Brooks Bedlam

As a company that focuses solely on running gear, it's no real surprise that consumers look to Brooks when it comes to trailing or stability models. The brand recently made another addition to their growing list of corrective footwear when they released their newly-designed Bedlam model. Though its design looks relatively simple, overpronators are already considering it one of their staple pieces of footwear. One of Brooks' best-received technologies, the GuideRail system, takes front and center as it straightens out the runner's gait and keeps it from wobbling. Its specialized lacing system comes equipped with an inner saddle hammock that provides arch support, and a faux-suede heel tab further ensures that the foot stays in place throughout the day. Of course, it's the shoe's sleek, eye-catching design that initially draws buyers to this comfortable yet corrective model. Though there were some aspects that the brand could have worked on a little more, such as the upper's lack of breathability, its overall performance and appeal have already made it a go-to running shoe for fitness enthusiasts of all levels.

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Pros & Cons

-Corrects overpronation

-Seamless, comfortable wear

-Springy cushioning

-Fits true to size


-Expensive price tag

-Can cause hotspots

Key Features
A durable and protective rubber compound is featured on the Bedlam's outsole, safeguarding against wear and tear and providing the runner with very secure traction. A Midfoot Transition Zone, which takes the form of an arrow-point design, encourages a more efficient gait cycle by helping the runner move quickly from the landing phase to the toe-off. This is bolstered even further by the outsole's curved construction, running from the heel through the forefoot.
Brook's trademarked DNA AMP technology constructs the full length of its incredibly responsive midsole. With a TPU casing placed over it for added durability, it completely absorbs the impact of each landing and disperses it throughout the underfoot for a noticeable spring. Reviewers greatly appreciate this feature, as it provides substantial cushioning while still being firm yet bouncy. The brand's GuideRail technology encircles the top of the midsole, correcting overpronation by keeping the foot straightened and centered. Therefore, athletes consider these models good running shoes for overpronation.
Brooks used two different fabrics when constructing the Bedlam's upper. The brand's trademarked FitKnit material, which accommodates the foot's natural shape, comprises the outer portion. For the inner lining, a soft fabric is made with seamless construction to eliminate irritations that would be caused by stitching. Though these fabrics have no real structure on their own, two stabilizing features are put in place. The first is a faux-suede heel tab that keeps the foot from accidentally slipping out. The second is a traditional lacing system with a unique set of eyelets. While the lateral side has traditional round holes, the medial side has a series of fabric loops that are attached to an inner hammock saddle. This construction supports the arch by keeping it raised and centered.
With men's sizes averaging at just over 11 oz. and women's rounding out below 10 oz., it's safe to say that the Bedlam is a pretty substantial shoe. Most look for this quality in their corrective footwear, as it indicates that it can properly support and stabilize the runner as they move. Despite this, reviewers have noted that this shoe is very easy to move around in and doesn't cause them any pain or fatigue by the end of the day.
When first looking at the Bedlam's upper design, one would assume that it's quite breathable. After all, that's the intent when using fabrics to construct more modern running shoes. However, reviews for this particular model indicate that this isn't the case. In fact, instead of eliminating hotspots, a number of buyers claim that the FitKnit upper actually causes them. It's especially noticeable around the instep area, where this fabric makes direct contact with the skin.
Even just from looking at it, runners can tell that the Bedlam offers an incredibly comfortable wear. Its DNA AMP midsole unit offers cushioning that's comfortable without feeling saggy. And its level of shock absorption greatly reduces the risk of long-term pain and fatigue felt by the end of the day. Reviewers state that the seamless fabric lining of its upper feels so comfortable that they feel perfectly fine wearing it without socks. And its stabilizing features leave overpronating runners with significantly less pain and discomfort. Its level of breathability is up for debate, however, as many reviewers claim that they noticed hotpots developing while out on their runs.
While it may be lacking in breathability, the patterns and textures featured on its FitKnit upper do give the Bedlam a very eye-catching look. This also goes for its generally streamlined design and unique lacing system, which also serves as a form of arch support. The upper is created to follow the natural shape of the foot, and its collar is stretchy for easier insertion. Though its color options are very limited for both men and women, there are still some decent options for both. Men can choose from grey/black/orange or white/grey, while women can select grey/pink or neon/green/blue.
Though reviews don't seem to give a clear picture of how durable the Bedlam is, its design elements do give some idea. The rubber compound of its outsole is specially engineered to withstand extended use on road surfaces, as is its diamond-shaped tread pattern. Though the DNA AMP midsole unit is already designed to hold up to intense impact, it's encased in a TPU wrapping to ensure that its responsive qualities continue to function for a longer period of time. Its FitKnit upper may not look very durable, yet its adaptive nature does make it somewhat resistant to expected wear and tear. Still, it's a good idea to put these aside when going for a trail run.
