Summary

We spent 6.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

11 reasons to buy

  • The Brooks Levitate 2 had a fantastic fit, according to some
  • The shoe was very comfortable right out of the box, a reviewer claimed.
  • A few buyers enjoyed the design of the Levitate 2.
  • Some runners approved the addition of the Achilles protector in the Levitate 2.
  • The midsole was responsive, and it provided great cushioning, a wearer noted.
  • The padded tongue was well appreciated by various consumers.
  • Many users were pleased that the shoe ran true to size.
  • The upper gave a sock-like fit, according to a pleased buyer.
  • The Levitate 2 was surprisingly nimble and flexible, said an impressed runner.
  • Most of the users of the Levitate 2 claimed the shoe had a roomy toe box.
  • The shoe helped keep the foot in proper alignment, a reviewer reported.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some runners thought the Levitate 2 was a bit heavy.
  • The foot felt quite hot inside the shoe, a user observed. Another person complained that it felt like wearing a sweater in the summer.
  • The shoe took a long time to dry out whenever it got wet or soaked with sweat, a buyer noticed.

Bottom line

Many users of the Brooks Levitate 2 were impressed with the shoe – numerous praises were made regarding the noticeable improvements, while the fit and performance of the shoe were consistently well-regarded. Although there were some criticisms about the Levitate 2’s weight and in-shoe environment, the majority still concluded that this neutral running shoe was a worthy purchase.

Facts

Terrain: Road
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 11.2oz | Women: 9.9oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 8mm | Women: 8mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Use: Jogging
Strike Pattern: Midfoot strike
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Heel height: Men: 26mm | Women: 25mm
Forefoot height: Men: 18mm | Women: 17mm
Brand: Brooks
Type: Heavy | Big guy | Low drop
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $150
Colorways: Grey, Pink, Black, Red, Purple, Beige, Brown, Green, White
Special editions: 1 special editions
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
Top 6% most popular running shoes
It has never been more popular than this December

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.

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85 / 100 based on 15 expert reviews

  • 79 / 100 | Marijke van den Hamer

    Brooks Levitate 2 - Too heavy to levitate?

    More photos

    I’ve come across so many runners that really like their Brooks running shoes. So, I wanted to know what that was all about. Thus, when I found a pair of Brooks Levitate 2 on sale, I decided to buy them.

    It wasn’t just a pair of the regular Levitate 2; it was the Ugly Christmas Sweater edition. They are quite green and quite in your face Christmassy, but I do think they're funny. Although it is a bit weird to run in them during warm spring or summer days. 

     

     

    Brooks often brings out a special edition of their running shoes, for example during Christmas or for St. Patrick's Day. The Ugly Christmas Sweater edition even comes with little jingle bells attached to the laces, which I immediately took off, because it quickly drives you crazy. 

     

     

    The levitate 2 is a neutral shoe with an 8 mm drop, a 25 mm heel height and a 17 mm forefoot height.

    It is not a very light shoe. It comes in at 281 grams, which surprises me a bit because it doesn’t feel that heavy underfoot. I guess because the weight is pretty well distributed. 

    Upper

    The Fit Knit upper adapts pretty well to your foot, and there is enough room in the toe box. However, the lacing system doesn’t provide you with an extra eyelet, and the other eyelets are pretty narrow, so adjusting the laces isn’t that easy. 

     

     

    The Levitate 2 has a lightly padded tongue, and there is some padding on the inside of the heel counter, but I’m missing the padding on the collar of this shoe.

    The padding is stitched up to part of the collar, but the rim has no padding, and for me, this creates a hot spot. I cannot run in these shoes unless I tape my Achilles. 

     

     

    The knit is pretty thick and therefore provides some support together with the internal heel counter. But due to the thickly knitted fabric, this isn’t a super breathable shoe, which I guess is alright if you wear it around Christmas time, but a bit hot during the warmer months of the year. 

