Brooks Revel review

According to one source, the Brooks Revel is “A cushioned trainer that is ready for anything from short recovery runs to long distance efforts.” (Running Warehouse) Is it ready for anything?

See the verdict below.

The Revel feels lighter

The Revel weighs 10.5 ounces, but it feels lighter on one’s feet. It feels like 9.4 ounces.

The Revel’s heel drop is an unexpected 11mm, but it does not feel like it. It feels like a 6 to 8 mm drop. After initial runs in the shoe, I would have confidently said 6mm.

Nice-looking work and play design

The Revel has a flat knit upper which is styled in the latest urban-suburban “work and play” look trend. It’s a style that draws comments and compliments if you like that sort of thing.

Secure, comfortable fit

The Revel offers a near-perfect fit. There’s room up front for one’s toes to comfortably splay, and yet the fit is nicely snug around the heel.

The best part of the fit is midfoot where Brooks uses a Midfoot Stretch Saddle for “a personalized and secure midfoot fit.” It is most definitely secure.

The Revel is based on a BioMoGo DNA biodegradable midsole that is intended to be responsive. And, surprisingly, the entire sole is made of high abrasion-resistant rubber.

The Revel’s sock liner also makes use of BioMoGo materials. The insole fits well, and while it feels soft, it’s nicely protective. (I was dealing with heel soreness issues when I began to use the Revel. Those issues faded away.)

The ride is smooth, quite smooth

One can feel a nice amount of punch in the Revel on concrete, and that responsiveness becomes downright bouncy on asphalt.

There’s quite decent forefoot flexibility due to four pronounced flex grooves, and the Revel has enough stability to meet the needs of mild to moderate pronators. While the shoe facilitates the midfoot striking runner, the heel drop is large enough for heel strikers.

What’s a bit of a shock about the Revel’s forefoot is that there’s hard rubber up there; in fact, it feels firmer than the rubber in the rear of the sole that provides for a soft heel landing.

In the Revel, one is not restricted to either running close to the ground or to lifting the feet high up. The Revel is happy to facilitate either running style.

Reasonably-priced shoe

Because both the Launch share a bargain price point, for $200 a runner can build a two-shoe rotation.

The Revel can be used on standard training days, and the Launch – which is lighter and more neutral, can be used on short race days or for fast tempo sessions. Both models are quite durable for trainers.

The runner who needs a mild stability racing shoe and/or speed trainer can add the Asteria from Brooks, while the runner needing a protective recovery day and long run shoe can add the excellent Glycerin 15.

The next step

As I put in miles in the Revel trainer, it struck me that by the time the Revel 3 is released, Brooks might want to consider releasing a cousin of the shoe. How about the Revel Racer?

A racing flat version of the Revel would be lighter, might contain a midfoot shank in the sole for some stability, would be firmer in the midfoot/forefoot for quicker step-offs and would – best of all – be loaded with glorious blown rubber in the forefoot.

(Such a racing version of the Revel might cost more rather than less, but such is life.)

OK, Brooks at least think about it.

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 10.3oz / Women 9oz
Drop: 11mm
Arch support: Neutral
Update: Brooks Revel 5
Forefoot height: 19mm
Heel height: 30mm

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Joseph Arellano
Joseph Arellano

Joseph Arellano has run in and reviewed running shoes produced by more than 20 different brands. When he finds a "perfect" running shoe, he picks up about six pairs. He believes that most problems can be solved through the purchase of a new pair of running shoes.