Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shoe Reveiw: Brooks Ravenna

By: Brent

I must admit I did the unthinkable. When it comes to RUNNING shoe shopping, it would be best if the manufacturer's would only show you a picture of the box. When you go to try on a shoe, it should be covered in black peel away plastic. You the consumer shouldn't be able to see the shoe for 2 weeks after the purchase of a new pair of running shoes. However...that is NOT the case. I have issues. I have size 15 issues. I don't often get the option to walk into a store, point at a shoe, and them skip out from the back room and try one one. So I have to rely on Runners World and Running Warehouse and other reviews to tell me how I will feel in a shoe. The problem is, I only KIND OF did that. I saw this dazzler of a shoe and thought, "i shall have you". Then as it became available and the pricing was released and it hit the shelves and was able to be purchased, I did it.


  • I have had many a pair of Asics and I really wanted to try a pair of Brooks. check!
  • I need a mild support shoe. check!
  • I need something that is made AND available in a size 15. check!
  • I mentally wanted a lighter shoe (mind you in a size 15, nothing is light). check!
  • I wanted to keep my purchase under $100. check!
  • but most importantly, I thought the Brooks Ravenna looked amazing. So I bought it.

When the shoe arrived, I got on the treadmill (huh!) and walked 1.5 miles to get a feeling for how I liked the shoe. I had no feelings. Zero. It was a shoe. I didn't think that it was super soft, amazing fit, great balance or even that it was amazingly light. I wasn't amazed, but it wasn't that I didn't like it. The problem is, I think i liked it best because of how it looked. So the next day, I brought them into work and wore them around to break them in more. Not bad. Not amazing, just fine.

So the first day comes around that I can get outside with them. I did a 2 mile out and back and they felt hard. Not painful but they just didn't have the give that my previous shoes have had. I will say other shoes before this have also been heavier shoe's so it makes sense that some of the extra foam in the bottom of the shoe has been pulled out to save weight.

Now since I purchased this shoe, not counting walking around at work, I have logged 46.2 miles. The best thing I did was pulled out the stock insole and replaced it with the thinnest Spenco insole available. This made any minor knee pain go away and I logged a 12 mile run this past weekend.

I want to add that my hope was that this shoe would be my marathon day shoe. It won't be. I have now also purchased an Asics DS Trainer 14. Very similar shoe characteristics but just feels better to me. I may even put insoles in that shoe but that has yet to be determined. The main reason I bought another shoe was to split the training distance but I think this may be my go to race day shoe. I need to log more miles before that gets determined.

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