My biggest concern with these shoes was whether they would hold up, and they certainly did. I do have an important comment I'm hoping the folks over at Brooks will listen to however. These shoes served me well in most running conditions. One situation, however, they failed to perform well, and that was rainy, slick runs on urban streets. When i say urban streets, i mean any street/sidewalk/running surface that has man hole covers, iron grates, or any metal of any kind. To take it even further, and for the sake of clarity, let me say that the PureCadence version 1 shoes do not grip all that well in wet conditions on any hard surface.
Beyond that, however, I really don't have any negative comments whatsoever. I wear the PureCadence on all of my long runs and all of my "key runs", meaning, any tempo work or other essential workouts. I spent two months prior to strapping them on injured and unable to run. I'm not going to claim that the PureCadence fixed my ails... I'm pretty sure it was the countless repetitions of daily exercises geared and strengthening my lower legs... but I can say, I wear the PureCadence when I fear injury the most, because they are the most trustworthy shoe I own and I have never had an issue with them unrelated to traction.
After a run in my other regular running shoes it is a pleasure to put my feet back in the PureCadence. To reiterate, my favorite features are the following:
- The last of this shoe fits my foot like no other shoe I've ever put on. It literally feels like an extension of my foot.
- Having had an extensive background in shoe-less exercise, the 4mm heel-to-toe differential allows me to harness my leg's strengths in a much more natural feeling way.
- The biomogo provides very comfortable cushioning while still allowing for you to gain some sense of proprioception, allowing for a more natural engagement on each footstrike, regardless of what part of your foot hits the ground.
- The support in these shoes is not overwhelming. I've got some crazy movement when my foot hits the ground... like it or not. I do like a bit of support, and I think the PureCadence provide that but leave it up to me to ensure I'm running with good form. I don't want to be controlled, but I also don't mind a helpful reminder at mile 20 that it's a good idea to keep my form in check.
- I've never run in a shoe that is so light. Once you try a shoe as light as this one, you'll never, ever go back to those big 'ol clunkers we all used to train in. It really makes a difference.
- Seems simple enough, but the laces are standard up through the eyelets to allow for ease of tightening and loosening, but are fashioned in a wave-like "stay-tied" manner in the upper section, translated into, well, laces that stay tied on your run. Laces that stay tied are good.
- The shoe just plain fits my foot. Heel to toe. I don't know if it's a stroke of luck, that the designers and testers had feet like my own, or not, but it cannot be denied. It feels like these shoes were made for me.
On their website, Brooks indicates the PureCadence should last you about 250 miles. Clever marketing for such a popular shoe... and as previously stated, my initial worry was that Brooks was right. I was hooked on these shoes, and I was afraid I'd be paying the hefty price for them every couple of months. But the truth is in the testing, and after 413 miles, I'm happy to say I've purchased my second pair of these running shoes. When it comes time for me to run the Burlington Marathon in May, I'll have them on my feet. And in October, when I run Annette Bednosky's amazing New River Trail 50K, i'll have them on as well.
Shoe Review: Brooks PureCadence