Run Oregon’s first impressions of the new Brooks Levitate StealthFit GTS 5 (releasing Fall 2021)

It was sometime during the pandemic that I opted to stop wearing “real pants.” Joggers or running pants were the only options for my comfort level and if I could live in slippers too, I was going to try. Well, slippers would make the long miles a bit too challenging, but Brooks made something that felt pretty close. The Levitate StealthFit GTS 5 just might just be the most comfortable running shoes in my growing collection yet. Brooks for the win yet again!

A few years ago, the trend with knit sock-like shoes took hold in many closets. I personally loved having access to a quick shoe pull-on without having to untie the laces. However, I wasn’t sure if I could actually run in shoes like this – they just seemed a bit too minimal for a double digit weekend run.

Brooks has you covered. The holistic GuideRails support system in these shoes will help align your knees and feet to work together.  The system uses your natural motion to support you while also limiting excess movement. In addition to this, the StealthFit construction is super springy thanks to the DNA AMP midsole technology. This results in a high energy return from shoes that feel amazing with every step.

The StealthFit GTS 5 has a new and improved construction with a closer-to-foot fit with ample stretch and compression, so they really do glide with your foot. Also, the breathability factor is off the charts, which is something I really appreciate this time of year when it’s still pretty warm out and my feet sweat more.

I wore the shoes for the first time to the gym and I had them on for 8 hours. My feet never got hot and uncomfortable and I never felt tired on my feet. Typically, my feet swell a lot the longer I keep my shoes on, but the unique design of the knit upper and sides meant great expansion on my feet, especially on the forefoot where I sometimes need a wider shoe. Despite the fact that these shoes seemed really relaxed through the knit areas, there was also some great security in the heel cup, so I felt completely supported.

The first time I wore the shoes for running, I noticed that the Levitate was not quite as cushy as some of the other Brooks shoes, like my favorites, the Glycerins. Some runners don’t like a lot of that cush because it can weigh your feet down, but I have appreciation for shoes of both types. The Levitates immediately felt light on my feet as soon as I picked up my stride, which I enjoyed very much.

I don’t know for sure yet if these would be my pick for a marathon distance, but I think they would work great for a half marathon or less milage. I see these shoes as a good every day runner. I also think these shoes would be great for cross-training and for days where you’ll be on your feet a lot. They are really comfy and as a trainer and running coach, not to mention being a mom to two active boys who never want to let me slow down, I will certainly be getting some use in these even on days I don’t need them to run in.

Brooks has done a great job creating many different kinds of shoes for different kinds of runners. It’s hard to do so, with so many different gaits, body types, milage goals, and many other factors. Brooks tries to take everyone into account when designing shoes because they really do want people to Run Happy.

Company:

Products & Price:

  • Brooks Levitate StealthFit GTS 5 ($150) – Coming this Fall!!

Specs (from website):

  • Refined Fit Knit upper delivers more seamless structure and breathability
  • Integrated tongue streamlines the fit
  • Midsole Drop: 8mm
  • Weight: 9.2 oz (women) and 10.3 oz (men)

More about Brooks:

We live by the following:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 listening.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 a sample pair. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Nikki Mueller (604 Articles)
I'm the owner of Healthy Girl Fitness and I'm a personal trainer, certified AFAA group exercise instructor, and an RRCA certified running coach in SW Portland. I am also the mother of two young boys and am on the board at my youngest son's school. I led a relatively inactive life throughout my 20's until I discovered the world of fitness and running. I ran my first marathon in 2006 and haven't looked back since.
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