If I had the will-power to limit myself to one shoe for all occasions, the Pure Connect 2 would be it. Light enough for short races, padded enough for distance training and racing, as well as comfortable and stylish enough to wear casually.  At the time of this review, I have slightly over 100 miles on them.

“Run Happy!”

That is the motto of the Brooks shoe company. I’m usually happy to be running,  so I am all aboard for this philosophy. I was in the market for a new shoe to replace my Asics Gel Lyte33’s after my marathon. The Asics only had a little over 200 miles on them, but I was convinced that they would self destruct after the 26.2 miles. Or that I should have some monumental retirement ceremony for the shoes that carried me across the finish line after all those months of rigorous training. Really, I just have a habit of buying new shoes.

On the weekend of my marathon in Virginia Beach, they had a fitness expo set up where you pick up your race packet with your race bib and various other freebies. Of course they had vendors set up that you had to pass by to escape the expo center. Captive audience. I stopped at the Brooks booth and tried the Brooks Pure Connects. They felt good for the short test run I did along the congested aisle of the expo. Sold. I must have passed on my passion for shoes to Connor because he “needed” a pair of the Pure Flows in neon green. Sold.

Taking them for my first run, I felt that they were a bit too tight across the midfoot and toes. And there was a “hump” right at the balls of my feet. This first run was on my treadmill. I feel I run slightly different on the treadmill than I do on roads. Maybe it is my imagination. My second run was on the road and the shoe seemed to break-in as the miles went by. After about 5 miles, I started realize I liked these shoes. And for me, that is when I stop thinking about them. If my feet are comfortable, my run is enjoyable.

Some of the features that I like a lot are the asymmetrical lacing (they lace slightly to the outside of the foot instead of right up the middle), the tongue is attached on the side and lays over your foot, and the laces have a “bumpy” thing going on that keeps the tied better than plain flat or round laces.

I picked these up for my distance training, but with their light weight, they work great for short road races as well. I ran a 5K in these when I knew there would be some off road action. My New Balance MRC 5000’s as so barely-there that I try and keep them exclusively on paved surfaces. There is enough padding in the Pure Connect that rocks are not a problem. I actually ran my best 5K time to date in these. I plan on running in the Pure Connects for the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon on June 1. I even wear these when playing on the field with my son’s soccer team.

UPDATE 7/2/13

The Pure Connects carried me through the half marathon with no issues. These have been my go-to shoe for running and casual. I may pich up another pair to replace these when I get too many miles on them.

I definitely “Run Happy” in Broks Pure Connect 2s.