I’m a fairly budget-conscious person, so when I started running, I tuned my deal-finding skills for finding shoes at a relatively ambitious target: <$100 SGD.
Naturally, a budget like that wasn’t going to bag me any top of the line Nike’s or anything of that sort, but it did broaden my scope to brands that I, as a very amateur runner, might not have considered – brands like Brooks.
Which is how we’ve arrived here, with my Brooks PureCadence 7 review.
- Snug fit around the ankle and good lockdown from lacing
- Light; good for mid distances
- Provides good amount of stability via Guiderails
- A bit narrow in the toebox for wider feet
- Upper not super breathable
The Brooks PureCadence 7 is the (surprise!) 7th iteration of the PureCadence line of stability running shoes, intended primarily for road running. As compared to the previous version, the PureCadence 7 mainly updates the upper to what Brooks calls “Woven Air”, whereas the midsole has remained relatively untouched in this iteration. It has a 4mm heel-to-toe drop and weighs 255g, presumably in a men’s size 9.
Size & fit
I typically get a US size 10.5 to give myself enough room in the toebox and for the PureCadence 7, I was able to go true-to-size. I will mention that the whole Pure line of shoes from Brooks are generally narrow, so I would definitely try this one on first if you know you have wider feet – it worked for me, but I’m pretty borderline between normal and wide feet.
As I mention above, the ankle fit was great thanks to Brooks’ design of the heel cup – there was plenty of padding all around the ankle which made for a comfy fit, and made lockdown very easy; I never had to use the extra eyelets to get a good snug fit. Part of this was thanks to the lacing as well – Brooks provides a loop quite high on the tongue, which allows you to really secure your ankle as you’re lacing up. This is probably one of my favourite lacing setups of all the shoes I currently have. The provided laces are quite thick and rough so there’s minimal slippage once you’re laced up.
Overall, the fit was snug, which for me has always equated to a secure and stable feeling ride, and is generally what I want given I run mostly in stability shoes. Some may not like the claustrophobic feeling of all the padding inside the shoe, but I’m quite a big fan of how these felt.
One of the main comments I see about the PureCadence 7 online is that the upper is thicker than that of the PureCadence 6 which may lead to overheating and poor ventilation. While the 6 had more of a neoprene-like upper, the PureCadence 7 has what Brooks calls Woven Air – or in my layman terms, basically a woven fabric upper.
While it definitely doesn’t seem like the most breathable upper, I’ve not experienced hot feet using these shoes in the whole time that I’ve been running in Singapore, which as you’ll know is generally super hot and humid. I will say that sometimes it is nice to feel wind rushing over your feet if it’s a particularly hot day, which I’ve not been able to experience in the PureCadence 7, but it does a serviceable job of ventilating and making sure your feet aren’t overheating during a run.
Carried over from the PureCadence 6, the 7 yet again incorporates Brooks’ DNA midsole as well as their Guiderails which feature on most of their newer stability offerings. The two different midsole materials are light overall, while the Guiderails provide stability by – theoretically – forcing your foot to roll into a more normal footstrike as you start to tire. To be completely honest, this wasn’t something that I explicitly noticed while running longer distances, but neither did I get any unusual hip, knee or ankle pains during my 175km using these.
Speaking of mileage, after 175km, I’m starting to see a good amount of wear on the back corner of the shoe – while I’m not a classic heel striker, I do normally get a lot of wear in this spot.
The PureCadence 7 provides a very generous amount of rubber on the entire outsole, however in the corner where I’m seeing the most wear I’ve almost worn through the rubber outsole and I’m about to start wearing through some of the Guiderails midsole. There’s no hint of significant wear on the mid and forefoot rubber, which does suggest that I’m just hitting this spot on the heel more than is usual as overall the outsole rubber seems to be very durable.
This probably won’t stop me getting another 200-300km out of these as the midsole still feels as good as the day I got them, but it will be something to keep an eye on.
In terms of how it feels to run on, the shoe is surprisingly cushioned and springy given the heel height is only 22mm – it’s definitely good enough to get you through up to a half marathon, though I’ve not tried it for anything longer than that distance. While it’s not a heavy shoe, it’s not super light either (probably just “normal” light) so the extra weight may start making a difference at longer distances.
The low heel-to-toe drop at 4mm is something to note if you’re used to a slightly higher drop – for the most part you probably won’t notice and for some this just a matter of preference, but I generally switch from high to low drop shoes between runs so it just means you need be a bit more vigilant when you’re a bit more tired so as not to land on your heel too much.
Overall Verdict: Recommended
The Brooks PureCadence 7 is a solid running shoe that is relatively light and provides good stability for those who need it. It can be found for cheaper than the regular retail price of $199 SGD as it is officially discontinued (I nabbed it for $99) but I’ve seen it still in stick at plenty of retailers who carry Brooks shoes – if you get the chance, do try them on; you may be surprised.
Have you tried the Brooks PureCadence 7? If you have and agree or disagree with me review, do leave a comment for me below.