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Ravenna 4 (Read 234 times)

ShuffleFaster


    Ravenna 4

    Ravenna 4 – First impressions.

     

    Hot off the assembly line, a minty fresh pair of the all new Ravenna 4 (R4) arrived on Feb 2.

     

    I’ve been a long time Ravenna runner, using them in training and marathons (I average about 50 miles a week).  It’s been my go-to shoe every since the Ravenna 2 (R2), which a lot of people loved for the light weight, elastic straps, sprung toe, and fast feel, with just a scosh of support.

     

    However, that love was somewhat diminished by the Ravenna 3 (R3).  Gone were the straps and sprung toe.  While the heel drop was lowered to around 9 mm (from 10 mm), the entire shoe was raised off the ground about 3 mm, which gave the formerly fast shoe a “chunky” feeling to more than one runner.  Still, I manage to set a few PR’s in the 3’s so I was eager to see what Brooks had done with the R4.

     

    First of all, the looks of the shoes have greatly improved to my eye, with a very catchy (but not kitchy) green, black and yellow color scheme.  Looks even better in person—first shoe my DW has ever complimented me on.  Brooks also includes a second set of laces in black for the yellow-phobic (a nice touch).  The other men’s color available at this time is a classic red and white model, with a garish yellow support band (Yeech!).  Hopefully another color scheme is in the works as well.

     

    Compared to the R3, the heel stack height of the R4 has been lowered from 30mm to 28mm and the forefoot was decreased from 21mm to 18mm.   The weight has been increased by a 0.3 oz (11 oz in a size 9), and the heel drop has incrased from 9mm to 10mm.  Still colors and stats are interesting, but the bottom line is:  how do they ride?

     

    The first thing I noticed is that the fit of the upper is just about identical to the Ravenna 3.  It has the aforementioned stretch strap on both sides of the midfoot, which can be cinched up with the laces.  The toe box is nice a roomy, especially compared with the R2.  It’s a nice fit that has worked well for me, so I’m happy.

     

    In terms of the feel of the shoe, the most obvious thing out of the box was an increased level of flexibility compared with the R3.  This was quite easy for me to tell with my bare hands. I could also feel this on the road—the shoe transitions well, and feels lighter on the feet than the R3.  The other change in the ride, is that there feels like there is a bit more cushioning added to the forefoot region.  This seems paradoxical given the increased flexibility, but darn if it doesn’t feel that way.  (Perhaps I’ll be proven wrong by subsequent lab tests).   These two major changes gives a comfortable, but stable ride—doesn’t feel as squishy as the R3.  If anything, it feels like a middle ground between the R2 and the R3.  I'm a heel striker, so YMMV, but I like the ride better than the R3.

     

    Compared to my other new shoes (Brooks Defyance 6 (D6)), the R4 is more cushioned and is much more flexible.  These factors combine to make the R4 slightly less responsive than the D6.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, but they cater to different types of running/runners.  In addition, the D6 runs about a ½ size smaller than the R4.

     

    All in all, I think Brooks has listened (at least partially) to their customers with the R4, which I feel is a definite upgrade to the R3 for me.  In terms of a wish list for next year, I’d love to take the 2 elastic straps from the D6 and transplant them on to the Ravenna line.  In addition, I’d prefer Brooks would drop the “caterpillar” outsole, which wears far, far too fast in the heel for my taste.  A little less weight would also be welcome.

     

    Still, I’m glad I own them, and look forward to running happy with my new Ravenna 4’s.  I'll update this thread after I get in some more miles with them.

      Runner's World said the Ravenna was comparable to the Adrenaline.  I've worm Adrenalines since the 11. Any thoughts on how I might di in the Ravenna?  Just curious.

        Runner's World said the Ravenna was comparable to the Adrenaline.  I've worm Adrenalines since the 11. Any thoughts on how I might di in the Ravenna?  Just curious.

         

        Adrenaline is a true stability shoe, with a bit more medial posting... Ravenna has a touch of dual density posting... but if you need the support of the Adrenaline, stay in it.

        ---------
        (twitter) @SethGOrun
        (email)  seth@skechers.com

        ShuffleFaster


          Runner's World said the Ravenna was comparable to the Adrenaline.  I've worm Adrenalines since the 11. Any thoughts on how I might di in the Ravenna?  Just curious.

           

          Good question.  I changed from the Adrenaline 10 to the Ravenna a few years ago because I wanted something lighter, and as I lost weight  I found I didn't need as much support.

           

          I didn't have any problems during the transition--the Ravenna line has still felt very stable to me even as my mileage has increased.  The overall ride has felt pretty similar as well, and the lighter weight has been welcome.

           

          In terms of fit, Brooks claims that the  Defyance 6 upper is actually more similar to the Adrenaline,  They sort of position it as a neutral Adrenaline, so you might give that shoe a look if you eventually wish to move to a neutral shoe with time (or with shorter distances).

          CaitDS


            Runner's World said the Ravenna was comparable to the Adrenaline.  I've worm Adrenalines since the 11. Any thoughts on how I might di in the Ravenna?  Just curious.

             

            I really disagree with Runner's World.  The Adrenaline is one of the most supportive stability shoes out there.  The Ravenna 3 is so soft that the "guidance" dual density built in to the midsole was pretty ineffective.  The Ravenna 3 was a big disappointment in terms of support.  Try the Asics DS Trainer instead.  I haven't gotten my hands on the Ravenna 4 yet.

             

            And the Defyance is basically the same shoe as the Adrenaline without the medial post.

