, but running slightly on the snug side, mostly in the toe box. My toes feel compact, especially my big toes. The feel was more comfortable wearing very thin running socks to adjust for the compact fit.

    The collar of the shoe does create a sock-like experience, which is designed to move with the motion of the foot. This is very attractive, but the performance left me feeling unsecured, especially around the Achilles.

    For a shoe designed to be in the support genre, this can be problematic.

    Midsole

    The Bedlam 2 is designed as a support/stability shoe, with what Brooks calls DNA AMP cushioning and GuideRails technology. This is to provide a smooth, responsive run that won’t leave your feet and knees begging for relief.

    The arches run a bit high compared to other shoes; my feet adjusted to this feel pretty quickly. The cushioning is moderate throughout the shoe, even with a forefoot strike.

    This shoe has an 8mm heel to toe measurement, which is a nice moderate design for a support shoe, where others tend to go big; many over 10mm.

     

     

    The road test felt a bit stiff, especially the first 50 miles. While the upper feels super flexible and light, I found the midsole to feel tight, unresponsive, and heavy.

    This feeling has subsided a bit after breaking them in, but I still wonder about the disparity between the upper and midsole in this regard.

    Overall, I experienced a supported run throughout the midsole on paved surfaces, but I was hoping for more responsiveness and agility from the midsole.

    Outsole

    The outsole of the Brooks Bedlam 2 feels to be on par for most road shoes, with durable rubber and basic traction.

    I felt some slipping while running in the rain, but for the most part, I felt safe and secure (even in the snow). This is definitely a road shoe, but the outsole should be able to withstand a slight variety of terrain and surface.

     

    Performance

    I ran in the rain a lot with the Brooks Bedlam 2. Unfortunately, the upper material is very absorbent, and I came back with soggy, heavy feet just about every time.

    Weighing in at 11.6oz, the shoes feel a bit heavy (especially in relation between the upper and midsole). The shoes do break in over time, but overall the "support technology" does rule the day.

    You will get a supported ride, but not super responsive or agile.

    Conclusion

    Brooks makes great running shoes. When I run in Brooks, I never doubt the quality of construction with materials or technology.

    However, I do wonder about the balance between the agility of the upper versus the stability of the midsole for the Bedlam 2 — great in theory, perhaps not in practice.

    Overall, the feel of the shoe feels a bit disjointed, and I’m not sure what the true personality is. It’s not a racing shoe, but I don’t feel very comfortable putting in long distances with this either.

    I’ll enjoy these shoes as a mid-distance trainer, enjoying another fine Brooks product for the road running scene.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 70 / 100 | Jesse Sumrak

    Brooks Bedlam 2 — An ultra stability shoe

    More photos

    I was really hoping I'd fall in love with the Brooks Bedlam 2, but I'm sad to report it's a crush that never materialized into a full-on healthy relationship.

    I'm still wearing the Bedlam 2 from time-to-time, but for the sake of my poor feet, it hasn't made its way into my go-to shoe selection. Why? Continue reading.

     

     

    This shoe checks all the right boxes. Really, there's only one reason. One major complaint takes this shoe from nearly perfect to perfectly impractical.

    I'll explain why in my complete shoe review below.

    A little background is necessary

    For using an ultra stability shoe like the Brooks Bedlam 2, it's important to have context. This footwear is a max stability shoe for runners with moderate to severe pronation.

    So, if you're not a pronator, go ahead and look elsewhere. And if you pronate just the slightest, a minimum to moderate stability shoe is probably more up your alley.

    But, if you're like me and tend to pronate to the extreme, then you'll benefit from this review.

    A few months ago, I visited the podiatrist to address some ankle pain I was experiencing. After visits with him, the sports doctor and my physical therapist (a strange narrative started to come together).

    In a nutshell: my hallux rigidus (basically stiffness in the big toe) was causing my foot to pronate on impact.

    The constant pronation was doing a number on my poor beat up calves. My poor beat up calves was unable to absorb shock like they're supposed to and causing pain in my ankles (for various reasons). 

    Well, that was the diagnosis, and my podiatrist recommended (among many other things) that I ditch my more minimalist footwear in exchange for stability running shoes.

    So, that's how I ended up interested in the Brooks Bedlam 2. Months after my initial pain, while enjoying quality running again and loosened calves, I slipped on the Bedlam 2. This is what happened.

    First impressions

    When I unboxed the Bedlam 2, I was pleasantly surprised. This is a downright good-looking shoe! Even my wife commented from across the room, "Wow, those look better than all of your other shoes."

    She was referring to the rarely-sexy Hoka collection gathering in my closet, which isn't necessarily hard to beat. But still, I couldn't argue with her. This shoe looks nice!

     

     

    I slipped on a pair with relative ease and was delighted by the sock-like fit. I'm a huge fan of the flat-knit upper, and it feels light and airy on the top of my foot.

