Our verdict

The Levitate Stealthfit 5 from Brooks is a road running shoe that we recommend best for short to mid-distance runs. We found that it's perfect for cruising along the pavement in comfort and style. Even better, it offers a snugger, more supportive fit than its parent model, the Brooks Levitate 5. It's a versatile trainer that can be used as a catch-all fitness shoe as it keeps our feet fresh whether out for a run, a walk, or at the gym. That said, its well-insulated knit upper and stellar performance in our freezer tests make it much better suited for those in cooler climates.

Pros

  • Has some spring
  • Eats up impact
  • Low-profile midsole
  • Feels nimble and speedy
  • Snugly wraps around the foot
  • Comfortable all-day
  • Excellent for winter runs
  • Great traction
  • Durable knit upper
  • Come in multiple width options
  • Also for walking and gym training

Cons

  • Rubs the heel
  • Stretchy upper impedes lockdown
  • Pricey for a daily trainer
  • Not ideal for warm days

Audience verdict

82
Good!

Who should buy

We recommend the Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 as an excellent choice for:

  • Runners who prefer a low-to-the-ground shoe with a protective and lively midsole for short to moderate distances
  • Those living in colder climates who need a daily trainer that remains reliable and comfy regardless of how low temperatures drop

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 main

Who should NOT buy

Our smoke and freezer tests reveal the Levitate Stealthfit 5 to be an excellent wintertime companion. Conversely, however, the knit upper's lacklustre breathability makes it a less-than-ideal choice for toasty summer runs. The non-Stealthfit update to the series, the Levitate 6 boasts a much more well-ventilated mesh upper that we recommend for runners in warmer climates. 

The Levitate Stealthfit 5's low-profile midsole affords us lots of ground feel which isn't an issue when it comes to our short to moderate distance efforts. It's as we start pushing the mile markers that we find ourselves wishing for a little more protection from the sustained impacts against the road. We suggest checking out the Brooks Ghost 15 as an alternative with the cushioning needed to gobble up miles comfortably. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 cut

At £150, the Levitate Stealthfit 5 is a little steep for a daily trainer. for a more budget-friendly workhorse, we recommend the Brooks Revel 6 instead. 

Breathability

We pumped smoke into the Levitate Stealthfit 5 and found that the smoke struggled to filter through its knit-upper. It takes a substantial amount of time before little wisps finally escape the shoe, indicating that heat would be similarly trapped within the shoe. This leads us to give the shoe the lowest score of 1 out of 5 for breathability, making it a less-than-ideal choice for hot summer runs. For runners in need of a more well-ventilated option, we recommend checking out the non-Stealthfit update to the original shoe, the Brooks Levitate 6

The shoe's abysmal performance in our smoke test comes as quite a surprise as we can see that light is able to penetrate the seemingly porous upper. This finding would usually indicate better airflow than what we just saw. 

For further clarification, we turn to our microscope which reveals how densely woven the upper actually is. The gaps aren't nearly as large as our light test would lead us to believe, thus explaining the smoke's extremely delayed ability to exit the shoe.  

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Breathability microscope
Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Breathability microscope closeup
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 1
Average 3.8
Compared to 235 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

To simulate extreme wear and tear, we subjected the Levitate Stealthfit 5 to a number of thrashings from our Demel, starting with the toebox. With the abrasive element spinning at 5K RPM, we pressed our tool against the shoe for four quick seconds of grinding. 

While breathability may not be the knit upper's strong suit, it certainly is durable. We had no choice but to give it a perfect 5 out of 5 in this assessment as our tool was barely even able to scuff the toebox, let alone rip or tear it. As such, we don't expect any accidental bumps or scrapes to bring an untimely end to this shoe. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Toebox durability damage compare
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 5
Average 2.4
Compared to 169 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Next, we pressed our Dremel against the heel collar under similar parameters and found it to be almost as durable as the toebox. 

