Our verdict

The Brooks Launch 10 stands out as a light, fun daily trainer at a reasonable price of only $110. Equipped with a well-cushioned midsole and a durable outsole, we believe it's capable of handling almost every pace. Although there's room to enhance breathability and the foam can become too firm in cold temperatures, we think these minor setbacks don't overshadow the incredible value of this versatile running shoe.

Pros

  • Amazing value
  • Incredibly light
  • Comfortable upper
  • Durable outsole that stands the test of time
  • Fun and responsive ride
  • Works well for both easy and fast-paced runs
  • Balanced midsole
  • Great grip on most surfaces

Cons

  • Breathability needs improvement
  • Foam becomes too stiff in cold winter temperatures

Audience verdict

86
Good!

Who should buy

We are of the opinion that this Brooks daily trainer is a great choice for:

  • Those seeking a value-oriented running shoe that can handle almost any pace and distance
  • Beginners who want a versatile road running shoe without breaking the bank
  • Runners looking for a lightweight workhorse to add to their collection.

Brooks Launch 10

Who should NOT buy

We're not going to lie—this Brooks shoe is so good that it's hard to find a runner who shouldn't get them. But there are two potential situations where you may want to explore other alternatives.

If you like low-drop or even mid-drop shoes, this one is going to be too steep for you with its 10-mm heel-to-toe drop. You might want to check the Hoka Mach 5 instead.

Brooks Launch 10

Also, if you live in a cold climate and you're not on a budget, there are better choices in the market. A versatile and light shoe with premium foam like the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 is a wiser choice in this scenario.

Breathability

The breathability in the Brooks Launch 10 isn't the worst or the best we've ever measured. It just sits in the middle, and we've rated it accordingly at 3/5 in our remarkable test using a smoke-pumping machine.

The result was surprising because the shoe appeared to have breathability holes integrated into the upper, or so we thought. Our light test revealed them, although it's evident they're not as effective as those in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23.

But nothing shows the truth like our microscope, where we can examine the upper really closely.

Brooks Launch 10 microscope

Here we observed that Brooks opted for an engineered mesh that, when seen up close, is thicker than it seemed. There's not much room for heat and humidity to escape.

Brooks Launch 10 mesh

Test results
Launch 10 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 189 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

A similar performance of the Brooks Launch 10 extends from breathability to durability. We put this shoe through our challenging Dremel test, where we apply the same force for the same time to every shoe.

While a rating of 2/5 may initially seem like a low result, it's actually a good score in this demanding test. Impressively, the affordable Launch 10 outperforms most shoes on the market!

Brooks Launch 10 Toebox durability
Test results
Launch 10 2
Average 2.2
Compared to 123 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

However, it's in the heel where the Launch 10 truly shines. When we switched on the Dremel again, the heel remained undaunted, displaying an impressive resilience.

The comparison with the Saucony Guide 16 became almost comical, highlighting the superior strength and robust nature of the Launch 10's heel.

Brooks Launch 10 Heel padding durability
Test results
Launch 10 5
Average 3
Compared to 119 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Moving to the outsole, we discovered an average compound with a hardness of 81.4 HC.

Brooks Launch 10 outsole

Brooks incorporated a few more cutouts than usual in an effort to reduce the weight of the shoe, aiming for a lighter and more agile performance.

This clearly shows us that Brooks opted for a classic approach here, trying to achieve a balanced mix of durability and grip.

Brooks Launch 10 Outsole hardness
Test results
Launch 10 81.4 HC
Average 80.3 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 241 running shoes
Number of shoes
55.5 HC
Outsole hardness
92.8 HC

Outsole durability

But is it durable? We used the Dremel for its final appearance in this review and discovered that it performed quite well.

After 20 seconds, the tool was only able to make a 0.64-mm indentation in the outsole. This result surpasses the performance of the average shoe, showcasing its impressive durability.

Brooks Launch 10 Outsole durability
Test results
Launch 10 0.6 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 101 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Brooks keeps playing it safe with the outsole, and we can't blame them! We measured the thickness at a solid 3.4 mm, which is pretty average and seems enough to last the entire lifespan of the midsole.

Brooks Launch 10 Outsole thickness
Test results
Launch 10 3.4 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

Weighing in at a feather-light 8.10 oz (230g) for a US size 9, this is one of the lightest daily trainers on the market. 

To give you a better idea of how light that really is, consider this: the popular Nike Pegasus 40 is 20% heavier. That's quite a difference when you're on the move!

Brooks Launch 10 Weight
Test results
Launch 10 8.11 oz (230g)
Average 9.42 oz (267g)
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

You might be thinking—if it's that light, it probably has a low stack height. But that's not the case at all!

We measured the stack height in the heel at 33.8 mm, and that's more than enough cushion even for heel strikers.

Brooks Launch 10 Heel stack
Test results
Launch 10 33.8 mm
Average 33.5 mm
Compared to 260 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

In the forefoot, we discovered a measurement that's right in the middle of the road: 23.8 mm. This makes the shoe suitable for both forefoot and midfoot strikers.

However, if you're plan to do long runs and you're a forefoot striker, you might consider a more cushioned option with a lower drop, like the ASICS Novablast 3.

Brooks Launch 10 Forefoot stack
Test results
Launch 10 23.8 mm
Average 24.7 mm
Compared to 260 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
34.8 mm

Drop

Brooks has made quite a name for itself in the running shoe world for crafting high drop shoes, and they've done it again. Oh, and this time, the American brand said the heel-to-toe drop would be 10 mm and we found exactly that same drop. Now, that's something you don't see every day!

