Brooks Pureflow 6 Review

This Spring there have been a lot of updated shoes I’ve wanted to try.  Since I took a big portion off, I have a lot of catching up to do!  I haven’t necessarily found a shoe I’m “married” too, but I have found most of the shoes I’ve tried are good updates.  I work at a local running store, but I’m not paid by any company.  All thoughts are my own.

One shoe I’ve wanted to try for a long time has been the Brooks Pureflow.  Unfortunately, I have a wide foot, and it never felt comfortable.  I also don’t train every day in flat, minimalist shoes.   For me, it’s more of a speedwork shoe.

The Pureflow was one of the last shoes I tried before taking a running break.  I was using it as a speedwork shoe.  During my running break, I rotated it into a casual shoe, and it was just as comfortable.  The shoe has almost reached the end of its life, and I’ve probably logged equally speedwork and walking miles.

Fit:

As mentioned, the Brooks Pureflow has run narrow.  The updated version has become wider and accommodating.  Like many Brooks shoes, the upper is now seamless, so even if you have a bunion or wider forefront, your foot will probably still fit into the shoe.  I usually wear a size 10 in running shoes, and size 10 fits well.

Feel:

The Brooks Pureflow is part of the Brooks “Pure” series which includes the stable Pure Cadence as well as trail Puregrit. The focus of the Pure line is low profile and minimal design.  For some runners, this is their everyday trainer.  For others, like myself, it’s more of a speedwork shoe.

To me, it feels like a typical speed work shoe.  It has a little more cushion than the Saucony Type A and a little less than the Brooks Ghost. In my opinion, it would be an ideal half marathon to marathon racing shoe for someone looking for a little less shoe but not a racing flat.

Pros:

  • Less than most trainers ($100)
  • Wider than previous models and can accommodate more foot types

Cons:

  • Less shoe means less durability.

In my rotation, the shoe is replacing the Launch 4.  I didn’t hate the Launch and would buy it again, but I wanted to try something different.

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Saucony Freedom ISO (long runs, daily runs)
Brooks Glycerin 15 (daily runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (recovery runs)
Saucony Type A (races)
Asics Nimbus 19 (cross training)

Questions for you:
Do you prefer more cushion or less?
What is your current favorite pair of running shoes?

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36 Pairs of Running Shoes Later

During the last year, I’ve run in a lot of shoes.  Since I work at a running store, I’m able to see and try new shoes.  Typically I only try shoes I think I will like.  Why would I waste time, injury, and money on a shoe I probably wouldn’t like?

Thinking out loud, I thought it would be fun to look back at all of the shoes I’ve run in since May 2016.  That and I needed to clean out my closet.

Brooks:
Brooks Ghost
Brooks Glycerin 
Brooks Launch 3
Brooks Launch 4
Brooks Pureflow (review to come when I get back to running again)

Saucony:
Saucony Ride 9
Saucony Zealot ISO 2
Saucony Freedom ISO 
Saucony Triumph ISO 2
Saucony Type A (Racing Flat)

Asics
Asics Nimbus 19

Hoka:
Hoka Clifton 3
Hoka Bondi 5

adidas:
adidas SuperNova

New Balance:
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

Nike: 
LunarGlide 8

Mizuno:
Mizuno Wave Enigma 6

Including racing flats, it ended up being 36 pairs of shoes.  Most shoes had between 200-400 miles on them.

Favorite Shoes:

Brooks Ghost, Glycerin, and Saucony Freedom.  This particular year, all three shoes were great options.  I felt as though the Brooks Ghost fit my foot the best.

Most Surprising Shoe (Positive):

I didn’t think I would like the Nike Lunarglide or Brooks Launch as much as I did. The Lunarglide went through a substantial update which allowed those needing a neautral shoe to run successfully in it.

Before the Brooks Ghost 9, I hadn’t had success in any Brooks shoes. Both shoes were great, and I saw both of those to the end of their lifespan.

adidas SuperNova (Negative):

I thought I would like the Supernova because I liked the Energy Boost. The SuperNova felt good for shorter runs, but my feet would ache (because of the width) for longer runs.  I logged less than 100 miles in it before deciding it wasn’t getting any better.

