Brooks Ravenna 6 vs. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 review

Brooks Ravenna 6 strikes a good balance between support, cushioning, and a smooth ride. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides a lot of protection from the road for those long runs.

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The Brooks Ravenna 6 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are stability running shoes that are meant to provide overpronators with a moderate amount of support and stability, so they should match up well against each other.

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The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has more overlays and more traditional stitched-on overlays than the Brooks Ravenna 6, especially around the midfoot where overpronators tend to need the most support.

However, the Brooks Ravenna 6 has a strap that you can adjust through the saddle and that should give you a good lockdown around the midfoot.

The Brooks Ravenna 6 consists mainly of no-sew overlays to make your foot feel comfortable and prevent causing irritation. These no-sew overlays wrap the midfoot and the heel well, while there are lighter welded-on overlays running over the toe box to provide structure there.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 also has no-sew overlays running in between the traditional stitched-on overlays and especially in the forefoot area to provide you with a glove-like fit.

Because the no-sew overlays of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are somewhat stretchy, they should provide a closer-to-foot fit than those on the Brooks Ravenna 6.

So while the forefoot of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 might feel a bit tighter, it should still allow your foot to move and sit comfortably in the toe box.

Where the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 perhaps also wins is at the back of the shoe where it has a heel counter to really lock your heel down on the platform. The Brooks Ravenna 6 just provides a good amount of support behind the heel.

While the Brooks Ravenna 6 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provide heel-to-toe cushioning with their midsoles, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is known to be a very cushy running shoe, and that is no different when compared to the Brooks Ravenna 6.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has a softer layer of foam that is closest to the foot to really up that amount of softness in the running shoe in addition to GEL cushioning that is present in both the heel and the forefoot. That is what really makes the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 so soft.

The Brooks Ravenna 6 is more a running shoe that offers a good balance between stability and cushioning. You see, because of that softer layer of foam just under the foot in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, its firmer foam that controls overpronation, does not run as high as it does in the Brooks Ravenna 6.

Therefore, you can expect to get a bit stronger degree of pronation control from the Brooks Ravenna 6 than from the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

In addition, the Brooks Ravenna 6 provides more ground contact than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, thereby making the Brooks Ravenna 6 more stable than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and perhaps also more able to deliver a very smooth transition from heel-strike to toe-off.

The latter is also due to the crash pad under the heel of the Brooks Ravenna 6 that runs from under the heel till the midfoot and joins the forefoot seamlessly.

And while the Brooks Ravenna 6 does have a piece of plastic on the medial side of the midsole to reinforce the medial post that controls overpronation as your foot rolls inward, it does not run under the entire midfoot as the midfoot shank in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 does.

The midfoot shank in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is there to provide structural integrity to the midfoot and also reinforcement to the midsole on both the medial and lateral sides of the midfoot.

The outsoles of the Brooks Ravenna 6 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 differ in construction. Both have well-segmented rubber compartments under the heel and in the forefoot for good shock absorption.

And while the Brooks Ravenna 6 has one deep flex groove more than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, not all of its deep flex grooves run from side to side as in the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21; a few are obstructed by rubber, which works negatively on flexibility.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Brooks Ravenna 6 are both above average stiff running shoes, but running shoe lab tests have shown that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is a little bit more flexible than the Brooks Ravenna 6 even though the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 has a thicker midsole than the Brooks Ravenna 6.

The women's version of the Brooks Ravenna 6 weighs approximately 9.1 oz (258 grams), while the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for women weighs approximately 9.5 oz (269 grams). The men's version of the Brooks Ravenna 6 weighs about 11.3 oz (320 grams), and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for men also weighs 11.3 oz (320 grams).

If you are looking for a very comfortable and plush ride, there is little doubt that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 could deliver that, because it offers a lot of protection from the road.

But if you are after a little bit more stability and support and would perhaps want to feel a bit faster, then the Brooks Ravenna 6 might be the better option.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

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This review falls under: ASICS | Brooks

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