Brooks Ravenna 8 ReviewFebruary 6, 2017
- Mild support without sacrificing performance
- Excess room in toe box
- Narrow fit
- Heel slippage
- Long break-in period
The Brooks Ravenna 8 is hands down the winner for best performing daily trainer with support. Offering mild support from overpronation, the Ravenna 8 feels more like a neutral running shoe, which is why it out-performed all the other supportive shoes tested this season. The Brooks Ravenna 8 is a comfortable, responsive and reliable daily trainer with the peculiar combination of a narrow fit and an overly roomy toe box.
The Brooks Ravenna 8 is an everyday trainer offering mild support from overpronation. Underfoot the Ravenna 8 exhibits a nice mixture of soft cushioning with a hint of corrective transition guidance. Designed with Brooks BioMoGo DNA for cushioning the Diagonal Roll Bar aids and corrects the foot through a smooth transition. A newly updated outsole and forefoot with their Midfoot Transition Zone and Segmented Crash Pad features create fast heel-to-toe transitions.
Typically shoes that cater to runners needing support will feel firm and rigid, however, that was not the case with the Ravenna 8. Each ground strike is protected with a soft cushioned feel. Plenty of soft padding around the heel collar and tongue result in a very comfortable daily trainer.
There was varying tester opinion on how the Ravenna 8 fit. Some felt the Ravenna 8 fit perfectly, while others experienced serious issues, such as hot spots. Overall the shoe last does seem to favor a narrow foot.
It’s hard to find a shoe that’s this responsive with support. The BioMoGo midsole has a nice firm, snappy feeling. The supportive Diagonal Roll Bar in no way dampens the Ravenna’s ability to respond. The sole of the Ravenna 8 feels cushioned but firm, which allowed the Ravenna 8 to have responsiveness better than some of the other comfort trainers.
The Ravenna 8 is hands down the fastest supportive trainer we’ve ever tested. Our testers were pleasantly surprised with how the Ravenna 8’s performed at higher speeds. Despite a 10mm drop, getting up on the toes is easy and smooth. There is almost a hint of the Brooks Launch (Brooks lightweight best seller) under the forefoot.
The Brooks Ravenna 8 was easily the smoothest stability shoe tested. The mild medial support in no way hinders the Ravenna’s ability for smooth transitions. As one tester put it, “As a neutral runner I actually found the ride quality pretty enjoyable. The amount of stability is not overwhelming in this shoe. The ride was stable and transitioned pretty nicely throughout my stride.”
Cory is a Santa Barbara, CA based athlete, online running coach and freelance journalist specializing in running and climbing related content and gear review.