Editor rating:
9/10 on
JON OBER
User's rating:

PROS

  • Incredibly comfortable.
  • Firm ride that offers dynamic support.
  • Roomy toe box.
  • Reasonably priced

CONS

  • Some heel slipping

OUR VERDICT

The Brooks Launch GTS 8 is a durable, lightweight, adaptive shoe. It feels fast offering a unique approach to stability.
SHOE INFO
Brand
Launch GTS 8
Model
Type
8.5 oz. (241 gr.)
Weight
100 US$
MSRP
10 mm
Heel
Previous model
WHO IS IT FOR
Ideal for the runner looking for a faster shoe with a dash of stability. In a rotation, it works great both as a speed work shoe and a daily driver.

Brooks Launch GTS 8 Intro

If you’re wondering what Brooks did with the Ravenna, look no further to the Launch 8 GTS. This shoe is part of Brooks’ new approach to their lineup.

Many long standing models have been consolidated into their existing neutral trainers that offer a support iteration.

The GTS, which used to stand for “Go-To Shoe”, now stands for “Go to Support”. These shoes look nearly indistinguishable from the normal Launch 8.

Look under the hood to find the signature Guide Rails; Brooks’s unique approach to stability.

I’m a long-time fan of the Guide Rails for stability and applaud Brooks for continuing to use this concept.

The extra, firmer foam on the heel doesn’t feel as aggressive with correcting my stride as a medial post or dual-density foam.

In Brooks’ stability hierarchy, this is the fast and light one. The plushy Glycerin GTS 19 sits on the other end of the spectrum and the Adrenaline GTS falls in the middle.

Competition includes other light stability models such as Asics’ DS Trainer and New Balance’s FuelCell Prism.

Brooks Launch GTS 8 First Impressions

Brooks Launch GTS 8 - Medial Side

Brooks Launch GTS 8 – Medial Side

Out of the box, the shoe looked great. I liked how light it felt in my hands and once I put them on they were incredibly comfortable.

I took them out for an easy run after doing a hard workout the day before and they did great on my beat up legs. It was cold out and it had snowed a few days ago so I was a little worried about traction, but these fared great.

I appreciate the toned-down colorway. I can appreciate a good pair of obnoxious-looking shoes but they can’t all be like that. Thankfully, if I want to re-up on the second pair of these there are highlighter options as well.

I am a longtime fan of the Ravenna so I was sad to see it go. Seattle and the Pacific Northwest hold a special place in my heart and the Ravenna shoe always reminded me of staying out there.

Thankfully I have things other than shoes to remind me of it.

Brooks Launch GTS 8 Sole Unit

Brooks Launch GTS 8 - Sole

Brooks Launch GTS 8 – Sole

The midsole is Brooks’ eco friendly BioMoGo DNA foam that’s firm and springy. It allowed me to lift off with relative ease after impact. It’s not the most responsive foam out there, but for the price it’s great.

I have always admired Brooks for taking the “green” approach on this. It doesn’t feel like a cheap greenwashing grab to me. More importantly, it doesn’t make the shoe break down any faster.

What puts the “Go To Support” in these are the Guide Rails. Both sides of the shoe have extra pieces of firm foam that cradled my heel. On impact, they were there to help guide my foot, but only when I needed them to.

This allowed me to have more of an adaptive ride and I didn’t feel restricted in the ways some medial postings and dual-density foams feel.

If you are a severe over pronator I would NOT go with these, but if you only slightly overpronate like me, these are perfect ::chef’s kiss::

The outsole pattern and blown rubber were exceptional. The pattern design allowed me to transition quickly off my feet and it gave great traction in the rain and snow.

For the price being on the low end, the material felt very durable and long-lasting. After running close to 100 miles in these, there was minimal wear.

The 10mm drop had me mostly landing and lifting off on my midfoot. The springiness of the midsole allowed me to push the pace on my speedier days with relative ease.

I was a little worried they would be too much on my easy and long run days, but overall it was pretty comfortable.

The guide rails really shined for me when I was trying to keep it easy or toward the end of my long runs where I was feeling fatigued.

Brooks Launch GTS 8 Upper Unit

Brooks Launch GTS 8 - Top

Brooks Launch GTS 8 – Top

The upper uses an mesh material that breathed great and provided enough warmth for my cold toes in the winter. It was snug enough and felt great on my feet; no hot spots or blistering of any kind.

Sizing wise, this is pretty true to size and it didn’t feel as narrow as the lats pair of Ravennas that I wore.

The toe box provided a ridiculous amount of room which really blew me away. Typically shoes of this style are very snug in the toe box.

It almost felt like it was too much room when I wasn’t running in them, but they performed great while in motion.

The elf ear heel was firm and cupped my heel just ok. I had to utilize a runner’s knot to get it to fully lock in for me. Lots of slippage in that area without it.

Thankfully the material and design gave no blistering no matter how I tied it.

The tongue was a little thin but was gusseted so it helped keep it in place. The laces sat nicely on top of it and were nice and snug.

Brooks Launch GTS 8 Conclusion

Brooks Launch GTS 8 - Heel

Brooks Launch GTS 8 – Heel

This shoe was a blast to run in with next to no issues. I liked the simple design and affordability of it. It fared well on my speedier days and shined during my easy days.

The shoe is simple, yet versatile. The shoe feels incredibly durable for the lower end price. I have way more expensive pairs of shoes that break down much faster than these.

If you are someone looking for a daily driver that has that ‘just right’ amount of support but also has a bit of pep in it, I would look no further than the Launch GTS 8

We purchased a pair of Brooks Launch GTS 8 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.

Brooks Launch GTS 8 Price Comparison

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