Facts

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Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$100
Weight
Men: 9oz
Women: 7.5oz
Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 6.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

10 reasons to buy

  • The 4th iteration of the Brooks Launch is impressively comfortable, according to a large number of reviewers.
  • It drops almost an ounce of weight compared to the earlier model.
  • There are more flex grooves that are also deeper than before for better flexibility and excellent toe off.
  • Most runners consider the $100 price as a bargain because of the shoe’s impeccable performance and durability.
  • Some runners valued the Launch 4’s versatility as it can handle daily training together with tempo runs.
  • A handful of reviewers loved the responsiveness of this shoe.
  • A few runners observed that it is even smoother than the past version.
  • An expert reviewer noted how the upper holds the foot in comfort and security.
  • Some runners were extremely happy with the color combinations and sleek look of this shoe.
  • More than a handful of reviewers were satisfied with the shoe’s breathability.

3 reasons not to buy

  • The midfoot, due to the Midfoot Transition Zone, made the area stiffer than what some fans of the Launch were used to.
  • Some reviewers were adamant that it runs ½ size smaller.
  • No optional widths.

Bottom line

The changes made by Brooks in the Launch 4 catapults the shoe as one of the early contenders for shoe of the year. It feels agile, runs smoothly, and bridges training and speed work with ease. The shoe has excellent arch support, loads of comfort, and very versatile. To top it off, the price tag makes it even more attractive for all sorts of runners. This is one shoe that is going to find a place in the shoe rack of many runners.


Rankings


Ratings

4.4 / 5 based on 478 ratings

5 star
68%
4 star
17%
3 star
8%
2 star
4%
1 star
3%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

88 / 100 based on 20 expert reviews

  • 84 / 100 by RunRepeat • Frank DuCett • Level 4 expert

    This shoe is exactly what it's supposed to be, light, fast and responsive.

  • 90 / 100 by RunRepeat • Kris Ward • Level 3 expert

    The Brooks Launch 4 breaths well, feels responsive and is great for tempo runs and speed work.

  • 86 / 100 by RunRepeat • Stephen Clevenger • Level 3 expert

    The upper did feel great, and the shoe has held up very well. The  Launch may not be a long-term shoe for me, but it did offer quite a bit in terms of comfort and responsiveness.

  • 87 / 100 by Jamison Michael • Jamison Michael • Level 5 expert

    With great comfort, a great fit, all in a lightweight package, I have to approve [sic] of the Brooks Launch 4.

  • 91 / 100 by Run Moore • Steve Moore • Level 2 expert

    It's quite versatile, durable, good price point, it's got a lot of snap to it. So, all-in-all I'm really impressed with this shoe.

  • 91 / 100 by Solereview • Solereview • Level 5 expert

    Brooks’ value-for-money trainer gets a (relatively) softer and smoother ride, and a wider forefoot fit than the Launch 3. It's an ounce lighter too.

  • 90 / 100 by Road Trail Run • Sam Winebaum • Level 5 expert

    Launch 4 is reliable, durable, fits me perfectly and is well cushioned for long miles. With its substantial mid foot transition zone it can also serve mild stability guidance needs and heavier runner seeking a light shoe.

  • 88 / 100 by Runner's World • Runner's World • Level 5 expert

    A peppy daily trainer from Brooks, the Launch has a firm heel and flexible forefoot that lets you run fast when the mood strikes. This update has more blown rubber in the forefoot than the previous version, delivering a softer (and quieter) landing while also shaving some weight. An extra flex groove up front makes the shoe bend much more easily for a shoe this thick.

  • 87 / 100 by Gear Institute • Donald Buraglio • Level 5 expert

    The Brooks Launch 4 is a favorite of our test group, and is one of the best all-purpose lightweight trainers we’ve tested.

  • 85 / 100 by Motion Control Running Shoes • Motion Control Running Shoes • Level 5 expert

    The Brooks Launch 4 also offers an above average amount of forefoot cushioning, but its heel cushioning falls below average so might feel a bit firm to some runners.

  • 95 / 100 by Fueled by LOLz • Hollie • Level 4 expert

    It feels like a smoother, less clunky shoe from the 3 (not that it ever felt clunky).

