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Brooks Ravenna 10 Review

The Brooks Ravenna 10 has gone through a major update.  After years of being fairly similar, the last two versions and been drastic overhauls.  From version 8 to 9, the Ravenna transformed into a fairly standard moderate stability shoe into a true lightweight stability shoe that could handle mileage and uptempo runs with ease.  The latest version sees a continuation of this trend.  A snugger fit, new stability system and a quick nimble ride continue the trend of being one of the top lightweight stability trainers on the market.


Specifications (per Running Warehouse)
Weight: 9.6 oz
Stack Height: 27 mm / 17 mm
Drop: 10mm
Classification: Lightweight Stability Trainer


FIT/UPPER

The fit of the Brooks Ravenna 10 is true to size in my size 10 length wise.  It does fit on the normal to snug side, so those with wide feet should approach with caution.  The upper is very unique as it is a full length one piece mesh upper.  The upper provides a snug fit throughout and feels a bit narrow on the initial step in.  However, it does stretch and accomodate the feet somewhat.  The fit is definitely more on the performance spectrum, ie snugger for uptempo running.


The upper does hold the foot extremely well.  The midfoot saddle does a subtle but great job of locking the foot down.  The upper responds very well to the thin laces.  The heel has a substantial heel counter, but the heel collar has a ton of padding so that you won't feel it.  The forefoot is on the snugger side and does taper a decent amount, but the mild stretch of the upper allows for a little wiggle room.


RIDE/MIDSOLE

The ride of the Brooks Ravenna 10 is firm, stable and responsive.   The BioMoGo DNA midsole provides consistent firm protection throughout the sole.  The heel is firm and stable, but has a smooth contact due to the optimally placed heel bevel.  The forefoot is firm and responds very well to both easy days as well as picking up the pace.  The firmness of the shoe makes it not as optimal for beat up recovery days.  Rather it works well for those that like a firm ride and looking to run a variety of normal to uptempo paces.


Although listed as a 10mm drop shoe, the Brooks Ravenna 10 feels a little lower.  This may be due to the great heel bevel that is placed a little toward the posterior lateral side (where people usually land).  The transition is very smooth due to the great forefoot flexibility and gentle guidance from the guide rails.


STABILITY

The stability used in the Brooks Ravenna 10 is somewhat new concept.  A previous iteration has been used in the Brooks Transcend for some time.  Now the guide rails concept has replaced the use of posting in both the Ravenna and Adrenaline series.  The stability is present but gently in both the heel and midfoot.  Instead of feeling the classic arch bump of posting, the guide rails provide only as much guidance as needed.  It is evident clearly in the heel and midfoot but only as you fatigue more.  The forefoot is quiet stable due to the forward progressing flex grooves that help roll the foot forwards.


The firmness of the sole also adds the stable ride.  The guide rails are present on both the medial and lateral side of the sole, so for the rare people that supinate, the Ravenna 10 will also provide mild guidance.  The support is not aggressive as this is a mild support shoe, but there is enough for a variety of individuals wanting to pick up the pace.  It is integrated extremely well into the ride and probably the best use of support I have experienced so far.


SPEED

Although the Brooks Ravenna 10 is technically a trainer, it has multiple personalities when it comes to pace.  The lighter weight, gentle guidance and firmer ride make the Ravenna 10 an easy shoe to pick up the pace in.  I have used this shoe for easy runs, long runs, uptempo runs, tempo runs and intervals.  For those that trainer in heavier or moderate stability shoes, the Ravenna 10 will easily be your workout and long distance race day shoe.  Many people will find a perfect marathon shoe given the gentle stability and faster ride.  For those looking for a lightweight light stability trainer to log miles but also have the flexibility to pick the pace up, the Ravenna 10 is your shoe.  The firm sole responds very quickly to speed and the gentle guidance will keep your legs fresh over uptempo miles.  The BioMoGo DNA will provide adequate protection for your legs over long miles if you are used to a firmer ride.


