Brooks Launch 8 Shoe Review

The Brooks Launch 8 is the 8th version of the popular Launch. I’m so old that I remember when Brooks discontinued the Launch but bright it back due to popular demand. Anyway, the Brooks Launch 8 continues to be one of the less chonky running shoes from Brooks. I actually forgot to take a photo until I had logged a few desert miles in them so they have a nice desert vibe to them.

Brooks Launch 8 Shoe Review

Brooks Launch 8 Quick Facts:

Weight: 9 oz

Heel to Toe Drop: 10 mm

Cost: $100

Brooks Launch 8 Introduction:

The Launch 8 is a lightweight and firm trainer. It’s cheaper than other options coming in at $100 but has less cushion and is less durable than other options. If you are looking for a lightweight trainer or a workout shoe. For me, I appreciated that there was a cheetah print shoe, and you know I love all cat lady things. The cheetah print was the primary reason I bought the shoe (Edit to add: I knew I would be fine running in it, but cheetah put me over the edge).

Updates in the Brooks Launch 8 include a new air mesh upper as well as more rubber in the forefoot. This makes it smoother and an overall more enjoyable ride. Finally, the Launch 8 and the Launch GTS are two different shoes. Brooks shot themselves in the foot, renaming the Ravenna to the Launch GTS. It’s not the identical shoe, and now people think the Ravenna is gone forever. Or worse they get the two shoes confused and will run in either.

Brooks Launch 8 Shoe Review

Brooks Launch 8 Fit:

A primary reason I decided to get the Launch 8 was when it was released in cheetah print. Who doesn’t love a good cheetah print shoe?

But back to the fit, the Brooks Launch 8 received significant updates. The Launch 7 didn’t feel great to most people. This year, the Launch has a brand new upper, which is lightweight and soft on the foot.

The upper is made from a thin “air mesh”. The mesh isn’t overly stretchy but is soft on the foot. It also isn’t a fancy upper, but it doesn’t need to be.  In my opinion, the best uppers for running shoes disappear off your foot, and the Brooks Launch 8 does just that while still being simple.

Brooks Launch 8 Shoe Review

The midfoot of the Brooks Launch 8 is slightly wider than many other Brooks shoes, but it still fits my foot well. Like many Brooks shoes, the heel collar is soft and cushioned.

In running shoes, I wear between a 10-11 wide. I wish the Brooks Launch 8 came in wide, but because it doesn’t, the 11 is fine. Brooks excels in the fit of most of their running shoes, and the Launch 8 is no different.

Brooks Launch 8 Shoe Review

Brooks Launch 8 Ride:

The Brooks Launch 8 uses BioMoGO DNA in the entire midsole. This makes the ride much more firm than most other Brooks shoes, although this year’s version is slightly softer than previous years. Most Brooks running shoes are soft and cushioned, but the Launch is firmer and more responsive. Since the Launch 8 is fairly responsive it’s better for longer and faster runs.

The Brooks Launch 8 used to be more popular when it offered runners “something different.” Now in the carbon-plated world era, it’s become more of a standard trainer. I can remember in 2017 when it was almost strictly a workout shoe for me. Now I can get away with easy runs as it’s gotten more cushion and a run-of-the-mill trainer. Another update includes, the softer blown rubber has helped improve the Brooks Launch 8’s flexibility through the gate cycle much more easily.

Brooks Launch 8 Shoe Review

Traction and Durability: Brooks is known for their rubber and traction on the bottom of their shoes, and Brooks Launch 8 is no different. It’s a shoe I can trust for inclement conditions because I know I won’t lose too much traction. I’ve run on desert trails (clearly) and been fine.

As far as durability, it has gotten better. For a while, I was only getting about 200 miles out of the Launch, but I’ve already put about 100 miles on the Brooks Launch without it slowing down.

For me, the Launch has transitioned into more of an easy run shoe. There was a time where I liked to run faster in the shoe, but since Brooks has added weight and cushion, it doesn’t feel great to run fast these days. If I don’t know what kind of run I’ll do for the day and want something safe, it’s a great shoe. It’s gone through the more extreme transformations since the original Launch or even the Launches 3-4.

Brooks Launch 8 Shoe Review

Brooks Launch 8 Conclusion:

The only “flashy” thing about the Brooks Launch 8 is the number of limited edition colors it’s available in these days. If you are looking for a good trainer that’s lightweight and you can log miles; it’s a great option. It’s not a flashy option, but it’s a good option. It’s also a good option if you aren’t running many miles or “don’t consider yourself a runner” and want a shoe for a few miles here and there.

I wonder how long Brooks will keep it around as I can’t imagine it has the same fan base as it once did. Although if it’s continued to be made in cheetah print, I’ll probably continue to be a fan.

My Current Shoe Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Brooks Aurora, Diadora Mythos Blushield Volo, New Balance 1080 v11Hoka Bondi 7, Brooks Launch 8

Speed Work: 361 Flame, Nike Tempo Next%, New Balance Fuelcell TC Shoe ReviewReebok Float Ride Run fast Pro,

Long Runs: Hoka Clifton Edge,  Under Armour Sonic HOVR 3

Trail Running/Hiking: Hoka Torrent 2, Saucony Peregrine 11, North Face Flight VECTIV

Races: Asics Metaspeed Sky, Hoka One One Rocket X, adidas Adizero Pro, New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Saucony Endorphin ProNew Balance fuelcell TCReebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.

Questions for you: 

What is your most fun colored shoe?

Have you tried the Brooks Launch 8?