Today, I’m going to be comparing the Brooks Bedlam vs Levitate.
If you don’t know that already, Brooks has decided to simplify their line of shoes. They have discontinued some of their shoes and replaced them with the GTS versions of other existing shoes.
In regard to today’s comparison, Brooks discontinued the Bedlam series and replaced it with the Levitate GTS. So, we’re going to be comparing the Brooks Levitate 5 vs Levitate GTS 5.
Both shoes tell a really beautiful story as a pair. It doesn’t matter if you’re a neutral or stability runner, the Levitate has got you covered.
Let’s dive right into it…
Brooks Bedlam vs Levitate (Levitate 5 vs Levitate GTS 5)
In a hurry, these are the main differences and similarities between the Brooks Levitate and Levitate GTS…
The discontinued Brooks Bedlam and Levitate are part of the Brooks Energized collection of shoes which include Brooks’ DNA AMP premium cushioning technology.
The regular Levitate 5 is a neutral high cushion shoe designed for neutral runners whose feet do not need any assistance or guidance. The Levitate 5 GTS (Bedlam) is the exact same shoe with built-in stability to provide more guidance for overpronating runners whose feet tend to roll inward too much.
The upper on both shoes is now a circular knit to make sure for a stronger hold on the foot and a little more durability. The fit is going to be wider in the toe box and narrow in the heel and forefoot.
The outsole is comparable and it’s the exact same rubber and arrowhead flex groove pattern configuration as well.
Both shoes have 8mm heel-to-toe drop and they’re going to be used for lightweight racing days, speed days, and maybe your general high-mileage training days.
The Levitate GTS (Bedlam) is about an ounce heavier than the regular Levitate due to that denser GuideRail support system on both sides.
Both the neutral Levitate and the Levitate GTS are priced exactly the same.
You can check today’s price below:
Who’s the Levitate and Levitate GTS for
First, the Brooks Levitate GTS (Bedlam) is going to be your stability version if you have flat feet and are an overpronator while the regular neutral Levitate is going to be your neutral version if your arches are normal and your need no guidance at all.
If you’re looking for a more firm and bouncy experience in your shoes, then the Energized collection featuring DNA AMP will be the shoes for you.
Both Levitates are going to be great for everyone who’s going to go on a tempo run or a fast-paced run. It’s not good for track workouts but pretty close to it. Again, it’s for high energy high-speed fast-paced runs.
Both the Levitate and Levitate GTS are very heavy road running shoes and so they may make it a little bit harder to kind of push into some of those longer miles.
Weight, Stack, Drop, Fit
|Levitate||Levitate GTS (Bedlam)|
|Everyday training||Everyday training|
|Men (size 9) |
→ 10.5 oz (297 g)
|Men (size 9) |
→ 11.4 oz (323 g)
|Women (size 8) |
→ 9.4 oz (266 g)
|Women (size 8) |
→ 9.9 oz (280 g)
|Heel: 30mm |
|Heel: 30mm |
|8mm drop||8mm drop|
|Men’s Fit (D Width)||Women’s Fit (B Width)|
|True to size||True to size|
|Arch: Medium to low||Arch: Medium to high|
|Midfoot: Medium to low||Midfoot: Medium to low|
|Toebox: Wide||Toebox: Wide|
|Heel: Medium||Heel: Medium|
It’s important to note that there are four different versions of the Brooks levitate 5. You have the original Levitate 5 which is the neutral version and then you have the Levitate 5 GTS. GTS stands for Go To Support and that’s going to be their stability version.
Between the original and the GTS versions, you can get two different uppers. There’s the classic woven upper which has a little bit more room to it and it’s a little bit more spacious. Brooks also makes something called a StealthFit upper which is a stretch knit that has a little bit of a tire feel to it.
So, depending on what you want, you can get the original neutral shoe or the stability shoe. Then, you can kind of customize the uppers with a StealthFit that’s much more tight and compact or the original fit that gives you a little bit more room in the toe box and through the midfoot area.
Another fun fact is that the GTS version of the Levitate 5 is replacing the Bedlam series. Brooks had a whole separate category for stability with that DNA AMP foam but decided to kind of roll it up underneath the Levitate brand and so that’s why we have the Levitate 5 GTS version.
We’re going to have DNA AMP which is identified by the silver metallic platform that is going to be a pelletized plastic which is very responsive and returns a lot of energy. It’s similar to Adidas Boost but a little bit more dense.
The midsole foam is a full-length DNA AMP which is positioned as being one of Brooks’ more springy and energy-filled foams. DNA AMP is identified by the metallic platform that is going to be a pelletized plastic which is very responsive and returns a lot of energy.
This midsole compound has a little bit of a longer life, but it’s much harder compared to DNA Loft on the Brooks Ghosts 13 and 14.
The big difference is that the DNA AMP foam is a polyurethane foam that’s wrapped in a TPU casing, which is why the midsole looks a little bit shinier or has a different finish.
The big advantage to this one is that it won’t break down as quickly. DNA AMP has a little bit of a longer life and a little bit more energy return.
Also, DNA AMP just lost about 20% in the compound itself and so it’s going to come in about an ounce lighter than the previous Levitates. So, the Levitate is still that same highly responsive trainer that’s even lighter than before.
However, it’s much harder compared to DNA Loft which is an EVA-based foam which gives you a little bit more plushness but will break down a little bit faster compared to the polyurethane foam found on this shoe.
The Levitate GTS has these GuideRails on the medial and the lateral side of the shoe, which the neutral version does not feature. It’s essentially these walls of foam on both sides of the shoe that help guide your foot if you need it and kind of disappear if you don’t.
