Brooks Revel 2

The Revel 2 is the newest edition in the Brooks series of cushioned shoes, after the Glycerin and the popular Ghost. The shoe is designed to be visually appealing so that you continue wearing it after your run! The upper has been redesigned in the Revel 2 to give a more chic and modern look. Instead of featuring the two colors like the previous Brooks Revel, this shoe has a seamless looking upper which uses one color thread throughout.

It looks chicer than the previous version enabling runners to wear the shoe at work, the gym and on hikes. Another change in this shoe is the absence of a thin film on the midfoot to enhance the appearance of the exterior. If you’re looking for a cushioned training shoe that you can wear to the office, gym, walking in the park or casual running, then the Revel shoe fits the bill.

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Holabird Sports Link
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Holabird Sports Link
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Road Runner Sports Link
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Pros & Cons
  • Supports a medium to high arch
  • Great for overpronators and flat feet
  • Lightweight design
  • Many colorways available
  • The most affordable shoe from the Brooks series of cushioned shoes
  • BioMogo DNA midsole which provides a custom running experience
  • Plush tongue and padded heel
  • Cons
    • Does not fit wide feet too well
    • Is quite similar to the Brooks Revel
    • Key Features
      The outsole features a high propulsion outsole which is a staple of Brooks shoes. This material is abrasion-resistant and offers good traction in moderate surfaces. In combination with segmented crash pads of the shoe, this outsole aims to make the heel strike seamless during your run. The crash pads function to absorb shock that is likely to be felt when the feet strikes against the surface.
      The Midsole has a BioMoGo DNA which is cushioning that adapts to your stride no matter the distance you’re going. Even if you wear it for 5-6 continuous hours, your feet will feel cushioned for that matter of time. The non-Newtonian gel layered between the biodegradable BioMoGo foam adapts to the force that is applied on it which means the more force applied, the stiffer the shoe becomes.

      So when used for fast running, the cushioning firms up as the impact force increases in strength. During low-impact walks or runs, the midsole adjusts to become softer and more flexible depending on the weight and pace applied on the shoe.
      The knit is made of heat activated yarn which doesn’t shrink or expand easily. It keeps its shape so you don’t have to worry about it stretching out over time. Combined with an internal booty in the shoe, the upper keeps the shoe secure and adds to the comfort.

      The upper is one of the most liked features of the shoe with a flat-knit material. You can see a heel counter guide at the forefoot to guide the foot which is covered by medium-weave knit and features a plush, anti-slip collar that extends down into the forefoot.

      Read also about best men's running shoes for plantar fasciitis.

      The knit pattern transitions into a tight loop over the midfoot and ends in a visually appealing “3D” forefoot. The tongue is standard for Brooks shoes with moderately plush material and stitched to the liner. This ensures that the tongue does not slip or move around much reminiscent of Saucony’s ISOFIT technology.
      This shoe is lightweight at 9oz for women and 10oz for men. While mesh is a lighter material then a knit-upper, the absence of many overlays help the upper remain light without compromising breathability. Generally having plush padding on the heel and tongue can affect ventilation in the shoe but this is not the case with the Brooks Revel 2.
      The Knit material in the upper combines the benefits of being light, airy and comfort comparable to a pair of socks. Made of heat-activated yarn, the Revel 2 is great for hot and humid days. The shoes do fairly well-absorbing moisture and don’t add on to the weight. The DNA sockliner inside the shoe also helps to keep the foot feeling fresh and not too sweaty.
      The knit upper is lightweight, breathable and fairly soft. The thin bootie on the inside of the shoe allows for some space between your foot and the upper so that they do not touch. Runners did not find overheating to be an issue as the pores in the upper helped ventilate the shoe.

      Despite the tongue being padded quite nicely, it does not cause issues with pressure points on the foot. The heel is also padded thickly to protect your ankles and keep them locked down. Although cushioning in the shoe is very good, it cannot be compared to the comfort offered by the Ghost.
      Brooks has a fresh new look for this latest version. The shoe is very visually appealing with the raised texture of the forefoot switching to a close-knit midfoot and then a wider weave in the heel. The Revel can be compared to the Brooks Ghost which is a clunky and beefed-out trainer while the Revel 2 is scaled back.

      There are 5 colorways available for men- Black/Grey/Grey, Black/Light Grey/Orange, Black/Oyster/Pearl, White/Grey/Black, Black/Blue/Grey. While all these colors are not flashy, they are well suited for various looks at the gym, trail or even work. There are a cool 8 colorways available in the women's version of this shoe.

