Testing the Brooks Levitate

Released last fall after seven years of research and development, the Brooks Levitate is designed to make you run faster. Our review of the new shoe.

| January 4, 2018 | GEAR

The Levitate features an 8 mm drop to help you get on your toes.

The Levitate features an 8 mm drop to help you get on your toes.

Photo >Hersteller

No less than seven years of development went into the Brooks Levitate - the company took its time to develop the completely redesigned midsole in this shoe. In collaboration with BASF, the running shoe manufacturer has tried to take shoe cushioning to a new level. Energy return is the main goal of the "DNA AMP" technology used in the midsole, according to Brooks. This follows a trend in the running industry right now - the development of midsoles that offer low weight with lots of cushioning properties. At Adidas, the foamed material is called "Boost", at Asics "DynaFlyte", at Saucony "Everun" and at New Balance "Fresh Foam." With this new technology in the Levitate, Brooks has created its own midsole material.

Taking the Brooks Levitate for a run

The first impression of this shoe is immediately positive. You feel comfortable in the shoe as soon as you pull it on. The fit is reminiscent of the Brooks Launch and the similarity is no coincidence. According to Brooks, the Levitate is a "performance running shoe." The sporty fit, similar to the Launch is therefore only logical. Another new feature is the "Fit Knit" knitted upper. The flexible fabric minimizes pressure points and remains very comfortable while running.

But does the shoe perform as well as it feels? After a few test runs we say yes. The shoe feels a little harder when running than the material initially suggests, providing the kind of feel for the road faster runners want. Even running at 4 minutes per kilometer, the levitate feels neither spongy nor too stiff and remains comfortable on the foot thanks to the woven upper material.

The approximately 300-gram shoe isn't only suited for fast efforts - it works well for casual and longer training runs, too. If this shoe had come out seven years ago you would have called it a lightweight trainer - a good all-rounder for ambitious runners. The 8 mm drop is also sporty and requires a good running technique. Because the shoe comes out without a lot of support, it's aimed at runners with a neutral foot plant.

Is it a shoe without weaknesses? Not quite. On wet asphalt and foliage the Levitate lacks traction.


If you are looking for a training shoe with excellent cushioning and a very good fit, you will be happy on dry ground with the Brooks Levitate at any speed. The wait was worth it. The new technology makes this one of the more expensive shoes in the Brooks line up, but if the new DNA-AMP midsole material lasts as long as it appears it will, the price will be a bit easier to bear. For this we can not make any statements after just a four-week trial period.