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REVIEW: Why the Brooks PureCadence 2 is a Runner’s Essential This Spring

A Brooks Running shoe is an experience all runners should treat themselves to, and what better shoe to begin this great running experience with than the middle child of the PureProject collection, the PureCadence 2.

The primary difference in this sequel shoe is the asymmetrical lacing system, something some runners maybe wary to try, not to mention the unique split-toe design of the forefoot. But there’s a reason to this unique look and it’s quite simple.

Powered by PDRB technology, the PureCadence 2 helps prevent overpronation, allowing a smoother heel-to-toe transition. Its dual density unit is complimented with a thoughtfully-placed Nav Band, which provides additional lock-down support in the midfoot area. A great thing for runners with high arches but not so much for those with flat feet, but more on that later. Despite a low-to-the-ground feel, the PureCadence 2 comes with ample cushioning BioMoGo midsole that, isn’t just environmentally friendly, but also provides a soft and bouncy landing platform.

When you first slip on the PureCadence 2, you’ll notice 3 things: the contoured construction that fits like a glove, the responsive midsole, and the sudden urge to propel yourself forward. The notable difference to this sequel shoe is the upper construction, as the midsole and outsole have remained identical. The improved mesh upper is great for runs with or without socks as the open weave ventilates feet from all angles. The aforementioned Nav Band remains the same, but the rest has been updated to improve the glove-like fit that originally inspired the PureProject series. The asymmetrical build, commonly called a “burrito wrap” fits a bit more snug around the foot, whereas the original Cadence offered more customization with the traditional lace-up closure. On the flip side, the original also relied on the Nav Band for the medial support, so the latest model offers a bit more of an overall fit. That said, this is a great shoe for runners with high arches.

The PureCadence 2 features the same road-friendly outsole that doesn’t over-do it with an unnecessarily bulky lug pattern. Instead, it comes with a full-length high-grade rubber sole that works well on both the city streets and the treadmill. The outsole features flex grooves under the forefoot that contour to the nature shape of feet in motion and encourage a mid-foot strike, a revelation to runners in the heel striker’s groove.

One noticeable aspect of the shoe that has testers is the offset lacing. In theory the design is designed to give runners a glove-like fit and reduce chafing. While that makes sense, runners (like myself) that like to run with their laces tucked at the sides will find this impossible to do with this burrito build.

The other downside to the PureCadence 2 is its road life. Like the rest of the PureProject series, Brooks recommends a new pair after about 250-300 miles of use. The shoe is made from lightweight and fewer materials, so its life expectancy is on the lower end of the spectrum. That said, it is worth noting that these are still one of the most comfortable running shoes you’ll ever put on your feet.

Category: Running
Best For: Runners that have high arches or a tendency to overpronate
Star Feature: Midfoot Nav Band 
Weight: 9.3 ounces
Bottom Line: The Brooks PureCadence 2 makes running easy, a great shoe if you’re getting back into running as the temp warms up.  If you haven’t, try on a pair of Brooks next time you’re near your local specialty running store.

$120