     

    Midsole

    The midsole is made out of Brooks DNA AMP material, which means it has a polyurethane foam covered by an outer layer of thermoplastic skin. Out of the different midsole materials that Brooks produces, the DNA AMP provides the most energy return. 

     

    Outsole

    A layer of rubber fully covers the outsole of the Levitate 2 with flex grooves providing some flexibility in the forefoot. It does offer a nice amount of grip. So far the outsole is holding up well, and I expect you can get some decent mileage out of this shoe.

     

    Fit

    Because I bought these on sale, they didn’t have that many sizes left, and I got stuck with half a size bigger than my regular running size. That wasn’t necessary. If I had the choice, I would have gone with my regular running shoe size. 

    Performance

    Brooks had categorized the Levitate 2 with experience type energize. And they weren’t lying about that. This shoe does give good energy return, and it sure is springy.

    I like the shoes for 10k runs, but I do find them a little less comfortable for longer distances. They just aren’t cushioned enough for those longer runs.

    That might also be because I’m a heel striker. Maybe this shoe works a little better if you’re a forefoot striker.  

     

    Conclusion

    This shoe is good for those medium runs where you do want to pick up the pace a little bit, but also still want a bit of a plush feel.

    It’s a responsive shoe, but definitely not a racing shoe, since it’s simply too heavy for that. It has a bit of a plush feel to it, but it’s not plush enough for those long runs or recovery runs. 

     

     

    It doesn’t make you feel like you’re flying, but it does give you a nice energy return. The knit upper does form nicely to your foot, and this shoe has a roomy toe box.

    And although I like the look of the upper, is a bit warm and this shoe is missing a decent heel collar to help protect your ankles and Achilles a bit better and a lacing system that is more adaptable. 

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

  • 75 / 100 | Kory Mueller

    Brooks Levitate 2 - Comfort with a cost

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    The Brooks Levitate 2 is a shoe built for comfort and cushioning. I found the Levitate to be enjoyable, comfortable, and durable. But by no means does the Levitate come without flaws.

    My review will focus on the reasons the shoe could work for you (Why?), what may not work for you (Why Not?), and some final thoughts (Conclusion).

     

    Why?

    Fit

    Once again, Brooks puts out a shoe that is true to size. Brooks is consistently one of the most reliable in terms of fit and the Levitate is spot on.

    The toe box is roomy without being too big. While the mid-foot is just right; not too tight which it strangles your foot but, not to loose causing your foot to slide around. The heel/ankle area almost feels custom fit with the elastic heel collar.

     

    Upper

    The levitate nails the upper. At least, in terms of comfort. The mesh upper is stitchless with a sock liner. The mesh is made of high-quality materials.

    At the 75 mile mark, I can't find a stitch out of place. The mesh upper is flexible yet supportive. It moves with your foot and not against it. This provides a sock-like feel which I really enjoyed. However, this upper is not perfect. More to come.

     

    Overall quality

    The levitate is built from high-quality materials.

    After 75 miles of testing the shoe is holding up great. Minimal wear on the outsole, upper looks pristine, and the foam is just as responsive as it was on day one.

     

    Comfort

    This is plain and simply a comfortable shoe. I found my self not only wearing the Levitate as a trainer but, a daily shoe. It was great for walking and daily use. I generally, gravitate towards more lightweight trainers which aren't always comfortable. The Levitate was a welcome change.

    Why Not?

    Weight

    In a word, this shoe is heavy. The upper is well built and comfortable, but probably overly built. The mid-sole is thick and beefy and the outsole is 95% rubber. All of this adds up to an overly built heavy shoe.

    My size 11.5 came in at 368g or 13.0 oz. These are one of the heaviest shoes I have ever run in and the heaviest road shoes. Normally, I only come across trail shoes at this weight.

     

    Ride/Performance

    This Levitate, in my opinion, lacks range and versatility. It was comfortable and performed well on my easy effort days and through a variety of distances from 5 miles to a half marathon.

    However, on runs with intervals or speed work, the Levitate didn't work for me. The lack of flexibility and the extra weight really showed its ugly face on these types of workouts.

