Monday, December 9, 2013

Review: Brooks PureFlow2

Reviewer: Jimmy Gabany

Shoe/Category: Brooks PureFlow2 (Men’s), PureProject

• 8.8 oz, 4 mm midsole drop, medium arch 
•Type: Road/track training shoe for neutral pronators
Price: ~ $70.00 
Features: Toe Flex—split sole in the outsole/midsole lets big toe function independently, engaging runner’s balance; BioMoGo midsole and DNA gel cushioning

Fit and Feel: The shoe fits true to size; my 12.5 fits like a 12.5. The PureFlow2, like its predecessor, does not seem to have any irritation points. I ran 5 miles right out of the box with no discomfort. Nice snug fit all around; no gaps or loose areas to contend with anywhere. The Nav band, which is a stretchy band that wraps over the midfoot, keeps the shoe secure and the feel snug without being binding. The addition of an asymmetrical lacing pattern in the PureFlow 2 improves the fit by keeping the tongue in place better and avoiding hotspots over the instep of the foot. The PureFlow2 is very comfortable for a minimal shoe. The cushioning system is protective without being heavy, and soft without feeling squishy. It’s not designed to protect feet on trails with significant rocky debris, but it will keep runners comfortable on fairly long runs (15+ miles), unlike many of the other minimal shoes.

Wear: I have run approximately 50 miles (90% road and 10% trail, dry conditions) in the PureFlow 2 shoes prior to reviewing and they show no significant wear either on a quick visual appraisal or on closer physical inspection. As with the previous iteration, this model seems like it will hold up very well. I anticipate getting at least 250-300 miles from this shoe.

Appearance: I like the colors and general appearance of the shoe. The split toe is visible but I do not feel it while running. The reflective elements on the shoe are extremely bright.

Bottom Line: The Brooks PureFlow2 is my favorite road shoe at this point. I have run in the original PureFlow and recommend it to many others because of the way it promotes an efficient midfoot strike and helps keep the feet under the hips while running. I’ll continue to recommend the latest version. The changes in the PureFlow2—e.g., asymmetrical lacing—are positive and only enhance the quality of the shoe. This shoe is a solid performer at a great price.

My score: 10/10

Thanks to the nice people at Brooks for sending me a pair of Brooks PureFlow2 to test and review. This did not influence the outcome of my review, which was written after objective wear-testing.

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