Brooks Launch 10 Drop
Test results
Launch 10 10.0 mm
Average 8.8 mm
Compared to 260 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

Aiming for a boost in comfort, the insole of the Launch 10 is a little thicker than what you'll find in most shoes. It measures 5.8 mm, giving that extra cushiony feel.

Brooks Launch 10 Insole thickness
Test results
Launch 10 5.8 mm
Average 4.4 mm
Compared to 256 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
9.8 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

When we shift our attention to the midsole, we discover that the DNA foam is moderately soft, registering at 19.8 HA in our durometer.

Even though this isn't the top-tier foam in Brooks' lineup, it does an impressive job of delivering a nice balance between softness and energy return.

Brooks Launch 10 Midsole softness
Test results
Launch 10 19.8 HA
Average 23.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 242 running shoes
Number of shoes
6.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
52.5 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.
Brooks Launch 10 Midsole softness in cold

Difference in midsole softness in cold

After letting the Launch 10 spend 20 long and boring minutes in our freezer, we checked the midsole again and found that it wasn't as plush as before. The measurement now came in at 26.5 HA, showing a noticeable change in its softness.

It's a disappointing 33.8%, but honestly, it's not the worst we've seen.

This is exactly what we'd expect from an EVA-based foam that just isn't made to deliver a top-notch performance but to keep manufacturing costs at bay.

Brooks Launch 10 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Launch 10 33.8%
Average 26.3%
Compared to 241 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
125%

Stability

Lateral stability test

Even though the basic Launch 10 doesn't carry the famous "GTS" label that signals stability in Brooks shoes, it still does a great job. We've found that it never feels unstable, making it a solid choice for neutral runners who crave stability without an intrusive approach.

Torsional rigidity

When we gently twisted the shoe for the torsional rigidity test, we settled on a score of 3 out of 5.

This result perfectly aligns with our feelings about the shoe's decent stability. Even though it's not specifically designed for this feature and doesn't carry the Brooks GuideRails, the shoe shows no signs of wobbling at all.

Test results
Launch 10 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 238 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

This is neither the hyper-stiff heel counter typically found in stability shoes nor the flexible one seen in most daily trainers. Instead, it finds a comfortable middle ground.

Test results
Launch 10 3
Average 2.7
Compared to 222 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

To create a lightweight shoe, it's essential not to make the design overly wide. Brooks understood this principle well, and that's why we measured a forefoot width of 113.8 mm, a figure that is right in line with the average. 

Brooks Launch 10 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Launch 10 113.8 mm
Average 113.4 mm
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

In the heel, Brooks took a really aggressive approach, narrowing it down to 83.2 mm.

While this design likely won't be a problem for most runners, heel strikers who have overpronation might find this shoe a little bit unstable and may want to try a wider shoe like the Brooks Glycerin GTS 20.

Brooks Launch 10 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Launch 10 83.2 mm
Average 90.3 mm
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

A daily trainer must embody the essence of comfort, and a significant part of that comfort comes from the shoe's longitudinal flexibility. Fortunately, we only needed to apply a mere 18.2N of force to move it to our measurement point. 

Test results
Launch 10 18.2N
Average 29.0N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 244 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

However, things changed after we exposed the shoe to freezing temperatures for 20 minutes. We then needed to exert 30.7N of force to move it to the same point. This is almost double the force required before, showing a significant change in the shoe's flexibility.

Indeed, there's a 68.6% increase in rigidity, and it's pretty disappointing, though we can't say we're surprised. EVA foams like this one tend to perform poorly in cold weather, becoming excessively rigid.

Test results
Launch 10 68.6%
Average 38.8%
Compared to 244 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Internal length

According to Brooks' sizing chart, this shoe should measure 270 mm on the inside. However, our measurement came in at 267.4 mm.

Runners with wide feet might want to try going half-size up or getting a wide size. But for most runners who prefer a tight and secure fit, this shoe is true to size in medium width.

Brooks Launch 10 Internal length
Test results
Launch 10 267.4 mm

Toebox width at the widest part

The upper of the shoe feels accommodating and is roomier than average, but it doesn't give the impression of being an exceptionally wide shoe. We measured it at 100.5 mm at its widest part.

Brooks Launch 10 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Launch 10 100.5 mm
Average 98.2 mm
Compared to 262 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

Around the big-toe area, the fit becomes a bit more snug, as we've measured that part at 77.9 mm, yet it's nothing you should worry about.

Brooks Launch 10 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Launch 10 77.9 mm
Average 77.8 mm
Compared to 134 running shoes
Number of shoes
67.6 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
90.4 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The shoe features a semi-gusseted tongue, an excellent addition that significantly enhances the lockdown.

This design prevents any unwanted tongue movement while running. Finding such an impressive feature in a $110 shoe is amazing!

Brooks Launch 10 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Launch 10 Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

We continue to analyze the tongue, focusing now on its thickness. Measuring at 5.6 mm, it's quite average, seemingly striving to strike a balance between comfort and weight reduction. For this shoe, we believe it's the right approach.

Brooks Launch 10 Tongue padding
Test results
Launch 10 5.6 mm
Average 5.7 mm
Compared to 258 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

Brooks has a consistent habit of leaving out heel tabs on their shoes, and this time is no different.

Brooks Launch 10 Heel tab
Test results
Launch 10 None

Removable insole

At least, the insole is removable, so you can fit your favorite one or your own orthotics.

Brooks Launch 10 Removable insole
Test results
Launch 10 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

It appears to be a recurring trend in recent running shoes—no reflective elements are included. The Launch 10 follows suit, unfortunately. 

Brooks Launch 10 Reflective elements
Test results
Launch 10 No