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

7 reasons to buy

  • Many runners were satisfied with the bounce brought by the midsole.
  • The underfoot springiness worked incredibly in maintaining a fluid gait, one reviewer stated.
  • Some users agreed that the Levitate was great to use for long-distance running.
  • One wearer observed that there was enough cushioning to maintain a resilient form and a comfortable stride.
  • Running speed has increased because of the DNA AMP midsole, according to one user.
  • A tester stated that the bounciness of this product made up for its weighty nature.
  • A couple of wearers commented that the upper was efficient in giving a secure fit despite it using a soft fabric material.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Several users noted that the outsole did not grip well on wet and snow-topped roads.
  • One reviewer thought that the Brooks Levitate did not provide the level of responsiveness it claimed to have.
  • A couple of testers felt that the heavy weight of the shoe made it challenging to use for numerous running sessions.
  • A lot of users did not appreciate the narrow toe box, which felt uncomfortable.

Bottom line

The Brooks Levitate was considered an endearing shoe by many runners because it was able to fulfill the promise of comfort and responsiveness. But some users were not impressed with the shoe's outsole and hefty weight. Overall, the performance and ride offered by the shoe were well-received.



A top rated Road running shoe
A popular pick

Expert Reviews

84 / 100 based on 26 expert reviews

  • 98 / 100 |

    Hovering above the rest: A review of the Brooks Levitate

    More photos

    I am a 41-year-old runner, about 170 pounds and 6’ 1” tall. I race all distances, from 5ks to Marathons, and spend at least half of my year training for an upcoming marathon.

    Preliminary Fit

    Before I begin, I must admit that I have had mixed experiences with Brooks running shoes.

    I have run in Ghosts and Pure Flows before, with negative results. I did review the Adrenaline GTS 18s and was quite impressed with the progress Brooks was making.

    Upon receiving the Levitates, however, I was thoroughly impressed with their comfortable fit.



    The new Levitate boasts of “infinite energy return” through its DNA AMP midsole technology. The fit was extremely comfortable, but the midsole and outsole combined with the lightweight knit upper seemed to make the shoes a little too bottom-heavy.

    Aside from that though, the shoes provide a spacious toe-box, ample arch support, and firm-but-comfortable heel support. Of all the shoes I’ve worn recently, this shoe has been the most comfortable fit for my feet.


    General Function

    The Levitates are comfortable, flexible, and very springy.

    Even though they seemed a bit heavy, the shoes are a superb choice for a daily trainer. I ran 206 miles in the Levitates, building up to the 2018 Phoenix Marathon.

    From easy runs, to hill workouts, to speed intervals, to a tune-up 15k race, and even the Marathon itself, the Levitates were nearly flawless in function.

    One of the only problems I faced with the shoes is their limited traction on wet surfaces, causing me to slip quite often.

    Training Flexibility

    On long runs and recovery to easy runs, the Levitates are perfect, providing a cushioned, springy ride for unending miles.

    I felt like I was running on cushioned pillows from time to time. For speedwork and interval runs, the shoes performed satisfactorily, though their weight was noticeable.


    Steady Performance

    In addition to peak marathon training, I subjected my Levitates to a few longer races: A 15k and a full Marathon.

    Obviously, these are not race day flats, being double the weight of my usual pick of shoes for races. However, I wanted to see if they would be suitable for longer race uses.

    In both races, I set personal records: 1:03:03 in the Dallas Running Club 15k and a Boston Qualifying 3:12:41 in the Phoenix Marathon.

    What the Levitates may give up in additional weight, they more than make up for in cushioned, bouncy responsiveness over the duration of longer races. I could not have been happier with their performance.

    As I am writing this, I am 5 days post-marathon and my legs feel fully recovered already. I have to acknowledge the possibility that the Levitates’ energy return design and cushioned midsole have everything to do with my quick recovery.


    Expected Durability

    With 206 miles on them, my Levitates feel like they are just now getting into the groove.

    There is some wear on the outsole’s tread, and the lifespan of the midsole remains to be seen, but I speculate these shoes could last well beyond 500 miles with no problem.


    • Exceptionally comfortable fit
    • Soft but springy midsole
    • Adaptable to every kind of workout
    • Wide, stable foundation


    • Bottom heavy
    • Uncomfortable heel-to-toe drop
    • Poor traction on wet surfaces

    Final Thoughts

    What an exceptional shoe!

    I was pleasantly surprised by the lively yet supremely cushioned feel of the Brooks Levitate. I received no injuries while training in these shoes and the way they are designed seems to fit my feet perfectly.

