Brooks Revel 6 Review (2024): Perfect Budget All-Arounder?The Brooks Revel 6 is a very good budget daily trainer that just works.
Comfortable, surprisingly versatile all-arounder.
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
Despite the Revel 6 not being front-of-mind or a marketing star for the Brooks Running line-up, it’s a surprisingly multitasking, fun running shoe. With decent BioMoGo DNA cushioning in the midsole, moderate responsiveness, and light weight, this shoe delivers quick transitions and provides low-key support for neutral runners. It’s also breathable, durable, and partly manufactured from recycled materials.
Featuring a few upgrades from the Revel 5, including added padding under the heel, the Revel 6 offers great value for money and surprising versatility with short forays off-road, too.
Please read our full review of the Brooks Revel 6 for more information.
- Good stability
- Suitable for any pace
- Quick transitions
- Budget shoe
- Also great for walking and cross-training
- Not cushioned enough for very long runs
Brooks has long been a go-to brand for reliable, good-quality shoes that are equally supportive and all-day comfortable. The Revel 6 certainly delivers on all these points. All the great features runners would have appreciated before have been retained, with some new elements, for a shoe that proves to be a surprising all-arounder.
Sure, the name “revel” is a bit misleading since this isn’t a super shoe or a max cushioning plush trainer. However, I found it to be more fun than I’d bargained for while testing it on road and trails. After several easy runs, I even took my first pair of Brooks shoes for an interval session and a few hill strides. Read on to see how they behaved and why we find them fantastic running multitaskers.
Brooks Revel 6 features BioMoGo DNA cushioning, which provides energy return and decent shock absorption. At first glance, I found that the shoe presented a slight stiffness underfoot, which gave way after the first couple of runs. This is when the soft and protective midsole came into its own, making daily runs really enjoyable. Additionally, Brooks Running have added an extra 2 mm of cushion under the heel for landing protection, which – as a heel striker – I thoroughly enjoyed.
I measured around 32 mm stack height under the heel and 22 mm under the forefoot on my test pair, which is in line with the shoe’s declared 10 mm heel to toe drop. This adds to the comfortable feel of the Revel 6, along with the padding around the heel collar. However, I would expect that marathon runners would require more cushioning – I have been comfortable for up to 2 hours running on road in the Revel 6, but wouldn’t keep them on for the remaining time of a race.
While not a bouncy shoe per se, the Brooks Revel 6 feels dynamic and unexpectedly fast. From first putting them on, they felt springy and fun. The weight, at 227 g for women’s size 40 and 248 g for men’s size 42, puts the Revel 6 firmly in the light shoes category. This helps boost your speed and enhance comfort levels, too – as I barely felt I had them on while running!
Quick transitions are assured by the relatively stiff structure with a mild rocker, combined with the midsole foam and the arrow-point patterned outsole (although I am not convinced how much those chevrons contributed, in my case!). There isn’t a particular pop in the ride, but all the shoe’s features provide support and enough fun for beginners and “no frills” runners.
Support and gait type
The Brooks Revel 6 is designed for runners with a neutral stride, so there are no obvious support features. There’s generous shock absorption for heel strikers, but forefoot strikers may find the stiffer, less cushioned front of the shoe lacking.
Compared to the previous iterations of the Revel, the 6th model has a re-engineered upper which feels a little thick to me (especially the tongue), but is surprisingly breathable. The FitKNit design keeps the foot relatively snug without being uncomfortable. There is also a pull tab at the back to help put the shoes on quicker, which I liked. And there’s some welcome added padding around the heel collar, giving extra protection and holding the foot comfortably in place during runs.
Fit and sizing
Although many reviewers have gone up a half size for the Revel 6, I found my usual size 38 fit true to size. As a neutral shoe with only moderate arch support, the Revel doesn’t force the midfoot in any direction and feels comfortable and well fitted. People with moderately wide feet will also find them comfortable, as the material is soft and flexible enough to adjust as you wear them.
