Experience the next thing to naked feet with the hyper-light Pure Drift.

That is how Brooks Running describes the latest addition to the Pure Project collection of minimal shoes, the Pure Drift. The Pure Drift is the lightest shoe in their collection and is designed to ‘further amps up the runner’s connection with the ground and their body’. This new shoe features a natural fit, light mesh upper, and the ability to configure the shoe from a 4mm offset to a zero offset (zero drop) while maintaining comfort.

New to the Pure Project and only in the Pure Drift model is a dual Toe Flex design located at the three functional units of the foot, allowing for better balance and a springy push-off.

Also new in the Brooks Pure Drift is the removable insole or sockliner offering runners the option to customize their experience from a 4mm heel-to-toe offset or drop, ready to run out of the box, to a more extreme 0mm heel-to-toe offset or zero-drop.

The anatomically shaped upper provides a flexible and comfortable fit that moves naturally with the foot. Additionally, the curved heel is designed to encourage contact points to shift forward, bringing more spring to every step. The same BioMoGo (earth-friendly midsole) technology blended with Brooks patent-pending DNA smart cushioning is again used to create a springy return and custom comfort.

Also used again in all Pure Project shoes is the Nav Band that wraps over the instep and provides a comfortable assured fit regardless of foot shape.

So how did the Pure Drift perform?

This is the first Brooks model from the Pure Project collection that I consider a true minimalist running shoe because of these main features:

  • wide toe box
  • zero drop
  • lightweight
  • light cushioning

Previous models (Pure Connect and Pure Grit) that we have tested have too narrow a toe box, are slightly over-cushioned, and have a slightly stiff outsole. My pair of Pure Drift (US Men 10.5) weighs in at a lightweight 7.0 ounces with the sockliner (4mm drop), 6.6 ounces without the sockliner (zero drop).

Surprisingly, I am able to run with the sockliner intact – the toe box is both tall and wide enough to accommodate my 2E+ wide feet! And the 4mm drop has no impact on my midfoot striking and running gait. For a true zero-drop experience, you will have to remove the sockliner and feel the ground – and all the rocks and pebbles that you step on when running trails!!!

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. The clean white shoe laces did not fare well either – it got real dirty! But you do get an extra matching color (blue for mine, pink for my female wear tester) pair of laces.

I also noticed that the shape of the forefoot is curved more than typical designs. Maybe it’s a combination of the dual Toe Flex and forefoot shape, I seem to toe-off from my big toe (first metatarsal) more than normal.

But the oddest thing that I found is the super-high toe spring in this model and also in the Pure Connect 2 model. It bothers me when wearing them for walking but not for running. I wish the forefoot outsole is softer so I can stand firm with my toes splayed flat on the ground – you’ll lose some proprioception because of that.

One last thing. Once in a while, with the sockliner removed, my left uppers (front, next to the lateral Toe Flex) creases and scratches the top of my foot between the third and fourth metatarsals). It does not give a blister or a hot spot. But if I keep the sockliner intact, it does not crease – weird…

For Spring 2013, the Brooks Pure Drift is available in Yellow and Black for Men; Blue and Black for Women.

The Brooks Pure Drift is available for pre-order with delivery on 1/3/2013 from the Brooks Running web site.



*Product provided by Brooks (MSRP $100). CMP.LY/1 Review

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