For the past month or so, I’ve been testing a pair of the brand new Brooks Levitate running shoes for regular easy runs between 3 to 7 miles. (I normally go longer on my long runs, but I’ve been getting over hamstring and Achilles tendon strains from an Ultimate game a few weeks ago.)
The Levitate’s big selling point is that it is one of these “energy returning” shoes; basically, the super springy pad on the bottom pushes off the ground for you.
First of all, in terms of quality of construction, this shoe continues what I’ve come to expect from Brooks. There’s enough material in the upper part of the shoe that it doesn’t feel flimsy, but it’s soft and pliable. Sometimes I’ve had shoes that have irritated the top of my foot because they are too tight when laced. That has not at all been an issue with these shoes. The toebox is roomy and the fit runs true to size.
Now, as to the “energy return”: I have to say, I didn’t particularly notice much difference between the Levitate and the previous pair of general (i.e., non-racing) shoes that I wore. But in Brooks’ favor, the previous pair of shoes were Brooks Glycerins, which are fantastic shoes and my favorite among the many different models that I’ve cycled through for easy running. My impression is that the Levitate feels a slight bit less cushioned than the Glycerin, although the specs show that the Glycerin weighs slightly less. In car terms, the Levitate has a tighter suspension. Although I think I personally prefer the Glycerin, this is a great addition to the product line as it gives another option for those who want a harder feel underneath the shoe.
11.2oz / 317.5g
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