Shoe Porn from Brooks

Over the last month or so I’ve been trialling some of the latest offerings from running stalwart, Brooks. Brooks have been in the business of running since 1914, so I think they know a thing or two about making great running gear.

I’ve been lucky enough to trial the new Ravenna 6 and Launch 2 shoes.

The Ravenna 6 is a classic cushioned running shoe which sits between a neutral and support shoe (labelled a “guidance” shoes by Brooks). This is perfect for me as I only need a little support, usually in the later stages of a high mileage run. The best way to describe the Ravenna 6 is as a classic running shoe. They have a sturdy EVA sole which feels soft and cushioned; they have a classic breathable mesh upper; they have a heel to mid-foot crash pad to absorb impact.

When I first put them on they felt heavy and chunky, especially compared to the Ultra Boosts I’ve been trotting around in, but they definitely felt comfortable.

On our first run together I quickly got used to them and they didn’t feel heavy or clumpy at all, which I was relieved about! I did get some discomfort around my toes though – inside the shoes at the toe feels quite hard and it rubbed a bit. Unfortunately this hasn’t gone away, but I think it would be solved if I went up a half size. I’m currently wearing a pair that are a half size up from my normal size, so I would probably recommend going up a whole size!

Although not the sleekest shoe on the market, I love the fun and colourful look of the Ravenna 6 (this colour way is pink glo/electric blue/lemonade) and think they’re a cute shoe for summer.

If you’re after something lighter, the Launch 2 is for you. The Launch 2 is a lightweight neutral road running shoe, which has all of the great elements of the Ravenna 6 but in a light weight model.

Worn here with the legendary Nike lava leggings

The Launch 2 offers adaptive cushioning in the mid-sole, a heel crash pad (as compared to the heel to mid-foot crash pad found in the Ravenna 6), a cooling mesh upper as well as a synthetic overlay which adds no-sew support (no-sew = no seams = fewer blisters!).

My first impressions of the Launch 2 were that they were lightweight and really comfortable. As well as taking them out running I’ve worn them on day long walks out in the countryside as well for running errands around London and I’ve had no complaints about them in any of these scenarios.

I think the Launch 2 are really well suited to speedier sessions (like parkrun!) and race days – they may be my shoe of choice for my half marathon comeback at Run Hackney in a couple of weeks (if I feel they’re worn in enough by then!) along with my amazing Run Happy calf sleeves, which are definitely coming out on race day!

This colour way is brite pink/midnight. They’re very bright and very pink but I love that – the brighter the better as far as I’m concerned! I would definitely recommend the Launch 2 if you’re looking for a lightweight neutral shoe. Again, I would go up a whole size from your normal shoe size.

Thanks so much to Brooks for sending me these shoes to trial! All opinions are my own (as always).