Brooks Launch 9 Review (& GTS): Best Budged Speed Trainer [2023 Guide]

We had a chance to try the Brooks Launch 9 for 10 miles, and would like to share our highlights in this Brooks Launch 9 Review. To begin with, the Launch series of the Brooks are speed trainer. Therefore, as it is expected, the Launch is lightweight, fast, streamlined and highly flexible (Except the forefoot). It is also the best bang for the buck for speed trainer.

Before going into details, there are some important points need to be highlighedt! The Launch is a minimalist & simple speed trainer. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect the best cushioning or springy feeling as it goes against the design intent. In such a case, you should consider Brooks Glycerin (highly cushioned – top comfort) or Brooks Levitate (springy – best for marathons).

Brooks Launch 9 Review: Complete List expert score 88/100
Overall Score

Here is the chart, we’ve put together for a quick summary of Brooks Launch 9 Review:

Review of #Launch 9
Our Score88
Our Selection forBest Budged Speed Trainer
FeelSpeed 1/3
FlexibilityFlexible (4/5)
Drop-mm (M/W)10
Weight-gr (M/W)232/201
Width OptionsNormal/Wide
Deals & DiscountsRates Men’s / Women’s

Related Article: Best Running Shoes for Men & Women

Here is our highlights for Brooks Launch 9 Review:

  • Firm Forefoot but extremely flexible upper
  • Moderate Comfort
  • Lightweight
  • Speed & Short Distance Workouts

So, do we recommend the Brooks Launch 9? The takeaway from this review: Yes, we do recommend it, if you are a beginner. However, the experienced runners should look somewhere else! Why? We tried to explain the reasons as much as we can in this post, keep reading (3-5 min)!

Long Story Short Brooks Launch 9 Review

Brooks Launch 9 is lightweight and great for speedwork
Overall Score
What we liked the most
Surprisingly flexible
Best budged speed trainer – Great Value
Well-fitting upper, hugs the feet
Highly breathable upper
No heel slipping
What we don’t like
A bit narrow and fitting of tongue is not the best
Lacks spring
Not for slick surfaces

Weight (gr): 232 – Men’s / 201 – Women’s, Heel to Toe Drop (mm): 10

Not for an experienced runner, but for a beginner the Launch 9 is the best bang for the buck with its offerings. This speed trainer is highly durable and fairly cushioned and lightweight. The forefoot is rigid to speed up; the rest of the shoe including the upper is surprisingly flexible.

Brooks Launch has also GTS version which is more stable and supportive

As well as the other Brooks Running Shoes, the Launch 9 has also GTS (Go-To-Support) version.  This version of the Brooks Launch is more supportive and stable. The look is the same, but the Launch GTS 8 has additional mid-foot support band compared to the standard Launch 9. It is good to note that here; the Revanna has been replaced by the Launch GTS 9 in Brooks’ production line.

The Sole Review

The Launch is not springy or energized due to its design intent. Therefore, the entire midsole of Launch 9 included BioMoGo foam which is denser and firm a bit compared to the standard DNA Foam. This midsole is the key for the flexibility, but it lacks bounce or springy experience as it expected from a speed trainer. Briefly, it gives traditional ride.

Traction of Launch 9 is great

The outsole of the launch 9 has lots of softer blown rubbers which is highly durable. We did not experience any wear or tear after 10 miles. In addition, it looks the pads works very well to improve its flexibility.

The forefoot is supported with additional rubber for a smoother transition. But, it is fairly rigid.

The traction is fine, its grip is consistent on the pavement but not for slick surfaces.

The Upper Unit Review

The upper is made of thin Air Mesh, which is highly comfortable and breathable. Its breathability is better than the past model of the Launch. The Air Mesh is not very stretchy but pliable and soft. Also, it provides a decent hold and incredibely flexible.

Updated Air Mesh of Brooks Launch

We think that the Launch has less padding in the ankle and the tongue due to performance considerations.

About the tongue, it is thin and it tends to slip off to the lateral side. But it is not a deal breaker at all.

The Fit

The fit is great in overall, but there is a point to highlight. The mid-foot was a bit wide and it was causing some slippage. Therefore, it could work well for wider feet. Apart from this, it hugs foot great and there is enough room for toe splay.

Men’s Launch 9

Men's Launch 9

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Women’s Launch 9

Women's Launch 9

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The heel collar of Launch 9 is a bit firm and holds the heel well in place. It is lightly padded and rigid and we did not have any heel slippage.

Launch 9 has a heel which is elf-like and tall, and it is easy to slide your foot into

The shape of heel is elf-like and tall, it is easy to slide your foot into. The previous version, Launch 8, was having this feature as well.

Brooks Launch 8 vs 9

Brooks Launch 9 vs 8: Key differences between the new and old version

Here is the full list of key points of Brooks Launch 8 vs 9 comparison:

  • The new Brooks Launch 9 has additional 2mm stack height which makes it more cushioned in comparison to the Launch 8.
  • The Launch 9 has new Creel wrap upper which makes it lighter than the Launch 8.
  • The Launch 9 is slightly more expensive than the Launch 8 by $10.
  • Both 8th and the 9th versions has the GTS option. It stands for “Go to Support” which is more stable version of the standard model. So, the Launch 9 has also a GTS option for runners who need extra support and stability.

Brooks Launch vs Ghost

Brooks Ghost vs Launch

The Brooks presents their running shoes in three different categories: They have cushion, speedy and energize running shoes models. In this case, the Brooks Ghost is a cushioned trainer; it is highly comfortable but heavy and more suitable for slow paced long runs. On the other hand, the Brooks Launch is a speed trainer which is firm on the forefoot but flexible on the rest of the shoe. It is not as plush as the Ghost, but the cushioning is fairly enough and works very well for speed workouts. We have prepared a detailed review for “Brooks Launch vs Ghost”, if you need to read more on this topic. Or if you need a detailed analysis for the Ghost Running Shoe than you can checkout this related article: “Brooks Ghost Review

Bottom line for Brooks Launch 9 Review

Here is the final question to be answered! Do we recommend the Brooks Launch 9, or not? Our verdict for Brooks Launch 9 Review is that we recommend this pair for the beginners since this running shoes are the best bang for the buck for a speed trainer.

The Brooks Launch 9 is a speed trainer without a high price tag. It is not the most modern speed trainer out there. If you are looking for a super modern technology, we would like to highlight the Hyperion Elite 2 and Hyperion Tempo.

Also, you shouldn’t expect high cushioning or springy feeling as it goes against the design intent. In such a case, you should consider Brooks Glycerin (highly cushioned – top comfort) or Brooks Levitate (springy – best for marathons).

All in all, we enjoyed its versatility a lot and its flexibility surprised us.

Check out the following video for more about Brooks Launch Running Shoes: