We spent 8.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The interior chamber of the Brooks Bedlam was welcomed by many consumers who liked a more forgiving in-shoe experience.
  • People appreciated the GuideRails configuration; they stated that it kept the foot from wobbling on the platform.
  • The cushioning system gained praise for being springy without being too spongy.
  • Overpronators thought that the stability mechanisms present in this product worked well in preventing underfoot discomfort and gait deviation.
  • Most consumers were happy that the Bedlam looked visually endearing.
  • The general consensus deemed the fit and sizing to be adherent to expectations.

1 reasons not to buy

  • The instep section of the upper tended to cause some hot spots on the skin, according to several testers.

Bottom line

Most of those who have tried the Brooks Bedlam seemed to welcome its arrival. They liked this road running shoe’s capacity to provide a stable platform on which the foot can rest. They also appreciated the endearing looks, the correctness of the size and width, and the comfortable in-shoe experience. But there were a few people who felt some hot spots due to the material on the upper unit.



A top rated Road running shoe
Top 9% most popular running shoes

Expert Reviews

79 / 100 based on 10 expert reviews

  • 90 / 100 |

    The Brooks Bedlam: Large and in charge

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    So where do we begin with the Brooks Bedlam? Well, I suppose it prudent to mention to everyone that I am a huge Brooks fan. Just last year, I have run in a Brooks Glycerin, Ghost, Levitate, and now Bedlam. 

    I have enjoyed each shoe in different ways, for different reasons. I have written reviews for two of the shoes mentioned above which were both mighty favorable. 

    The thing about Brooks is that while I may not love how certain concepts are implemented in various running shoes, I always appreciate the concept and the company’s goal of pushing the envelope for the benefit of the runner.


                                                               The Brooks Bedlam


    Unfortunately, the last Brooks shoe I reviewed (Brooks Levitate) left me feeling rather underwhelmed. One of the things I found most disappointing about the Brooks Levitate was the energy return material in the sole of the shoe. It just fell a little flat for me, underdelivering on its marketed promise of “limitless energy.”

    I did, however, praise Brooks for experimenting with energy return and committing themselves entirely to that effort. In implementation though, I found the Levitate underdelivered.

    To borrow a line directly from my Levitate review, “Personally, I would have preferred a more comfortable ride over the marginal energy return offered by the Levitate.” As the Bedlam is essentially the maximum stability equivalent of the levitate, I went into this review with high hopes.


    As previously mentioned, the Brooks Bedlam is essentially the max comfort and stability version of the Brooks Levitate. To ensure the plush ride of the bedlam, Brook Utilizes a generous layer of DNA AMP material to ensure more comfort around with the heavily touted energy return promised in the Levitate.

    I found that the benefits of this added cushion were enough to compensate for the added weight of the shoe. Furthermore, the inclusion of the BioMoGo DNA guide rails was not as invasive as I initially assumed it would be.

    Upon first trying out the shoe, I found it restrictive, as my foot felt forced into place. This changed after logging a few miles. Expect a longer than usual period of “breaking in” the midsole of the shoe.


                                                             Generous DNA layer


    Concerning the upper, I loved the mesh material. It hugged my foot sufficiently, but never felt like it was compressing my foot or toes too much. I still had plenty of wiggle room in the toe box, and generally speaking never felt any effects of unwanted friction.

    The material is well ventilated, and there were never any problems with overheating. Furthermore, the upper is remarkably resistant to rain and other elements. The upper feels great and, overall, the Bedlam is a very comfortable shoe.


                                                              Knit upper


    As previously stated, the midsole of the Brooks Bedlam is composed of a DNA AMP material. This is the same midsole that rose to prominence with the Brooks Levitate.

    In the Levitate, the DNA Amp material served to limit the horizontal compression, thus minimizing energy loss. This is all well and good, however, in the Levitate, Brooks compromised too much on comfort in place of energy return. The ride of the Levitate was a little rigid, and the impact of my strides was rather aggressive.

    Over the course of my review, I stated numerous times that I would have preferred a more comfortable ride over the marginal energy return offered by the Levitate. In this sense, the Bedlam excels. The added midsole DNA material is especially noticeable in the heel, particularly minimizing the impact for heel strikers.


                                               Added midsole DNA in the heel


    The Bedlam feels much softer on impact, while still providing springy energy return, aiding to the “bounce” of my strides. As the Bedlam is a stability shoe, it is naturally more cushioned. This is not only the case throughout the sole, but is also heavily noticeable in the guide rails, which are dense plates in the sole that lend to the stability of the shoe.

