Facts

  • 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 normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

    Stability / overpronation / normal arch

    Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low 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.

  • Use

    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
  • Heel to toe drop
    Men: 10mm
    Women: 10mm

    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.

  • Heel height
    Men: 28mm
    Women: 28mm
  • Forefoot height
    Men: 18mm
    Women: 18mm
  • Width
    Men: normal
    Women: normal
  • Release date
    Jan 2018
Show more facts

Summary

We spent 9.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

9 reasons to buy

  • The design of the Brooks Launch 5 was appreciated for being appealing to the eyes.
  • Several consumers welcomed its suitably lightweight nature.
  • The cushioning system received positive feedback for being responsive and agreeable.
  • According to some testers, the softness of the midsole foam evoked a feeling of running on clouds.
  • Many runners considered this running shoe to be one of the most comfortable road companions.
  • A lot of people lauded the spacious toe box; it allowed their toes to spread nicely with each step.
  • Some runners felt that it didn’t need a break-in period; it was accommodating right from the start.
  • Wearing this running shoe for the entire day didn’t cause any discomfort or fatigue.
  • The sizing scheme followed the usual preferences of consumers.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The arch of this shoe was apparently too high for some testers.
  • A few runners felt that the width was a bit narrow.

Bottom line

Calling the Brooks Launch 5 a suitable upgrade is an understatement. This neutral shoe reignited many runners’ desires for the long-standing series. They welcomed its appealing looks, its agreeable construction, and its comfortable underfoot experience. A few consumers had complaints about its width and arch, but that didn’t diminish the overall positive response.

Rankings

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 6 expert reviews

  • 95 / 100 | Dan Biagi

    The Swiss army knife shoe: ready for everything

    A couple of years ago, a friend told me to give the Brooks Launch 5 a go.

    I was running on the Adidas Boston Boost and I’d never considered the Brooks Launch until I tried the Brooks Ghost 10, another neutral running shoe from Brooks, and was very impressed by the ride.

    Launch 5 shoes are like a Swiss army knife: they are ready for everything, easy running, steady running, racing, everything! It’s a 360-degree shoe.

     

    Specs

    • Support - Neutral
    • Heel to toe drop - 10mm
    • Heel height - 28mm
    • Forefoot height - 18mm

     

    Upper

    I really like the design of the fifth generation of the Launch. Brooks offers a lot of options and very cool colour combinations.

    The upper mesh doesn’t have any plastic at all, which makes the shoe very soft, and the tongue isn’t cumbersome at all.

     

    Fit

    They provide a much looser fit than the Ghost 10 and a slightly looser fit than the Glycerin 16. So, if you already have another Brooks shoe I recommend going half a size down for the Launch 5.

    In my case, the Launch 5 feels half a size too big compared with the Ghost 10.

    The bad news for male runners with small feet is that Brooks only produces the Launch 5 in UK size 7 and above. However, if you tighten the laces well you should be fine.

    Insole and Outsole

    The Launch 5 provides a very natural ride with just enough cushioning. It is also very light, especially compared with older versions, which makes it suitable for a wide range of running speeds.

    However, the outsole doesn’t have a lot of grip, which means these shoes are not suitable for trails, but you can master road running with the Launch 5 and consider track sessions, too.

     

    Running Profile and Workouts

    This shoe is suitable for neutral runners and for those with a mild degree of pronation or supination. It definitely isn’t suited for heavy runners.

    I really love the Launch 5 because these shoes are suitable for almost anything. They are good for easy running, steady running and racing from 5km runs to marathons.

    Launch 5 is a very light shoe, UK 7 weights only 243g.

     

    Comparison

    Compared with the two other neutral shoes from Brooks, the Ghost 10 and the Glycerin 16, the Launch 5 is the lightest and fastest, but it has the least cushioning of the three.

    Looking at other brands, its main competitors are the Adidas Boston Boost and the Nike Pegasus.

     

    Durability

    The quality of the materials is good, but it doesn’t look like a very durable shoe. I expect that a pair of the Launch 5 will last for around 550km (350 miles), if not less.

