The Brooks Ricochet 2 is a neutral runner that’s built like a sock. It’s the little brother of the more cushioned, similarly sock-like Brooks Levitate 3. And while it is the slightly less cushioned younger sibling, it’s the shoe with the most sock-like upper of the entire Brooks line. Let’s check it out:
The one piece Fit Knit upper is the star of the Brooks Ricochet 2. The Fit Knit upper really delivers a sock-like fit that’s just as good as the competition’s Flyknit or Primeknit. In this case, the knit is backed by a thin mesh layer which Brooks calls an internal bootie. To me it doesn’t quite count as a true bootie. It does improve comfort (as good internal booties do) but mostly helps maintain the structure of the shoe. The Fit Knit upper might be a disappointment to someone looking for a traditional Brooks upper but for those that have grown to love sock-like fits from other brands, it’ll be perfect.
One thing to note is that the Fit Knit upper may not be ideal for wide footers. The shoe fits true to size but the fit is narrower than most Brooks models. The Ricochet 2 is a Brooks shoe that fits more like a Nike.
The Ricochet 2’s materials center around the comfortable one piece knit upper. The tongue area is the best part of the whole upper as it’s a really stretchy and cozy mesh. The lace loops surrounding the tongue are simple nylon sewn into the upper so they’re both minimalistic and effective. There’s also plastic backing at toe for durability, a heel tab for ease of entry, and a vinyl logo on both sides of the shoe. All of that is pretty standard for a knit shoe. Material-wise the upper is well built and feels as secure and supportive as knit can.
While support isn’t a focus of the Ricochet 2, it checks the boxes it should as a neutral trainer. You sit inside the midsole at the heel and the midsole flares out at both the heel and forefoot. The bottom of the heel flares slightly for a light outrigger feel while the entire forefoot goes wide to provide a solid base. I do wish my foot sat inside the midsole slightly at the forefoot because then the shoe as a whole wouldn’t need to be so narrow. I think the narrowness of the last is in direct correlation with the need to somehow keep the wearer on the footbed at all times.
Lastly, the Ricochet 2 features a big internal heel counter. Unfortunately, there’s not much padding over the heel counter on the inside of the shoe so it can rub your achilles or heel bone and cause blisters (depending on the shape of your foot). A quick in store try-on would help you figure out if that will bother you.
The Brooks Ricochet 2 has good traction in all weather conditions. There’s ample amounts of rubber arranged in a forward facing arrow pattern that gives full foot coverage. The arrow pattern also makes room for four forefoot flex grooves that give the entire forefoot a great feel on foot.
Road runners will be excited because there’s ample amounts of hard rubber that will last a long time. I hardly see any wear on my pair after a full test cycle. In today’s age of soft rubber and foam on outsoles, outsoles this durable are rare.
The cushion is nothing spectacular but solid. It’s better for shorter runs or as a beefier speed work shoe. Simply put, the DNA Amp/BioMoGo DNA midsole combination is just not as good as DNA Loft (used on models like the Brooks Glycerin 18) or DNA Flash (used on the Brooks Hyperion Tempo). But it’s also not meant to be as plush as those other cushions. According to Brooks, the Ricochet 2 is intended to provide a springy and light ride.
DNA Amp is a polyurethane midsole encased in a TPU skin while BioMoGoDNA seems to be an EVA derivative. They cushion the blows of the road but you don’t sink into the cushion the way you do with other more expensive cushioning setups. And while the shoes do come with a thick, plush insole, it can’t completely hide the lack of sinking into the midsole foam. Of course, if your body prefers a firmer ride that still offers shock absorption, you’re in the right place.
The Brooks Ricochet 2 retails at $120 and is right priced. To me, it competes very nicely with the similarly priced Adidas SL20. It doesn’t offer top-tier cushioning but if does provide a comfortable upper, shock absorption, and a great outsole. If you’re the type that likes to run in sock-like running shoes and prefers a firm ride, put the Brooks Ricochet 2 on your short list of options.
Thanks to Brooks for sending out test pairs. Brooks was not given any editorial control of the review. This review is based on our weartesters’ experiences using the shoes for speed workouts, trail runs, treadmill training, long runs, casual wear, and more.