Sometimes a shoe brand will replace a seemingly well-liked shoe with a new model that either has more features, more technological pizzazz or even just a new name. It usually means the original shoe is gone forever, leaving fans to search online for remaining models and mourn its legacy on social media. But that’s not the case with the Brooks Launch, which returns at retail shops on Feb. 1 with its long-awaited second version.
Brooks is unveiling the Launch 2 five years after the initial model of this energetic, high-mileage trainer debuted and the new version has been completely revamped. The updated model features a more responsive midsole/outsole undercarriage (including Brooks’ adaptive BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning); a snugger, more athletic fit with a slightly wider forefoot profile; an updated no-stitch mesh upper; enhanced flexibility; and some eye-popping color motifs. Although it’s not as light as most modern lightweight trainers, it offers a soft (but definitely not mushy) ride and a plush interior for long-wearing comfort. It doesn’t offer much support, but it does offer full ground contact with a decoupled heel and updated forefoot flex groves to aid the foot in stabilizing on the ground before the start of the next stride. It’s not necessarily made for running fast and is somewhat limited when it comes to fartlek workouts, tempo runs and other types of speed-oriented workouts faster than half-marathon race pace. But our wear-test team loved it for everything from long runs to recovery runs and a few suggested they’d consider running a marathon in it.
This is the shoe for you if … You’re looking for a soft, cushy neutral-oriented shoe for high-mileage training.
Weights: 9.7 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 7.8 oz. (women’s size 7.0)
Heel-Toe Offsets: 10mm (20mm heel, 10mm forefoot)