Our verdict

The Levitate Stealthfit 6 merges the reliable daily trainer from Brooks with a comfy, sock-like fit. Locked and loaded with the bouncy DNA AMP v2 foam underfoot, we were ready to tackle any of our daily runs. Whether we were pushing the pace, gobbling up the miles, or taking it easy on recovery days, this workhorse of a shoe never let us down.

Pros

  • Protective and energetic midsole
  • Springy ride with buttery smooth transitions
  • Great for long distances and speedwork
  • Flexible and forgiving on the foot
  • Performs incredibly well in cold conditions
  • Also suitable for heavy runners
  • Comfortable and durable upper
  • Snug and secure sock-like fit
  • Long-lasting and grippy outsole
  • Sleek, attention-grabbing designs

Cons

  • Too toasty for summer runs
  • Rubs the heel
  • Not ideal for wide feet
  • Lacks traction on wet surfaces

Audience verdict

82
Good!

Who should buy

We recommend the Brooks Levitate StealthFit 6 as a great choice for runners looking for a: 

  • Versatile daily trainer that can tackle speedwork, long distances, and recovery days. 
  • Well-cushioned neutral road shoe that’s protective and forgiving on the foot
  • Comfortable and consistent ride from summer to winter
  • Lightweight and stylish shoe that can be worn all day long

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 1

Who should NOT buy

While the shoe is certainly capable of speedwork, we don’t recommend using it as a dedicated tempo trainer. The ASICS Novablast 3 and the Brooks Hyperion are good speedy alternatives. 

The Levitate StealthFit 6’s healthy stack provides lots of protective foam underfoot, but also eliminates almost any sensation of the road below. For runners who prefer more ground feel from their daily trainers, we recommend the low-profile and budget-friendly Brooks Revel 6 instead. 

Runners with wide feet will be better suited with a shoe that boasts a more accommodating toebox. Look at the Brooks Launch 10 as it is a roomier alternative.

While the Levitate StealthFit 6 performs incredibly well in the cold, the same can’t be said about wet conditions. The shoe’s subtle tread pattern on the outsole doesn't give us enough traction on slick surfaces. We suggest that runners who frequently endure rainy sessions look into the Brooks Glycerin Stealthfit 20 as an alternative that’s more surefooted when wet.

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 cut

Breathability

To test the breathability of the Levitate Stealthfit 6, we turn to our visually striking smoke test where it’s clear that the shoe isn’t as well-ventilated as we’re led to believe. We can see that the smoke gets choked up in the shoe, managing only to escape in wisps through the perforated sections in the toebox. This below-average performance earns the Levitate StealthFit a breathability score of 2 out of 5, making it a less-than-ideal choice for runs on hot summer days. On the other hand, however, it does mean that this shoe is a great choice for winter runs; a fact that will be borne out in later sections (yes that’s foreshadowing). 

The insulated nature of this shoe is easy to explain when looking at a backlit cross-section of the upper. Here we see that light only shines through the perforated section in the toebox while the rest of the shoe is reinforced and too dense to let any light through. 

Check out the smoke show that is the Saucony Triumph 20 that absolutely aced this same test. 

Under the microscope, we can see that the visible perforations we see are actually made up of thin strands of material loosely woven between the more dense braids that make up the rest of the upper mesh. Only these small sections promote airflow throughout the shoe, thus explaining the poor medial breathability of this shoe.

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 mc

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 2
Average 3.8
Compared to 234 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

To test the durability of the toebox, we applied our Dremel’s grinding element to it with 3.2N of force spinning at 5K RPM. We were surprised to see the usually devastating test go by rather uneventfully; with nary a wisp of material being cast aside. 

The result of the four-second test is nothing short of amazing. Our tool didn’t even break through the upper layer of material; with all that abrasive force merely fraying the braids of the mesh. This stellar performance earns the Levitate StealthFit 6 a perfect 5 out of 5 for toebox durability, making it among the few shoes that have bested the dreaded Dremel here in the lab.

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Toebox durability
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 5
Average 2.4
Compared to 168 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The Levitate Stealthfit 6’s heel counter also put up a valiant fight against our fearsome Dremel which was barely able to bite into the lining that protects the soft padding. 

With only a minor unsightly tear in the aftermath of the four-second test, we give the Levitate StealthFit 6 a heel padding durability score of 4 out of 5. We therefore have no reservations about going sockless in this shoe as the friction from bare heel rubs doesn’t compare with the abrasive force of our tool’s grinding element.

