Brooks Pure Cadence 2 review

Runners tend to know two things about the right running shoe: 1) You have to go through more than one shoe, more than one run, to know what works best for your feet & 2) When you find a running shoe that works for you, you just know it.
I’ve been down the road of finding my perfect shoe as I’ve added on more and more miles within my training plan. This search hasn’t been an easy one. You see, that first rule up there – we have to go through more than one shoe to find the right one – fit me to a tee more than 4 attempts. I’ve been through many brands and shoes trying to find just the right one, but through that tedious process I’ve endured blisters galore and many runs with sore or achy feet. Once I discovered the Brooks Pure Cadence, my search was over!
When I got the Brooks Pure Cadence last year, I was apprehensive at first because of the label “semi-minimal” that people told me related to this shoe. Per the Brooks description:
Lean construction fuses with a responsive fit in the PureCadence. For Guidance to Support runners, this shoe delivers more support through smart, streamlined features such as a wider Nav Band that’s locked in to the medial strike pod. A reinforced heel counter secures the foot and the internal PDRB helps prevent overpronation. The PureCadence gives runners who need more stability the chance to experience the feel of a natural foot strike with a lightweight, breathable shoe.

I tried the shoes, knowing I had the ability to return them should they not work out within 30 days, but ended up falling in love! It took a few runs to get used to not having a higher heel like traditional running shoes, but the feel was just right. My toes had plenty of room to move since there is a split toe in the front of the shoe (yeah, Ninja Turtle style.) The support wasn’t to the point where I felt the shoe was “clunky” like most Support running shoes that have the stability bar inside of the midsole. Instead, there are stability ‘pods’ on each side of the midfoot sole. Also, the sole itself is made of a combination gel & foam.
I went through 3 pair of the Pure Cadence while I trained and raced in 2012 and then tried a pair of the Ravennas. Those worked for me, just not on long runs – my little Flintstone feet didn’t have enough room to spread out after about 5 miles. I was just about to get another pair of my beloved Pure Cadence when discovered the Pure Cadence 2 was coming out. Whoa. An even better perfect shoe for me? … Or would there be changes?
Brooks’ goal for the Pure line wasn’t to begin a minimal shoe line – instead they wanted to help runners get back to a more natural stride and feel when running. We’ve all gotten so used to running on ‘other’ running shoes that natural stride has us leaning a bit more forward. The goal: “Feel more with less.” That’s the first difference I felt even with the first pair of Cadence I tried.
The Pure Cadence 2’s are just as lovely as their predecessor – the main difference I noticed was the snugger feel in the mid foot. With the first pairs of Cadence, over time, the shoe seemed to widen. Not so much with these.
I love them. I could be happy running in them and only them. At the Disney Expo I met a ton of Pure Cadence lovers. We can form a semi-cult.
I was provided these shoes as part of the Brooks ID program from the brand, but the opinions and review are my own.
The Pure Cadence was how I began my road to becoming a Brooks lover and now being able to represent them on the 2013 Inspire Daily team has truly been a blessing!
Do you stick to the same shoe run after run?
Are you on the search for the perfect running shoe?

HI! I'M KAT - I am a pug-mom, wife, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, & Fitness Coach focusing on living the fit life while tackling work, coaching others - doing it all! My blog is to hold me accountable for all the goals I plan on accomplishing and also a way for me to try to inspire others through my own experiences - if I can do it ANYONE can! Fitness is a huge part of my life as well as travel and seeing all that life has to be lived! PAY IT FORWARD!

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  • Reply
    January 26, 2013, 12:26 pm

    You’re absolutely right, Kat–finding the perfect running shoe (for you) can be such a lengthy process. When I first started running regularly, I wore ASICS because those were my go-to kicks during high school track; I liked them, and they worked–except for longer (more than five mile) runs when they would start to annoy my calves and arches. Before moving to NYC, I went to my favorite local running store to get fitted (again!), and they suggested the Mizuno Wave Elixirs–and I haven’t looked back! Like your Brooks sneaks, they’re somewhat “minimalist,” but I hesitate to use that phrase because they aren’t true minimalist sneakers. They’ve made longer runs more enjoyable, and I feel like I run faster because they don’t weigh as much. πŸ˜‰ Come to think of it, I’m probably due for new sneakers in a month or so, and I’ll probably experiment with one of the popular triathlon brands like Zoot or Newton. Although everyone seems to love Brooks, so I wouldn’t totally rule those out either. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      January 26, 2013, 4:18 pm

      The Mizunos sound similar to mine, but I’ve tried Mizuno and they just haven’t worked out for me….flat wide feet for the win! I’d suggest giving Brooks a shot πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    January 26, 2013, 1:42 pm

    As you know I am a member of the cult as I am on my 5th pair of Pure Flows. I started in the Cadence and loved them, but now since the cadence was able to help me strengthen my feet, I no longer need the stability, so I am in the Pure Flows. I love them, and the upgrades in the Pure Project 2s are amazing. The wider toe box, the attached tongue, the more flexible sole are just a few things I love about them. Great Review! I actually am in the middle of one for the Flows, I will probably link this review to it. Awesome job Kat!

    • Reply
      January 26, 2013, 4:19 pm

      Yes! Spread the Pure Project love! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    January 26, 2013, 2:31 pm

    I love Nike for the colours and styles, but definitely wear Asics when I am training for longer runs! Cheers and Happy Saturday!

  • Reply
    January 26, 2013, 2:49 pm

    I love my PureCadence but sadly, I cannot run in them. I need the stability for my wide, high arch, over-pronating feet.

    But once I do find a shoe, I definitely stick with it. My love right now are my Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s.

