Weight: 7.2 oz
Stack Height: 14mm/10mm
Brooks was a little late to the minimalist running game, but they entered the fray in a fast and furious manner by releasing four models under the PureProject moniker. While they aren’t zero-drop like other offerings in the space, they can still be considered borderline minimalist with an 8mm drop and a focus on flexibility and lightweight over cushioning.
The PureConnects have a soft foam midsole with a more durable material underneath, through the forefoot, arch, and heel. The upper is made of a foam with a large diamond pattern cut into it for ventilation and is overlaid with a thin mesh material.
The PureConnects are a Green shoe, and I’m not talking about the color. The BioMoGo midsole makes them the first shoe to offer a biodegradable midsole, and the rest of the shoe is made from 75% post-consumer recycled materials. All adhesives are water-based and only non-toxic dyes and colorants are used.
The heel and midfoot portions of the shoe offer a pretty good fit, but can slip around a little when running down a big decline and is otherwise pretty comfortable. The toe box is spacious enough to allow good toe splay when pushing off.
No matter what distance I’ve ran with the PureConnects, they always feel comfortable and light. The IDEAL heel helps to align your feet, legs, and back while running and as far as I can tell it feels the same as most heels. When running it, feels like I have a more pronounced mid-foot strike on the outside of my foot, but I am not sure if that is from the IDEAL heel or just the overall design of the shoe.
One odd thing I’ve found is a difference in the grip when running on a dry surface versus a wet surface. On the dry surface it feels just like any other shoe, but on a wet surface the sole gets really grippy, almost like there is gum on the bottom of the shoe. I can’t explain why it happens, but as soon as I was back on dry ground the grip went back to normal.
For the past month all of my road running has been in my PureConnects, and I can say that they are well worth the money. They are very comfortable and promote a good mid- and forefoot strike, allowing for a more natural running form. They are good as a transitional shoe if you are thinking about transitioning into minimalist shoes. So far I’m very pleased with the PureConnects and I’ll have an update on them once I’ve ran 200 miles in them.
- 8mm drop
- Great traction
- Open toe box
- The foam portions of the sole wear quickly
- The nav band feels useless to me