Shoe Review: Brooks PureConnect
The shoes felt snug around my feet, fitting like a pair of gloves, reminding me of climbing shoes or booties, except that they’re much more comfortable and secure with adequate cushioning and support at the heel counter. I knew that these shoes came only in ‘D’ widths, and to play safe, I asked for a pair that was a half size larger than what I normally wear. (I have broader feet and would usually go for 2E widths if I had a choice.) I liked the breathability of the inner mesh, but less of the “plasticky” overlay, which although may add to the durability of the uppers, might likely trap the heat inside (I suspect).
I am impressed by the weight of the shoes, and definitely surprised by the “bouncy-ness” given that the shoes is designed as a low profile, low heel-toe drop piece of minimalist (for the lack of a better word) gear. The curvature of the outsole for the PureConnect model is what intrigues me the most, as I have never used anything like this before. It minimises the contact surface with the ground, encouraging one to land on his/her forefoot and discourages excessive landing on the medial or lateral aspect of the foot, which would otherwise amplify pronation or supination (this is merely my hypothesis).
I would be reluctant to go anything longer than 1.5 hours in these shoes, mainly because of the narrow width. The curvature of the outsole, being the unique trait of this model, defines this pair of shoes as a good training tool to strengthen the feet, given that the body (feet and relevant proprioceptors) has to put in additional effort to maintain dynamic stability with each stride. That said, the PureConnect would serve as a good pair of “secondary shoes” on shorter up-tempo sessions, and would definitely find a place in my training program. For more stability, one may consider the PureFlow or PureCadence as a transition to more “minimal” shoes.
- Comfortable and snug fit (credit to the anatomical last design)
- Excellent cushioning at the midsole (in spite of its low profile design)
- Curvature of the outsole encourages proper foot-strike (applies mainly to the PureConnect model)
- Comes only in ‘D’ widths (bad news for those with wider feet)
- “Plasticky” overlay at the uppers (purely a personal preference)
- Laces could be designed to be more lightweight/"minimal" (it is after all marketed as a "minimalist" shoe)
- Weight – 218g (US 9)
- The lightest shoe in the line
- Extended Toe Flex for incredible flexibility
- Nav Band provides close-to-foot fit
- Named "Best Debut" by Runner's World in their Winter 2012 Shoe Guide
Where to find them?
The Brooks PureConnect (Men & Women) is available at leading Key Power Sports stores and soon with authorised dealers.