I tend to fall for shoes more easily than Meaghan. It is rare that Meaghan will like a shoe that I won’t. It is not rare that Meaghan will dislike a shoe that I do like. I usually chalk it up to the fact that my foot is easier to fit in shoes. It would appear that wide flat feet are harder to design for. The Brooks Launch 4 seems universally loved, especially if you are already a Brooks fan. I thought that this review would be a no brainer and that both Meg and I would like the shoe. Ha.
Thomas: Simplicity. The Brooks Launch 4 is beautiful for its bare-knuckle design. The simple upper cradles the foot over the arch and is unstructured over the toes. The lacing is easy to adjust over a cushioned tongue. A well-padded collar surrounds the ankle and locks down the heel.
The midsole is a made up of Brooks DNA® EVA foam which provides a firm stable ride. Brooks has put lots of rubber on the outsole. There is no issue with feeling sure-footed in the Launch 4.
Meaghan: We rarely run in Brooks so I was pretty pumped to wear the Launch 4. It’s a great looking shoe. The upper is designed with a lightweight, breathable mesh and minimal overlays. The shoes are simply designed, in a good way. The outsole is covered in blown rubber which means you can get lots and lots of miles out of them.
Thomas: The Launch 4 lacks a little personality when it comes to actual feel during the run. The more miles I put on the Launch, the more personality came out, but initially, I wasn’t as excited about the feel as some other shoes I would compare to the Launch.
Meaghan: I wore this shoe for two runs: 13 miles out of the box and another 7 miler. We always make sure we get 25 miles in a shoe before reviewing, but I honestly couldn’t do it. This shoe is not for my foot type. They felt stiff underfoot and caused rubbing and discomfort on the top of my foot. It was like the laces were digging into my foot no matter how much I loosened them up. I guess I have abnormally volumous feet. Running did not feel smooth. I tend to heel strike and each time my foot came down I felt like I was unintentionally hitting the breaks. Uncomfortable is the word I would use to describe these shoes.
Thomas: I put over 60 miles on the Launch 4 before this review. With every mile, I like the Launch 4 more. The Launch 4 needs a little time for the DNA midsole to soften up. Rarely do I need to break a shoe in, the Launch 4 is an exception.
The shoe is straightforward. It looks great, it is simply designed, has enough cushion for any distance, and with full rubber coverage on the outsole, it is durable. I can see why diehard Brooks fans love the Launch. I would compare the Launch 4 to the Saucony Kinvara 8, Under Armour Gemini 3, Salming Speed 5, and the Nike Pegasus. The price is right at $100. The Brooks Launch 4 weighs 10.3 oz. for a size 10.5. with a 10mm drop
Meaghan: I know there is a big fan base behind Brooks and specifically the Launch, but unfortunately, this shoe missed the mark for me. Maybe if I had prettier feet I could appreciate the Launch 4, but my wide, flat feet won’t have it.
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