    If overpronation is your problem, then look no further than the Bedlam. The shoe gently stabilizes strides, keeps foot movement in check, and offers a balanced ride.


                                                                        Guide rails


    With all that material in the midsole of the shoe, I figured that the Bedlam would feel slow, bulky, clunky, and limiting. In this sense, I was wrong. After breaking it in, the shoe is surprisingly springy and responsive. The Bedlam’s Midfoot Transition Zone aids in providing a quick run and smoother heel to toe transitions.

    For such a heavy shoe, I was rather surprised by how “nervous” the run was. The shoe wants to go fast and excels in its effort. Make no mistake, however, this shoe is heavy. This is due mainly to the sheer amount of midsole material offered in the shoe and the guide rails.


                                                      Midfoot transition zone


    The upper of the Brooks Bedlam is truly a thing of beauty. It is composed of a knit material that adapted perfectly to my foot throughout the first few runs. The seamless construction makes the Bedlam fit as sock-like as possible.

    This is made all the more comfortable with the inclusion of a heel collar that comfortably wraps around the heel. The collar maintains its integrity in many miles, and I did not feel the material lose its shape even in the presence of moisture.


                                                              Sock-like liner


    The sock-like collar that composes the heel is super cool looking. That’s all I can say about it. It gives the shoe a spotless and sleek look. The lacing is standard fare and is typically non-invasive unless you overtighten as you lace them.

    The tongue is attached on only one side, seemingly to add to the “wrapping” effect provided by the sock liner heal. This may seem frivolous to some, and to be honest, I don’t see the benefit of this asymmetrical design. The decision to attach only part of the tongue seems little more than an aesthetically interesting design choice.


                                                    Partially attached tongue


    The outsole of the shoes is nothing extraordinary. The Bedlam is a nice little road shoe, but it is not a shoe you’re going to want to take on technical trails, or in inclement weather. While the traction in the outsole is usually sufficient when it’s dry outside, the same cannot be said when moisture is introduced to the equation.

    For some reason, the rubber used in the outsole does not feel like it provides the right amount of friction. I’m no scientist, but it feels like the texture and design of the rubber outsole was chosen with speed in mind, with a focus on propelling the runner forward. The end result is minimized grip during wet conditions.


    So, I’m sure you’re wondering how all of this contributes to the ride of the shoe. Well, the generous DNA cushioning of the Bedlam ensures a plush, comfortable ride. The inclusion of the BioMoGo DNA guide rails offers a lot of stability.

    When first running in the shoe, I was almost overwhelmed by how effective these guide rails were. Over the course of my first few runs, the effects of the guide rails were very pronounced. This shoe really wants to hold your foot in place.

    This is going to split opinions concerning the Bedlam, but I caution those who are looking for a neutral run to look elsewhere. However, I was never overwhelmed by the added stability. After a while, I came to appreciate the “gentle suggestion” provided by the guide rails, as they served to guarantee good foot posture.

    The only problem with the ride offered by the Bedlam is when rain is concerned. The lack of grip provided in the outsole is made even more concerning when combined with the size of the midsole.

    The sheer amount of midsole hinders ground feel, which when working in tandem with a slippery outsole, is downright dangerous. Dear runner friends, please exercise caution when running in wet conditions with this shoe. For best results, save the Bedlam for your “dry runs.” 


    So, let’s make this short and sweet: $150 is generally what you can expect to pay for a quality pair of running shoes. This is especially the case when discussing the brand-new models. Naturally, the price of minimalist shoes is going to be on the lower end, right around the 80- dollar mark, with high stability shoes going all the way up to 200 bucks.

    That being said, considering the fact that the Bedlam is such a robust shoe, the price seems reasonable. Your dollar is stretched even further when you factor in how durable the Bedlam is, and how well it performs over time.


    Earning its high-ticket price, the Bedlam is a remarkably sturdy shoe. I have been running in the thing, almost daily, for two whole months. I have logged over 300 miles in the shoe (which is a conservative estimate), and the shoe still looks brand new. I at least expected the knit material on the upper to start showing some wear and tear, but to my surprise, there isn’t even a blemish.

    Furthermore, the DNA cushion in the midsole is still springy and comfortable. I firmly believe I could log another 300 miles in this shoe and not notice a difference. You get a lot of “bang for your buck” with the Bedlam.


                                                                Durable Bedlam

    Bottom line

    The Bedlam is large and in charge. It is a big shoe; heavy and rigid at first. There is so much going on beneath your foot. You may feel like you’re running above the ground (not directly on the ground) in the beginning. With the Bedlam, the best advice I could give anyone is “stick with it.”

