Brooks Ricochet 2 review
Ricochet 2 is a great shoe, and I highly recommend it. It feels light, fast and comfortable, and gives the impression of being lower drop than its 8mm.
How the Ricochet got me into Brooks
Brooks, founded in 1914, originally made shoes for a wide range of different sports. Over time, its focus narrowed to running, a decision that has evidently paid off! I know countless runners who are outspoken Brooks devotees.
While some of my favourite running tights and shirts are from this company, I don’t have much experience with their shoes, other than the PureGrit 2.
I haven’t identified strongly with the brand in the past, but the Ricochet 2 has truly won me over with its combination of comfort, good looks and functionality.
The Ricochet 2 is a neutral, 8mm-drop road shoe. I’m a lightweight, mid- or forefoot striker who runs distances of 4-15 miles at a time, 4-5 times a week. I’ve run over 50 miles in the Ricochet 2, mostly on the roads, some on the treadmill and a little on non-technical trails.
I’ve also taken this shoe to the gym a lot, where I wear it for strength training because it’s so comfortable. Consider me a Brooks shoe convert.
The Ricochet 2 performs well on flat, easy trails like this, as well as on the roads.
Aesthetics of the Ricochet 2
I tend not to be a huge fan of black running shoes, but the colourful, shiny sole is fun. It’s a unique looking shoe that makes a better impression in person. It has some reflective detailing on the heel, which is always good in a road shoe.
Shown is the women’s Black/Blue/Fiery Coral colourway. There are currently only two colour options, this or a grey version (Grey/Cantaloupe/Grape) with a similarly eye-catching sole.
The Ricochet 2 runs ever so slightly small. Having heard this, I went up a half size from my normal running shoe size, and it fit perfectly. The flat-knit upper lets your foot breathe.
The sock-like fit feels snug around my relatively small ankle, and the heel wrap helps to keep my foot in place. My only complaint is that the laces are far too long, to the point where I have to triple-knot them.
The attractive flat-knit upper provides a close, comfortable fit.
The heel offers an excellent fit, a tab to help you pull the shoe on, and a small reflective detail.
The Ricochet 2 boasts a breathable knit upper that is stretchy but supportive.
The insole is minimalistic. Brooks’ website refers to this as a “removable cushioned footbed for added underfoot support and shock absorption,” but I could barely feel the difference with or without it.
A little wear on the heel started to show at about 40 miles.
The Ricochet 2 has firm to moderate cushioning provided by two clever technologies, DNA AMP—an encased foam that expands a little as you land—and adaptive BioMoGo DNA that tailors itself to your gait, weight, and the firmness of your running surface.
For me, the combination of these materials achieves the responsive sweet spot where the landings feel soft enough, and the energy return is great. That being said, I generally prefer shoes on the firmer side, so this may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The midsole is nice and flexible.
The performance of the cushioning materials can, however, wane in the cold. When I run in conditions between 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit, it feels like I get less energy return. The shoe feels a little dead underfoot. This is not true of some other shoes in my “stable.”
The Ricochet 2 does, however, perform well in wet conditions, which might be a more common concern for runners. Testing it on the road after it’s rained all night, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the traction.
Bear in mind, though, that this is not a waterproof shoe. You might end up with damp socks, but at least you will remain upright.
The arrowhead patterned sole is designed to improve forward propulsion, and it absolutely does that. It also offers good grip on a range of surfaces including wet roads. I generally prefer a more flexible shoe but didn’t have any issues with this slightly stiffer design.
This sleek shoe has a minimalist look and feel. It is great for everyday training. My feet stay happy whether I’m taking these around the block or covering 10 plus miles, as long as it’s above freezing outside.
The sole seems durable and offers impressive traction even in wet conditions. It is designed to aid a fast and efficient heel-to-toe transition. As a forefoot-striker, my heel barely touches the road, so I cannot attest to its performance.
Tip: see the best running shoes.