Similar shoes to Brooks Launch 2

Brooks Launch 2 General Info:

The previous version of these shoes was a hit, winning awards as a neutral trainer. The Launch 2 seems to be on the same track for success, although it is slightly heavier at 9.7 ounces. Slipping on these shoes for the first time was a comforting experience.

Brooks put soft fabric around the heel and placed a healthy amount of foam in the sole for a cushioned gait. As a neutral trainer with a 10mm heel to toe drop, the Brooks Launch 2 is a low risk running shoe.

Brooks Launch 2 Sole Unit

The sole appears to be normal, until you see the “DNA” logo on the back. It’s not the same DNA that is our genetic code, it’s what the marketing people at Brooks called the special gel-like component of the sole.

What makes this component special is that it contains a shear thickening non-newtonian fluid, aka something like cornstarch and water. It changes from soft to hard when smacked.

This is nice for running shoes since you’ll get stiff support exactly where your feet hit the ground but you don’t have to deal with a stiff sole when bending the shoe.

Brooks used this technology subtly enough for me not to directly notice it, but I did find the ride to be comfortable.

I was pleased to see a sole with ample rubber coverage. The lightweight trend going around is causing shoes companies to replaces patches of rubber with foam. This reduces weight, but also reduces durability and traction (I’m looking at you, Saucony Kinvaras).

All points of ground contact on this shoe are rubber and the tread pattern is not too aggressive. The rubber on the forefoot is thicker than at the heel, so I would not recommend these shoes to heel strikers looking for high mileage shoes.

These shoes are great on roads and treadmills. You could bring them onto trails, but don’t get too technical.

Brooks Launch 2 Upper:

The upper around the toe box features a dual layered mesh design, with large holes on the outer mesh and a tighter woven fabric for the inner mesh. This makes the shoe very breathable, which also makes the shoe not so great in wet conditions.

I have concerns for the durability of this dual layer mesh around the toe box since I snagged the shoe on something and ripped apart one of the holes.

The snagged mesh is more a cosmetic issue, but I expect that it could grow into a bigger problem. The rest of the upper closer to the laces and continuing around the rear is made of a thicker and more supportive fabric.

I found the toe box of the Launch 2s to be very comfortable. I fit well into shoes that don’t have tight toe boxes, like the Nike Air Zoom Elite 7s, and I felt at home in the Launch 2s. The lacing of the shoe is also comfortable and normal, except for the location of the tongue support.

Normally, the support for the tongue is a loop the laces go through in the middle of the tongue. Brooks moved this to the upper inside of the tongue which prevents the tongue from moving off your upper ankle.

What bothers me about this tongue support is they used reflective material for it, yet the tongue support hides behind the shoe when laced up!

I received the Nightlife/Electric color and was expecting lots of reflective material in the shoe since Brooks has an entire collection of reflective running gear called the “NightLife collection”. You can tell how disappointed I was when I found the only reflective material on this shoe is hidden when you lace up the shoes.

Brooks, why did you do this? It’s a slap in the face to safety! This is a pedantic complaint on an otherwise great shoe. Oh, one more trivial complaint: the Brooks logo on the inner side of the shoe began to wear away after one run.

Brooks Launch 2 Conclusions:

The Brooks Launch 2 is a reliable neutral trainer that brings a few changes to an already successful shoe. I’m hesitant to say the changes are for the better, so be wary if you’re looking for even more perfection on the original Brooks Launch shoes.

I found the shoes to be great for general training and they provided adequate cushioning during all my runs. These shoes should make great trainers.

We thank the nice people at Brooks for sending us a pair of Launch 2 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.

10 Marathon Special Edition Running Sneakers to Add to Your Collection

Admittedly, I’m not a runner. I tore my ACL playing football in college (2 times) and it left me unable to run long distances without pain. However, I am a sneaker enthusiast and collector and I love running sneakers. So much so, I’ve dedicated my life to building a business that sells shoelaces for sneakers.

