Brooks shoes always look quite smart, and the Brooks Women’s Ravenna Running Shoe is no exception – very sexy shoes. I loved the tie-dyed cushion around the heel! The Ravenna shoe is a stability shoe, designed for slight to moderate overpronators. One interesting feature of the Brooks Ravenna shoe is the slightly curved toe, designed to help you run faster.
Appearance and Fit:
Out of the box, you notice that this is a well made shoe. There is a lot of cushioning in the heel, but less cushion and more room in the toe. The extra space in the front is great if you have wider feet like I do, and since most of my pressure is in my heel, the support works well. However, after doing a few races in these, I do have to admit that my previous Saucony’s just give more cushioning throughout. These shoes are designed to be stable and fast so if you’re accustomed to a heavier shoe with full cushioning, these are going to be a bit hard on your feet. I’ve always felt like I was running on clouds in my Saucony’s and I don’t get that feeling in these Brooks.
After 200 miles in these shoes, I have to say they still feel and fit precisely as they did when I first bought them. The cushioning and support have not worn at all.
I really like these shoes and have found them to perform fantastically. I know it sounds crazy, but I swear the curved toe has shed a few seconds off my mile time. It just feels more ‘springy’ – like your shoes are pushing you a bit, instead of the other way around. One interesting feature of the Brooks Ravenna is the laces. The Ravenna has multiple lace eyelets that you can use to customize the fit of the shoe, particularly if you need additional support in the arch area. In order to mimic the cushion of my previous Saucony’s (but keep that fantastic performance of the Brooks), I tried using inserts, but the inserts caused pretty severe blistering because they did not match the soles exactly. If you could find inserts that worked well for you, I think this shoe would be my gold standard! However, as it stands, I’d likely go back to the Saucony omni for my next shoes, just because of that extra cushioning. Feel like I could run 100 miles in those shoes, just not as fast!