Between the Brooks Ricochet 3 and Brooks Levitate 4, I don’t know why people choose the Levitate. The Ricochet 3 is lighter and cheaper. At the end of the day, I think the Ricochet and Levitate are too similar of shoes and why choose the more expensive and heavier of the two when it doesn’t really come with any advantages. Although, of course, you can get both.
All of this to say, I think the Brooks Ricochet 3 is a better version of the Brooks Levitate 4. The only reason I see to choose the Levitate is for looks. How is that for an intro?
Weight: 8.2 oz
Heel to Toe Drop: 8 mm
What’s new with the Brooks Ricochet 3?
- The updated combination of BioMoGo DNA and DNA AMP technology makes the shoe lighter than before.
- The new fit knit upper is more breathable.
Brooks Ricochet 3 Fit:
The upper of the Brooks Ricochet 3 has been more updates to be more breathable. Like any of the sock-like uppers, it will fit more snug than the traditional mesh upper. I couldn’t remember if I reviewed the Brooks Ricochet 2 until I searched my own blog, so I guess it didn’t stick out to me too much in 2020.
Like the Levitate, the Ricochet upper comes up past the Achilles. I never had an issue with it rubbing my Achilles (like I did with the Levitate). With the Brooks Ricochet 3, I still don’t have that issue. The one-piece and sock-like design make it great for anyone who has issues with overlays and seams rubbing against their feet. One thing to note is that it will feel tighter.
Typically in running shoes, I wear between a women’s size 10-11 wide. I found the size 10.5 to fit well, although if there were a wide option, I would probably choose it.
Finally, nothing to do with the fit of the Brooks Ricochet 3, but I think the material looks cheap. If I am paying $120 for a shoe, I don’t want it to look like a $60 shoe. Maybe it’s the color I bought, but the Ricochet definitely looks cheaper than it should. (Which looking cheap is my only valid argument to get the Levitate over the Ricochet).
Brooks Ricochet 3 Ride:
One of the best updates to Ricochet 3 is removing weight. I strongly believe that the Brooks “Energized” category’s shoes could all stand to lose an ounce or two to be competitive with other more responsive and spring brands.
To understand how Brooks Ricochet 3 works and why it’s “so heavy,” you need to understand Brooks’ cushioning. In the energized category, Brooks uses their midsole material called ‘DNA AMP.’ According to Brooks, it has more energy return. The DNA Amp is made from 2 materials: polyurethane (PU) with a layer of TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane) wrapped around the midsole.
So? PU is much heavier than the traditional EVA used in running shoes, but PU is more elastic, flexible, and durable. Together with the just heavy TPU, the Brooks Ricochet becomes heavy. So why use all of this heavy material in a world of lightweight shoes? The DNA AMP is significantly more durable than other materials. This is true, and in typical running shoes, I get about 300 miles. I can definitely get more out of the Brooks Ricochet 3.
And heavy is all relative. This would have been considered a lightweight shoe just 10 years ago, but technology is running shoes is advancing (I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that twice).
The two big perks of the Brooks Ricochet 3 are durability and traction. Brooks claims the Ricochet 3 is more durable, and it is. Typically I get around 300 miles in running shoes, and these will last longer.
With the arrow print outsole, the traction is top-notch. The Ricochet 3 is a shoe I would be comfortable taking in torrential downpours without sliding down the road.
I’ve tried the Ricochet 3 for various runs, including long runs, easy runs, recovery runs, and faster runs. For me, it works best as a daily run shoe. I prefer more and softer cushion for recovery runs and a lighter shoe for workouts.
The Brooks Ricochet 3 is a solid update, and I think Brooks did a decent job. If you’ve been a fan of Ricochet, you’ll probably like this too. If you’ve been a fan of the Levitate, you should give this a try. Somehow the Ricochet gets lost in the mix despite (in my opinion) being a better and cheaper shoe than the Levitate. Anything the Brooks Levitate 4 can do, the Brooks Ricochet 3 can do while also being cheaper.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
Easy/Daily Runs Saloman Sonic 3 Balance, Brooks Glycerin 18, Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3, Brooks Ricochet 3, Nike Pegasus 37, New Balance 1080 v10, Diadora Mythos Blushield Blushield Hip 5, Hoka Bondi 7, Asics GlideRide.
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Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the Brooks Ricochet 3?
What is your current favorite shoe?