Spring 2014 Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Photo: Scott Draper | Competitor

Brooks Pure Flow 3, $100

9.0 oz. (men’s); 7.3 oz. (women’s)

22mm (heel), 18mm (forefoot)

Fit: The updated Pure Flow has a locked-down fit in the heel and midfoot (thanks to a wide, stretchy arch support band and burrito-style tongue that wraps the foot from medial to lateral) with copious room in the toe box.

Feel: An easy-flexing shoe with a soft, neutral midsole and a fairly low-to-the-ground design, the updated Pure Flow 3 has a new upper that offers an improve fit without taking away from the uninhibited ride. The profile is slightly narrower than its predecessors, making it slightly more agile while still being wide enough to offer a twinge of inherent stability.

Ride: Although vastly updated, this high-mileage trainer runs similarly as the first two Pure Flow versions, only better. This shoe offers a good blend of cushioned comfort and proprioceptive feel for the road, but the enhanced fit and ride allow it to have more zip, making it more conducive for running faster workouts like tempo runs or progression runs or even longer races. The low heel-toe drop encourages a mid-to-forefoot strike, lending to a smooth ride for runners looking to try less of a shoe without sacrificing protection.

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