The Levitate 6 is a model that’s been making waves among runners. Known for their commitment to quality and performance, the Brooks’ Levitate series is a beacon of innovation in their lineup, and the Levitate 6 is the newest gem in this crown.
I’ve dug deep into the Brooks Levitate 6 review, analyzing its features, customer feedback, and Brooks’ bold claims. The outcome? A picture that’s as promising as it is intriguing. This shoe goes beyond catering to the casual runner; it’s a rallying cry for marathon enthusiasts and speed aficionados, delivering a dynamic mix of energetic responsiveness, luxurious comfort, and a seamlessly smooth ride.
So, what makes the Levitate 6 stand out in the bustling market of running shoes? More importantly, does it have what it takes to be your faithful companion, mile after mile? Whether you’re gunning for a new PR or simply chasing the sunset, the right pair of sneakers is a game changer. If you’re in the market for a shoe that’s all about energizing your run, the Levitate 6 might just be your next big thing.
But enough of an introduction. Let’s lace up and dive into the nitty-gritty of the Brooks Levitate 6. It’s time to dissect its features and see if it’s worthy of a spot in your shoe arsenal.
Brooks Levitate 6 Full Review
First Impressions & Feel of the Brooks Levitate 6
When you first set eyes on the Brooks Levitate 6, it’s clear that this shoe balances functional design with an aesthetic appeal. It radiates a sense of purposeful performance while maintaining an understated style that’s sure to catch the eye. The fit is just as impressive — embracing your foot comfortably with a snugness that’s reassuring without feeling restrictive. The toe box provides ample room, a critical factor for comfort during those extended runs.
The cushioning is a standout feature. The updated DNA Loft midsole delivers a ride that’s both cloud-like and spirited, perfect for a variety of distances, whether you’re doing a 10K or a marathon. This cushioning is complemented by the shoe’s firm and responsive nature, a factor that seems to divide opinions. Some runners find the firmness to their liking, appreciating the responsive and energetic ride, while others note it as a bit too stiff, affecting their natural foot function and toe-off.
Breathability is another plus. The shoe’s upper construction is designed to keep your feet cool and ventilated, an essential aspect for long and demanding runs. And with a no break-in period required, the Levitate 6 is ready to go right out of the box.
Despite its many positives, the Levitate 6 isn’t without its critics. The shoe’s weight, while offering stability, might be a deterrent for those seeking a lighter option for tempo days. Additionally, those of us with wider feet might still look elsewhere for everyday comfort.
Overall, the Brooks Levitate 6 presents itself as a solid, reliable option for various running scenarios, with a few considerations to keep in mind regarding its firmness and weight. Let’s delve deeper into its features to see if it’s the ideal match for your running needs.
Features of the Brooks Levitate 6
DNA AMP v2 Midsole: The Levitate 6 features Brooks’ DNA AMP v2 foam, which is 10% lighter than its predecessor. This updated midsole not only provides a more comfortable ride with its added 2mm foam but also maintains the shoe’s responsiveness and energy return.
Fit Knit Upper: The upper of the Levitate 6 is designed with a creel mesh, known as the Fit Knit. This material ensures a snug, almost custom fit, often described as a “glass slipper” feel. It’s not only comfortable but also highly breathable.
Improved Outsole Grip: A notable upgrade from its previous version is the outsole’s grip. The rubber formula used in the Levitate 6 provides excellent traction, which is likely to perform well even in wet conditions.
Stable and Quick Transition: The combination of the lower stack height and firmer midsole encourages a quick, smooth transition, assisting in a more efficient stride.
Pros of the Brooks Levitate 6
- Lighter and More Comfortable: Despite the addition of more foam, the shoe remains light and provides a comfortable ride.
- Responsive and Energetic: The DNA AMP v2 foam offers a bouncy, responsive feel, making the runs feel more energetic.
- Breathable Upper: The Fit Knit upper is highly breathable, keeping feet cool and dry.
- Great Grip: Improved outsole grip provides confidence in different running conditions.
- Stable Ride: The shoe’s design promotes a stable and smooth, running experience.
Cons of the Brooks Levitate 6
- Could be Lighter: While it’s lighter than its predecessor, some runners may still find the Levitate 6 a bit heavy, especially for faster runs.
- Firmness and Stiffness: The midsole’s firmness can be a double-edged sword, offering a responsive ride for some but potentially causing discomfort for others.
- Not Ideal for Wide Feet: The shoe’s structure may not accommodate wider feet comfortably, especially over long distances.
- Possible Clunkiness: Some runners might find the shoe’s overall feel a bit clunky, impacting the natural gait cycle and toe-off.
Who Is This Shoe For?
- Neutral runners seeking a daily trainer with a mix of cushioning and responsiveness.
- Those looking for a versatile shoe for various types of runs, including long distances and easy runs.
- Runners who appreciate a shoe with a firm and bouncy ride.
Who Is This Shoe NOT For?
- Runners who prioritize ultra-lightweight shoes for faster, tempo runs.
- Those with wide feet might find the fit too snug, especially during longer runs.
- Runners who prefer a softer, more plush underfoot feel.
Upper Design of the Brooks Levitate 6
The Brooks Levitate 6 sports an upper that’s as functional as it is visually appealing. Here’s a breakdown:
Fit Knit Material: The upper, made from Brooks’ Fit Knit material, is designed for a comfortable, almost bespoke fit. This breathable fabric conforms to the foot, ensuring a snug and secure feel.
