- Weight 243g (M) 224g (W)
- Heel-to-toe-drop: 10mm
- Type: road/neutral
- Price: £100
A decent shoe for beginners. More experienced runners should look elsewhere.
Sometimes it happens that even if a) you’re a large running shoe brand with a big reputation and b) you have a large range of shoes, you’re still going to produce the odd shoe that is slightly underwhelming and so it proved with the Launch 8. It’s not terrible but – to channel Liam Neeson – while it has a particular set of skills, it just so happens that those skills are on the rudimentary side.
The midsole foam is Brooks’ BioMogo DNA midsole cushioning foam, which, as well as being environmentally friendlier than other foams (it breaks down 50 times quicker in landfill), over the years has proved to be lightweight, bouncy and responsive. Whether the formulation for this shoe came out differently, or our testers have simply become too used to the uber-bounce and relentless march of technological advance prevalent in today’s market, we can’t say – but the feedback was that the ride felt averagely cushioned, very reassuring, totally unexciting and can be summed up as unremarkable.
Slow on the uptake
There is some snap in the forefoot, particularly on toe-off but it’s not the speedy model that Brooks say it is. We’d put this squarely in the slow-run category – although it’s not cushioned enough for really long runs – and could take steady-state runs at a push. But if you’re after a multitasker that can handle picking up the pace, the Launch is not it.
The standout feature of the shoe is the fit, which was especially lauded for the close but cosseted grip around the heel section. The toebox is slightly flared to allow for toe splay but it’s not so wide that narrower-footed runners would struggle with it.
What helps give the Launch 8 more credibility is the price. One hundred pounds is, sadly, at the lower end of the market these days, and we’d say this makes it a credible offering for those who don’t have many requirements. Deputy Editor Joe Mackie remarked: ‘At £100, they do a decent job. Not a turkey, but nothing to get excited about.’
Sometimes perception of weight can depend on how heavy or light the runner is, but across the board here we found praise for the light weight of the shoe – even if there was also slight disappointment that this didn’t come with accompanying responsiveness.
A simple analogue shoe in a digital age. Beginners, casual runners and those simply looking for no-fuss comfort will like it.
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