Verdict from 6.4 hours of research from the internet

5 reasons to buy

  • This is a lightweight running shoe that makes running easier and more agreeable.
  • The seamless construction enables runners to stay comfortable, even when wearing it without socks.
  • With its low profile height and low heel to toe drop, the Brooks PureDrift 4 lets runners experience barefoot running, also known as minimalist running.
  • It features a wide toe box, which means that it can accommodate wider foot sizes and lets toes splay more naturally.
  • To increase the flexibility of the PureDrift 4, it features the Omega Flex Groove.

4 reasons not to buy

  • A few testers criticized the minimal cushioning & support because it caused pain in the midfoot section, especially when running for longer periods of time.
  • There are a couple of runners who experience some small stones getting stuck in between the gaps between the outsole unit.
  • The 4th edition of the Brooks PureDrift has poor traction, thus making it difficult to run on wet surfaces.
  • It has low durability.

Bottom line

The Brooks PureDrift 4 is a running shoe perfect for the roads. Since it is a lightweight running shoe, it is mostly used in speed training, such as sprinting. Those with neutral foot pronation are the ones to enjoy this affordable barefoot running shoe.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

  • Brooks running shoes make natural running even more pronounced in the 4th version of the PureDrift. It features a new mesh upper that is as breathable as before, but lighter and more flexible. The new flexibility allows runners to run with their most natural stride while it helps the shoe accommodate wide and narrow-footed runners.
  • The aim to make the shoe more flexible extends to the outsole. Brooks presents more flex grooves to enhance natural movements because of the improved flexibility. The spacing of the rubber treads is slightly wider than the past version, giving it a ride that is a bit softer and more cushioned.

The Brooks PureDrift 4 is a rarity among racing shoes just like the previous version. It has a snug heel and midfoot while the toe box is very spacious. Brooks still categorizes this as a standard fit, one that a large number of runners will be very comfortable in. Medium is the available width of this shoe. Sizing is on the money as well. Sizes are from 6 to 14 for the men’s and 4 to 11 for the women’s.

Like the popular PureFlow 7, the PureDrift 4 uses blown rubber as the main compound in the outsole. It provides decent outsole durability with excellent traction on a variety of surfaces. A very prominent part of the outsole is the numerous flex grooves. These give the shoe exceptional flexibility and a more natural running stride. Brooks also uses a Dual Toe Flex or the vertical cut near the forefoot for even better natural running and flexibility. The heel on this shoe is a bit curved, which is called the Ideal Heel by Brooks. It helps with the shock-absorbing features of the shoe and makes transitions a bit smoother.

The midsole primarily features a full-length BioMogo DNA foam. Brooks uses environmentally-friendly materials in this foam to provide greater responsiveness in a very light nature. Based on sophisticated engineering, this midsole foam provides dynamic cushioning or cushioning right where and when the runner needs it.

The upper is a seamless construction of a very breathable, more flexible, and lighter mesh. A few overlays give some type of support and structure to a very minimal upper. With a removable sock liner in the interior, the shoe offers enhanced fit, comfort, and versatility as it can be replaced with customized orthotics. Once removed the 4mm footbed is removed, the PureDrift 4 offers a zero drop ride. An asymmetrical lacing system allows the shoe to wrap the foot in a more personalized comfort and fit.

Size and fit

True to size based on 48 user votes
Small (17%)
True to size (83%)
Large (0%)
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How PureDrift 4 compares

This shoe: 78
All shoes average: 86
53 98
This shoe: $110
All shoes average: $119
$40 $350
This shoe: 6.6oz
All shoes average: 9.5oz
3.5oz 16.2oz
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.