Brooks Launch 5 Review: How to Buy the Safest Running Shoes

Specifications

  • Brand: Brooks
  • Model: Brooks Launch 5
  • Material: Leather
  • Type: Foot strike
  • Terrain: Road
  • Weight: 9 oz
  • Release Date: 2015

Keeping fit is the best advice in the doctor’s book.  Running has especially been positioned as the easiest way to keep your weight in check and ward off many illnesses. When you start on the track to a healthy life, the right shoes can get you miles further in terms of weight loss and muscle gain.  The Brooks Launch 5 running shoe has the potential to push runners past their limits. Its prominent features lean towards safety, comfort and support.

When I was first starting as a short distance runner, I would return home with aching and sometimes sore fit. I naturally have a cavus foot with high arches and therefore, the support and padding in my shoes needed to be precise to prevent the risk of plantar fasciitis. I, therefore, set out on a long adventure of research trying to find the safest shoes. The Brook Launch 5 had not hit the market, but it would have made a big difference.

Last update on 2019-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to buy safe athletic shoes

When you first walk into a shoe store, there are a staggering number of shoe models and designs that may end up leaving you confused.  Instead of depending on the seller’s information, it would be much better to go in well-armed with the right information.

Many sports injuries are usually caused by incorrect footwear. These include pain in the Achilles tendon, shin splints, lower back pain, and ingrown nails, among others. These injuries will not only make it impossible to stay fight but can also spiral into long term conditions.

Find the right shoe for your activity

You also have a higher risk of injuries if your shoe design does not match your activity. Different shoes are designed for various workout activities.  There are shoes for walking, running, or standing. These shoes have different features, and therefore, you should aim for a design that aligns with the nature of your activity.

Try the shoes without socks

It is necessary for the shoe to fit just right; not too loose and not too tight. Tight shoes often cause bruising or fungal toe nail infections, while loose fitting shoes may compromise your balance when running.  You will only get the correct size and fit when you try them on without socks.

If your running shoes happen to be too tight or too loose or lacking in support, your exercise might place too much pressure in your ankles, joints, feet, and lower legs.   The continuous pressure will ultimately lead to long-term injuries.

Spacious toe box

Your shoe needs to have enough wiggle room for your toes to freely move when running.  Look at the Upper paying close attention to the front. Look for flexible Upper material and a sole that is not cut too narrowly at the front.

Heel grip and support

The heel arguably handles more of your body pressure when running than any other part of your feet. The right shoe has a heel with a sufficiently padded collar. The sole can have some heel counter for the extra support needed while the midsole should have enough cushioning around the heel.

Thick soles

As much as you want your shoes to be light for fast-paced running, it is also essential to have enough rubber layering in the outsole. Thick soles not only help with support but will also protect your feet from sharp objects when running. The shoe should also have a high quality grip on all surfaces to minimize the chances of slipping.

Shock absorption

The safest shoes for running feature sufficient shock absorption in the heels and below and at the ball of your foot.  The idea is to minimize pain in the heels when you run, or burning and inflammation on the ball of your foot.

Terrain

Consider the environment where you will be running. Running on rough roads and tarmac, for instance, will need you to have shoes with hard soles.  The design will help to minimize wear and tear and protect your feet from the risk of piercing objects that sick through soft soles.

Similarly, the running terrain might affect your balance. For instance, running on the beach feels a little different than running on a hard surface.  You should have shoes with more traction, stability and comfort for running on gravel.

Using the wrong type of shoes, even for the shortest time will cause a considerable amount of pain and stress in your feet and legs. If your arches roll excessively inwards or outwards, either of the condition will impact how your feet absorb the pressure of your body weight.

Brooks Launch 5 Review

Brooks introduced athletes to the Launch line of shoes not so many years ago. The Launch shoe series is usually marketed adjectives such as springy, energize, and sturdy rubber.  Read on to find out if there is truth in that.

The Good

  • The Brooks Launch 5 has an aesthetically appealing design
  • The shoe is lightweight and therefore suitable for fast-paced running
  • The padding system is responsive and flexible
  • The midsole feels springy
  • The toe box is spacious and allows for stress-free movement

The Bad

  • The arch is a bit too high
  • The width is somewhat narrow
  • The tongue falls short

Brooks Launch 5 Reviews

Size and Fit

This shoe is available for men and women, adults and children and it is offered in half sizes. The men’s Superstar comes from size 4 to 20 while women’s sizes range from 5 to 11 US sizes.

In terms of width, the men’s has a D- Medium width while the women’s Superstar comes in a B- Medium width.

The outsole

When you compare the Launch 5 with its predecessors, you will find that nothing has changed on the outsole.  The outsole has a pattern designed for a reliable grip on all surfaces. The outsole packs a dense layer of rubber on the heels and forefoot.  

The Launch 5’s dense outsole can be an attractive factor if you are seeking for durability in your running shoes. Daily trainers fighting to keep their body in shape will appreciate the fact the shoe is designed to serve them for long.  The pattern on the outsole has small lugs on top of the rubber sheet to help strengthen the grip and minimize the risk of slips and falls.

outsole

The midsole

The Brooks Launch Midsole features the proprietary Biomogo DNA cushioning. As opposed to foam material like in other running shoes, DNA is an insert of non-newtonian fluid. This fluid provides the padding needed to absorb a runner’s pressure during a workout.  The fluid thingamajigger transforms from soft to hard when smacked.

