Brooks PureProject Details and Shoe Images Released

Brooks PureProjectUpdate 10/24/2011: I share my thoughts on the Brooks Pure Connect here.

Brooks released details today about it’s upcoming PureProject line of minimalist running shoes (thanks to Zak as well as Ransacker for the details!). I wrote about the Brooks PureProject a few weeks back, so I’ll keep my comments here brief.

I don’t know yet what the specs are on these shoes as to heel lift, but all look to be lower than the traditional 12 mm rise – going to work on trying to get some firm numbers. Update: Thanks to Jon from Brooks for providing drop numbers in the comments – all of the Pure shoes are 4mm heel-forefoot offset. All of the models below look to be decently cushioned, so I wouldn’t classify any as ultraminimal or barefoot-style. However, given my liking of the Saucony Kinvara and other well cushioned shoes, this won’t be a huge issue for me – I know where to find ultraminimal shoes if I need them (Merrell, Vibram, Terra Plana etc.).

From a styling standpoint, I give Brooks a lot of credit – all are good looking shoes and meet my preference for shoes with a bit of an aggressive look. I got to check out a pair of the Pure Grit at the HAT Run 50K a few weeks back (a fellow runner was wear testing them and let me have a look), and they do feel very light, and the split toe design of the sole (see photo above) is interesting to say the least. I’ll withhold further judgment until I can get a pair on my feet. If you have any further details, feel free to share in the comments.

Pricing is $90-$120. Not sure how I feel about this given Brooks’ claim in their first PureProject post that “Runners shouldn’t have to pay more for less technology.”

Update: Just came across this choice quote by Brooks CEO Jim Weber from an article in Running Insight:

“If you want to live your life with a ‘less is more’ philosophy, I can understand that,” Weber told Running Insight, “but when it comes to performance product the idea that ‘less is more’ is absolute crap.”

Pretty strong words, and not sure I’d agree even remotely. I also found this line quote by Weber to be interesting (from the same Running Insight Article):

“We see this very much as a specialty run product,” Weber said, “because it gives stores a chance to maintain their fitting process and offer their customers two different types of running experiences.”

I question the innovation involved with making a product so that it allows retailers to “maintain their fitting process” when evidence calls into question the entire nature of the pronation-control based fitting process that we now use. I don’t have a problem with varying stability levels or these Brooks shoes – I actually am quite excited to try the Pure Connect – it’s the fitting process I have a problem with, since I don’t feel that the evidence base for its use is very strong. It’s long past time where we re-consider that paradigm.

For more info, check out the PureProject product page on the Brooks website, or this PureProject launch article on Ransacker.co.uk.

All images and text below are taken from the Brooks PureProject Tech Sheet:


Brooks Pure Connect

Our lightest and most flexible shoe in the line, the PureConnect puts as little as necessary between the runner and road. 7.2 oz men, 6.5 oz women – 14 mm heel:10 mm forefoot

Update 10/24/2011: I share my thoughts on the Brooks Pure Connect here.

Brooks Pure Connect Men's

Brooks Pure Connect Women's


Brooks Pure Flow

For runners who want to connect with the run without losing the comfort
of dynamic cushioning. 8.7 oz men, 7.5 oz women – 18 mm heel :14 mm forefoot

Brooks Pure Flow Men's

Brooks Pure Flow Women's


Brooks Pure Cadence

Runners who need more supportive features can still experience the feel
of a more natural stride. 9.5 oz men, 8.3 oz women – 18 mm heel:14 mm forefoot

Brooks Pure Cadence Men's

Brooks Pure Cadence Women's


Brooks Pure Grit

Trail runners will love the hug-your-foot upper, slim midsole, and pliable
yet protective outsole. 8.9 oz men, 7.6 oz women – 15 mm heel:11mm forefoot

Brooks Pure Grit Men's

Brooks Pure Grit Women's

Running Warehouse: Great prices on closeout shoes! View men's and women's selections.
Amazon.com: 25% or more off clearance running shoes - click here to view current selection.