The process of creating the outsole's rubber compound ensures that it not only safeguards the rest of the shoe from wear and tear but also that it ensures a smooth and easy run across rough concrete surfaces. Being the brand's most responsive midsole technology available, the DNA AMP unit fully absorbs the impact of each landing in order to properly safeguard the runner against any chronic pain or fatigue that may develop. And as the GuideRail technology keeps the foot straightened, the heel tab and supportive lacing system work with it to alleviate discomfort and prevent any possible accidents that could result from an improper gait.
Reviewers are very impressed with the level of responsiveness that the Bedlam's midsole provides them. The DNA AMP technology is Brooks' most advanced midsole to date, fully absorbing the impact of each landing and transferring it into kinetic energy that powers the runner forward. This feature also lessens the amount of pain and fatigue that the runner will feel by the end of their run. And the inclusion of a TPU casing increases durability so it can stay responsive for even longer. Reviewers are especially happy that this unit is able to function without sacrificing comfort or feeling too spongy underneath their foot.
All well-made stability shoes offer a high level of support, and the Bedlam proves to be no different. As the DNA AMP midsole unit keeps the foot cushioned or hours on end, GuideRail technology surrounds it to ensure that it stays in a neutral and comfortable position throughout wear. Its FitKnit upper adapts to the foot's natural shape to keep it supported throughout the day. And the specialized lacing system works to support flattened arches by keeping them raised via its attached saddle hammock.
Given its overall design and the materials used, it's quite obvious that the Bedlam performs best on everyday surfaces. The rubber compound used to construct its outsole and easily resist the wear and tear brought on by cement roads, and its tiny, diamond-shaped gripping lugs provide a very strong and precise grip on these uneven roads. That said, several reviewers have stated that this shoe performs poorly on wet or slippery surfaces. This is compounded further by the fact that its FitKnit upper has no water repellency. To limit its use even further, its lack of breathability means that it would be a poor choice for warmer weather.
Many of Brooks' running shoes tend to be on the pricier side, and the Bedlam proves to be no different. Across all online retailers, from Zappos to the brand's own website, this model is sold for a hefty price of $150. Though this seems like way too much to a number of buyers, its corrective features, durable wear, and compatibility with everyday usage make it worth every penny that they would spend. Of course, those who are still looking for a lower price can definitely find some reputable listings on eBay.
The Bedlam's rubber outsole is comprised of a number of small diamond-shaped gripping lugs that give it secure traction on all types of road surfaces. And the Midfoot Transition Zone and curved design of the forefoot area aid even further by ensuring a smooth heel-to-toe transition from the landing to the toe-off. Unfortunately, according to some reviewers, this model doesn't perform well on wet conditions and should be put aside during rainy days.
Because this model focuses more on stability, buyers wouldn't be entirely wrong to think that the Bedlam might not be all that flexible when it comes to its wear. However, certain design elements do ensure that this shoe is easy enough to move around in. Though the outsole's Midfoot Transition Zone already encourages a smooth and quick heel-to-toe transition, deep flex grooves are carved throughout to further enable natural movement. Furthermore, the use of FitKnit for the shoe's upper allows the foot to go through its normal gait cycle as additional features keep it straightened out and stabilized.
Though it's marketed as a stability shoe, the Bedlam only has one obvious feature that's meant solely for stabilization. Even so, those with overpronation feel that the GuideRails technology placed around the top of the midsole does an excellent job at keeping the foot centered. Because their form is corrected, discomfort and risk of accidents are greatly reduced. Furthermore, the unique design of the shoe's lacing system provides arch support. While the lateral side has traditional eyelet holes, the medial side has a series of fabric loops that are attached to a saddle hammock. This configuration keeps the arch properly raised throughout the day. And the inclusion of a faux-suede heel tab further ensures that the foot stays locked into place
The Bedlam has an 8mm heel-to-toe drop height, which is noticeably less than the average height of 10mm. It still provides runners with a great deal of heel cushioning, with that section being 26mm in height for both men and women, yet it's low enough to not impact their natural movements. Many stability shoes have a lower-than-average drop height, as it provides the runner with better posture and a greater sense of balance.
Key Features
-Rubber compound outsole with Midfoot Transition Zone
-DNA AMP midsole unit with TPU casing
-Guiderail technology for a stable wear
-FitKnit upper with seamless fabric lining
-Lacing system with eyelets and fabric loops
-8mm heel-to-toe drop height
-Hefty price tag of $150
Bottom Line
Within a relatively short amount of time, the Brooks Bedlam has already proven itself to be on par with a number of other stability shoes on the market. Its integrated technology works together to not only straighten out the runner's gait but also support their arches and ensure that they stay completely comfortable throughout their runs. These features are aided even further by a highly responsive midsole unit and adaptive yet beautifully patterned upper that can easily be worn without socks. All that said, this particular model is not without its shortcomings. Its upper has been known to cause uncomfortable hotspots, and reviews do indicate that it doesn't perform well on wet conditions. If Brooks can take these disadvantages into account when designing this model's predecessor, they're sure to have yet another successful line on their hands.
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By Jessica Pilla
Last updated:
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Best offer on: Jul. 24. 2021

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