    Is the Levitate good for a nice hour jog around town? Yes. Would they be my shoe of choice when looking to PR at my next race? No.

     

    Breathability

    The upper on this shoes is comfortable, maybe one of the most comfortable I have ever worn. However, on a hot summer day in Tennessee, my feet were baking and then sloshing around in incredible amounts of sweat.

    Not only were they overly hot, but they would also take days to dry if I didn't leave them out in the sun. They were so slow at drying that I couldn't wear them on back to back days. 24 hours later they were still soaked.

     

    Price

    The Levitate list price is $150. I understand the price given the quality of materials. However, there are shoes on the market which can provide the same qualities for $25-50 cheaper.

    Conclusion

    The Levitate is a shoe that is almost comfortable to a fault. The fit was spot on, and the upper felt like my favorite pair of socks. However, all of this comfort comes with added weight, a lack of versatility, and an extremely hot upper. $150 is a steep price for a shoe that doesn't knock your socks off with performance.

    At that price point, I want a shoe to blow me away. Unfortunately, I just wasn't. It's great for comfort, but I wasn't impressed by much else.

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

  • 93 / 100 | Rationally Running | Level 1 expert

    I love the bottom of it. If you want a firm, bouncy, responsive ride, this guy is the guy to do it for you.

  • 65 / 100 | SidScheckMarketing | | Level 1 expert

    I do like the upper mesh. It's really nice, very soft. It should be very breathable.

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  • Brooks introduces the second version of the Levitate model, a road-running shoe that delivers ultra-dynamic strides. The flexible structure of the Levitate 2 allows neutral pronators to have a quicker transition phase without sacrificing energy. Same as one of the Brooks popular running shoe, the Glycerin 16, it is ideal for runners looking for a bouncy platform that is not overly soft.
  • The shoe presents an updated upper, which includes a new knit design. It comes with an internal cleatie, a knitted heel collar, and a suede-textured heel tab that work together to reduce skin irritation and amplify the comfort. The upper is accompanied by a soft and stretchy Fit Knit wrap that has the capacity to generate a smooth and adaptable ride.
  • The Levitate 2’s outsole retains the layout of the previous version, as it has proven efficient in quick heel-to-toe transitions even as the miles pack on. On top of it is the DNA AMP midsole that capably controls, captures, and returns energy in an active cycle that helps fuel the run.

The Brooks Levitate 2 is true to size, as it follows the standard length of running shoes. The shoe has an anatomical foot shape; adequately roomy in the forefoot, while snug and secure in the midfoot and heel. The Brooks Levitate 2 comes in the medium width profile for both the women’s and men’s versions.

The outsole of the Brooks Levitate 2 is made from a sticky rubber compound that equips the shoe with durability and traction.  It has an arrow-point design that promotes flexibility in movement.

A dedicated midfoot transition zone helps the outsole to direct pressure towards the forefoot, allowing for a smoother and quicker heel-to-toe transition.

The midsole of the Levitate 2 is comprised of a polyurethane foam encased in a thermoplastic skin – this is called the DNA AMP. This material works by resisting the expansion of the foam outwards, therefore permitting energy back upwards.

The DNA AMP midsole enables an energized ride that allows longer distances. Compared to other proprietary midsole materials from the brand, the DNA AMP offers the highest amount of energy return. All the colorways provided by the Brooks Levitate 2 come with a silver DNA AMP midsole for design purposes.

An extra layer of underfoot comfort and cushioning is provided by the Levitate 2’s Energize sock liner. Runners have the opportunity to use their custom inserts, as the Energize insole is removable.

The Fit Knit upper is considered to be the most significant update in the Levitate 2. The Fit Knit is an ultra-soft material that presents an adaptable foot wrap, coupled with an internal cleatie structure that increases the comfort level for the runner. It uses a circular 3D knit that gives a plush feel as it is meant to flex and strategically hold the foot.

A modified heel counter in the rearfoot provides a dialed-in fit that aims the reduce irritation in the Achilles region. The faux-suede material it is made from gives it a cushy and protective finish.

