Brooks Catamount 3 Review | Running Shoes Guru

Brooks Catamount 3 Introduction

The Brooks Catamount 3 is a speed trail shoe that allows you to push the pace. It’s extremely light but responsive, which makes it a great race day shoe.

I am a huge fan of this shoe.

At first, I was a bit skeptical because in my mind a long-distance trail shoe needs to have more cushioning but Brooks delivers with the shoe. Ideally, I don’t think I would use them for a distance longer than a marathon but I don’t have any doubts it can’t handle 100ks like Brooks boasts about.

I have not tested it out on those extreme distances. I have tested out their road shoes the Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 and the Hyperion Tempo. The Catamount feels and looks very similar to the Hyperion Tempo.

I love the lightweight feel they have to them. It was a change from a bulkier trail shoe I was wearing. Especially when your legs and feet are getting heavy, you don’t want bulky shoes tripping you up.

It will cost you $170. Which is steep but it is right in line with other trail shoes.

This one offers many new technology updates such as propulsion cushioning that has nitrogen-infused DNA FLASH midsole, Sky Vault trail plate, and their TrailTack Green rubber outsole. All worth the pretty price tag.

Brooks Catamount 3 Impressions

This trail shoe does it all. The shoe industry is taking the trail shoe game to another level. They have a trail shoe for any type of terrain you’ll encounter.

Trying to find a trail shoe that will be versatile and comfortable enough to meet your needs is hard. You’re overwhelmed with so many options, but if you take the time to give the Catamount 3 a try, I promise that you will love it as much as I do.

I pulled them out of the box laced them up for the first time and did 10 miles. No break-in period was needed and on that first run, I was hooked.

My typical go-to trail shoes would be the Salomon Ultra Glide 2 right now, with a big cushy midsole and bigger stack height.

The Brooks Catamount is the opposite of everything I enjoy about trail shoes and I am so happy I got a chance to experience them. It’s a real eye-opener.

This is Brooks third version of the shoe obviously and although I have not tested out the past two versions, I can say from talking to others and reading about them that Brooks has had a glow-up with their latest model.

The Catamount 1 was the first trail shoe to have a nitrogen-infused foam. Moving to the Catamount 2, the biggest area of improvement that was needed was the upper but they also made it a more proficient trail shoe by adding a Skyvault plate and a nitro-infused DNA Flash midsole.

Here comes the Catamount 3 and it takes all the past iterations and improves once again. You’ll still have the DNA Flash midsole and the Skyvault plate, but they added a brand new formula of TrailTack Green rubber on the outsole.

Another area that is wonderfully improved is the upper, it’s now a single layer of woven engineered mesh.

Brooks Catamount 3 Protection

Even though it doesn’t look like much protection, the Catamount delivers.

The upper has been updated to be more flexible and feels like you’re wearing a road shoe. It’s very comfortable and has extra overlays along the toebox/forefoot to help maintain a secure fit and offer protection.

The midsole is 22mm thick in the heel and 16mm thick in the forefoot. It’s made from Brooks Nitrogen-infused DNA Flash, which is the same midsole material used for the previous model. That makes it a 6 mm heel-to-forefoot drop, a great choice for midfoot strikers.

Nitrogen-infused midsoles are essentially ‘sealed’. That helps to keep the air from escaping the midsole. This process also makes it so no water can get into the midsole and weigh the shoe down. This means that the air can’t get out of the midsole

The outsole is made from Brooks’ Green TrailTack. This is a sticky durable rubber that allows you to have traction on wet surfaces. These are not a pair of shoes I would pick for a super muddy trail. The lugs are fairly short, coming in at 3.5mm in length.

In the forefoot, there is a protective plate. Brooks has called this the Sky Vault Trail Plate. It’s firm but allows for some propulsion when running uphill.

Brooks Catamount 3 Durability

There has been little to no wear that I can visibly see on them after well over 50 plus miles.

The upper that has been updated looks and feels thin. But there has been no sign of tearing and they have taken a beating.

It’s a one-piece upper that is made with TPEE mesh which makes it soft and durable. I have run through streams while wearing them and they drained very quickly There is a mudflap on the toe for added protection and overlays for extra security.

Brooks Catamount 3 Responsiveness & speed

The Catamount is built for speed.

It handles anything you put in front of it pretty much. You’ll not only hit top speed on descents but will also experience propulsion uphill.

The midsole is curved and with this rocker shape, it makes sure when your foot hits the ground it doesn’t stop moving.

Two areas that this shoe does not shine would be the extra muddy terrains and snow that has been packed down.

On slightly muddy trails you’ll have no problem getting a grip but since the lugs are not very long, I tended to slip a lot when wearing them on overly muddy trails.

For muddy courses, I would suggest finding a trail shoe that has longer lugs.

Brooks Catamount 3 Comfort and fit

If you like a plush shoe, this might not be a shoe for you. Although very comfortable, it doesn’t have a pillowy cushioned feel to them. They are firm but offer comfort that will last for whatever distance you are using them for.

Out of all my trail shoes, these are my most minimalist feeling but they deliver like a bulkier shoe. I had no problems with them lacking in comfort or protection.

They do fit on the tighter side but offer plenty of room in the toe box for your toes to splay but stable.

Running on trails that were slanted one way, I often have trouble with shoes pushing my foot to the outside. I did not experience that with the Catamount.

Brooks Catamount 3 Conclusions

The Brooks Catamount 3 is light and fast. Yet it is also cushioned enough to be comfortable to wear for longer runs.

It gives you a nice smooth ride on all surfaces. The shoe is a solid choice for runners who steer towards a shoe with good ground feel.

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