Brooks Launch 5 Review Facts
As a company that specializes in running gear, Brooks designs footwear for runners of all types and all skill levels. Their Launch line is simple and affordable enough for beginners yet can still carry the most advanced runners through long distances. Its fifth version is much improved from its predecessors, offering a sleek yet stylish look and responsive comfort. Aside from the new upgrades, it still contains all of the features that reviewers enjoyed about the previous models. Reviewers are happy to see that its durable traction and responsiveness are still very much present.
Two different materials construct the Launch 5’s outsole, just like the previous model
. The HPR Plus rubber compound makes up most of this feature, providing most of the durability and strong traction. A blown rubber compound is placed in the forefoot to strengthen traction and give an added bounce with each toe-off. Pliability comes in the form of flex grooves placed all across the outsole. Reviewers have taken notice of how well the two main materials work together, as they feel more lightweight and more secure while off on their runs or at the gym.
Reviewers have praised the Launch 5’s supportive and responsive nature, which its midsole can take most of the credit for. The bulk of this feature consists of Brooks’ trademarked BioMoGo DNA
thickening fluid, which hardens upon impact. It cushions and absorbs shock as it molds itself to the individual shape of the runner's foot. On top of this is the S-257 Cushsole for extra responsiveness. A more natural gait cycle is promoted with help from the Midfoot Transition Zone set into the middle of the platform. It also features a segmented crash pad to provide more targeted energy transfer and better flexibility. Finally, an Engaged Sockliner is placed in to add further cushioning and softness.
Brooks’ trademarked Air Mesh fabric constructs the Launch 5’s upper, providing a secure sock-like fit with pores that run from the forefoot all the way towards the heel for a comfortable and breathable wear. Unlike the thicker overlays of the previous model, thinner ones are printed onto the mesh in the form of colored lines for added durability. The tongue and collar are also padded for extra support, and to keep the foot more stable. Finally, the inner chamber is lined with a smooth textile fabric for additional softness and reduced irritation
When it comes to the shoe’s weight the Launch 5 is on the lower side of the average range, with men’s sizes rounding out at 9 oz and women’s at 7.5 oz. Though it contains a high number of advanced features, each one is extremely lightweight thanks to careful engineering. While it does weight just over an ounce more than its predecessor, it’s not enough to be a noticeable difference. Reviewers especially appreciate this, as it makes for an easier wear and less chronic pain
that results from their activities. It also makes for an ideal yet somewhat stylish pick for going out to run errands.
Though the Launch 5’s upper is made of breathable Air Mesh material, it differs greatly from its predecessors
. This version is much smoother in look and feel and features open pores of various sizes that run in segments from the forefoot all the way across towards the heel. This allows for more targeted breathability, and better temperature and moisture control as a result. With the inclusion of a smooth textile liner, it also prevents any possible irritation.
The Launch 5 shows vast improvements when it comes to the runner’s level of comfort. The midsole is comprised of several parts that are fixed together to create highly supportive cushioning, strong shock absorption, and more isolated energy transfer. It still has the breathable wear of its older versions, yet its upper is now constructed to better target hotspots. The smooth textile liner and Engage Sockliner ensure a cushiony and comfortable wear that never restricts airflow. Those who prefer extra ankle support are especially grateful for the shoe’s padded collar and tongue. All-in-all most say that this model does fit true to size. However, those with wider feet have stated that this shoe was too narrow for them. In addition, some reviewers say that the arch support
is a bit high for their needs.
Compared to its predecessors, especially the fourth version, the Launch 5 is much more sleek and simplistic. This model still has the same silhouette but comes while a little less bulk to its overall look. Its thick overlays have been swapped out for thinner ones, which consist mainly of thin ones which are now printed onto the mesh. They take the form of colored stripes and the Brooks logo. Its air mesh upper is also smoother and now features open pores for more targeted airflow. As with all of the previous versions, there is a wide variety of color
and pattern options available to both men and women. Whether they prefer bright and bold hues or basic black and white, runners can easily find a look that appeals to them.
For the most part, the Launch 5 has proven to be much more durable than most of its predecessors. Its outsole contains a higher amount of blown rubber
, which strengthens this feature as well as provides more flexibility and bounce. This also keeps the rest of the shoe from wearing down over time. Because the midsole is made of BioMoGo DNA and is more pliable than regular foam, it doesn’t have the disadvantage of wearing down and breaking over time. The Air Mesh upper is strengthened slightly by its printed-on overlays, yet it has been known to pill after a few months of use.
Even though it may not look it, the Launch 5 does prove to be quite a protective running shoe. Not only do the HPR Plus and blown rubber compounds protect the runner with enhanced traction, but they also protect the rest of the shoe from damage caused by rough surfaces
. The BioMoGO DNA midsole works in conjunction with the S-257 Cushsole and Segmented Crash Pad to efficiently absorb shock and transfer energy. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood of long-term pain felt by the runner. The breathable nature of its Air Mesh upper not only ensures greater comfort during the run but also eliminates the chance of infections
that could be caused by excessive sweating. And, with help from the padded collar and textile lining, it ensures that debris is kept out of the foot chamber.
