by John Schrup
It was with a heavy heart that we reported to you the demise of the Brooks Launch. One of the most beloved shoes of recent memory, the Launch filled our hearts with joy, ran with us through thick and even thicker, supported us when we needed support and held our hair when we were over-served Mexican martinis.
Oh, fair Launch! Why must you leave us? Oh, dear Brooks, why hast thou forsaken us?
So what now? What are you gonna wear? What shoe is your new go-to? Here at Rogue Running, we have asked that as well, in the hope that we can come to a suitable answer for you, the Rogue Community. There are many, many options on the wall. Each of us has our favorite, and as such just can’t believe that the rest of the running population has not fallen in love with it as well. I mean, if I were president, an Adios 2 for each of you! No, wait.! A Kinvara 3! No, wait!
Knowing that nothing—NOTHING!—will ever replace our beloved Launch, here is the first of two installments of the possible replacements for our beloved Launch:
K-Swiss Blade Light Run. The BLR flies under the rader—have you even heard of it?—but is really, really nice. It has a similar differential to the Launch, but it considerably firmer (noice!). I’d wear this shoe if the heel were a bit lower. That doesn’t sound too promising, I know, but I didn’t wear the Launch either. K-Swiss is making some pretty cool stuff, but most of you don’t notice because of the tennis thing, or the triathlon thing. Not to be overlooked though. Probably not, but you should check it out anyway.
Think of this as the trainer version of the 1400, which we think of as a trainer anyway. What? Really lightweight, soft underfoot, and a hair lower in the differential column, the 890 would be pretty obvious, but the fit is almost but not quite there yet. This one has the potential to be a franchise shoe. NB nails the fit of this one, and it could be a centerpiece. It’s that good.
Did you know that in Japan the Adios 2 is called the Japan 2? I know, right? So should we call it the ‘Merica? Or maybe we could call it the Sayonara 2. Whatever we call it, you knew we’d put this bad girl on the list, because this shoe is worthy of consensual relations. Much firmer and more responsive than the Launch, and a little spendier, the A2 will rock you like a hurricane.
(Keep an eye peeled for the upcoming Takumi Sen, also from adidas Japan, which you might refer to as the lighter, lower sibling to the A2. When the Takumi Sen arrives (TBA, early next year?) this one will make you change your political and/or religious views.)
1No shit, Sherlock. If this shoe were a teensy weensy bit firmer, I would adopt this shoe and then marry it, like Woody Allen did. If it were possible to exchange DNA with the Kinvara, like in The Fly, I would do that, too.
2I can’t believe you don’t have a pair of these yet!
Check it: For those of you who fancy yourself a dedicated runner, a dedicated marathoner, who wants to find out what you’re made of, John coaches Team Rogue on T, Th mornings at 5:30.