Brooks PureConnect 4 Review Facts
Begin with the Brooks name, add in a healthy dose of comfort, flexibility, support with style, throw in a price that won’t give you sticker shock, and you have the PureConnect 4 running shoe. This is one that has it all —rounded heel, superior cushion, and a durable outsole — along with a lightweight design that will keep you going through your longest runs. If there’s one group singing the praises of this shoe the loudest, it’s going to be the runners with high arches.
The way the shoe contours to the runner’s foot gives it a near unanimous thumbs up across the board, perhaps with the exception of runners with wide feet who found the toe box a little too narrow for their liking. If you’re new to Brooks, the snug fit of the Nav Band might catch you off guard, but most reviewers said once they got used to it, it fits like a glove and they never looked back. The bright, modern style of the shoe has some non-runners stacking up compliments in the gym, workplace, or while just running errands. However, the PureConnect is built for the minimalist neutral runner, who isn’t looking for much heel to toe drop, and wants a high energy return. The features of this shoe are so popular, they’re now in short supply, but the determined consumer can pinpoint a pair with a little ingenuity and persistence.
Flip your PureConnect 4 over and you’ll see that its outsole is covered with pods. The design allows for a nice grip on roads and dirt. It’s also designed to increase flexibility, as all the pieces are able to bend and stretch independently. The only complaint found about the pods in reviews, was the suggestion that Brooks should extend them all the way through the medial side of the heel. However, it was not a frequent mention and did not seem to deter runners from their purchase.
In the PureConnect 4 midsole, Brooks employs its BioMoGo DNA once again, to glowing reviews. The company claims the scientific design allows for the shoe to support the runner better with time, as the runner’s weight and gait are worn directly into its midsole, personalizing it with every mile. The reasoning may sound far-fetched upon first read, but many reviewers noted how the shoe seems to grow more comfortable with time and distance. Whether they understand the science or not, reviewers credit this technology for allowing them a more natural stride.
The upper sole is where Brooks made changes from the PureConnect 2 to the third evolution of the series, and here again is where we find tweaks in the fourth. Runners were not able to hold their tongues when it came to the redesign of this one. Brooks ditched the thicker style tongue it used in previous versions for the flatter, more traditional one seen in the PureConnect 4. Reviewers took note, and some felt it seemed oddly flat and long. Others complained it was a hassle during longer runs, because it slipped to the side and they had to stop and adjust it often. There were also a couple of complaints about the snug fit of the Nav Band, and if you haven’t experienced this piece of Brooks ingenuity, the grip may seem a bit overdone. Give it a few miles. Most reviewers who balked at the band were loving it in no time. (Of course there are always exceptions. One reviewer reported he just cut the band out entirely and found the shoe to be much more comfortable.)
Many reviewers were surprised at the amount of comfort and support this lightweight shoe offers. The men’s PureConnect 4 weighs in at 8.3 ounces and the women’s at only 6.6. Reviewers of both genders highlighted the lightweight as a reason to purchase. One described the shoes as being “like feathers beneath my feet” and another said it was like “running on pillows”. This makes it ideal for speed work
, and of course it is a popular choice for athlethes on race day.
The PureConnect 4 is breathable, but perhaps not quite as much as some other shoes in the minimalist category. It will bend and allow the flow of air, but reviewers caution the fourth shoe in this series doesn’t dry like the earlier versions. Be aware if you are partial to rainy-day runs
, you’ll want to wipe off your shoes with a towel and give them plenty of time to air dry before you lace them up again.
With just a few exceptions, reviewers raved about the comfort of this shoe. One sentiment echoed over and over in reviews, was how well this shoe fit runners with high arches. One reviewer went so far as to say she “felt like singing” when she put them on. (Humming along is one way to pass the time on long runs
, but maybe not if your running buddy is along for the ride.) The midsole got high marks for its soft feel and few seams, although not everyone was in agreement on the new tongue. Some reviewers said the shoe was true to size, but most reported purchasing a half size, or even full size, up from what they normally wear.
If you're not sure about sizing, it's best to stop in at your local running store and try a few different options on in person. A few people mentioned the PureConnect 4 is a bit narrow for their liking, so keep that in mind if you’re a runner with a wide foot. You can always check here
, for a more comfortable, wider option.
The good news is this shoe comes in a variety of colors. The bad news is, they can be hard to find. Brooks has discontinued production of this model, but you can still find it for sale on other sites, including Amazon. The bright blue and purple combination for women is trendy and bright, without giving anyone a headache, and the black, red and silver option is a good fit for men who prefer a little more traditional hues. Speaking of style, if you like to match your eye wear with your foot gear, check out these
stylish options for your next run in the sun.
