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

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
Top 2% most popular running shoes

Expert Reviews

84 / 100 based on 28 expert reviews

  • 79 / 100 |

    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. 

  • 75 / 100 |

    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.

  • 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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Author
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.

jens@runrepeat.com