Years ago, as a reward for running my very first race, I bought myself my very first pair of 'proper' running shoes. They were butt ugly, had too much support and landed me on the physio's table. The shoes in question were my very first pair of Brooks running shoes, and as a result I developed some rather negative associations with the brand, swearing off them for life. FOR LIFE.
How things change. A few years after that painful event I got invited to meet the team at Brooks. I got to try their latest shoes and they fitted me out with what would turn out to my my shoe of dreams, the Ravenna. This shoe was just the right level of supportive, appeasing my Goldilocks tendencies, it wasn't too bulky and it didn't look butt ugly. I was tentative at first, not convinced I'd like it, but gradually I came to love that shoe. It was just right.
These days I have some pretty fierce loyalty to the Ravenna, I'm on my fourth pair and thanks to tweaks and development over the years I swear they are only getting better. You'll rarely find me running in anything else, honestly I think it's love. (oh and it helps the colour ways have come a long way as well!).
Obviously being a massive fan girl meant I was beyond excited when I heard the team at Brooks were tweaking the Ravenna for it's eighth incarnation, nothing major but a few little features to make a big difference. Little features I put through their paces at London Winter Run last week.
Hitting the streets of London on a cold Sunday the first thing I noticed about the Ravenna 8 was how light it felt compared to the Ravenna 7 and how springy and responsive it was thanks to some springy cushioning in the sole. You know the old saying 'you get out what you put in'? Well as I was running I definitely felt like I was getting something back, my feet were gliding.
One of my biggest gripes with that original pair of Brooks that I hated (seriously, despite current loyalties I still get itchy at the thought of those buggers) was how bulky they were. I constantly felt at risk of tripping over my own shoes, which isn't great when your running, you start to adopt a weird Bambi-esq gait that just looks strange. The Ravenna 8 in comparison is super streamline and neat on the foot. It's also cosy inside thanks to an adjustable saddle that wraps the foot and holds it securely - perfect for my narrow inpronating feet.
Sadly, my knee niggle means I've not got to run in the Ravenna 8 as much as I would like, although they're definitely my inspiration to do my rehab!
**Brooks kindly gave me the Ravenna 8 to try out, but all opinions are my own. I really am a massive fan girl**