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The Brooks Launch burst onto the running scene nine years ago as an eye-opener. It was springy and fast, suitable for longer easy runs or fast-paced efforts. It grew an immediate following due to its versatility and feeling. Nine years later the Launch is still striking that balance with slight updates year after year.
Let’s dive in and see what the culmination of nine years has brought us.
The outsole provides exactly what you would want in a road shoe, just enough rubber to give you to the protection and grip needed for pushing the pace, but not any extra to weigh the shoe down. As you can see in the picture below, the shoes tend to pick up and keep the smaller pebbles in the tread. Other then the constant clacking of the tiny rocks on the road, they were not a hindrance during runs.
While the Launch lacks any promise of an aggressive trail shoe, you know that I still took them out on them and the shoes performed just fine when it was dry. Should you have that need to run through the woods for a little taste of nature, just be sure to avoid mud, wet patches or loose rock as robustly grippy these are not.
MidSole – Quick Transitions
The Launch 5’s midsole is constructed of Brook’s BioMoGo DNA cushioning and rebounding rubber that generates a springy feel underfoot allowing for quick transitions and timely turnover. The midsole drops 10mm from heel to toe, and while I consider this to be a larger differential, it didn’t feel quite so steep, I believe this due to the soft compressibility of the cushioning. The Midfoot Transition Zone of the Launch is shaped to go from heel to toe quickly and delivers the plush and bouncy responsiveness I would expect from a well-cushioned premium shoe.
Upper – Lightweight Fit
The Launch 5’s upper is where this shoe hits a home run. The upper uses an engineered Air Mesh that is ultra-light and well…airy. The 5 has an ideally spacious toe box with both width and vertical space. This gives the shoe a nice wide stable platform. The one-piece Air Mesh upper is soft, pliable, and has plenty of breathability. With the stretch and give of the one-piece mesh upper it eliminates any chance of uncomfortable rubbing or hotspots. A wide variety of foot shapes should be happy with the conforming fit of this shoe. The Launch 5 was a true to size fit in both the men’s and the women’s.
Specs of the Launch 5
- Support – Neutral
- Midsole Drop – 10mm
- Weight 9oz / 255.1g Men’s
- Weight 7.5oz / 212.6g Women’s
- Arch – Medium, High
Final Thoughts on the Launch 5
The Brooks Launch 5 is built for neutral runners desiring a shoe with maximum comfort and springy cushioning in a simple package. The smooth transitions from the Launch makes runs comfortable without fatigue to the feet. It sports an ergonomic and airy design that will support and provide comfort to a variety of runners. It is a great option for daily running on the road for those looking to get in those short runs and can even comfort those wanting to tackle the weekend long distances. For more information about the Launch 5, visit www.brooksrunning.com or www.amazon.com/brooksrunning.