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Run Oregon is Kickin’ It in the new Brooks Levitate 2 (Release August 2018)

One of our favorite shoes this past 12 months was the Brooks Levitate (released September 2017), which we reviewed here and here. They featured a new DNA AMP midsole, which was described as:

The groundbreaking DNA AMP midsole material captures the energy you generate with every foot strike – and returns it right back to you…DNA AMP was created, in partnership with chemistry giant BASF, to be the perfect blend of our legendary cushion and incredible energy return. Using a polyurethane foam, wrapped in a TPU skin, it captures the energy created by each foot strike and gives it no place to go but up – straight back to you.

Though I continually rotate through my shoes, these have been by go-to road option. So when Brooks announced the release of their Levitate 2‘s this upcoming August, I knew I had to get my hands on, and feet in, a pair.

These shoes take what I loved about the original – specifically the DNA AMP technology showcased above – and adds to it. These continue to have the nice transfer of power from your transfer of momentum into the shoe and back. They created a “flexible, arrow-point pattern on the outsole to help you move from heel to toe quickly, without losing energy”. The most significant modification is the removal of the thick collar from the original (which I thought may drive me crazy, but ended up not even really noticing), and changing the outer to a knit construction complete with a heel collar wrap and Achilles Guard (soft foam wrapped in faux-suede).

After putting in about 75+ miles on these, I am still really loving these. The Levitates seem to provide this nice middle ground of road feel – not too much, but not too little either. I expect to get another 350-500 miles on these with ease. There is some slight wear, but this isn’t anything new with me and it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary.

The biggest drawback I can see from most people is the weight. At over 11 ounces, these definitely aren’t for everyone and may not be your ideal racing shoe. To be honest, being a larger and heavier runner, I don’t mind shoes with a little heft to them, if it means my feet stay supported and comfortable along the way. It also felt a little narrower than it’s predecessor – not really an issue for me , but could be for those with wider feet. I have noticed some testers stating that the fit in the heel counter was mildly an issue, but I never found it to bother me.

Overall, these are a beautiful shoe (that gets a lot of compliments) and makes some nice upgrades to the original. While the midsole feel is the same, if you are a Levitate lover this may take a run or two to get fully acclimated to the changes. After that though, watch out as you burn through the miles.

Shoe: Brooks Levitate 2
Category: Neutral
Weight: 11.2 oz (for M Size 9)
Heel Drop: 8mm
Cost: $150
Release: August 2018

Specs (from Brooks):

  • Brooks’ most responsive midsole, DNA AMP, does more than cushion. It controls, captures, and returns your energy to help fuel your run.
  • Your energy reserves aren’t unlimited. So our engineers stepped in to create a flexible, arrow-point pattern on the outsole to help you move from heel to toe quickly, without losing energy.
  • Comfort goes stealth mode inside the sleek, adaptable Fit Knit upper. Hidden features include a heel wrap and an ultra-soft heel tab to shield your Achilles from irritation.

 

Thank you to Brooks for providing us with a sample pair. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews. 

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About Matt Rasmussen (1250 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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