Brooks Launch 4
Looking for a lightweight daily training shoe? Definitely give the Brooks Launch 4 a try. The 4th generation of the Launch series continues its tradition of providing runners with a lightweight and responsive ride during each and every run.
The Launch 4 brings updates such as deeper flex grooves and a greater amount of blown rubber to provide more flexibility and responsive cushioning than its predecessor, the Launch 3. Keep reading to see what other updates were made to the Launch 4, as well as my wear-tested opinion about what this shoe can bring to your run.
- Affordably priced
- Good traction and grip
- Runs slightly small
- Needs a thorough breaking in period
- Brooks Launch 4s are praised as comfortable shoes for walking, road running, soft trail running, and long distance running.
- For positive reviewers who have worn Brooks before, these live up to their expectations.
- Positive reviewers who have never worn Brooks shoes before claim the Launch 4s have changed them into Brooks fans.
- Overall, there is a good level of cushion on the insole. It isn't too plush, but it keeps feet comfortable and pain free.
- Several buyers say these have held up for a couple hundred miles of wear.
- The design is supportive but not restrictive.
- With the correct size, the toe box doesn't feel cramped.
- Most buyers say these shoes are lightweight and flexible.
- They have an adequate level of responsiveness. The distribution of cushion along the insole helps with better ground connection.
- The upper is breathable.
- Some say the toe box has been improved from Launch 3s.
- For arch comfort, a range of people give good reviews. Positive reviews come from both people with low arches and people with high arches.
- A few buyers over 50 say these shoes help them run pain free.
- There aren't any excessive seams around the toe box.
- There are very few reports of needing any break-in time to feel the full comfort these shoes offer.
- From negative reviewers, the most common complaint is that Brooks seems to have changed a good thing when they designed the Launch 4. Some people who were fans of previous versions of Brooks Launch are disappointed in this version.
- The overall quality of the Launch 4s is criticized by people who have worn other Brooks shoes.
- There are several reports of quick tears in the upper. This has happened for several people around the pinky toe area.
- The sizing of Launch 4s run small/narrow. Checking sizing charts is necessary.
- There are a few reports of quick wear on the outsole.
- Some people complain that these aren't the best shoes for training.
- Some buyers remark that the Launch 4s are not as lightweight as the 3s.
- These shoes are sturdy, but they are not strong motion control running shoes.
- There are several reports of excessive ankle rub. Some buyers claim there is hard plastic in the ankle that can cause blisters.
- Although the upper is comfortable, it doesn't provide a strong enough support for some buyers.
The latest version has a greater number of flex grooves, improving the flexibility of the shoe. This is especially true in the forefoot area. Additionally, the flex grooves are deeper to serve the same purpose- increased flexibility.
The Launch 4 also has a greater forefoot surface area. This iteration of the shoe provides more flexibility than its predecessor and greater ground coverage, which provides for a toe off that is smoother and more energetic than in the previous version of the Launch.
The outsole is mainly constructed blown rubber and just a small bit of carbon rubber. This not only increases the durability of the outsole but also lightens the shoe overall.
First, the upper material is much softer than in previous versions. Not only it is more comfortable to wear, it is also more flexible as a result, which helps keep your foot comfortable and encourages your natural gait.
The material used in the upper, called Air Mesh Fabric, is also highly breathable and allows air to flow through your shoe so it dries quickly and prevents moisture-related issues like blisters and hot spots.
There are fewer 3D overlays in the Launch 4, and the remaining overlays have been moved into new positions on the shoe. This has made the toe box more flexible, which for some users, has provided greater comfort.
Although the tongue is thick, the laces are also thick, which helps to keep the tongue in place. The thick tongue also helps to prevent chafing caused by too-tight lacing.
The well-fitted upper keeps debris out of your shoe, and the padded tongue protects the top of your foot from chafing that can be caused by shoelaces.
The U-Groove heel keeps your foot in place but is not so snug that it restricts natural movement. This makes this shoe more friendly for neutral runners.
The 3D fit print creates a stretchable structure that molds to your foot shape, creating a more personalized fit that minimalizes slippage.
Increased blown rubber in the outsole
X band provides stability
Low profile design
Eye-catching color schemes