DURABILITY

The blown rubber on the outsole of the Ravenna 10 is extremely durable.  After +300 miles on my first pair and 180 on my second pair, I am seeing minimal wear (mostly on the posterior lateral heel where I typically wear).  There have been no additional wear or loose threads on the upper.  The sole has also remained very consistent.  Between 0 to 200 miles the sole retains the same firmness and responsiveness.  After ~250, the shoe softens just a hair, but continues to have that same firm responsive ride.  The guidance has also not changed at all over the course of the life of the shoe.  Unlike traditional posting with softens, the guide rails have remained consistent in feel even after 300 miles (which is extremely impressive).


THOUGHTS AS A DPT 

I applaud Brooks for moving away from posting to adaptable guide rails.  These were first introduced several years ago in the Transcend, which I thought was unique, but extremely heavy and poor fitting.  This is a great concept and is partially based off Dr. Benno Nigg's preferred motion path (Nigg et al 2017).  This is the concept that we all have unique movement paths that our bodies and feet go through that develop over years.  Instead of trying to force other movements (when you force something new, that also increases injury risk), it is better to guide the foot along the preferred movement.  In fact, we know that pronation is actually protective for many individuals (Barnes et al 2007) as it is an important method of shock absorption.

Image from Brooks Running.  Medial and Lateral Placement of Guide Rails.  
Shoe shown is the Brooks Adrenaline 19

The GuideRails were actually created in an attempt to influence knee motion.  There has been a great deal of debate about this.  Much of the literature has supported that the hip has greater influence over knee adduction and internal rotation due to contribution from the larger proximal muscles (glutes, hip rotators) compared to the foot (Dierks et al 2008).  However, recently more literature has come out supporting that calcaneal (rearfoot) ADDUCTION (heel moving inward) has a strong influence on tibial rotation, ie knee movement (Fischer et al 2017).  It should be noted that both the previous articles have influence from Dr. Joe Hamill, who worked with Brooks on the GuideRail concept.  The GuideRails are specifically focused on helping guide calcaneal motion rather than controlling foot pronation.   This is far better method in my mind for helping to guide the lower extremity.  Yes, people still need to work on their hip and foot strength.  Yes, not everyone will like the GuideRails.  I do disagree with Brooks in their promotion that everyone needs some stability.  That is a blanket statement.  Everyone needs something different, including people who do not need any additional guidance.  However for a great many people, I think this method is far better due to the guidance and adaptability compared to older methods of stability and control.


WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

The Brooks Ravenna 10 is for those looking for a snug lightweight trainer with gentle guidance.  The Ravenna 10 will work for a variety of people.  For those coming from heavier and more supportive shoes looking for a lightweight stability shoe for distance racing, the Ravenna 10 is your shoe.  For those that like training in lighter shoes but want a little bit of guidance, the Ravenna 10 fits.  The slightly snugger fit and firm/responsive ride are more performance oriented.  I applaud Brooks for rolling out their new guidance system and look forward to the new age of guidance.  Don't force the foot to do things, guide it while taking the unique biomechanics of the individual in mind.


GRADING

Fit/Upper          8/10
Ride/Midsole    9/10
Stability            10/10
Speed                9/10
Durability          10/10

Total Score: 92%

Thanks for reading!

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Dr. Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

***Disclaimer: These shoes were purchased for their full US retail price of $110.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We put at least 50-75 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently I have 320 miles on my first pair and 180 on second pair (pictured). My views are based on my extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

References

1. Barnes, A., Wheat, J., Milner, C. (2007). Association between foot type and tibial stress injuries: a systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine: 42: 93-98.
2. Dierks, T., Manal, K., Hamill, J., Davis, I. (2008).  Proximal and Distal Influences on Hip and Knee Kinematics in Runners With Patellofemoral Pain During a Prolonged Run.  Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 38(8): 448-456
3. Fischer, K., Willwacher, S., Hamill, J., Bruggermann, G. (2017). Tibial rotation in running: Does rearfoot adduction matter? Gait & Posture, 51: 188-193.
4. Nigg, B.  (2001).  The Role Of Impact Forces and Pronation: A new Paradigm.  Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine: 11(1): 2-9.
5.  Nigg, B., Vienneau, J., Smith, A., Trudeau, M., Mohr, M., Nigg S.  (2017).  The Preferred Movement Path Paradigm: Influence of Running Shoes on Joint Movement.  Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise; 49(8): 1641-1648

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