"It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg Lemond

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Brooks Pure$hit

Ok so maybe the title is a little dramatic.  I got a pair of these almost immediately after they were released and was overall very excited about a 4mm heel to toe drop trail shoe with input from ultrarunning legend Scott Jurek.  As soon as I got these shoes I thought - if I wanted to look this ridiculous I would have bought Hokas.  Several clown shoe comments later I was out the door for my first road to trail run in them.
     One of the first things I noticed was that when I was lacing them up I couldn't get them as snug around my foot as I would have liked.  I have wide feet, but they are not very tall (does that make sense?) and found myself lacing the shoes up as tight as I could in order to try to secure my mid-foot. This made the useless "nav-band" seem even more useless as it floated about with absolutely no tension.  They also seemed to be wayyy to long in my normal 10.5.  I thought it wouldnt be an issue and might be nice to not bump my toes.
Photo - Therunnersvibe.com
     Standing still I could feel the "footpod" underneath my midfoot and thought the shoe had a nice rocker feel.  It was strange, but I had read on irunfar.com that the footpod wasn't noticeable once you start running.  So I started running.  Once I hit the trails I immediately noticed the great traction.  This was one of the things that had excited me about these shoes - I love lugged outsoles.  The puregrit really bit in to the ground and I found myself happy with the amount of protection and cushion that the bio-go material provided.  They kind of reminded me of my old cascadia IV with the amount of cushion and protection.  Surprising for a "minimalist" type shoe.
      As I was running in these shoes I could not no matter how many times I retied my shoes or tried different size socks, get my heel to lock down.  Brookes didn't include the extra eyelet on these shoes, perhaps thinking their "nav-bad" would do the trick.  It did not.  I never noticed any dramatic changes from the split toe design so I am going to go ahead and say it - Gimmick.  Same with the nav-bad - Gimmick (how did wear testers not let Brookes know about this?).  And the foot-pod, well it does let you know where you are landing, but I just never got comfortable with it so...  Gimmick.
    The shoe did a nice job of encouraging a midfoot landing, and had just the right amount of flex, but I have to say I am not a fan of the foot-pod.  I know I have a slightly different strike point with my right foot than I do with my left foot, and the foot-pod continually reminded me of this, which began to annoy me to all ends.  I also started to worry about the pressure from the pod on my right foot would aggravate an old case of PF.  This is where my experience was so sour I called it quits with this shoe and it has since been shelved. 
     Overall, this shoe has some kickass features, awesome outsole, super comfy interior, and it was a great concept (low to the ground cushion performance trail shoe), but poorly executed with some gimmicky feeling additions.  I think Brookes should have tried not to be so cute and just made a shoe to compete with the Rogue Racer, MT101/110, Peregrine, etc.  Without the unnecesarys this shoe would have rocked (no pun intended).


  1. I completely agree with everything you stated. Do you think getting a half size down would solve the problem?

  2. Billy, thanks for your comment, I havent heard too many people voicing their opinion about these shoes so I am glad to hear I am not to only person thinking they missed the mark. Getting a half size smaller may have resolved my inability to get my heel to lock down in the shoe, but I am unsure about whether it would have made any difference with the foot-pod's feel or the Nav-band. Overall, I was left with a bad taste and havent tried to get the proper size. With the expense of running shoes, if I dont like the shoe right away I usually send them back.