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Review: Brooks PureCadence 5

Brooks PureCadence 5With 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.

 

Brooks PureCadence 5 SideBrooks PureCadence 5 Medial

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.

Brooks PureCadence 5 Top

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.

Brooks PureCadence 5 Sole

Conclusion

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.

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Not sure if it’s just me, but I miss the cushioned tongue. I tried these on and took them off immediately because the tongue bothered me so much. The same thing happened when I tried the Neuro on. Guess I won’t be getting the latest version of the Pure Cadence. :(

    • The tongue is different – I had meant to comment on it in the review. Hasn’t bothered me on the run, but on a few occasions I have had to loosen the laces while wearing them at work all day.

  2. Adam Leadbetter says:

    I’m nearing 300 miles on my pair of PureFlow 5s, so I’ll add my thoughts.

    The PureFlow 4s were my go to shoe of 2015 and I raced both a 50km and sub-3 marathon in them. Out ov the box comfort was, for me, spot on. I then used a pair of Hoka Huakas through my first three months of 2016 including racing the national 50km here in Ireland before switching ba k into Brooks and the PureFlow 5s.

    Something just wasn’t quite right in the 5s until about 60 miles in. I can’t tell if the last is slightly narrowed or if the middle is slightly stiffer this year but I was getting numb toes for a while.

    Now I’m happy with them for up to about 40km and find them good on road and easy trails. Wear has been excellent, with even some of the mild grooves still visible on the sole unit.

    Good shoes, but to me a slight step back from the 4s (maybe the nav band was doing something for me!) I think the most telling experience was I trusted my racing flats over the PureFlow 5s for London this April.

  3. I have already tried PureCadence 5 shoes in the store and they fitted perfectly to my feet. I’m really thinking about purchasing this pair for the long distance running.

  4. Nice review, the information are really helpful!

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