Brooks Cascadia 9 Trail Running Shoe ReviewThe Brooks Cascadia is probably the best all round trail shoe on the market today.

The Cascadia 9 is the latest version of Brooks iconic trail shoe and Brooks have made a few changes from the previous model.

The latest Cascadia offers great traction in all but the muddiest of conditions coupled with a high quality, durable construction and great cushioning. The Cascadia works for any type of off-road running, from long runs in the mountains to ultra marathons.

Offering great foot protection from the combination of underfoot rockplate and huge wrap around toe guard the Cascadia keeps your foot safe and protected.

What I like

  • Probably the most versatile trail shoe on the market today. It offers amazing performance in all but the worst conditions
  • Just the right amount of cushioning to be sensitive yet good for long runs and ultra marathons
  • The ballistic rock shield does a good job of protecting the underside of your feet from rock impacts
  • Scott Jurek, a Brooks sponsored athlete and seven times winner of the classic Western States 100mile trail race in California worked with the Brooks development team on the design and wear testing of this shoe.
  • I have done around 600 miles in my Cascadia 9’s and despite a few bits of loose stitching and a worn down sole they are still going strong and have done twice as many miles as other trail shoes I own
  • The foot protection offered is second to none. They feel like you have a pair of tanks on your feet that will protect you from anything

What I don’t like

  • The Brooks Cascadias are a fairly heavy shoe compared to other similar shoes although the performance offered outweighs this slight weight disadvantage
  • There really isn’t anything else to dislike about the Brooks Cascadia

The details

Foot Protection

Your feet are well protected in the cascadia 9’s. A ballistic rock shield embedded in the midsole gives your foot plenty of protection on rocky and stony ground.

The wraparound front bumper provides an additional level of protection for your toes for those situations when you kick a rock.

In general the shoe feels like you are wearing a tank that will allow you to plow through anything, safe in the knowledge that your feet will be protected.

Grip

A nice low profile and a good combination of stickiness and durability gives the Cascadias great levels of grip on most terrain and conditions.

Only when the going gets really wet and muddy do the Cascadias struggle for grip. In these conditions they also suffer from clogging of the treads, most likely caused by the closeness of the lugs. A wider spaced tread pattern would see them shed mud better.

Grip on rocks is very good and I had no issues with mine when they were wet or dry.

For dry and less extreme conditions the Brooks Cascadia 9 provide really good levels of grip and you never get teh feeling that they need to provide more grip.

Stability

It’s a tall shoe but doe feel very stable when out on the trail and for longer runs, trail marathons and ultras teh Cascadias provide just the right balance between stability and cushioning.

They never feel unstable no matter how technical the terrain gets and upper holds the foot in place securely although I did notice some slight movement of my foot within the shoe when changing direction quickly.

Comfort

Fit for me with my wide feet is good and although I had to go half a size up I’ve never suffered from blisters or hotspots in them.

There’s a good amount of padding around the heel and a pretty generous toe box so are a good shoe for people with wide feet. I’m not sure how they would work for the narrowed footed people out there.

Long runs are a joy in these shoes and they do drain pretty quickly when wet

Weight

Weight for my UK size 8.5 is 354g making them quite a heavy shoe compared with some others other there but I think the levels of protection and cushioning offered by this shoe outweighs the slight weight disadvantage of these shoes.

They certainly don’t feel heavy when out on the trails and offer a nimble and responsive ride.

Brooks Cascadia 9 Weight

Outsole

Made from a durable and hard wearing HPR green rubber out of dispersed silica the outsole of the Brooks Cascadia 9 features four point pivot posts, 2 on each side of your ankle and 2 on each side of your foot that acts like a suspension system on tricky terrain.

The Cascadia 9’s feature a ballistic rockshield under the forefoot to give extra protection on rocky and stony ground.

Midsole

Full length Brooks DNA cushioning with Bio Mogo is a feature of these shoes. This material is more durable than standard EVA and adapts to each runners pressure points and impact areas.

A natural additive to the material helps to break it down 50 times faster when the shoe enters an enclosed landfill.

Upper

Featuring a seam free upper, as seems to be the standard these days, and featuring ‘heat seamed’ straps allows for some weight saving over the previous model.

Less seams gives the Cascadias a smoother finish internally so it means there is less chance of rubbing on your feet.

Its only the toe box that features any stitching in these shoes where the rubber toe protection is stitched into the upper.

An open mesh around the toe box allows your feet to breathe better and lets water drain out of the shoe easier.

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Brooks Cascadia Manufacturers Specifications

  • PRONATION: None/Normal
  • ARCH: Medium, High
  • BODY BUILD: Small, Medium, Large
  • PLATFORM: Universal Platform
  • CONSTRUCTION TYPE: Stroebel
  • WATER-RESISTANT: Yes
  • WATERPROOF: No
  • SURFACE: Offroad/Trail
  • WEIGHT: 11.6

General Sizing Tips:

Size up
Brooks recommend ordering running shoes 1/2 size to one size larger than normal dress shoes

Select width
For women’s footwear, B is the standard width. 2A is narrow, D is wide, and 2E is extra wide. For men’s footwear, D is standard, B is narrow, 2E is wide, and 4E is extra wide.

Unisex sizing
Ladies, when orderding “unisex” shoes, order 1.5 sizes smaller than your usual women’s size.

Get fit
Whenever possible, visit your local running and walking footwear store for a proper fitting.