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Spyros1976 says:

    I would like to see more companies making shoes like the Altra Instinct. Cushioning with zero drop. That is what is the market missing. I hope that the Brooks Pureproject shoes don’t have the same arch support as the Kinvara.

    • I cut out the arch in the Kinvara (thing sticking out of side of sockliner). It’s basically flat.

  2. Stanley says:

    I’m not sure I understand the point of this line, other than taking a little market share (as Aaron speculated) from Saucony and somewhat cynically cashing in on what management apparently sees as an annoying and short-lived fad.

    What’s interesting to me is that Brooks already makes half of a really good semi-minimalist shoe: the Green Silence. I have a pair that I occasionally use on longer runs (15+ miles) because I like having a little more cushioning at times, though doing the bulk of my mileage in VFFs, EVOs, the new Merrell Trail Gloves, and barefoot makes me only too aware of the rather thick outsole and significant heel/forefoot offset on the GS.

    Which I guess is my slightly long-winded way of saying that if Brooks simply replaced the existing 23mm/13mm sole on the Green Silence with, say, a 5 or 6mm thick, zero-drop sole, they’d have an awesome (and much more “minimalist”) shoe that would be very light, quite comfortable, fairly durable, and suited to a wide range of distances.

    The Pure Project shoes do look nice, though.

    • Bishopj6869 says:

      Would just like to say I bought a pair of the Mens pure cadence shoes a weeks ago I have worn them for a few days first impression very comfortable and not much break in period. Going on my second week I have over 60 miles in the shoes very supportive, plenty of cushion but not to mushy, Light weight, I also have played a few games of basketball and lifted in the shoes and I must say again I am very pleased and would purchase a second pair. I typically wear mizunos or asics this is my first pair of brooks and so far have a better feel than any shoe I have worn up to this point.

      • Pete Larson says:

        Thanks for the feedback. I have the Flows, and am similarly impressed, though I cannot say the same for the Cadence. Is the “hocking” in your email address for Hocking College? I went to OU for grad school, lived in Athens for 5 years.

        • Agree on the Connect is way to narrow.. But im thinking of maby try out the flow. But can not find a good answer on whats the drop is in Flow some say 4mm other 8mm, do you have a “correct” answer on this if its 4mm or 8mm

          • Pete Larson says:

            I have the Flow – can’t recall if I’ve measured it, but they report it as 4mm and it certainly feels like 4mm on my foot.

  3. Allan Carter says:

    From the description of the Connect: “as little as necessary”? So 14mm in the heel and 10mm in the forefoot is “necessary”? For what exactly? If there were only 10mm in the heel, what would the consequence be? Good thing they’ve done the research to back those statements up…

  4. disappointed with the Pure Connect having run distances from 8-22 miles. the sole pods felt lumpy and the insoles are way too cush.   don’t think the big toe separation really does anything and too much toe spring which allows little road feel.   the positive is the wide toe box and nice snug fit which does not “bite” and blister.  if Brooks would drop the exess cush, provide a flat sole minus the pods and get real with the toe they might have a great minimalist type shoe.

  5. KevinWSchell says:

    I won’t be buying any of these models after reading Weber’s comments. If he truly believes in the superior performance of shoes with maximum cushioning and maximum features (e.g., medial posts) than the only conclusion that seems reasonable to me is that Brooks is being disingenuous with this product launch…or maybe they’re just being patronizing in order to cash in on the minimalist market. Either way, I don’t need to support Brooks when there are companies like Saucony, Vibram, Merrel and Altra that appear to be creating products that benefit and fit the needs of their consumer base.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Certainly sounds that way doesn’t it…Weber’s comment is one of the dumbest
      I’ve ever read from a shoe company.

      Pete

      • Charles Therriault says:

        It sounds like Brooks may be getting a little too wrapped up in their marketing campaign of these shoes. It sounds like they are trying to get the message across that they are making high tech lightweight shoes. A little too much float vs feel, which is kind of cheesy any ways.