For a minimalist shoe, reviewers found the PureConnect 4 to be extremely durable. There were no complaints about tearing or early breakdowns of the materials. Brooks builds even their minimalist shoes to last, advising that runners looking into replacing them somewhere between miles 250 and 300. Still some runners reported putting hundreds of miles on their shoes, and reported they love them as much as they did on day one. Finding a shoe that you love is one of the keys to keeping your training consistent
The pods on the outsole do their best to protect the foot, and reviewers did find they grip well even on wet surfaces. Some reviewers did comment that the pods don’t extend all the way to the medial side of the heel, so pronators
might see that as a flaw. This isn’t a trail-running shoe, so there is no rock shield, but users say the cushion is surprisingly deep for such a light shoe, protecting their joints with each foot strike.
The PureConnect 4 is built with a unique toe-flex design. Brooks says it allows the big toe to engage a bit more than in a traditional shoe, helping the runner gather his or her balance on toe-off. Some reviewers thought that overstated its value slightly, but they did notice more energy in their pushes off the toe. Overall, runners say this shoe absorbs the shock of the running surface well, and rebounds nicely for a solid, responsive ride.
Reviews might have been mixed on the tongue, but the laces on the PureConnect 4 get a big thumbs up for keeping their tension, even during long runs. There were no complaints of having to stop down on runs to tighten them. The rounded heel is also credited for supporting the foot, and enhancing the runner’s overall body alignment.
As mentioned, a few pronating runners noted they’d feel more supported if the pods on the outsole extended all the way to the medial side of the heel.
In short, this is a minimalist running shoe. It’s not meant for off-roading. In fact, one reviewer noted that his shoes latest for a year, until he decided to take them on a muddy obstacle course, and then he was forced to retire them. Keep these shoes on the pavement or dry dirt, where they do their best work.
Brooks has discontinued the PureConnect 4, but persistent runners can still track them down on other sites. Because the company has moved on, reviewers who found them elsewhere reported a decent discount from their original pricing. You might have to spend some time searching to find your specific size, but reviewers say if you can find it, it’s worth the effort and the savings.
The pods on the outsole can move independently, giving the runner a solid grip, and helping them maintain a natural balance. Some reviewers say it took them a few runs to get used to that feel of those "bumpy things", but they came to appreciate it quickly.
This a great shoe for the neutral runner who wants their footwear to mimic the natural movement of the foot
. The PureConnect 4 does just that, and the Toe Flex feature takes that flexibility to a new level. Some runners thought the “camel toe” look odd, but got over the cosmetics when they saw how well it functions. Reviewers gave this shoe top marks for bend and stretch.
Brooks uses its Nav Band to help secure the runner’s foot in these shoes, and most reviewers say that and the rounded heel provided the right amount of stability for them. A few said the fit was just a little too snug, but those with a narrow foot especially appreciated the security.
The 4mm drop on the PureConnect 4 makes it a solid choice for runners who are transitioning toward a more minimalist shoe, without being classified as a barefoot
option. If you’re new to running and don’t know what kind of drop you need, take a look at any of your daily shoes and see what kind of rise and fall they have. You’ll want to select something close to that, before you force your foot into a lower drop option. Planning for some transition time is key to avoiding injuries and or extreme soreness that could put you on the sidelines for weeks or even months. No shoe is worth that compromise!
Key Features of the PureConnect 4
Key Features of the PureConnect 4
• Duel toe flex design
• BioMoGo DNA midsole
• Rounded Heel
• Nav Band
• Outsole Pods
Runners are in love with this shoe from Brooks, and after taking in the feeback, it’s easy to see why. The PureConnect offers a surprising amount of support and cushioning for such a light weight shoe. Its pod-covered outsole will grip well on traditional running surfaces, and the split-toe design lets the runner get a big push off the big toe. The color options are fun without being gaudy, and this shoe scores high on overall style, especially with female runners. Some reviewers said they enjoyed the PureConnect 4 for group exercise classes, work, or even just daily wear. Many noted they’d purchased this shoe again and again, convinced it had no equal, and were disappointed to see it discontinued by Brooks. However, just because new ones aren’t being made doesn’t mean options don’t exist. There are some sizes still available online, and runners who have been waiting to try this neutral minimalist shoe can still snatch a pair up at a modest price.