Brooks Pureflow 4

8.0
8.0 score
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Brooks Pureflow 4 Review Facts

The Brooks Pureflow 4 is a neutral road shoe that offers a lightweight ride with a nicely padded landing. The Pureflow 4’s cushioning is nice and soft underfoot. The shoe is flexible and encourages a natural stride. The shoe has additional cushioning in the forefoot area, making this shoe a great option for runners with a forefoot strike.  Compared to the previous version, the toe box is much improved.  However, many runners found the midfoot fit to have been negatively impacted with this update. The shoe still managed to gain a fairly positive response from runners. Its lightweight construction and its ability to promote natural movement make it a good choice for training or racing.

Pros
  • Great cushioning (especially in the forefoot area)
  • Promotes natural stride
  • Flexible and responsive
  • Lightweight
  • Roomier toe box than previous version
Cons
  • Durability issues
  • Fit issues (narrow)
  • Quite a few runners complained about the NAV BAND featured in the shoe's upper
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The Brooks Pureflow 4 features an outsole made of blown rubber. The outsole is flexible, provides good energy return and provides good cushioning. Also featured in the Pureflow 4's outsole is a split toe in the forefoot. This split construction allows for a runner's big toe to work separately from the rest of the foot. It makes toeing off more efficient. The outsole also features pods that encourage a natural rolling motion during the gait cycle.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The Brooks Pureflow 4 midsole features BioMoGo DNA cushioning. The cushion in the Pureflow 4 is nice and soft underfoot. It makes for a plush, comfortable ride. The midsole cushion is biodegradable and while it's meant to last, some runners did comment on durability issues. The flex grooves in the shoe increase the shoe's flexibility and encourage natural movement. While the shoe does contain very comfortable cushioning, it's still fairly minimal. The minimal cushioning allows the shoe to stay light in weight.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The Brooks Pureflow 4 features a mesh upper. The upper offers great ventilation and ensures excellent breathability. The shoe also features a NAV BAND in the upper. This stretchy material keeps the midfoot snug and secure. Overlays on the upper also contribute to the support of the shoe. The toe box has been widened in this version of the Pureflow. Even with a wider toebox, some runners found that after a few miles, things started to feel a bit cramped again. These shoes are definitely not made for folks with wide feet. Still, the shoes tend to stretch out a fair bit with use. However, one shouldn't rely on the shoe's capacity to stretch to create a good fit. The Pureflow 4's mesh upper is sturdier than previous models. The durable material still retains its capacity for excellent ventilation. Some runners complained about the shoe's tongue. The thinly padded tonngue was a source of discomfort for some who said it did not stay put during runs.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Brooks Pureflow 4 weighs in at about 8.6 ounces. This road shoe is meant to function as a lightweight neutral cushioned shoe. Although the Pureflow 4 is cushioned, the cushioning is minimal, keeping the overall weight down. Runners appreciated the lightweight construction. The low overall weight ensures a fast, responsive ride. Runners can easily use this shoe for both training and racing.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Pureflow 4 does a good job providing ventilation, thanks to the air mesh upper. Some runners found the fit was a bit too snug which compromised the breathability of the shoe, and, unfortunately, getting the fit right seemed to be a challenge for some. With a proper fit, the mesh upper allows for good air flow. The mesh upper, in this version of the Pureflow 4, is slightly tougher in construction. While this improves durability, it does not hamper ventilation.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The Brooks Pureflow 4 is a very comfortable shoe. The BioMoGo midsole cushioning provides great padding underfoot. Some runners found the fit of the shoe a bit too snug. While the toe box has been widened a bit, the midfoot area either felt much too snug or too sloppy. Quite a few runners found themselves dealing with fit issues with the Pureflow 4. With the right fit, though, the shoe is very comfortable. The interior is just as plush as the midfoot cushioning. The tongue of the shoe was a cause for complaint for quite a few reviewers. The material is thinner than in previous versions and was a source of discomfort for some runners.
Style
Style

Style

The Brooks Pureflow 4 is a good looking shoe. The design looks modern and trendy. The color offerings tend to be bright and will please runners looking to add a bit of personality to their runs. The split toe looks a bit alien but isn't too noticeable. However, the shoes might not blend in seamlessly with everyday wear. The bright colors make these fun to wear. The large Brooks logo featured in the front of the shoe has a dual purpose since it's made of reflective material. It's a subtle addition that adds flair to the shoe's design.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The blown rubber outsole on the Pureflow 4 is meant to be durable. Unfortunately, quite a few runners found that the Pureflow 4 had some durability issues. The shoe degraded fairly quickly and showed serious signs of wear and tear in the early months of training. The pods underfoot are meant to offset a bit of the wear and tear in high impact areas, but some runners found that they didn't help to reduce wear as much as they would have liked.

