A couple of week ago I started running in the Brooks Ricochet shoes. Now, with about 300KM of mileage in the shoes, over all types of terrain, I feel ready to put down on paper my views on this shoe. To aid readers with the terminology used in my review I have inserted an image to show the ‘anatomy of a running shoe’ which should help familiarize runners with the different parts of a shoe.
Upon initial inspection, I was taken by the knitted fabric on the ‘upper’, the seemingly roomy ‘toe box’ and general design and indeed colour pattern of the shoe given to me. This shoe is described by Brooks as a ‘lightweight midsole’ which for me always means a neutral shoe and indeed, neutral is how I would describe when I received a pair considering its average 8mm toe to heel drop which sits it comfortably in the middle between low-drop and high drop shoes, its medium to high arch and its relatively light weight of 292g.
Upon further inspection I was surprised to see a sort of chevron design pattern on the ‘outsole’. On their website, Brooks market this as ‘a flexible, arrow-point pattern on the outsole to help you move from heel to toe quickly, without losing energy’. It was different to any underside design that I had seen before so I was interested to see if I could feel any real difference and if so, to see if I could really pinpoint any differences in my running to this unique design.
So, how did they fare? Well, the first few times that I wore them I was really impressed with how comfortable they felt; indeed, I mentioned to some fellow runners that I would describe them as ‘fit for comfort’ (as opposed to ‘fit for purpose’ for which I would describe a shoe such as the Adidas Adizeros for example). They felt roomy on the toe box as I had predicted on initial inspection and felt incredibly supportive over the undulating and varying surfaces that running in Kuala Lumpur offers. I am always slightly wary of shoes that appear too roomy. I am always preaching to my athletes about the importance of tying shoe laces snuggly to prevent any pronation issues that may occur if the laces are too loose and for the same reasons I am wary about running shoes that appear too roomy. However, the difference with the Ricochets was that they only felt roomy within the toe box and that felt quite nice for everyday running. However, in my mind, they felt too roomy for any kind of performance running but then again, they are not designed to do that.
Obviously these shoes are a road shoe but I wanted to try them out over the different surface types that a KL road runner may experience. Overall, I felt they gave good support on the harder surfaces such as concrete and the brick paths which, unfortunately are unavoidable in KL and fared well in the wet, although over some of the wet paths found in the parks of KL I felt that the grip was not gripping enough to make me feel fully comfortable; I find that a closer fitting shoe is better over these difficult conditions.
In terms of mileage, the shoe provided immense comfort over runs of up to 28KM and I felt no soreness after these longer runs when wearing the Ricochet.
So in conclusion, I would give this shoe a 9/10 for comfort, 9/10 for durability, 8/10 for design and 6/10 for performance.
Overall an 8/10 and a perfect shoe for everyday running and especially for longer ‘weekend’ runs.