Brooks PureFlow 3 General Info:
The PureFlow 3 sports a fresh new look and the first full update of both the upper and sole unit since its first launch. The shoe is still the softest model in the collection, and remains true to the philosophies that make it a PureProject Shoe. This newest iteration has increased the IDEAL heel bevel providing a 360 degree point of contact.
Repositioning of the Toeflex to include the first to toes, not just the big one, promises increased power through toe off along with greater independence. Finally the Nav Band has changed materials from fabric to silicon, and has been integrated into the midsole on the medial side. These changes hope to bring about a more consistent conformable fit to the mid foot of the shoe.
Brooks PureFlow 3 First Impression:
While this is my first chance to run in a pair of PureFlows it is not my first exposure to the PureProject collection. I have had the opportunity to run in the first PureConnect produced and was super impressed with the design, fit, and feel of the shoe that I almost immediately fell in love with it. So my expectations of the PureFlow were pretty high.
Right out of the box the shoes were extremely comfortable with very little stiffness, or hint of a need for a break-in needed. The feel and roll of the shoe was exactly what I would have expected from a PureProject shoe. After a few road miles I was very pleased with the cushion and comfort that the shoe offered.
Brooks PureFlow 3 Sole Unit:
The platform of the Pureflow3 begins with Brooks BioMoGo material and then enhanced with Brooks DNA to help provide it with its responsiveness and cushion. The Shoe I have to say is really nicely cushioned for its weight. This soft cushioning was particularly kind on runs that went over and beyond the 12 mile mark, but does take a little away from the shoes responsiveness.
The Outsole takes on more pod-like appearance than before that are still interconnected. This gives the shoe a natural rolling transition that is hard to describe but definitely unique to the collection. The last seems to have a narrower and more anatomic fit than before, but seems to not have been pushed into the toebox which had a generous fit.
The PureFlow 3 has changed the ToeFlex to now take in the first two toes and not just the big toe as before. I found that this not only enabled my toes to splay better, but also provided greater power through toe-off particularly going uphill and at faster speeds.
The final update to the 3 is a change in the Ideal heel. While the overall shape remains unchanged and still mimics the natural cure of the heel the bevel takes on a new facade. The bevel now has a 360 degree row of pods that keep the first point of contact closer to joint center. This really helped keep the transition of the shoe fluid.
Brooks PureFlow 3 Upper:
The biggest change in the PureFlows’ upper is in the NavBand feature. The newer band is constructed of silicone vs. elastic as before. The band has also now been integrated into midsole on the medial side of the shoe. This update allows the shoe to hug the foot obviously more to the medial side.
As I mentioned earlier this was a nice conformable fit that moved with my foot while still providing good stability without unneeded pressure or discomfort. Breathable mesh is featured throughout the upper and is given structure with use of well-placed seamless overlays.
The shoe still incorporates an asymmetric lacing system which I have come to enjoy as it provides a nice secure lock down, and nearly eliminates all rubbing to the top of my foot. The tongue is coupled to the medial side allowing it to hug the foot and stay in place. The heel is very form fitting which keeps it aligned over your center of gravity. This unique counter coupled the shoes 4mm drop definitely encourages a natural foot strike.
Brooks PureFlow 3 Opinion:
I must admit that I have penchant for shoes with a snug midfoot and wider toe box. So after a hundred plus miles I have to say the PureFlow 3 has definitely found a spot on my front line. I really think that this is by in large due to the shoes updates.
The PureFlow3 seems to more mimic its minimal relative the Connect making transitioning between the two more seamless than before, should one be so inclined. The Pureflow 3 would be a great choice for any neutral runner looking for a nicely cushioned shoe that has the ability to carry a runner for long distances.
The PureFlow is also a solid choice for a runner looking for a less than traditional shoe with a lower drop on their way to more minimalistic pursuits.
We thank the nice people at Brooks for sending us a pair of PureFlow 3 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.