So about me: I'm 39++++++ years old (not yet 40 but darn close), 6'2", about 205lbs, have longer legs than normal and therefore a shorter upper body and do NOT look like a natural runner. I have my own "unique" form and most will say they can see me coming a mile away because of my "uniqueness." As for the kind of shoe I'm coming out of, it's always been a neutral shoe vs. a stability shoe. I've also always leaned on the heavy, top-of-the-line shoe because heck, I'm a heavy runner, right?! That's what I thought and was advised that I should wear to get the maximum life out of them. So after a year of going from the Brooks Glycerin, their $135 high-end cushioned shoe, I cold-turkeyed into the Pure Connect 1 and you know the rest of the story there. When I heard the 2nd rendition of the Pure Project line was set for release around Christmas 2012, I thought it was time for the Flow which was less minimal, offered a little bit of cushion, and is for the neutral runner. One of the biggest changes in the 2nd line is the tongue is incorporated into the upper. The upper literally "becomes" the tongue, creating a seamless transition. The lacing was also made very non-traditional and along with an elastic band, encourages a very natural fit...almost sock-like.
So I just retired my first pair of Pure Flow 2's at 350 miles. For me, I know when a shoe has reached end-of-life by my knees. Long mileage, marathons, 50Ks, etc. don't really bother my knees so when they ache like they did yesterday and a few days prior, I knew it was time. Let me introduce you to the bottom of my Pure Flow 2's after 350 miles (right) and my new Pure Flow 2's (left) with zero miles on them:
Overall, I have been super happy with the Pure Flows. In full disclosure, I am in my 4th year with Brooks as part of their Brooks ID (Inspire Daily) program. So, I wear nothing but their products from head to toe, 365 days a year. But, I cannot get past the huge difference they have made to me as a runner and an injury-free one at that. They completely changed my gait, my form, how I take off with each step and how I rejoin the earth. That let me finally heal completely and strengthen the injured area while becoming more efficient and fast in the process. The fit is phenomenal, too. The way the shoe wraps has resulted in zero blisters, no movement, no hot spots, or anything. Structurally, zero wear and tear on the upper. No frays, loose threads, slight tears or anything. I simply gave them the occasional spraydown in the deep sink and never put them in the wash. That's it. As for surfaces they've run on, it's been exclusively asphalt. I'm not a dreadmill....I mean treadmill runner and I ran all winter long. So sometimes slush, sometimes snow, but always asphalt beneath.
So what more can I really say about Brooks Pure Flow 2s? I will say that I believe that most shoe writers, reviewers, and columnists would not recommend the Pure Project line for a "big guy" like myself. However, I have proven the opposite. They are THE perfect shoe for me and I continue to preach about it to close friends and those looking for advice. If you run in a neutral shoe, I recommend the Flow. If a stability shoe is your flavor, then go for the Cadence. Want less shoe and more connection with the earth, hit up the Connect. Want practically nothing between you and the earth? Try out the new Pure Drift. For you trail junkies out there (I'm one of them), the Pure Grit is for you. (I have two pairs!) Regardless of the shoe on your foot, the brand of clothing on your back, or the path you choose to follow, Run Happy...always. Accept nothing but that and fight back all resistance to do so!
Run Happy, friends!
|350 miles (LEFT) and my new Pure Flow 2s with 0 miles. (RIGHT)|