BROOKS CATAMOUNT 2: TO RUN LIGHT AND LONG
BROOKS CATAMOUNT 2: TO RUN LIGHT AND LONG. Our TRAIL RUNNING SHOES section brings you today the second version of the most agile trail running shoe from the Massachusetts brand, which hits the market starting next February, already in some US & Europe stores.
Launched at the end of 2020, the first Brooks Catamount was born as a shoe for long and agile running. This 2023 Catamount 2 arrives with an price of 170€* (pending confirmation), for a weight of 270 g., which is about 40 g. lighter than its sister the Brooks Caldera 6. It maintains a stack height of 31mm-25mm and now adds an anti-rocks plate and 4mm lugs. Let’s go with the details analyzed by Mayayo.
BROOKS CATAMOUNT 2:
TO RUN LIGHT AND LONG
The arrival of this Brooks Catamount could not have been more logical at the time. It landed in 2020 as the third pillar of the range, in this case focused on running long with agile rhythms. And in fact, in 2021 it already got some awards from the press.
The raison d’être of the Brooks Catamount: with the Brooks Cascadia already consolidated as the brand’s all-terrain shoe, even adapted to the technical and its sister the Brooks Caldera 6 as the solid roller shoe for the popular runners, the Catamount seeks to offer us a faster and more agile run through non-technical areas… or on the feet of the elites also run through them.
The Brooks Divide 3 completes the star quartet of the brand and with only €110 it is the most affordable price to start running in the mountains with guarantees.
BROOKS CATAMOUNT 2: DATA SHEET.
- Price: Official US launch price $170. Pending confirmation in Europe, estimated at 170€
- Weight: 271g. Man (42EUR) / 241g Woman (41EUR). 40g less than the Caldera, 30 less than Cascadia.
- Stack Height: 25mm-31mm. These dimensions are 25% more than the classic 18-24mm of the classic trail, but they have become almost the new base, each day more dominant in general use.
- Drop: 6mm, like its sister Caldera. However, the other pure ultra-shoe in the Brooks range, the Cascadia has 8mm, a little more to save hit when heeling.
- Upper: Engineered Air-Mesh Upper, Ventilated mesh for maximum breathability.
- Midsole: DNA FLASH, a light cushioning from Brooks.
- Outsole: Brooks Trailtack rubber. Directional tacking pattern in front and back, without lateral reinforcements for extreme areas. Brooks’ own rubber is an interesting bet.
- Lugs:4 mm studs, better on firm ground.
- Trail running shoes for men and women. Differentiated versions, although with very similar looks.
BROOKS CATAMOUNT 2: TYPE OF USE
Veteran mountain runners, for long and comfortable running at a high pace on easy and medium trails.
To point out just one detail, the stack heights that before seemed exclusive to ultra-high-tech shoes, today with this weight we can also use them in short and medium races. Why not? In fact, because of the construction, I think you’ll really get the most out of it if you put the energy and effort into going faster, further, and higher. So if you are an experienced mountain runner, it might be a really good shoe to have fun with.
Of course, if you want to feel more protected and covered in races, because your technique is not so fine, or you often go into very technical terrain, the Cascadia 16 seems more logical for you. Or, if your thing is USA-style ultras with tracks and tracks, then the Caldera 6 is great for that. Or if you’re just starting out, the Divide 3 allows you to run with Brooks reliability and technologies, for just €100.
BROOKS CATAMOUNT 2: HIGHLIGHTS.
UPPER AND FIT
The engineered air mesh shell is lightweight and breathable, though not quite the kind you can see your fingers under against the light, due to the internal reinforcement layer. The perimeter of the shoe also offers another additional reinforcement so that it is not easy to puncture them.
That extra layer extends just enough to look for more durability, without penalizing weight. The last is of medium volume, neither loose nor very tight. As a detail, this upper is made of recycled polyester. It has a hydrophobic treatment, which means that it repels water. An elegant detail.
In the must, perhaps it remains high short in foot support in extreme areas. Born as a shoe from the famous American door-to-trail concept, it is designed to be comfortable if you want to use it on these terrains: from the asphalt when leaving home to the forest track and “logical” trails.
DNA FLASH MIDSOLE
Made from DNA Flash, which is still a nitrogen-infused blend like so many other high-end running and trail running cushions that seek to fine-tune the amount of nitrogen to lighten weight and maximize the amount of energy return you get.
If you’re my Brooks type, in this Catamount, you’ll notice more bounce in your footstep when compared to the Caldera, which uses DNA Loft. The feature of the SkyVault “recessed” drive plate on top of the Skyvault helps accentuate the feel.
Come on, with this DNA FLASH we have the latest in Brooks cushioning optimized to be light, receptive and durable looking for comfort that pushes us to do this 100 miles in a row. Or at least, that’s where the brand wants to take us when it officially includes it in its Ultra range.
Made of Brooks TrailTack rubber, topped with 4mm lugs. A sole that will already be familiar to people who have run Brooks trail runners before. As usual, directional traction studs in front, retention studs on the heel to help us avoid skidding under braking.
For my taste, perhaps where this shoe has changed the most, as you can see below. Brooks claims that they have now combined a raised tread pattern into it, which makes it easier to grip the ground when running up or downhill. We will confirm it (or not) if we get a pair of them. At the moment, when cold, the original version with rubber all over the sole plus the anti-rock plate under it seemed more solid to me.
They also point out from the brand that if the weather suddenly changes, it also helps you avoid slipping on wet surfaces. Today we cannot validate this statement, but it is true that the BROOKS RUNNING TEAM’s firm commitment for their elite runners makes it more than logical that they have worked on this thoroughly.
Brooks Catamount 2 sole (first) vs original Catamount sole.
BROOKS CATAMOUNT 2: CONCLUSIONS
There are no big changes with the original version, but it does refine and polish several details. From the numbers we can see how this version covers a logical niche in the range to run fast and agile with it all kinds of distances,
Its official weight of 271g. makes it a true “featherweight” of the brand compared to the 310 of the Caldera 6 or the 289gr of the Cascadia 16, which seek to be more solid for another public that highly values that factor. The rest of the team has taken care to perform on a wide range of terrain, always thinking of a veteran runner with good technique.
Thus, the height from the ground of 25mm-31mm gives us as much as the Caldera, that is, up to 7mm more in front of the usual 18mm in the mountains until recently. And that 6mm intermediate drop allows us to fully exploit it with good technique also in more rugged areas.
The limit, of course, is set by its 4mm studs: They have grown a bit compared to the first 3.5mm version. And yet, this impeccable measurement on firm ground falls short on soft terrain such as mud or fresh snow. A must perhaps still in the Brooks Trail running catalog to add a shoe with large studs (6-8mm) for soft terrain, although in our country this type of terrain is not very abundant below the Northern Third.
In general, we see it as a very interesting shoe for many: It is true that it starts with a high price, but it offers generous cushioning with a more agile weight than its sister. Without forgetting, for those who are more sensitive to these details, that Brooks also offers them in a wide variety of sizes and colors as well as in two different versions, depending on whether we are looking for men’s trail running shoes or women’s trail running shoes.
Alternatives? Brooks alternatives I already told you before. Among those of other brands, I point you
SACUCONY XODUS TRAIL: Similar concept for long and agile running, with a bit more weight and deeper lugs.
ASICS TRABUCO MAX: The maximalist version of the Japanese Trabuco saga for long and fast on the mattress.
SALOMON GLIDE MAX TRAIL: Salomon’s brand new popular, which was born from the asphalt and now goes to the mountains.
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