I’ll tell you a secret, I hate wearing shoes and socks. I’m a barefoot kind of gal around the house. When it comes to running shoes, I wear them out of necessity. I need protection from the pavement I run on and when the weather gets cold, I need to trap in some warmth to avoid freezing my toes. I prefer a shoe that’s lightweight and barely there, but the reality is that if I run longer than a few miles, I need cushioning to remain comfortable. It’s hard to find a shoe that’s lightweight and but also well-cushioned. The Brooks Levitate promised to provide a responsive, energy-filled ride with a great fit and a not too heavy package.
I was a bit skeptical. I’ve been a loyal Brooks fan for a while, opting for their PureFlow line to give me a comfortable bouncy ride, as a forefoot runner. The most recent iterations were disappointing, to say the least. Just as I was considering replacing my current pair of Flows and contemplating trying out a different brand, I was given the opportunity to try out the brand new Brooks Levitate. Part of me thought the promises sounded too good to be true, the other part of me really hoped I would be wowed.
Spoiler alert: You’ll have to pry the Brooks Levitate from my cold dead hands if you want to try them for yourself. And, you really should. They’re an outstanding shoe.
- Very responsive
- Super comfortable
- Fairly lightweight
- Excellent traction
- Great fit
- Extremely durable
- Limited styles available
That feel is all thanks to a new DNA Amp midsole material. The DNA Amp stuff sits inside a TPU case and together they help propel you forward. It's a thing of beauty. I think the most impressive thing about the midsole is that you don't really notice a 'feeling' at all. I just realized one day as I was running that my feet didn't feel tired like they usually do. Running will never feel effortless for me, but the midsole of the Brooks Levitate ensures that my feet are screaming at me by the end of a long run.
The upper isn't super thin but I never felt suffocated wearing the shoe. I usually have so much trouble with socks and shoe fit. I run all year round so it's tough to get a shoe that fits right with thick and thin socks. Somehow, the Brooks Levitate does. The upper seems to conform perfectly to the foot. I'm not exaggerating, from the first time I put the shoe on, I barely had to make any adjustments to the lacing. The shoe fits incredibly well.
I didn't realize it at first, but I finished every single run in the Brooks Levitate without developing hot spots. My feet have never looked or felt better - for a runner's feet, at least. I'm kind of stumped as to how the shoes ventilate so well. The upper doesn't look particularly impressive. The overlays are thin, which must help prevent heat from getting trapped inside, but other than that, the shoe looks like it would keep heat in, not circulate air. The shoe does feature a neat bit of technology. A 3D Fit Print design and FitKnit construction allow the upper to conform to the foot and move with you. What ends up happening is you never feel like the shoe is hugging you in too tightly.