>Gears and Wears>Brooks Defyance 6
Does anyone have any first hand experience with the new Brooks Defyance 6?
I am a 50 to 60 mpw runner with a neutral gait. I'm a heel striker and have been running in the Ravenna 3, but don't really like how high they made the platform in this year's model. Also the fit is much sloppier than the Ravenna 2. The Defyance looks like a reasonable alternative with a better fitting upper.
Just wondering what your impressions were please.
I bought a pair of these.
Here are my first impressions (comparing them to the Ravenna 3)
The Defyance 6 is Brooks' attempt to take their most popular shoe, the Adrenaline, and remove the support/control features so as to appeal to those wanting a neutral shoe. The fit of the shoe is improved from the Ravenna, as Brooks has encorporated the 2 elastic straps on each side around the midfoot (a very popular feature in the Ravenna 2's that the 3's lack). As a result, the midfoot is nice and snug. The toe box, however, is nice and roomy, and the heel fits well. Of note, the sizing of the Defyance 6 is a little smaller than the Ravenna 3--I needed to order a 1/2 size larger to get a similar fit.
Out on the road, the Defyance feels plenty firm and responsive. It feels less cushioned and clunky than the Ravenna 3's, which to my mind is a good thing. There remains just a bit of support, but overall it's certainly not overbearing. The weight comes in at about 11 oz in my size. Not the lightest shoe by any means, but it feels plenty fast and stays flexible.
Interestingly, although I am a true heel striker, the Defyance 6 shows a lot less wear on the heel than the Ravenna 3's. That may be due to the shoe allowing me to naturally pronate more. Heel/Toe transition feels very similar to the Ravennas.
So far, the Defyance only comes in one fairly sedate color scheme, so it's not going to grab a lot of attention. I do wonder if it's days are numbered, however, as it seems to fill the same niche as the Ghost. (I really wanted to like the Ghost 5, but the upper feels much more sloppy on my foot than the Defyance, so I ended up sending the Ghost back).
All in all, the Defyance 6 is a nice solid shoe for the neutral distance runner, which I'll use on medium to long runs. They don't make you say "Woo Hoo!" like some more flashy models, but the longer I do this (and the longer I run), I don't need flashy as much as I need reliable and comfortable. These guys fit the bill.
(I also have a pair of the new Ravenna 4's on order as my second shoe, so I'll write a comparison between the 2 at some point).
Please do share your thoughts on the R4. I wear tested them from Sep-Dec. Would love to hear what you think.
I sure will SRL--they are supposed to arrive the middle of next week...
I run almost exclusively in the Defyance, and have since they first came out. I've owned at least one pair of every model, and currently rotate between a pair of 5's and 6's. As my multi-year loyalty attests, this has been a great shoe for me. Supportive enough for long runs and marathons; light enough for speed work. Its also sufficiently flexible that I don't bore holes in the back of the heel (a problem I have with other mid-weight neutrals). In sum, a very good jack-of-all-trades workhorse.
I too feared that the Defyance would disappear when the Ghost came out. That was July 2008, when the Defyance was still in its first model year. Since then we've had the Defyance 2-6 despite the fact that the Ghost seems to overshadow its lesser known cousin. Although the differences between the Ghost and Defyance are small, they matter to some. The Defyance is built on a straight last; the Ghost on a curved. The Ghost has a sprung toe; the Defyance does not. Minor differences, but enough to make me send back a pair of Ghosts that I tried, but purchase 17 pairs of Defyance (and counting).
My hope is the Defyance continues because Brooks doesn't have to spend any incremental money in R&D on it -- the Defyance is a merely copy of the ever-so-popular Adrenaline but without the medial post. As long as they make the Adrenaline, they can make the Defyance just as easily. That's no guarantee, of course, but I keep my fingers crossed.
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