Brooks Pureflow 7 review
Brooks is a well established running brand that I haven't tried, so I bought a pair of Brooks Pureflow 6 on sale. Having transitioned to a more neutral, low-drop shoe, Brooks pure lineup seemed like a good fit. However, at 55 miles in the Pureflow 6, the glued seam on the tongue of the right shoe closest to the ankle came apart.
I contacted Brooks, and one week and 3 emails later, they shipped me the Pureflow 7 as a replacement, free of charge, and let me keep the Pureflow 6 which I am about to retire after 400 miles running in them! Huge props to Brooks for having great customer service and being easy to work with!
Usage of the Pureflow 7
Most of my miles are on the road, though I do take these shoes into a nearby park occasionally, and they do fine on crushed limestone and gravel.
I cycle between these shoes, Pureflow 6, and Altra Escalante throughout the week and have put 267 running miles as of the writing of this review (January 2019). I also use these shoes occasionally for walking and errands.
Brooks Pureflow 7 design
First, these shoes look pretty good. Good enough that my wife is okay with me wearing them when we’re out and about. She doesn’t feel that way about my Altra’s or Hoka's, and I can’t really blame her for feeling that way.
The upper material is not as breathable as I’d prefer, but it’s durable, which is an acceptable trade-off to me. The laces are tubular, and a little long, which I’m personally not a fan of, but they work well enough.
The heel cup is also a little stiff, but it is well formed to the foot, durable, and covered in soft material, which combines to make a surprisingly good heel cup.
On the other hand, I find the design a little too long and narrow. I wish it could be a little more breathable.
Also, the honeycomb-like sole pattern attracts rocks. Every run, these shoes will pick up at least one pencil-eraser sized rock, and you’ll need a screwdriver to get it out because of how deeply it’s embedded.
Comfort, fit & feel
I’m impressed with the overall comfort and feel of these shoes. I thought that the narrowness would bother me, but it hasn’t been much of an issue. My feet are average in width though, so if you have wider feet, you might want to look elsewhere.
These shoes feel like a soft cocoon of material that gently secures the sole to the foot instead of the other way around. After about 20 miles in the shoe, you really notice how well it forms to the foot.
That said, the toe box does feel a little confining when I get past about 12 miles on a run (especially compared to my Escalantes), so I typically don’t take these shoes on my long runs.
I’m especially impressed with how well they feel when running downhill. Ever bottom out the suspension in a car or bike? That’s sometimes how shoes with moderate to minimal cushioning feel when running downhill quickly, but the Pureflow 7 feels soft, responsive, and stable when I’m really pounding the pavement on a steep downhill.
Sizing & comparison of the Pureflow 7
These are US men’s size 12.5 and fit well. I’d suggest about a half size up, as I typically wear a 12:
Durability: better than expected
Durability is slightly better than expected for these shoes. The seamless upper has no holes or significant wear marks after 267 miles.
The plastic toe cap beneath the upper does a good job of protecting the material from developing the typical “big toe hole” that other shoes might get.
The soles are in good condition too and seem to have at least another 150 miles on them, and they still feel good on my feet while running.
These are good shoes that I will happily lace up for a run. They feel good, and I’ve got the miles I wanted out of them. However, I probably would not buy a second pair.
There are other shoes I like more and the soles trap-rocks, which is a constant (yet ultimately mild) annoyance. I plan to purchase a different Brooks shoe in the future, as the company has fantastic customer service based on my one interaction with them, and I like to support companies that treat their customers well.
Would I recommend it to a friend? If they did not have wide feet could find them on sale, yes.
Tip: see the best running shoes.