Facts

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Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$110
Weight
Men: 6.6oz
Women: 5.3oz
Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 6.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

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 lightweight, 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.


Rankings


Ratings

4.2 / 5 based on 80 ratings

5 star
66%
4 star
6%
3 star
9%
2 star
14%
1 star
5%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

77 / 100 based on 12 expert reviews

  • 85 / 100 by Runblogger • Peter Larson • Level 5 expert

    I’ve mostly used the Drift for easy runs of 3-8 miles, and they are great for that purpose (with the swapped insole). I also used them last Friday for an interval workout and though they don’t have the pop of a racing flat, they sufficed. I’d classify the Drift as an easy run shoe that could be used for long runs as well if you are acclimated to low drop, minimally cushioned footwear. For speed I’d go with something more designed for the task.

  • 79 / 100 by Running Times • Running Times • Level 5 expert

    The fit of the wrap upper was comfortable and conforming, with a stretch band helping to hold the midfoot securely. "It has a very natural feel and allows the foot to do just what it does," one tester said.

  • 72 / 100 by Minimalist Running Shoes • Nicholas Pang • Level 4 expert

    Running sockless as usual, I can honestly say that I’m pleasantly surprised and loved the Pure Drift, especially for trails. The only problem I have with muddy trails is cleaning the outsole – had to use both a tooth brush and a large brush.

  • 80 / 100 by Ginger Runner • Ethan Newberry • Level 3 expert

    This shoe is not a win, especially with other “minimal” race flats already on the market. Let’s see what Brooks has planned in their second iteration (if there is one)!

  • 62 / 100 by Running Warehouse • Taro • Level 2 expert

    I couldn’t tighten up the laces without the upper bunching up; there was a bit too much material there for a snugger fit.

  • 88 / 100 by Gadget Review • Christen Costa • Level 1 expert

    They really do make running a pleasure, even for the unseasoned, and I’ve noticed that my calves as well as feet seem to stand up to exercise of all types far better than they did before I started using them.

  • 85 / 100 by Runner's World • Todd Kennedy • Level 1 expert

    I liked the ability to remove the insole to make the shoe into a zero drop experience on occasion.  Also, the tongue design removes the common problems of the tongue slipping from side to side and makes for getting the shoe on easier.

  • 82 / 100 by Gizmodo • Brent Rose • Level 1 expert

    They're light and comfy, but still have a lot of those must-have minimalist qualities, like good ground-feel, zero-drop, and a very roomy toe-box.

  • 80 / 100 by Meals and Miles • Meghann • Level 1 expert

    They’re a great CrossFit shoe (wore them to class yesterday and loved how I could stable myself in them for the thrusters), but I’m not sure I would take them farther than 4 miles on a run.

  • 72 / 100 by No Meat Athlete • Matt Frazier • Level 1 expert

    There’s a downside to light, minimal shoes like this, and it’s that they wear out rather quickly.

  • 70 / 100 by Run And Become • Bhashini Neve • Level 1 expert

    Sometimes small stones get stuck in the gaps cut out of the midsole.

  • 58 / 100 by Moving on AC • Andrew C • Level 1 expert

    In my personal opinion, the Drifts are not so great on really flat surfaces and I actually had so much pain on my midfoot that I had to stop several times.

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Updates to Brooks PureDrift 4

  • Brooks makes 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.

Brooks PureDrift 4 size and fit

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.


Outsole

Blown rubber is 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.


Midsole

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.


Upper

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.