Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Brooks Levitate Review



I have reviewed nine shoes from Brooks in the past few years.  The Glycerin 13 (which received Runner’s World’s Best Update Award for 2015), PureFlow 5, Neuro, Launch 3 (one of my all-time favorites), Launch 4, Ghost 9, Glycerin 13, Glycerin 15 and the Caldera (the first Brooks Trail shoe that I’ve tested).   They all are great shoes that I use on a rotating basis in my training. 

Brooks is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.  Maybe that is why they are so awesome (I grew up in Eastern Washington so maybe I am a little biased).  Brooks motto is to “Run Happy” but they also try to “Live Green.” Their headquarters building is right near the water and just across the street is a trailhead that leads to nearly 30 miles of trails to run on.  How awesome would it be to work there?  They invite the public to come in if they are ever in the Seattle area for a free treadmill gait analysis and to check out all of the latest Brooks running gear and apparel. 


The Levitate is Brooks new shoe and it has been in the works for quite a while.  Brooks spent 2.5 years developing this shoe, going through 9 rounds of development, 7 rounds of wear testing, and making improvements along the way.  They got feedback from thousands of runners in the pursuit of the Levitate, which promises to provide “The most energy return of leading performance running shoes…”


The magic all comes from Brooks new midsole made from their DNA AMP material.  The midsole was made in partnership with BASF, a giant in the chemistry field.  They were striving to make the perfect blend of cushion and energy return.  The materials are made to take the energy from each foot strike and send that energy directly back up at your foot without losing energy out the sides of the midsole. 


The outsole is made with a unique arrow pattern that is flexible and helps you move quickly from heel to toe.  I found that the shoe not only flexed enough front to back, but side to side as well.  I am a big fan of flexible shoes and this design definitely made me happy.  After about 50 miles, the outsole material shows almost no signs of wear, which is great.

The fit knit upper is comfortable and flexes with your foot.  It really fits well, and adapts to your individual foot type.  I have wider than normal feet and this was not a problem at all with the Levitate.  You can get a nice snug fit that in conjunction with the padding near the heel collar, feels great mile-after-mile.


The Levitate has an 8mm heel drop, is a neutral shoe, and weighs in at 11.2 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.  Honestly my biggest issue with the shoe is the weight.  It is heavier than most shoes I run in and wish that they could get it under 10 ounces.  With that being said, it doesn’t feel heavy and I have enjoyed them on short fast runs as well as longer slow runs.  This is probably one of Brooks best shoes to date.

Pros:
Fit true to size (for me)
Looks awesome (two color options Blue/Black or White/Black)
Great energy return
Flexible outsole
Feels great and fits like a glove.
90 Day Trial at Brooks.com (Free Returns)

Cons:
Slightly heavier than many shoes at 11.2 ounces


Brooks’ Social Media Links

Brooks keeps putting out great shoes.  The Levitate is a great shoe that has jumped right into first place for Brooks shoes in my opinion.  While the price may be a little on the higher side at $150, they are an awesome pair of shoes that will really help you enjoy your run.  All of the development and tester feedback paid off.  You can find them at the Brooks website or your local retailer (click here for locations).  Go to your local running store and give it a test run.  I would love to 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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