Gear Review, Running

Brooks Launch 3 Review

Brooks Launch 3 Shoe Review

The Brooks Launch 3 is a lightweight trainer.  The Brooks Launch 3 is an excellent option for anyone who is looking for a fast and responsive trainer that can be used for anything from racing a 5k to a marathon.  I know a lot of runners who prefer the Brooks Launch 3 as their daily trainer as well.  It’s a shoe that can pretty much do anything.

Initially I bought the Brooks Launch 3 based on the Olympic color pattern.  Even though I was injured at the time, I loved the limited edition color and didn’t want to miss out.  I wasn’t alone, and the Brooks Launch 3 sold-out in-store pretty quickly.  I didn’t know if I would end up running in them, but I knew they could be an option too.

Brooks Launch 3 Review

Brooks Launch Fit: 

I like the fit of the Brooks Launch 3.  Like the Brooks Ghost 10, the Brooks Launch 3 has a wide toe box and a narrow heel.  In general, I find the shape of most Brooks Shoes to be true to size.  The midfoot is shaped to match to hug most arches. Plus, like most Brooks shoes, the top is now a completely seamless and mesh upper. I wear a size 10, and a size 10 Launch 3 fits like a glove.

To add: I didn’t run in the Brooks Launch or the Brooks Launch 2, but I tried them on at work a few times.  The Brooks Launch 3 was redesigned to be seamless, which is great for anyone with a super-wide food (like me).

Brooks Ride: 

At first glance, the Brooks Launch 3 wouldn’t be a shoe I would pick out for myself to run in.  It’s lightweight, and I typically like more cushion.

That being said, the Brooks Launch 3 has an excellent lightweight, but firm feel to it. I like to think it has an extra springy push wand amazing energy return with the rubber in the forefront.

The front, as well as the midfoot, have been designed with more cushion. I run rather far on my toes, so the front-loaded cushion in the Brooks Launch 3 is much appreciated!  Plus, many shoes lack rubber in the forefront, and the Brooks Launch 3 forefront gives you extra rubber. The fast heel to toe transition and energy return in the midfoot and the rubber in the forefoot, make the Brooks Launch 3 great for speed work. The Brooks Launch 3 uses a DNA midsole cushioning, which dynamically adapts to your foot and gait.  The Brooks Launch 3 is shaped for a fast heel to toe transitions and added speed for amazing energy.

After a few runs, I ultimately decided I liked the Brooks Launch 3 and will keep them in my rotation.  I’m debating buying a second pair to keep the “Olympic pair” for special occasions…(Like what if an Olympian wants to go to a diner or something?)

For my personal use, I plan to run in the Brooks Launch 3 as a workout shoe or a “faster feeling shoe.”  I don’t plan to do long runs or high mileage in them.

Similar models: Saucony Kinvara, Saucony Ride, Nike Pegasus, Brooks Ghost

My Current Rotation:
Asics Cumulus 18
Hoka Clifton 3
Saucony Triumph
Brooks Launch

Brooks Launch 3 Pros:

  • The Brooks Launch 3 is lightweight but cushioned
  • Price point of $100 ($110 for the limited edition color I chose)
  • Great shoe to use for racing or training

Brooks Launch 3 Cons: 

  • Less cushion than a traditional trainer
  • Less durable than a traditional trainer. If you’re using these for a marathon shoe, you might want to invest in a couple of pairs.

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

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Questions for you: 
Do you wear Brooks? Have you tried the Launch 3? 
What is your favorite running shoe? 

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20 thoughts on “Brooks Launch 3 Review”

  1. I think you already know that I LOVE this shoe. I fell in love with Launch once Adidas made changes to the energy boost and I couldn’t run in them anymore:-( I absolutely loved the design of the launch but I would have bought them anyway. I also really want to thank you for listing other similar shoes!! I need more in my rotation but struggle to find ones that fit the way the launch do. I too need a wide toe box!!

  2. I just got these shoes and I love them! My favorite is the Pure Flow, but I hate the new version of it and can’t find the older models. This is a good replacement! I got the boring black color (on sale) and they ended up being only $60. Not bad!

  3. I actually run in a pair of Launch 2s and was debating if I should invest in a pair of Launch 3s. I like that they are light weight, but you are right about them wearing down pretty quickly which is my only concern with the amount of running I do.

  4. I’ve never run in the Launch 3 but I used to wear them all the time when I worked at a running store. They’re extremely comfortable to walk around in. I actually think it’s a shoe I would consider wearing for races if I decide to branch out from Mizuno.

  5. I just bought this shoe last week. I ran in it for the first time this morning. I loved how light it felt. It is comparable to the Pureflow line (which I have been wearing for the last couple of years or so) it is a great trainer. I actually like it better because it has more cushion for my heel, which is always my problem area. I hate the Plantar F. Spot on review! Thanks.

    1. Yes, the Launch has so much more cushion than the Pureflow line (both good or bad depending on how you look at it). Glad it’s working for you!

  6. We must be pretty similar when it comes to running shoes – I used to love the Launch and was so upset when they stopped making them a few years ago…and I currently also wear the asics cumulus! I’ve been looking for something new so maybe I’ll try these!

  7. The Launch is one of my favorite shoes and in my opinion, probably the best buy for a $100 shoe (which is getting hard to find). I do my longer runs and easy days in them and race in my Zante’s (also do speedwork in the Zante). But, I am a neutral runner used to lightweight/performance shoes and they just work for me. I loved the Olympic pattern but didn’t end up buying that one. I did just buy another pair last week and they came in the mail yesterday, so I’m looking forward to taking them for a spin this weekend on my long run.

    I think if I end up running a marathon, the Launch will be my marathon shoe, too.

  8. My thoughts are the exact same on the Launch 3 :)….I don’t work in a running shoe store, but I probably should! I feel like I have at least tried on just about every shoe there is :). I have the Launch 2 and 3 and really them like them both. Until recently this has been my go to for almost all my training runs, but I am starting to feel like I need to rotate a shoe with more cushion in. I wore this shoe for my last marathon and just for me personally I probably should not have. I can do a good amount of training in it and can wear it for any distance up to a half. I also agree that it does not last as long. It is super comfortable right out of the box though which is awesome!!! I almost bought the USA one, but I got the teal color instead :).

  9. I love the Launch 2’s I use them exclusively on the treadmill at home and another pair for walking at lunch. The seemless aspect of the 3’s is very enticing. I’m due for a new pair of running shoes. But I love my Saucony’s so much (the best recommendations you gave me!) 🙂

  10. yep, absolutely love Brooks…I have gone through a couple of iterations of the Glycerins…11, 12, and now onto the 14s. Also, a couple pairs of Ghosts and I do still have a pair of the Launch, the first versions. Really have nothing bad to say about any of them. I do have other shoes, but Brooks is my go-to brand.

  11. I LOVE my Brooks Launch! I bought them shortly before my first marathon because I loved how light weight they were, but I was slightly worried that they wouldn’t be enough cushion for the marathon. I was wrong, they were perfect! I’ve tried lots of different brands/models and these may be my favorite of them all!

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