Longest Lasting Shoe:

adidas are supposed to the last the longest.  Realistically, I know they do, however, due to the width I haven’t seen any pair I’ve tried to it’s full potential of 700 miles.

Shortest Lasting Shoe:

Any racing flat will last less around 100 miles.  The Saucony Type A was no exception!

Total Shoes (including flats): 36

Questions for you:
Which running shoes are currently in your shoe rotation?
How many pairs of shoes did you run in this year?

Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review

Recently I decided to try the Asics Nimbus 19.  I’m no stranger to the Nimbus and have run in the Asics Nimbus 17 as well as the lower cushion Asics Cumulus 18 too.  I’ve even run in the Asics FuzeX as well as the max-cushioned Asics Quantum.  Come to think of it, I’ve run in most Asics neutral shoes.

Recently, the Nimbus has been extremely inconsistent. Both the sizing and feel of the shoe is completely different from one model to the next.  Neither “feel” is bad, but it’s hard because if you like a soft feel and the next version is firm, it’s not a shoe you will love.

The Nimbus 19 is a shoe you need to try on before purchasing. A few years ago the Nimbus ran big with plenty of room. However, this year it’s tight.

Sizing is not a concern, and it’s just a matter of finding what works for you.  You also have to keep in mind there have been 19 models of the Nimbus, so Asics must be doing something right.

Fit:

Oh, where to start with the fit.  To start off, it fits tight and narrow. I normally wear a women’s size 10 in running shoes, and in the Asics Nimbus 19, I wear a size 11 wide.  Sizing is not a big deal, but it’s a shoe you need to try on.  Don’t expect to be in the same size “you’ve always worn”.

Compared to the previous versions, the upper of the shoe is screen printed and the weave is tighter.  It doesn’t use the “traditional” mesh of other Asics shoes and is seamless. Once I found the appropriate size, it’s a comfortable shoe.  The seamless upper allows no rubbing at the top, and for me personally nothing rubs.

Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review

Feel:

The new Nimbus 19 now combines both gel and the latest Asics cushioning system: Flytefoam (similar to the FuzeX).

Why does this matter?  Flytefoam makes the shoe significantly lighter and makes the Nimbus a lot firmer.  It no longer feels like a giant soft sponge under your foot.  With the addition of the Flytefoam, it is a drastic difference.  The cushion is still there but it’s a different type and feels softer and lighter.

In summary, I like the shoe.  I’ll run through this version and use them on easy days or recovery days.  I will also say they are a great workout shoe and I tend to do most of my cross training in them too.  This is a shoe that will probably migrate towards my easy running days and cross training shoe because of all of the cushion.

Pros:

  • Lots of cushion
  • Lighter than previous years
  • More durable than many running shoes

Cons:

  • Expensive ($160)
  • Inconsistent sizing and feel of shoe

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Brooks Glycerin 14 (easy runs, long runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (easy runs, long runs)
Saucony Freedom (daily runs)
Saucony Type A (workouts)

Questions for you:

Which shoes are you currently running in?

Do you prefer light weight or heavy shoes?

Brooks Glycerin 14 Shoe Review

The Brooks Glycerin 14 is the most cushioned neutral shoe that Brooks currently offers.  I’ve reviewed both the Brooks Ghost 9 as well as the Brooks Launch 3 and Brooks Launch 4.

As most people have noticed, lately I’ve been doing most of my training in Brooks.  I’m not paid or an ambassador.  Recently, I have found the fit of Brooks to match my foot well.

A while ago, I ran a minimal amount in the Brooks Glycerin 12, and I liked them.   For no reason, I just haven’t run in them since.  I’ve wanted to try the Glycerin again but for whatever reason, haven’t.

The Brooks Glycerin 14 is similar to the 13.  The majority of the update came with the fit of the upper, and it fits wider than the previous model.

Fit:

The upper is seamless which means it’s able to fit wider feet as well as it doesn’t press against bunions.  A lot of running shoes are going towards seamless uppers.  Being seamless, allows for an overall more comfortable fit.

A smooth mesh allows for a “socklike” fit with plenty of breathing room.  Compared to the Glycerin 13 upper, the mesh feels more durable too.