So, if you are running correctly and you don’t need that support, you really won’t interact with the support system at all. But if your foot starts to roll to either side, you have those nice GuideRails to kind of get you back into position.
The upper is an engineered circular knit upper. The main goal of the fit is to give a little bit more of an accommodating fit overall compared to the StealthFit which is more of a stretch knit upper that really does wrap the foot and provide a snug experience.
The tongue on this shoe is pretty average. It’s your classic everyday Brooks running shoe tongue and it becomes a gusseted tongue about halfway down.
Moving to the back of the shoe, the internal heel counter is relatively soft and you can move it around fairly easily. It’s not a super strict rigid heel cup which some people may like. As far as the padding goes, you get a decent amount in the ankle and Achilles area.
With regard to breathability, the Levitate is not the most breathable and it definitely keeps the foot really warm, which may be nice as we get further into the fall and winter months.
Overall, with the Levitate 5 and Levitate GTS 5, you’re going to have a nice one-to-one fit with your foot and letting your foot really own it and getting that energy return from the lighter weight DNA AMP.
Neutral vs Stability
What does that mean?
The stability version (Levitate GTS) is for someone who overpronates or lightly overpronates and needs a little bit of correction.
The shoe has this piece of material on both sides called the GuideRail. This is actually a little bit more dense piece of material so as you’re pronating inward or supinating outward, it actually helps push up and hold up a little bit better.
It works really well to assist the longevity of the shoe because if you’re constantly pronating in on a shoe, your shoe platform is going to start tilting inward.
In the regular Levitate, we do not have that GuideRail. This is for someone who sits exactly in the middle of the shoe or actually supinates out toward that outside.
According to Asics,
Between 50-60 percent of us runners are mild overpronators, whilst 20-30 percent are serious overpronators.
So, considering about 80% of the population are either overpronators or severe overpronators, I would say if you’re guessing whether or not you should be in the Levitate or the Levitate GTS (Bedlam), the Levitate GTS is going to be a really good shot. Although it does have this overpronation control GuideRail, it’s not very beefy.
You get a ton of rubber coverage from the heel all the way to the toe with this really hard dense rubber. The arrow pattern that moves up the shoe is supposed to optimize the running experience. I don’t know if that’s true, but it does look cool nonetheless.
Overall, if you’re someone who just wants a decent amount of stability, the Levitate GTS is a good option because it really doesn’t over interfere or become super intrusive while you’re running but still provides a nice stable ride.
So, those are all the basic facts about the Levitate and Levitate GTS (former Bedlam). Now, let’s talk about what worked well for the shoe and what didn’t work so well.
The first positive with the Levitate 5 GTS is that the stability mechanisms called GuideRails do a good job of not being overbearing when it comes to giving a stable experience.
With some stability shoes, you get a really overbuilt heel counter, a ton of posting, and kind of like torsion bars and things like that. However, the Levitate doesn’t have all that.
The other positive is that this shoe should last you a little bit longer than something like the Brooks Ghost. The polyurethane DNA AMP foam wrapped in that TPU casing is a little bit more durable compared to the EVA-based DNA Loft.
So, compare that durable foam with the super amount of really hard rubber on the outsole plus that really thick knit upper, I think you’re looking at a really good durable shoe that should last you quite a while.
The last positive is that fans of the Levitate and Levitate GTS really just like the overall experience of that DNA AMP foam providing a little bit more snap and balance compared to the softer more well-cushioned EVA foams.
Of course, the Levitate and Levitate GTS are not perfect and there are a couple of areas that can probably be improved upon.
First, both Levitates are really heavy shoes. The rubber on the outsole and the knit upper are relatively heavy and just the overall build structure, while it is nice, does add a lot of weight. So, if you want something a little bit lighter, I will probably go in a different direction.
The other negative is that while the DNA AMP foam is more of an energy-filled ride, it is really dense and heavy and it’s not as super springy compared to some of the other bouncy foams like Nike’s React or Asics’ FlyteFoam. However, it does have a nice bounce compared to other traditional Brooks foams like DNA Loft.
Again, DNA AMP provides a nice solid experience especially for fans of the Levitate lineup. However, for people like me, I personally like something that is not as dense or heavy. So, it really comes down to your personal experience.
The last negative is while the Levitate GTS is a stability shoe which is supposed to provide the needed support, it does flex relatively easily and doesn’t have a ton of well-built mechanisms to give you a super stable experience.
So, if you do need serious overpronation control, I’d probably go in a different direction. However, if you’re someone who just wants a little bit of stability or a decent amount of stability, I’ll say this is a good option because it really doesn’t over-interfere or become super intrusive while you’re running but still provides a nice stable ride.
They are really well-built, but they might be a little bit heavier compared to some other shoes. Although they might not be as snappy and as exciting, I think they really work if you’re a big fan of the Levitate lineup.
Plus, they have a ton of options where if you don’t want the GTS version (Go-To-Support version), you can go with the original neutral version of that shoe. Then, you can get the StealthFit upper that has more of a snug knit fit which I think looks really cool.
So, Brooks is offering a lot of customization to kind of fit exactly what you need, which is something they have always been doing to accommodate a whole bunch of runners.
Overall, the Brooks Levitate is not a bad shoe and there’s no real fatal flaws. It just might be a little bit heavy, a little bit dense, and I guess not as springy-filled compared to some other shoes on the market. But overall, it’s very durable and a lot of people do seem to like it, but it just might not be for absolutely everyone.
Well, that concludes our Brooks Bedlam vs Levitate or Levitate vs Levitate GTS comparison.
Where to buy the Brooks Bedlam and Levitate
Brooks Levitate 5 Neutral
Brooks Levitate GTS 5
I hope you found it helpful. See you on the next one 🙂