        I think they should take a page out of the New Balance or Merrel textbook and talk about form and how their shoes help the runner with a more efficient gait a.k.a. getting off those heels. That is what we really want to hear.

        I think they could make that case too because the split shoe design does seem innovative.

        I am really excited about the most minimal one and I think that will sell the best, unlike Weber who thinks it is Pure Flow (another Kinvara). The Pure Connect seems to fit a missing part of the market right know because it is more minimal than kinvara and NB road, but more cushion than Merrell, Five Fingers, Evos, NB Trail. A get place that only a few racing flats are in right now (Hyper speed and Rockets)

        Charlie

        • Pete Larson says:

          Agreed – this is marketing hype to the extreme, and not a very coordinated
          effort if you ask me. Why have your CEO slap the face of the people who made
          this market even possible, then jump in while trying to make every effort to
          sound like you aren’t trying to grab a share of the minimalist market when
          it’s blatantly obvious that is what they are doing. They should have just
          hyped the shoes and talked form like others have – a much better approach.

          Pete

    • jabroni says:

      Kevin, the reason he says that “less is more” is crap is because he is trying to sell a differentiation point. These shoes are offering, from the looks of the sheets posted on their blog, 5 brand new technology. Hence, more is more? More technology, more innovation, not necessarily more shoe…

      • Kski213 says:

        I think I have to agree. Perhaps Weber’s statements have been taken out of context. “Less is more” is crap in his mind because they may be a more minimalist shoe…but more technology has gone into their design. Its not just taking away from a shoe to make it more minimal.

        • Pete Larson says:

          This then begs the question – is more technology a good thing, and where is
          the evidence for it if it is.

  6. “If you want to live your life with a ‘less is more’ philosophy, I can understand that,” Weber told Running Insight, “but when it comes to performance product the idea that ‘less is more’ is absolute crap.”

    Apparently, CEO Jim Weber doesn’t agree with racing flats either?! Because the flats I’ve been wearing has measurably less material when compared to cushioned trainers and they’re definitely used for performance.
    Remember those shoes guys n gals?
    To name a few:
    Asics hyperspeeds, Asics Piranha, Adizero Pro, Adizero rocket, Mizuno wave universe…etc etc.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Yes, excellent point. The Brooks Mach 12 is a solid shoe for example,
      it’s also about 4mm drop, designed for racing, and costs half of what
      the PureProject line will cost.

      Pete

  7. I just read at Racksacker that the Pureflow has “Broad Nav Band lasted into shoe for efficient arch support” :(

  8. WOW! The Pure Connect shoes look AMAZING!!

  9. rugbyref says:

    Seems like Brooks came into this kicking and screaming after they saw the success of other companies. I’m sure they had a board meeting last year and decided this whole minimalist mumbo gumbo will just blow over.

  10. Jon@Brooks says:

    The heel to toe offset on all PureProject shoes is 4mm. Midsole heel:toe heights are as follows:

    PureConnect 14:10
    PureFlow 18:14
    PureCadence 18:14
    PureGrit 15:11

  11. Nice looking submissions from Brooks. They obviously did their homework and came up with something in the same class as but not a ripoff of the Kinvara. The internal/external strap on the Pure Cadence is interesting.

    Pete: You have to be drooling over these, considering the flashy color combos.

    I agree about the steep prices. Less shoe should equal less cost – unless the shoe kicks butt and justifies its value like the Trail Glove.

    It appears that the curve of the soles on all of the models is approaching that of Sketchers Shape Ups. The description of the Pure Connect is a bit awkward (“PureConnect puts as little as necessary between the runner and road”), considering the thickness of the sole. It’s all subjective and debatable, I guess.

    I hope they also drop a truly minimalist offering.

    Kudos to Brooks for joining the fray.