Speaking of the mesh, something unique about the Glycerin is the mesh is much thinner. I have found it to dry much quicker than many other shoes.  Considering most of March was pouring rain in New Jersey this was extremely helpful.

Typically I wear a size 10 or 10 wide in running shoes and have found the 10 wide to be the best fit.

Brooks glycerin 14 shoe review

Ride:

The Glycerin has a lot more cushion than the Ghost.  You can feel the cushion under your feet, and it feels like a sponge.  Brookes uses cushioning technology similar to memory foam.  The Brooks Glycerin is definitely the softest traditional shoes I’ve run in for a while.  You feel the extra cushion without the extra weight.

Thoughts:

The Glycerin has been a shoe I’ve wanted to try for a while, and I was pleased to finally give it a shot.  I like the shoe a lot, and I’ll probably keep it in my rotation for a while.  I don’t have any complaints and the Brooks Glycerin 15 comes out soon so I’ll add that into my rotation too.

Pros:

  • High Cushion and Soft
  • Seamless Upper
  • Updating soon so will be on sale

Cons:

  • Price ($150)
  • More narrow than many other Brooks Shoes
  • Brooks glycerin 14 shoe review

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Brooks Glycerin
Brooks Launch 4 (short runs, workouts)
Saucony Freedom (daily runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (daily runs, recovery runs)
Saucony Type A (speed work)

Questions for you:
What are your favorite shoes right now?
Do you prefer more or less cushion when it comes to running shoes?

Hoka Bondi 5 Shoe Review

Lately, I’ve felt a little more “beat up” during training and wanted a shoe with more cushion.  Not injured, just wanting more cushion during easy and longer runs! The Hoka Bondi 5 has the most cushion of any running shoe currently on the market.  I’m not a stranger to the Hoka brand and after coming back from my ankle fracture last year, I ran in several pairs of the Hoka Clifton 3.

Hoka Bondi 5 Shoe Review

Drop: 4mm
Weight: 10 oz

A common question I’ve been asked is: “am I more susceptible to falling while running in Hokas”?  

I can personally tell you as someone who falls a lot (and has broken my arm doing so), I’ve never fallen because of a Hoka shoe.  Once you’re running, you don’t feel the difference too much.

While there is a lot of cushion in any Hoka shoe, it’s important to remember your feet actually sink into the cushion and it’s not as overwhelming as it appears.

The shoes are designed so your foot actually sinks down in the cushioning quite a bit. It’s like a giant marshmallow! Once you put any model on you realize you aren’t as high up as anticipated.

Fit:
While I never ran in the Hoka Bondi 4, the fit of the Hoka Bondi 5 is relatively similar.  Right now in the running industry, Hoka is one of the few brands that fits true to size.  I typically wear a size 10 and a size 10 was perfect.  Many brands this year are running either short or narrow.  The Bondi has a nice wide seamless toe box which makes it a perfect candidate for anyone who has bunions or a slightly wider foot.  In general, the fit is one of my favorites from any brand.

Ride: 
As a brand, Hoka has a distinct and unique feel.  Then again, how could it not, you are higher off of the ground?

The Bondi has the most amount of cushion in a running shoe. You feel that. It doesn’t feel large, or clunky, but it does feel like a lot underneath your feet.  If you have never held a Hoka before, they are extremely light weight.

Compared to the Hoka Clifton 3, the Bondi 5 has more cushion.  The cushion is also denser so your foot doesn’t sink as much into the bottom.  It’s a great recovery or long run shoe.

A great aspect of the shoe is you can run as far as needed. Personally, I’ve run 10+ miles and felt great but this was also designed with the ultra marathoner in mind.  Would this be my personal choice for a racing shoe?  No, but it’s a great option for daily runs, long runs and any run you want more cushion.

Hoka Bondi 5 Shoe Review

Pros:

  • Max cushioning
  • True to size fit
  • Most amount of cushion in any running and only $150

Cons:

  • Takes a few runs to get used too

My current shoe rotation:
Saucony Freedom ISO (long runs, daily runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (long runs, daily runs)
Brooks Launch 4 (short runs, speed work)
Saucony Type A (speed work)

Questions for you:
Do you prefer a shoe with more cushion?
What is your current favorite shoe?

