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Brooks Reviews

BROOKS LEVITATE 5 REVIEW

Brooks Levitate 5 Review

THE BUZZ

The Brooks Levitate 5 is a neutral-oriented everyday training shoe with a springy, energetic vibe. It’s a model designed for casual runners who appreciate a shoe that combines a comfortable fit, moderate structure and a responsive ride.

Brooks Levitate 5 Review

WHAT’S NEW

The fit of the Levitate 5 has been updated with a more accommodating interior shape and a new circular knit engineered mesh upper.

DNA AMP midsole material is a soft, lively polyurethane-based foam encased in a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) skin that resists horizontal expansion. Because the midsole cannot expand laterally, it expands vertically which results in a spring-like effect in every step.

The new engineered circular knit upper material provides breathability and ensures a more flexible, accommodating fit, especially on the run. It’s soft and comfortable in the forefoot while providing just enough structure to lock down your feet to the chassis of the shoe.

The arrow-point pattern of the one-piece durable rubber outsole lets your foot move quickly from heel to toe. This enhances the shoe’s springy feel while also durable and reliable traction.

There’s a small decoupling channel under the rear of the shoe. This helps to absorb shock and keep the foot moving forward, while six grooves in the forefoot promote flexibility.

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Levitate 5 fits true to size with medium to narrow interior volume from heel to toe. It feels comfortably secure in the heel and arch/saddle. It’s a bit compact in the toe box — although the new stretchy upper material is pleasantly soft and accommodating across the forefoot and it feels less restrictive on the run.

The step-in feel is cozy and soft, thanks to a nicely padded heel collar, thick tongue and premium sock liner. The lively vibe of the midsole is evident the moment you lace up the shoes and start running. The ride is soft, bouncy and very responsive with an energy-returning sensation in every stride.

Brooks Levitate 5 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

The Levitate 5 is ideal for runners who appreciate a well-cushioned shoe that absorbs shock and puts a spring in your step.

It’s a versatile everyday trainer for slow to moderately fast running paces over any distance. It’s not light or peppy enough for the fastest paces you’re capable of running.

If you’re a novice to intermediate runner or an occasional runner who runs 20 to 40 miles per week, there’s a good chance you’ll love this shoe.

Brooks Levitate 5 Review

BROOKS LEVITATE 5 PROS

The bouncy feeling of the midsole has helped change the game about the level of responsiveness you could expect in an everyday trainer. It’s not the super-fast sensation of a carbon-plate racing shoe, but more of a resilient feeling that matches your cadence.

Our wear-test team expects this to be is a highly durable shoe. The DNA Amp foam, new upper material and outsole rubber — as well as how the shoe is constructed — should accommodate high-mileage running without excessive wear and tear.

Brooks Levitate 5 Review

BROOKS LEVITATE 5 CONS

The only minor drawback of the Levitate 5 is that it’s slightly heavier than some everyday training shoes. It features a high-quality materials package, but it’s just not as light as what you’ll find it other models.

BROOKS LEVITATE 5 TECH SPECS

Brooks Levitate 5 Tech Specs

SHOP LEVITATE 5

Mens Brooks Levitate 5

MEN’S LEVITATE 5 – COMING SOON
Women's Brooks Levitate 5

WOMEN’S LEVITATE 5 – COMING SOON

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Brooks Reviews

BROOKS GHOST 14 REVIEW

Brooks Ghost 14 Review

THE BUZZ

The Brooks Ghost 14 is a neutral-oriented everyday trainer that’s become one of the best-selling running shoes in recent years because it’s so amazingly soft, cushioned and comfortable.

No matter what your ability or experience level, it’s hard not to love the cushy comfort of the Ghost. 

Brooks Ghost 14 Review

WHAT’S NEW

The biggest structural update to the new Ghost is the addition of a full-length DNA Loft foam midsole. This is combined with a segmented crash pad and improved 3D Fit technology in the upper. This results in the most flexible, smoothest-fitting and most energetic version of the shoe yet.

But the biggest update is that Brooks has made efforts to make the Ghost 14 a carbon-neutral shoe, which means it’s a shoe with soft, light ride and an even lighter footprint.