    You may think that this is only the average life expectancy for a shoe, but I can tell you that it will be an intense life and you’ll have a strong relationship with the Launch 5.

    The first expected points of failure are the outsole and the upper mesh, unfortunately, softness comes with a price.

    Pros

    • Natural ride
    • Suitable for a wide variety of workouts and for racing distances from 5km to marathons
    • Very soft upper mesh
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Durability
    • Brooks doesn’t produce this model in sizes smaller than a UK 7

    Conclusion

    If you are a one-shoe runner and you don’t want to rotate your shoes, including on race days, then the Launch 5 is the shoe for you.

    They are very soft and comfy, and the design is cool. Also, Brooks offers a wide range of colours.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 94 / 100 | Kris Ward

    High 5 for the Brooks Launch 5

    Brooks Launch 5 Specs

    • 10mm drop
    • 9.1 oz weight (advertised for a size 9 – mine weigh 9.4 oz at size 10)
    • neutral support
    • made to be used as daily trainers

     

    Comparative shoes from other brands

     

    Launch 4, which is great because I will run my Launch 4 shoes into the ground before I let them go.

    Horrible puns aside, they did make a few changes which I will try to be thorough about without rambling on. I’ll start with the changes and move on to what is the same or similar.

    Click here to see my review of the Launch 4.

     

    NEW and (maybe) IMPROVED

    First and foremost, I love the green / blue color! Okay, here we go…

    Upper Mesh 

    The upper area was redesigned to be a solid piece of fabric mesh on the outside with a thin layer on the inside. I would assume the goal is to breathe better… but it doesn’t.

    For fun and to the amusement/bewilderment of my wife, I always put my hands in new shoes and wave them around quickly. With the Launch 4s, I felt plenty of air as I did this.

     

     

    Yet with the 5s, my best efforts to be a windmill yielded very little air flow. Going for runs outside had the same result as I could notice a difference when I switched back and forth between the two pairs.

    That being said, my feet never felt hot as the new setup works well to keep a comfortable temperature and keep the feet nice and dry.

    The other change I noticed was the toe box being slightly smaller. For me, this is perfectly fine and even welcomed as I have narrow feet.

    The Launch 3 had way too much box area while the Launch 4s felt roomy but not overly so. The tongue’s upper lace holder is gone now but it is not missed as the normal one in the middle is sufficient enough.

    Weight, Cushioning, and Sole

    9.4 oz according to my scale. Seriously, that’s it. It’s almost ridiculous how lightweight these feel.

     

     

    Don’t let that fool you though, there is still plenty of cushion in the 10mm heel to toe drop to go at least 15 miles and still not feel any pain. I did long runs, tempo work, and even some hill work with these shoes and never once wanted for more support or cushioning.

    As with the Launch 4s, there is plenty of arch support and in no way would I want more even though I do have high arches. It wasn’t that I felt a strong support as if I was wearing a pair of Birkenstock sandals but that my arches never hurt and my run form was not altered in any way.

    The cushioning provides a nice bounce fresh out of the box and though that seems to dwindle slightly as they are worn-in, this could just be the DNA sole adapting to my foot which creates an overall smoother feel.

    The cushioning and the sole are the same as with the 4s – something I was excited to see and to feel.

    As always, the DNA sole adapts to the individual’s foot overtime and overall these had a slightly more relaxed feeling of rolling from heel to toe – though I am more of a forefoot striker.

     

    Tread

    There is no noticeable change in the tread and as far as I can tell, Brooks left that the same. This is great because though these are road shoes, they work well on light trails or gravel type roads where there aren’t too many big rocks.

    I took these on a hilly 6 mile run with gravel roads and never noticed any pain or wished I had on thicker cushioning. They even do well if the surface is wet from rain – just like the Launch 4.

     

    Overall

    I use the Brooks Launch 5 in the gym for weights, for HIIT style workouts, on the treadmill, and of-course outside on multiple terrains and found they work well for anything!

    Brooks made some changes to the Launch 5 and I actually love that they feel even more ready fresh out of the box. My Launch 4s were my shoe for my first half-marathon so they have a special place with me but I love the Launch 5s and have been rotating the two with each other.

