Brooks Cascadia 16 - Shoe Review

A great all-round trail shoe, that will give you the confidence to run safely on the trails

4 out of 5 | weight - 297 g (men's) | drop - 8mm | trail shoe | £120 

First impressions out of the box: 

Dougie says: The first noticeable thing about the Cascadia 16 is its durability! They feel very well made and ready to take on some trails. The first time on and the Cascadia 16 fits true to size and my foot feels secure. I have no worries about being stable on the trail in these, the grip on the outsole seems great. Excited to see how they stack up on a range of different trails, including some door to trail running too.

Gilly saysIt looks more durable than the previous version, with a tighter weave, and good rock protection around the toe areas. It has quite a chunky sole but then it feels light in the hand. 

Our thoughts:

Dougie says: For logging effortless miles off road without having to do too much thinking this a great shoe, it kind of looks after itself! I certainly felt secure and stable in the Cascadia 16, which was an adjustment for me at first. Having a naturally bouncy running style I was a bit unsure early on in testing, but the more miles I clocked, the more I forgot about what was on my feet and just enjoyed the trails. For a trail shoe I don’t think there is much more you can ask for.  

The Cascadia has been around for a while, now with this 16th iteration the Cascadia has been tweaked even more. From what I have read the latest model features DNA LOFT v2 in the midsole which did give me a smooth ride from landing through to take off. It also comes in lighter, weighing 15g less in the sample size than its predecessor, this might also add to the feeling of greater breathability and less overlays. All this enhances the on-foot experience without compromising the support offered in the shoe.

Gilly saysOverall, a very good all-purpose trail shoe, sticky and better in the wet than its predecessor, but not quite as flexible.  It will handle short hilly grassy runs all the way to Ultra Marathon runs in dry solid conditions and damp conditions. The laces are tough and don’t come undone once double knotted and you do not need to adjust the laces even when they get wet.  There’s a good handy gaiter tab on the back of the heel as well as a pull on tab for ease. 

There are now more release grooves in the midsole so in wetter conditions I found it gets rid of mud easier. The sticky TrailTack rubber outsole gives improved traction in wetter conditions, and the DNA loft midsole cushioning plus and extra 2mm of midsole makes the shoe a little softer and lighter but it remains a responsive feeling trail shoe.

Fit and width:

Dougie saysThe out of the box fit and feel was great, my foot felt secure with a soft heel counter, that wrapped around my heel nicely. The upper also felt great and breathable for a trail shoe and not too heavy on my feet. The midsole and underfoot cushioning were a little firm in my opinion, but this adds to the stable feeling you get in the shoe. Putting it on I knew this shoe wasn’t going to slip and slide all over the place, which is exactly what you want from a trail shoe. 

Gilly says: The shoe fits quite wide but can be laced multiple ways to give a snugger fit.  I found locklacing worked well when using the shoes, however the laces are quite short for doing this, they are only just long enough!  The heal counter fits very well, feels very secure on the foot and the ballistic rock shield really gives the feeling of protection under foot too.  I also find the shoe works well with my orthotics by removing the insole of the shoe and replacing with the orthotics, flat in the base of the shoe.

Where it works best:

Dougie says: It’s a trail shoe by nature and for me the Cascadia 16 is truly at home off-road, the grippy traction underfoot gave me security on any condition of trail. The lugs are more than suitable for wet trails, whilst the ballistic rock shield made running on some crushed gravel canal towpaths feel as smooth as tarmac.  I found the shoe handled ups and downs equally well, with good foot placement I was able to let the legs go whilst descending some loose trails. 

Gilly says: It is a good all-rounder trail shoe, for reservoir trails, hard-packed trails and also muddy fields. A couple of miles on the tarmac are also handled really well. I have run up to 36 miles in these shoes in one go and they have handled everything fine, with no blisters at the end of the run either! 

Any sticking points...

Dougie saysI didn’t find it too responsive or aggressive which made picking up the speed a bit hard work. For me perhaps the Catamount would be better placed for a quicker paced run off road! 

Gilly says: They feel a little bit square, chunky and numb in the hand, but once on the foot you don’t notice this, it could be that the shoe is actually lighter than it looks.  Once the shoe gets wet it holds onto bad odour. The previous iteration, the Cascadia 15 stayed much fresher. 

 

This shoe has been tested by Dougie and Gilly. They have run in the shoes for a minimum of 4 weeks or about 50 miles before submitting their reviews. The scores they have given the shoes are based on their experiences, their running styles and their training types. These shoes were gifted by Brooks for the purpose of this review, no input was made by Brooks. The views are entirely that of our testers.

Hi Dougie here,

I’m a jack of all trades, covering road racing distances from 5k up to the marathon. I have run track and cross country over the years and hit around 70/80 miles a week. Running has been my life since I was around 7/8 years old. I have grown up through the club system in the UK I have gone on to represent both England and Great Britain domestically and overseas. I am a big running shoe geek and love getting to grips with all the latest products, so I hope I can give you some insight into what shoes might work for you.

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Hi I’m Gilly,

Running, sport, health & fitness has always been a strong passion of mine.
I've been a member of my local running club, Otley AC since 2006 and I’m qualified in Sports Massage up to level 4. I run a mixture of distances from 5km to ultra-marathons both road & trail, but trail is my favourite! I also love to run with my dog, a Parsons Russell Terrier, he loves a good Canicross! When needing to get more miles in I will often run commute into work, & when wanting something short & sweet which still makes me work, I'll run with my daughter in the buggy. The furthest distance I've run so far is setting off from Otley and running to Cambridge, finishing with the Cambridge Half Marathon!

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