    The outsole provides a wide and stable platform for various foot strikes and running strides. If you are looking for a well-rounded running shoe for smooth, dry surfaces, you can’t go wrong with the Levitates.


    Check out my video review here.

  • 95 / 100 |

    Running with the Levitate

    More photos

    Just when we thought Brooks running shoes couldn't get any better, a new model rolls out!

    The sales clerk describes running shoes. Their luxury confirms why they're top of the line, but can they withstand brutal training during the inclement weather?

    Take a look at what the box suggests...pounding, tromping and running happy!



    • Superb cushioning
    • Durable material
    • Outstanding flexibility
    • No break-in period


    • Outsole wore down quickly
    • Expensive
    • Limited colors
    • Squeaks at times when walking


    The very first test run will leave you yearning for more Levitate.

    Runners will feel race ready at the onset because an extra spring in every step takes hold immediately! This made me forget about their actual weight so I researched Brooks racing flat statistics to compare.

    Brooks Levitate = Men's weigh 11.2 (Brooks Hyperion 6.4)
    Brooks Levitate = Women's 9.7        (Brooks Hyperion 5.4)

    If Levitate shoes sound a bit heavy, the actual performance will definitely take runners by surprise. Furthermore, their overall comfort far outweighs their numbers. Truthfully, these are my favorite training shoes thus far.


    Everyone knows top of the line and high quality comes with a price. Levitate shoes are no different with a $150.00 price tag. Don't discard this investment until extensive research has been done.

    Besides, this price like others may eventually drop overtime and when it does be ready!

    After the Paradise Coast Half Marathon in Naples, Florida, a competitor complained his New Balance shoes were hurting his feet and not broken in enough. I looked down and happily exclaimed, “not with Brooks brand, because they’re instantly broke in!” 

    This in itself is worth the extra money in my opinion. After racing, I kicked off these shoes with no blisters or discomfort whatsoever.



    Surprisingly, Brooks only offers three basic colors

    1. Black/Ebony/Silver
    2. White/Silver
    3. Blue/Mint/Silver

    While none of these colors appeal to me personally, my niece absolutely loves what I call smurf blue.

    One day a man commented, “You have colorful shoes.” I wish I knew if he liked them or not, but I’ll never know because I didn’t ask, darn!

    I do know stark white shoes on sandy beaches would’ve been a sight for sore eyes and black isn’t exactly a spring/summer shoe color. Therefore, a purple, navy or pink would have been nice additions to Levitate's color line.

    Even the mint you see on the sides would have made a nice overall color. Nonetheless, the blue did grow on me but didn’t coordinate with some of my outfits.

    Collar, Tongue & Laces

    Brooks did extensive research before rolling out their Levitate line. The quality of padding and materials is so top notch I truly believe other brands have their work cut out for them.

    The way my foot slides effortlessly over an exquisitely cushioned collar is remarkable.

    Then for some reason, many of us hurry to get our shoes on. Well, I’m no different because, after many rushed and careless ways of putting them on, I was shocked to see how the backs never broke down one bit!

    The tongue is extra wide, full and soft around the upper foot. Runners will quickly become accustomed to a pure comfort level unlike any they’ve ever experienced before.

    The shoestrings are a bit long but great for double knotting. I love the shoestrings width and how they never frayed or unraveled. Take a close look and see for yourself!



    Brooks created “pure flexibility” in the Levitates toe box like no other running shoe I've ever ran in.

    The material is stretchy like spandex, super comfortable and allows ample room for movement. Toes never feel tight, constricted or pinched in any way, unlike other running shoes. Best of all, the new “Fitknit” material holds up to heavy wear and tear.

    When you slip into Brooks Levitate, they’re like putting on your favorite pair of slippers. Kudos to Brooks for bringing instant comfort to the forefront! Look close at the vented material because it was tested against daily water and sand elements.

    You will see no rips, tears or holes whatsoever, but now imagine the softest and supple upper material still engulfing your feet. UNBELIEVABLE comfort after every run, no matter what the distance!


    Brooks has pioneered an outsole above and beyond all others.

    I recall the sales clerk counting the bottom upper rivets and pointing out one additional cut-in Brooks made. Now runners can both see and feel a big difference in flexibility throughout every run.

    They constructed and improved an outsole which offers an outstanding barrier between any running surface. Levitate shoes absorb my jolting foot strike better than their Ghost 10.

    Even though a picture cannot tell the story, here’s a visual comparison to Ghost 10 (on the right) with Levitate (on the left).

    See my review of the Ghost 10 here.



    There’s no denying Levitate's unique design adapts to grass, sand or asphalt effortlessly. Even more impressive, is how durable the manufactures made most of the materials.

