With so many shoes in the Brooks lineup, you could easily ask why should someone even check out something like the Revel 4. There are so many simple lightweight runners out there, is this even a necessary play for them. After plenty of runs in them, you can count us surprised as the shoe brings practicality, simplicity, and performance all in an innocuous package. If you are looking for a low-cost road shoe and want a bit of quickness without a bunch of extra thrown in, then read on.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Priced on the low-end but they haven’t skimped on form or function.
- All new knit upper and full BioMoGo DNA which is all about responsiveness.
- You can expect an energetic ride paired with an 8mm heel/toe drop.
- Weighs in at 8.9oz or 252g for a US Men’s 9.
- Retails at $100.00 USD and comes in 4 colors for Men and Women.
As the new lineup of shoes rolled in for testing which also includes the Levitate 4 and the Bedlam 3, the Revel 4 just kind of sat there as this really simple looking innocent shoe. We didn’t expect a lot from it, but the specs on the shoe spelled out a bit of a different story… our curiosity was piqued.
The shoe goes on like a glove, Brooks has this semi-gusset system that starts halfway down and once you get past that, the shoe grabs your foot and you kind of just thunk into place. I did notice that it does run a little narrow, but you can flex your foot and push against that knit a bit and it flexes well. Speaking of the knit, I actually quite liked it, definitely felt more premium than expected given the price point.
During a run, the midsole is firm yet responsive. It is by no means a soft ride, but overall the shoe is much faster than expected. The upper can warm up a little bit but switched to a lighter sock and this helped as that upper provided some additional insulation. Most runs felt good in these and I think most newer runners will enjoy these if they don’t all the whiz-bang in terms of stability, cushion, etc.
The upper on the Revel 4 has been fully rethought out and uses a full knit upper that appear to be almost double layered. This does make it soft and flexible especially in the toebox, but it can run a little warm depending on temps. Fair warning is that they may seem narrow for some, while you get some flex up there it still just won’t be great for wider feet. The tongue is gusseted about halfway down which keeps it in place well and the padding on here is fairly minimal. There is also a heel pull and then a small integrated heel counter to keep you in place.
The midsole on here uses Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA technology end to end and this puts it into what they call the “Energize” category. What this really means is that you should expect a more responsive ride and while the cushion exists, it is in no way a soft or plush shoe.
The outsole on the Revel 4 uses their new Green Rubber blend and there is a ton of it. They have updated their arrow point rubber pattern which is designed to help with transition and provide a bit more flexibility just in the right spots. The shoe does grip really well even in the rain and also durability seems pretty high.
Style & Aesthetics
Styling on here is pretty good, but one could also say “simple”. Brooks did make the call to go with black and white color options on the upper for men which is a bummer as these could be a bit more fun. The profile will remind you of the Levitate or Bedlam as it is kind of the little brother of those shoes, but just not as flashy. So… average-looking?
The Brooks Revel 4 is a really simple runner that also ticks a ton of boxes. It remains performant when you want to go quick and given the lightweight makes it usable for many run types. The knit upper can heat up a bit, but that is a nitpick. The other big one is that it will feel a bit narrow for some and while they tried to solve that by widening the midsole through the outsole, it still feels a little too tapered for some. The shoe is a great consumer-level runner that can even hang with some of the big boys out there. It was unexpected even for us.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.