Brooks Launch – Neutral Shoe Heaven
- Overall Design: 4.50
- Weight: 4.0
- Durability: 4.5
- Value: 4.75
My tag line for the Brook’s Launch is… “A light weight neutral trainer capable of being an everyday road shoe”.
For years I loved the bunny slipper ride of the Nike Vomero. But once a year I would flirt with disaster and try something different. My latest flirtation was the Brooks Launch. This time I finally cashed in from all my previous gambling.
I had always wanted a light weight trainer with enough cushioning to me happy on the track or even in shorter races. I had been feeling the Vomero was too cushy of a ride and might even try out a trainer as my daily driver. After Chris Green at Luke’s Locker in Dallas turned me onto the Launch I had hope that maybe I had found my new shoe.
After my purchase and a couple of runs, I felt some achilles tendonitis which worried me. My solution was to try and turn the Launch into the Vomero by adding some cushioning. I didn’t enjoy the ride of my new creation and without much additional thought, set them aside for a couple of months. I can’t remember why but one day just decided dust off the Launch and give them another try. I removed the extra stuffing, wore no socks and when out for a run. I’ve been hooked ever since.
What I’ve come to appreciate about the Brook’s Lauch is a connection to the road without feeling flat or stiff. Something I loved about the Vomero which the Launch also replicates is the extremely flexible mid foot and forefoot. Actually, now that I’ve identified how important that is in a shoe, every new shoe I examine in the store gets the flex test. No flex equals no dice.
As for durability, 600 to 800 miles is not uncommon for a pair my shoes and the Launch hold up very well. They are difficult to find at smaller running stores but Luke’s has always stocked them and so has Roadrunner Sports. Oh, and a bargin at $85.