The Sequel Is Never As Good As The Original

Brooks Pure Cadence
Brooks Pure Cadence

Two Falls ago, I was hanging out at my local Road Runner Sports. I can't remember exactly why I was there, but I do know I was NOT there for shoes. But while I was there I watched the staff set up a new display of Brooks Running shoes called Pure Project. I had not heard of the line, and had no idea what they were but I let myself be talked into found myself trying them on. Before I knew it I was handing over my debit card for a pair of Pure Cadences.

At that time I was in the middle of a marathon training cycle and wasn't about to start running in new shoes. I figured I could use them on short easy runs. Well the first time I ran in them it was raining and I slipped on the sidewalk and bloodied my elbow. I blamed the shoes (because you know, the wet road conditions had nothing to do with it) and put them away until after the marathon had passed. After the New Year I decided to give them another try and it was love at second sight. It's the only shoe I've run in since.

What do I love about them?

+ They're light yet still supportive enough for my feet with extra bones. + The fabric is soft, not stiff. + The mid-foot band provides arch support. + I can alter the lacing. + I never felt like I had to break them in. It feels like a glove molded to my feet.

I've gone through about eight pairs. Here are the three pairs that are currently in rotation:

Brooks Pure Cadences
Brooks Pure Cadences

Like all shoe companies, Brooks had to go and tinker with a good thing and released an updated version of it - the Pure Cadence 2.

Brooks Pure Cadence 2
Brooks Pure Cadence 2

At first I was so excited for the 2's. I ordered a new pair last December, but I waited until last week to take it out for a run.

When I first put it on it felt so good on my feet. The fit felt the same as the original, and the improved mid-foot band felt even better.

Then I bent down to lace them and was bummed to see that the lacing had changed. From time-to-time I get a hot spot on the top of my foot so I lace my shoes around it. Here's a comparison of how I lace my shoes in the originals and how it's not an option in the 2's.

Brooks Pure Cadence Lace Comparison
Brooks Pure Cadence Lace Comparison

When I stood up and took a few steps, I was even more disappointed to find that the fabric around the top of the shoe is really stiff.

Brooks Pure Cadence Comparison
Brooks Pure Cadence Comparison

Optimistically I took it out for a short 2-mile run. I so wanted to, but didn't love it. But hey, I didn't love the originals on my first run in the rain so I dismissed it and figured the second run would be better.

Yesterday I ran 3-miles in them and still didn't love them. I felt so sad about it.

I should have known that the sequel would not be as good as the original. Isn't that always the case?

I decided to give it one last go on today's 5-miler. I wanted to be hopeful but from the get-go I just wasn't convinced. I can't explain it, but the ride just feels different.

About a mile into this morning's run I ran past two dogs. Before I knew what was happening the little dog has its mouth on my foot.

I could feel it's teeth biting into the shoe, but thankfully not through my skin. I kicked the dog to get it off of me and felt it's teeth sort of get caught in the fabric. After I kicked Cujo the second (bigger) dog started coming after me. It was quite a scene. The dogs were leashed but the leashes were long. The owner seemed more concerned about her cup of coffee and asked me, "Oh, did he bite you?" Needless to say I had a few choice words for her...but yes I was okay.

Anyhow, as much as I am not a fan of the Pure Cadence 2's (I still want to be!), I think the shoe saved my foot. I'm pretty sure Cujo's teeth would have gone right through the soft fabric of the originals. So I guess the Pure Cadence 2's aren't so bad after all...

That being said, I still scoured the Internet looking for every single pair of the original Pure Cadences in a size 7 that I could find. I found three new pairs that are now in process of being shipped to me. I intend to hoard the originals until I'm forced to embrace the 2's. Maybe by that time there will be a Pure Cadence 3 that's more like the originals.