Brooks is best known for making innovative shoes with unmatched technology. The Ravenna line is designed for half-marathon and marathon runners, helping cushion the feet and increase speed. While the Ravenna isn’t as lightweight as some options on the market, it makes up for this with the responsive foam soles and breathable uppers.
We’ve put together a review of the Ravenna 7 and Ravenna 8 to help you decide which shoe is best for you.
Comparison Table: Brooks Ravenna 7 Vs 8
|Product Name||Outsole||Upper Fitting||Toe Box|
|#1. Ravenna 8|
Our Best Pick
|#2. Ravenna 7|
#1. Brooks Ravenna 7
The Ravenna is the shoe Brooks created for high-mileage runners who only need minimal support. The goal of the Ravenna 7 is to support marathon and half-marathon runners, although it also suits people wanting well-cushioned athletic shoes. The responsiveness of the shoe helps lend speed when you run.
The sole of the shoe has BioMoGo foam cushioning. This foam, a unique feature of Brooks shoes, is environmentally friendly and biodegradable. It cushions your foot and allows each stride to transition smoothly.
One thing lending speed to the shoe is the Midfoot Transition Zone. This allows the shoe to quickly transition from heel-to-toe, so your strides are faster. Also featured is a Forefoot Energy Zone, which responds to your changing needs and helps your feet stay fresh.
The shoe does offer stability, but it doesn’t go over-the-top in terms of support. The sole is firm at the forefoot but cushioned at the heel to protect against impact.
The upper is made of a combination of breathable mesh and supportive synthetic overlays. This means that fresh air can circulate with each stride, but the upper is more durable than with mesh alone. The biggest help with the upper support is the adjustable saddle at the midfoot, which provides a snug and secure fit.
Some long distance runners have experienced problems with the saddle being too tight over time, putting too much pressure against the foot.
The upper’s tongue is made from a breathable and plush material. Unfortunately, as with many breathable shoes, your feet will get wet if you run in wet or snowy conditions.
The biggest potential drawback is the long break-in period. It takes longer to break in these shoes than with many of the competitors on the market. They’re also heavier than many other shoes.
#2. Brooks Ravenna 8
This update to the Ravenna line gives you both stability and cushioning. The stability is moderate but not severe enough to notice. The shoes aren’t stiff or bulky at the heel. It’s hard to say whether this is a neutral or stability shoe, and the fit can vary from tight to loose.
Some shoes have a snug fit, while others tend to be looser and offer better circulation. The Ravenna 8 is a balance between these types. The heel is secure, and the shoe is tight at the midfoot, while the toe box is roomier.
The shoe has the same lightweight cushioning that the Ravenna is known for. The outsole pattern is more evenly divided, though, so your toe-off is springier. This energy rebound makes the shoes slightly faster and can let you run further distances. Though the Ravenna 8 is still heavy, it’s slightly lighter than its predecessor.
The sole includes the traditional BioMoGo foam cushioning, along with the midfoot transition zone. The upper fits narrowly enough to help guard against overpronation. The blown rubber located in the forefoot is responsible for the springy toe-off.
The upper fits the foot narrowly, but there’s a good amount of room as far as height is concerned. The seamless construction is both breathable and comfortable. It’s best for people who prefer roomy toe boxes, as getting a snug fit in the toe is difficult.
Overall, the shoe works well on both short and long runs. Despite the relatively heavy construction, it doesn’t sap too much energy, so you can reach higher speeds.
Both models utilize the responsive cushioning that Brooks is well-known for. The soles are made with a length of BioMoGo foam, which is more environmentally friendly than EVA foam. The DNA element allows the foam to shift to accommodate a runner’s changing strides and gait.
There’s also a smooth heel-to-toe transition with both models. They offer stability while still providing enough flexibility for the average runner.
The differences in the models are subtle. Both have the long-distance cushioning that the Ravenna line was created for.
The Ravenna 8 has a more even pattern on its outsole. The forefoot has an additional layer of blown rubber, which offers a greater energy rebound and springier toe-off than you’ll get with the Ravenna 7.
The Ravenna 8 also has some new guards against overpronation. The forefoot sole banks outward, helping to correct the stride of slight overpronators. The upper also fits more narrowly and snugly, further protecting against overpronation.
The Ravenna 7 has a more snugly fitting toe box than the Ravenna 8. Some runners prefer the snug fit, while others find it too constricting. For runners who like tighter stability, the Ravenna 7 gives an ideal fit. But for runners who prefer the flexibility and freedom of a “barefoot” shoe, the roomier toe box of the Ravenna 8 is a good choice.
The Ravenna 7 and Ravenna 8 both accomplish what Brooks set out to do with the Ravenna line. They give your feet ideal cushioning over long distance runs, helping to reduce pressure points and pain in the legs.
If you tend toward overpronation, the Ravenna 8 is a good choice because of its increased stability. However, if you prefer a more snugly fitting shoe, the Ravenna 7 might suit you better.