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Ghost 14 fits true to size and has a medium volume from heel to toe, although it feels slightly more snug in the midfoot/arch area. The step-in feel is exceptionally soft and luxurious — in fact, softer than ever — and it remains one of the most comfortable everyday training shoes available on the market.

A slightly updated engineered mesh upper and a modified lacing system create a more compact and even more cozy fit for a variety of foot shapes.

The ride is very similar to the previous versions of the Ghost — buttery soft, elegantly smooth and extremely shock-absorbing. The full-length DNA Loft midsole serves up a springy, energetic vibe in every stride, making it more conducive to faster-paced running than previous versions of the shoe.

The toe-off sensation feels less mushy and more snappy than previous versions. But the most important feature of the Ghost 14 is the comfortable ride from the first mile to the last.

Brooks Ghost 14 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who enjoy soft, smooth-riding shoes will love the Ghost 14, especially for longer runs.

It’s better at slow to moderately paced running efforts — long runs, recovery runs and other easier runs during the week — but the more energetic midsole gives it just enough versatility for beginners to be a do-everything shoe.

It’s not light enough of quick enough to be adept at quick-cadence running for faster workouts, but it can hold its own for tempo runs and longer fartlek-style intervals.

Brooks Ghost 14 Review

PROS

How does a running shoe become carbon neutral? Brooks is purchasing high-quality carbon offsets to account for the residual emissions in shoe manufacturing. The brand is trying to make an immediate impact by offsetting emissions from the Ghost, its highest-selling shoe. In addition to reducing the product’s environmental impact by incorporating recycled materials, Brooks is purchasing carbon offsets from projects that meet strict criteria for making a meaningful difference in addressing climate change.

The Ghost 14 is the first carbon-neutral shoe in the brand’s new 2030 planet strategy, a science-backed approach that will take responsibility for the impact the brand has on the environment. Brooks’ commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040 will be achieved by first reducing emissions in line with climate science, with Brooks’ Science-Based Targets to reduce carbon emissions.

If you ran in the Ghost 12 or Ghost 13, you’ll love the Ghost 14. The updated edition of the Ghost is virtually the same weight as last year’s model, but the Ghost 14 is softer and noticeably more responsive.

The new engineered mesh upper material is softer and more pliable, but the toe box has a similar shape and feeling as previous editions. Bottom line? It’s just more comfortable and accommodating.

The outsole has been updated with a minor adjustment in the flex gloves and positioning of carbon rubber segments in the rear and blown rubber in the forefoot to optimize flexibility without compromising cushioning or traction. The decoupling of the heel has been moved further back, creating smoother heel-toe transitions.

Although it’s a neutral shoe and definitely not intended for runners who overpronate, the Ghost 14’s improved upper and lacing system combine with the midsole/outsole chassis and wide footprint to create an inherently stable ride.

There aren’t many shoes available this year that provide as much all-around comfort as the Ghost 14. The interior feel and soft, resilient foam package feel as good in the later miles of a long run as they do in the very first mile.

If you’re looking for a shoe that looks good, feels good and runs smoothly, you should definitely try on a pair of Ghost 14.

Brooks Ghost 14 Review

CONS

The Ghost 14 doesn’t have a lot spunk. It can handle tempo runs and moderately fast long runs, but it’s not a shoe that you’ll want to run fast for longer periods of time.

TECH SPECS

SHOP BROOKS GHOST 14

Mens Brooks Ghost 14

SHOP MEN’S BROOKS GHOST
Womens Brooks Ghost 14
SHOP WOMEN’S BROOKS GHOST

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Reviews

HOTTEST RUNNING SHOES OF 2021…SO FAR

The temperatures across the country may be cold, but the latest running shoe launches of 2021 have been hot!

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, 2021 has provided us with a stunning collection of running shoes from top brands such as HOKA, New Balance, Brooks, Saucony and On!

Hottest Running Shoes of 2021

Check out the JackRabbit list below of the hottest running shoes of 2021…so far!


NEW BALANCE 1080V11

New Balance 1080 v11 - men's

“The New Balance 1080 v11 is a thickly cushioned, neutral trainer. It’s one of the marquee shoes in the New Balance line and one of the best-selling models in recent years.”

