The Launch has proven to be a runner’s favorite among lightweight trainers. After a discontinuation, this shoe was re-released in 2015 thanks to the passion of many runners whose voice brought this shoe back to life.
With previous versions ranking at the top of the Brooks lineup and among competitors, the Launch 3 continues its legacy of providing a lightweight cushioned trainer for runners with a neutral foot strike looking for a shoe that can give ample cushion with responsiveness.
Brooks Launch 3 General Info
When I first pulled these shoes out of the box I was impressed by the color scheme and design. The Launch 3 has a cool look.
This latest edition comes with an all new 3D print seamless upper which not only looks great but most importantly enhances the fit and the comfort. This was noticeable the first time I slipped them on.
With a low 7.9 oz weight and 10mm drop the Launch 3 gives a smoother and quicker feel than a standard Brooks trainer such as the Ghost, a shoe I wear regularly.
The forefoot and midfoot have been designed to optimize energy return while providing a cushiony feel.
Brooks Launch 3 Sole Unit
The sole of the Launch uses Brooks’ innovative BioMoGo DNA midsole.
Common among Brooks trainers, Brooks DNA uniquely offers cushioning that can adapt to the specific force placed on it, thus tailoring to each runner and his or her unique needs.
Combined with the BioMoGo midsole, you get this adaptive cushioning throughout the midsole versus just in the heel and forefoot. Runners will enjoy the smooth and soft ride these shoes provide.
The Launch 3 is unchanged in weight and drop from its predecessor, delivering a lightweight shoe at 7.9oz and a 10mm drop.
The sole uses technology specifically designed to provide higher energy return and smoother heel to toe transitions. That’s where I found this shoe stands apart from daily trainers.
You get ample cushioning along with a faster feeling ride. This particular model was updated with a new rubber outsole in the forefoot to provide for a more springy toe-off.
Also using a segmented crash pad for the midsole, the independent yet integrated shock absorbers work together to customize your foot’s lay down for just the right amount of cushion and seamless heel to toe transitions.
These shoes give ample cushioning coupled with quick, smooth transitions. They can handle both fast paced runs and longer high mileage training.
You get a responsive ride out of the Launch 3. While they feel fast most of the time, I did not enjoy these shoes on the track. The return they provided felt slow and cumbersome.
Brooks Launch 3 Upper Info
The Launch 3 was completely redesigned with a seamless and 3D printed upper for enhanced fit and comfort. This shoe feels great on your feet.
With a normal width foot, the shoe ran true to size. It hugs your foot providing a secure and snug feel, not too tight or too loose.
My complaint with Brooks Ghost model in the past has been a toe box which is too wide where your foot moves around too much. This is not an issue for the Launch 3.
The tongue of the shoe is also very soft and padded and was quite comfortable on the top of my foot and remained that way during runs.
The breathability of the Launch 3 is outstanding. Designed with a no sew mesh upper this shoe leaves you cool and dry while providing a premium fit.
And for added bonus, this shoe has a great look. This model has 3 color schemes to pick from all offering a look different from other trainers.
Brooks Launch 3 Conclusions
The Launch 3 is a neutral lightweight trainer that gives a cushioned ride along with responsiveness. I found many days where I wanted to run in these shoes.
The light cushioned feel was great for long runs while I also found myself wanting these shoes for short runs, maintenance runs as well as faster paced tempos and workouts, with the exception of speed work on the track.
They were a little too cushiony for me on the track but for that surface only, otherwise they feel great and give a smooth, quick transition. Also at a price point of $100, these shoes are a great buy for the value.
Longtime fans and runners new to the Launch should be pleased with this latest version as it continues to deliver a lightweight cushioned trainer with a smooth and responsive ride, and also has a comfortable fit and great look.
We thank the nice people at Brooks for sending us a pair of Launch 3 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.