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Brooks Catamount Agil review

8 expert score
9 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at Running Warehouse with our own money.
Review written on 22nd May by Henry Howard Ultra runner and certified running coach.
53 other reviews

Brooks Catamount Agil Verdict

The Brooks Catamount Agil is a niche shoe that offers a lot to like for trail runners looking for a jetpack strapped to their feet for shorter race distances.

The pros

  • Feels super fast
  • Precise fit without being too constricting
  • Sturdy lugs
  • Recycled materials, certified Carbon Neutral

The cons

  • May not appeal to those desiring more cushioning and stability
  • Only one size (10) in wide fit
  • Not meant for mountain running or technical trails

Where to buy

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Rating breakdown

Build quality
Sole unit
Value / Price

Facts / Specs

Catamount Agil
8 oz (227 g)

27 mm.
21 mm.
Heel drop
6 mm.
Carbon plate
No plate


True to size
Heel fit
Midfoot fit
Toebox fit

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Amount of cushioning
Little cushioning
Not particularly stable

Trail specs

Not present
Provide Traction
Water resitance

Best for these distances

Max cushion
Trail racing  

Best for these terrains

Moderate trails
Technical trails
Rocky areas
Muddy areas
Through creeks and streams
Through snowy or icy sections
Dirt trails  
Paved trails  
Through grassy sections  

Who should buy the Brooks Catamount Agil ?

This shoe is best for runners who want to go fast, pure and simple. It’s a speedy shoe, ideal for half marathon to marathon distances on fast trails.

Who should not buy the Brooks Catamount Agil ?

Just scroll right on by if you are looking for a shoe to withstand ultra race distances, long technical terrains or if you are a fan of superior cushioning. The Agil has its own niche, which does not include those factors

Brooks Catamount Agil Introduction

Picture of Brooks Catamount Agil

The Brooks Catamount Agil is lightweight (7.7 ounces for a size 9) with a drop of 6mm and features a mesh upper, SpeedVault Trail Plate (Pebax), TrailTack Green outsole, nitrogen-infused DNA FLASH v2 midsole.

But the bottom line is that this shoe is built for speed, pure and simple with no apologies.

Brooks Catamount Agil Impressions

Picture of Brooks Catamount Agil

The Agil joins its sibling, the Catamount 3. Among the noticeable differenes is the stack height: check this Agil is 22-to-16 vs. the Catamount 3, which has 16-to-10; the new midsole and plate materials (the SpeedVault Trail plate vs. the Catamount 3’s SkyVault trail plate), and a boosted lug depth in the Agil, 4.5 compared to 3.5 for the Catamount 3.

The Catamount Agil has two excellent aspects in its midsole the SpeedVault Trail Plate and the DNA FLASH v2 foam.

The SpeedVault Plate is similar to the Brooks Hyperion Elite 4, a road racing shoe I like for speed workouts. The main difference is the Hyperion Elite v4 uses a thin, ultralight carbon fiber plate. Whereas, Brooks used a Pebax plate in the Agil.

Pebax, which is lighter yet more supportive than carbon fiber, is also much more friendly to the environment than carbon.

Brooks Catamount Agil Protection

Picture of Brooks Catamount Agil

Don’t let someone tell you to kick rocks when wearing these shoes. It won’t go well.

That’s a tradeoff Brooks made — sacrificing protection for the ability to move quickly along the trail. If you use the shoe for its intended use – short, fast runs on mild technical terrain — you will be fine.

For those looking for adventures complete with gnarly roots, sharp rocks and other trail hazards, leave the Agils in the closer for another day.

Brooks Catamount Agil Durability

Picture of Brooks Catamount Agil

If you are preparing for a trail race (up to a marathon) where you are intending to push the pace, I would recommend you seriously consider the Agils. But one would need to take a strategic approach to have a successful race day in these shoes.

We all know the old adage of “nothing new on race day,” so clearly you would want to practice in these shoes for the scenario I outlined above. I would recommend doing some weekly training runs in these shoes.

Brooks Catamount Agil Responsiveness & speed

Picture of Brooks Catamount Agil

Agil fulfills the need for speed. During my trail runs on an admittedly very flat surface, I felt like I was running on roads. I could easily push my pace for an hour training run and felt no after affects.

However, I would shy away any race or training run beyond a marathon distance. While the shoes are good, they made a conscious effort to focus on quickness and let the other guys handle cushioning and support.

Brooks Catamount Agil Comfort and fit

Picture of Brooks Catamount Agil

These shoes offer slipper-like comfort.

Specifically, the upper has a booty-like heel and tongue melded to the mesh that feels dreamy. The knit collar offers plenty of stretch over the midfoot and around the ankle. Brooks has also utilized a durable engineered mesh.

The laces are secure and I found it almost impossible to tie them too tightly. Not sure exactly sure how Brooks accomplished that but as someone who tends to tie the laces too tight, this was a welcome sign, another indication of the overall top level of the Agil’s comfort.

Brooks Catamount Agil Conclusions

The Agil is a trail shoe built for high-octane endeavors with no apologies given. I can easily see how after becoming used to the shoe, an athlete could feel extremely confident on the start line of a trail marathon with these strapped on.

How does the Catamount Agil compare?

Brooks Catamount 3
Brooks Catamount Agil
Asics Fuji Lite 4
Expert score
User score
Retail price
Shoe type
9.4 oz
8 oz
9.4 oz
Heel Drop
6 mm
6 mm
4 mm
Recommended for
Moderate trails, technical trails, muddy areas, through creeks and streams, dirt trails, paved trails, through grassy sections
Dirt trails, paved trails, through grassy sections
Moderate trails, technical trails, rocky areas, through creeks and streams, dirt trails, paved trails, through grassy sections
Cushioning type
Cushioning amount
Little cushioning
Little cushioning
Medium cushioning
very stable
not particularly stable
some stability
buy half size bigger
true to size
true to size

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of Brooks at Running Warehouse  with our own money.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about our policy.
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Brooks Catamount Agil price comparison

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Reviewed by Henry

This review was written by Henry Howard on 22nd May.
Henry Howard has come a long way since a teacher called him "molasses" during a fifth-grade track and field event. Now living and running in Indiana, he has completed more than a dozen marathons and is a regular age-grouper in shorter distances.

User feedback (1)

  • avatar-comment-1037537
    James Parker author rateauthor rateauthor rateauthor rateauthor rate
    3 weeks ago
    9 score

    I find it great for technical trails at speed. The low stack and wide base mean it’s very difficult to roll my foot on rocks and roots. The plate is protective underneath and the edges of the feet have some basic shielding. Not sure about water draining yet… You need good calf conditioning to take advantage of the plate and get some speed on the compact sections for any prolonged period.

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Where to buy

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