Brooks Women's Launch 7
The new Launch 7 - Brooks' lightweight neutral trainer only receives an upper update. No real difference in the feel of the shoe, with the midsole, sock liner, outsole, lacing system... everything but the upper... the same as the 6. It's an interesting study in shoe design and evolution. We often have customers (and we ourselves) wonder why shoe companies change the design of shoes from year to year, often alienating runners along the way. The Launch is a rare shoe which has stayed remarkably similar over almost its entire lifespan, and while it has a dedicated following of runners, it is starting to show how much the industry has changed in the past few years. While is has been a standard-bearer of the trainer/racer combo category for years, the technology that other brands have developed really puts the Launch (and Brooks' lack of innovation/dedication to maintaining the same feel) into perspective.
Brooks Launch 7 vs 6!
- No change to the outsole
- No change to the midsole
- The upper has been very slightly updated, but there's really not much change to the feel
- No real change in weight
- Despite all of these similarities, the 7 feels inexplicably firmer than the 6
The new Launch 6 remains a pretty standard fit, with the new mesh upper hugging but flexible - so it should provide a comfortable fit for runners with differing foot widths. The toebox is very accommodating overall, having a very generous volume (especially in terms of depth). Length is pretty true to size, feel free to go with your typical running shoe size. The arch is a little less engaging than previous versions - if you typically like to have your arch engaged while running/walking you might want to request one of our custom orthotic felt arch supports (free with a purchase!!!) or get an over-the-counter insole.
Brooks hasn't really tinkered with the basic formula of the Launch - it's a basic lightweight trainer that's appropriate for everything from 5k races to marathons and the training that those races require. The BioMoGo DNA foam is really starting to show its age, however. The overall ride of the Launch is a traditional lightweight trainer, but with other brands developing lighter, bouncier, and softer midsole materials, the Launch now feels way behind some of it's primary competitors. While it's more substantial than some of those competitors (Kinvara, Zante, Beacon, Pegasus Turbo, etc) and it feels significantly lighter and faster than "standard weight" trainers like the Ghost, it feels "dead" compared to the newer foams now on the market. Even the similarly-priced Revel 3 from Brooks feels lighter, bouncier, and has a better transition.
The Launch is one of Brooks' pure neutral shoes, and as such doesn't really provide anything in terms of guidance. The new Launch 7 is certainly no more stable than the Launch 6.
Read the whole Phidippides Review Here
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