Protein and Running

As runners, it’s important to get enough protein while training.  Protein allows us to recover quicker and stay healthy.

As someone who doesn’t always run from home and is constantly on the go, I’m always looking for portable sources of protein.  It’s impossible to just bring a steak around in my pocket.

That’s why when I was contacted to work with two companies I purchase from frequently: Quest Protein and Vitamin Shoppe, I jumped at the opportunity.  I shop with both routinely and have for years.

Thinking out loud, finding a portable protein bar can be tough but finding one that actually tastes good can be tougher!  I’ve pretty much tried every protein bar on the market and some taste like glorified cardboard.

A couple of years ago when staying with good friends Danielle and Amelia, I had several Quest bars in my backpack.  We all went out for dinner.  While we were away, their cats got into my bag and ate several of them.  What can I say, who doesn’t like Quest bars?

Quest cereal bars are just as good as their regular protein bars. The Quest ‘Beyond Cereal’ Bar has all the sweet crunch of a junk food cereal bar, but with the incredible nutritional profile you know you can expect from Quest.  When I’m training, I like to make the most of calories.  While I don’t stress about it, I would rather have a more healthy protein bar versus one with empty calories.

Each bar contains the following:

  • 110 calories and 12g protein
  • 2-3g net carbs
  • 6-7g fiber
  • 8g of Allulose a new naturally occurring sweetener found in figs, raisins & dates.runners and protein

Why do Runners Need Protein?

Protein is made up of essential amino acids.  It does more than help repair muscles after a hard workout. Protein isn’t stored for later use which means unlike fat and carbohydrates, there is a limit your body can use at one time. That’s why it’s important to spread out the amount of protein you get daily, versus having it all in one sitting.

runners and protein

What Does Protein Do?

  • Plays a role in cell repair and production
  • blood clotting
  • fluid balance

How Much Protein Should You Have During Training?

While training, it’s important to have between .55 grams/pound-.75 grams/pound.  Will you hit that every single day?  No.  Should you stress about it? No.  It’s just a guideline.

For comparison, I’m 130 pounds try and get about 70-100 grams of protein daily but I don’t track it everyday.

Personally, I like Quest Cereal Bars because they are quick and taste good. The new cereal bars are chocolate, waffle, and cinnamon.  All three are delicious, but given a choice, my favorite bar is the waffle. I don’t have to worry about storage, and I can pull one out while at work as well.

Questions for you:
Where do you get your protein from?
Do you snack often or are you a three meal a day type of person?

Brooks Launch 4 Shoe Review

The Brooks Launch 4 has quickly become a staple in my running rotation.  A month ago, my second pair of Launch 3 were getting beat up, so I needed a new pair of shoes.  I enjoyed the Launch a lot, so I decided to introduce the Launch 4 into my rotation.

Brooks is not paying me to review their shoes and I purchased the shoe myself.  All thoughts are my own!

Fit:
The fit of the Launch 4 has a few significant updates including fewer seams and it’s wider!  I barely wore a women’s size 10 in the Launch 3, and now a size 10 in the Launch 4 feels great.

Brooks Launch 4 Shoe Review

Feel:
The Launch 4 includes an entire extra strip of rubber at the bottom.  There are now 5 rows of rubber versus 4.  This means it’s more responsive to different forms of running. Brooks Launch 4 Shoe Review

The extra strip of rubber helps forefront cushioning as well as a smoother roll from the toe off.  What does this mean?

It feels like a smoother, less clunky shoe from the 3 (not that it ever felt clunky).

Weight: 9 ounces
Drop: 10 mm

Pros:

  • Cheaper: The Launch 3 was 110, and the Launch 4 is 100
  • More forefront cushion and deeper treads

Cons:

  • I have yet to find any

Current Shoe Rotation:
Saucony Freedom ISO (Long Runs, daily runs)
Brooks Ghost 9 (Long runs, daily runs)
Brooks Launch 4 (daily runs, tempos)
Saucony Type A (workouts)

Question for you:
What shoe are you currently running in?
What is your all time favorite shoe?