As the premier shoe nerds in the Northwest of Ireland, we have been eagerly anticipating this shoe in RunPod!
Back in Jan/Feb the RunPod team began pretty rigorous testing of the Levitate. With over 1000km of running done in them between us (Mostly Mary) we have some pretty good insights on this shoe.
Brooks have been touting a new cushioning platform called DNA AMP. It’s an energy return cushioning system and like any new hype machine you’ve just got to be skeptical. Especially when the price tag is a whopping €170. It was actually this skepticism that made us do a ton of testing before we took it in to the shop as a product.
Mary – 850k+ of Testing.
I was introduced to the Brooks Levitate early Spring 2018 and what can I say, I really like this shoe.
Although the shoe weighs a little heavier than other shoes in its category, once you have it on your feet, it feels extremely light. The bounciness, the responsiveness, the cushioning and the secure fit outweigh the weight. This is even more true for the newer Levitate 2. Which uses a new lacing and heel counter fit system that just make the shoe feel like it was made for your foot.
I found that the shoe almost propels you forward and allows you to naturally increase pace on runs if that’s what you want or need to do. The upper is super comfortable with very little if any stitching and fits like a glove. It hugs your foot at the midsole. While I found the original Levitate to be a tad tight at the forefoot, the Levitate 2 is just perfect.
It is a very durable shoe with plenty of rubber in the sole, so if training for a half marathon/marathon it is a great shoe. I would even recommend it as a starter shoe as it will last a very longtime. I am tough on footwear, normally I haven’t much of a shoe left after 350 miles, however this is how the levitate looked after 550 miles!
What I like most about the levitate is its durability, but at the same time it’s nice and responsive. It gives back when you hit the ground and you feel light on your feet when clocking up miles. Even the less enjoyable miles I feel it gives your feet and legs more life.
This is my new “go-to” shoe. It responds so well to my pace, fits perfectly, lasts a long time and let’s be honest, the Levitate 2 looks great!
John – 250k Testing.
I definitely haven’t pushed the shoe to it’s limits like Mary has but there are some really cool things I noticed on the original Levitate and the newer Levitate 2.
The first Levitate was one of the nicest fitting shoes I have tried on, until the Levitate 2 came along. The Levitate 2 is using a new lacing system with an elasticated bootie construction for the ankle. They also have a plush heel grip which wraps around the heel. It sounds wishy washy but once the shoe goes on the foot it’s clear what is all about. The rearfoot is locked down, the midfoot is secured beautifully by the stretch knit upper and the forefoot has room to breath. It’s the best combo I’ve seen in a running shoe in a long time.
Both my 5k and 10k Pb’s are in the first Levitate. I am by no means a speed merchant but the shoe definitely feels like its giving back when you start increasing the pace. That DNA AMP is really good at what it does & it doesn’t bottom out or lose it’s cushioning with extended use. The same can be said of it’s new outsole rubber. This stuff lasts and lasts. After 250k my shoes barely have any signs of tread wear.
Finally, the look. These things look so good. I love the design of them and while it’s not a necessity, it’s a welcome change. 2018 has been great year for the Brooks Design team – let’s hope it continues!
The Levitate 2 has just landed and we hoovered it up after testing the Levitate 1. This shoe does what it says on the tin. To be honest, it does more. The fit of the shoe is unparalleled!
These are definitely worth giving a go, or even just trying on. Expect to see these showing up and races around the Northwest soon.