We recently asked Pam Berg, running coach and RC Pro member, to test Brooks' Levitate Stealth Fit 5 and give us her thoughts on the shoe's overall comfort and performance. She took them for several long-distance road runs in cold and snowy Wisconsin winter weather to put them to the test. Scroll down to read her full review, and find out how well the Levitate Stealth Fit 5 performed.
With a refined fit knit upper, a sock-like heel counter, and stretchy laces, finding that perfect fit for your feet is the highlight of the Levitate Stealth Fit 5.
I like how the knit upper feels, as it is super stretchy yet snug. However, I am also very glad that it also ties for that extra security.
One of the things that I liked about this shoe was the upper fit. It is composed of a refined knit upper that fits like a sock, as intended. While it boasts a very snug and secure fit, it didn't seem overly tight and didn't affect the range of motion.
There was, unfortunately, a slight hot spot on the side of the pinky toe that went away as I picked up the pace. The temperatures were relatively cold, and I was wearing a thick pair of socks, which may account for the hot spot issues. These shoes may perform better in warmer climates than winter runs with such a tight-fitting upper.
Pam: I found these shoes to score high for responsiveness. Except when I was running on slick ground, which slowed me down, I felt that the feel and recovery were quick.
The toe box is nice and wide, but it can create hot spots on the pinky toe, especially when wearing thick winter socks.
These shoes are quick and snappy! They offer an agile and energetic ride on treadmills and snowy sidewalks (even though they're intended for nicer weather). The stretchy knit upper keeps movements agile, and the midsole offers unmatched energy return that adapts to your stride.
While this shoe is built for roads, sidewalks, and treadmills, it works surprisingly well on icy and snow-covered terrain. It doesn't boast deep lugs (which means that it's not ideal for trails), but the grippy nature of the rubber outsole can easily handle snow and ice on sidewalks.
So far, I have to say I am surprised at how good the traction is. I have done my last two runs on slick, snow-covered, icy roads. No problems at all.
Running shoes are often impressive right out of the box and seemingly lose their magic with every mile. What's great about the Levitate Stealth Fit is that it retains the charm even after 30 miles. The midsole doesn't squish down into a pancake, and the stretchy mesh upper doesn't lose its elasticity. Plus, the durable rubber shows minimal signs of overall wear and tear after 30 miles.
Brooks hit it out of the park with the Levitate Stealth Fit 5. It's lightweight and adaptive and only suffers from minor issues far from deal-breakers.
The only real issues with this shoe are the minor slippage around the front of the toe box, weak arch support, and a small hot spot near the pinky toe. Overall, the good far outweighs the bad.
The Brooks Levitate Stealth Fit 5 is for runners that want to clock in around 3-6 miles per run and stick to paved surfaces rather than trails. The lack of arch support and modest midsole is excellent for moderate distances but may not offer as much support for longer distances.
The good news is that for overpronators or runners that need a little bit of extra support, The Levitate series also includes the Levitate StealthFit GTS that provides guide rails and more cushioning that transforms this neutral running shoe into a stability shoe.
If you like the Levitate Stealth Fit but need more stability and support, Brooks' Bedlam 3 is probably the closest shoe from the same brand. The Bedlam has a slightly smaller price tag, too, if you're shopping on a budget.