BROOKS LEVITATE 2 – SHOE REVIEW
by BRIAN METZLER | May 18th, 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What's New with the Brooks Levitate 2?
- Who's it Best For?
- Pros and Cons
- Shop Brooks Levitate
- About the Author
The Brooks Levitate launched in 2017 and was a roaring success, ranked as one of the top new shoe launches from Runner’s World. We agreed with our initial JackRabbit review of the Brooks Levitate when it launched last year.
Flash forward a year and the Levitate 2 has arrived with some key updates and a whole new range of exciting colors to add even more pep to your next run. Guest reviewer Brian Metzler takes a run in the Brooks Levitate 2 and gives us his take on this solid addition to the running scene.
The Levitate 2 is a luxurious and reliable everyday training shoe that’s built for comfort and max energy return. Like the first version, the second one looks, feels and runs with flashy exuberance. And you’ve gotta admit: if a shoe looks good and feels good, there’s a really good chance you’re going to run well in it.
WHAT'S NEW WITH THE BROOKS LEVITATE 2
The upper of the second edition of the Brooks Levitate has been slightly tweaked with a new knit pattern, a knit heel collar and an internal bootie construction—all features aimed at offering a comfortable, dynamic fit.
The biggest update has been around the heel where a new soft foam heel tab wrapped in faux-suede has been designed to reduce Achilles tendon irritation. The first edition had a much thicker heel-collar and while comfortable, changing it out for the new version is actually a positive move.
This shoe fits snug like a bug in a rug in the heel and the midfoot. The new upper and internal bootie configuration wraps the foot gently from the inside out and comfortably secures the foot to the midsole/outsole chassis.
The seamless interior and pliable knit material in the forefoot round out an exquisite-feeling fit, allowing the toes to splay and flex at the lift-off phase of the stride. Like the first edition of the Levitate, the ride of this shoe feels decidedly springy, bouncy and flexible, offering incredible energy return in every step. That lively feeling comes from the DNA AMP midsole, a compound that’s made from polyurethane and encased in a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) skin that resists outward expansion and directs all energy upward into the toe-off portion of a stride.
The segmented tacky rubber outsole provides great traction, allows for optimal flexibility and promotes quicker cadence and quicker transitions from heel strike to toe-off.
Bottom line? This shoe has a serious giddy-up-and-go vibe to it.
WHO'S IT BEST FOR
Casual runners and new runners who run a few days a week and appreciate a comfortable fit and a soft, springy sensation in every stride will love this shoe. Our wear-testers liked it best for medium to short runs, especially slower to moderate paces.
PROS AND CONS OF THE BROOKS LEVITATE 2
Versatility is this shoe’s middle name. Wear it for your long runs. Wear it with jeans. Wear it for your recovery runs. Wear it to CrossFit. Wear it for a tempo run. Wear it to Orange Theory. Wear it for the 5K race you’re doing next weekend.
This Levitate 2 might be the springiest shoe you’ve ever worn, but it isn’t going to be the lightest or fastest shoe in your quiver.
And much of the time, that's a-okay!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”