Through building that business I’ve become a student of sneaker culture – I’m on top of every sneaker release, from Nike to Vans. Tracking these releases has become a passion of mine and some of my favorite sneakers are special editions, that brands release to commemorate landmark events.

In this post, I dug into my database and found 10 of my favorite special edition running sneakers, from a wide variety of brands. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few of my favorites.

Nike Air Pegasus 83/30 30 Year Anniversary Editions

The Nike Air Pegasus has been around for more than 30 years, not only as a staple for any serious runner but for sneaker hobbyists as well. To commemorate the popularity of the sneaker, Nike released a special anniversary colorway, featuring bold colors throughout, red shoelaces and capped off with a bright tennis ball green toe. These sneakers sold out almost immediately when released, but you might be able to pick up a pair on the resellers market.

Image credit: HiConsumption

Brooks Special Edition “Boston Lobsters”

I was born and raised in Boston and even though I’m not a runner, I love the Boston Marathon as much as my Red Sox and Patriots. It’s a part of the culture in that city – Marathon Monday is something you have to experience in person to truly understand. When the bombings took place in April of 2013, the entire world mourned. Brooks paid tribute by creating these special edition running sneakers with mini lobsters emblazoned across the body.

Image credit: Streetwise

Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit “Multicolor”

The Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit was an instant hit with runners when originally launched in 2012, but the sneaker gained popularity among hobbyists, collectors and lifestyle sneaker enthusiasts when Nike added the multicolor body stitching. These sneakers are also available to be customized completely to your liking with Nike ID, allowing you to get crazy with patterns, colors and make the Flyknits 100% your own.

Image credit: Sneakernews

Saucony “Green Line” Kinvara 7

It’s no surprise that another pair of sneakers was dedicated in the wake of the attack on the marathon (and it’s not the last pair on our list). This edition comes from Saucony, who chose to model their tribute sneakers on the Boston MBTA “Green Line”, which runs through the heart of the city and is also the oldest subway system in the US. These just launched last month and were available for purchase on the Saucony website.

Image credit: Footwear News

Nike Roshe Run NM “Fleece Pack”

Another incredibly comfortable and functional running sneaker that’s achieved more sales from lifestyle consumers than runners. The ‘fleece’ pack was released in early 2015 for winter time sneaker enthusiasts, featuring a sweat pant like body perfect for the colder months ahead.

Image credit: Hypebeast

Newton Running Fate 2

Newton Running also paid tribute to the Boston Marathon, using a clever play on words. Newton is a small town within the Boston city limits and also (obviously) happens to be the name of the sneaker company. Newton (MA) is also where the Boston Marathon summits, with the infamous “Heartbreak Hill”, which is embodied on the side of the sneaker with a small breaking heart.

Image credit: Newton Running

adidas Ultra Boost Custom

The Ultra Boost has been a top seller for adidas the last few years but has achieved new heights as a lifestyle sneaker. The standard Ultra Boost only comes in a few colorways, but sneaker artist Chris Hui took the basic black and turned it into a one of a kind sneaker, available nowhere.

Image credit: Complex

ASICS Gel-Kayano 18 2011 New York City Marathon Edition

In honor of the New York City Marathon, ASICS launched a special edition sneaker with a hidden surprise. Available in both men’s and women’s, the sneaker maker printed a map of the NYC Marathon race route on the shoe’s insole, making them a nice collector’s item. It’s probably not a good idea to run a marathon in these if you want to keep the insole map intact.

Image credit: A Glam Slam

Nike Cortez “Year of the Horse”

The Cortez is a classic running sneaker from Nike that was really put on the map as the running shoe of Tom Hanks in “Forest Gump”. This special edition is a far cry from the standard white body we’re used to, featuring a new “natural motion” sole and nylon print body.

Image credit: Sneakernews

New Balance Foam Zante v2 Boston

I use the NB Foam Zante as my workout shoe and I can tell you first hand, these are some of the more comfortable shoes on the market. The V2 Boston is a limited edition sneaker with special details for Boston marathon runners, featuring “Boston” scribed into the N on the side of the sneaker and insole of the shoe as well.

