They Say - Rocket through runs in this streamlined, neutral men’s running shoe. The DNA midsole cushioning dynamically adapts to your size and speed for amazing energy return, the midfoot is shaped for fast heel-to-toe transitions, and added rubber in the forefoot gives you extra-springy push-off. Plus, the ultra light upper maximizes ventilation to keep your feet cool and dry. It all comes together in these men’s running shoes to make for fun, comfortable, and out-of-this-world runs.
- BIOMOGO DNA MIDSOLE CUSHIONING dynamically adapts to every step and stride
- BLOWN RUBBER enhances forefoot for extra-springy toe-off
- MIDFOOT TRANSITION ZONE WITH SEGMENTED CRASH PAD creates fast heel-to-toe transitions
- 3D FIT PRINT applies strategic strech and structure for an impeccable fit
- AIR MESH FABRIC ensures maximum ventilation and manages moisture to keep feet cool and dry
We Say – I’ve now almost exhausted both pairs of these Launch 3 shoes that I had this summer/autumn, putting well over 600 miles on each (including the 120 I ran when I won the Canadian men’s 24 hour running championship in September – whoop!!!), so feel I’m in a decent position to talk about them.
First up, they seem to be on the small side so if you’re ordering online do choose a half or full size larger than you usually wear. Better still, since that advice is rather vague – there’s a big difference between a half and full size larger but you may have extra wide, or narrow feet, so it’s hard to be specific – find a local store and try them on before you buy. Most people I’ve spoken to find that going a half size larger than usual works perfectly, and with me that’s also true, but it’s best to test it out in person if you can.
Ok, onto performance. These are a neutral road/track shoe with a medium/high arch and 10mm midsole drop. What that means to me in reality is that they’re not so comfy as a walking/hanging out in shoe – the arch is too high for that – but they’re very responsive, supportive and effective as a running shoe. When I say they’re not comfy as a walking shoe, I don’t mean in the sense of the Airia shoe which really are almost impossible to walk in due to their curved sole. I just mean that these Launch 3 work superbly for what they’re built for – running – so just keep them for that, and don’t expect them to multitask and comfortably handle long distance walking duties as well.
They’re extremely lightweight (9.8oz for the pair), yet they don’t compromise on cushioning or durability. I’ve had an injury free season that included 15 big events and have felt no jarring on my joints at all whilst wearing these shoes. I’ve also run to the best of my abillity all season, faster than I ever have before, setting PB’s at every distance. Ok, so part of that has got to be about diet but I also believe that a decent shoe protects and aids the runner, allowing them to train safely, which in turn allows them to train more regularly and hence see improvements when race day comes around. Here’s the Launch 3 helping me break my half marathon record a week after I’d won the 24 hour men’s championship (ok, 1:29:30 isn’t super fast but I’m more of a long distance man so it’s quick for me!).
Whilst one pair started to get holes at the sides of the upper – where my little toes push out onto the fabric – after 400 miles, it certainly didn’t effect running performance. At least not noticably, over the next 200 miles I put on them in training. The difference was purely in that they looked a little worn. This level of wear is standard in running shoes though, so I didn’t feel surprised or concerned when the holes started to show.
They’re built for dry, warm weather and they really do keep your feet comfy in the heat. I’ve had no blisters at all this year, none. But now it’s colder the thin material does let in the chill and my toes feel it for the first mile of running, or if it’s a windy day then the chill never really goes away. This is another reason to order a larger size than usual; if you’re like me you’ll need to wear thicker socks in the winter to feel comfy! Unless you’re just wearing them on the treadmill and into the gym, which I also do at times.
As for the grip, it’s good. This isn’t an issue that seems of immediate concern to road runners as surfaces so often seem clean/cleared of debris, but the fact that I haven’t slipped or missed my footing once in 1,200 miles of racing/slow training/speed work says to me that the soles are taking care of loose dirt/stones/shingle very well indeed.
Finally, they’re vegan (made without animal based glue) which is important to me and many friends nowadays (why use shoes made with animal products if you have a decent alternative such as these? No reason at all), they come in a range of 12 colour combinations – so you’re almost certain to find something to match your preference – and the price is very reasonable, $130 Canadian, which is around $100 US dollars (at the time of writing, they’re actually down to $75 US on sale, a bargain). Just remember to try a half or full size larger than usual and you’ll have yourself an excellent pair of running shoes.
Discover more about the Brooks Launch 3 here http://www.brooksrunning.com/en_ca/launch-3-mens-running-shoes/110215.html