Brooks PureCadence 2

8.8
8.8 score
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Brooks PureCadence 2Review Facts
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The Brooks PureCadence 2 is the update to the extremely well-received PureCadence. The minimalist stability shoe is part of the Brooks PureProject lineup. It’s an affordable, minimal shoe that is perfect for the runner seeking to transition to a less is more footwear option. Brooks has focused on the modifying the upper in the second version of the PureCadence. It has managed to improve upon an already solid shoe but there still remain a few aspects that need some tweaking. Overall, the shoe is a nice update and holds its own quite well.

Pros
  • Mild stability provided in a lightweight package
  • Super comfortable
  • Good arch support
  • Fits like a glove
  • Flexible construction ensures a smooth ride
  • Excellent rebound properties
Cons
  • Poor breathability
  • Narrow construction (mixed reviews with regards to fit)
  • Not great when worn sockless
  • Short lifespan (250-300 miles)
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the Brooks PureCadence 2 is made of carbon rubber. There's not much else to note about the outsole materials. In fact, there's a reason the shoe is so lightweight. It's made of feather light materials and is pretty pared down. It's a minimalist shoe after all. That means that the outsole is pretty thin. It's not the most durable but it'll manage to squeak out around 200-300 miles. If you're looking for a minimalist shoe, that's kind of the tradeoff.

The outsole also features Flex Grooves. I bet you can guess what those do. They do indeed add flexibility to the sole. The shoe also features what's called an IDEAL heel. It's a cute way of saying that the heel is slightly curved. This design promotes a more natural foot strike and discourages heavy heel striking.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole of the Brooks PureCadence 2 remains unchanged from the previous version of the shoe. It's still composed of BioMoGo DNA cushion. This material is environmentally friendly since it'll degrade quickly in a landfill. It's a nice little bonus characteristic of the shoe. The midsole also features the Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar. It's a fancy name for what's essentially a corrective feature not dissimilar to a medial post. It works to reduce the amount of overpronation a runner does and encourages a natural foot motion.

The PureCadence 2 really offers only minimal stability, so avoid the shoe if you're seriously rolling inward and need some heavy duty pronation control.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper of the Brooks PureCadence 2 is the portion of the shoe that has received the brunt of the updates. The lacing system has been completed change. Instead of traditional laces, you get an asymmetrical system that really allows the wearer to get a snug fit. A new split toe in the forefoot apparently allows for a better toe-off. There's some debate about whether it really does anything at all, though. Let your foot be the judge of that.

The upper also boasts an improved fit that really hugs the foot. The NAV band stays in this update but has been adjusted slightly to enhance the overall fit of the shoe. The heel counter also isn't new but still provides the same stability as before. The soft wrap tongue is built into the shoe's upper and inside the shoe, there's a MoGo sock liner. It adds a bit of extra softness and padding inside the shoe.

In addition, the shoe is not great when worn sockless. The interior is nice and soft but it's not seamless to the point that your foot won't be blister free without socks.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Brooks PureCadence 2 is pretty minimalist so it doesn't weigh that much. It is still a stability shoe, though, so the corrective features and components that enhance structural integrity add some heft. The women's version weighs about 7.5 oz and the men's about 9.3 oz. All shoes in the PureProject line are lightweight and all of them are meant to function as either race day shoes or everyday trainers. The PureCadence 2 is no exception. It feels fast and can definitely do double duty.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

There's some work to be done in this area for the Brooks PureCadence 2. It's interesting that the shoe is billed as minimalist but its upper seems to be pretty thickly outfitted. There are numerous overlays on the upper and the NAV band seems to dominate this part of the shoe. The NAV band is meant to provide extra support and keep the foot locked in, but some claim that the device is superfluous.

Reviewers also mentioned that despite the upper getting the biggest makeover, it's also the area that needs the most work. The upper doesn't breathe very well and runners found their feet got hot very quickly resulting in an uncomfortable run.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Sure, the PureCadence 2 is super comfortable. Reviewers agreed wholeheartedly. But the terrible ventilation kind of ruins that a bit, especially if you're going long on a hot summer day. Otherwise, the shoe is really comfy. The interior MoGo liner is nice and pillowy and the fit has been improved quite a bit. But it's not a shoe that should be worn sockless. You'll likely end up with numerous hot spots. It's likely due to the horrendous breathability. In hot conditions, the plush liner won't dry as well and you'll probably end up with blisters. A few runners did comment on the poor fit of the shoe but it was a mixed bag. Some reviewers complained about a narrow toe box while others raved about the perfect fit.
Style
Style

Style

The Brooks PureCadence 2 is yet another PureProject line shoe that boasts a fresh, modern design. I've compared the PureProject models to spaceships before. To me, they look space-age and futuristic. I'm fairly certain Brooks uses space-esque imagery on the shoe boxes. The pod-like outsole paired with the silver streaked upper with a NAV band that looks like a space suit. Am I reading too much into the design? Maybe. But all that to say is that the shoe looks good. The colors offered are fun without being overly flashy. There's really an option for everyone.
Durability
Durability