Image credit: New Balance

Over to you

I didn’t even come close to scratching the surface on the depth of special edition running sneakers out there. If you have any favorite of your own, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Brooks Launch 2

Men’s Running Shoe

Celebrate Boston and all its greatness with the Brooks Launch 2 Lobster shoe. A cushioned lightweight running shoe, perfect for the road or the track. Brooks has taken everything you loved in the first edition of the Launch, and put it in the newest version along with other great features.

Product Details

Best For:

  • Surface: Road
  • Category: Lightweight neutral running shoe great for speedwork
  • Arch Height: Ideal for medium to high arches

Benefits Include:

  • BioMoGo DNA midsole means adaptive cushioning
  • Full-length Cushsole for plush comfort
  • Segmented crash pad for smooth heel-to-toe transition

Product Details:

  • Weight: 9.8 oz
  • Heel-to-Toe Offset: 10 mm drop

Luck Of The Lobster

Brooks’ tradition of releasing a limited-edition shoe for the Boston Marathon takes its 2018 inspiration from the elusive and–purportedly lucky–blue lobster. Considering Boston’s demanding course, we’ll take all the help we can get!

The limited edition Boston Launch 5 is available for $100 starting today on the Brooks website. Some fun facts about this unique pair of kicks, featured as the “Shoe of the Moment” in our April 2018 issue:

  • The upper design is made up of nautical ropes and anchors, a nod to the city’s seafaring history.
  • Brooks’ motto on the heel gives a nod to the local vernacular–Run Wicked Happy.
  • This shoe is designed for a fast and responsive ride, thanks to the DNA midsole, which features Boston Harbor tidal chart lines.
  • The traditional colors of the Boston Marathon–blue and yellow–are highlighted on this version of the Launch 5 shoe.
  • The mesh upper is light and breathable, perfect for racing.
  • The blue lobster is a rarity, with only about one out of every two million lobsters pulled up in traps being that hue.


Brooks Running Serves Its First Boston-Inspired Shoe In 2015

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9 Photos That Prove Boston’s The Best City For Runners

Type: Running & Casual Wear
Price: $130, Ghost 12 | $120, Ricochet LE

Buy Men’s Buy Women’s

More Images

This past weekend, Brooks teased a frozen treat-inspired limited release as the country was swept in a smothering heatwave. Coinciding with National Ice Cream Month and in celebration of peak summer, the brand is releasing the Melts Collection on July 25th—and we can’t stop salivating.

Rainbow sprinkles, a waffle cone saddle, and ombre laces decorate the women’s Ricochet LE. Courtesy of Brooks

If I drew a pie chart that represented my runner cravings, beer and ice cream would probably be neck and neck for the largest slice. If you’re like me and can’t resist a chocolate shell cloaking vanilla ice cream, or strawberry sugary goodness on a stick—especially after a stifling summer run—then you’ll understand why this marriage of shoe and dessert is extra sweet.

Who knew cookies and cream could look so speedy? Courtesy of Brooks

The women’s Ghost 12, which has Goldilocks softness with a BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft midsole, comes in two colorways: vanilla sprinkle and rainbow sherbet. The guys can choose between a tri-colored red, white, and blue Rocket Pop upper, or an Oreo-black shade with a cookie crumb-speckled midsole. A vanilla sprinkle women’s Ricochet LE is also available. The shoe packs a propulsive punch thanks to DNA Amp, and has a waffle cone-esque saddle.

You can buy the shoes at on July 25. Like ice cream in 99-degree-feels- like-106 heat, these shoes will likely sell out fast.

Courtesy of Brooks brooks Melts Ghost 12 $130.00 Amanda Furrer Test Editor Amanda is a test editor at Runner’s World and was a middle-of-the-pack Emerson College cross country runner; she’s run the Boston Marathon consecutively since 2013.

Brooks launch 2 womens

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