Read on to get a review on the Pure Flow, by Ethan Munang.
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When I heard about the Brooks Pure Project, I was immediately interested. I was first thinking of purchasing the Pure Connect, which was the most minimal of all the four models. However, after trying them on I found them far too narrow, even with their anatomical last. Instead, I started researching the other models and after reading a few reviews, I found that the Pure Flow was the widest and most suitable of all the four.
So far I have had the shoe for nearly two weeks and have only managed to put about 30+km on it. The shoe weighs at 9.8oz for a size 11, which is light. I thought that these shoes would be suitable for distances up to 10km. However, other runners might find this shoe suitable for even longer distances, even half-marathons.
My only concern when trying these shoes on was if they were wide enough for me. I have quite wide feet and usually have to wear 2E sizes in normal running shoes. However, these shoes fit me perfectly. I would point people to the Flows if they were looking for a slightly wider minimalist shoe, if they don’t mind the extra weight. The anatomical last of the shoe is meant to be shaped like the actual shoe, however it wasn’t exactly foot shaped as it felt. The interior of the Flows are extremely comfortable and unobtrusive. In particular, the inner liner of the heel and the tongue of the shoe were very soft and comfortable. The Nav-Band was also a nice addition to the shoe. It is meant to adjust to the size of the foot. This provided some security in the fit and remained unobtrusive. I loved the laces too, the stay-tied laces at the top were very good and stayed tight even with a single knot.
The midsole of the Flow and the other shoes from the Pure Project line are unique. Brooks has integrated their Biomogo foam and DNA cushioning compound for a more adaptive and custom feel underfoot. The shoe is quite flexible, although not as flexible as the Green Silence or the Kinvara I will go into more detail of the cushioning further below. The ideal heel is one of the most favorite features of the shoe. The heel of the shoe is shaped like the heel of a normal foot, encouraging a more natural stride. I liked this feature a lot. The split toe feature of the Flows did not really do much for me. It supposed to empower a more powerful push off during the propulsion phase of the gait cycle. However, I did not feel that it made any difference during any of my runs but I think it has succeeded in cutting some weight off the shoe. The ideal heel is one of my most favorite features of the shoe. The heel of the shoe is foot shaped encouraging a more natural foot strike. The sole of the shoe also appears to have quite a bit of rubber on it, resulting in increased durability.
My first run in the Flows was an easy 5km. The cushioning was one of the most unique experiences I have ever had with any shoe. It felt soft and plush, yet it had a ‘springy’ feeling to it. It was like a mix of the responsiveness of the Green Silences and the plushness of the Kinvara put together. I was able to midfoot strike easily on the run. I was very impressed. Also, I did not get any hot spots at all, which was a very good sign for my first run in them.
After a few more runs in them I am still impressed. The shoe seems to adjust itself to the pace you’re running at. At my normal pace the shoe feels just right, and at a slower pace it feels nice and soft but at a faster pace it begins to feel very responsive yet still plush. It’s like a racing shoe and a daily trainer put in one. One question still remained though, if it was alright for runs that are longer than 6 – 7km. On Saturday I went on a slightly hilly 10km run at an easy pace. Yet again, I was impressed. The cushioning was soft and plush and I did not get any hot spots at all. I even had about two holes in my left sock and I did not get any feeling of discomfort at all. I have yet to go on any runs longer than 10km though, but I am confident that this shoe can go the distance.
I think that the Pure Flow is a great minimalist shoe for people who want to take one of the first steps into minimalist running. Although some purist might not consider it minimal, it is still minimal in my books. Even though I have put little mileage into it, I see a bright future in the Pure Flow as a daily trainer and a go-to shoe for 10km races. I have heard that these shoes are meant to last about 1000km. I look forward to putting that to the test.
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Brooks Malaysia thanks Ethan Munang for a comprehensive review on Pure Flow! We wish him many happy miles.
To find out more about Pure Flow, do feel free to ask for a testing session.