The Launch models are lightweight daily trainers that offer enough cushioning for regular use, but are also light and nimble enough for faster-paced running.
They are good-value shoes and have the same high-quality construction that you’d expect from Brooks.
Heavier runners may find the shoes to be great race-day options thanks to the combination of their lightweight, cushioning, and more minimalist construction.
With a neutral option, the Launch, and a support version, the Launch GTS these shoes are some of the most versatile shoes around.
Brooks Launch 9 – First Impression
Whilst many may dismiss such a simple shoe as the Launch, on closer inspection, it provides a versatile option for many runners.
With neutral and support versions available, Brooks has created a shoe that with just slight modifications can cater to a wide range of runners. Perhaps this is how they manage to keep the price very reasonable.
Brooks also uses cushioning previously seen in the Ghost and Adrenaline models.
BioMoGo DNA cushioning is a midsole foam that offers a good amount of cushioning but remains light enough to feel good when you pick up the pace.
If this day and age of super foams, the BioMoGo DNA cushioning is a very well-priced solution for those wanting a versatile running shoe.
Both models feel light, and the GTS version offers a good level of support for over-pronators. In lightweight models, the Launch GTS is one of the more supportive options on the market.
The overall construction of the shoe is exactly what we’d expect from Brooks, who can’t be faulted on the build quality of any of their range.
Brooks Launch 9 – The Tech
The midsole of both the Launch and Launch GTS is made of the brands’ BioMoGo DNA foam. It’s a light and responsive material, and there’s 2 mm more in this version than the previous model.
The shoe’s outsole provides plenty of coverage, so durability isn’t a concern. It’s Green Rubber made using Silica instead of Petroleum so is a more sustainable option too.
The upper features a Creel Warp mesh. A unique design for durability, breathability, and lightweight.
With the Launch being a neutral model, the GTS version features additional guide rails. These parts of the midsole extend on both the lateral and medial sides of the shoe to cradle the heel.
Working like the guide rails at a bowling alley, shoe your foot roll from side to side, the rails help to keep it under control and in a more neutral position.
Brooks Launch 9 – Road Test
Pulling on the Launch GTS 9 for the first time felt rather familiar.
I’ve worn the Launch previously except, in the previous version I’d tried, a GTS option wasn’t available. Normally opting for a support-type shoe, the GTS was a natural choice.
The upper is a nice, neat fit, typical of Brooks. The heel collar lining and how the heel tab gently rolls away from the Achilles helps the foot slide in smoothly, almost welcoming you on board.
The engineered mesh construction of the upper is a simple, straightforward design but fits well and has neat breathable perforations worked into the forefoot design.
My first run was an easy 4-mile recovery day run with strides. I like to incorporate strides into an easy day once a week, simply to turn my legs over a little and help maintain good running form at speed.
Running easy in the shoes (around 8 min per mile pace) felt fine, they are a no-nonsense shoe and with the support of the guide rails they felt like they were holding my foot effectively.
When picking up the pace the shoe feels a little happier, it’s by no means a super-shoe to compete with those with carbon plates and hi-tech foams but at this price, it’s a very reasonable performer.
Brooks Launch 9 – Conclusion
Given its price, this is one of the best-value shoes on the market. With neutral and support options, it’s available to any type of runner.
The lightweight and mild performance feel of the shoe makes it one which you’d be able to use as a weekly tempo pace show without the high cost of super shoes.
Heavier runners may also find the shoe a perfectly capable racing shoe, given it has a much more stable feel than those with new PBAX-type materials.
The GTS version of the shoe provides enough support for mild over-pronators and again, given the low price point is a great option.
In conclusion, Brooks has been pretty clever with the Launch 9 and GTS shoes. They have kept their production line costs down and managed to cater for a wide range of runners. There are several colour options available too, widening its appeal even further.
A great value, good performing shoe.