The toe box is not as wide as in dedicated trail shoes like the Divide or Catamount, but it feels roomy enough for moderate daily miles. At the other end of the shoe, the slightly rigid heel counter holds the foot in nicely and didn’t hurt on longer runs (which is a big deal, given that on first try, I was concerned that these shoes would prove too rigid for longer miles).
Brooks markets the Revel 6 as a “versatile look that will fit in before and after the run.” That’s 100% correct: if you want to run-commute to work and don’t have a spare pair of shoes, you won’t look out of place in a casual office. And they’re so comfy to walk around that you don’t feel self-conscious or out of place in pretty much any setting (especially if you go for the black color scheme, which I absolutely loved). They are also good for cross-training, for example, gym workouts or hitting the hotel treadmill while traveling.
After running some serious mileage in them, I feel that the Brooks Revel 6 is one of the most versatile shoes I’ve tried recently. It’s lightweight and bouncy enough to make me prefer it over my Asics Gel Nimbus 25 for speed workouts while also cushioned enough that I could easily run around two hours on roads or hard-packed trails in it.
The outsole doesn’t cater to trails, really, but I found that non-technical, less steep sections of off-road running were very pleasant in these shoes. They’re super comfortable for long walks or simply all-day wear, too. Add to that the sleeker look and feel compared to the most obvious running shoes, including the pleasant black and white design (many other colorways are available depending on the retailer, but this one’s been my favorite), and these are great shoes for pretty much any and every eventuality.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the Revel 6 is unexpectedly water resistant – on my first run, I ended up in an unavoidable puddle caused by flooding, and my toes didn’t get wet at all!
I’ve run in the Revel 6 on wet and dry roads alike and found them to offer excellent grip in all conditions. The Green Rubber outsole made for good adherence to hard-packed, runnable trails, but it was also nimble enough to get me through rocky sections as long as they were dry. Additionally, the arrow point pattern in the outsole lets your foot roll forward a little bit more efficiently – increasing transition speed and contributing to why I felt so much faster in these shoes than I expected.
Value and Sustainability
The Revel 6 can take runners through lots of different sessions and even suits walking and daily wear. This means it offers excellent value for money, retailing for $100 at full price but often available at a discount. It’s a solid shoe for first-time runners or for those looking for an all-in-one daily trainer to take with them when traveling, too.
Carbon footprint and animal welfare
Brooks has gone big on environmentally friendly manufacturing here. 59.7% of the upper is made from recycled materials. The brand also claims they’ve managed to divert 11.84 plastic bottles from landfills for each pair of Revel 6. The Green Rubber outsole made from environmentally friendly silica completes the shoe’s eco credentials. A big thumbs up to Brooks for all these elements.
Last but not least, the Revel is vegan, like all Brooks Running shoes, and doesn’t contain any animal product.
Both on hard-packed dirt tracks and on the road, the Revel 6 felt lightweight, springy, responsive, and an overall comfortable ride. If you’re looking for versatility and a good fit, as well as a durable shoe that you can wear all day beyond your running sessions, this is it. In the grand scheme of things, the Revel doesn’t overdeliver in any aspect – it’s not super cushioned, extremely fast, or particularly lightweight by comparison to road racing shoes. It’s also not a trail-specific shoe. But, for a casual runner or someone looking for value for money from a multitasking shoe, it’s absolutely perfect. I will certainly keep it on rotation for easy to moderate paces runs and for running while traveling!
|248 g/8.7 oz
|227 g/8 oz
|Vegan, Recycled materials
|Green Rubber, Arrow point pattern
|Short, 5K, Mid, 10K, Half marathon
Comparisons – Brooks Revel 6 vs.:
Brooks Revel 5
The Revel range has always been a solid shoe for Brooks, where runners feel moderately supported, without too much fanfare, and get good value for money. This remains true with the 6th version, which continues to deliver the goods for $100, just like its predecessors.
In the Revel 6, Brooks has notably added 2 mm of cushioning in the heel, which is great news for heel strikers and improves the overall comfort levels. There’s more breathability in the upper than with previous iterations, too.
Finally, the new Revel features a higher proportion of recycled material (59.7% of the upper vs 51% in the Revel 5) – always a good direction for a shoe brand.