    Pick up a pair and you surely won’t be disappointed!

    For those who need more cushioning or want a greater heel to toe drop – then go with the Ghosts!

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 86 / 100 | Theresa Norman

    Brooks Launch 5: A Performance-Driven Running Shoe

    Brooks Launch, a series known because of its performance-driven design, continues to satisfy neutral runners with its newest version – the Brooks Launch 5.

     

     

    Brooks aims to deliver the same ride quality observed from the Launch 4. Thus, they continue to utilize the same materials and technologies used by its predecessor.

    A few enhancements have been made in the cushioning and outsole configuration of the shoe, but these improvements are not obvious especially if you don’t own any version of the Launch series. 

    The major update is in the upper of the Brooks Launch 5. The shoe made use of an engineered mesh that is strategically designed for a more breathable foot coverage. The stretchy material also provides the foot a sock-like fit.

    Technical Details of the Brooks Launch 5

    Upper

    The upper of the Brook Launch 5 features a new engineered mesh that is lightweight and flexible. The mesh material keeps the foot well-ventilated. It wraps the foot comfortably and delivers an adaptive fit.

    Along with the mesh upper is the internal bootie construction. It provides the much-needed all-day comfort for long-distance runs.

     

     

    The lacing system is the same as the ones that were used in the Launch 4. The laces are semi-round with a precise length, and there are extra eyelets to give the ankle a more secure lockdown.

    The Launch 5 also comes in well-padded heel collar and tongue. The collar and tongue were designed to give added foot security and comfort.

    Midsole

    In the midsole of the Launch 5 are the notable Brooks technologies – the BioMoGo DNA midsole and the Midfoot Transition Zone.

     

     

    The BioMoGo DNA midsole technology is a single-piece cushioning that delivers a responsive ride. It feels very lightweight and adapts to the natural movement of the foot for a more efficient gait cycle.

    On the other hand, the Midfoot Transition Zone offers a smoother heel-to-toe transition.

    For added underfoot cushioning and an enhanced fit, the shoe has a removable sock liner. It is made from lightweight BioMoGo foam and has a moisture-wicking capacity to keep the foot dry and odor-free. 

    Outsole

    The Brooks Launch 5 utilizes the HPR Plus rubber in its sole unit. It is a durable rubber material that is specifically placed in the heel and toe. It gives the sole unit the sturdiness needed for road running.

    In the forefoot area is the blown rubber material. It is a soft rubber that gives flexibility and added traction on the road.

     

     

    The flex grooves are also visible in the outsole configuration. It gives maximum flexibility without affecting the cushioning of the shoe.

    The overall outsole design of the Launch 5 offers reliable traction on paved surfaces. It also provides decent grip on slightly wet running conditions.

    Fit

    The Launch 5 fits true to size and is available in standard medium width for both men’s and women’s versions.

    I wear a size 7 and the shoe fits perfectly. It provides a secure and comfortable foot lockdown from the heel to forefoot. The toe box is roomy just like the Brooks Launch 5.

    Lastly, the internal bootie construction offers a soft, comfortable in-shoe feel.

    Comfort & Breathability

    The Brooks Launch 5 provides high-level of comfort and breathability.

    The engineered mesh provides the foot a breathable coverage, keeping the foot cool and dry even on long runs. Also, the tongue and collar are generously padded.

    These work well with the soft internal bootie construction that is designed for an all-day comfort.

     

     

    The comfort and breathability of the Launch 5 are comparable to the Nike Air Zoom Winflo 4.

    The Winflo 4 features a smooth, breathable mesh upper for a well-ventilated ride. It also has a slightly padded collar and smooth lining for a more satisfying in-shoe feel.

    Ride Quality of the Brooks Launch 5

    When it comes to overall ride quality, the Launch 5 won’t disappoint.

    Thanks to the BioMoGo DNA midsole that provides responsiveness and durable underfoot cushioning. The cushioning is just right for my liking – not too soft and not too firm.

    The Midfoot Transition Zone also provides a smoother heel-to-toe transition.

