The Brooks Launch 8 is a versatile, lightweight training shoe. It looks better than it's predessessor, pleasantly stylish in fact. It's also better on foot, the new mesh upper certainly helps here, and the midsole feels bouncy and light. It's a shoe that is particularly suited for faster running, tempo or road sessions, or indeed for most of us, longer distance road racing.
The shoe feels fast and offers very good value for money.
Brooks use their lightest BioMoGo DNA foam in the whole of the midsole. It is failry responsive delivering a more springy ride than the Launch 7. For a light shoe, it offers very good levels of comfort and cushioning which is perhaps the key characteristic of the BioMoGo foam. The ride encourages you to want to pick the pace up and given the fact that this shoe is also very flexible, there will be nothing to stop you. Overall the ride is firm, but has more than enough cushioning for a lightweight trainer.
A new engineered mesh upper enhances the fit and the ventillation with support in the right places with only minimal overlays used in areas such as the lace eyelets to ensure function. This shoe is all about performance, and the new air mesh used on the top of the upper will certainly aid ventillation. It's also better looking in our opinion over the v7 model.
The fit is good and wide throught the midfoot and forefoot for a lightweight shoe.
More blown rubber has been added to this model over the v7 version and it feels like it. The zig zag nature of the outsole offers decent traction while the multiple flex groves ensures flexibility throughout and that transitions are quick - both important in a model you want to run fast in. The ride was soft, and quiet (i do tend to slap in hard rubber shoes) and after 70+ miles the outsole is wearing up incredibly well, after being used extensively both on and off road.
Light with a snug and comfortable upper, the Launch 8 offers a lively ride. If you're light, you could get away with this being your everyday shoe. For most of us perhaps, it works better as a faster tempo / session shoe or as a racing shoe for most. Fast and pretty fun to wear, it makes it a 'go to' shoe for those days when you just fancy wearing a lighter shoe to move the pace along a little. As such, the Launch 8 offers exceptional versatility and a great bang for your buck!
The Launch 8 will not make you jump up and down with joy, but it is incredibly solid for a lightweight shoe and great value.
For alternatives, look at the Launch alongside the Nike Pegasus or the Mizuno Wave Rider.
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