The Brooks PureFlow running shoes are Brooks’ answer to the barefoot running problem as they bridge the gap between conventional running shoes and barefoot running. There is lots of excitement about the imminent release of the Pureflows as new features have been built into the shoes which means that they offer all the dynamic and responsive cushioning of a regular Brooks running trainer whilst at the same time promoting a more natural running style. Brooks also claim that the shoes are responsive and ensure that the runner feels connected to the road whilst offering the support that mild pronators need. What exactly does this connected feel entail? Read the following Brooks PureFlow Review to explore some of Brook’s latest innovations.
One of the main new features of the Brooks Pureflow is the NavBand. This is a strap of material that wraps around the mod foot and holds it securely in place without the need for large amounts of arch support. By removing this arch support the shoe is flexible and responsive, without losing any of the structured support capabilities that runners who pronate need to control the foots natural tendency to role inwards.
A dropped heel of 4mm means that the Pureflow encourages mid and forefoot running by moving the center of impact away from the heel. By engineering the shoes so that they encourage mid foot running, the shoes encourage a more natural way of running that is becoming very popular in the running world. This natural way of running has only been endorsed by the big shoe manufacturers such as Nike, Brooks and Asics recently as a growing body of research is forming which suggests that natural running is a healthier way to run. The reason for this is because the tendency for heel striking is removed. Every time your heel strkes the ground you are essentially putting the breaks on your running and sending harmful tendon and joint damaging vibrations up through your legs and into your joints. This can cause injuries such as stress fractures so any shoes that can remove the potential for heel striking are proving to be popular with a larger and larger number of runners every month.
Having a dropped heel also means that the shoes are lighter and more flexible. Ensuring that you feel more connected to the road and mimicking the way that your foot would naturally move as much as possible.
By using less materials the Brooks PureFlow manages to stay lightweight whilst still offering a high amount of support and cushioning. The shoe weighs only 8.7oz which makes it one of the most lightweight natural road running shoes on the market. For more lightweight running shoes, see the link.
Another big innovation to go into the Brooks Pure Flow’s is the Toe Flex. This brand new concept is a split at the front of the shoe that decouples the big toe from the rest of the toes. This has been done so that the big toe can work to control balance and toe off without the rest of the foot being involved and therefore makes the shoe much more stable and controlled. I will be interested to see how this Toe Flex performs in the field because having decoupling that works in a lateral way as well as a along the line of the foot sounds counter productive in my view. Brooks claim that by giving the big toe more freedom to move around the shoes are able to offer a more flexible toe-off during the latter stages of the gait cycle and also facilitate better control and balance.
Dynamic cushioning is something that Brooks are getting a bit of a name for a the moment and their popular DNA cushioning is something that many runners swear by. DNA cushioning essentially involves strategically placed cushioning that is made out of a responsive material. This material works harder the faster and harder that you run and therefore offers a higher level of shock absorption when you need it the most. DNA technology has been incorporated into the Pure Flow along with a biodegradable midsole so that the shoes offer bespoke and advanced cushioning whilst doing their bit for the environment.
That concludes this Brooks PureFlow review. The shoes are available in October 2011.