Brooks Ravenna 8: A smooth classic!

89 / 100 by Frank DuCett • Level 4 expert

Brooks Sports, Inc. was established in 1914 as the Brooks Shoe Manufacturing Company, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Mr. Morris Goldenberg. Brooks Sports was a small family business that at first produced ballet slippers.

Today Brooks is located near Seattle, Washington, in the United States. Brooks has several models that have been around for years with a well established following, one of their most popular models is the Ravenna.



The Brooks Ravenna 8 is a stability road running shoe, valued for excellent cushioning, durability, and a bit of room to spare for the toes.

The Ravenna is very well built and at a good price point, making this model an excellent and long lasting value.



Outer Sole

The Brooks Ravenna 8 outer sole is made up of a combination of blown rubber and HPR-Plus, being used in high abrasion areas, resulting in the legendary Brooks durability.

The Ravenna 8 has a full-length ground contact that improves traction, durability is improved as well via the greater surface area of the sole as it contacts the ground; this is accomplished by spreading the load of the occupant across a larger surface area.



Midsole - Cushioning

The now-famous BioMoGo foam, with some added sections of the adaptive DNA material, make up the midsole, and they seem to work well together.

I have no idea how much of the ride quality can be attributed to the DNA; with my steady paced sort of running style, I suspect that the BioMoGo foam is doing most, if not all of the work.



Stability Features

Stability is provided primarily by the use of dual densities of the BioMoGo foam; the denser foam is placed in the inner (medial) side of the shoe and, helps to keep your foot from rolling (pronating) to far inward.



Premium material and attention to detail are evident in the Ravenna 8.

If you slide a finger inside this shoe and feel the point where the front of the tongue is sewn to the upper, you will find that there is not a bit of extra material hanging down to annoy and rub the top of your foot, this is a rarely seen indication of excellent attention to detail and assembly.

This level of quality craftsmanship is something the Brooks assembly team in Vietnam should be extremely proud of…for this is the very type of thing that could make or break a company!


Best Suited for Runners

The Ravenna 8 is best suited for runners weighing 150 - 240 lbs. in need of a high quality, comfortable, and roomy shoe for any distance.

To help you discover what type of shoe is best for you, I found this URL to be the best explanation of the complicated subject of pronation and proper shoe selection.


The Run

My first run in the Ravenna was at 4 in the morning in 30 degree F temps and, with no wind, no precipitation, and no people in cars. By mile one, I became aware of the Ravenna 8’s unique fit, partly due to the midfoot wrapping overlays.

The Ravenna cruises along smoothly and without a lot of noise; much like the Brooks Ghost and the newer Adrenaline models.

These shoes have a great shape for a midfoot striker and allow for a smooth transition from foot strike to toe off. The heel to toe drop of 10mm is familiar to most runners, the stack height of 18mm-28mm gives the runner good isolation from the road and, acts as another comfort feature.

The breathability is excellent and there is room for winter socks on the colder days.

The Ravenna 8 competes well with the Asics GT-2000-5. Personally, I prefer the cushioning of the Asics Gel, which is still being used in their very latest Flytefoam equipped Nimbus and Kayano models.

The Ravenna 8 may be a little faster than the Asics GT and, responds very well when on the rare occasions when I decided to speed up. However, the Ravenna and the GT 2000 both lack the refreshing quickness of the INOV-8 Parkclaw 275.

I must admit that during the course of this review I did on occasion, swap out the Ravenna 8 for my INOV-8 Parkclaw 275s; (a road-trail shoe) after having become so totally spoiled by their lighter weight.




Did Somebody say Safety?

I recently ran a race with 13,000 other runners and, after returning home I came to realize that I had not spoken to another person the entire day. I should note that I am a fairly quiet person in general and, run primarily by myself.

I try to go about my trekking through life generally unnoticed, but when it comes to reflectors … I want to be seen! Amazingly, the Ravenna 8 is a real show after dark, with reflectors on its toes, tongues, and rear ends!

However, there isn’t a safety device, reflector, or gadget in existence that can replace your senses; we must always practice Situational Awareness. After all, just because you see the car, doesn’t mean the car see’s you!


The Verdict

The Ravenna 8 is the real "go-to shoe" and even surpasses the Adrenaline GTS, with its wider toe box and, a very reasonable price which makes it even more appealing.

The Brooks Ravenna is an excellent value.


See you at the starting line...Run Happy, Run Safe!

Frank DuCett

Frank DuCett • Level 4 expert

My name is Frank DuCett, living and running in the Heartland of America. My love is the long lonesome road half marathons of Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. My training of 20 - 30 miles weekly is dedicated to staying under 2 1/2 hours for the 13.1 mile distance into my 70s and beyond. I run alone and without earbuds, enjoying the solitude and true sensations of the act.

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Brooks Ravenna 8