The low-cut ankle collar is slightly cushioned, to keep the runner supported and comfortable while on the road.

The second generation of Brooks Levitate has made a lot of new development which they have picked up from the first generation.  The Levitate 2 has made a remarkable change with the shoe’s upper improving the overall fit and feel of the shoe. But what mostly powers the Brooks Levitate 2? Read on for the different types of Brooks technologies that give this shoe the energy it needs.

Brooks DNA

Brooks has developed a smart foam cushioning system which is designed to be completely responsive and deliver the right amount of cushion for all types of runners. The Brooks DNA cushion is engineered with molecules connected in strands that join together to form chains.  These chains respond individually to the amount of force the foot receives. It then distributes the pressure thus making the cushioning material last longer. Brooks call these the ‘nanosprings,’ and it does a remarkable job of providing the responsive yet comfortable soft ride experienced with the Levitate 2.

Brooks DNA AMP

This brilliant Brooks technology found in Levitate 2 is all about deflection and energy recycling. The DNA AMP is an even better version of the DNA.  Brooks has used their DNA technology and enveloped it in a polyurethane shell making the shoe more responsive by applying the force that the foot receives downwards.  This makes the shoe reacts by firming up and distributing the energy back up into the runner’s foot. The DNA AMP is basically the technology behind Levitate 2’s springy feel. It is also responsible for making the shoe lightweight and bouncy during the ride.

Brooks Levitate 2 LE

LE stands for Limited Edition, and like its base version the Levitate 2, this running shoe is packed with DNA AMP cushioning technology for maximum energy return. This limited edition style comes in unique colorways that will serve its purpose for either casual runs or intense training.

Brooks Levitate 2 Ugly Christmas Sweater Edition

Released for the festive season, the Levitate 2 Ugly Christmas Sweater Edition has proven itself to not only spread the holiday cheer but it is also as reliable as its base model when used for serious running. The shoe’s special knit upper is laden with red, green and white print pine trees and reindeer.  Also completing the cheery look are the two little jingle bells and candy cane striped laces.

Brooks Levitate 2 vs. Brooks Levitate

The Levitate 2’s features kept most of the Levitate 1’s reliable technologies.  The only significant change is the fit of the upper. The Levitate 2 now uses a new knit mesh upper.  The knit upper makes the shoes fit more snugly throughout the runner’s foot while still being flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of users.

Brooks Levitate 2 vs. Brooks Ghost 11

The Ghost 11 is often chosen by runners for faster daily training compared to the Levitate 2 because it has plenty of cushioning from the new DNA Loft insert which makes the shoe lighter in weight by over an ounce.  The Levitate 2, on the other hand, does the slow and easy runs just fine and because of its maximum cushioning, it also delivers a unique ride.

Brooks Levitate 2 vs. Brooks Glycerin 16

The Brooks Glycerin 16 which is only a tad bit lighter than the Levitate 2, offers a more comfortable ride with the right level of durability, while the shoe’s DNA Loft cushioning wins the new technology in the running feel award.  The Levitate 2 is known to be reliable as a running shoe, but the Glycerin 16 outperforms the Levitate 2 especially in the midsole support department.

Brooks Levitate 2 vs. Hoka One One Clifton 5

Both shoes are built for long training sessions, but the Levitate 2’s midsole wins in responsiveness as the Clifton 5 tends to be too soft.  Although much softer than the Levitate 2, the Clifton 5 is the lighter running shoe when comparing both shoes.  The Levitate 2 offers to be far more stable and protective when it comes to cushioning.

Brooks Levitate 2 vs. New Balance 1080 v9

The Levitate 2 compared to the New Balance 1080 v9 has a much more flexible upper.  The 1080 v9’s midsole cushioning comes off too stiff compared to that of the cushioning in the Levitate 2’s and because of the better fit and weight, the majority of runners prefer the Levitate 2 over the 1080 v9 by a short mile difference.

Comparison