Brooks Mazama Trail Running Shoe Review

Brooks Mazama
MSRP:
$140
Weight: 9.3 oz
Heel to Toe Drop: 6mm
Running Shoe Type: Trail

The Brooks Mazama trail running shoe is designed for trail runners who love speed and minimalist running shoes.  While many minimalist shoes tend to skimp on the structural integrity of the shoe and primarily focus on weight, the Brooks Mazama has created the perfect blend of light weight and a shoe that you actually want to wear.

Brooks Mazama Upper

The Brooks Mazama upper follows in line with many other lightweight trail running shoes in that it reduces the amount of material used, but still offers plenty of structure to reduce blowouts in the shoe.  The Mazama has welded overlays throughout the shoe that prevents weak points in the shoe where your foot tends to break through the material of the shoe.  So many times I see people with minimalist running shoes, both trail and road, with a huge hole in the toebox of upper.  I have seen no evidence that there is a weak point or will be a weak point in the Brooks Mazama toebox.

 

There is an integrated foot wrapper that attaches from the tongue of the shoe to the bottom of the inside of the shoe.  This helps keep the foot in place and it also keeps the tongue of the Mazama from floating to one side or another.  I’ve tested this shoe on dozens of technical trail runs and have been extremely pleased with how stable my foot has felt.

The toebox of the Brooks Mazama has plenty of room for most foot types, but it may be a tad wide for someone with narrow feet. As someone who has a standard width feet, I find these shoes to fit like a glove. There has been no heel lift to speak of when running in the Mazama’s during my runs on semi flat surfaces as well as steep ascents.  To keep your toes protected, there is a rubberized toe bumper that is minimal in material used, but it is hardened and provides plenty of protection against the occasional stub of the toe.

Outsole and Midsole

The outsole of the Brooks Mazama is something that you would expect from a minimalist running shoe.  As the rubber in the outsole is one of the heavier materials in a running shoe, companies trim down on the outsole to keep weight down.  If you find yourself running on dry trails, this outsole offers plenty of grip on most surfaces.  Instead of having an all rubber outsole on the bottom of the shoe, there are areas with EVA that help take the impact.  The downside is that on trails, this material breaks down and gets torn up incredibly fast compared to rubber.

To keep rocks, roots, and other sharp objects from jabbing into the bottom of your foot, there is a rock plate that offers just the right amount of protection.  This plate also has some spring to it, so it pops back into place which helps on each toe-off while running.  A little more spring in your step never hurts!

The Brooks Mazama Midsole is constructed independently which means your foot is more nimble on technical terrain.  Brooks uses its’ BioMOGO DNA midsole material which offers a nice level of cushion and buoyancy without breaking down too quick.  As someone who typically likes more cushion in a running shoe, I’ve been pleasantly surprised and happy with the level of cushion in the Brooks Mazama as most minimalist running shoes offer little to no cushioning.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’ve been extremely pleased with the performance of the Brooks Mazama trail running shoes.  They are extremely comfortable on your feet, but they can perform at the highest level.  For more information, visit BrooksRunning.com.

Kevin_Fonger:
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