Brooks PureConnect 4 ReviewFebruary 10, 2015
- Outstanding comfort throughout upper
- Highly responsive midsole
- Good flexibility from rear foot to forefoot
- Low profile: short stack height and minimal heel to toe drop
- Upper will run warm in hot conditions
- Outsole pods should extend to medial heel area
The Brooks PureConnect 4 proved itself as a solid lightweight training shoe for speed work or tempo training, though I found it also worked well as a racing shoe suitable for traditional trainers looking to go lower and lighter on race day.
This fourth generation of Brooks’ PureConnect road model-the most minimal of the company’s PureProject shoes lineup-proved slightly heavier than its predecessor. It does sport a nice design modification in the upper, though, as well as a highly responsive midsole with durable outsole rubber to accommodate high mileage days.
Security (of fit)
The big change on the Brooks PureConnect 4 is that it ditched the burrito-style tongue from previous models in favor of a traditional tongue. The lacing system holds its tension very well during the course of a long run, without need to for re-tying or adjusting the fit. An elastic Nav Band is anchored to the midsole both medially and laterally, and wraps over the top of the arch to hold the foot against the midsole.
Stability (on impact)
The outsole traction pods and rubber placement is the same as the PureConnect 3. The blown rubber outsole provides strong traction on roads, and the pod design facilitates a decent grip on trails and loos dirt also. One drawback for pronators is that the rubber pods donÕt extend to the medial side of the heel area.
Brooks BioMoGo DNA midsole material supplies adaptive cushioning that is softer when you’re running easy, and firmer when you’re running faster. The material works quite well in our testing, and provides a great combination of cushioning and responsiveness. BioMoGo is also highly flexible; the PureConnect 4 flexes well from rear to forefoot, and each midsole pod can also flex and absorb impact independently of the others.
The Brooks PureConnect 4 offers more width in the forefoot than previous iterations. That’s good as the PureConnect 4 nails the forefoot dimensions perfectly: it’s wide enough to provide full toe splay and prevent chafing, but maintains a narrow enough profile to make it quick and agile. Padding around the heel collar and ankle are just right for lightweight comfort. The upper is moderately breathable, but does not dry or ventilate as effectively as other shoes in the lightweight category.
Speed and agility
Although it is a half-ounce heavier than its predecessor, the PureConnect 4 is still ideal for speed work, fast training days, and racing. The fit is locked in, ground stability is strong, and the midsole material reacts quickly as soon as you push the pace.