Brooks Pure Project vs. Newton Running: The Long Awaited Follow-up

I will preface this post by saying the reviews and opinions stated below are totally my own and I was not paid by either company to write this non-professional runner review of each product 🙂

So a while back I wrote this post stating that I decided to try some new footwear and change up my stride.  I never had more than one type/brand of running shoe at one time (HA….and I call myself a runner) so I was a little reluctant to start changing things around especially after coming off a recent knee injury.  However, I figured I had no immediate racing plans in the schedule so if I messed myself up further – it’s not like it was going to miss out on a race that I had paid for or trained really hard for.

After months of running in each shoe, I have come to a decision — I LOVE THEM BOTH…but for different reasons.  And so my review begins.

Brooks Pure Cadence — love it for speed work and distances 11 miles or less.

The first time I put this shoe on I was amazed at how comfortable it was.  I’ll be honest, in the beginning I favored this shoe over the Newton’s for quite some time.  I love how you still have cushioning under your feet but it allows you to not only “feel the road” a bit more but they also make you very aware of your foot strike.  I credit these shoes to the early strengthening of my ankles and calves because I was definitely sore in places on my legs that I never felt before 🙂  I also was loving that they made me more aware of my foot strike because heel striking in these shoes feels so awkward (for me at least).  I wear prescription orthotics that are full length and these shoes most definitely accommodate these hard plastic monstrosities that I have the pleasure of running on.  My foot felt a bit cramped at first when I put the orthotics in but they stretched after a couple of wears and I’ve had no issues.  The shoe is well constructed and performs well on both the road and the treadmill.  I also love the color and get complimented on them all the time at the gym 🙂

The reason that I say that I love them for anything less than 11 miles is because that was my personal threshold for these shoes.  I did a run of 11 miles in them and my knees ached for about a week afterwards 😦  Now, I have read that there are others that can run marathons in these puppies without a problem so it’s not like it can’t be done; but for me I stopped doing any long distances in them because I didn’t want to jeopardize my knees before the marathon (I’ve been doing so good!) I may experiment with the longer distances in these shoes after the marathon when I can take time off if I notice any pain in my knees.

Bottom Line: It’s a great shoe and comes highly recommended by ME 🙂  I feel they have played a huge part in making me a stronger runner and would most definitely purchase another pair once these wear out.

Newton Terra Momentus — love it for all kinds of running (both long and short distances)

As I mentioned above I had a tendency to favor the Brooks over these shoes in the beginning.  They took a little (and by a little, I mean ALOT) of getting used to and I would get frustrated at how bad my calves would hurt when running in these shoes.  I knew they were meant to “train” me into using a mid-foot strike but my goodness did it have to hurt so bad?!?!?!?  I’ll tell you what – I’ve got some pretty fierce looking calves because of them now 🙂  I like to call these shoes my “lazy shoes” in the sense that I don’t necessarily have to concentrate on my foot strike as much because it they basically do it for me.  This didn’t come without a HUGE learning curve though!

I’ve done all of my longer training runs in them (16.5 miles so far) and ran a half marathon in them in the beginning of March.  They provide extra support and cushioning (not so much that I feel like I’m running on couches though) so my knees have never felt achy after a run in them…my calves are a different story LOL!  As with the Brooks, they fit my orthotics just fine and my feet don’t feel cramped.  The only thing I have noticed is that I developed a corn (gross I know) in between my last two toes on my right foot and that is an issue I’ve never had before with any other shoe.  I have also sliced my right ankle bone open numerous times from the sole of the left foot (this is my own fault) but it hurts like heck and I’ve only done it in these shoes.  They too are well constructed and perform great on both the road and treadmill.  I feel that these shoes helped immensely with my foot strike and even though I call them “lazy” I believe that they helped form muscle memory of the proper mid-foot placement.  Be prepared for lots of calf soreness and major sticker shock — these shoes are not cheap!

Bottom Line:  I would definitely purchase another pair of Newtons and may experiment with one of their other styles (like the Distance U) provided my checkbook can handle the price!

I hope this review provides some semi useful information.  Don’t ever just purchase shoes on a whim and make sure you visit your local running store to find out what works for you!

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