  12. I had a chance to take a look at the pure connect at a local 10k yesterday.  After having a peek inside it was immediately obvious that these would never work for me.  There was an arch ‘immobilizer’ (support) the height of which I have never seen matched before in any minimalist shoe to date.  Flat footed runners need not apply here.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Yes, I just got the Pure Connect and they will be going back without running in them. Narrow and crazy amount of arch support.
      Sent from my iPad

      • I just got the pure connect and pure flow to try on. The pure flow has MUCH less arch support. Very cushy, feels great. And looks better IMO. But I have a narrow foot and high arch, so the connect actually feels like a breath of fresh air to me. Hard to decide which to return..

  13. Sam Winebaum says:

    Despite the marketing speak about Float and Feel these do look very cool. All under 10 oz. All with 4mm drop. The heel technology is interesting claiming to move the foot strike 3mm further forward. The toe box which actually follows toe lengths appears to be a first as does the split toe sole. Found all this tech info on the PDF’s on the right side of the PureProject page:link to brooksrunning.com

    • Pete Larson says:

      The foot-like toebox shape follows what New Balance and Merrell have
      atempted, but what Altra has perfected.

  14. Thanks Pete.

    We’ll be excited to look at these and carry them if the properties are what you describe. the split first toe is very important as it will facilitate a straight first toe…the key for stability and elastic recoil in running.

    We only have one fit process…the correct one. Teach proper gain mechanics and look at the runner’s joint stability and mobility issues as they relate to healthy running. then give some corrections and advise the runner to get a flat shoe. Some need protection and a little cushion for transition and others strong enough to get more minimal early

    Mark Cucuzzella
    Two Rivers Treads

  15. Barrie Page says:

    UK price for the Flow & Conect is £59.99 which is 30% less than the Kinvara at £85. Not sure if we’re paying too much for the Kinvara or getting the Pureproject shoes cheap, but under £60 for these is fantastic news for UK runners. I’m happy to pay the money for the Kinvara as it’s a truly awesome shoe, but I’ve always felt it’s price was a little inflated. I think this range from Brooks is really going to shake things up in the UK market.

    • Where can you find UK pricing details from? £60 seems fair to me.

      • Barrie Page says:

        It was in the Ransacker article earlier, but prices have now been removed so either they made them up or weren’t supposed to publish them! I’ll ask the question…

  16. forget the running, I am 82 and have terrible feet, have tried all the name brands, these are the best, most comfortable shoes I have ever worn! I hate to take them off…..thank you Brooks

  17. Andrew W. Lischuk says:

    Business is business and capitalism is capitalism. What will drive all of these companies to move towards making a product that will not only serve the public better by promoting better form and function, but in a more economical way is the continued driving market force of thousands upon thousands of runners moving towards this trend of minimalism. We are starting to see that with more and more companies coming out with minimal options. They could care less about the research, so we need to continue to educate the running public that this is more than just a fad, and thusly, our efforts, and the efforts of people like you Pete, who have a voice reaching out to thousands will continue to drive the market in this positive direction.

  18. briderdt says:

    Toss-up as to which one I like best style-wise. Of course it all comes down to fit. LOVE the fit of the Merrell’s, New Balance missed the mark as far as I’m concerned, but it’s just last shape. The jury is still out on Altra (until I get a chance to try them on). Thanks for the great write-up!

    • Craig Lloyd says:

      This is months late, but I’ll reply to your “jury is out” statement. I’ve worn Brooks, New Balance, Inov-8, and now Altra. I can tell you that the jury is in favor of Altra. It is the best shoe on the market. Comfort, foot shape, and zero drop. There is no better combination. I’ve put 450+ miles on mine and just got done running a 100 miler in them. My feet have never been better.

  19. Rorie McIntosh says:

    * Edit *
    Strongly agree with your comments regarding the ‘fitting process’.
    We should no longer look at footwear from the point of view of ‘neutral’ and ‘over-pronator’; this approach is outdated and more importantly dangerous in thinking it can reduce the risk of injuries…
    How does a company embrace a new ideology after years of selling products which were causing the very problems they were trying to cure?

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