The upper of the Levitate 3 is made with an engineered knit fabric, with a denser and more compact texture on the lateral areas to ensure the seal, and a perforated area above the toes to improve ventilation.
The fabric is breathable, although to the touch the first sensation is that of a warm fabric, such as a winter sweater.
The type of construction of this fabric allows to have a sock upper structure, so much so that the collar looks just like a short sock.
The padding under the edge and in the back ensure correct pressure on the foot and protect the tendon from contact with the rigid shell that structures the heel counter.
The fit of the Levitate 3 is comfortable, but not in the sense of the level of pleasure offered by the Ghost and Glycerin models. It is a “total” fit in the sense that every inch of it adheres to the foot, looking like a second skin.
It is a snug fit, it leads you to have a performing attitude: you immediately feel you are wearing a shoe that binds with your foot, dynamic, ready to launch.
But the Levitate 3 is not just a performance running shoe, as I got to discover.
The Brooks Levitate 3 midsole is equipped with the DNA AMP material, a polyurethane foam which, by expanding, returns the energy impressed in the compression, at the same moment in which the force of the impact is discharged, thus also optimizing that of the thrust.
It is a very flexible and elastic material.
A material that does not have a “bouncing” behavior, as much as an “energizing” capacity that supports the propulsion of the thrust.
This happens because the polyurethane foam is inserted in a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) film, which resists all expansion – and dispersion – horizontally, and returns the energy connected to the step, in a “vertical” direction.
And it is precisely this energizing capacity that makes it seem light that, beyond the contained volumes, objectively is a heavy shoe!
The sole of the Brooks Levitate 3 is divided into several pads, divided by the grooves on the midsole, which has improved flexibility during the step.
Here too it is present in the area under the height of the sole and the midsole are “divided” into two separate components that offer to balance the natural pronation of the step from the moment of impact, which rotates from the first impact on the external side to the load on the internal medial part.
Starting to run with the Brooks Levitate 3 you can perceive the ease of step development, with an impact phase that is amortized very well, imperceptibly, and a push phase that is immediately re-launched. You don’t feel your foot fall to the ground, sink into the rubber, and you don’t even feel the roll!
Despite the drop of 8mm, during the race, at any speed, it does not seem at all to rest on the heel, as to rest with the meso-foot area. And it is a flat support, more than neutral.
A very “firm” medial support: although the midsole is flexible and has a good torsional ability, the medial area is very stable during the step.
Another very particular behavior is offered by the dynamics of the step in the front area: walking, or standing still, getting up on the toes, the load of the toes against the midsole is well perceived, or rather, it almost seems to lean directly against the ground . And it comes to mind that during the race this load on the front area can be a fatiguing job for the foot, especially for the phalanges of the big toe. Yet, during the race, it does not even seem to touch the ground with the front area! Or rather, the moment you jump, to the moments when you make changes of rhythm, and then you give the initial push to pick up speed, you can feel your toes sinking to the ground and making strength. But once in speed, when you have taken a steady pace, it almost seems to go by inertia, without any foot work!
This type of going takes place even at very low speeds: after several consecutive days of exits of at least 20km, I happened to take the Levitate 3 for about ten km of “relaxation” and see how they behaved. And indeed, I thought it well to go even slower, and proceed at a rate of 6’30 ″ / km, a very slow pace, he
it also makes you want to run! And instead I was able to proceed with a light little step, “pawing”, slowly, without feeling heavy, clumsy. And without feeling the weight on my knees: because of my menisci, I prefer to run 10km fast, in which the step does not load the weight on my knees; than to run 1km at speeds above 6 ‘/ km, which to go slowly the weight of the body falls to the ground more than forward … Yet, this shoe, which is not equipped with a soft support like the Glycerin, and which does not have the smooth and effective rolling of the Ghosts, allowed me to go very slowly in a pleasant way like I can’t with the others.
The Brooks Levitate 3 is a shoe that inspires fast running over short and medium distances, and manages to bring well-structured and light runners to long distances at a good pace. Also suitable for slow gaits, but if you carry with a light step, not the tired one of an overweight runner.
Drop 8mm (26mm at the heel, 18 at the forefoot)
Weight 328.9g / 292gr for women