Brooks Launch 3 vs. Brooks Revel

94 / 100 by Frank DuCett • Level 4 expert

This is a comparison review, made necessary, by the failure of the very shoes I had intended to run with the incoming U.S. Air Force Half Marathon.

As you recall, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 had won the hotly contested faceoff with the Asics Kayano 24, conducted by me only a month earlier…on this very site.

See review here: Faceoff in the American Heartland: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 vs. Asics Kayano 24

However while training for the big race I began to notice a hole developing in the upper, directly above the big toe of my left foot of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17.

 

 

The Adrenaline GTS outer soles were yet to show wear but the uppers were worn out with only about 175 miles of easy running!

By comparison, I had a pair of Nike Flex run 2013 that lasted for 2 half marathons, many miles of training and then several years on the sales floor at work before crumbling, I expected more from the famous Brooks Adrenaline GTS.

Naturally, I was forced to select another pair of shoes for the big day, which was less than 2 weeks away. I couldn't possibly show up at the Air Force Base with my toes sticking out!

My options for race day seemed to be between the Brooks Launch 3 and the Brooks Revel. 

Both shoes are neutral road shoes with the same reliable and proven BioMoGo-DNA midsole, both models also have a solid footprint where the rubber meets the road. And both came from the same neighborhood in Seattle, however, these two similar neutral brothers are quite different.

And both came from the same neighborhood in Seattle, however, these two similar neutral brothers are quite different.

 

The Brooks Launch 3

 

The Launch 3 is the third go-around of this model and weighs in at just  28 grams less than the Revel. The Air Force race course is almost totally flat, without even a hint of a hill, a typical airbase, so the weight advantage of the Launch will be only slight.

The Revel frees you from the tethers of the 12 and 13-ounce shoes, with the Launch you begin to understand the term "turnover speed", possible only with a light shoe.

The Launch is also fairly quiet, nearly as quiet as the Brooks Ghost, running along smoothly and without surprises, hotspots or personality quirks.

 

 

The aptly named Launch is so comfortable that you seem to almost “launch” yourself out the door and into a new running adventure.

 

Pros

  • Fast
  • Light
  • Smooth
  • Economical
  • Good looking

 

Cons

  • See through uppers could be cold in winter
  • Could use a little more cushioning in the forefoot

 

The Brooks Revel

A new model from Brooks, introduced July 1, 2017, and believed by many to be a prototype of the replacement for The Ghost, or perhaps Launch.

I think Brooks had a bunch of great new ideas, and materials, but would not allow them to be tried on any of their already proven, and successful, Ghost and Glycerin models.  Hence, in an attempt to disclose these new products to the running world without risk to an already proven seller…The Revel appeared. 

I discovered as it turns out, that The Revel is, in fact, a very capable and valid design with worthy innovations that would have been no risk to introduce in the Ghost.

The Revel is truly a combination of both function and versatility. This shoe is a great daily trainer that is at home in both the workplace and the café; after its retirement from running. You can also add your old Asics Nimbus or Kayano sock-liners with room to spare.

My Revels were subjected to regular use and abuse, with many miles of easy road running before finally being subjected to retail store duty that included more than one paint spill. 

The Revel runs okay for me. They are very quiet, comfortable and surprisingly durable, very much like the Nike Pegasus.

The Revel uppers are a woven material that forms around my bony feet quite comfortably.

 

 

I would completely understand if Brooks announced that this woven upper material was to become the standard for all new models. 

It seems the designers of The Revel have not sacrificed toe box space and forefoot roominess.

 

Pros

  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Great woven 
  • Greatest laces

 

Cons

  • No zip, pop, zing or  spring

 

The Numbers

                                                                         Brooks Launch 3          Brooks Revel 

Size tested                                                              12 D  U.S.                12D  U.S.
Weight                                                                    340  gr.                     368 gr.
Heel-toe drop                                                          10 mm                     11mm
Miles tested                                                             110                          155
Cost                                                                         $100                         $100
Arch                                                                        med - high                med - high
Value                                                                       High                         High
Score                                                                       94 / 100                    90 / 100

 

Summary & Conclusion

I am fairly familiar with both shoe models since first reviewing them and I wonder if the Launch may be too minimal for me at that distance. 

The Revel, however, is missing some ingredient that makes a shoe go from nice & dependable to something that makes a user smile.

I have got to go with the Brooks Launch 3 and work on my form to minimize any discomfort at the half marathon distance, while hoping for sunshine and that those 3 hurricanes are not in Ohio on race day.

I might even get a PR, among my old Air Force mates? The Revel will be at home back to the workplace.

 

 

After the Race Report

The Air Force Half marathon was a great experience, I had underestimated the race course, it had some hills and broken and crumbling pavement. The Brooks Launch was a good choice but lacked cushioning for that distance. It is no wonder why there are so many runners wearing Asics at these races.

2017 Air Force Marathon Broll - Start/Finish Line

Thanks for stopping by, now go run!


Frank DuCett

Frank DuCett • Level 4 expert

My name is Frank DuCett, living and running in the Heartland of America. My love is the long lonesome road half marathons of Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. My training of 20 - 30 miles weekly is dedicated to staying under 2 1/2 hours for the 13.1 mile distance into my 70s and beyond. I run alone and without earbuds, enjoying the solitude and true sensations of the act.


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