The fact the cushioning changes from soft to hard during running also improves the support for an athlete when their feet hit the ground.  It’s an excellent addition, especially if you have collapsed arches; the support will take off the pain from your Achilles tendon. There are also holes below the heel to reduce any stiffness on impact.

You may expect some significant level of springiness from this midsole construction and the Biomogo DNA compression. The sidewall ridge also greatly helps with springiness. The forefoot is well padded to protect your toes from bending or twisting when you are running.

midsole

The Upper

The Upper of the Brooks Launch 5 entails a mesh design with dual layers. The outer layer is kept breathable with a knit construction while the inner layer is tightly woven to give the shoes a firmer structure.

The forefoot of the Launch five offers higher breathability when compared to the Launch 4 due to its strategically positioned pores. There is a lining under the pores for a comfortable fit. This design of the upper will help to keep your feet from soaking in sweat during intense workouts.

What’s more, the inner sleeve makes for a noticeably smoother fit, easing the pressure on your feet. The upper fabric of the Launch 5 is also flexible for a relaxed running experience. You probably already know that too tight running shoes often cause fungal toenail infections and corns. These are the problems the smooth fitting design of the Launch 5 tries to eliminate.

Upper

Stability

You will find the stability of the Launch 5 to be decent, drawing from the superior grip of the outsole.  The fact the shoe doesn’t have a wide outsole footprint also helps with stability when on the move. The midsole waist is narrow, and has grooves on the side. These features give it a firm and steady ride quality.

Durability

Durability is guaranteed by the extra rubber layering on the outsole. Strictly speaking though, in many cases the outsole rubber wears of gradually before the midsole gives in.  The Eva Foam in this shoe makes it resilient, supportive, and comfortable for a long time.

The lacing panel

The lacing panel now incorporates a soft suede-like material.  This feature helps the tongue to stay in place during intense motion. The heel panel is a tad softer than in the previous models, helping to prevent cases of bruising at the ankles. There is also a reflective layer on the mesh below the lower heel, making the shoe suitable for visibility in low light conditions similar to what you will find in Nike Lunarglide.

Heel Grip

Ever noticed how some shoes feel slippery or too tight at the heel? One of the newest updates that Launch 5 brings is a comfortable yet secure heel grip.  There is sufficient foam padding in the collar to ensure that, and the collar also curves slightly inwards around the foot.

Toe box

Unlike in the Launch 4, the Launch 5’s toe box does not have a stitched bumper at the top. Instead, the shoe uses a soft bumper on the inside, installed below the mesh upper. This feature improves the comfort of the toe box.

What Others Have to Say

There is more positive feedback about the Launch 5 shoes than there are negative reviews. Most users are pleased with the balance and stability of the shoe and its sufficient cushioning.  Users particularly rave about how they can run much faster and still are able to get enough cushioning and support. Some users also appreciate the fact that you can take the shoe on any road without suffering an immediate threat of wear and tear.

Alternatives to the Brooks Launch 5

1. Nike Pegasus 35

Last update on 2019-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Nike Pegasus 35 is another smooth ride training shoe that delivers a relatively similar level of stability as the Launches 5. In the Nike shoe models, the outsole features thread patterns for a better grip on all surfaces.  The lugs are much shorter, allowing users to have an energetic toe-off.

The one downside of the Nike Pegasus is that the foam around the heel collar is affected by high temperatures.  It becomes very soft and may lose structure and support for the heels. Beyond that, however, the upper is very breathable and easy to clean. Its flexibility will also allow you to have a wide range of motion.nike-men-

 

2. Adidas UltraBoost 19

Last update on 2019-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The UltraBoost 19 is a significant improvement from its predecessors, with features designed to make the shoe more comfortable and responsive. There is an extra boost in the midsole, a feature that increases stability and cushioning when running.  Fast runners will like the smooth toe to heel transition and torsion spring built in the sole unit; it helps with springiness.

The Upper of the UltraBoost 19 comprises of PrimeKnit 360 upper. Unlike in the Launch5, this Upper feels like a full sock delivering extra flexibility for a wide range of motion.  Also, more mesh has been layered around the midsection to keep your foot firmly secured in the knitted upper.

Adidas UltraBoost 19

3. Brooks Glycerin 16

Last update on 2019-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Just like the Launch 5, the Glycerin 16 focus on comfort and safety fast.  You might not achieve maximum running speeds with it, but safety is assured.  What stands out at first is the plush collar that also delivers a high grip heel.

The midsole use the DNA cushioning technology from Brooks. You will get sufficient support and a soft feel no matter how fast your running is.  Apart from that, the shoe comes with a breathable upper that is also considerably flexible.

Brooks Glycerin 16

Bottom Line

The Brooks Launch 5 shoe stands out as one of the safest shoes for runners. You will get adequate support and cushioning when running in the Launch 5 shoe.  Its design, including the DNA cushioning, the comfortable heel grip and a flexible upper will enable you to run for longer without injuries or pains. On the other hand, the breathable upper will help to keep your feet safe from the risk of fungal infections. The outsole will give you a stronger grip on all surfaces and the thick midsole will steady your balance

Last update on 2019-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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