    The shoestrings, overlays, and stitching all held up against daily wear and tear.

    My only complaint, however, was after only 122 miles, look how the outsole started wearing off. This was rather disappointing considering the expense, but other runners may not have the tendency to run down their outer heels like I do?



    Levitate's midsole is my absolute favorite part of the shoe. The running experience is unlike any other with a quick, high “energy” return. You’ll definitely feel a bounce in every step.

    This takes a runners mind completely off one's shoes, especially during a race. I’m confident they’d go a full marathons 26.2 with no discomfort but I have yet to conquer this challenge.

    The 8 mm drop in the midsole feels extremely natural to run in.

    In fact, after various races and many long runs, these Levitates do not only look but feel fairly new to me. Brooks utilized a super thick “Polyurethane Foam” for shock absorbing, light and cushy runs.



    The midsole thickness is so spongy, sometimes it actually squeaks when walking. This may be due to all the extra moisture they were exposed to over time.

    Pictures cannot possibly capture their state-of-the-art, astronaut foamy feel. An athlete must run in it to believe it! My advice is to visit a running store soon to experience this innovative technology for yourself.


    The longer you run in Levitates, the better. Over time, runners will find the shoes naturally conforming to their unique foot pattern. They support while delivering the most cushion a runner could ever desire.

    Brooks impressively combined a neutral shoe with a medium-high arch. This design is great for runners who depend on extra support to prevent injuries. Since I am prone to knee pain I quickly became attached to my Levitate shoes.

    As always, I switched out the sock liners for personal orthotics. After one or two test runs, I realized they were typically flimsy just like other brands. Take a look in comparison to see any significant difference...Brooks Ghost is on top, New Balance in middle, Brooks Levitate on the bottom.



    Years ago, Brooks consciously redirected their focus on running. Today lucky consumers reap the rewards of hard work and true dedication to our sport.

    So today’s advise is to take the Brooks Levitate challenge as soon as possible!

    Try on their high quality, top of the line running shoes and test for yourself what all this Levitate, energize hype is about. Then if indecisive, ask “Why settle for less when you can run in a Mercedes?”

    Now, all we need are “Levitate Shirts" to debut with our new awesome shoes.
    Until then, happy Running and enjoy the ride!

  • 90 / 100 | Running Warehouse | | Level 4 expert

    For the runners seeking a highly responsive daily trainer that combine cushioning and comfort, look no further than the Brooks Levitate.

  • 87 / 100 | Running Warehouse | Level 3 expert

    After testing it out, I was excited to see that it performed right out there with my shoes with an ounce less.

Become an expert
  • The Levitate is a new addition to Brooks' road-running shoe line, with the brand spending seven years to develop its technology. This shoe was designed for neutral pronators. The structure of the shoe is durable enough to use for everyday running and lightweight enough to appeal to beginner runners who are after comfort.
  • The upper consists of 3D Fit Print and FitKnit, which work together to accommodate the foot as it moves and expands, thus resulting in a natural fit.
  • DNA AMP is a brand-new cushioning system found in this Brooks running shoe.  This technology promises a higher level of energy return – ‘infinite energy,’ to be exact. Meanwhile, the outsole delivers flexibility and a comfortable ride, allowing the runner to move from heel to toe quickly without losing energy.

The construction of Brooks Levitate comes with a standard running shoe length. The width profiles are available in medium for both men's and women's versions. The structure of the shoe works best for runners with a low to medium-volume foot.

Same as with the latest Levitate 2, the outsole in the Levitate makes use of rubber and features an arrow-point pattern. This design is intended to enable quick movements from the heel to the toe without losing energy, therefore creating an elastic effect. The arrows are pointing towards the toe area to indicate the direction of the heat pressure movement of the foot.

Brooks Levitate is the first shoe to feature the DNA AMP midsole from the chemical company BASF. DNA AMP asserts to be the perfect blend of cushioning and energy return, as it uses polyurethane foam wrapped in TPU to capture energy from each foot strike and push it up back to the runner. While it is heavier than EVA, it is also easier to compress and thus more likely to be springy.

The insole is removable and can be replaced by custom inserts for a more personalized fit.

An integrated FitKnit upper is structured to comfortably accommodate the runner’s foot as it moves and expands, generating a soft and adaptable ride. This technology utilizes a circular-knit process to produce an engineered upper that provides breathability and flexibility where needed.

The overlays are made with the 3D Fit Print technology, which Brooks claims as its revolutionary process with a strategic application to ensure the shoe’s structural integrity while adding elasticity. They possess a thin diagonal design that results in an equal support across the foot.

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.