If you didn’t already know, when it comes to running shoes, my trusted brand is Brooks. Welcome to Part I of my Three-Part Series where I break down my top three Brooks running shoes. In this series, we’re going to get down and dirty putting my three favorites through their paces. I’ll tell you what I like, and I’ll tell you if there is room for improvement. Before we go crazy, let’s start with a few basics. If you are new to running, this first section is for you. If you’d consider yourself a regular runner, skip to the next section.
A Note for the Beginners
I’ve been asked by beginners on my shoe recommendations, and I always hesitate. It’s not that I have some elitism over newbies, it’s just that I know finding the right running shoe can be a wild goose chase. Also, I think it’s important to state that everyone is different (if that isn’t obvious enough). What works for me, might not work for you. If you are a beginner, here’s my advice. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I think back to when I first started running, and what advice I would give myself. The think the best piece of advice I would have given myself back then (among many other things) would have been:
Rather than obsessing about shoes, obsess about running. First priority is to make running a habit.
When I started running I ran on some basic athletic shoes I bought from the outlets. I think they were your typical running shoe, nothing fancy, but they got the job done. Focus on building running into your lifestyle and making it a permanent habit. The brand you find is whatever suits you, make sure they are comfortable and make sure you are prepared to log some miles and wear them out. Now, I’m saying this assuming you are going to be walking and jogging on roadways – of course, make sure you purchase an affordable shoe that matches the intended use. Don’t buy slip-on shoes to run trails, if you catch what I mean.
Anyway, once you’ve made running a habit, start to look into different brands and don’t be afraid to shop around. Since I’m focused on Brooks, in this series, I would recommend you start by finding the Brooks Shoe that fits you with THIS awesome online tool. The Brooks Shoe Finder!
Brooks Launch Review
Overview: The Launch Series shoe is the perfect neutral running shoe, that offers get energy return and smooth “foot feel”. The sole is designed with a nice balance of just the right amount of cushion and spring. This balance really allows you to really feel the ground beneath you while enjoying a peppy spring in your step.
Brooks classifies the Launch Series as a Neutral running shoe, with a built-in “Energize” running experience for those who don’t like a “soft” running shoe. I’ve personally worn the Launch Series in 5k’s to Half Marathons with no complaints.
Technical Specs: Source Brooks
9oz / 255.1g
The outer design of the shoe is made with a one-piece breathable mesh for maximum comfort on those warm days, and an internal “bootie” that offers additional protection for use around the year. The midsole cushioning of the Launch is made from BioMoGo DNA material, which offers a light cushion landing and springy return rate.
The tread design takes a minimal approach making it suitable for road, track, crushed gravel, and sandy surface running. The micro cleats in the design of the grip offer superior traction on rough and hard surfaces, as well as decent foot feel in rainy wet weather conditions. I’ve taken my Brooks Launch shoes out in all weather types, finding some wet surfaces (leaves, grass), snow and ice the only conditions in which the traction suffered.
So, where do I stand on the Brooks Launch Series shoe? I’ve logged many miles in my Launch Series shoe(s) and I’m currently (2019) on my second pair of these tried and true workhorses. I’ve thrown everything at these shoes and have never been disappointed. My only suggestion if you pick up a pair is to test them out yourself before committing to them. The Brooks Launch Series shoe tends to run about a 1/2 size smaller than what you’d normally wear. My 10.5 shoe size seems slightly snug and has varied between the two model years that I have.
The Brooks Launch Series shoes are offered throughout the year with seasonal designs (Christmas Holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, etc.), which makes them perfect to wear to your favorite themed race and confirm that these make a perfect all-around all-season shoe.
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I’m standing on a 4.5 Rating, which is pretty awesome. These are an ultra comfortable shoe to run in, based on my first-hand experience. They make a great shoe for beginners to really get a taste of what Brooks has to offer, and they’re a wonderful shoe for neutral runners.
Do you wear the Brooks Launch Shoe? Share your thoughts in the comments below!