Given how much I’ve fallen in love with my Brooks T6 Racers for racing and speed work, I thought I’d see what running shoes Brooks had on offer for my longer distance training runs and races. I needed a shoe that was still lightweight and flexible in the forefoot area, whilst giving me just a bit more cushioning than the T6′s give me and that would stand the test of time.
I’d originally thought the Brooks ST4′swould be the shoe for my longer runs but I found that they didn’t give me the flexibility that I needed for my forefoot running style. I spoke to some running shops to see if Brooks had another shoe that would do the trick but apart from the ST4′s they didn’t mention any other Brooks shoe. Then I hunted on Google and came across the Brooks Launch on the Brooks US site. The product info and reviews seemed to describe just what I was looking for and luckily they were also on the UK site.
The first thing you notice when you take the Brooks Launch out of the box is just how red & orange they are. Loving a bit of colour and flare with my kit, the colour wasn’t a problem, and as soon as I slipped the shoes onto my feet the Brooks comfort factor took over. Like the T6′s and the ST4′s, the Launch’s fitted my feet like a slipper and when you run in them the comfort stays with you stride after stride.
I took the red & orange demon’s out for a debut run – a 10 mile training run – about 6 weeks ago and haven’t looked back since. Not only are they incredibly flexible and light, coming in at just 264g but they also give me the support and cushioning I need over the longer distance. And hand on heart, I can honestly tell you that my muscles hardly felt a thing after that initial 10 mile run, the shoes just absorbed the shock – and this was an on-road undulating run. The Launch is a neutral shoe in every sense of the word but even with the mild pronation in my left foot, I’ve found that I don’t need to wear my orthotic insert with them.
I now use the Launch’s for most of my long runs and in some ways they’re encouraging me to run further but it doesn’t stop there… the Launch is marketed by Brooks as a Competition shoe and I can see why – they’re also quick and responsive. I find that the shoes almost tease me to run quicker on the longer steady runs and they respond with a springy lightweight feel as soon as I pick up the pace. As a result, I’m now considering adding the half marathon distance to my race calendar.
As with all good reviews, there should always be mention of any negatives but there’s really not much to say. The only thing I would say is that I personally find there’s a little too much rubber around the heel area for my forefoot running style but if you’re a heel striker that’s probably just what you need. And as for durability, I’ve ran over 80 miles in them so far and there’s hardly any sign of wear.
So whenever you see a bright red and orange shoe’d runner coming toward you, it’s more than likely that they’re wearing the Brooks Launch.
Pros: A very comfortable running trainer, reponsive and light, ideal for both short and longer distances.
Cons: Their blazing red/orange colour won’t be to everyone’s taste.
PRODUCT REVIEW DISCLAIMER: TriGear recommend that you do your own independent research before purchasing any product or service. The reviews that TriGear or contributing writers write on www.trigear.co.uk are based on our personal opinions of the products, services and companies. Please read our full terms and conditions here.