Read the full New Balance 1080v11 Review

SHOP NEW BALANCE 1080V11

SAUCONY KINVARA 12

womens saucony kinvara 12 review

“The Saucony Kinvara 12 has been overhauled in look and feel, but it retains the lightweight, low-to-the-ground design while morphing into more of a reliable, lightweight, high-mileage workhorse than its old persona as a go-fast trainer.”

Read the full Saucony Kinvara 12 Review

SHOP SAUCONY KINVARA 12

ON CLOUDSWIFT 2021

On Cloudswift Review

“The second edition of the On Cloudswift has gone through some significant changes, but it remains a lightweight, low-profile neutral trainer with a cushy, energetic vibe.”

Read the full On Cloudswift Review

SHOP ON CLOUDSWIFT

BROOKS GLYCERIN 19

Brooks Glycerin 19 - Men's

“The Brooks Glycerin 19 is a neutral-oriented everyday trainer that provides soft, pillowy cushioning in every stride. With a buttery soft ride and an exquisitely plush interior, the Glycerin has always been a top-of-the-line workhorse model. It exudes softness and responsiveness in every stride.”

Read the full Brooks Glycerin 19 Review

SHOP BROOKS GLYCERIN 19

BROOKS GLYCERIN GTS 19

Brooks Glycerin 19 GTS - women's

“The Brooks Glycerin GTS 19 is the Brooks Transcend reinvented. An update to the shoe formerly known as the Transcend 7, the Brooks Glycerin GTS 19 is a stability-enhancing everyday trainer. It provides provides soft, pillowy cushioning and adaptive support in every stride.”

Read the full Brooks Glycerin GTS 19 Review

SHOP BROOKS GLYCERIN GTS 19

SAUCONY GUIDE 14

Saucony Guide 14 Review

“The Saucony Guide 14 is a modern mid-weight stability trainer for runners who need a touch of medial-side support to help offset mild to moderate over-pronation. It serves up a soft and resilient ride with the athletic vibe of a neutral shoe, but disguised in that smooth, flowy sensation is plenty of subtle support.”

Read the full Saucony Guide 14 Review

SHOP SAUCONY GUIDE 14

HOKA CARBON X 2

Hoka Carbon X 2 - Women's

“The Carbon X returns after the successful first edition won races and set records. It proved itself among the best of the initial crop of long-distance racing shoes built with carbon-fiber plates embedded in thick, cushy midsoles.”

Read the full HOKA Carbon X 2 review

 

 

SHOP HOKA CARBON X 2

 


COMING SOON IN 2021

These shoes haven’t hit the shelves yet in 2021, but we’re excited about the changes and upgrades these shoes have made!

ADIDAS ULTRABOOST 21

Adidas Ultraboost 21 Review

“From its inception in 2015, the Adidas Ultraboost has been a maximally cushioned training shoe built on a thick, lively platform of extremely resilient Boost midsole cushioning. The Adidas Ultraboost 21 is the cushiest and most responsive version yet, serving up a springy ride that returns considerable energy in every stride.”

Read the full Adidas Ultraboost 21 Review

NEW BALANCE 880v11

Men's New Balance 880v11 Review

“With a vibe that’s equal parts cushioning and performance, the neutral-inclined New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11 is a versatile training shoe proficient at running any pace and any distance.”

Read the New Balance 880v11 Review

HOKA MACH 4

Women's HOKA Mach 4 Shoe Review

“The HOKA Mach 4 is lightweight, smooth-riding, neutral-oriented everyday training shoe that gives off a soft, lively vibe. It has enough comfort, versatility and giddy-up to handle the rigors of all types of workouts. Based on the improvements, overall design and our wear-testing experiences, we believe this will to be one of the best models of early 2021.”

Read the full HOKA Mach 4 Review

ALTRA LONE PEAK 5

Altra Lone Peak 5

“If you only want one trail running shoe in your quiver of running shoes, the Altra Lone Peak 5 is an ideal do-it-all candidate. It’s a comfortably appointed and very reliable jack-of-all-trails without any major shortfalls.”

Read the full Altra Lone Peak 5 Review

ALTRA RIVERA

“The Altra Rivera is an all-new neutral everyday training shoe that’s light, lively, soft, versatile and fun. We think it’s one of the best new shoes of 2021 and one of the best models Altra has ever produced.”

