The first time I ran in Brooks Ravenna 8, I did not like it. Or a second time. By running three, I have started warming up.
Whether it just takes a while to rest or because it’s a slightly unusual shoe and a neutral sneaker I usually run in a different, all I can say is give it a chance that you might be happy with the results.
Ravenna 8 is a slightly intermediate shoe in several ways. It provides support for overpronators (those feet are rolled too far inland when landed), but not so much as it runs uncomfortable if you are a neutral runner.
It also has a very comfortable fit in the midsole, which allows more room for the toes before opening. I like the loose fit for all rounds, but it is not unpleasantly strict to run. If you find the traditional stable or neutral shoes is not very suitable for you, this may be completely different.
Despite being well-cushioned and providing some support, the Ravenna 8 is lightweight, and feels responsive and springy when on the road. Part of that is due to blown rubber on the forefoot section which results in a bouncy toe-off when running.
It’s also designed to ensure your heel-to-toe transition is smooth and a diagonal roll bar counters any excess pronation you might have in your running stride. Despite this support, the Ravenna 8 doesn’t feel stiff and rigid like a typical stability shoe.
Even though this pair took a while to break in and has some unusual characteristics, don’t count out the Ravenna 8 when selecting your shoes, even as a neutral runner. It’s comfortable, springy and offers some extra support for long miles on the road. If you overpronate when running but have never liked the rigidity of stability shoes, the Ravenna 8 could be the ideal option.