    The shoe instantly hugged my foot comfortably. I was gaining a crush on this shoe quickly.

    I immediately headed off to the gym to get a good treadmill workout in (Colorado is absolutely freezing right now—when the temperature drops below 20, the treadmill and I become best friends).

    Things started off nicely. I felt like the Bedlam 2 delivered a fair amount of cushion on the ride, though the stiffness and rigidity of the outsole were prevalent. Seriously, these shoes are stiff!

    I started with an easy 5% incline treadmill hike, but my arches began to ache 10 minutes in. Okay, it's normal for a shoe to cause some aches from the get-go—they need to be broken in first.

    After 60 miles, I still get similar (although not quite as nasty) aches when using the Bedlam 2. It could be a weakness in my feet, or it could be the constricting rigidity of the shoe.

    When my foot started to hurt on the initial workout, I hopped off the treadmill and reworked the laces to see if it was just the fit that was wrong: Nope, all good to go.

    I jumped back on the treadmill and started my run, and I found the ride was a lot better after I dialed back the incline and increased the pace. But still, after about 15 minutes of running, I had to hop off again and massage my aching feet.

    As of now, the most I've been able to run in this shoe consecutively is about 3 miles before the pain starts creeping in. Not a great first experience.

    Comfort & ride

    As far as comfort goes, I love how this shoe feels when I'm walking around the office or sitting at the computer. But the comfort dies soon after I start a run.

    I'm still skeptical and think that it might just be my feet, but I've never experienced anything quite like this. I've run hundreds of miles in Brooks, Altra, Hoka, Nike, Vibram, Vivobarefoot, North Face, and Salomon shoes.

     

     

    But, I have to say, the Bedlam 2 does fix my pronation. I ran in front of a mirror alternating between the Bedlam 2 and my Hoka Cavu, and I noticed a significant improvement in my running form when wearing the Bedlam 2.

    The DNA Guide Rails prevented my foot from pronating, and my leg swung in a more linear pendulum. It does feel like the shoe is forcing me into this positive running form, which is where the pain may be coming from.

    I may have been pronating for so long that my normal foot muscles haven't fully developed, and thus they're overtaxed when having to be used correctly. So, there's a fair chance after another 50 miles in these shoes over the coming weeks that my experience will improve.

    Brooks touts this shoe's energy return, but I don't feel like this is where the shoe shines. Yes, there's energy return, but no more than what I feel when running in a lightly cushioned alternative.

    Unfortunately, the Brooks Bedlam 2 is a heavy beast. At 11.6oz, this is a shoe that's definitely on the chunkier side, and you can feel that weight after miles and miles, too. 

    Upper

    The upper is probably my favorite part of the shoe. Made of a redesigned flat-knit, the upper features a soft, sock-like fit.

    Combined with a convenient heel tab and a snug heel collar, you really can't ask for more. Granted, I don't imagine it'd hold up great in nasty weather conditions. I can just see these puppies soaking up water like a dehydrated sponge.

     

     

    The lacing system just feels right, and I find it's super quick and easy to find the perfect fit. The ventilation is excellent, and despite running in a stuffy gym for hours on end, I haven't had any problems with hot, sweaty feet in the Bedlam 2.

    Midsole

    It's hard to tell if the DNA AMP in the midsole is delivering on the cushioning it promises since my feet kill me when running. Noted that my feet don't hurt when I'm barefoot running or running in minimalist shoes.

    So, it very well could have great cushioning and energy return. I just haven't experienced it due to the discomfort.

     

     

    The midsole also contains the GuideRails technology. It's basically a sidewall on top of the foam that keeps your foot stable.

    That works! My knees have felt fantastic while running in Bedlam 2, but my feet haven't.

    Outsole

    The outsole feels strong, and the rubber makes for some good traction on dry surfaces. Wet surfaces—not so much. There's very little give in the outsole. It seems to be very durable, though.

    You can see from the photo above that there's really no visible wear or tear on the outsole, and that's after 60+ miles. I imagine it can withstand hundreds of miles without a problem.

     

    Durability

    All of the materials in this shoe's upper, midsole, and outsole seem high-quality and super durable. I'd imagine this shoe would last for hundreds of miles without any real issues.

    The first to degrade would likely be the upper, and this is just because the knit material won't hold up long-term in rain, mud, and rocks quite as well as synthetic material.

    All-in-all, though, I think it's a very durable shoe.

     

    Looks

    I love the look of the Bedlam 2, which is another reason I'm so disappointed this shoe just didn't work out for me. I think it's a great looking shoe for running, gym workouts, or casual wear-to-work use.

    Price

    At a $150, *whistle. It's a hefty price tag!

    Then again, this is a specialized shoe for those with specific needs, so I can understand an increase. However, this is a big bump in price for some GuideRails and cushioning. Not a huge fan of the price.