Read the full Altra Rivera review


Check back weekly for the latest 2021 shoe reviews and to see when shoes have arrived at our stores and JackRabbit.com. You can find all the 2021 footwear arrivals here.

Do you have a favorite shoe so far in 2021? Let us know by tagging us on social via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Categories
Brooks Reviews

BROOKS LAUNCH 8 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

The Brooks Launch 8 is a neutral (but inherently stable) lightweight cushioned trainer. The Launch 8 can either be a fast-workout speed shoe or an everyday trainer for all of your running needs.

With a clean, sleek design and exceptional cushioning, it serves up an ideal mix of comfort, energy, versatility and consistency at a very affordable price.

With as good as this shoe has become, it’s hard to believe it was temporarily discontinued several years ago.

Brooks Launch 8 Review

WHAT’S NEW

Brooks Launch 8 has received two key updates from last year’s model. A new, engineered mesh upper that enhances the fit and improves breathability. Also, the addition of more blown rubber in the outsole to increase durability and faster transitions. The new version is also a tad bit lighter, and that’s never a bad thing.

The single-layer midsole has a “happy medium” feel. The feel is not spongy or bouncy, but it’s not rigid and firm, either. It’s somewhere perfectly in between — soft enough to be comfortable, but firm enough to be fast. BioMoGo midsole foam and the brand’s proprietary DNA cushioning technology are fused for a responsive, nearly custom ride that adapts to your individual gait characteristics. 

The new upper is durable, breathable and helps bolster the secure fit. It tends to give the shoe a low-volume interior feel, especially in the forefoot where there’s just enough wiggle room for your piggies. The new upper is consistent with the snug fit and athletic vibe that has always been inherent to the Launch. 

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Launch 8 continues to have a snug, true-to-size athletic fit that feels locked-down in the heel and midfoot with a touch of extra room in the toe box. (It is available in two widths for men and women.)

The step-in feel is soft, comfortable and accommodating, but not luxuriously plush. When running in it, you get the idea that your foot is anchored to a lightweight shoe ready for quick-cadence running.

The ride gives off an energetic and exciting aura, with a sensation that is slightly softer and accommodating in the heel and slightly more rigid in the forefoot. That makes for comfortable foot strikes and electric toe-offs.

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Given its multi-faceted makeup, the Launch has always been a bit of a multipurpose ‘tweener of a shoe. It falls between lightweight performance trainers and high-mileage workhorses that are an ounce or two heavier.

It can roll as a as a twice-a-week fast workout shoe, but it can also hold its own as a versatile, do-everything shoe and everyday trainer. It’s also a good consideration as a race-day shoe for 5K to the marathon.

Brooks Launch 8 Review

PROS: BROOKS LAUNCH 8

The updated outsole has full-coverage rubber from heel to toe. A thin, durable compound in the rear and a thicker and more resilient blown rubber in the forefoot. It also features four flex grooves that contribute to the pliable and energetic feeling just before toe-off. 

The tongue is no longer secured by a partially gusseted interior bootie but it doesn’t seem to wander once you lace it up. It has medium padding that provides a tinge of comfort and protection on the top of your foot where the laces crisscross, but it otherwise just does its job without getting in the way.

Is a shoe with a $100 price tag really worth it? Yes, this is an exceptional shoe for the price with loads of value and upside for frugal runners. Few shoes come close to the versatility, lightweight, well-cushioned performance of the Launch. And it’s only a hundred bucks! 

Brooks Launch 8 Review

CONS: BROOKS LAUNCH 8

There’s really not much not to like about the Launch 8.

Compared to higher-priced shoes in the performance trainer or premium cushioned trainer categories, the Launch 8 isn’t quite as light, doesn’t offer as much energy return, doesn’t feel as plush and doesn’t have as bouncy of a ride.

But it’s a pretty darn good shoe overall.

TECH SPECS

SHOP BROOKS LAUNCH 8

Men's Brooks Launch 8 Review
MEN’S LAUNCH 8
Women's Brooks Launch 8 Review
WOMEN’S LAUNCH 8