Durability

You won't be getting a ton of miles out of the Brooks PureCadence 2. Most of the PureProject line shoes aren't meant to be worn past 300 miles. They're minimalist. The materials used to construct the shoes are thin and while Brooks uses quality materials, there's just less of it to ensure the weight stays low. You should expect to get about 250-300 miles from the PureCadence 2. You might be able to squeeze a bit more out of it but you'll find the soles wearing thin and the cushion feeling flat when the shoe is at the end of its rope.
Protection
Protection

Protection

You'll get protection in the form of reflectivity, traction, and corrective features in the Brooks PureCadence 2. You shouldn't expect the shoe to protect you from harsh weather conditions or rough trails. It's a minimally outfitted shoe. The Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar offers some correction but it's really only mild correction. The upper will protect you from the elements but it also tends to trap in heat, so it's nothing to rave about. The outsole does grip pavement well, so you should feel pretty secure on the run, even if it rains.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The Brooks PureCadence 2 is a really bouncy shoe. Most of the PureProject lineup is similarly responsive. The BioMoGo DNA cushioning is springy and it feels that way underfoot. Enjoy it while it lasts, though. The spring does begin to fall flat towards the shoe's life cycle. Still, you'll get a nice bouncy ride that when paired with the lightweight package really manages to propel its wearer forward. You'll feel like you're running faster and then you'll want to run faster, too.
Support
Support

Support

The glove-like fit of the Brooks PureCadence 2 provides support for the wearer. As does the carbon rubber outsole. The NAV band is also meant to provide support to the foot, but there's some contention about whether it really does or not. Some runners find it really locks their foot in, others find it's a nuisance that limits ventilation. Regardless, wearers found the shoe offers a good amount of support. The arch area adds a nice touch of support to the midfoot. Some found the arch was a bit too high, though.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

You'll be sticking to the road in the Brooks PureCadence 2. It's not meant for off-roading. The shoe doesn't have a rock plate and it's not packed with protective features made for the trail. It's more of a road shoe that could pass as a built up race day shoe. Its minimalist construction doesn't lend itself well to varied terrain. Regardless, you'll find that no matter where you run (unless it's in space or in a pool) the soles of the shoes will wear down quickly.
Price
Price

Price

The Brooks PureCadence 2 is a low-cost affordable option for runners seeking a minimalist stability trainer for everyday wear. It's a great shoe for someone who wants a shoe that can double as a race day option. There's enough cushion to suit runners who want to go long but you'll have to be okay with a shoe that has a short lifespan. Some folks prefer to switch up their shoes often so if that's you, you'll probably be fine with a shoe that tops out at 300 miles.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The carbon rubber outsole of the Brooks PureCadence 2 does a decent job at gripping the ground. As mentioned, it's best for runs on pavement. It doesn't tend to slip and slide in wet weather, so you'll be safe if it rains. Otherwise, there's not much else to note in this area. The pods on the outsole provide a nice amount of traction but it may take some getting used to for some.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The PureProject line shoes are all minimalist or near-minimalist shoes that offer a great deal of flexibility. The Brooks PureCadence 2 included. The outsole is the first area where flexibility enhancing features reside. The sole's Flex Grooves ensure that the sole of the shoe is pliable and delivers a natural ride. The upper has a bit of give but that could definitely be improved by getting rid of that pesky NAV band. The outsole alone provides enough flex to deliver a nice natural feeling ride, though.
Stability
Stability

Stability

As a minimalist stability shoe, the Brooks PureCadence 2 doesn't have what you normally would call a medial post. There's no dense chunk of foam that stops your foot from rolling in. Instead, there's what's called a Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar. It doesn't take up as much real estate as a traditional medial post but still manages to mildly correct overpronation. Some runners who tend to roll in excessively might notice that the shoe flexes quite a bit. These runners may need to look for a shoe with more correction.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Brooks PureCadence 2 features a low drop of 4mm. That's another standard across the PureProject line. Low drops outfit the shoes in the lineup. This makes the shoes minimalist and brings runners low to the ground for better stability, increased ground feel and a lighter ride.
Key Features Of The Brooks PureCadence 2
Key Features Of The Brooks PureCadence 2

Key Features Of The Brooks PureCadence 2


    - Carbon rubber outsole provides traction
    - Flex Grooves enhance flexibility
    - Split toe improves toe-off sensation
    - IDEAL heel is rounded and encourages a more forward foot strike
    - BioMoGO DNA midsole provides a nice amount of rebound
    - Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar provides mild stability
    - NAV Band secures foot inside shoe
    - Upper features numerous overlays
    - Heel counter enhances stability
    - Wrap tongue is built into the upper
    - MoGo liner provides a comfortable interior environment
    - 4mm drop
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Brooks PureCadence 2 isn't without its fault. Brooks has revamped the upper but it still needs some work. Getting rid of the NAV band might increase the upper's flexibility and improve the shoe's overall breathability. There might also be room to lighten the shoe further if the numerous overlays and the NAV band are removed.

Otherwise, the shoe is a solid update to the first version of the PureCadence. The minimalist stability shoe will last you up to 300 miles and you'll get a series of responsive, smooth runs out of the shoe.