You start off running in any old thing. Then you learn that feet are different, running styles are different, trainers are different and your mind is generally blown into a million confused fragments. Then you eventually find a pair of trainers that you like and you continue to like, they are the ones that work for you and you recommend to everyone regardless of their criteria. For me its the Ravennas by Brooks.
These are true to size and fit nice and snug. The toe box leaves plenty of space for swelling and movement, but at the same time feels like it fits properly. Nice and tight. I’ve worn plenty of other trainers the same size and smaller that feel very wider around the toes. The “fits like a glove” saying is fitting (get it?!) for the Ravenna 9s. That’s always a strong first impression
Unlike previous models (I’ve worn the Ravenna 4 and Ravenna 5s previously – little fact, My first marathon was run in the Hideous looking 4s!) the 9s have been modernised. Gone are the days of big lumps of plastic and neon colours that make the trainers look something more akin to a transformers movie. The style is now simplistic with a one-piece sown mesh upper (if that’s how you describe it correctly?). The colour combo for me is a winner too with the grey and blue being subtle enough but complimentary with a little colour from the orange trim adding a spark to the look.
My trusty Garmin tells me that I’ve covered about 100 miles in these shoes at the time of writing this. This is including the Helsinki Marathon. So I’ve covered a fair amount of ground to make an assessment. My first thoughts when picking up the shoe and wearing them were “wow these are light”. They come in at about 270g. Multiple runs later and I’m still amazed when I put them on and lace up – for something offering so much comfort and support they are surprisingly light and feel a little racy. As the legs tire, the shoes don’t feel like dead weight weighing you down. The meshed upper provides an airy run and was fast drying/wicking when wet (albeit I’ve only experienced this from splashing in puddles and some light rain). They feel sturdy and I expect them to last for many miles more.
What I like
- The look and feel of the shoe. It has a modern and stylish appearance that is subtle and comfortable to wear. I don’t feel like a mug wearing these when I’m not running!
- Overall the fit for me is great too and they provide a really comfortable ride and are a joy to run in.
What I didn’t like
- Limited colour options, as much as I like the style, it took a while for the colour (“Ebony/blue/Orange”) to grow on me.
- Besides that, there isn’t really much I don’t like. They feel good value for money. I do get frustrated though by all the technical jargon (all sports kit comes with this though) that I simply do not understand. What exactly am I buying that is different here? What does ‘DNA’ and ‘Rollbars’ mean?!
I’m a fan. As a previous user of Ravennas, I’d spent a few years away from Brooks and the model. Coming back to them has been a complete joy and reignited my love for these shoes. I’m glad I splashed the cash for the Ravenna 9s. If like me you require some support, I’d highly recommend them!