Brooks Bedlam 3 review

The Brooks Bedlam 3 is a solid shoe. A springy step in a stability shoe is what Brooks promised, and that’s exactly what they delivered. The DNA Amp cushioning is just right, and its responsiveness is excellent.

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If you’re someone who’s looking for a solid shoe for daily training or maybe even a 10K PR, this one to check out. At an MSRP of $150.00, it falls into the high end of middle pricing for running shoes these days, but this reviewer thinks it’s worth it. 

Pros

  • Springy and responsive
  • Pliable, airy upper
  • Cool lacing system

Cons

  • A little heavy

First impressions of the Brooks Bedlam 3

The Brooks Bedlam 3 is billed as their springiest shoe yet. Since I am a “show me, don’t tell me” kinda guy, I needed to see for myself. The proof’s in the pudding, right?

Stepping into the Brooks Bedlam 3, the shoe had a pretty rigid feel in the sole. I was skeptical, to say the least. Laced up and out the door is where the magic happened.

A weighted foot strike gave way to a more cushioned feel and the energy return of the promised spring in your step. It was a welcomed surprise, and my runs in the Brooks Bedlam 3 since have been nothing short of enjoyable. The DNA Amp sole of the Brooks Bedlam 3 definitely delivers.

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Fit of the Bedlam

The fit of the Brooks Bedlam 3 hits the nail on the head. The upper has a super soft and pliable weave. The fabric wraps the foot securely and comfortably. Meanwhile, the material has a nice airy feel to it, perfect for these hot summer days.

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The ankle collar is wafer-thin and molds to the ankle superbly. I like this snug sock-like feel, and personally, the excess padding that other brands fluff out the ankle collar with is unneeded in my humble opinion.

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The toe box nails that sweet spot of just enough room to feel comfortable but not feeling sloppy and duckish. I’ve grown accustomed to roomy toe boxes in my trail running shoes, so oftentimes road shoes feel overly constricted.

That was not the case with the Brooks Bedlam 3. For a road running shoe the Bedlam has a good amount of toe room, but not too much.

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Many things to like about performance

As mentioned, the promise of a springy step is totally delivered. The DNA Amp technology provides enough cushion to save your knees and ankles, while at the same time providing ample energy return for a quick foot turnover. I was a little put off by the 11.25 oz weight.

I guess I’ve been coddled into the luxury of an era of 7 to 9 oz running shoes. By any measure, these are not heavy shoes. The extra weight could likely reflect a higher quality of construction and material that will stand the test of time compared to the ultra-light shoe.

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The sole of the shoe has a minimal tread. This seemed to suffice on the dry asphalt, cement and high school track surfaces that I tested this shoe on. The abiding weather as of late has not given me the chance to run on wet surfaces yet.

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The GuideRails technology helps to give the Brooks Bedlam 3 a very stable ride with great lateral control. I tested these, in part, on a track and they cornered with secure control.

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The sole surface area is nice and wide and provides a sure footing. The heel counter has a rigid plastic reinforcement that house the heel nicely.

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The tongue and lace guides have some unique features that I like. The reinforcements for the laces are split, allowing for a supple anatomic fold on the top of the foot while running. The laces are flat, and consequently, the lace hole is too. It’s the little details that go a long way.

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The staggered lace hole also creates varied points of lace tension and pull to create a more secure stronghold around your foot.

The tongue itself is unique. It starts about midway down the upper and is attached to the rest of the shoe with a small 1-inch wide swath of fabric. I was a little confused by this and wondered why they didn’t just go with a one-piece booty style upper?

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Either way, the super-thin tongue doesn’t get in the way and is anchored in place by a long lace conduit that virtually eliminates tongue migration. 

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Rankings

How Brooks Bedlam 3 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 48% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Bottom 26% Brooks running shoes
All Brooks running shoes
Bottom 32% stability running shoes
All stability running shoes

Popularity

The current trend of Brooks Bedlam 3.
Compare to another shoe:
Author
Sean Kiffe
Sean Kiffe

My name is Sean Kiffe. I live with my wife and three daughters in Missoula, MT where I teach middle school science. I am primarily a trail runner but also dabble in road events occasionally. Currently, I am working my way into ultra distances and will be doing my first 50K and 100K trail races this season.