RoadShoe Reviews

Brooks Revel 5 Review: Still A Great Budget Trainer

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 8.7 oz. (247 g) for a US M9 / 8 oz. (227 g) for a US W8
  • Fit Knit upper is soft and stretchy fit that looks damn good
  • Green Rubber outsole will eat up hundreds of miles
  • Great budget daily trainer at $99

NOTE: This review features (no pun intended) the Feetures Elite Cushion Mini Crew, one of our favorite running socks here at Believe in the Run. Use code BELIEVE10 to take 10% off any purchase on feetures.com.

STEF: My spring was all about 100-mile specific training and it’s always a bit of a shock to transition back to some speed work and turnover. Enter the Brooks Revel 5 to bring versatility to my new routine. I was excited to use this shoe for strides, some threshold work, and even an easy-paced long run followed up by a night out on the town (aka grocery shopping and a brewery stop).

ROBBE: People think I’m crazy for saying this, but the Brooks Revel has consistently been one of my favorite Brooks shoes over the last couple years, and I still think it may be my favorite shoe outside of the Aurora-BL. While it largely remains unchanged since the Revel 3 and Revel 4, there are some minor updates to the upper. Honestly, you’re probably not going to notice them, but I’ll still give you my thoughts on one of the best budget trainers out there.

brooks revel 5 - tying shoe

The Good

STEF: The upper on this shoe is divine. The updated Fit Knit is soft, sleek and hugs my feet in the very best way. It’s definitely one of those shoes you can wear for your run then with your athleisure outfit of choice. The upper has a touch of stretch that accommodates my forefoot well and offers versatility for many different foot shapes. The weight of the shoe (8 oz for U.S. women’s 7) strikes a good balance between being protective enough for a long run but light enough for uptempo work as well. It handled picking up the pace very easily and I felt a firm, ground contact feel in the forefoot. 

The most attractive detail of this shoe just maybe its price point. $100 for a high-quality feeling and looking shoe is tough to beat. The Green Rubber outsole seems really durable and I could see this shoe gobbling up a decent amount of miles, making that price tag look like highway robbery.

ROBBE: I love me a knit upper. You can keep your engineers and their mesh in the lab, just give me some good ol’ granny knit blanket-type feeling on my feet. Brooks nails the upper in the Revel, as they do with almost all of their shoes. Simple but just fits perfectly around the foot.

On the run, it’s neither soft nor firm, but just the right amount of cushion to get some solid miles that feel good. Ground feel is just right with wrecking your legs, which can always be a difficult balance. This is what I’ve always loved about the Revel. It’s simplistic in a way that a lot shoes aren’t anymore, and it just gets the job done. I actually took this for 10 miles out of the box, which felt fine, but I wouldn’t take it much beyond that. Look to the Ghost or the Glycerin for longer miles.\

Plus, it looks pretty damn good for kicking around or hanging out. And the price, of course. You can’t beat this shoe at $100.

Shop Revel 5 – Men Shop Revel 5 – Women

brooks revel 5 - outsole

The Bad

STEF: I think I’ve gotten used to the recent rockered midsoles found in a lot of the current neutral trainers on the market. The midsole of the Revel 5 left something to be desired for me and I didn’t feel that forward propulsion and springy ride described by Brooks. While the weight makes it a versatile shoe, I wouldn’t reach for it on long days due to the flat and at times foot slapping sensation. 

Also worth noting that this shoe runs short in terms of length.

ROBBE: There’s nothing too exciting about the shoe, but it’s also a $100 shoe. You’re not gonna get some crazy bouncy feeling out of it, but it’s a BioMoGo DNA midsole, which is the most basic of all Brooks midsoles. I really don’t have a ton of bad to say about this shoe, because it’s pretty straightforward and nothing is done terribly on it. Honestly, it’s just hard to bash a budget daily trainer, because it’s fulfilling its purpose and doing so quite well.

Shop Revel 5 – Men Shop Revel 5 – Women

brooks revel 5 - both

Brooks Revel 5 Conclusion

STEF: The Brooks Revel 5 is a great, versatile option for a do-it-all shoe at a fair $100. That said, I would’ve liked a bit more of a springy feel that Brooks alluded to with this model. For longer runs, I’d look to something like the Launch 8 (also $100) because of the softer midsole. 

ROBBE: The Brooks Revel 5 may not blow your mind, but it’ll be a good companion, especially if you’re someone who wants a do-everything shoe. For travelers, those who run a few miles a few times a week, and parents of high school athletes looking for simple and reliable shoe – this is a great choice to get you where you need to be.

You can pick up the Brooks Revel 5 for $99 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Revel 5 – Men Shop Revel 5 – Women

brooks-revel-5

Robbe is the Senior Editor/Review Manager for BITR. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and two sons and runs with the Faster Bastards when he’s not MAF training. His favorite race distance is the marathon and his favorite beer is anything but Blue Moon.

1 Comment

  1. I love this shoe. No frills, comfortable as hell, not heavy on my feet. Sadly, it works better for my 40 mpw than most fancier shoes (I find myself reaching for it more often than the Hyperion Tempo).

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