The Bedlam 3 is the stability counterpart to the levitate 4, so going in this already put it behind the eight-ball because we didn’t necessarily love the levitate for all Runners. That being said, there is something different about the Bedlam witch actually makes it feel like a stronger shoe. We will get into it a bit more, but there is something about the materials mix in the midsole here that allows this shoe to just feel a bit better.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- The stability twin to the Brooks Levitate 4 with only a minor weight gain.
- Gets an all-new knit upper and an updated lighter midsole.
- Weighs in at 10.8oz or 306g for a US Men’s 9, 9.5oz or 269g for a US Women’s 7.
- Has 8mm heel/toe drop and sits in the Brooks “Responsive” family.
- Retails at $150.00 USD and comes in 2 colors for Men and Women.
As we were testing the Levitate 4 alongside the Bedlam 3, we had a good chance to compare and contrast the two as they are essentially identical with the exception of the Bedlam’s GuideRails. To that end, they do suffer from the same issues, but for us, the Bedlam rises to the top a bit. The reason for this is more clear in a run because from the time you put them on the shoe feels essentially identical to one another. We even jokingly put one of each on either foot to see if you could tell the difference and the answer is no… at least until you run.
So on foot, the upper is just as snug as the Levitate with that tongue gusset system that really makes entry into the shoe challenging as it feels tight, but also keeps you really locked in. This is obviously a debatable area as some people love that really tight lockdown, but for us, it created too much pressure on the top of the foot. The midsole still feels firm, but the GuideRails do a better job of cradling you a bit which improves this.
Out in the run, that upper does flex a bit but still remains really snug just like the Levitate 4 so again this will skew to those who enjoy a very snug upper fit. The GuideRails however really start to shine and that firm DNA Amp midsole starts to feel a bit more comfortable which seems counter-intuitive but even our neutral runners enjoyed the feel of the Bedlam underfoot over the Levitate. They are really fast feeling which was also surprising given the weight, but this is where that midsole really shines.
The bottom line, it is definitely better than the Bedlam 2 and if you like a really snug locked down upper and a firmer more responsive ride then it may be a great choice. Make sure you can try them before you commit.
Just like the Levitate 4, the upper on the Bedlam 3 uses their new Fit Knit material moving from the engineered mesh to the knit should make the shoe a lot more breathable for most runners as well as helping to reduce weight and create a softer more supple feel against the foot. It also has the tongue we hated on the Levitate 4 in that it is locked in by a gusset system that doesn’t really move all that much and it starts about halfway down the laces and the goal is to give you a really snug fit. The heel is the same as well in that there is no real padding, it’s just designed to lock you in.
The midsole on the Bedlam 3 is primarily the same as the Levitate 4 making use of Brooks’ firmer, more responsive DNA Amp with a 20% weight reduction from the Bedlam 2. This creates a more performance-oriented ride but is definitely stiff underfoot. What mitigates this a bit is their GuideRails support system which adds stability to inside and outside of the midsole. This cradles the foot a bit more in our experience which alleviates some of the firmness.
The outsole has been updated in both design and size and this is obviously where they lost some of the weight. That original rubber has been reduced to only a few millimeters thick which contributed to the weight loss. It does feature their updated ArrowPoint pattern with the goal of allowing maximum flexibility and thereby encouraging your foot to transition work quickly. The outsole does grip really well given it’s all rubber and handles weather without a problem.
Style & Aesthetics
This is definitely going to be one of the best looking stability shoes that you have ever seen. Most of them tend to look a bit more orthopedic in nature, but Brooks did a great job keeping it still fast looking and making it compelling visually. You don’t lose anything aesthetically which is great. It doesn’t come in 5 colors like the levitate, we only get two, but still.
Overall, we still have a lot of the same misgivings we have with the Levitate 4. The Bedlam 3 is very firm and that upper still struggles in some of the same areas being a bit too restrictive. However, this is a stability shoe, so a lot of that upper stability makes some sense. Additionally, the GuideRails in the midsole actually feel like they mitigate some of that firmness leading to a bit better ride. Even as a neutral runner, our bet is that most people will enjoy this you more than the Levitate oddly enough. if you truly need some level of moderate stability then the Bedlam is actually a really good choice. You may need to have size up depending on how much forefoot room you like, so definitely try on before you buy it.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.