Review: Brooks Launch 3

[See My view of the Launch 2 here]



For a shoe that was on the cutting line a couple of years ago, the Brooks Launch has enjoyed quite a resurgence. The Launch 2 updated the shoe with the most recent Brooks shoe technology.  The Launch 3 offers little revision from the second version of the shoe, but it opens the doors wide to new color ways and provides further evidence that the Launch is here to stay.  A neutral trainer that is suitable for any distance or type of road run, the Launch should be considered a Brooks “classic.”

What I like about the Launch is that the more you run in them the better they feel.  Running shoes these days require little if any “break-in.”  But there are shoes that are like a good baseball glove–the more you use them the better they perform.  I’m up to 208 miles in the Launch 3, which Brooks graciously sent for review.  Up to about 50 miles they felt fine, like any new shoe. But after 50 they felt like a glove.  A well worn, feels like second skin, glove.

There are some things in life that feel like home.  Comfortable. Secure. Welcoming.  Grandma’s house where she gives you the snacks your parents won’t.  Thanksgiving dinner with family.  Christmas morning.  At the risk of becoming guilty of purple prose, I feel this way about the Launch.  Versatile.  You can do a track workout and then run 20 miles in them a few days later.  A solid, all-around, neutral trainer that is good for daily runs and big races.

208 miles
208 miles

What’s new?

Not a heck of a lot changed from the Launch 2 iteration.  They’ve tweaked a little, added some style in the color way, and made this an even more solid trainer that you could also race in. It might be just me, but the toe is slightly narrower than the Launch 2, and much narrower from the original Launch.  It is a minor quibble.  I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year on trails in larger/wider shoes that when I get a “normal” running shoe, it feels narrower.

A note on durability.  A lot of reviews talk about how the shoe could be lighter with a smaller offset or less sole material. But this is a tough shoe that will last someone 300-400 miles easy, if not more.  I’m into the 200s already and I feel great in them.  Many of us can’t afford multiple shoes for different types of runs.  We need a single shoe that can serve many purposes.  The Launch 3 plays that role very well.

launch 3 front

Details: Brooks launch 3.  Size 11.5 D.  10MM offset

Weight: the Launch 3 weighs 11 ounces for my size 11.5.  This is slightly lighter than my Launch 2, which weighed 11.2 oz.

$100-110 at the Brooks website.


Brooks went from two color ways for the Launch  and Launch 2 to thirteen for the men and ten for the women.  Some really nice looks here.  Of course running shoe color ways have moved from the conservative from 5-6 years ago to the fun varieties of the present.

The Men's :lunch 3 and color ways
The Men’s Launch 3 and color ways (I LOVE this color way!!  Gonna have to buy a pair of this one)


Women's Launch 3 and color ways
Women’s Launch 3 and color ways




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