Less is more: Brooks PureDrift? New Balance Minimus Road (MR00)?

Hello everyone,

new year, new shoes! okay, is not an excuse what I need, but your help... :)

I want to transition to more minimalist running shoes, and I'm looking at the new Brooks PureDrift and at the well-known New Balance Minimus Road. Believe me I made my homework and read reviews of both, but it will very helpful if someone has some points to compare directly these two.

I fell in love with the Green Silence a couple of years ago, and I'm still wearing them for most of my runs. For trails I reach to the New Balance MT10, and truly enjoy how they feel: light, firm, close to the ground. I definitely enjoyed the sweet soreness of the transition to 4mm drop, and I'm ready to go all the way to zero. With still a few months before this year's first half marathon, it's the best time to experiment.

I run 80-100 kilometers per week, with easy runs, long runs, and speed work intermingled...

What would you suggest?

Let's discuss, if you please! :)


  • I found that the MR00 was honestly kind of dead-feeling.
  • edited January 2013

    I woke up this morning with both shoes on my doorstep, and I'm now trying to judge them running 2-meters loops in my kitchen. You'd understand why I need your help... :)

    I agree with previous comments on the PureDrift: without the insole something feels... wrong. Somehow my feet don't sit well. In spite of my thin feet, the midsole feels narrow and the upper in the forefoot bends inside when when the foot flexes. Um. The toe spring feels a tad aggressive walking/standing, but it's hard to judge how it would be on the run...

    However, as I step in the MR00 I fell in love: perfect fit on my feet! they feel firmer, and more comfortable in the midfoot are. They are more snug than the PureDrift but something that does definitely feel good.

    Still, I'm looking for opinions before I decide for one of them. Is the MR00 more versatile than the PureDrift? is the MR00 more suitable for speedwork than the PureDrift?

    Pete, after running in both, what are the main differences you feel between them? which niches do you devote them to? if you could only afford one, which one would it be?

    Bryan, what's that dead-feeling? slow? soft?

    I wish I had a bigger kitchen...!
  • As far as feel, there's a difference between "firm" and "dead".  It's not about cushioning--it's more about how the shoe rebounds from shock.  Let's explain it this way: picture two balls that are equally soft, but one bounces higher than the other.  The lower bouncing ball is said to feel "dead".  It's the same feeling in shoes that have been run in for too long.

    I tried on a pair of MR00's after running a 5K in my Bare Access 2's and was disappointed to find that the shoes I had just raced in and had about 80mi on felt more alive and new than a set of shoes that had never been outside the store.
  • I'd go with your gut - if the MR00's feel better in terms of fit, go with them. My verdict is still out on the Drift - need to get some more runs in to see if the hotspot/blister issue I have gets better with the insole I stuck in them. That alone would make this an easy decision for me. But, if that were fixed, I like the feel of the Drift underfoot a bit better. Like Brian, I find the MR00 to feel a bit dead/unresponsive. The Saucony Virrata is the zero drop shoe I'm most looking ofrward to, and I've heard good things about the Mizuno Cursoris as well.

  • Thanks for your insights, and the ball explanation: everything almost clear now... :)

    But let me add one last question. What if we bring the Adidas adipure Gazelle in the discussion? It's not a zero drop shoe but does definitely feel minimalist, and... not as "dead" as the MR00?

    Pete, pros and cons between these two? If you have time, and the patience.

    Your help is much appreciated, guys!

  • Yes, I like the Gazelle sole a lot, great shoe. Much prefer it to the MR00. I've now got 20 miles on the Drifts, liking it more and more but it required using the insole from the Cadence to get it feeling right.
  • I'm curious about those Gazelles, but after my last run in my Mirages, I really wonder if I'll ever go back to non zero-drop shoes!

  • Nah, I've just come back from a quick run in the MR00: it was fun! and not only because the streets are hidden under a thick layer of ice and snow... :)

    Definitely, not the best conditions to judge the shoes but no one got hurt, and brought back home a good feeling. I'll add these to my arsenal, and keep the Gazelle in mind. Um, deciding for a running shoe is much more complicated and tiring than running! both are enjoyable, though... :)

    Thanks for the input, and the confusion! keep the good job, Pete!

    Bryan, was the different drop really noticeable? or is more about the stack height midsole thickness? I still can't believe a few millimeters make such a difference...
  • 4mm is the difference between sore calves and not sore calves for me. Hard to believe such a small amount makes a difference. For me, it's a combo of drop and stack height that makes the difference. Zero drop with no cushion is hardest on my calves, whereas something like the Bare Access 2 is more forgiving.
  • I don't think I'll get to zero-drop/no cushion--I'm still running <15mi/wk and I think the BA2 is as "less" as I'm willing to go.  Might look into Altras next...zero-drop + "traditional" levels of cushioning might be more my speed (pardon the pun).
  • edited January 2013

    I think you will like the Altra Instinct 1.5. The cushioning is nice for longer runs and high mileage, but definitely not mushy. And they still flex in the right places. The wide toebox is amazing without being sloppy. They're really starting to grow on me. My only knock on them is that they are "heavy" compared to what I have been running in. At about 9 oz. I wouldn't consider them heavy either, guess I have just recently been spoiled...lol. BTW...I used to run in Mirages awhile ago and I can't run in them anymore either, but for some reason I am still digging my Kinvara 3's.
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