Friday, April 29, 2016

Brooks Launch 3 Review


I have recently reviewed three shoes from Brooks, the Glycerin 13 (which received Runner’s World’s Best Update Award for 2015), the PureFlow 5, and the Neuro.   They all are great shoes that I use on a rotating basis in my training.   

Brooks is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.  Brooks’ motto is to “Run Happy” but they also try to “Live Green.”  Brooks has four categories for their shoes.
-          Cushion Me – Soft and protective shoes
-          Energize Me – Responsive and springy shoes
-          Connect Me – Light weight and flexible shoes
-          Propel Me – Fast, low-profile shoes   

Shoes in Brooks Energize series are responsive and springy to add a little extra lift to your stride.  Let’s get the basic specs out of the way.  The Brooks Launch 3 has a 10mm heel drop, is a neutral shoe, and weighs in at 9.8 ounces.  This shoe is ideal for people with medium to high arches and is a great shoe for all road running, from easy runs to races and everything in between. 

Brooks used their BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning that dramatically adapts to each step and stride.  You get a fast heel-to-toe transition with the Segmented Crash Pad and Midfoot Transition Zone.  Brooks used blown rubber in the forefoot area for an extra-springy toe-off.  The upper material uses Brooks’ new 3D print which adds structure to the shoe without adding too much weight and the air mesh that they used in the shoe ensures a decent amount of ventilation.  That will help to keep your feet a little cooler and drier.  The bottom of the shoe has blown rubber covering the whole shoe for added durability.

Now that I have talked about the different materials (which may not be the easiest to understand), lets break it down in Layman’s terms.  The Launch 3 is not the lightest shoe at 9.8 ounces.  I have run in a bunch of shoes recently (some with more cushion) that are in the 8 ounce range.  With that being said, I had no idea that these weighed more when I was running in them.  They are still plenty light.  The Launch 3 just felt natural.  The materials are extremely durable, especially the blown rubber outsole (which looks like car tire tread).  There was tons of cushioning, yet I never felt like it was taking away any power.  I actually did feel like the shoes were springier than many of my other shoes and they fit true to size as well.

My first test run in the Launch 3 was supposed to be a 6 mile run at an easy pace.  I headed out and just started running.  I was not paying attention to my Garmin because it was supposed to be an easy pace.  I look down and I was going really fast, but it didn’t even seem like I was putting in that much effort.  I simply couldn’t run slow in the Launch 3!  That feeling lasted the whole 6 miles.  I figured that it was just a good running day so I wanted to see what would happen on a longer run. 

My long run was a few days later.  I headed out and it happened again.  I was pushing a fast pace and it felt awesome.  The Launch 3 has been comfortable, fast, and show almost no wear (after about 30 miles).  I am a huge fan of the Hoka One One Clayton and recently said that the Clayton not only took over as my favorite Hoka, but my favorite shoe period.  The Launch 3 just took over as my favorite shoe, hands down!

Pros:
Best lacing system I have tried
Fit true to size
Great price $100-110
Looks awesome (several color options)
Light weight at 9.8 ounces
90 Day Trial at Brooks.com (Free Returns)

Brooks Social Media Links

Brooks keeps putting out great shoes.  I never expected the Launch 3 to completely blow me away the way it has.  When I run in the Launch 3, I feel like I can run forever.  The price point is great starting at $100 on the Brooks website.  You can also find them at your local retailer (click here for locations).  Go to your local running store and give it a test run.  If there was only one shoe I could recommend to neutral runners, it would be the Launch 3.  Get yours today and let me know what you think. 

Note:  I received this product in exchange for a review.  The review is my personal opinion of the product and I was not required to give a particular opinion of it.  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.

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