Shoe Review: Brooks Levitate 6
You don’t need a magic wand to levitate through your next run.
The Brooks Levitate 6 features a springy bed of Brooks’ DNA Amp v2 foam in the midsole and a brand-new, engineered mesh upper that’s more breathable than ever. But if you prefer a flexible knit upper that moves with you as you run, you’re in luck. Just like the Brooks Levitate 5, the latest version of the Brooks Levitate is available in two different styles – one with the traditional mesh upper and another with a one-piece knit upper, the Levitate StealthFit 6.
Fleet Feet reviewers put both versions of the Brooks Levitate 6 to the test. Here’s everything you need to know.
Brooks Levitate 6
Brooks Levitate StealthFit 6
9.5 oz (W), 10.9 oz (M)
9.1 oz (W), 9.9 oz (M)
Neutral, moderate cushion
Neutral, moderate cushion
New DNA Amp v2 Midsole Helps You Float
While these shoes may not actually make you levitate off the ground, the Brooks Levitate 6 can add a floaty, energetic feeling to your next run, thanks to an updated version of Brooks’ DNA Amp midsole material.
Brooks’ DNA Amp midsole foam, which you may have experienced in the Brooks Levitate 5, is a polyurethane foam encased in a thin, rigid layer of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). As your foot lands, the polyurethane foam expands until it reaches the rigid TPU casing. That’s where potential energy is contained and sent straight back up to you, propelling you forward into the next stride.
The latest version of Brooks Amp foam, called DNA Amp v2, features air inside the polyurethane foam, making it ten percent lighter than the previous midsole foam.
Despite the lighter midsole foam, some reviewers noticed that the shoe felt heavier than they expected – likely due to the added two millimeters of stack height. Weighing in between nine and eleven ounces, the Levitate 6 is heavier than the competing energetic trainers on the market like the ASICS Novablast 3, which is between seven and nine ounces. The Levitate 6 didn’t shave off any significant weight from the previous version, but it still offers a smooth, cushioned ride.
“The midsole of the Brooks Levitate 6 feels energetic,” Nate says. “It’s slightly softer in the heel and firmer in the forefoot, with enough give to feel flexible. I credit the zippy responsiveness to the DNA Amp V2 foam in the midsole. Plus, it’s grippy and stable for running on all types of surfaces.”
Brooks used a new, arrow-pointing pattern design on the outsole to encourage quick, easy transitions from heel to toe and a wider midfoot for added stability.
Brooks Levitate 6 Accommodates Different Foot Shapes
Have you ever tried on a shoe that provided breathtaking comfort in the midsole, but the upper didn’t agree with your foot? With the Brooks Levitate, you can choose between two distinctly different styles of upper while getting the same DNA Amp v2 cushioning.
The Brooks Levitate 6 offers a traditional mesh upper with thick padding around the heel collar, a separated tongue, and extra eyelets for your lacing convenience. The Brooks Levitate 6 StealthFit features a stretchy, one-piece knit upper that moves with you on the run. You can choose which upper you prefer without sacrificing any cushion or comfort underfoot.
Our reviewers couldn’t come to a consensus on which version they preferred, so we’ll highlight the pros and cons of each.
The Levitate 6, with the original mesh upper, is more structured overall. It provides a more locked-down fit, and runners who experience heel slippage can cinch it down with the extra lacing eyelets.
“Both the Levitate and the Levitate StealthFit feel comfortable and fit well on my feet, but I prefer the structured feel of the Levitate for running. It helps my foot feel more secure and locked in,” Caroline says.
While some reviewers feel the Levitate 6 provides a more secure fit, it’s slightly heavier than the StealthFit version and the material is less breathable.
If you have high volume feet (feet that take up lots of room inside the shoe), wide feet (D width for women, 2E width for men) or you just prefer a more flexible feel, you’ll likely enjoy the Levitate StealthFit. The knit upper is stretchy enough to accommodate different foot shapes, and it’s more breathable than the mesh.
“The upper on the StealthFit Levitate fits my foot well and feels soft and comfortable,” Kate says. “I can just slip the shoes on without making any adjustments. The size and volume of the upper fit the same as the regular Levitate, but because the upper is more flexible and stretchy, the StealthFit will be more accommodating if you need more space.”
The only downfall is that, because of the one-piece upper, you can’t adjust the fit with the laces. The upper either fits, or it doesn’t.
Some reviewers had a clear preference of which version they preferred, while others enjoyed both.
“As soon as I slipped my foot into the shoes, they both were amazing,” Adina says. “The feeling when you step into the perfect shoe and your foot slides in like butter – you know it’s going to be a good run. The toe box was wide enough and there was no rubbing, just pure comfort.”
Whichever version you choose, be sure to head into your local Fleet Feet for an expert one-on-one outfitting. Fleet Feet outfitters use 3D fit id® foot scanning technology to gather information about your feet and the support they need by taking precise measurements of your foot length, width and arch height.
Brooks Levitate 6 vs Brooks Levitate 5
The Brooks Levitate 6 maintains the same peppy responsiveness and generous cushioning as the previous version, with a few key updates.
First, the midsole has been upgraded from DNA Amp to the lighter DNA Amp v2. Despite the lighter weight of the midsole foam, the shoe packs 2 millimeters more of this foam than its predecessor, so the actual shoe didn’t lose any weight.
A new tread pattern on the outsole makes it easier to transition between landings and takeoffs, while the midsole is a bit wider to add more stability.
Overall, reviewers appreciated the tweaks to the Brooks Levitate 6. If you enjoyed the Levitate 5, you’ll likely enjoy the latest version as well.
What is the Brooks Levitate 6 Best For?
Thanks to a generous bed of cushioning and a peppy midsole foam, the Brooks Levitate 6 is a great option for both long runs and runs where you want to pick up the pace.
“The Brooks Levitate 6 is a great choice for runners who want an extra bit of bounce and responsiveness without subscribing to the carbon-plated craze that’s taken over,” Caroline says. “Runners can choose between the original version or the StealthFit version, making this shoe more accommodating to different foot shapes.”