Brooks Launch 3 Review Facts
The Launch 3 is Brooks third iteration in its Launch series. The Launch series is known for its lightweight design, and unique DNA midsole, which adapts to every runner’s foot and cadence to provide a perfect step every time. The Launch 3 offers subtle but important differences from the previous Launch 2. These differences include a more flexible upper, a newer outsole design, and different materials overall. These changes are all favorable, with the lone exception perhaps being the slightly more narrow toe box of the 3 in comparison to the 2. Overall though, the unique midfoot and flexible design of the Launch 3 make for a great choice for those seeking a lighter pair of trainers. Also offered for men and women in eight different color schemes, there is a sure to be a design for everyone.
The quality of a shoe’s outsole, or bottom, is a very important factor when deciding to purchase it. A bad outsole often means a worse grip, and quicker wear and tear. The Launch 3 however, is equipped with a brand new design of outsole, which both minimizes abrasions and wears and tear, and maintains good responsiveness with every step. It does this through its new forefoot rubber, which provides a more springy step while also minimizing abrasive impacts.
The midsole, which is the cushioning between a runner’s feet and the road, can arguably be seen as the most important part of a running shoe. A good midsole will protect a runner’s feet from hard pounding, and in turn injuries
. The Launch 3 is equipped with a BioMoGo DNA midsole, an upgrade from most standard midsoles, designed to provide a softer cushion and more flexible strides. In addition to this, the Launch 3’s midsole has a segmented zone for customizing cushioning, allowing for a smoother step throughout. Finally, as an added bonus, this midsole is biodegradable, so those runners concerned about their carbon footprint can rest a bit easier. Overall, the midsole of the Launch 3 is a very impressive piece.
The upper of a shoe is essentially the part that wraps around the top of the feet. In the case of the Launch 3’s, the upper is extremely flexible and breathable. This is due to Brooks’ use of 3D Fit Print technology on the upper, which allow for a better, more comfortable fit, in addition to the added flexibility. In tandem with the woven Air Mesh to promote ventilation throughout the shoe, the upper is a very solid component of the Launch 3’s.
When looking at the weight of a shoe, it is important to consider that too heavy of a shoe will decrease stride efficiency, and too light of a shoe will increase the risk for injury due to having less cushion. Luckily the Launch 3 does not fall into either category and rests at comfortable 9.8 ounces for men and 7.6 ounces for women. The Launch 3’s are certainly not the most lightweight
shoes out there, as they are on the heavier end of the lightweight shoe spectrum, but they are still a solid lighter option.
Every runner knows that there are few things worse than a stuffy, cramped feeling shoe. A stuffy shoe means more foot sweat, which not only leads to foot odor, but worst of all, blisters
. Luckily, breathability in most running shoes today is very solid, and the Launch 3 is no exception. The previously mentioned Air Mesh upper allows for great breathability and an overall well-ventilated shoe, so runners can focus on their training instead of pesky blisters.
Comfort is obviously an important factor in purchasing running shoes, especially when considering that mile upon mile will be run on whichever shoes are purchased. The Launch 3 offers a very flexible, and breathable design, which certainly makes a shoe more comfortable. Along with the comfortable mid and outsole, the only real knock on the Launch 3 is its toe box. There have been many reports that the toe box runs a bit too small for some, leading to toes squeezed together while running. For those with wider
or larger toes, this is certainly something to note. Other than this, there is not much to be said against the Launch 3, in terms of comfort.
While perhaps not as ubiquitous as other popular trainers, like Nike’s
, in terms of fashion, the Brooks Launch certainly holds their own as a stylish running shoe. Available in 12 unique color schemes, there is sure to be a color for every runner, male or female. The Launch also offers more tame color schemes, for those that prefer it, or wish to use their shoes for everyday use. The Launch 3, while not a fashion juggernaut, certainly holds its own against other popular trainers.
The durability of a shoe essentially determines how long a shoe will last, based on usage. Clearly, higher durability is better, as no runner wants to be making frequent trips to the store to purchase new running shoes. The Launch 3 while not necessarily bad in terms of durability, are certainly not great either. Such is the nature of lighter weight shoes, the Launch tends to wear out a bit quicker than bulkier shoes. Though they can certainly hold their own on long runs, the Launch should probably be used on less heavy runs or mileage due to this. Overall though, the durability of these trainers should be sufficient for most.
