An all new neutral everyday trainer to the Brook’s line-up, the Revel, is a stiff, unforgiving shoe favoring a more experienced runner whose legs won’t buckle from ground impact and doesn’t like a soft, mushy midsole. Highlighted by a super comfortable upper and clean lines, the Revel has the steepest heel drop of all the shoes tested and fits on the narrow side, however, retailing at $100 it’s the most affordable shoe in our line-up.
All of our testers raved about the comfort of the engineered knit mesh upper is, which was reminiscent of that found on the Adidas UltraBOOST ST. The knit mesh molds perfectly around the foot, creating a soft sock-like feeling. Thick padding lines the ankle collar much like the Brooks Glycerin 15. The tongue contains a moderate amount of padding and allowed a tight cinch of the laces without feeling too much pressure.
The upper is soft and has some elasticity to it, allowing the user to really cinch down and get that dialed-in, secure fit. Lengthwise, the Revel was true to size compared to other shoes tested, however a few testers noted that it was a little narrow, fitting similar to other Brooks shoes. The heel counter was firm and did an excellent job of locking the foot into place throughout the gait.
For a shoe with such a steep drop, the Revel felt quite responsive, but not very forgiving. The midsole was one of the firmer ones in the test, which can feel rather dead if you’re not accustomed to firm midsoles. However, runners who can really land with a stiff stance will find the Revel to be more responsive.
Nothing about the Revel makes it stand out as a shoe to reach for on speed days, however, if the pace naturally picks up, it was able to perform just fine. While the heel is noticeable, it didn’t feel too cumbersome. Low stack height throughout the forefoot allows for better ground feel, while grooves placed along the lateral forefoot of the outsole increase the shoe’s flexibility.
The Revel ran very firm and unforgiving, rewarding more experienced runners who can land with a stiffer stance. Beginners may find the firmness of the midsole rather dull with little rebound. The 12 mm drop pronounces the heel, but grooves carved into the midsole allow just the right amount of flex to allow a smooth transition through toe off.