Brooks Catamount 2 running review
Despite the propulsion plate and, as a result I suspect, that slightly toppy price, I think this straddles the requirements of an experienced dry trail racer and a novice road runner looking to expand their horizons.
I couldn’t ‘feel’ the plate underfoot in the same way that you might be able to feel the ‘boing’ of a carbon plate – this is a good thing. It meant for a very natural ride throughout the shorter 5K runs that I tested this shoe on. I could certainly feel the energy return, but I wasn’t pitching forwards at all.
The comfort is spot on – I love that Brooks feel around and under the foot; it’s like coming home. If you’re a Brooks fan and you’re ready to go off road, these will genuinely give you a confidence to explore further, equipped with that familiar feel but with the added benefits of a much grippier outsole.
The plate combined with the DNA Flash midsole gives you a beautifully pacy ride: I loved running in this on my local canal path, where it offered brilliant grip and stability on that lighter sort of trail, along with a peppy rebound, so it was fab for tempo and interval runs.
I would say, however, in terms of the upper I prefer a loop at the back to help pull the shoe on and off, like you see on the New Balance Hierro. But I loved the summer feel – they’re super light on the feet, extremely cool through that upper, while your feet are still protected with that reinforced toe.
One of the criticisms leveled at the Catamount 1 was about the colour: it was launched in the very un-trail friendly shade of white. Designers explained the decision that would enable runners to show off their muddy runs as a badge of honor.
The Catamount 2 is available in much more trail friendly shades; the launch color for women is a mix of peacock blue and bright pink. But I have my own issues with that! The shoes were launched alongside Brooks’ new trail-specific clothing collection, one that is technically brilliant. However, the launch range was available with pink highlights for women and, you guessed it, blue highlights for the boys. Now I don’t mind pink, as a rule, but in 2023 this seems a peculiar route to have gone down.
If the colourways aren’t off putting, however, and you’re looking for something to help you run a faster parkrun, then you’ve found it.
Where can I buy this shoe?
The Brooks Catamount 2 are available from the Brooks website.