this is the second year I have been fortunate to take part in the Try It On promotion by Brooks where they let you have a pair of shoes to trial for a week.
I am a big fan of Brooks shoes. Most of my running shoes are Brooks. I have been running in the Pure range of shoes pretty much since they were launched.
My favourite Pure Project shoe remains the original Pure Grit trail shoe. Despite the fact the grip on the sole wasn’t great, as a shoe, for fit, feel and comfort it was pretty much perfect.
Last year’s update to version 2 of the Pure shoes didn’t work so well for me. I bought a pair of Pure Cadence 2 but they just didn’t feel as good as the version 1 shoes. I tried the Pure Flow 2 as part of Brooks’ Try It On promotion and just couldn’t love them. They were too big, too soft and the upper rubbed my little toe. I blogged about them here.
I have been running in a pair of Pure Flow 3 for the past week as part of this year’s Brooks Try it On Promotion.
This year’s model feels much improved. These shoes are immediately comfortable and you can run in them straight out the box.
The ride feels lower and while there is plenty of cushioning, it is a very responsive shoe. There is plenty of cushioning to support my heavier frame. The shoe feels very well balanced. It nudges you towards a midfoot/forefoot strike rather than pushes you. The shoe is very flexible, allowing you to run fast, but still manages to feel substantial enough to protect you from the pavement.
It doesn’t feel too dissimilar to my beloved Racer ST5’s which are my preferred marathon race shoe. After only a week’s running in them I am pretty confident that I could happily run a marathon in these shoes and be happy wearing them.
The fit is comfortable. The toe box is wide enough for my wide feet, without feeling too large. There isn’t too much excess volume on the top of the shoe. The fabric is soft and comfortable and hugs your foot very nicely. The heel is comfortably snug and doesnt rub. The asymmetric lacing has changed shape and is much more comfotable. The previous version tended to put pressure on the top of my foot (I have high arches) whereas the different shape is very comfortable. The tongue is stitched in place on the inside which again helps to keep the foot secure and in place.
I am still not convinced that either the Nav Band or the split toe add much to the shoe, but then again the shoe works very well so who am I to argue.
All in all there is very little more to say about these shoes. They are probably the best shoe I have tried for a long time and a shoe which I would be confident wearing for long distances and which are a significant improvement on the Pure Flow 2.
I will almost certainly part with my hard earned cash to buy a pair as I can see them becoming my workhorse marathon training shoe.