Gear review: Brooks PureProject Flow

shoes

This isn’t even all of the pairs I own

I have a running shoe addiction.

There, I said it.

I don’t think an addiction to shoes is unusual, though; most girls I know have a closet full of pumps, strappy sandals, wedges, boots and kitten heels. I just happen to have a closet full of running shoes.

I probably own more pairs at a time than most amateur runners, though. I think right now I have about five in rotation: tri shoes for triathlons; light weight runners for short, fast runs; two pairs of trail runners for summer and winter; and big, clunky stability shoes for long distance running. I’ve read that it’s good to have a few pairs to rotate through so your shoes last longer (rule of thumb is to replace them after about 600 km, or every 6 months — whichever comes first).

Even though I just bought a new pair of running shoes not that long ago, I’ve been in the market for a new pair;  something lighter and less clunky for distance running. The problem is, every time I go into a store to buy a new pair, the person helping me takes one look at my stride and flat feet and hand me the biggest, heaviest stability shoes they have in stock.

So I was excited when I saw that Brooks was coming out with their version of a minimalist shoe called PureProject, that included a posted shoe for runners who need more supportive features. I’d been hooked by their grassroots online campaign and thought the shoes looked sweet (I have a weakness for brightly coloured shoes — so much more fun than plain old white with subdued detailing), so I’ve been patiently awaiting their release in October. I was hoping to get a pair in time for the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon on October 9, but I know that you shouldn’t be changing up your shoes two weeks before a marathon.

But then yesterday afternoon, I got a tweet from Peninsula Runners, a local running shoe store that I had been pestering about stocking these shoes, that said they just got ONE sample pair of PureProject shoes in, in a size eight. My size. It was meant to be.

So this morning, I stopped in and tried them on. They weren’t the PureProject Cadence (the more supportive shoes), but their neutral version, the PureProject Flow. After chatting with Michael about my flat feet and supportive-shoe dilemma, he figured I could give the neutral a shot. FINALLY!

pureproject flow

Brooks PureProject Flow – it’s like Christmas!

After a short jog around the block, I was in love. They were light, comfortable, responsive and provided just enough support. Obviously, I bought them in a heartbeat.

I decided to wear them for less than half of my long run that I had on tap for today, just to test them out. But after one 10 km lap of Elk Lake, I didn’t want to take them off. I ran 26 km today in a brand new pair of shoes (I can see my coach shaking her head as she reads this…).

shoeslake

Sitting on the beach after a great run

Cooling off in the lake. Tip: wear your compression sleeves in the lake - legs will stay cool after you get out. Feels amazing.

Cooling off in the lake. Tip: wear your compression sleeves in the lake – legs will stay cool after you get out. Feels amazing.

Elk Lake

Elk Lake

And I had an awesome run. My legs felt great and my feet floated. No heavy legs, foot shuffling or kicking the side of my calf — all regular occurrences in my stability shoes.

Overall I was super impressed with these shoes. Looking forward to my recovery run in them tomorrow 🙂