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Heel padding durability
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 164 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Using our durometer, we found the Levitate StealthFit 6’s outsole rubber to be about as hard as our current lab average with a reading of 80.4 HC. Based on our findings here in the lab, this level of hardness is a good mix of hard and durable versus soft and grippy. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Outsole hardness
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 80.4 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 285 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

For its final chance at redemption, we unleashed our Dremel against the Levitate StealthFit 6’s outsole, this time spinning at 10K RPM for twenty seconds. Not much seems to happen at first but eventually, flecks of rubber form a fine mist and a small pile of dust gathers by the point of contact. 

Once all was said and done, we used a tire gauge to measure the damage and found that only 0.64 mm of rubber was lost from the outsole. This is a much better performance than average and means that the Levitate StealthFit 6 should easily last 500 miles without many signs of wear and tear.

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Outsole durability
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 0.6 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 146 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

At 3.4 mm thick according to our caliper, the Levitate StealthFit 6’s outsole is right on par with our current lab average. However, the shoe’s performance in our previous test demonstrates that less than ⅕ of the outsole material is lost after extreme wear and tear. Therefore, in our humble opinion, Brooks could have easily skimped out on some rubber in order to shed some weight off this shoe without sacrificing durability.

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Outsole thickness
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 3.4 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

At 9.9 oz (281g), the Levitate StealthFit 6 is slightly heavier than the average road shoe. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6scale

However, it still feels nimble and light on the foot thanks to its springy ride and pronounced toe-rocker geometry.

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 9.91 oz (281g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

We measured the Levitate StealthFit 6’s stack to be 32.9 mm thick at the heel, making the 33 mm stated by Brooks incredibly accurate. This is on par with our current lab average and gives heel strikers plenty of foam underfoot for well-cushioned and protective landings. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Heel stack
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 32.9 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

Our caliper reveals the forefoot stack to also be pretty true to spec, measuring 25.4 mm versus the stated 25 mm. This makes the Levitate StealthFit 6’s stack ever so slightly higher than our current lab average, which means that forefoot strikers will also enjoy nice and comfortable landings in this shoe.

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Forefoot stack
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 25.4 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
36.9 mm

Drop

The difference in our stack measurements leaves us with a drop of 7.5 mm, making the 0.5 mm deviation from the advertised heel drop of 8 mm negligible. We commend Brooks for accurately adhering to World Athletics guidelines for measuring stack heights as we do here in the lab; a fact that isn’t as common as we’d expect as this article explores. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 drop

This classifies the Levitate StealthFit 6 as a mid-drop shoe, making it suitable for a wide variety of runners regardless of stride or experience level.

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 7.5 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

Measuring 5.7 mm thick according to our caliper, the Levitate StealthFit 6’s insole is notably thicker than our current lab average. This gives us a nice and cushy surface within the shoe that’s soft on the foot before the midsole cushioning even kicks in. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Insole thickness
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 5.7 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

We used our durometer to measure the softness of the shoe’s DNA Amp midsole and got a reading of 21.5 HA. This is softer than average but still doesn’t enter the territory of plush midsoles. Rather, the Levitate StealthFit 6 provides a balanced level of cushioning that feels comfortable and adequately dampens impact over any distance. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 midsof

The midsole also gives about as good as it takes. The DNA Amp foam compresses nicely underfoot only to rebound with an energetic elasticity that feels great during speedier sessions. The result is a bouncy and comfy ride that brings the fun to our daily runs.

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 21.5 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 232 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.
Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Midsole softness in cold

Difference in midsole softness in cold

We put the Levitate Stealthfit 6 in the freezer for twenty minutes in order to measure the effect of cold conditions on the midsole. Once adequately chilled, we pressed our durometer against the midsole once more and were so astonished by the result that we had to check that our freezer was still plugged in! With a reading of 22.6 HA, it's much softer than the average road shoe under similar conditions which means that the shoe will feel well-balanced and cushioned all year round. 

With only a 5.2% difference between warm and cold conditions, it’s as though we didn’t put the Levitate StealthFit 6 in the freezer at all! This incredibly consistent result puts most other road shoes to shame and means that the Levitate StealthFit 6 should feel almost exactly the same underfoot whether out on a toasty summer jog or a hellishly cold winter run. 

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 5.2%
Average 25.5%
Compared to 231 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

To get an idea of how stable the Levitate StealthFit 6 is, we perform the simple test of shifting our weight laterally with one leg. The result doesn’t feel as well planted as we would like, but not anything out of the ordinary for a neutral shoe. 

As such, we don’t recommend this shoe to runners with pronounced overpronation in their stride. Instead, they should consider the GTS version of this shoe or the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 as more supportive options.

