When thinking of flagship trail runners and the Pacific Northwest, no shoe model should jump into your mind faster than the Brooks Cascadia. The shoe pays homage to its Washington roots referencing the Cascade mountain range and from its yearly collaborations with REI to the incredible nature-oriented colorways they come out with, the question for us as always is… can they do better next year? Honestly, while the 13 was better than the 12, it still was a bit lacking for us and we felt they had rested a bit too much on that prior platform. The 14 is here to change all that and show again that Brooks is committed to making the Cascadia platform continually one of the best trail runners on the market.
Brooks has put together a nice mix of features in their updated upper starting with an engineered mesh couple with 3D printed overlays. The shoe also features a Corduras mudguard for additional protection. The collar has been dramatically improved from the prior addition which was a little too padded and the addition of the lace pouch (straight rip-off from Salomon) is spot on. The lacing lockdown is solid and the updated interior is definitely more comfortable than prior iterations while still holding you well. Toebox width has also seen nice improvements as well.
The midsole on the Cascadia 14 uses their BioMoGo DNA which is something you also find on their road shoes and is designed to be both soft and responsive. The shoe features 26mm of stack height which does remove some ground feel and they have cut out a few millimeters of drop as well. The real innovation here is in their Pivot Post System which should help keep your foot level throughout the stride. It is a stability shoe so expect some additional support throughout the mid, but we would say it is more subtle, unlike other stability shoes.
The outsole now uses their TrailTack rubber which does help with weight while also maintaining solid traction and control on the trails.
Style & Aesthetics
The Cascadia 14 comes in 3 colors for men and women, but we would expect more from them. The commitment to the styling is pretty amazing, the herringbone collar alone is incredible, but the palettes are also well thought out and diverse.
My first thought out of the box was how nice the upper visual was. It feels so well thought out and detailed I spent time looking at the various elements just to check it out which says a lot for a trail shoe. On foot the interior bootie holds you well, lace lock was on point, and the addition on the lace pouch was well handled. Not sure why more trail shoes don’t feature this element honestly. The 13 had a narrower toebox, but this has been remedied in the 14 given you a little more toe splay. In run, the Cascadia 14 is a whole ton of goodness. While it may not be nimble as others and putting up super fast numbers, it can go the distance and durability and foot protection feels darn near perfect. My only nitpicks would be around the performance and the feel. The shoe does lack a little bit of nimbleness and ground feel. Granted it is isn’t designed for that, but beware if you are looking for something that hugs the ground… these won’t have that.
The Brooks Cascadia 14 is just a massively successful update from the 13 in our mind and brings the shoe back into the forefront of their trail lineup. The upper is definitely the best part of the update both structurally and visually, but overall they are really solid. Well done with this update Brooks, let’s see a National Parks version of these now!
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 10.7oz (size 9)
- Drop: 8mm heel/toe
- Cushion: 26mm
- Type: Stability Trail
- MSRP: $130.00
- Available: Now