  • 90 / 100 by Running Shoes Guru • Jim Coulson • Level 4 expert

    The Launch 4 is a superb daily trainer. Improvements made to the 4 have enhanced the smooth and responsive ride that that shoe always delivers. The Launch 4 is an excellent choice for runners who seek a versatile and durable daily trainer.

  • 90 / 100 by Running Northwest • Jeremy Krall • Level 4 expert

    If I put the 3 and 4 on side by side while they look visually different, the feel is very similar so if you liked the 3 and are ready for an upgrade then take a look!

  • 86 / 100 by Running Competitor • Adam Chase • Level 4 expert

    The outsole was altered with blown rubber in the forefoot instead of harder carbon rubber, making for softer toe-off but with less durability.

  • 88 / 100 by Crazy Running Girl • Lora • Level 3 expert

    I have made the decision that I will be wearing these for this year’s Boston Marathon. The extra two ounces will make a difference once I get to mile 21 and it feels impossible to make a step forward so I’ll take any little advantage that I can get.

  • 87 / 100 by Canadian Running Magazine • Tim Huebsch • Level 3 expert

    On first wear, it’s clear that this shoe has a nice balance of cushioning without added bulk. The foam felt dense, though not overly hard, which should allow the shoe to last beyond the 500-kilometre mark in terms of its life expectancy.

  • 85 / 100 by Columbus Running Company • Evan Schwartz • Level 3 expert

    The Brooks Launch 4 is a great option for the neutral runner looking for a lightweight and springy shoe that can do anything from working out at the gym to handling your marathon long run. The 4th iteration of the Launch improves some key areas while retaining several features that have made it a must-have shoe for a wide range of runners.

  • 85 / 100 by Running Commentary • Derek Li • Level 3 expert

    I had to bring one trainer along with me to Dubai for my taper week (I was there a full 7 days before race day), and I chose the Launch 4 for its versatility over a wide range of paces, bearing in mind I had no more long runs planned. That’s how much I like its versatility.

  • 92 / 100 by The Hungry Runner Girl • Janae • Level 2 expert

    Overall, I’ll be wearing these for the majority of my running and I’m happy with the small changes from the 3 to the 4 (which isn’t always the case with me for a few running shoe models in the past).

  • 90 / 100 by Running Without Injuries • Running Without Injuries • Level 1 expert

    Brooks keeps putting out great shoes. The Launch 4 is part of the best series in the running industry and is loaded with awesome features.

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Updates to Brooks Launch 4

  • The 4th version of the Brooks Launch still uses the outsole pattern of the previous version. However, more blown rubber compound was added in the forefoot area for an increased springy toe-off.
  • The upper of the Launch 4 was also updated. It features the 3D Fit Print that enhanced fit. It also provides a stretchy atmosphere and added structural integrity.
  • The U-Groove in the heel was also modified. The U-Groove is specifically designed for added support and flexibility.

Brooks Launch 4 size and fit

The Brooks Launch 4 is available in standard running shoe length and the fit feels the same as its predecessor. It delivers a comfortable and secure fit in the heel and midfoot area. The shoe accommodates a wide range of foot measurements and shape. 

Outsole

Found on the outsole of the Launch 4 is the carbon rubber that gives durability in high-abrasion areas. Added blown rubber is also found in the sole especially in the forefoot area. It gives improved flexibility for a springy toe-off.

Midsole

The same with its predecessor, the Brooks Launch 4 features the BioMoGo DNA midsole that offers adaptive cushioning for a more responsive ride. This works perfectly with the Midfoot Transition Zone and Segmented Crash Pad that is designed for smoother and faster heel-to-toe transitions.

Upper

The Brooks Launch 4 uses an air mesh material in the upper for maximum breathability, keeping the foot well-ventilated all throughout the run. The air mesh fabric keeps the foot cool and dry through its moisture-wrecking capacity. For an enhanced fit and added comfort, the Launch 4 uses the 3D Print overlays that also gives structural integrity. The padded tongue and collar gives added comfort and the thick laces helps in providing a secure fit.