My running life really started with Mizuno Wave Rider 15’s. Before that I had been doing elliptical machine work almost exclusively to get back into shape. When I felt that wasn’t enough, I started running, first on the treadmill then a track my in-laws house. The shoes at the time were some K-Swiss tubes and I knew almost immediately that things weren’t right. I searched and scoured and found the Riders and they seemed like a good fit, so I got them. They were amazing. Truly a great starting shoe. Over time my mileage increased, my pace increased and my knee pain/foot pain increased. It was time for new shoes. For the first time I went into a running store and consulted someone with real knowledge, not just what them wacky interwebs told me about my shoe choices. He said the Riders would still work for me if I wanted to stay, but there were other options out there if I wanted to try something else. Well, I love trying new things so bring on the shoes.
He brought out a few boxes of shoes and I tried them on. Some being too cushy, some being too stiff, I had a few that I liked, one still being the Riders, and then he handed me the last box. “If you are willing to try something a bit different, try these out” he said. The box he handed me was the Brooks Pure Cadence 2. He told me that they would be less drop, less cushion, a bit closer to minimal versus where I was. I tried them on and something felt right. So, that was the box I walked out of the store with that day. Now I have around 150 miles on the shoes and I thought a little review/recap was in order since I am already running in other shoes as well, with more to come. Building a nice little rotation.
So my initial reactions of the shoe were interesting. I have never had the “burrito wrap” tongue before. I liked it. The shoe laces had flares on it which I assume (hope) are there to keep my shoe laces from slipping. I still tuck them under some of the crossed laces just in case. That is probably a relic of the 18 mile long Mizuno laces. The most interesting thing I felt when I put them on was that just standing there, I hated these shoes. They felt odd, like I was standing on a ball. No way these would be comfortable running. Argh, this is why I have massive respect for all you guys working in a running store, cause you know what I want when I don’t. I kneel before you in reverence. Jogging around the store showed it to really flatten out and feel great. The toe box was very spacious, didn’t even know that was a thing, or comfy, until then.
There is a piece on the side of sole about midfoot that seems to be there for a little bit of stability. I was a wee bit anxious about this causing problems running. I was wrong for the most part. Occasionally as I got up over about 10 miles I could start to feel that “bump”. But that was very occasional. My one true gripe was the sock liner. It seems like every run at some point it would get a little folded over and become uncomfortable. Then, after a bit, it would up and vanish like a fart in the wind (thanks Shawshank Redemption). It never created a blister or anything and didn’t make me have to stop, but it was an annoyance to say the least and at worst made me alter my stride a bit to accommodate.
All in all, these were very solid shoes and probably a perfect fit at the time for what I wanted and what direction I was moving with my running. Of course I didn’t stop progressing and now my appetite for new shoes is voracious. But I do think that for a new runner or for someone that is really finding their own this is a great option. As well as someone who likes cushion and support coupled with flex, but doesn’t want to be running around on moon shoes.