Sunday, June 28, 2020

Brooks Running Catamount Initial Video Review: A Trail Runner with a Next Gen "Super Foam" Midsole

Article by Jeff Beck and Sam Winebaum

Brooks Catamount ($160)

Jeff Beck in Arizona and Sam in Utah take first runs in Brooks Catamount and share their initial review. Sam goes first with details and his run impressions with Jeff (at 7:01) sharing his review with more miles on his pair. The Catamount releases August 2020 at $160. It features a nitrogen infused DNA Flash midsole as is also found in the Hyperion Tempo and upcoming Hyperion Elite 2 road shoes with 3mm more forefoot stack and 1mm less heel than the 8mm drop Tempo at 31mm/25mm (6mm drop). It has a hardened EVA ESS front rock plate and TrailTack outsole with 3-4mm lugs.
The upper is a light mesh with translucent, until trail dusty, overlays at the toe and around the sides. 
Weight comes in (based on our samples at to spec) at 9.6 oz /272g in men's US9 with the women's US8 weighing 8.5 oz /241 g.  
Full multi tester review soon with many comparisons!

Jeff and Sam's Video Review

Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was a provided at no charge. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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Unknown said...

Compared to the Salomon Sense Ride 3?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Unknown,
Early in testing and our other testers need to chime for sure but Catamount is 1 oz lighter, has close to equivalent cushion and protection, maybe more stable and has a livelier ride. Depends on distance, terrain, and pace. Sense Ride 3 may be a better choice for long long on rough terrain but Catamount gets close and is faster and more fun.
am, Editor
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Unknown said...

Wanna to know wet rock grip performance

Jon said...

I'd echo what Sam said in comparison to the Sense Ride 3. I tested the Catamount for Brooks. Fun fact, it was originally called the Hyperion Trail. I have about 400 miles on my pair and have worn them on everything from road to hard packed and gravel to pretty technical.

Where I found the Catamount to shine is that it's DNA Flash midsole is fantastic. Expect a very cushioned ride. I also found it be a pretty flexible shoe (although the test version might have been a different outsole as my version was black). I loved it for faster trail workouts on non technical terrain. Some singletrack, or hard packed dirt with gravel and it's really a fast shoe. The SSR3 to me (and this has always been the case for Salomon, IMO) is a firmer ride and not as flexible.

The Catamount does have it's faults though...and one of them for me was that there was a lot of roll to the shoe due to the upper not having that great of support...and that is not a good thing on technical terrain. Also, due to this, I noticed my toes were constantly hitting the toe cap on downhills, which would leave me with some hurting and bruised toenails after those workouts.

The grip is good on the Catamount, but better on the SSR3 for more technical terrain.

This to me, like a few others (the SSR3, Nike Terra Kiger and some others), falls into a hybrid category of "Not really a trail shoe, but not a road shoe either" I guess it depends on your definition of the word "trail" but it's kind of designed for shorter road segments, gravel roads/trails, hard packed dirt and maybe a few roots...It's basically for those runs/races where you COULD get away with most road shoes (not a pair of Vaporfly's or something like that) but want something a little more substantial for the trail..but you don't want a "true trail shoe" where you usually give up some flexibility, ride quality and lighter weight for that extra protection you'll need.

Sam Winebaum said...

Thanks so much Jon for your insights from testing and in comparisons. It all really depends on the type of trail terrain and "risk factors" as I call them. I was easily able to push them hard on western dirt single track with a pair amount of protruding rocks. If it gets rougher I just slow down on the downhills. On that terrain I crushed a Strava segment downhill by almost 2 minutes. Very very confident downhill running there with no upper issues. In the weeks before I had run the same loop in Switchback 2 and Peg Trail 2 with not nearly the confidence. Because of a bit more feel I thought they also were better than the Sense Pro 4 on that type of terrain but any rougher Sense Pro would have been better.
As far as Sense Ride 3 it is a duller longer distance type shoe for me.
Sam, Editor