Review: Brooks Cascadia 10

I love this quote from the Brooks marketing material because it really nails how I felt about the shoes, “Born and raised to run the trail, the Cascadia 10 loves to get down and dirty.” Its so much hype speak, but it really nails it yet it also touches on one of my sticking points. On most trails, these things just crush it and the why is really the most interesting part, they are elegant in their simplicity.

THE DESIGN OF THE SHOE

So I said no frills, but I need to back off that comment a little bit. They have a ton of tech internally and the thing is, they don’t “look” like they do. No-sew construction on the outer, a 4 point pivot system for balance control, and an underfoot rock shell are just a few of their tech highlights. The new tech does its job and is implemented in a really subtle way.

Aesthetically, they have the really subdued blue/yellow combo we tested and then a red/orange for those that like some color. In both cases the shoe design feels simple, not in a bad way but more in an old school way. There are certain shoes you look at and say, those feel very future forward, sometimes annoyingly so. These are not those shoes, the Cascadia 10s look like a shoe you have worn before, but lets be clear they most decidedly are not the same.

One note, this is not a hiking shoe or backpacking shoe. Its not weight rated so look elsewhere if you want that. Not that the legal caveat is gone, I found this to be a decent hiking shoe as well. Heck it looks decent with jeans if you need to, like I said… very subtle. No one will look at the blue version and say, wow what are those.

Brooks Cascadia 10 - Stacked

HOW THEY FIT

If you are a fan of Brooks and own a pair or have tried a pair, then the fit will feel very familiar. Sliding on the Cascadia 10s after running in your road Brooks is almost a transparent experience. They are supremely comfortable, with a perfect amount of arch support (average to high), and just a normal offset. They also run true to size and widths are normal as well. Basically, when used interchangeably with a Brooks road shoe, the transition between them should be very minimal.

Brooks Cascadia 10 - Laces

HOW THEY RUN

I need to break this into two parts because of the issues I had with the Cascadia 10s. First, lets talk about normal and dry trail conditions. In this case, I found the shoes to grip the trail really well. Long trail runs felt no different than hitting the pavement and the shoes react like normal neutral to stable road shoes. They have a nice responsiveness and you really get no rock feel through the sole, so that rock shield does a spectacular job. I give these super high marks for everyday trail runs with limited water and mud in play.

Brooks Cascadia 10 - Side

Now moving over to the wet conditions, I found the 10s to be very slippery. In all fairness, the shoe is not designed to be waterproof, so its probably not made for really wet trails/mud/rocks. The sole just seemed to quickly become coated with mud and this would lead to increased slippage, so I would have to clean it out a bit every 15 minutes or so during the run. It may just have been an issue for me, but it does seem to be the pervasive complaint about the shoe. I would say be careful if you are going to make these your only trail shoe and its really wet on your normal stomp.

Brooks Cascadia 10 - Sole

TECHNICAL STATS, PRICING & AVAILABILITY

  • Weight: 11.6oz (size 9)
  • MSRP: $120.00
  • Available: Buy Now