With only a small rip left in the aftermath of the four-second test, the Levitate Stealthfit 5 earns a near perfect heel padding durability score of 4 out of 5. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Heel padding durability damage
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 165 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Pressing our durometer against the Levitate Stealthfit 5's outsole gives us a reading of 84 HC which is slightly harder than our current lab average. This indicates a good mix of grip and durability, the latter of which we will be putting to the test next. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Outsole hardness
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 84.0 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 286 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

To test the outsole, we set the Dremel to spin at 10K RPM and set it against the Levitate Stealthfit 5 for twenty-two seconds of grinding. 

Once the time was up, we measured the indentation left by our tool and found that we had only shorn away 0.5 mm of rubber from the outsole. This is a much more durable result than average and means that we expect the Levitate Stealthfit 5 to outlast the expected lifespan of 400 to 500 miles of use. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Outsole durability damage
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 0.5 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 147 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Using our caliper, we measured the outsole to be 3.3 mm thick which is right on par with our current lab average, This gives us no cause for concern regarding the longevity of the shoe considering how well it performed against our Dremel. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Outsole thickness
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 3.3 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

Weighing in at 10.1 oz (285g), the Levitate Stealthfit 5 isn't quite as sleek on the scale as it looks on the foot. However, it doesn't feel overly burdensome during our less intense runs. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Weight
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 10.05 oz (285g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

At only 28 mm thick according to our caliper measurements, the Levitate Stealthfit 5's stack is shorter than our current lab average. This is still a good amount of foam to have underfoot to dampen the impact of short to medium-distance runs. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Heel stack measure
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 28.0 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

The Levitate Stealthfit 5's forefoot stack is significantly shorter than average at only 18.7 mm thick. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Forefoot stack measure

On the one hand, this is a fair amount of foam that still protects our landings while providing an intuitive and natural sense of the ground as we run. On the other, it isn't enough for the repeated beatings against the hard asphalt brought on by long-distance runs. Instead, we recommend the higher-stacked Brooks Ghost 15 instead. 

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 18.5 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
36.9 mm

Drop

The difference in our stack measurements leaves the Levitate Stealthfit 5 with a drop height of 9.5 mm. This is slightly higher than the stated 8 mm drop, however, this discrepancy is quite small and will only be noticed by very attuned and experienced runners. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Drop
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 9.5 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

At only 3 mm thick according to our caliper measurements, the Levitate Stealthfit 5's insole is just shy of our current lab average. This still provides us with a nice an soft footbed with a fair amount of arch support. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Insole thickness
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 3.0 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 301 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.

Pressing our durometer against the DNA Amp midsole foam gives us a softer-than-average reading of 19 HA.

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Midsole softness durometer

However, this doesn't feel overly plush by any means; with the shoe doing a good job of cushioning our landings without feeling too squishy underfoot and providing a balanced ride. 

The DNA Amp also has a nice snappy rebound that gives our toe-offs a lively and responsive spark. This means that we were comfortably able to push the pace for some speedwork, though we wouldn't use the Levitate Stealthfit 5 as a dedicated tempo trainer. We recommend the Brooks Hyperion as a speedier shoe that better fits that bill. 

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 19.0 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 233 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

We placed the Levitate Stealthfit 5 in the freezer for twenty minutes to observe the effects of cold conditions on the midsole. We had to make sure we hadn't blown the motor as the change was almost negligible. After confirming that the freezer was running correctly, we could finally trust our finding that the midsole had only become 2% firmer in the face of frigid conditions. As such, the Levitate Stealthfit 5 will feel just as soft and forgiving underfoot no matter how low the mercury drops. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Difference in midsole softness in cold
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 2%
Average 25.5%
Compared to 232 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

Thanks to its low profile, the Levitate Stealthfit 5 feels quite stable underfoot despite the softer-than-average midsole foam. That said, as a neutral trainer, it doesn't have any stability features that promote better alignment for those with overpronation. For runners in need of a more supportive alternative, we recommend checking out the Brooks Launch GTS 10.

