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Brooks Catamount 2 Review: Snappy, Well-Tailored & Better

Brooks had a mission: make a light shoe that climbs as well as the Catamount 1 descended. The Catamount 2 manages to combine a slightly chunkier, more supportive shoe with the sensibilities of lightweight trail racing.

The Brooks Catamount 2 in the dirt

I can personally attest to how nice that first edition was on a downhill rip, so I hoped the Catamount 2 wouldn’t compromise on that defining quality, while perhaps adding some strategies to uphill running. They tackle this goal with their special Skyvault foam, which gives the shoe a hair-trigger spring to the forefoot.


Does the shoe climb well? In my opinion, yes, but I wouldn’t tout the difference as much as the Brooks marketing division. In general, the Catamount 2 reminds me of the things I loved about the original, while introducing certain changes that had me pleasantly surprised.


A picture of the Brooks Catamount 2

Pros

With a snappy, inertia-focused outsole, the Catamount 2 is a very fast and responsive shoe. Brooks dialed up the comfort on this iteration, and I found the overall fit to be both more

flexible and tailored than the Catamount 1. An overall fast, well-tailored shoe with more support than comparable shoes in its weight class.


Cons

I liked the trim heel on the Catamount 1, but the Catamount 2 seems a tad bit needlessly lugged and chunky on the back end. Also, I don’t love how pronounced the foam outsole

extrudes on the edge of the shoe. Runners may find the foam edging inhibits precise footwork on technical rocky terrain.


A close up of the heel of the Brooks Catamount 2

Fit

One important change from the Catamount 1 to the Catamount 2 is the fit–especially in the uppers, which are more plush and durable than its predecessor. The toe box touts a now-

beefier sculpted rubber on the edge, and the woven mesh on the midfoot seems a bit more pliable and form-fitting.


Also, runners can expect the heel to feel a little bit more supported by the shoe’s higher sidewalls. I personally felt like the security of the fit without adding any slop to the midfoot fit.


Ride

I found this shoe to have similar responsiveness to the Catamount 1. You can expect a very lively, very responsive ride, and occasional road running will not come as an unwelcome

surprise. I wouldn’t call this shoe a very nimble tool in your shoe quiver, but I think the Catamount 2 will absolutely dominate long, lightly varied terrain runs, with tons of elevation

gain and loss.


A look at the outsole of the Brooks Catamount 2

Traction/protection

I particularly love the outsole material, especially on varied terrain. The Catamount 2 increases lug size from the Catamount 2, but mainly in the heel. This change, combined with an exceptionally secure heel cup, made downhill paces and absolute pleasure.

Overall, I enjoy smaller lugs spaced closely together, and the Catamount 2 achieves this ratio well. It’s a fine balance for outsole design: lugs need to grab but not distract.


​P​rice: $170

​Release ​​Date​:​ 02/01/2023

​M​idsole ​D​rop​:​ 6 mm

​Weight 8.6 oz (W)​; ​9.7 oz (M)

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