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Brooks Pure Drift--Initial Thoughts

edited December 2012 in Brooks
I had a great day two new shoes showing up at the same time the Pure Drift and the Salomon Sense Ultra.  Already posted my initial thoughts on the Ultra in the Salomon area of this forum.  I have been a big fan of the Brooks Pure series shoes and really like the new Pure Flow 2.  The Drift is a totally different shoe than any of the other Pure shoes as this one has the option of a 4mm or zero drop and is very light weight.  My 11.5 weighs in at around 6oz with the insole removed.  I did the 4mm drop option in my test run.  I really like the wide toe box and the cushioning on the shoe is more than I anticipated.  The fit on the shoe is great a glove like fit is the best description I could give.  Sizing wise they run true to size as I take a 11.5 in my Pures and the 11.5 in the Drift fit perfectly (something I was concerned about since I had no opportunity to try this shoe on).  The shoe has a great road feel but not bone jarring.  I did not like the sound the shoe made as the Pure is very quiet footfall.  The shoe felt fast because of the low weight (equal to that of some of my racing shoes).  I got the black and yellow color and it looks great.  All in all a very positive initial reaction.


  • I took mine on a longer than expected 13 miler and they held up great. Even took them on a few miles of trails as part of the route and had no issues. I do find them a little slippery on fresh wet surfaces however due to the lack of rubber on the bottom.
  • Mine have shipped, but I'm not at home so won't be able to try them till at least Wednesday - probably sitting on my porch right now! Thanks for the early thoughts.
  • JimJim
    edited December 2012
    Got these yesterday and went for a short run. Very comfortable shoe, but a little noisy like greyhound said when your foot strike isn't the best. Been running in PureFlows and Nike Free 3.0 V3 for the last year. Ordered the same size as the PureFlows (11.5), but exchanged them for size 12 after my run because I was conscious of touching the end of the shoe on downhills. I wanted a shoe with the fit and drop of the PureFlows, but a lower forefoot stack height like the Frees. These seem to fit the bill and my initial impression is very positive. They are firmer than the Frees, but not as harsh feeling as the Skechers GoBionics which I now just wear for everyday use and work. I also like the fit better than the GoBionics which seem to have a little too much extra space in front of the small toes for my foot shape. The noise is the only negative so far, but I'll just use that as a teaching tool to run softer. These seem to have more toe spring than the PureFlows - doesn't seem to bother me though. The Drifts have more wiggle room for the toes than the PureFlows - just the right amount for me.
  • Can anyone speak to the durability of the Pure line of shoes (not necessarily the Drift)? The Brooks website says to expect to get 250-300 miles out of them, which is pretty low.
  • I've got just over 300 miles on a pair of PureFlows and I would think I have at least another 100-200 in them. The soles are in good shape, but my big toe has gone through the upper. That's easily fixed with duct tape - I seem to do that on lots of shoes, not just the PureFlows.

  • I have over 150 miles on my Flow 2s with no apparent wear on the sole.  On the original model Flow I got about 350 miles.  I hope the new ones get better mileage.
  • Wish they were cheaper if that is all you can expect.  That sorta silliness is why I buy on sale only.
  • I got my pair of Pure Drift's yesterday and couldn't wait to take them out for a run.

    first off, I'll say that I have incredibly wide feet, and currently run in the Pure Cadence with the insoles removed as that is the only way to give my feet enough room in the shoe. So i couldn't wait for brooks to make a shoe that was actually intended to have the insoles removed.

    Unfortunately, The Pure Drifts I received suffer from a pretty severe manufacturing defect, but only on one of the shoes (the right one). The defect is such that there is an indentation in the upper above the outside toe split in the sole, this causes pressure to be put on my toes when running. the defect is described in detail and with pictures on Jamie Pang's blog (its one of the top Google hits when you search pure drift review). Although where he had it on both shoes, I only had it on my right shoe, the left one had no such problem. Upon careful inspection I noticed the difference between the right and left shoes where that on the right one (the defect) the spacing in outside toe flex, is dramatically smaller than on the unaffected shoe (this actually causes the right shoe to be slightly narrower than the left shoe).

    when walking with the defect it is painful, however the pain lessened when i started to run, but it still annoyed me to the point where it was changing my gait. this is extremely unfortunate because my left foot felt great! It is one of the few minimal (ish) shoes that fit my wide feet. I would love to get a complete pair that doesn't suffer from the defect, but I don't know what the odds are of that. I'm definitely going to return them to Zappos, but I don't know if i will bother re-ordering them in the hopes of getting a better pair.

    Has anyone else had this issue?
  • I can make that indentation occur on both feet, but I have to push my toes down to the ground to do it. It's not there unless I do that. Haven't noticed it at all while running, but maybe a slight touch while walking before I start the run. I saw the blog you mentioned prior to getting the shoes so I was aware it may be there. How close you lace the shoes seems to affect it too. I've only got about 8 miles in the shoes and not a problem so far, but I'll keep an eye on it. On the 2 runs I've done in them, despite being aware of the noise they make, I have noticed my feet and legs feel really good afterwards. Hopefully that continues.
  • Two runs in the Drift for me. No problems with the indentations on either shoe - I'd exchange them for another pair (I have the black, ot sure if it makes a difference). I like them so far, but my main issue is that there is a hard ridge where the integrated footbed (below the insole) is stiched to the sole in the area of the ball behind my big toe. Got a nasty blister from it running with the insole out yesterday (only caused a hotspot with insole in). I can feel the bump/ridge on both sides, but only seems to bother me on the right.

