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Road Running Shoes • July 16, 2019

Brooks Revel 3 Performance Review

What You Need to Know

  • Comfortable and stylish flat knit upper
  • A nice (and maybe even better) alternative to the Launch
  • Damn good value at $100
  • This is a “take your lunch pail to work” kind of shoe– it just gets the job done

Brooks is the blue-collar shoe company— their shoes get up in the morning, go out the door, and put in solid work without asking for accolades. They’re not gonna be kickin’ it in a corporate board room on Wall Street, but they might win a faux-gold desk clock from the steel mill for most days worked without an absence.

The Revel 3 is that blue-collar shoe, but dressed up in a Brooks Brothers suit for a special occasion.

Dave: Damn this is a cheap shoe— and that’s not a bad thing. The Brooks Revel 3 is the $100 shoe that is not the Launch, which I felt was good, then really good, then just got bad.

With the Revel’s BioMogo DNA in the heel, a flexible forefoot that boasts a tad of pepper, and a new flat knit upper providing a secure fit, it’s the underdog Brooks shoe of the moment. Throw in an 8 mm offset (2 mm lower than the Launch) at that sweet price point, and it’s perfect for runners of any type. For those parents with kids in high school cross country or track, this a shoe that won’t break the bank.

Robbe: Basically everything Dave said, except the Launch part. The Launch 5 was one of my favorite shoes of 2017, and not much changed with the Launch 6. It really was just a solid shoe for almost any kind of running and got me through two marathon training cycles with no issues whatsoever. It’s also only $100, just like the Revel 3. (I’m going to compare it a lot to the Launch, because honestly, I didn’t even know the Revel line existed).

When I got the Revel, I thought it’d be a strictly “brunch and run” shoe based on its looks (and because Brooks is marketing it hard as a 50/50 lifestyle/running shoe). However, I was pleasantly surprised. While it’s nothing groundbreaking, this shoe is a sleeper hit in the Brooks lineup.

If you’re a Brooks superfan, this should be your next shoe.

brooks revel 3 side

The Good

Dave: It moves right along. I like a flexible yet snappy forefoot, and Revel 3 gives me that. I feel a comfortable sense of midfoot through forefoot in this shoe, something that’s been a struggle with a lot of shoes I’ve tested lately. Revel boasts some pop and it’s dialed in. After a few miles, expect the shoe to open itself up to you a bit. Some of my easy days in this shoe got a little spicy as the shoe really began to work extremely well with my foot.

I like the new upper. It provides a smooth midfoot hold. The flat knit is a bit thick, but it doesn’t cause any problems. It’s funny, there’s not much to really say other than the shoe is damn good. My foot likes it, I like it.

Robbe: First off, it’s a good looking shoe, and probably the best-looking shoe in the Brooks lineup. You really could wear it anywhere. I thought the Launch could trend that way, but the design of the Launch 6 was like a bad copy of the Skechers Speed Elite; my gray version had all the personality of a government cubicle wall.

I really liked the ride of this shoe. I felt like it was a better and faster ride than the Launch. Truthfully, it even felt more firm, most notably in the forefoot, which is weird because it’s kind of marketed as a really soft shoe. Now, the heel was super cush, so those heel-strikers are going to love that comfort rolling up to the firmer forefoot.

It uses the same BioMoGo midsole cushioning as the Launch, so there wasn’t a huge amount of difference in that area. I think I felt faster because of the lower stack height and drop that likely shaved off some weight. The Revel 3 actually weighs a half-ounce lighter than the Launch 6, at 8.8 oz for a men’s size 9.

The fit throughout was snug and secure with the internal bootie and the padded tongue providing comfort.

I thought the knit upper was going to be hot as hell in the summertime, but truthfully it was fine. Although that cushioned heel collar— while comfortable— is going to retain sweat. In a couple months it’ll be fall here in the Mid-Atlantic, and to be honest, this will be a perfect fall running shoe. That knit upper will pair well with a cable sweater.

Shop Brooks Revel 3
brooks revel 3 upper

The Bad

Dave: I am not sure I am a fan of the overall “last” of the shoe. Like in Launch, the midfoot platform is too narrow. I like a little substance in the shoe. It honestly just makes me feel a bit more grounded when I run. By that I mean overall feel. I like to become one with the road. You know, that feeling of that awesome float when you run. Where everything is all connected. If you don’t understand, I’m kinda out there anyways as a human, so I get it, haha.

The laces are also a bit too thick and long. Brooks has been known for that. While they stayed tied very well, there’s just a little too much left over. Aesthetically looks like shit as well when the laces are too long.

My colorway of all black with whitewall tires is deece. But I’d opt to see some color on this shoe. May give it a better look.

Robbe: If you’re not a Brooks fan but you want something exciting, you’ll be disappointed. The BioMoGo DNA midsole isn’t groundbreaking; it’s been around for years. To me, it still works for just those everyday filler miles, but if you’re expecting some super bounce in your step, it’s not happening. At its core, this is a utilitarian shoe that looks and feels good at a damn reasonable price.

I also would like to see better colorways. There is a black-soled version, which I wish I had, but us reviewers— while beggars— cannot be choosers.

Shop Brooks Revel 3
brooks revel 3 outsole

Brooks Revel 3 Conclusion

Dave: Basic, like some dude on Cape Cod. It works and feels good. The average runner will love this shoe. So will parents of XC athletes who are looking for a safe and reliable trainer that won’t break the bank.

It’s better than a Launch, it moves along nicely, and you really don’t even notice it. Kinda works for me, should work quite well for you. Holla with any questions.

Robbe: Eventually blue-collar Brooks will have to learn some new skills to navigate the technological foam/carbon revolution, but for now, the BioMogo DNA still works. Combined with their expertise in running shoe construction, the Revel 3 is a shoe you don’t have to think about that will get you through some long fall miles.

You can pick up the Revel 3 at Running Warehouse for $99.95 using the shop link below.

Shop Brooks Revel 3



Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. John says:

    Any thoughts on Revel 3 versus Glycerin 17 as a one shoe does all? I’m thinking of moving over to drop some weight and bring it to faster workouts.

    1. Robbe Reddinger says:

      If you’re looking to drop some weight, go for the Revel 3. The Glycerin is more of an easy day trainer. In between those two would be the Launch 6.

  2. Jesse says:

    Could you please compare revel 3 to any saucony, new balance or Nike? Thanx

  3. Jesse says:

    I mean a similar trainer… To have an idea about its riding.

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