DISCLAIMER: I am Brooks Inspire Daily athlete. I receive Brooks promotional products.
It's my opinion a Brooks Running ambassador should be well versed in the entire Brooks product line. I'll always hold personal preference for specific Brooks products, but it's good to attain first-person knowledge so that I can be authentic when conversing with a wide assortment of runners.
To that end, I went ultra-minimalist and broke out a pair of Brooks PureDrift. This is as light and wispy as I can get, with a shoe that is so light, it's barely notable when running:
Here's the back story from www.brooksrunning.com:
Experience the next best thing to naked feet with the hyper-light PureDrift. Spread those toes with two split grooves that allow your forefoot to flex through its three functional units. A hardly-there upper has a close fit and provides a little more coverage than a birthday suit. When you really want to feel free as a bird, remove the sockliner for a zero drop experience. Feet, meet feel. Please note: The PureDrift was designed with a wider toe box than other Brooks shoes. If you prefer a more snug fit, size down half a size.
I have several 10-milers completed using the PureDrifts. The fit and feel is moccasin-like, in a wraparound style. As most always, a size 13 fits perfectly. One neat touch is the the PureDrifts came with both white and blue laces; I opted for the blue to customize my sleek profile.
As you might imagine, this isn't a clunker of a shoe with beefy, cushy impact zone. I'm running at 175 pounds and no matter how delicate my forefoot strike, it's a bit much for the shoes in stock form.One has to understand that a 5 foot 5 runner at 125 pounds is going to have a much different experience. I went in the opposite direction of the Brooks recommendation (i.e. remove the sockliner. Instead, I came up with a improvisation and traded the stock inserts for a pair of Dr. Scholl's Active Series inserts. A bit more cushioning and foot control created the adaptation I needed.
Guess I can't help myself, but no shoe test from master competitor would be appropriate without a trail run. I took the PureDrifts on a rain, drizzle and mud 10-miler this morning. Maybe not an appropriate choice for rocks the size of golf balls, but I am what I am.
The run was inspiring. There's something pure(drift?) in having to pre-test each footstrike to make sure you aren't going to drive a sharp rock up into your flesh. The Pure Drift is light and the low-drop heel makes running a natural act. There's a consciousness that you won't find in other more restrictive trainers.
PureDrift won't be an every day shoe, but I'll have it in rotation with other footwear in my Brooks arsenal. When I want "the next best thing to naked" I'll be giving the (pure)drifting down the trail once again.