            ShuffleFaster


               

              I really disagree with Runner's World.  The Adrenaline is one of the most supportive stability shoes out there.  The Ravenna 3 is so soft that the "guidance" dual density built in to the midsole was pretty ineffective.  The Ravenna 3 was a big disappointment in terms of support.  Try the Asics DS Trainer instead.  I haven't gotten my hands on the Ravenna 4 yet.

               

              And the Defyance is basically the same shoe as the Adrenaline without the medial post.

               

              I thought that comment in RW was a little off myself, although to be fair, the quote from the runner in the RW review was "The fit of the Ravenna 4 is very similar to the Brooks Adrenaline...It has a better fit in the arch.", so it really didn't refer to the amount of support (or lack thereof).

               

              I think although the R4 feels less squishy than the R3, the amount of support feels about the same to me.

               

              Question:  I agree that the Defyance was designed as  neutral Adrenaline, but for some reason, I don't remember the Adrenalines feeling that firm.  Did the Adrenalines "firm up" after model 10?

              CaitDS


                I think the past few models of the Adrenaline have felt pretty firm, but that's my subjective opinion.

                 

                One of things that drives me crazy about the Runner's World shoe reviews (and particularly the inane "Shoe Finder" flow chart) is that talk about "softness" and cushioning and flexibility, but really don't talk about support.  It think it can be pretty misinformative to those who aren't already a bit nerdy about shoes.

                ShuffleFaster


                  I think the past few models of the Adrenaline have felt pretty firm, but that's my subjective opinion.

                   

                  One of things that drives me crazy about the Runner's World shoe reviews (and particularly the inane "Shoe Finder" flow chart) is that talk about "softness" and cushioning and flexibility, but really don't talk about support.  It think it can be pretty misinformative to those who aren't already a bit nerdy about shoes.

                   

                  Roger that.

                   

                  In addition, if you run over 32 miles/week with a healthy weight, the shoe finder will never get you to certain shoes (for example, the R4).  I'd rather they dispense with the goofy flow chart, and provide more useful information (objective measures and more structured narrative evals).   That would be helpful to runners of all levels of shoe nerdiness.

                  CaitDS


                    So, the Ravenna 4 just arrived at the running store I work at today!  I was very eager to test it out on our treadmill video gait analysis system with a few of my coworkers...and I am thrilled with the update!  What a great improvement!   It truly is once again a light stability/guidance shoe.  My main running shoe is the Adrenaline (because I really do need some good support  for my left foot) and the Ravenna 4 looked pretty damn good even on me!  The Ravenna 3 looked terrible on me and allowed me to overpronate quite a bit.  I think I looked better in the Ghost, a neutral shoe than the Ravenna 3.

                     

                    But now I'm pretty sure I'll race my spring half marathons in the Ravenna 4.   I am so happy with this update!   WAY TO GO, BROOKS!

                    ShuffleFaster


                      After a couple of hundred miles, the Ravenna's continue to be very comfortable and flexible.  It's a fun shoe to run in, and far better than the 3's.  First impressions were correct in this case.

                       

                      However, I have noticed a ridiculous amount of wear on the outsole.  In fact, the black has completely worn down to the midsole already, making these the fastest wearing Brooks I've ever owned. Sad

                       

                      Anyone else have this experience?

                      xor


                        I was an official wear-tester for the ravenna 4 (and btw, gave them the feedback that the color scheme above ^^^ was "ass ugly"... hee)

                         

                        I got 600ish miles out of my wear test pair, which is slightly more than I get out of Adrenalines and the beefy Trance (which is too much shoe for me).  I'm hard on my right shoe because I do the "late stage pronation" thing and twist on push off... so I wear down the forefoot sole pretty quickly. I started noticing at about 200 on the ravenna... about when I notice on most shoes.

                         

                        I liked the shoes and had no negative issues with them.  But that color scheme....

                         

                        Splashalot


                          Sister Lopez, have you tried the Asics 3000 series?  It is designed specifically for late stage pronation and features a forefoot medial post/cradle thingy (that's the technical term).

                           

                          Also, twisting on toe-off can be a sign of tight calves - perhaps stretching will assist?  I suggest this as I was in exactly the same boat as you - late stage pronator with torque/twisting upon toe off.  Morning and evening calf stretches (soleus and gastroc) have largely cured me of this trait.

                            I bought some Ravena 3s the other day as they were heavily discounted and felt comfortable in the shop. A few runs in they seem fine for easy runs - a bit squishy for running fast.

                              I bought some Ravena 3s the other day as they were heavily discounted and felt comfortable in the shop. A few runs in they seem fine for easy runs - a bit squishy for running fast.

                               

                              Thats the problem I see with a lot of people in running stores... everything feels comfortable in the shop.
                              I think you need to throw down at least 45min of running in a shoe before you will know if it's any good for you.

                              ---------
                              (twitter) @SethGOrun
                              (email)  seth@skechers.com

                              CaitDS


                                 

                                Thats the problem I see with a lot of people in running stores... everything feels comfortable in the shop.
                                I think you need to throw down at least 45min of running in a shoe before you will know if it's any good for you.

                                 

                                I agree.  And sometimes even more.    A rep recently gave me a pair of shoes to try out and I thought they were really comfortable.  I took them for a few 4-5 mile runs.  They felt fine.  Then I finally ran on the treadmill in my store with the video gait analysis set up and saw they do not support me properly at all.  If I had kept running all my miles in those shoes based on comfort alone, I probably would eventually end up with some aches & pains or injuries from chronic overpronation.

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