Shoes with better protection are very desirable for runners, as they help prevent injuries from missteps or falls. In the case of the Launch 3, the flexibility of the upper in tandem with the cushion of the outsole do a great job of mitigating impacts that might cause trouble. The protection of the Launch is sufficient in helping prevent those niggling minor injuries
that may occur.
Responsiveness refers to a shoe’s ability to transfer energy from the runner’s step to the ground on impact. Better responsiveness promotes better, more efficient strides, and in turn more speed
. The Launch 3 offers great responsiveness due to its unique DNA midsole. This midsole is designed to adapt to each different runner’s step and stride, to create adaptive cushioning. This, in combination with the lightweight design, contributes to an overall very responsive shoe.
Support is another important factor to consider when purchasing running shoes. It is important to note that the Launch 3’s, as a result of being a lighter oriented shoe, offer a bit less support than heavier running shoes. Lighter shoes tend to offer a bit less support in exchange for better responsiveness and efficiency. That isn’t to say that the Launch’s don’t support well, however. The design of the upper and the outsole and midsole all contribute to the stability of this shoe and do an overall good job. The Launch is a neutral supported shoe, making them a viable choice for most runners who do not have unique arch differences when running.
The Launch 3 can hold their own on any terrain for the most part, although they are certainly best suited for road running and racing. Offroad running should not cause any issues, except perhaps in harsher circumstances, like more extreme trails or rocky areas
. They should be usable in rain as well, though some caution should be exercised.
Price is always an important factor when purchasing running shoes, as no runner wants to overpay, given how frequently running shoes tend to be purchased. The price of the Launch 3 is very fair, and frankly offers good value for quality Brooks shoes. When compared to most other popular trainers as well, the Launch is definitely noticeably cheaper. Running a bit cheaper than Brooks’ main line of trainers, as well, the Launch 3 is a great deal for those seeking a lighter pair of running trainers.
Traction refers to grip on surfaces when running, which is very important in having a stable stride. The traction of the Launch 3’s is great on the road, due to its HPR technology outsole, making it a great choice for city runners, or road races. On other terrains, the traction is not quite as superb as the road, though it certainly is still usable and very solid.
A flexible shoe is key in allowing good stride movement and preventing injury as well. The well designed upper of the Launch 3 makes it a very flexible shoe. As mentioned above, the 3D Fit Print technology allows it to flex and move with all types of feet and ranges of movement. This, in addition to the responsive midsole, make the Launch 3 a very flexible show.
The Launch 3’s offer solid stability. The Crash Pad on the outsole contributes to this, offering a smoother step. The heel is also extremely stable thanks to the 10 mm drop. A stable shoe again helps with stride and injury prevention, by preventing bad steps and twists, and the Launch 3’s definitely provide good stability.
The drop of a running shoe is basically the size of its heel where it falls. In the case of the Launch 3’s, the heel drop is 10 mm. 10 mm is a bit higher than might be expected for a lighter weight shoe but is definitely not unreasonable. The drop on the Launch is probably most geared to midfoot runners, which makes it a great choice for many.
•Unique DNA Fit Print upper for a flexible fit
•Lightweight, breathable design
•BioMogo DNA midsole, for responsive step
•Unique, wide-ranging, color schemes
•Comfortable and well cushioned
Overall, the Brooks Launch 3 is a very solid pair of running shoes. Their unique technology and design are seen in its flexible upper, responsive midsole, and springy outsole, allow them to be a solid option for both training sessions and road races. The Launch is not designed for those seeking more cushioned, heavy duty shoes
, but rather those seeking a lightweight shoe for running or even everyday use. These facts coupled with the price tag, and a myriad of unique design, making them a great choice of shoes for almost everyone. The only issues to note are the slightly small toe box and the arguably less durability than other heavier shoes. Overall though the Brooks launch 3 is a solid shoe that should be considered by anyone seeking new trainers, athletic shoes, or simply comfortable shoes for everyday use.