The Brooks Launch 7’s have been around for a few months now, but now this budget-friendly shoe has a sweet looking Limited Edition look just in time for the 4th of July. But you have to act fast or you may lose your chance.
We don’t typically start our shoe reviews with an ogling of the visuals, but this tends to take center stage when Limited Edition releases are in order. Eric, one of our bloggers, told me last week that he is a sucker for Limited Edition shoes, and that, while they can sometimes be a focal point for a specific period of time (say, a green shamrock shoe during the month of March), he doesn’t regret his purchases. And I would tend to agree with him – wearing holiday-themed footwear may make the most sense around that holiday – they are still a fun investment year round.
This Run USA version of the Brooks 7 is absolutely fun in my opinion. I know many people don’t care for white shoes (we do live in a rainy area after all), I think they can be different and exciting. I really liked the combo of simplicity with what are essentially two different ancillary color schemes – red and blue.
On the left shoe:
- Red laces (with blue aglets)
- Red Brooks logos with stars
- Red heel collar
- Red sole
- Blue fabric stripe on tongue
- Blue midsole
On the right shoe:
- Blue laces (with red aglets)
- Blue Brooks logos with stripes
- Blue heel collar
- Blue sole
- Red fabric stripe on tongue
- Red midsole
Essentially, these shoes are the mirror images of other – at least colorwise. They are flashy and fun, but still mainstream and sleek. Then, you can even add in some more flair when you are wearing these outside, as it features a UV-activated Brooks logo that changes colors in the sun.
If you are familiar with the Brooks Launch line, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of structural changes with the 7. The main alteration seems to be a modification to the upper with a mesh styling that keeps the shoe lighter and creates a really great ready-to-run-right-out-of-the-box feel. I have heard them described as being a balance between some other of Brooks other shoes (Hyperion and Ghost) – a lighter weight trainer with less-cushioning that can also double as a race shoe.
This is personally my first go with the Launch series, so I will talk about it from a “novice” perspective. However, much like many of our bloggers and wear-testers, I have been running a lot during this time of living history. I was lucky enough to have a treadmill in my garage when stay-at-home recommendations started, but know that I would have invested in one had I not. While I am not a treadmill running enthusiast, it was imperative with three young kids at home all…the…time to have, at least for a little bit, an escape to feel that I am being accomplished and not solely succumbing to “what day is it again?” boredom. So, my running streak for 2020 continues and, while I don’t get outside to run as much as I used to (every day), my overall miles remain pretty solid (~30 miles/week).
I will preface my review by saying that I have pretty forgiving feet when it comes to running shoes. Basically, I don’t have many issues or problems with transitioning between companies and models. In my 8+ years of writing for Run Oregon, I can only think of a couple shoes that I had to give up on because they didn’t end up agreeing with me in the long term. But other than that, most work out quite well for me.
On first wear, my feet slipped in quite easily and nicely. They felt snug in the shoe with the single-layer mesh upper hugging it in place, yet still not being restrictive. I did notice the tongue sat a little lower than on some of my other shoes. It is also not overly thick or padded (like some tongues are), so there may be risk of it moving around a bit with some runners, depending on your foot shape. I personally never really noticed or second guessed the tongue construction during my runs, but know this has been some of the feedback around the interwebz.
I also noticed that, compared to other shoes I have been testing lately, it fit a lot narrower and definitely veers towards those with a slimmer foot profile. I, again, had no issues with this, but I know some of our bloggers who must have wider shoes would not have been appropriate for the Launch 7. Even though it is more narrow, the toe box did not feel cramped and I could wiggle my toes freely.
Much like Hazy IPA’s in the beer world, the running shoe landscape seems to have an affinity towards the production and promotion of products to meet a new, likely long-staying, trend. In the shoe world meaning more cushioning and “plushness” to running shoes. While there is a place for this, not everyone loves not being able to feel the road under their feet. And sometimes the addition of said cushioning comes with additional weight and bulk – again not something everyone wants or loves.
I feel the Launch 7 falls more on the rigid, road-feeling side than on the other extreme. Even during my first wear, I immediately noticed that the midsole was more stiff than the other shoes I currently have in my garage. I didn’t find it uncomfortable, but is absolutely more firm than many others on the market. That’s not to say it still isn’t cushioned, I just didn’t find it to be a “springy” or “bouncy” shoe construction (as, say, the Brooks Levitate is). I have put a few dozen miles on this shoe and it has remained this way – so I would expect it to remain this way. It’s not necessarily a bad thing (it works just fine for me), but if you want or need something softer and more cushioned – I am not sure this is going to be your favorite.
Even though it may be a mental struggle to wear this specific Limited Edition coloring out in the rain, I found that the grip on the bottom holds up really well in wetter conditions. Late May/Early June was a pretty wet time overall, and during some of my outdoor runs, I found no issues with taking corners on pavement. These also come in at a very affordable price – $100 – as far as the cost of new running shoes goes. I would guess from their construction, with lots of rubber, that these should be durable and you will stretch that C-note even further.
Brooks motto is Run Happy, and I agree that this is an understated phrase that is really imperative right now. From the looks to the construction, the Launch 7’s have done just that with me. These shoes, for the most part, have made me happy and I look forward to continuing to put miles in them even after the holiday.
Products & Price:
- Launch 7 ($100)
Specs (from website):
- Support: Nuetral
- Midsole Drop: 10mm
- Weight: 8 oz (women) 9 oz (men)
More about Brooks:
We live by the following:
- Running is a gift. Run happy. Every day with a run is better. Every run brings you closer to your best self. And you end every run in a better place than you started.
- We do one thing: build great running gear. When you focus on what you do best, you do it better. Our goal is to make each run better than the last. This guides every engineering choice we make.
- We’re obsessed with the body in motion. We engineer our gear in the lab, but we bring it to life on the unique, real-world humans who will wear it. This is the result of tireless biomechanical research with runners of every size, strength and experience. But most of all, it’s the result of
- We sweat every detail. Our process is simple: create solutions for runners, test them over miles, assess feedback and repeat. Every groove in the soles of your shoes, every inch of fabric in your gear and every single stitch has a reason to exist. If it doesn’t improve your run, you won’t see it in our gear.
- The planet is our home. More than 100 million people run outside, so it’s critical we care for the world we share. That means working to minimize our environmental impact, creating positive social impact, and being transparent about areas where we can do better. All the while, we give back and lift causes that get people moving.
- We’re runners, too. This is as much for us as it is for you. Our offices have locker rooms. We run at lunch. In between meetings. Pretty much anytime we can. Put simply, we make the best running gear on the planet because we want to go running in it.
Thank you to Brooks for providing us with samples. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.