    I felt a little alienated from the road when I first tried these shoes on. During the first few days, it’s going to feel as though they have a mind of their own, with that thick midsole and those rigid guide rails. Having run mainly in neutral running shoes, I was turned off in the beginning.

    However, after a few days with the shoe, what I was treated to was one of the most comfortable and intuitive rides I’ve had in a long time. The break-in period takes some time, especially if you want to feel like the shoe is an organic extension of your leg and foot.

    After some time, however, the shoe feels just right. It is a truly inspired and handsomely designed shoe, with all the flash, and modern-day bells and whistles, making you feel like you’re running in a truly futuristic shoe. It’s fun, fast and comfortable.

    After you break this shoe in, you will realize how much control you have over your run and reestablish that road feel that may be a bit absent in the beginning. Even in these large shoes, you will feel perfectly in control. The shoes are large, but you will always be in charge.

  • 80 / 100 |

    Brooks Bedlam: Chunky and comfy

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    I usually stick with minimal and lightweight shoes when it comes to road running. However, I was open to the idea of trying out the new shoe from Brooks, the Bedlam. I figured maybe a more padded shoe would help with some nagging injuries and I still have many mixed emotions about this shoe.

    I found the shoe to be neutral, very comfortable, and very cushioned. I have ran over 75 miles in this shoe and it shows no sign of wear or damage. I have primarily used this shoe as a training shoe for slow recovery run as well as my everyday walking around shoe.


    Specifications & Fit

    • Weight: 11.2oz or 318 grams
    • Heel to toe Drop: 8mm
    • Heel Height: 26mm
    • Forefoot height: 18mm
    • Overall Cushioning: High


    The Bedlam is Brooks’ newest neutral shoe to hit the market. New to the Brooks line is the DNA cushioning which is marketed to give you maximum energy returns with each step.



    Three new Brook shoes have this new DNA cushioning, including the Ricochet, Bedlam, and Levitate 2. The Bedlam is the heaviest and the most expensive of the 3 shoes.

    The shoe does have some flaws, and I have a hard time getting over these flaws.


    When I first received my pair of Bedlams, I was surprised by Brooks desire to use a bright orange color for there three new shoes the Ricochet, Bedlam, and Levitate 2. Even though I do feel the colors look good together on this shoe.

    While I am not a fan of the color orange I do think it blends nicely with the Black without being too bright. I do like the other colors offer for this shoe and feel that four options to choose from colors wise is a fair choice.



    The upper of the Bedlam is comprised of a FitNit, which is made of many different types of fabric. I have found this technology to be very durable and offers excellent ventilation. During the hot summer days, I noticed my foot stayed cool.

    The shoe offers an internal bootie, which is comprised of a soft interior lining and a seamless interior configuration that staves off irritation. This design allows the runners to wear the shoe without socks however I am not a fan of this technique.



    One of my favorite new features that Brooks offer is the heel wrap of the shoe is phenomenal and keeps your Achilles from being rubbed.

    The tongue of the shoe is excellent. I found it to stay in place while worn and it provided excellent cushioning without being overkill. The tongue of the shoe is as comfortable when you start your run, as it is when you finish. This tongue of the shoe is different than most shoe because one side of the tongue is attached to the shoe and the other side is not.



    The only negative feature of the upper in my opinion is the thin collar on the top of the shoe.

    I assume the collar was put in place to help keep debris out, but it never comes in contact with your ankle and offers no protection from debris. The collar may look aesthetically appealing however it just adds extra weight and bulk to the shoe.



    The main feature of this shoe that separates it from so many other shoes is the introduction of DNA AMP Energized Cushioning and BioMoGo DNA, this is made up of a polyurethane unit that goes from the heel to the forefoot.

    Brooks details “DNA AMP is made from a soft, naturally expanding foam encased in a skin that resists horizontal expansion”. This shoe is a tad too heavy for my liking and is not very light however it provides extreme cushioning for people who like that type of weight. I found the cushioning to be right in the sweet spot- not too soft and not too firm, while still offering excellent protection.



    The Bedlam offers GuideRails technology is a sidewall that is placed on top of the primary midsole foam.

    The purpose of this feature is to keep the foot centered and stable, staving off any discomfort or discrepancy in movement.



    One dislike I noticed with this shoe as I didn’t like the balance of it, when wearing it I noticed my feet want to push into the lateral heel side of the shoe which became uncomfortable after a while and began to hurt my foot. I believe this to be because of the high cushioning of this shoe with a combination of a higher drop.


    In my experience, Brooks shoes exceed expectations in nearly every category, except for the outsole of the shoe. The Bedlam is no different.