Torsional rigidity

We encountered a moderate level of resistance when twisting and bending the Levitate StealthFit 6 in our manual assessment, leading us to give it a subjective score of 3 out of 5 for torsional rigidity. This allows the shoe to conform to the natural shape of our foot from landing to toe-off while still keeping a relatively level base. In this way, the Levitate StealthFit 6 strikes a balance between comfort and stability that’s ideal for a neutral daily trainer. 

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 283 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

We found the heel counter to also be moderately stiff based on our probings, earning it a score of 3 out of 5 on our subjective scale. This is a good level of stiffness for a daily trainer as it provides us with enough structure to securely lock down the heel without putting too much pressure on our tendons.

However, we did experience some heel rubs during our test runs, so we do recommend using socks that go over the heel collar line. 

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 267 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Measuring 112.9 mm wide at the forefoot makes the Levitate StealthFit 6’s midsole within spitting range of our current lab average. This gives us a platform that’s wide enough to ensure stable landings and toe-offs while still feeling nimble on corners. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 112.9 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

Moving down to the heel, we measured the Levitate StealthFit’s midsole to be only 86.8 mm wide. This is narrower than our current lab average and means that heel strikers don’t have as much of a landing surface as their forefoot-striking counterparts in this shoe which can negatively impact the stability of their stride. For a shoe that boasts a beefier midsole at the heel, we suggest checking out the Saucony Endorphin Shift 3 instead. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 86.8 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We secured the Levitate StealthFit 6 to our workbench and found that only 19.1N of force is required to bend the shoe 90 degrees, making it much more flexible than the average road shoe. This factors greatly into the shoe’s overall comfort as it is able to bend along with our foot with ease. As a result, our feet didn’t feel battered by the shoe even at the end of high-octane tempo sessions or drawn-out long-distance efforts. 

While the Levitate StealthFit 6 is certainly a speedy shoe; being this flexible means that it lacks the explosive, PR-smashing responsiveness that stiffer shoes like the ASICS Novablast 3 or the nylon-plated Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 have.

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 19.1N
Average 29.2N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

We also repeated our stiffness test after leaving the Levitate StealthFit 6 in the freezer for twenty minutes and were similarly amazed. Now requiring only 19.8N of force to bend the shoe to the desired point, the Levitate StealthFit 6 performs almost identically in the cold as at room temperature. 

Becoming only 3.3% stiffer post-freezer, the Levitate StealFit 6 outperforms almost every shoe that we’ve tested in the lab so far! As with the midsole, the Levitate StealthFit 6’s flexibility proves to be remarkably consistent between warm and cold conditions, making it a comfortable and forgiving shoe year-round. 

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 3.3%
Average 35.9%
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Grip / Traction

We experienced solid traction throughout our test runs with the Levitate StealthFit 6 with one caveat: it gets slippery when wet. The shoe’s subtle tread pattern doesn’t perform well on slick surfaces, making the shoe a less-than-ideal choice for runners who live in rainy climates. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 grip

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Using our caliper, we measured the Levitate StealthFit 6’s toebox to be 95.7 mm wide at its widest point. This is slightly narrower than our current lab average but should still be roomy enough to provide a snug and secure fit for those with narrow to normal feet.

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 wides

Runners with wide feet, however, will be prone to hotspots in this shoe, especially towards the end of longer runs when our feet tend to swell up. For those runners, we recommend checking out the Brooks Launch 10 or the Saucony Triumph 21 as more accommodating alternatives.

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 95.7 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

Moving up to the area around the big toe, we measured the Levitate StealthFit 6’s toebox to be 79.8 mm wide. This gives us much more toe-room to splay out naturally compared to the average road shoe. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 79.8 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 179 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The one-piece upper construction means that the Levitate has a sock-like fit that really does feel like wearing a reinforced sock. The material is stretchy enough to slide in and out of the shoe with minimal effort but has enough elasticity to lock our feet down snugly and securely. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 Sock like

Comfort

Tongue padding

The Levitate StealthFit 6’s sock-like fit means that it lacks a tongue per se, so we measured the upper at the instep to be 1.7 mm thick. This isn't very much padding at all, and it took a few attempts to lace up and find the sweet spot where the shoe feels secure without biting into our instep too much. For those who prefer a traditional fit with a more well-padded tongue, check out the standard version of this shoe; the Levitate 6

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Tongue padding
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 1.7 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 302 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

The Levitate StealthFit 6 features a handy finger loop at the heel that makes slipping the shoe on and off a breeze. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 6 Heel tab
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 Finger loop

Removable insole

The Levitate StealthFit 6’s insole is easily removed so those in need of custom orthotics can use them with this shoe. 

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

For runners accustomed to nocturnal sessions, the Levitate StealthFit 6 features a reflective strip that arcs across the rear of the shoe’s heel counter which provides good nighttime visibility. 

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 6 Yes