I received* some Brooks Ravenna 8 to test. Now I loved the Glycerin 13 and 14 but admittedly I knew nothing of the Ravenna. I decided not to research anything of this shoe before testing it. All I could tell you at the start was that it was clearly a road shoe!
When it arrived I was very happy with the colour choice. But there are very few colours I don’t like when it comes to shoes 😀
The shoes felt light and flexible but more supportive and a typical racing flat. I went for a size 7 which is what I normally go for in running shoes (Adidas boost is a 7.5). The fit felt comfortable but a little tighter on the top of my foot compared to the Glycerin, and supportive. I was very happy to see the same laces! Trust me, these laces are a God send! What I did find weird was the bulge from the shoe tongue. It wasn’t uncomfortable, it just looked weird.
Anyway, when I received these, I was in Paris marathon training mode, so training was restricted to tarmac. No trails for me! (gutted). My 1st run in them was about 6 miles. I ran in them straight from the box and I suffered no issues. I had to stop a couple of times to adjust the laces but once I found the correct lacing pattern, all felt very good. The shoes certainly left light on the feet. They feel a lot lighter than the Glycerin but with less cushioning. However, cushioning was good enough to cope with Paris marathon with ease. The heel drop felt similar.
I tried these shoes in blistering sun, torrential rain and running through the odd flooded road. Not a single issue was felt. They maintained comfort for all the runs and coped very well on the tarmac in all these weather conditions. I did experience some slippage on brick surface along a canal tow path under wet conditions but this was comparable to the Glycerin. I also experienced some slip when running over a mass of spilt gels and orange peels at Paris Marathon aid stations. But so did several others! Overall, the shoes performed well, felt light but supportive and comfort was good for over 4.5 hours.
Then came the unexpected mud test! I ran along the Macclesfield canal which I thought was compacted tow path…..it wasn’t. It was mud. And there was a lot of it! Bear in mind that we had experienced some pretty epic downpours lately, the mud was never ending. The Ravenna do not like mud. I had 17 miles of trying to stay upright…needless to say my glutes had a very good work out 😀 So in summary, don’t wear these shoes for muddy trails unless you want to end up on your ass.
It’s been a few months since I received these shoes and I’ve done nearly 350 miles in them. Comfort is still as good. However, small holes have appeared in the uppers. I have no idea what this is a result of as I stuck to road running (apart from that muddy canal one) so it’s certainly not a result of harsh terrain. This is quite disappointing. The sole is still in very good condition so they are still usable and I will keep on wearing them until it feels like the support and comfort has deteriorated.
Following my testing, I checked out the claims made by Brooks and they are indeed a road shoe, with support and are a bit lighter than the Glycerin but with less cushioning. Even with the hole appearing, I would still opt for these trainers for a road race, especially a marathon. I liked the extra support compared to my other racing shoes, but they felt light and flexible. There seems to be a great balance of cushion to weight to flexibility for me.
10mm heel/toe drop
Mass of 252.3g
Suitable for road/track
Supportive with a flat/medium arch
*I received no payment for the product review. I was allowed to keep the product on completion of the review.