Brooks Levitate GTS 5 Review

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First Thoughts On The Brooks Levitate GTS 5

The Levitate was first introduced in 2017, and like all brands and models, Brooks is continuously looking to make improvements. That usually involves slight modifications each year that they come out with the next model number. This irks some as they may have come to love a certain shoe model. I honestly think that they aren’t making these changes simply to mess with you, but to make subtle improvements based on new technology and runner feedback. The Levitate series is slotted in Brooks’ “Energy category” which has a DNA AMP midsole compound that provides that little bit of extra energy return. I am excited about putting these to the test to see what makes them a re-occurring model in the Brooks lineup.

Technical Specifications

Weight:  9.6 oz. (W) 10.4 oz

Drop: 8mm

Cushioning: DNA AMP

 

Brooks Levitate GTS 5 Options and Technology Breakdown

The Levitate (as with other models for Brooks) is a concept where you have options based on your running gait, style, and use. There’s the “Levitate”, the “Levitate GTS”, the “Levitate Stealthfit”, and the “Levitate Stealthfit GTS”. That may seem confusing, but when you go to Brooks’ website, you can navigate rather easily through the options. Plus, I’ll touch upon it a little here as well as how I went through the steps to find the shoe that would suit me best.

GTS stands for Go-To-Support. Brooks uses Guiderail “Holistic” support that allow the body’s hips, knees, and joints to move more naturally. You can simply get the standard Levitate, or go with the Levitate GTS. I decided to go with that Go-To-Support to see what that would look and feel like. I am a neutral style runner, and the thinking (for me at least), is that I didn’t need the support to help with pronation that some other models offer up. This is really more of an added support for my neutral form. And to be honest, I have noticed a slight change with my feet the last 5 years as they are starting to flatten out with age (and use, I suppose).

Stealthfit is a newer concept that has an adaptable, closer fit with stretch and compression. The fit knit upper has a more seamless structure and breathability, and this allows the foot to kind of move with the fabric. I decided against this option for myself because of the “closer fit” aspect. No one wants foot movement within the shoe, but I didn’t want it to be too snug either. It does sound like a good option should you want to try it out.

Brooks Levitate GTS 5 Stretch Upper

The stretch upper ensures a more flexible accommodating fit. Think of it as comfort while maintaining a structure that provides support. This is due to it being a new engineered technology that has been termed a “circular knit material.”  I honestly don’t know the intimate details of that, but it provides breathability while ensuring that enhanced fit.

Mid Sole

This mid sole’s got spring! The simple motion of running means you give it energy, and it returns to you with more energy. The Brooks Levitate GTS 5 midsole DNA AMP technology is the impetus behind all this. Sort of in a spring-like form, the midsole absorbs the energy, and gives it back to each individuals’ unique running style, form, and gait. I have been able to really push myself lately on faster tempo runs ranging anywhere from 1 to 4 miles to test this.

Where I have seen improvements is in the recovery period after my runs. Simply put, my legs aren’t quite as sore as they used to be. After hard track or tempo efforts where I push myself out of my comfort zone, many muscles see extra action, and usually I need a few days to recover. If this shoe can get me back to fresh legs a day quicker, it will make my training schedule that much more efficient.

The Brooks Levitate GTS 5 Bottom Sole

The outsole bottom of the Brooks Levitate GTS 5 is made for running on the road, obviously. That said, they are firmer than some other Brooks models. That is something very subtle, but the DNA AMP composite gives it that extra firmness. This hasn’t affected my run, but I feel it provides that extra little snap to move me into my next stride. That forces me to work harder, and subsequently move faster. It will be interesting to see how that translates over the longevity of the shoe.

Lots of grooves to help absorb the roads subtle inconsistencies, and weep away any water during a rainy run. I have not had any issues with small pebbles getting wedged in there as that can be annoying.

Testing

I am roughly 60 miles into the shoe. The first 20 I would call my break-in miles, and were nothing special as far as pace or effort. Out my door on asphalt, concrete paths, and some crushed gravel trails. No issues whatsoever at this point. Then I started throwing some more tempo and speed work at my runs, and this is when I feel a shoe starts to prove its worth. My first few fast 400 repeats had me sliding slightly, so I adjusted and tightened my lacing. That took care of it, and I was able to finish with solid footing.

I have probably 5-6 pairs of running shoes that I rotate through depending on the conditions and terrain. That means my shoes do last a while, but I do keep track of mileage. I feel that these are solid trainers for me, and I may throw them at a race or two during Turkey Trot and Christmas 5k season. With age, I have realized that my running focus has changed the past 5 years to be more on focused workouts with a few easy runs sprinkled in. I can’t handle really heavy volume right now, and these shoes with that extra support and energy are perfect as I cruise into Winter and ramp back up in Spring.

Final Thoughts On The Brooks Levitate GTS 5

The Brooks Levitate GTS 5 is a solid runner that provides good support and energy return, so I can get that extra mile in without feeling the long recovery pain. I am a fan of the simplistic look, and the stretch upper that breathes while conforming to my feet as I run. The midsole DNA AMP technology is where I’ve noticed the biggest benefit as the rebound energy gives me that little extra boost with every stride. This shoe is at a decent price point, because the value is there. I will certainly be pushing the mileage limits of the Brooks Levitate GTS 5. Check them out for yourself.

MSRP: $150  For more information or to purchase, please visit brooksrunning.com.

Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.
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