    When running on dry pavement this shoe offers adequate grip, however when running on any sort of wet or damp surfaces this shoe grip is subpar. I have slipped on several occasions while wearing this shoe when experiences wet conditions.

    The outsole of the shoe is constructed of a rubber substance that does provide excellent durability and flexibility but does not provide adequate grip. The rubber has an arrow-point pattern with shallow flex grooves for a smoother and quicker heel-to-toe transition.



    I will compliment this shoe's outsole when it comes to durability. I have over 100 miles in this shoe and this shoe has become my everyday shoe. I have yet to see any sort of wear and tear on the shoe's outsole.


    The Bedlam has been very durable which was initially surprising to me since it is heavy and has a lot of stitching. This shoe has become my go-to everyday shoe due to its comfort. I don’t use it very often for runs due to it feeling like I have two cinder blocks attached to my feet.



    • Cushioning
    • Durability
    • Energy Return
    • Lacing system


    • High drop
    • Traction
    • Heel Collar
    • Price
    • Balance


    I have used other Brooks shoes in the past and they did not agree with my feet, and after sustained use, my feet begin to hurt in this shoe. I may just have weird feet, however.
    Overall like the new DNA AMP cushion, and hope to see Brooks continue to use this technology for many shoes to come. I would recommend that Brooks discontinue the heel collar style due to its ineffectiveness.

    The Bedlam will continue to be used as an everyday shoe and not as a running shoe for me based on its heavyweight and balance issues. I do recommend you try the Bedlam if you like heavier and high cushioned such as a Hoka Clifton.

    I would recommend this for anyone looking for a neutral, highly cushioned shoe.

  • 84 / 100 | Run Oregon | | Level 2 expert

    If you're a runner that needs a support shoe, wants something that's gonna be pretty responsive, pretty fun to run in, and [if] you like Brooks, I would definitely give these a try.

  • 84 / 100 | Believe in the Run | | Level 5 expert

    Kudos to Brooks for introducing a running shoe that delivers strong stability without the inclusion of a medial post.

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  • The Brooks Bedlam is a running shoe that offers maximum stability to road adventurers. It can be used for daily running or speed training. The façade is sporty, though it doesn’t employ a heaping of stitched overlays or unnecessary frills; instead, a seamless knitted fabric graces the upper.
  • The midsole is made up of a full-length polyurethane foam that is encased in a protective TPU wrapping. The job of this component is to cushion the landings and energize the takeoffs. The GuideRail technology is made up of a surrounding wall that keeps the foot at the center of the platform.

The Brooks Bedlam was designed using the standard measurements, so runners are enabled to get a pair in the size that suits them the most. Full and half-sizes are available for this product. When It comes to the width, the options are D – Medium and B – Medium for men and women, respectively.

The external pad of the Brooks Bedlam features a rubber compound that’s meant to protect against the abrasive nature of the roads. This layer is also designed to provide responsible traction on the ground.

The arrow-point Midfoot Transition Zone is an outsole configuration that encourages the foot to quickly go from the landing phase to the toe-off. This design even promotes efficient running by focusing the foot-strike on the middle part.

A curved forefoot construction allows for a smooth motion as the foot gears itself towards the liftoff.

The Brooks Bedlam’s midsole features the DNA AMP, which is a polyurethane unit that goes from the heel to the forefoot. This piece is covered by a TPU casing, a technique that preserves structural integrity. Such an arrangement allows the midsole to fully catch the force generated by the striking phase and release it as kinetic energy that the foot can use to push off the ground.

The GuideRails technology which can also be found in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 is a sidewall that is placed on top of the primary midsole foam. The purpose of this feature is to keep the foot centered and stable, staving off any discomfort or discrepancy in movement.

FitKnit serves as the external aspect of the Brooks Bedlam’s upper unit. This technology is comprised of a knitted fabric that accommodates the natural shape and motion of the foot. It is lightweight and breathable by design.

An internal cleatie involves a soft interior lining and a seamless interior configuration that staves off irritation. Such a design allows the runner to put on this running shoe without socks.

The inner part of the heel has a faux-suede tab that’s tasked with holding the back of the foot in place, supporting it, and preventing it from exiting the foot-chamber unintentionally.

A traditional lacing system is employed in this running shoe. Flat laces encourage discrete adjustment of the fit.

A unique eyelet system helps in the tightening and loosening of the coverage. While the lateral side uses traditional round holes that are reinforced with a transparent print, the medial side has a hammock saddle—fabric loops that jut out from the inside of the knitted exterior. These easily discernable tabs support the arch of the foot, keeping it raised and in a neutral position throughout.

Jens Jakob Andersen
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.