    TL;DR? I got you covered

    If you don't have the time to read all my meticulous thoughts above, I've got all the deets for you bulleted below:

    Pros

    • Really good looking shoe
    • Awesome quality and super durable
    • Fixes pronation problems
    • Very comfortable and snug fit

    Cons

    • Consistent foot pain well beyond the break-in period
    • Not great traction in wet conditions
    • Super expensive
    • Heavy, heavy shoes

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 95 / 100 | RunRepeat | | Level 2 expert

    This is the most breathable shoe that I have ever run in...

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  • Featuring Brook’s up-to-date midsole cushioning technology, the Brooks Bedlam 2 offers a springier and more responsive ride. This stability running shoe now uses an updated flat-knit upper for a more secure and comfortable fit. 
  • Other notable updates included in this road running shoe are the pseudo-integrated tongue and collar for added protection. The integrated collar delivers a sock-like fit, while the Pseudo-integrated tongue offers a once-piece comfort.

When it comes to size, the Brooks Bedlam 2 has used the standard shoe measurement to accommodate the usual expectations of consumers. However, it is recommended to get a proper shoe fitting or utilize the general feedback about sizing before making a purchase decision to ensure a comfortable fit. 

Several components affect the fit of this Brook running shoe. This includes the traditional lacing system and tongue, which aim to provide a snugger fit. Another element is the flat-knit upper that adapts to the natural shape of the foot, providing a breathable and flexible in-shoe wrap. 

In the outsole of the Brooks Bedlam 2 is a rubber material that protects the entire platform against the abrasive elements. This component also offers an aggressive grip on various surfaces. 

Providing excellent flexibility is the arrow-point Midfoot Transition Zone technology. It is an outsole configuration that aims to help direct the pressure towards the forefoot, allowing for flexibility and quick transitions from heel to toe. 

The second edition of the Brooks Bedlam utilizes the BioMoGo DNA midsole, which provides good energy return with each stride. This component delivers a springy sensation, energizing the runner through long distances. The  BioMoGo DNA is also featured in other popular running shoes from Brooks, such as Brooks Addiction 13 and Brooks Beast 18

The BioMoGo DNA cushioning is coupled with the GuideRails® technology to provide more holistic comfort. The GuideRails® technology offers maximum support by guiding the joints, hips, and knees to move within their unique motion path while running. It helps the user maintain an efficient and natural motion throughout the running session. 

This running shoe utilizes a flat-knit upper that delivers a plush in-shoe fit. This material is designed to flex and conform to the natural shape of the foot. It also allows the air to continuously flow in and out of the shoe, keeping the foot dry and comfortable. 

The internal bootie secures the foot without adding any pressure points, while the suede heel tab protects the Achilles tendon from irritation. 

The Pseudo-integrated tongue delivers a one-piece comfort while the updated collar offers added protection and a sock-like fit. 

The traditional lacing system is incorporated into the shoe to allow the user to easily adjust the tightness around the shoe. 

The Brooks Bedlam 2 is classified as stability running shoe designed for runners with flat feet or severe overpronation. It offers a balance of cushioning and motion control.

Just like the Brooks Bedlam 2, the Brooks Beast 18 and Brooks Addiction 13 are designed to reduce the amount of pronation and help improve the stability of the foot. The Brooks Beast 18 and Brooks Addiction 13 are categorized as motion control running shoes. These types of shoes are manufactured to provide support for those who have moderate to severe overpronation. 

Brooks Beast 18 

One obvious difference between the Bedlam 2 and Beast 18 is their heel to toe drop. Beast 18 has a higher stack height at 12 mm compared to the 8 mm drop of the Bedlam 2. The Brooks Beast 18 also looks bulkier and weighs heavier when compared to the Brooks Bedlam 2.  

Aside from their physical features, there are also differences in the types of materials used in the outsole and upper units of the Bedlam 2 and Beast 18. The outsole unit of the Bedlam 2 utilizes a rubber material enhanced by the arrow-shaped Midfoot Transition Zone points for a quick transition. Beast 18, on the other hand, makes use of the HPR Plus rubber outsole that is highly resistant to abrasion and provides a good grip.

The Bedlam 2 uses a flat-knit upper for a plush in-shoe wrap, while the Beast 18 features an engineered mesh for light and flexible coverage. 

Brooks Addiction 13

Just like the Beast 18, the Addiction 13 features a 12 mm drop and thick midsole foam, making it heavier than the Bedlam 2. It also utilizes the HPR Plus rubber outsole for maximum durability and an engineered mesh upper for breathable comfort. 

One of the similarities between Bedlam 2, Beast 18, and Addiction 13 is the used of the DNA foam midsole for a more energized and responsive ride. 

Comparison

Author
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Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com