Breathable and Comfortable: The creel mesh construction offers excellent breathability, keeping feet cool and comfortable during runs.
Snug and Secure Fit: The integrated design provides a snug fit around the foot, ensuring stability and reducing the risk of slippage.
Aesthetic Appeal: The Levitate 6 has a modern, stylish appearance, making it visually appealing both on the run and casually.
Midsole Design of the Brooks Levitate 6
The midsole is the heart of any running shoe, and the Brooks Levitate 6 has a lot to boast about in this department:
DNA AMP v2 Cushioning: This updated midsole technology offers a lighter, yet responsive cushioning experience, with a notable energy return that enhances the running experience.
Firm and Responsive: While providing a bouncy feel, the midsole is on the firmer side, which may be preferred by some runners for its responsive nature.
Balanced Cushioning: Despite the firmness, the shoe maintains a balanced cushioning, ensuring comfort without compromising on the feedback from the ground.
Outsole Design of the Brooks Levitate 6
The outsole of the Levitate 6 is designed with both durability and performance in mind:
Enhanced Traction: The outsole features a new rubber formula that offers improved grip and traction, suitable for various running conditions.
Durable Construction: Made for longevity, the outsole withstands regular use while maintaining its structural integrity and performance.
Supportive and Flexible: The design allows for natural foot movement, providing both support and flexibility during different phases of the running gait.
Weight and Stack Height of the Brooks Levitate 6
Weight — Men’s: 297 g / Women’s: 269 g
Stack Height — Heel height: 32 mm Forefoot Height: 24 mm Heel-to-Toe Drop — 8 mm
Support of the Brooks Levitate 6
The Levitate 6 is designed to provide support without hindering the natural movement of the foot:
Steady and Supportive: The Levitate 6 offers a kind of support that feels intuitive, especially if you’re a runner with a neutral gait. It’s like the shoe knows what you need and provides it without you even realizing it.
A Lockdown Fit: The upper isn’t just about good looks; it’s about performance too. It holds your foot securely, giving you a sense of confidence with every stride, a feeling that your shoe is a part of you, working with you as you run.
For more on the differences between support and neutral shoes, you can continue reading here.
FAQs about the Brooks Levitate 6
How does the DNA AMP cushioning impact the energy return of the Levitate 6?
The DNA AMP cushioning in the Levitate 6 is specifically engineered to maximize energy return. It does this by absorbing the impact of your footstrike and converting it into responsive energy, giving you a springy, propulsive feeling with each step. This results in a more efficient and energetic run, particularly noticeable during longer distances or when you need that extra burst of energy.
Is the Brooks Levitate 6 suitable for daily training and long-distance running?
Absolutely! The Levitate 6 is designed to be a versatile running shoe, suitable for both daily training and long-distance running. If you’re a daily runner who hits the pavement regularly, you’ll appreciate its durability and consistent performance. Distance runners will love the cushioning that stands up to miles without losing its bounce. Even if you’re someone who mixes up your runs with some speed work, the shoe’s responsive nature can keep up with your pace. However, it’s worth noting that its weight might be a factor for those who prefer ultra-light shoes for faster sessions.
Can I use custom orthotics with the Levitate 6?
Absolutely, the Levitate 6 is all about personalization. The shoe features a removable insole, allowing you to easily insert your custom orthotics. This flexibility is great for runners who need that extra bit of arch support or have specific foot conditions. By accommodating custom orthotics, the Levitate 6 ensures that each runner can tailor the shoe to their unique foot shape and comfort needs, making it a reliable choice for a wide range of runners.
What are the best Brooks Levitate 6 alternatives?
When looking for alternatives to the Brooks Levitate 6, consider shoes that offer a similar blend of high-energy return, comfortable cushioning, and a secure fit. Some notable options include:
* Nike ZoomX Invincible Run: Known for its incredibly plush cushioning and responsive ZoomX foam, it’s great for runners who prioritize comfort and energy return.
* Adidas Ultraboost: Features Adidas’ signature Boost midsole, offering a responsive and cushioned ride, along with a stylish, modern design.
* ASICS Gel-Nimbus: Offers excellent cushioning with its GEL technology and has a comfortable fit, making it a good choice for long-distance runs.
* Hoka One One Clifton: Maximalist cushioning and lightweight design, it’s a favorite among runners who want a plush, protective ride.
* Saucony Triumph: Offers a balanced cushioning experience with its PWRRUN+ foam, providing both comfort and responsiveness.
Each of these alternatives brings its unique features and benefits, so the best choice will depend on your individual running style, preferences, and foot type.
Final Thoughts on the Brooks Levitate 6 Review
The Brooks Levitate combines the practicality of daily training with the spirit of an energetic run. The DNA AMP v2 cushioning is a standout, giving you that extra push when you need it. The upper is a snug embrace, and the outsole ensures you’re grounded and secure, no matter the terrain.
However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of shoe. Its weight and firmness might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially if you’re seeking a featherlight shoe for speed work or prefer a super soft ride. But for those who find their sweet spot in the Levitate 6’s blend of support, responsiveness, and comfort, this shoe might just be the trusty companion you need for those miles ahead.
So, if you’re in the market for a shoe that’s all about amplifying your run with a mix of comfort and energy, the Brooks Levitate 6 is worth lacing up and taking for a spin.