      The shoe displays a shiny Brooks logo on both sides which looks like they could bring low-light visibility- something that the previous Brooks Revel lacked. While they glimmer a bit, they don’t actually serve the purpose of low light visibility.
      In terms of durability, the Brooks Revel 2 is promising. The outsole is made of abrasion resistant material. One runner commented that he covered 250 miles of various strides and paces including 10 mile long runs and 200m races with this shoe and it still held up without major signs of wear and tear. The only area that shows the miles is the fading color of the outsole rubber threading but this is a very minor nitpick.
      There are a few elements that bring adequate protection to the shoe. The rubber outsole with a light tread pattern can protect the feet from debris and small rocks that one is bound to bump into during runs. The stretchable knit upper helps fit the shape of the foot and gives a secure fit. When it comes to the midsole, the BioMogo works to bring cushioning while the sockliner contours to the shape of the foot and wrap the foot securely in the shoe. However, one complaint is that there are very few overlays on the upper so the protection is a bit compromised.

      One reviewer mentioned that some small stones got stuck on the tongue of the shoe which is likely due to the absence of overlays. If you’re wearing this shoe in the gym or only when you’re out and about casually, then the protection provided works well enough. If you require something more protective against harsh terrain, then you can look for other shoes in the Brooks series.
      The heel of the Revel 2 features a segmented crash pad that softens the impact on landing on the heel. Many responsive shoes have an issue with being noisy and emitting a squeak when landing on the pavement. Fortunately, this problem does not exist in this shoe as it is silent on both dry and slick surfaces. One runner commented that the shoes felt sticky on the dry pavement giving her superb grip and propelling her forward on the flat surface.
      Brooks claims that this shoe is great for medium to high arches however there is only a short rise under the arch. While many runners were happy with the midfoot stiffness, they felt that the arch support could be better with a TPU or a plastic insert under the arch. The support seems to be on the ‘low stability’ side of neutral shoes.
      The shoe has been marketed as great for people who want to wear something comfortable for the gym but also wear it to work right after. Many runners agree with the versatility of the shoe with some wearing it while on vacations and others while running on treadmills. The tread of the outsole is not very aggressive and therefore will not be great for rocky terrain.
      The cost is the biggest USP of this shoe and the price is on the affordable side of the scale. Since this shoe is versatile and can be worn in all-day and can last for hundreds of miles, it is a bargain. But a point to be noted is that by adding a few more dollars, you can purchase the Brooks Ghost as there is not an extreme price gap between them.
      Runners wore these shoes on muddy roads with no change in the grip of the shoe however the traction did perform great on slick paths. These shoes perform the best on paved roads with good performance in the gym or for casual walks in the park.
      The BioMogo midsole plays a major role in making this shoe flexible. A standard material found in almost all Brooks shoes, this ensures the shoe gives a cushioned and flexible ride. The outsole also features a flexible but durable rubber which has horizontal grooves that increase flexibility to the shoe. The crash pad was added as a shock absorption measure which takes away from the flexibility. All-in-all, the Revel 2 is good for casual sneaker fans and if you require more flexibility, other Brooks shoes would do better such as the Ghost model.
      The Brooks Revel 2 is a training shoe that offers moderate stability as it wasn’t designed to be an all-terrain trail running shoe. The durable rubber outsole with crash pads ensures that you feel confident about not slipping while in these shoes. But the midsole with the inner bootie are the factors that enhance the stability of the shoe. The bootie acts like a sock to give a secure wrap around your foot that provides a ‘lockdown’ feeling. The padded collar works to provide comfort but also keeps your heel in place so that there is no ankle-slippage in fast-tempo runs.
      It has a heel-to-toe differential of 12mm which is high. While there is a trend in recent years to move towards a zero drop ‘minimal’ shoe, there is no truth to the fact that it is better than shoes with a traditional high drop.

      A high drop encourages a heel strike pattern that can reduce the pressure on the foot and ankle. In general, a higher drop can help those runners who suffer from plantar fasciitis, tenderness in the Achilles, or pain in the midfoot while running. Since this shoe isn’t meant for running races or marathons, the drop of the shoe isn’t as important as comfort and stability.
      Key Features
      -Breathable Knit upper made from heat-activated yarn
      -BioMoGo DNA midsole for cushioning and protection from impact forces
      -12 mm drop
      -Heel crash pad for smoother transitions
      -Bio Mogo Outsole with grooves for a solid grip
      Bottom Line
      The Revel 2 blends style with comfort to create a great neutral trainer. They are not designed for a niche runner rather they offer a solution for the majority of beginner or amateur runners. We can hope to see an improvement in flexibility in the next shoe of the series but at the same time, the shoes do offer a comfortable running or walking experience.

      The adaptive cushioning of the midsole is the highlight of the shoe as they provide a customized running experience while on short high-tempo runs and long but slow hikes. They may not be the most technologically advanced shoe created by Brooks but they offer durability at a very affordable price point.

      The Revel 2 is not the best running shoe in Brooks lineup but that is not what they were going for. They intended to design a moderately priced running shoe that can serve dual purposes.
      Where to Buy
      Holabird Sports Link
      See Deal
      Road Runner Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Abbie Copeland
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Aug. 01. 2021

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