On the other hand, the Pureflow 4's upper is much more durable than in previous Pureflow models. It's thicker and will not rip easily, even after miles of use. It's likley that the upper will outlast the outsole in the Pureflow 4.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Despite durability concerns, the blown rubber underfoot is meant to protect runners from obstacles underfoot. Runners will enjoy the ground feel of the Pureflow 4 but will still feel protected from debris they encounter on the run. The shoe also features a good amount of reflective material on the upper. Runners will have peace of mind knowing that they will be visible even in low light conditions. The overall bright colors of the Pureflow 4 will certainly help as well.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The Pureflow 4's BioMoGo midsole cushion is very responsive. Runners felt that while the shoe's cushioning was plush, they still felt a great amount of energy return while running in the Pureflow 4. The blown rubber outsole also contributes to the shoe's responsiveness. It acts as a bouncy platform that launches runners forward. The split toe helps runners move forward more efficiently, helping with toe off. The Pureflow 4 offers runners a ride that feels natural in a shoe with excellent ground feel.
Support
Support

Support

The NAV BAND featured in the shoe's upper helps runners stay secure and supported. The overlays featured on the upper also contribute to the shoe's support. Some runners did comment that they found the shoe a bit too snug while others found the fit was a bit sloppy. The numerous fit issues will affect the support of the shoe. Brooks has attempted to make the NAV BAND a focal point of the Pureflow 4 but it just does not provide the support that many runners are looking for. Many runners found the NAV BAND to be a superfluous addition to an otherwise solidly constructed upper.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Brooks Pureflow 4 is meant for the road. The shoe does have trouble in very wet and icy conditions. The traction could certainly be improved for these scenarios and is something to consider if you frequently run in wet or icy conditions. Those who choose the Pureflow 4 as their everyday trainer will want to take care when taking the shoe offroad. The pods underfoot do offer up some grip, but not enough for running on technical trails.
Price
Price

Price

The affordable price tag makes this a good choice if you don't mind a little bit of trial and error to find your perfect fit. The durability issues that plague the Pureflow 4 are another factor in assessing the value of the shoe. If the shoe doesn't last at least 300-400 miles, which some runners found was the case with the Pureflow 4, it might not be an affordable choice.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Brooks Pureflow 4's blown rubber outsole provides good traction for runners hitting the pavement. However, it's not great at gripping very wet or icy surfaces. Runners who will be running in the Pureflow 4 on rainy days or during the winter months should invest in crampons to help with traction. The pods underfoot are meant to help with wear in high-impact areas and do very little to aid with traction underfoot. The outsole of the shoe features a fairly flat tread so the Pureflow 4 is not terrible efficient when it comes to running on surfaces other than dry pavement.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The Brooks Pureflow 4 is a very flexible shoe. The shoe's Flex Grooves allow for natural foot movement. Paired with the low heel to toe drop, the Pureflow 4 enables runners to move forward with a natural foot roll movement. Forefoot runners will appreciate the flexible construction that will allow them to toe-off without rigidity holding them back. The rounded heel helps to encourage a more natural forward rolling movement and highlights the flexible outsole.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The Brooks Pureflow 4 is not a stability shoe. It's a neutral road shoe, but it still offers good support for runners. The upper NAV BAND ensures that runners will feel secured inside the shoe. The various overlays on the upper provide a secure fit. Some runners found the overlays and NAV BAND did not provide enough support, but as stated previously, the fit was an issue and can possibly take a way from the support of the shoe.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Brooks Pureflow 4 features a 4mm heel to toe drop. It's a fairly small drop. The construction of the Pureflow 4 makes it the perfect option for forefoot runners seeking a cushioned ride. The fairly small heel to toe drop promotes natural movement. Runners will feel like they are moving forward efficiently and with great ground feel.
Key Features of the Brooks Pureflow 4
Key Features of the Brooks Pureflow 4

Key Features of the Brooks Pureflow 4

Blown rubber outsole
NavBand in upper for support
Durable mesh upper
BioMoGo DNA cushioning
Split toe design
Omega Flex Grooves increase flexibility
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Brooks Pureflow 4 is a neutral cushioned shoe in a lightweight package. The Flex Grooves underfoot provide a natural, flexible ride. The biodegradable BioMoGO cushioning provides soft cushioning for the wearer. The upper's fit is secure and comfortable. Unfortunately, some runners did have durability issues. Because of various fit issues, getting your foot measured properly and trying these on before buying is highly recommended. Once you find the right size, you'll find that the Pureflow 4 is a pleasure to run in. The Pureflow 4 is a good option for forefoot runners looking for a shoe they can both train and race in.