    • Reply
      January 26, 2013, 4:20 pm

      Yea and I understand. Sometimes orthotics help in the shoe too! Mizuno didn’t work for my wide toes πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    January 26, 2013, 3:03 pm

    I’m still searching for that perfect shoe! So far the asics have been great but I’m looking now for something lighter too. The wave elixers are on my list to try πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    January 26, 2013, 3:47 pm

    Love my Ghosts!! May try another Brooks shoe at some point but like u said once u find sumthin u like.. u want to keep them!! Thatsy i got another pair!! Yay for shoes that dont make ur feet look the way they did after gasp!! πŸ˜‰

    • Reply
      January 26, 2013, 4:21 pm

      Haha amen! You’d love the new pink Ghosts too πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    January 26, 2013, 5:04 pm

    Awesome! I have the originals and am glad to know that it will be an easy transition when I’m in need of a new pair! Great review!!

    And I use two pairs of shoes – Brooks Pure Cadence and Newton Gravity

    • Reply
      January 26, 2013, 5:06 pm

      I haven’t quite tried the Newtons just yet! Yes Ang you’ll love the attached tongue and wide te box too πŸ˜‰

    • Reply
      January 26, 2013, 8:29 pm

      Tried on a pair of zero drop newtons last time I was at the run store, and they weren’t for me. They do look cool though! I want to try Skora next.

  • Reply
    January 26, 2013, 5:44 pm

    After more than 20 years of running I’m still on the lookout for the perfect shoe. Kind of kidding because I have had several that I really loved a lot. Currently I’m wearing Mizuno Wave Riders.

    I am always a little afraid to try lower drop shoes because of my tendency to develop Achilles tendinitis.

    • Reply
      January 26, 2013, 8:34 pm

      These don’t necessarily have a lower drop that you can feel, but hear good things about Mizuno, they just didnt work for me

  • Reply
    January 26, 2013, 5:52 pm

    Ooh, wish I had that many pairs of the Cadence; they’re my favorite! And my current pair need to be retired soon. It took me a LONG time to find something that works for me. I still use Trance or Adrenaline for 1/2 marathons, but have been using my Pure Cadence for races under that distance.

  • Reply
    January 26, 2013, 5:58 pm

    I love anything Brooks. I just got the Flows and love them!

  • Reply
    January 26, 2013, 8:26 pm

    Great review! I am running in a pair of the original pure cadence, and I love them. I actually started in them as a heel striker, but have found they are even better now that I have shifted my strike forward. I generally use my Fivefingers for shorter training runs, and I use my Brooks for long runs, or runs that are cold. I like keeping myself to a minimal/barefoot way of running.

  • Reply
    January 26, 2013, 10:15 pm

    I have 4 pairs of Brooks Glycerin 9s. I stocked up when I heard the 10s were coming because I fear change. However I do also like my Newton Gravities but the Glycerines are just perfect. I tried the Pure Flow which are similar to the Pure Cadence but they were too tight for my fat feet.

    • Reply
      January 27, 2013, 12:15 am

      I think the Glycerins would make great walking shoes for me! So squishy! I think the new pure line has way more room cuz I have flint stone feet πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    January 26, 2013, 11:10 pm

    I haven’t tried the Pure Cadence but I am running in the Brooks Adrenanline! Started in Asics but once I tried these I was in Love & switched over to Brooks!! Recently heard about a comprable pair of Mizunos that I might try next or maybe the pure cadence or a combo!

    • Reply
      January 27, 2013, 12:16 am

      If you like the Adrenalines you’ll love the Cadence! Stability and lightweight! I tried Mizuno but they were too narrow for me

  • Reply
    January 27, 2013, 12:10 am

    tanks for sharing the review!

  • Reply
    January 27, 2013, 6:44 pm

    I tried to pure cadence last year and sadly they didn’t work for me and I had to return them. They weren’t flexible enough over the of my foot so I was getting blisters. It was really weird. I do love the pure connects though! I switch between them and my ghosts. Best shoe combo ever…for me! πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      January 27, 2013, 9:36 pm

      So funny how we’re all so particular with shoes! I tried the Ravennas and the same thing with blisters happened! Ah, for picky feet πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    January 27, 2013, 9:46 pm

    I’m training in Saucony Hurricanes right now and they’ve recently started bugging my calfs/toes on longer runs… time to go on a shoe hunt before its too late to break them in for my half! Glad you found your dream shoe! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    April 18, 2013, 4:12 pm

    I want to buy the Pure Cadence for Beach to Bay. I love my Flows. I tried on the Cadence and loved them too. I found some Cadence on clearance for 80 bucks. Should I spring for the new ones or get the clearance ones? Is there a huge difference?

  • Reply
    May 16, 2013, 7:19 pm

    I recently started wearing Brooks Cadence as well. Took a shot-in-the-dark because they were on the clearance rack at DSW (~$45). Glad I took the chance because they are working out so well for me. My girlfriend went back the next week and got another pair once these get retired. How well does the Cadence hold up?

    • Reply
      May 16, 2013, 9:10 pm

      Awesome!I think that the Cadence 2s hold up longer than the first version. I do notice having better chances with longevity when I rotate a few pair

  • Reply
    August 20, 2013, 12:06 am

    I have been in search of the perfect shoe too. I finally found it in the Cadence! I have both the Cadence and Cadence 2’s. I find the Cadence to be more comfortable than the Cadence 2’s. I rotate between them. However, I have been stocking up on the Cadence because I feel that I finally found the perfect shoe. I have gone through numerous shoes and brands to get here, and now, I want to make sure I always have a pair for as long as possible. In my opinion, the Cadence 2’s are definitely more snug and have a little less breathability as well as feeling like a bit more shoe than the 1’s. Also, the 2’s definitely need breaking in, where as the 1’s are a great fit right out of the box. I must say I am in love with the Cadence. I am now a Brooks girl. Great review!!

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