The Levitate is something new from Brooks and they tag them as a shoe designed for runners looking for a springy and responsive ride. In general, it is great that Brooks is branching out and adding to their lineup because they have shoes that have been around for 18 generations. It speaks to innovation and to trying something new.
The upper is all knit and is super breathable and oh so comfortable. It struggles a bit with the pointy toe syndrome, but there is so much give in the material you hardly notice it. The upper sits like a second skin against your foot and gives where you need it to.
The Levitate uses Brook’s DNA AMP technology which is supposed to supply the most energy return of any shoe on the market. This is made of polyurethane which adds to the weight, but should give you a nice bounce during run.
The outsole features a custom arrow pattern and is very flexible, but it does use a lot more rubber than many shoes and instead of placing it at key contact points, the entire outsole essentially is a contact point. This can add to the weight, but you do get significant traction and for heel strikers, the flex does help with transition. The Levitate also uses a segmented crash pad which also encourages heel-to-toe movement as well.
Style & Aesthetics
The Brooks Levitate comes in 5 colors for both men and women and there is a decent mix to the offering. Most of the colors available are either single palette a bit muted so they definitely aren’t in your face at all. Visually, it has a really nice profile.
The reviews on the Levitate are a little split to say the least. They are super comfortable when you put them on there is no question and if there were more shoes that felt this good between the upper material and the mid comfort, the world would be a better place. However, as a road running shoe they are very heavy. We were reviewing the Transcend 5 at the same time which is a support shoe and yet weighs half an ounce less and those even seem heavy. Brooks shoes are never the lightest though (these are one of the heaviest though) so we moved passed this and focused on the run itself.
In run, they do exactly what you expect… bounce and this can be a really great thing. You get quite a bit of energy return and these things on auto-pilot and go for quite a while. Here is why we were split because while they performed admirably, they still felt too heavy underfoot to pace well. Most reviewers saw times go up when using these, but they could tackle distance better at slower paces. So it very much became a personal trade-off.
We love the shoe overall here and they do fit really well, BUT they are way too heavy. The Levitate could stand to lose about 2 to 3 ounces and to do this we would reduce the amount of rubber used on the outsole in favor of placing it at strategic points. Additionally, given the material in the upper it is clear something funky is going on in the mid. We have seen many shoes with higher stack heights that come in much lower weights. However, if you are a slower pacer or on the heavier side, then these will provide ample support and cushion for you.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 11.2oz (size 9)
- Drop: 8mm heel/toe
- Type: Neutral Road
- Stack Height: 18mm/26mm
- MSRP: $150.00
- Available: Now