Aside from its high comfort level and sleeker style, its responsiveness is another major selling point of the Launch 5. The blown rubber placed into its outsole’s forefoot area adds some level of energy transfer by allowing an added spring with each toe-off. Aside from molding itself to the foot’s unique shape, the BioMoGo DNA midsole also provides the runner with high levels of shock absorption and protective cushioning. The S-257 Cushsole heightens this further, while the Segmented Crash Pad enables more targeted energy transfer
The outsole’s two rubber compounds work together to create a supportive base for the rest of the Launch 5’s features. While the HPR plus is tasked mainly with durability and traction, the blown rubber has the added benefit of ensuring a smoother and springier step. Its BioMoGo DNA midsole molds to the shape of the runner’s foot, keeping it properly cushioned and better set into place. The S-257 Cushsole and Engage Sockliner aid this even further without disrupting the main midsole’s effects. In addition, the padded collar and tongue support the runner’s ankle
and work to keep the foot from wiggling around inside the chamber. Though it provides the perfect amount of arch support for neutral runners, some say that the shoe’s arches are too high for their comfort.
Brooks is known to design shoes that are fit for all types of terrains
. Though its upper may not be fit to withstand rough environments, the Launch 5’s sole has proven to be strong enough for light-to-moderate trailing. A sizeable amount of the outsole’s HPR Plus compound covers the entire platform, ensuring a high level of durability and protection from most surface hazards. In addition, the BioMoGo DNA material that makes up its midsole is resilient enough to be used in their trail running models.
At $100 across all online outlets, from Zappos to Brooks’ own website, the Launch 5 is definitely on the more affordable end when it comes to running shoes. Though some who aren’t used to purchasing high-quality brands may not see these as low-cost, it becomes apparent when they take a closer look at this model’s features. Its high levels of comfort and support, durable nature, and responsiveness on everyday terrains ensure that this shoe is more than worth its price tag. And it’s especially affordable when compared to similar models within the Brooks brand. Those who still desire a lower price can find a few verified listings on Amazon and eBay.
The Launch 5 features the same tread pattern as its predecessors. With a similar look to the marks on a car tire, it’s specially designed to grip tightly onto most road terrains. It also includes flex grooves across the forefoot and along the heel to encourage a more natural range of motion. Reviewers claim to feel completely secure whether they’re running on wet or dry surfaces.
All of the Launch 5’s key features work together to ensure a completely flexible wear. The outsole is equipped with numerous flex grooves to allow unrestricted movement, and the blown rubber compound of its forefoot is quite pliable. All of the midsole’s features prove to be flexible, but its BioMoGo DNA material is most responsible for this quality. This thickening fluid hardens upon impact, yet it gives a level of pliability that can’t be found in standard foam material. Still, it’s the Air Mesh upper that proves to be the most flexible. Thinly printed overlays, padding, and a lacing system are its only sources of structure.
The Launch 5 offers the right amount of stability to keep neutral runners secure throughout their activities. The combined efforts of the HPR Plus and blown rubber compounds in the outsole enable strong durable traction that keeps the runner going on both wet and dry surfaces. The BioMoGo DNA midsole helps to keep the foot in place by molding to its individual shape, and is aided further by the padded tongue and collar. To encourage a more natural gait cycle, a Midfoot Transition Zone was placed in the center of the platform. While they are not nearly as pronounced as they once were, this version’s printed overlays still enable the shoe to better retain its shape for longer.
Like most running shoes, the Launch 5 features a heel-to-toe drop of 10mm. Its heel height is 28mm and the toe height is 18mm on both men’s and women’s models. Most runners prefer this particular drop height, as it provides the proper amount of heel cushioning while still allowing a more natural range of motion. Those who prefer low or zero-drop
platforms, on the other hand, will not be satisfied with this particular model.
-HPR Plus and blown rubber outsole
-BioMoGo DNA midsole with S-257 Cushsole
-Air Mesh upper for targeted breathability
-Thinly printed uppers for sleek structure
-Available in a wide selection of colors
-Reasonable price tag
-Fits narrower than an average shoe
Brooks’ Launch line is easily one of its most popular, and each new version showcases great improvements from the previous model. With more targeted breathability, higher levels of comfort, and a more streamlined appearance, the Launch 5 has quickly become one of the brand’s best-rated shoes. Reviewers are also thrilled to see that its responsive features and strong traction have gone unchanged. There are still some aspects that could be worked on, such as the shoe’s high arches and narrow width. But considering Brooks’ track record when it comes to listening to their to their consumers’ needs, there will no doubt be even greater improvements found in the next model.