Angie Partain is very involved in the Missoula Running Community as both a runner and frequent volunteer despite being a busy mom. You can follow her adventures at @jnapartain. As a RErun Ambassador we asked Angie to try out the brand new Brooks Launch 5 and share her thoughts.
Is there anything more exciting than a new pair of running shoes? It’s like a fresh start…and getting started in them is exciting! I’ve heard the quote: “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you running shoes—and that’s almost the same thing”. I love it—and it’s so true! When it’s getting close to time to retire a much-loved-on pair of running shoes, I find myself excitedly dreaming of and even anticipating a trip to The Runner’s Edge for my next pair. What color will they be? Where will they take me? How might they enhance my running experience?
The Launch 5 passes the pretty test with flying colors! With classic, slim and sleek lines these shoes stood out to me right away. The lightweight and low-profile design combined with a shapely toe give them a petite, feminine and sporty look while hugging close to the ground. They come in 4 fun and classic colors: Hot Pink/Royal, Black/Teal, Black/Grey/Purple and Silver/Black. With reflective material placed subtly underneath the mesh at the heel and toe, you are sure to be visible and chic at the same time.
I tend to have problems finding shoes that keep the tops of my toes happy. For this reason, I have hopped from shoe to shoe over the years attempting to find a running shoe that will eliminate this nuisance for me. I’ve had best success with minimal drop and sock-like uppers. With a 10mm midsole drop, I expected to have toe issues based on my history. But the Launch’s full “Air Mesh” uppers, kept the tops of my feet and toes happier than they’ve been in a while, which is a HUGE win for me! The cushioning at the heel and ankle is generous and felt great. I did notice that they hit slightly higher on the back of the heel. When wearing tab socks they rubbed just above my sock line a bit. This wasn’t enough friction to cause any blistering, however I did notice a slight callous developing.
The neutral support soles are flexible but also have a sturdy feel without bulk or rigidity. The cushioning has a nice firmness that absorbs well while remaining comfy in the foot bed at the same time. Doing single leg squats and jumps I felt stable and balanced as the soles seem to have a bit more stability than other neutral soles. Only worn on snow and ice, I felt their grip was good–though it was difficult to really put their speed to the test given our super icy conditions. My only chance at a fast workout with non-icy conditions meant turning to the treadmill. Usually treadmill runs leave the bottoms of my feet feeling a bit raw due to the added heat/moisture, but they felt great the entire workout—even energized. Fitting true to size, my feet stayed secure without slipping around inside. Laces are a nice length–plenty for a double knot, not enough to flap around and drive ya nuts.
Why buy the LAUNCH 5? From EASY run to LONG run to INTERVALS to TREADMILL to STRENGTH training these Brooks have won me over. They’ve kept me warm in less than ideal conditions and my happy toes are helping me “RUN HAPPY” (not to be too cliché) and RECOVER happy. Coming in at $100 the Brooks Launch will even keep your finances happy!
Happy New Year!