The Cascadia is really the gem in the Brooks Trail lineup and every shoe they release is judged based on the quality of mad models. With every passing year, we look forward to what changes we will see and how big they decide to go with those changes. Of the Cascadia 15 is out and we are happy to say that Cascadia fans will be pleasantly surprised, but it is clear Brooks is trying to diversify their Trail line up a bit more.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Brooks flagship trail shoe gets an all-new upper but doesn’t deviate all that much from what makes it so popular.
- Weighs in at 10oz or 283g for a US Men’s 9
- Delivers 26mm of cushion and an 8mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $130.00 USD and comes in 3 colors for Men and Women.
Given there have been 15 iterations of this shoe, you kind of know what you’re going to get with the Cascadia. This is truly Brooks’s do anything Trail shoe that sits and not only a comfortable price point, but also a spot in their lineup between speed and distance as well as firmness and cushioning. We are always interested to see if they do more with a release and in this case, the majority of the changes come in the upper and we aren’t mad about it.
Before we get into the run, let’s talk about the on-foot feel. the Cascadia does a nice job of pulling your heel back into the heel counter and the color itself is well-padded so you kind of sink into the back of the shoe. The tongue is also equally padded as well, but the closet system is what does a good job of enveloping and holding you from the mid-foot back. As we move to the front of the shoe, the mesh upper allows for plenty of movement and breathability for the front half of your sweat. So think real snug hold from mid-foot back, and then a lot of openness as you move to the front of the foot.
The Cascadia 15 uses Brooks’s BioMoGo DNA technology and typically this doesn’t have a lot of cushioning, we think of it as more responsive compared to their DNA Loft technology for instance. Just like the road shoes that use the same technology, the Cascadia will come across feeling a little more firm underfoot. However unlike the road shoes, this can be a benefit on the trail given this helps with some level of protection and when talking about speed and shorter distances as well as your ability to be nimble, it actually works really well.
As for the actual run experience, this will be really depending on where you sit from a leg strength and skill perspective. If you are a stronger legged runner who likes to go fast and can take the pounding over distance, then the Cascadia can be a great choice. It allows you to reach that potential and that little bit of extra cushion allows you to go longer. If you are a slower runner who likes a bit more cushion, the Cascadia is good, but probably better for shorter distances, and by that we mean 20 miles and under on the high end. Something like the Caldera might be the better option if we are looking at true ultra level distances. Don’t get us wrong the Cascadia is a fantastic feeling shoe, but that firmness will leave some people wanting. It is still a fun shoe that has a playful nimbleness that a higher stack shoe will never have and definitely stays true to the Cascadia roots.
The upper is an all-new engineered mono loop mesh That has been paired with a number of printed overlays and this results in an upper that feels looser around the top of your foot, but as you move to the midsole, you can sense that additional support. It definitely breathes better than the 14 and looseness in the upper pays off from a comfort perspective. The toe is reinforced as always to prevent you from stubbing on the trail. The tongue is gusseted and well-padded and carries nicely into the heel collar which features slightly more padding than prior. They finish it with a heel pull that couples as a gaiter tie-down. Brooks has added the lace hold element we saw on last year’s Caldera so in lieu of a lace pocket we have a way to control the lacing. It seems to stand up really well too abuse and we haven’t noticed any significant breakdowns in materials even in the harshest of terrains.
The midsole honestly feels very similar to last year’s model. It uses their pivot post system which brings together two densities of foam and should allow your foot to be stable regardless of what is underfoot. It sits somewhere Just on the outside of a firm, so you do get a bit of cushion with that 26mm of stack height. It definitely feels softer than something like the Catamount. The actual midsole itself is their BioMoGo DNA, so if you are running in Brooks road shoes with the same tech, then it has a very similar feel.
The outsole features there Trail TrailTack rubber as well as nicely designed and laid out lugs. We say this because they are both bi-directional and angled which helps with both downhills and uphills as well as side-to-side slippage. They have also included a ballistic rock shield which protects well.
Style & Aesthetics
Aesthetically, the Cascadia 15 stays true to its roots in many ways, but the three different color options give you a nice variety to choose from it. It is a technically cool looking shoe but doesn’t feel all that flashy. Historically they have done a lot of different collaborations with this model and we can only hope to see that with a 15.
Overall, the Cascadia 15 retains its title as the best trail shoe Brooks has to offer. They are making strides with shoes like the Caldera, the Catamount, and lower-cost divided, but the Cascadia 15 is really a shoe that almost every Trail Runner can get into and just enjoy. It is a nice balance between cushion and firmness and can deliver multiple types of ride due to its design. It’s lower weight allowed to go fast, but there is enough here to go slow for distance. Everything feels very well-thought-out and if you are looking, worth the upgrade.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.