Brooks and Saucony are some of the most comfortable and reliable running shoe brands on the market. In fact, there is often a bit of a comparison battle between Saucony and Brooks because they make some pretty similar shoes to fit their lineups.
Anyway, you are here to see which affordable and low profile daily trainer would be best for you, so let’s get stuck in.
Brooks and Saucony are both known for their reliable shoes, and they both happen to be popular for their affordable and reliable daily trainers. These shoes are the Brooks Launch and the Saucony Kinvara.
Brooks Launch vs. Saucony Kinvara
To cut to the chase, my choice is the Brooks Launch. From cushioning to stability, it is a better choice than the Kinvara.
Both of these shoes have a rich history as a “do-it-all” lightweight daily trainer that can even double as a workout, or even racing shoe.
They each offer an economical option for those seeking a reliable trainer that won’t break the bank, but which one is better for you?
This article gives information on these two shoes Brooks Launch vs Saucony Kinvara, pros/cons, and compare and contrast between the two - Brooks Launch 8 vs Saucony Kinvara 12.
If you would like to look at alternatives to the Kinvara, here is my list.
Brooks Launch 8 Review:
Know for its lightweight and reliable simplicity, the Brooks Launch 8 offers an economical daily training option for those who enjoy a lower profile package that nearly disappears under your foot.
Brooks created this shoe and a workout option to complement its beefier trainers like the Brooks Ghost and Glycerin, but it really does stand as a solid daily training option on its own.
Featuring Brook’s BioMoGo DNA, this shoe fuses BioMoGo midsole and DNA cushioning technology for a fully custom responsive ride that adapts to the needs of each and every runner.
To finish off the midsole, there is a Midfoot Transition Zone to promote a fast foot transition. This snappier feel will be great for those who like to feel fast even on daily training and long runs.
To help with durability, the outsole is equipped with Brooks HPR Plus, which is a high abrasion-resistant rubber for long-lasting, durable traction. This is good for wet surfaces and tighter turns, so you can feel secure in those less stable areas.
Brooks also strategically places some Blown Rubber in the forefoot to offer further durability and flexibility in an area they expect your food to spend a lot of time.
To top the Brooks Launch 8 off, they implement an Engineered Knit upper to create a comfortable, breathable wrap over your foot. Finally, there is an Internal Bootie that offers additional comfort and a sock-like fit.
Saucony Kinvara 12 Review:
Known to many as a versatile “do-it-all” shoe, the Saucony Kinvara 12 makes its mark as a low drop, lightweight trainer that you can use to train for and then race a marathon in.
Read my full review on the Kinvara 12 here.
This newest model comes equipped with a reimagined midsole design to improve the ride and make sure nothing gets in the way between you and your goals.
Providing layers and layers of comfort, Saucony starts with the PWRRUN+ on the top of the midsole (topsole) to provide a lightweight and springy underfoot feel. This will keep the bottom of your foot feeling good for many miles and act as a buffer between your foot and the rest of the midsole foam.
Next, Saucony implements its PWRRUN as the primary midsole material used for lightweight comfort, rebound, and durability. This will get you that energy return you’re looking for in workouts, but will also give you some cushion to feel protected on daily runs.
This is all packaged in Saucony’s FORMFIT midsole design, which allows your foot to sit inside the midsole for a more efficient stride.
To protect this midsole, Saucony includes Strategic Rubber placement in the forefoot, and the heel to offer added durability in these high wear areas.
To further enhance flexibility, there is also a Tri-Flex design to help increase the flexibility and adaptability of the shoe.
Keeping things simple, Saucony tops the shoe off with an Engineered Jacquard mesh for the upper, which is updated to flex more naturally with the foot while providing lightweight breathability.
Full Evaluation - Brooks Launch 8 vs Saucony Kinvara 12:
Uppers: Brooks Launch 8 vs Saucony Kinvara 12:
Although both uppers are simple and sleek, there are some key differences worth noting. Both will be durable enough to get you through those workouts and daily training runs, but there are some things that are worth considering while choosing between Brooks Launch 8 and Saucony Kinvara 12.
The fit will probably feel a little more comfortable in the Kinvara as compared to the Launch. Saucony really has their uppers dialed in when it comes to fit, and the Kinvara 12 is no exception.
It will wrap around and secure your foot well without and hot spots or a break-in period. The interior lining is soft, but you won’t be slipping around in there.
The Brooks Launch will still feel comfortable and lock your foot down, but there may be a small break-in period before you feel the real comfort. That Internal Bootie will lock your foot down just fine, but there may be some fit issues in the toe box if you have a wider foot. The Launch 8 runs a little narrow, so be aware of that.
Overall both uppers are simple and solid. They provide an excellent lockdown and the lacing systems are smooth as well.
The only real problem you should anticipate is the narrower tow box in the Brooks Launch 8, but if that doesn’t sound like it would be a problem for you, then no need to worry. Both shoes will keep you comfortable for many miles
Sole Unit: Brooks Launch 8 vs Saucony Kinvara 12:
Coming from different shoe brands, there will inevitably be some difference in the sole units of the shoe. These will be particularly noticeable in the midsole areas, as they are the place your foot will step into over and over and over again.
That being said, although these shoes are made from different materials, the general feel underfoot will feel pretty similar, with some key difference to take note of.
The Saucony Kinvara 12 and Brooks Launch 8 both have a responsive midsole that will give you a snappy transition from heel-to-toe off, they will both feel firm and lack a real “soft” feeling underfoot, but that is not really the selling point for these shoes anyway.
If you are seeking a firmer and responsive feel, then both of these shoes will accomplish that for you.
The primary difference to note between these shoes is the heel-to-toe drop. The Brooks Launch 8 has a stack height of 26mm (Heel), 16mm (Forefoot), which is a 10mm drop.
This will give your foot and achilles a little extra support if you need it. Because the shoe is a little more low profile, it probably won’t “feel” like a 10mm drop though.
The Saucony Kinvara 12 has a stack height of 25mm (Heel), 21mm (Forefoot), which is only a 4mm drop. This will get you closer to a “natural” running feel, but it will mean less support for your foot and achilles, if this has never been an issue for you, then you are probably fine.
However, if you have only ever used shoes with a higher drop (8-12mm), then you should make sure to ease into your training with this shoe so your body has time to adjust and adapt.
Both midsoles are responsive and provide solid energy return for your daily training, workouts, and long runs. The only real deal-breaker between them is the drop, so make sure you are aware of the effects the drop will have depending on the shoe you choose and you will be just fine!
Brooks Launch vs. Saucony Kinvara Verdict
Ultimately, Brooks Launch vs Saucony Kinvara both will give you a really great value considering their price points. They should both get you plenty of miles (400-500 miles) and serve as excellent “do-it-all” shoes that can handle any sort of run.
The uppers and midsoles are pretty standard, but again make sure that the narrower toe box fit in the Brooks Launch 8 won’t be a hindrance for you.
Along those lines also make sure to note the heel-to-toe drop of each shoe (10mm in the Launch and 4mm in the Kinvara) so you aren’t getting into anything that may lead to an injury.
This really isn’t a “this or that” argument, because they will both be great daily trainers and workout shoes that offer outstanding value, but the real devil is in the detail of fit and drop.
If you are seeking a lightweight shoe that comes as a more standard trainer and has a little extra protection for your ankle and achilles, then go for the Brooks Launch 8. If you prefer a more “natural” underfoot feel with excellent cushioning, then opt for the Saucony Kinvara 12.
Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API