Our verdict

Overall, this is an excellent step towards thinking outside the box from Brooks. The spacious toe box and adequate cushioning feel awesome and deliver a pleasurable and consistent ride. If you need the added stability and the Brooks Ghost 11, Transcend 7, or Ravenna 9 is appealing, this could be an alternative for you. I was bothered, though, with its weight and somewhat hot insides.

Pros

  • Super comfortable
  • Stable platform
  • Supportive
  • Burrito wrap tongue
  • Extra reinforcement around eyelets
  • Roomy toe box

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Eclectic upper
  • Poor breathability

Audience verdict

86
Good!

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Brooks Bedlam review

The new design successfully incorporates a spacious barefoot feel with the smooth ride you’d expect from a pair of Brooks.

Although the shoe is a bit on the heavy side, the potential for recovery runs and low-intensity training is impressive. Great initial move for Brooks, although improvements are needed to make this shoe truly shine.

True to its name, this shoe will rock your running world. Certainly not the lightest or fastest running shoe, it delivers comfort that will keep you coming back for more. Starting from the bottom up, we’ll see how this shoe is a successful addition to the Brooks stability shoe line.

Outsole of the Bedlam

At first glance, the low-profile rubber outsole lacks the thicker treads commonly offered by Brooks but retains more grip than you might expect.

The design has an edgy feel and the arrows are literally there to propel you forward. Quick transitions are remarkable and give a sensation of efficiency when on a road surface.

Brooks Bedlam midsole

Brooks’ GuideRails and DNA Amp technology provide a stable platform that helps drive your run and offers a responsive spring to your step through the advanced polyurethane and TPU arrangement.

The GuideRails help diminish the feeling of side-to-side rocking dramatically and allow you to focus on the forefoot push-off. Much more suppleness when compared to the Ravenna models but missing that extra cushion you’d expect from a Glycerin shoe or Levitate.

Insole

Nothing particularly innovative here, so you can swap it out with your favourite custom insole if needed.

The midsole is solidly stitched to the upper and would definitely rub a bit without the foam. Don’t leave home without it on this shoe!

Upper of the Bedlam

Here’s where those familiar with past Brooks models may notice a lot of change. Outside of the heel area, there is very little bulk in the tongue and front of the shoe.

The knitted fabric really wraps the foot well and complements the burrito wrap design of the tongue.

The heel has a comfortable amount of soft padding that could go either way depending on your own style of running and anatomy.

You have the option of going sockless with how the shoe is designed. If you do choose socks, you might notice a little from friction but it never developed into a full-blown hotspot during testing.

Customise fit and support

This is where the shoe is truly sensational and provides a wide range of support and fit. Right below your ankle is an elastic fabric that you use to wrap the shoe around the top of your foot.

The combination of flat laces and fabric loops on the instep side of the shoe allows you to really customise the support you receive on your arch.

Uses

Solid road shoe capable of handling light trails. The extra weight won’t make you speedy, but if you do a lot of running on concrete or asphalt, the protection is well worth it. Excellent for recovery running or working on form.

Verdict

The Bedlam comes down to what you are looking for in a shoe. The technology is there to make the impact of running easier on your body, though it comes at the cost of weight and a higher price tag.

Conservative runners that are not tackling high weekly mileage and looking for a long lasting trainer would be well suited in this model.