PureDrift vs Virrata
  • PureDrift vs Virrata

    My NB730s started feeling too stiff and unforgiving on the track, so I
    want something more "loving", but still light.

    The PureDrift seem like a potential solution (with the insoles, I Pete's
    comment about it being stiff without it). Light and flexible. But is it
    too soft for speed? Protective enough for hard, track running?

    The Virrata seems like another solution. I have no problems with zero or
    low drop. Also light and somewhat flexible, though feels higher off
    ground. I don't love the forefoot area of the Virrata as much as the
    PureDrifts, but I don't think the Virrata would actually cause problems
    as it is smooth and soft.

    Thoughts?

    I'd use it for track sessions and for 10K races as part of triathlons.

    I COULD buy both, but I'd rather start with one. Will the PureDrifts be
    enough protection and "energetic" enough for track sessions. Will the
    Virratas be a bit much, and not racey?


  • Hi Wisebug.  I run in both the Pure Drift and the Virrata and I would chose either for the purpose you describe.  I find the Pure Drift to be a little bit "sloppy" and not all that responsive in fast-paced situations.  There is good ground feel in the shoe, but not the "pop" of responsiveness I look for in a track or racing shoe.  The Virrata, in my opinion is a great shoe, but not for speedwork or racing (with the exception of marathon racing - as Pete showed so successfully at Vermont City in May).  I think they are just a bit too soft for quicker stuff.

    I would recommend that you take a look at the Saucony Grid Type A5 and the Brooks Pure Connect.   I think the A5 is a perfect blend of road feel, protection and responsiveness for speedwork and races up to 13.1.  I have also had good success with the Pure Connect.  Even though it is more cushioned than the Pure Drift, I have found it to be much more responsive and I have used that shoe for a number of races from 5k to half  marathon.  As you probably know it does run on the narrow side, so it may not work for your foot, but I found that by sizing up 1/2 size the fit works pretty well for me.

    Good luck!
  • Oops.  sorry Wisebug.  The first sentence should be that "I would NOT choose either for the purpose you describe".  
  • I tried the Type A5 but if I remember right I felt it was too stiff, too close to the feeling I have with the NB730. If it helps anyone with their thoughts, the one shoe that I loved the feel of were the Adizero Rockets (though the forefoot space was an issue). Back to the 2 I'm considering, if you had to choose between those, sounds like you would choose the Virrata. Am I right? Do they seem to be more responsive than the PureDrift? Could turn out to be a pretty versatile shoe if I could maybe race even a 13.1 in it.

    Any other thoughts would be highly welcome. Thank you, VTRunner.
  • Wisebug, I would definitely choose the Virrata over the Pure Drift for your purposes.  I really wanted to like the Pure Drift but it is just a so-so shoe for me.  It is hard to explain but at faster speeds it kind of feels "dead"; like all of your energy is going into the shoe/ground and staying there.  Unusual for a shoe so low profile.  An interesting phenomenon I have noted with the Virrata is that they feel fairly responsive at the beginning of a run but seem to lose a bit for me after 5-6 miles.  Still plenty of cushioning but not as much "pop".  I do think you could use it as a 13. mile shoe for you, however; especially if it was part of a half ironman where cushioning is important.

    Have you tried the Skechers GoRun2 or GoMeb (GoSpeed)?  The GR2 is very flexible, nice wide forefoot and good cushioning (Kinvara-like).  The GoMeb is definitely a racer.  Slightly more narrow, firmer and definitely responsive.  The carbon plate in the midsole may make the shoe stiffer than you like, but you may want to give them a spin.


  • VTRunner, thank you for the very helpful comments. I will commit to the Virratas and see how my relationship with them develops in different running situations. And now you have me curious about the GoMeb. I read something about the Sketchers shoes having a "bump" in the midfoot, which sounds terrible to me, but maybe the GoMeb doesn't have it... I'll look into it. Thanks again.
  • Good luck Wisebug!  With regard to the Skechers, the original GoRun had a very pronounced midfoot bump which was significantly reduced (for the better in my opinion) in the GoRun2.  Slightly noticeable when walking but not at all when running.  The GoMeb has no noticeable bump in the midfoot area.  It is very much like a traditional racing flat.  Have fun!
  • Skechers GoBionic is another "no bump" option in the Go line.   The other shoe perhaps could be the Adidas Gazelle - you could check out the review done by Pete for more info.  I think for speed work and shorter racers - it could be a good option.


  • The A5 is nice but for me too narrow in the toe box. My speed shoe now is Altra The One. Just love the wide toe box, enough cushion and responsive sole. I love my Vapor Gloves but my foot problems needs cushioning.

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