    Another intersting thing is that there is no way the insole adds 4mm to the heel drop. I measure it at 5mm heel thickness, 2.5 mm forefoot. Measured multiple times with C-calipers and never came close to 4mm. As such, this shoe may be a bit of a step down even with the insole in from the other PureProject shoes and other 4mm shoes.
  • Interesting I have the indentation on the left shoe and not the right.  However, no issues with the indentation.  Have about 50 miles on them now.  They really are not made for racing or fast training as I thought they were.
  • I had to try these myself. Just received my parcel. I had ordered it in sizes 10 (= my usual size; Pure grit and Flow) and 10.5.

    These shoes seem to run slightly short, my usual size 10 is too small.

    I immediately removed the insoles and what a huge disappointment! I totally agree with Fred's assessment that these shoes are only good with the insoles. My main concern is that up front the foot bed is like a sharp edge (where it connects with the uppers). The heel section is o.k.. If I compare this with my supere comfy insole free Merrells the Drift is definitely bad. I'd probably have to size up to 11 then since I run a lot downhill.

    But now the main reason for returning this shoe: The uppers above the  smaller split groove flexes with a popping sound. Worse is that due to this flex the upper rubs at my toe annoyingly (I hope this is written understandable). Bilster alarm!

    This shoe goes back again this afternoon.
  • edited January 2013
    Yes, that sharp edge where the integrated footbed connects gave me a massive blister on the ball behind my big toe. I have not had the upper issues though, but the sharp edge may be a deal breaker for running without the insole for me, and may preclude running much with the insole as well.
  • SO I tried something today with the Drifts that seemed to help. I'm a fan of swapping insoles around between shoes. Running sans insole caused my blistering in the Drifts due to the ridge where the integrated footbed is stitched down, and with the included insole I only got a hotspot. Decided to try using the insole from the Brooks Cadence 2 which is a bit thicker and softer. Made the shoe less harsh underfoot, and seemed to reduce abrasion at my problem spot. Still a bit sore on the ball behind my right big toe, but could just be because I have a popped blister with loose skin that is still heeling. Gonna try a few more runs, but this may have salvaged the shoes. 
  • Mine have an indentation too, but I just assumed that was a function of them having a really wide toebox and my cinching down the laces fairly tight. Doesn't seem to affect anything other than aesthetics for me. They seem comfortable thus long as I'm running easy. Firmer than I expected, given how soft the PureConnect and PureFlow were (I retired the PureFlow early because there was something about the cushioning that I just didn't like, especially as the shoe got more miles on it). No blister problems, but I've worn thin socks with them so far.

    Anyone else finding them awkward for speedwork? I gave up on them during a progression run (before it even got that fast) and swapped them out for flats. Too much like running in bedroom slippers or something. There seems to be some crossover between flats and so-called minimal shoes (I'll give them the "so-called" label to pre-empt an argument over which shoes qualify as minimal and which do not), but if there's a line in the sand of what shoes I'll use to run fast, these are not on the fast side.

    I agree with Pete that I doubt the insole is 4mm. I don't have calipers, and I sure can't even try to guesstimate something as small as a millimeter or two just wearing them, but me lightly pinching the heel vs forefoot of the insole, versus pinching three stacked 1.3mm guitar picks...unless either my finger proprioception sucks or Dunlop has been lying to me about my picks (and I maintain that a fraction of a millimeter makes a much bigger difference in a guitar pick than in a shoe, and that's even with me being a decent runner and a terrible guitar player), I don't buy it. The question now is whether the shoe is 4mm with the insole and ~1.5mm without, or 2.5mm with and zero drop without. Doesn't make a difference to me personally, I know how the shoe rides and for all I care, someone could tell me it's actually 12mm (surprise!), but there are certainly those who will. Running Warehouse has them at zero/4mm, and I thought they do their own in-house measurements, but I'm doubting them here.

    Speaking of not having calipers, I'd actually be curious to know how big the differential is on a pair of my T7s once they get 200+ miles on them, just for my own curiosity's sake. I'd bet it's pretty big...they start at 12mm, and then I grind the blown rubber on the forefoot down to nothing, while the heel stays relatively intact (carbon rubber doesn't grind down much, and the heel EVA gets less stress lines than the forefoot does). I wouldn't be all that surprised if it's up to 15+ mm by the time I toss them.

    Pete, I'm almost surprised the Cadence's insole fit. The Flow seems to have a narrower and straighter last, and the insole reflects that. I've found that as shoes get more stable, the lasts seem to get even straighter, at least in my experience. You may be zero dropping the shoe, btw...I'm playing with the PureFlow and PureConnect 2 insoles now, and they seem to be pretty consistently cushioned through the forefoot and heel (or at least more consistently cushioned than the Drift...though both those insoles have quite a few miles on them, so who knows what they were like initially). Almost makes me want to try to stuff a PureConnect insole in there...I'm one of the people who actually liked the arch support of that shoe, and at least a little of it came from the weirdly shaped insole. Much narrower last though, not sure how well they'd fit.

    These are all very initial impressions...don't even have 30 miles on the shoe yet.
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