Every runner needs a fast and light shoe in their rotation to make the most of his/her speed workouts. But, most of it costs a fortune. Well, not anymore! Brooks just launched the Brooks Launch 8 for a fairly decent price.
The shoe is made to be fast and light on the feet, but is it a good speedy shoe? We’ll find out in this full Brooks Launch 8 Review.
Brooks Launch 8 Full Review
The Brooks launch 8 is a lightweight shoe that promotes a speedy running experience for speed workouts and short races.
It has a 26mm/16mm stack height which tells us that this shoe has just enough cushioning so you won’t feel like running barefoot but definitely not enough for long-distance runs.
But Before I give you my advice on whether or not this shoe is for you, we’ll first talk about the upper, midsole, outsole, comfort/fit, and durability of this shoe. Then I’ll give you the pros, cons, and wrap up at the end.
The upper is made with a breathable air mesh that will keep your feet cool during your runs.
It has a stout heel counter that provides stability to the heel and prevents it from slipping out. Plus it has a heel-flare (that little slope at the top of the heel of the shoe) that prevents the heel of the shoe from rubbing in your Achilles tendon.
It’s a small adjustment but with a huge impact on the overall comfort of the shoe. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn a shoe and got bloody heels especially when I’m running downhill.
The shoe tongue is not gusseted on the Brooks Launch 8 which causes it to slip out of position sometimes. The laces feel cheap and are a little bit harder to keep tied. I just wish they switched it out to the softer laces that tie better.
The lockdown of the shoe is okay. Nothing to be impressed about.
Overall, It has a decent upper especially at this price range.
This shoe is equipped with the BioMogo DNA midsole that is lightweight and is meant to be fast.
However, it has a pretty standard cushion. It’s a little firm on the landing which is okay because it’s a fast shoe, it’s meant for short and speedy workouts nothing more than a half marathon.
But if you’re looking to run fast for long distances, this shoe will give you a beat-down after a few miles.
One pro runner noticed he felt a little tired in this shoe than usual after mile 10.
The added outsole adds more miles on the lifespan of this shoe, plus it gives more traction to help with occasionally wet surfaces — like a small puddle of water from the rain, as well as tight corners.
Its flex grooves (the spaces without outsoles in the bottom of the shoe) gives this shoe a little bit of flex in the forefoot that helps prevent discomfort in the foot arch when running.
Overall, I like the outsoles of this shoe. Nothing fancy, just pure good construction.
Comfort / Fit
Most runners report that this shoe is a little bit roomy, slightly runs large and a bit wide. But no, your foot isn’t gonna slide around inside the shoe and give you foot sores. It just means it’s not snug — but not everybody likes snug fit anyway.
Personally, it works well for me because I have a wider feet.
Comfort-wise, it’s decent. I mean, If I didn’t have a better option in my rotation that’s a bit more comfortable than this, I’ll still be comfortable running with these shoes on my tempo days.
I’m pretty confident about the upper and the outsoles’ durability.
The BioMogo DNA midsoles, however, I still don’t have enough experience with. I’m not sure if it will still provide the same cushioning over time or it will wear down.
It has a decent upper and midsole, good outsole, okay comfort, and a wide fit that works well for me. Plus it’s pretty lightweight and could work with tempo days and short races no more than a half marathon.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this shoe. I’ll definitely put this shoe up on my best budget running shoes list.
- Support level: Neutral
- Experience type: Speed/lightweight
- Stack height: 26mm/16mm
- Heel-toe drop: 10mm
- Weight: 8.6oz / 243.8g
- Surface: Road
Who are these for?
The Brooks Launch 8 is best for runners looking for a budget running shoe intended for speed workouts, tempo days and occasionally, races.
The GTS version is also available for those who needs an extra support to avoid overpronation and supination of foot when running.
The package includes a pair of Brooks Launch 8.
Overview of Features
Lightweight BioMogo Midsole
The lightweight BioMogo midsole provides a decent amount of cushion without adding the extra weight.
Full Blown Rubber Outsole
The full blown rubber outsole gives more propulsion and increases the lifespan of the shoe. It also helps with the traction so you won’t slip easily on tight corners.
Breathable Air Mesh Upper
The breathable air mesh upper keeps your feet cool on the run. It also helps with the overall fit of the shoe.
Available in GTS version
The Brooks Launch GTS 8 has the same lightweight midsoles that makes the Launch 8 a fast shoe. But the GTS version comes with Brooks’ Guide rails which adds stability to your feet.
It helps prevent overpronation and supination of your feet during your running gait cycle. This is highly recommended for overpronated runners.
- Very affordable
- The heel flare adds a bit more overall comfort and makes it easier to put on
- No slipping on the heel thanks to the stout heel counter
- Available in GTS (stability) version
- Not a plush fit
- The shoe tongue is not gusseted
- The cushion has room for improvement
- The laces feel stiff and cheap
Brooks Launch 8 Full Review
I’ll give this shoe a 3.8/5 in the fast/light shoe category which is decent, especially at the $100 price range.
The Brooks Launch 8 is not the most comfortable and definitely not the fastest shoe out there. However, if you’re on a tight budget and are looking for a speedy shoe that can handle tempo workouts and even short races, this shoe is worth checking out.
For the price of only $99 dollars (at the time of review), this shoe is definitely one of the top budget running shoes on my list. I’d recommend this shoe to my friends who are just looking for a shoe to beat their own 5-10k personal record and don’t want to spend more than a hundred dollars on a shoe.
I’ll also recommend this to students who are into the sport of running and cannot spend that extra amount on a race shoe.
Saucony Kinvara 12
The Saucony Kinvara 12 is $10 dollars more than the Launch 8 but you’re also getting a more responsive and lighter shoe with slightly better comfort overall. If you’re interested to know more, I made a full review of this shoe, check it out.