Torsional rigidity

The Levitate Stealthfit 5 is quite easy to bend and twist in our hands, leading us to give it a torsional rigidity score of 2 out of 5. This contributes to the shoe's natural feeling ride as it conforms with the movements of our foot from landing to toe-off. 

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 2
Average 3.3
Compared to 284 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter is moderately stiff, earning a 3 out of 5 in our manual assessment. This strikes a good balance between stability and comfort as the structured heel holds our rearfoot in place delicately while still allowing for some natural lateral movements as we run. 

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 268 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Using our caliper, we found the Levitate Stealthfit 5's midsole to be right on par with our current lab average at 113.5 mm wide. This gives us more than enough of a platform to be steady on our feet without feeling clunky while turning or taking corners. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Midsole width in the forefoot caliper
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 113.5 mm
Average 113.8 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

Back at the heel, the Levitate Stealthfit 5's midsole is a little shy of our current lab average at only 87.4 mm wide according to our caliper. This should still be enough of a base for heel strikers to land with confidence in this shoe. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Midsole width in the heel caliper
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 87.4 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We secured the Levitate Stealthfit 5 to our workbench and used a force gauge to find that only 21.9N of force is needed to torque the shoe to 90 degrees. 

This is a more flexible result than our current lab average and means that the shoe is able to conform with the natural flexion of our foot with relative ease. This factors greatly into the shoe's smooth and comfortable ride as it doesn't constrict our foot and leave it feeling battered. As such, the shoe feels great to wear all day long. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Stiffness outdoor bend
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 21.9N
Average 29.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 288 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

Much like the midsole, the shoe's longitudinal flexibility is almost entirely unaffected by cold conditions. Repeating our flex test after chilling the shoe in our freezer for twenty minutes reveals that it only became 4.3% stiffer. This change is insignificant in practical terms and further confirms the Levitate Stealthfit 5 as an excellent winter running companion. 

Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 4.3%
Average 35.9%
Compared to 288 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Grip / Traction

The muli-directional tread pattern on the outsole provided us with reliable traction throughout testing the shoe. Even wet asphalt didn't cause us to break our stride, though we did have a bit of a wobble on more slick surfaces like cobblestones. The grippy and durable nature of the outsole means that we were also able to go off-road on some mild trails without worrying about damaging ourselves or the shoe.

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 grip

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

At 97.9 mm wide at its widest point according to our caliper measurements, the Levitate Stealthfit 5's toebox is right on par with our current lab average. This means that it should accommodate most foot shapes quite comfortably. There are also multiple width options available for runners with broader feet. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 97.9 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The Levitate Stealthfit 5's upper is a one-piece construction that omits a tongue and has a sock-like fit

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Tongue: gusset type

In that way, the shoe feels like it wraps around our foot for a snug and natural feel. However, while the elastic is strong enough to lock our foot in place decently, we did notice some slippage as we pushed the pace during speedier runs. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Tongue: gusset type outdoor wear
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 Sock like

Comfort

Tongue padding

With no actual tongue to speak of, we measured the bit of material above the instep and found it to only be 2 mm thick

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Tongue padding measure

This doesn't give us much clearance between our foot and the laces which do feel somewhat apparent across our instep once laced up and ready to go. That said, it's not too uncomfortable since the rounded laces themselves are quite soft. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Tongue padding laces
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 2.0 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 303 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

Sock-like shoes can be frustrating to put on but the Levitate Stealthfit 5 makes it a little easier with the inclusion of a handy little finger loop at the heel that makes sliding it on smoother and faster. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Heel tab
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 Finger loop

Removable insole

The insole isn't glued in so replacing it with an aftermarket alternative or a custom orthotic for added arch support is possible if necessary. 

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Removable insole
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

With no reflective elements to be found on the shoe whatsoever, we recommend using additional high-vis gear if ever running along the road at night in the Levitate Stealthfit 5.

Brooks Levitate Stealthfit 5 Reflective elements
Test results
Levitate Stealthfit 5 No