With my return to teaching, I’ve realized that time constraints necessitate making a change to how I write reviews (or they’ll never get done!). I’m going to try a more streamlined approach that I hope will allow me to churn through a backlog of reviews that have been accumulating since the beginning of the year. Here goes…
With their latest iteration of the PureProject, Brooks has trimmed down the collection by eliminating the PureConnect. The PureCadence (support), PureFlow (neutral), and PureGrit (trail) move on to v5. I’ve run in both the PureCadence 5 and PureFlow 5, and this review focuses on the former. I do feel obligated to once again point out that although the PureCadence is marketed as the support/stability shoe in the PureProject lineup, I think that this categorization is pretty artificial. Quite frankly, it feels pretty darned similar to the PureFlow, so don’t let it’s categorization scare you off if you’re interested in giving it a try.
Perhaps the most exciting change in v5 of the PureCadence is the fact that the silly NavBand has been eliminated, as has the non-functional split-toe sole. I’m a fan of eliminating marketing-driven nonsense, and I don’t feel that either of those PureProject “features” accomplished much of anything for the shoe. Thank you Brooks for letting go.
Here are my thoughts after probably 75 or so miles in the PureCadence 5:
1. Specs: 9.6 oz, 22mm heel, 18mm forefoot.
2. Sizing: I stayed true to size with a 10 – fit was good, no need to size up for me.
3. Ride: The PureCadence 5 feels very similar to previous iterations of the shoe – reasonably well cushioned, smooth transition, comfortable over longer distances. The shoe retains the undercut heel design, and as a midfoot to mild heel striker this makes me happy. Solid all around!
4. Fit: On the narrow side of middle-of-the-road. The toebox is not overly spacious, but not uncomfortably constricting. Midfoot and heel hold the foot well.
4. Upper: The mesh is not particularly stretchy, so not a lot of give. However, depth of the toebox is sufficient so there is room for the toes to move. Interior lining is plush and might be suitable for sockless wear (have not tried it yet myself).
5. Sole: I’m fond of the Brooks BioMoGo-DNA compound used in the midsole, and have been since the initial iterations of the PureProject shoes. It provides a fairly springy ride, and is a good match for my stride. Brooks touts that their Omega Flex Grooves optimize flexibility – I have no idea what an Omega Flex Groove is, but the sole is reasonably flexible, no complaints there. As mentioned, this doesn’t really feel like a stability shoe. In fact, I’ve gotten some abrasion on the side of the ball behind my big toe. This typically only happens in shoes with a soft medial forefoot, so I may be getting more late stage pronation than in most other shoes despite this being billed as a support model.
6. Durability: Outstanding so far. Plenty of rubber on the sole, with minimal wear visible. Upper has held up extremely well. No tearing, abrasion, etc.
The Brooks PureCadence 5 is a solid mid- to long distance trainer for those who like a lower-drop, sub-10oz shoe. It’s not for the wide-footed, but should work for narrow to moderate width feet, and durability seems to be excellent. The price point at $120 is a bit higher than I’d like to see ($100-$110 seems more appropriate), but if the durability continues to be as good as I’ve seen so far, then then the $/mile ratio may be fine. And as I said at the outset, I don’t find this Cadence to be particularly controlling or stable, so don’t let that scare you off if (like me) you think the “neutral” PureFlow 5 is pretty ugly.
If you have any specific questions, leave a comment below!
The Brooks PureCadence 5 is available for purchase at Running Warehouse.