     

     

    The flex grooves have also contributed to the overall performance of the shoe. The grooves efficiently bend as my foot moves to different directions.

    Because of the light construction of the Brooks Launch 5, it feels so fast and disappears on my foot while running miles after miles.

    Durability

    I was a bit disappointed with the shoe’s durability.

    I was expecting every aspect of it to be durable.  However, after running a few miles, I noticed that the rubber material in the heel area started to show some wears.

    I own a few running shoes from Brooks and so far, the Brooks Ghost 10 is the most durable.

    Pros

    • Breathable foot coverage
    • Responsive & flexible ride
    • Reliable traction on the road
    • Great in-shoe feel
    • Durable underfoot cushioning
    • Lightweight design

    Cons

    • Sole unit ripped earlier than expected

    Overall Impression of the Brooks Launch 5

    race-ready running shoe.

    Though it provides a fast and springy ride, the shoe is not durable enough for long-term use. Weighing 212.6 grams for women’s, the overall performance of the Brooks Launch 5 is undeniably satisfying.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 90 / 100 | Road Trail Run

    At under $100 I think the Launch [5] is a great buy and fun shoe for any day of the week.

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Updates to Brooks Launch 5

  • The Brooks Launch 5 is a neutral running shoe that’s designed for the roads. It features a more vibrant design compared to its immediate predecessor, the Launch 4, which had a subdued look. Open pores can now be seen in the new version, acting as ventilation ports for in-shoe air circulation. The printed overlays are thinner than the ones in the previous iteration, but they still aim to assist the rest of the upper in providing a secure fit.
  • The midsole unit makes use of the regular components that are present in most of the brand’s stable of footwear. It has a full-length platform that’s made out of recycled materials, as well as an embedded insole for more cushioning and suppleness. Two types of rubber are placed in the outsole, and they work together to provide surface traction and protection against wear and tear.

Brooks Launch 5 size and fit

The Brooks Launch 5 is true to size. It accommodates the preferences of testers when it comes to length. The available width for men is D – Medium; for women, it’s B – Medium. It welcomes those who have regular foot-dimensions. Its semi-curved shape mimics the natural curvature of the human foot.

Outsole

The outsole unit of the Brooks Launch 5 features the HPR Plus, which is a rubber compound that’s highly resistant to abrasion. It shields the foam platform from the abrasive nature of the asphalt. It also provides traction for surface control.

Blown rubber is placed in the forefoot section. Aside from rendering traction and shielding, it also ensures springy toe-offs through its responsive properties.

Flex grooves are patterned all over the outsole. They make the platform more flexible, thus helping the inherent capacity of the foot to move through the gait cycle.

Midsole

BioMoGo DNA is the primary foam unit of the Brooks Launch 5. It’s made from recycled materials. Its purpose is to provide responsive cushioning and shock attenuation. It also molds itself to the shape of the underfoot, thereby affording some support to the arch and other curves.

S-257 Cushsole is a full-length material that’s placed on top of the thicker foam unit. It adds a bit more cushioning and responsive performance for the foot of the runner.

The Midfoot Transition Zone is a slightly narrowed design in the middle area of the platform that allows the foot to move through the gait cycle with ease and comfort.

A Segmented Crash Pad configuration allows the sole unit to isolate the impact shock to the specific areas of contact, letting the force travel in conjunction with the gait of the foot. This design further heightens the flexibility of the midsole.

The Engage Sockliner offers additional cushioning for the underside of the foot. Its presence doesn’t hinder the platform’s suppleness.

Upper

The upper unit of the Brooks Launch 5 features Air Mesh, a fabric-like material that wraps around the foot like a sock. It has open pores which allow environmental air to enter the foot-chamber and keep the foot well-ventilated.

Thin overlays are printed onto the mesh. They outline the façade with lines and highlights. They also help in providing a secure yet uncomplicated coverage.

The padded tongue and collar give cushioning to the top parts of the foot. They are also responsible for the prevention of in-shoe wobbling and accidental shoe-removals.

A smooth textile lines the interior of the Launch 5. It prevents discomfort or irritation to the skin.