Brooks PureCadence 4 Review

Just when you thought this shoe couldn’t get any better, leave it to the fine folks at Brooks to figure out a way to improve the Pure Cadence. I introduce to you the Brooks PureCadence 4:

Cadence 4 B

After the success of the completely revamped PureCadence 3, the 4th edition updates with only a few changes to the upper. The outsole and the tread stay exactly the same so if you liked the traction, pronation control, and cushioned feel underfoot of the Cadence 3, then you’ll dig the 4 too. Because of this, I’m not going to get into the technical features of the outsole in this review. If you didn’t get a chance to try the Cadence 3 and want to know some of the technical features of the outsole, please refer to my review of the PureCadence 3 HERE.

While creating these updates, the team at Brooks was inspired by the Japanese word, “Takumi,” which means, each detail crafted with intension. This is reflected in the simple and plush design of the new upper. The first thing you’ll notice when you put the shoe on is the traditional lacing system. In the previous editions, Brooks experimented with attached tongue overlays and offset lacing systems with spiral, locking laces.  If that was too much jargon, just refer to the picture of the Cadence 2 and 3 below:

photo 2

In the Cadence 4 pictured below, you’ll see that they’ve reverted back to a traditional lacing system where the tongue is only attached to the toe box. This is the area with the most change, so naturally there will be some negative points worth discussing here. If you wear low cut socks, the top of the the tongue may rub a blister into the front ankle. I have NOT experienced this personally, but I can see how this could happen given its thin design. Solution, wear performance socks that fit properly.

Cadence 4 A

I’ve also read that the tongue slips to the side now. I have not experienced this either and I believe that’s due to two features; the combination of the NAV band and the new laces. For those that aren’t familiar, the NAV band is the flexible strap that wraps over the instep to comfortably secure the foot (and tongue) in place. Also, the spiral laces of the previous models have been replaced with some sort of stretch lace that locks down when pulled. I’ve never seen laces that do this. The only way I can describe the material is like a combination between a bungee chord lace and a soft microfiber t-shirt.  Weird, right? No….. Magical.

The next feature that you might notice is the plush material around the heel cup. It’s as if there’s two soft, custom fitted pillows on both sides of the heel cradling your achilles while also filling any empty space. This is especially useful for runners with a narrow heel that often experience slippage. I’ve had experience with my heels slipping in some of the previous Cadence models and it hasn’t happened in this one. The rest of the upper feels a lot like the Cadence 3; seamless, light (8.8oz) but durable, and super comfortable.

Cadence 4 C

If I had to describe the Cadence 4 in one word it would be, PLUSH. The simple updates gently cradle the feet in soft, form-fitting and moisture wicking materials. This, combined with the guidance features of the outsole, make the shoe really feel like a part of your foot. Great for heel strikers, forefoot-foot landers, and everyone in between, Brooks nails it with this update! Please feel free to post any questions or comments below. Thanks!

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7 responses to “Brooks PureCadence 4 Review

  • Bill R

    Excellent review Mike … keep ’em comin’

  • Del Lucas

    Very well written, nice review

  • Jodi

    So glad they changed the upper. I just started a new pair of 3’s and I feel like I can’t get the laces just so. Never had that problem with the 1’s and 2’s. Read another review that the toe box is a little wider – have you noticed that? I think the 3’s seem a little narrow in comparison to the 2’s so that’s probably a good thing.

  • Vineeters

    Hey Mike, I’ve had two pairs of PC2s in the past year and I love them so very very much. It’s time for my new pair, and I’ve considered trying out some sturdy road/trail Asics, but my PC2s are honestly too perfect to give up. I like the minimal weight and soft sock-like feel, and the anatomical lacing curve. I also really like the dark gray/green yellow contrast. Should I stick with my PC2s or upgrade to PC3 or even PC4? It’s getting hard to find PC2s online…

  • Vineeters

    ^I’m not looking specifically for a trail shoe, I was just considering something new with the Asics. I’m perfectly happy sticking with the PCs since I don’t do much off-road running.

  • Mihai

    Yes, the tongue is quite a fail with this model, the material is more rough. I used to have PureCadence 1 and 2, never had problems. The PureCadence 2 lasted for 1400km and they are still good! Now I have the 4… To fix the tongue problem I also tied my laces under it, so it makes a space between it and my feet.. (I had short socks and I felt immediately the problem). I hope they will fix it for the next model. But the rest they are amazing shoes! (for me)

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