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Brooks Launch 8 Review Analysis (2022)

Brooks Launch 8

Last update: May 2024

The Brooks Launch 8 is a lightweight daily trainer that offers great value. Also available in GTS (stability).

The Consensus

8.9Overall score
An attractive, lightweight road shoe with superb optional support and durability
Brooks is back with its famous lightweight trainer, now available for the first time in GTS (stability version). The all-new Launch 8 is already creating a buzz in the running world and is noticeable a mile away! Available in lime green and a dusty rose hue, the benefits of the Launch 8 transcend outward appearance—this trainer performs. Whether opting for Brooks’ Go-to-Support technology or the standard 8, here’s what you should know to decide on using the Launch for your daily workouts.

Like some of its colleagues (we’re looking at you, Glycerin 19), the Launch 8 comes in both neutral and GTS. GTS provides added support on the shoe’s platform with GuideRails technology and works to stabilize a runner’s stride. Unlike previous models that have offered GTS, the Launch 8 incorporates GuideRails technology seamlessly into the shoe’s design. The overall feel is a firm, somewhat dense ride that gets the job done. The standard 8, meanwhile, lends itself to as smooth of a ride as its GTS cousin. The two share many similarities; both are leaning toward a more responsive feel and an uptempo pace. This responsiveness comes from the midsole, engineered with BioMoGo foam, though some runners were less than impressed. One comment focused on the overall stiffness of the shoe, even after a generous break-in period. BioMoGo also lacks pop, making it fairly unremarkable compared to the Brooks Tempo or Elite models’ technology.

Also, the upper of the Launch 8 is designed with an air mesh to keep feet cooler. It’s worth noting that, with a few exceptions, nearly all trainers have a breathable mesh upper—it pretty much comes with the territory. The toe box is roomy and keeps feet locked in place throughout a run. The outsole is excellent on both the standard and GTS versions, with blown rubber that lasts after miles of use. The overall traction and durability are unparalleled for the caliber and price point of the 8.

In summary, the Launch 8 is ideal for uptempo runners and those seeking a highly durable shoe. Despite some reported stiffness, users didn’t have many other complaints; however, the midsole wasn’t unanimously successful. Despite its lightweight design, BioMoGo was simply too firm for a comfortable ride. These are also not recommended for runners who expect a snap or “pep” in their step to propel them forward. For an extremely affordable price, given the great Brooks name and the shoe’s quality, the Launch 8 delivers. However, if you are expecting something groundbreaking or truly remarkable, you would do well to look elsewhere.
Comfort
8
Durability
9.5
Value for money
9.5
Design
9
PROS
  • Good overall comfort
  • Effective cushioning despite the firmness
  • Affordable shoe
  • Sturdy build
  • Good support with the GTS version
CONS
  • Dense cushioning that lacks responsiveness

Technologies

Outsole

  • The outsole of the Brooks Launch 8 uses sturdy rubber to give maximum durability and effective traction at all times.
  • Blown rubber is a softer compound that allows good flexibility to follow the movement of the foot while running. This feature is especially helpful at the toe off phase of the gait cycle.
Brooks Launch 8 rubber outsole

Midsole

  • The midsole features the flagship foam from Brooks: BioMoGo DNA. It’s resilient, soft, and made using recycled materials. This technology equips the entire length of the platform.
  • Also, on the GTS (for Go To Support), the GuideRails stability feature translates into a firm piece whose goal is to guide your foot’s movement to reduce overpronation.

Upper

  • The upper of the Brooks Launch 8 is Air Mesh, a lightweight, protective and well-ventilated engineered mesh that gives fitted and comfy foot support.

Facts

Technical Specs

TerrainRoad
Pronation typeNeutral
Drop10 mm
Heel stack height26 mm
Forefoot stack height16 mm
FeaturesRecycled materials, Vegan
Weight (men)244 g/8.6 oz
Weight (women)224 g/7.9 oz
FitWide feet
Release year2021

Cushioning

Softness (1-5)2 – Firm
Bounce (1-5)2 – Low

Technologies

OutsoleSturdy rubber, blown rubber
MidsoleBioMoGo DNA, GuideRails
UpperAir Mesh

Use

SpeedModerate
DistanceShort, mid, 5k, 10k, half marathon
WorkoutDaily runs

Reference: Brooks Running

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the Brooks Launch 8 fit true to size?

Yes, runners who tested the shoe confirmed that it fits as expected. However, the fit is a bit ample, so runners with narrow feet may prefer to size down in some cases. Overall, you can order your regular size for running shoes.

Is this shoe adapted for overpronators?

Yes, this model should be suitable for everyone. Indeed, it’s available in two versions: regular (neutral) and GTS (support for overpronation). There’s no scientific proof that stability shoes are better than neutral shoes when it comes to injury, but you may want to give them a try if that’s what you are used to (or if all neutral shoes you have tried so far were not to your liking).

I weigh more than 187 lbs/85 kg. Is the Brooks Launch 8 good for me?

Yes, this model should normally be suitable even if you’re a heavyweight runner. Indeed, although its stack height is moderate (26 mm under the heel), it should be supportive enough for most runners. According to science, only minimalist shoes can be an issue if you’re a heavyweight runner.

Is this shoe a good choice to run a marathon?

Yes, if these shoes are comfortable during your long workouts, then there’s no reason not to use them for your marathon! However, do note that the cushioning is a bit firm, which may not be to everyone’s liking over long distances.

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner's Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He's also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.

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