So the Brooks Ravenna 5 recently showed up on our doorstep, and upon initial try-on, we must say that we’re seriously raving over this shoe. It may only be a couple of weeks into 2014, but we think Brooks’ latest update to their moderate support trainer could be a strong contender for our favorite shoe of the year.
What’s so special about it? The first thing noticed upon slipping on the shoe is the upper. It just fits. No hotspots, no drama, and the redesigned midfoot saddle (our Brooks rep calls it the V-Strap) wraps around the foot perfectly. Oh, and the tongue – you may think something as menial as the tongue would have little impact on our overall impression of a shoe, but then again, you haven’t tried on the Ravenna 5. The soft tongue does an impeccable job of dispersing the pressure of the laces evenly across the top of the foot, making this shoe a pleasure to wear.
Underneath, the Ravenna 5 sports a blended BioMogo-DNA midsole, previously only seen on a few Brooks models, namely those in their PureProject line. No gel inserts here; instead what you get is a consistent underfoot feel from heel to toe for an effortlessly smooth ride. The cushioning feels plush and soft, though the adaptive properties of the DNA technology are apparent here, giving you a nice sense of responsiveness when you pick up the pace.
Simply put, this shoe is just plain comfortable. And it works, offering the reliable cushioning and support you would expect of a high mileage daily trainer. If you’re looking for a moderate support shoe that sits on the softer side of the spectrum, there’s little reason to try anything other than the Brooks Ravenna 5.