Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Brooks Pureflow 6 Review: ISH

Brooks Pureflow 6

The Pureflow 6 is an 8.9 oz/ 252 grams (men’s size 9) daily trainer from Brooks with a 4mm offset from heel to toe. The stack is approximately 24mm heel/ 20mm forefoot. The 6 loses 0.3 oz from its predecessor likely due in part to the elimination of the printed star overlays found on the 5. Price remains the same $110. Available January 2016.
Brooks describes the shoe as follows: “The flexible midsole feels plush underfoot-for a natural feel that still protects from impact where needed”.
Upper and Fit:
The upper on on the Pureflow 6 is nice enough. The materials are soft and high quality. There’s a pretty good amount of cushioning around the ankle and in the heel collar. The upper is sort of a quilted fabric. The fit is a little loose all around on my foot and I had to cinch the laces down pretty hard. Once locked in there’s no heel lift and the shoe is pretty comfortable. There’s a fair amount of room in the front of the shoe. They feel a little too roomy for me, bordering on sloppy.  

Midsole and Outsole:
The midsole is made of BioMoGo DNA LT. Seems like the usual DNA foam from Brooks. There are flex grooves and some firmer blown rubber both on the heel and covering most of the forefoot. There is a “forefoot dynamic flexgrid” up front, which basically means there are pods, but they are linked together to form a grid. The result is a pretty flexible shoe. There’s plenty of rubber on the bottom of these and I expect they’ll be quite durable.   The heel is rounded. I barely ever land on my heel, so I don’t know how that impacts the ride, but it makes it tough to take the shoes off using only your feet.

Maybe my expectations of a shoe named “pureflow” are too high. I hoped these shoes would feel more natural. Overall the ride is fine. It’s a firmer ride than I generally like, and though it has softened a bit over 30 or so miles, it still doesn’t feel like a relaxed and easy shoe to run in. They run like a less flexible shoe, and ultimately just don’t ‘flow’ for me.    That said, they are firm enough that they feel spritely if you pick up the pace, and cushioned enough to go out and pound some miles out.

Conclusions and comparisons:
I really wish I liked these more. I don’t dislike them-- they’re fine—and if I didn’t have a choice I’d be happy to run in them. That said, there’s not much that separates them from the pack for me. They’re light (ish), flexible (ish) and fun (ish). They might work better for a wider foot. If you step into them and love them, give them a shot.  

Pureflow vs. Nike Pegasus 33
The Pegasus 33 has been the benchmark for me this year. I’m finding myself reaching for them more than any other shoe (except maybe the Zante). Though the Peg is slightly heavier it is a much more fluid and forgiving ride for me than the Pureflow.

Pureflow fvs. New Balance Zante V2
I find the Zante has a quicker turnover and feels less clumsy. They are similarly firm, but pureflow is a bit slappier on the pavement.

Pureflow vs. Saucony Freedom ISO
The Saucony is what I wish a shoe named Pureflow was. Where the Pureflow is stiff and firm feeling, the Freedom is, um, free feeling and disappears on the foot.

Score 8.00 out of 10
-1.0 for baggy upper
-1.0 for uninspiring ride
The Pureflow will be available January 2017. Retail $110

Brooks fans read our review of fine the new Launch 4 here

The Pureflow was provided at no charge to Road Trail Run. The opinions herein are entirely the author's.
Peter Stuart's Running Bio

My running career got off to a slow start…in high school I was told I ran like a race walker and was thus relegated to race walking on the track team. I got back into running about 15 years ago and then into triathlon. Triathlon really rekindled my love for running, so about two years ago I hired a coach and really focused on the half and full marathons.  I broke a bad habit of putting in tons of moderately hard miles (and no easy or hard ones) and after plateauing at 3:25 (with some disastrous marathons in there), this past year I brought my marathon under 3:00 and my half under 1:25. Along the way I’ve developed a bit of a shoe problem.

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Anonymous said...

The shoe retails at $100. Not 110.

Also, maybe try comparing it to a Saucony Kinvara or something in the same 4mm/stack height range and a similar ride (or even a 0 drop Altra). The Pegasus is on the other end of the spectrum, so it makes it tougher to give it a fair analysis. Or try a Zealot instead of the Freedom, as one is maximum cushion and one is designed to give a more connected feel with the ground.

Overall though, your reviews are great! I love the insight you put into some of the shoes and awesome job with the training!

Anonymous said...

Brooks really nailed the Pureflow from v1 through v3, but have lost it with recent versions. This version doesn't look much better. It's a shame because I used to wear them exclusively. Saucony has since won me over.