If you're seeking a versatile trail shoe built to take on most surfaces, the Brooks Cascadia 14 should be considered. Built with ample cushioning in the midsole, it uses a rockplate to enhance its protection, with 8mm of extra cushioning in the heel. The outsole uses a super sticky rubber that does good work of glomping onto dry surfaces and an easy, breezy single track. Unfortunately, this shoe isn't the most stable, nor does it do well in super-soft stuff, given its tightly spaced lugs that aren't very long. This newest version is also best for those with a narrow to regular foot, losing the wider fit that it's renowned for. This shoe is best if you're looking for a well-built shoe that can perform on less technical surfaces. However, there are better options that perform better for the same or lesser of the cost.
The New Brooks Cascadia 14 features:
A more narrow fit in the toe box
Less breathable upper
Less aggressive outsole with closer lugs
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Brooks Cascadia is a good cross-over shoe that can take on most trails. While it offers great protection and sensitivity, the outsole is limited to trails that are less technical and dry. While it can perform in sloppy weather, it's performance is lackluster in comparison to other contenders.
The Cascadia's protection comes in the form of a great underfoot cushioning, and rockplate, and a protective mesh upper. When running on trails littered with rocks and roots, we could hardly feel anything underfoot, proving that it is performing well on most trails.
The upper is also protective. The mesh has two layers that keep out fine particulates, making it a good option for desert running. That said, it's not very breathable, so make sure you wear a super thin sock with it in the summertime.
Even with good protection, you can feel the trail underfoot. When running in these for miles, we appreciate the even ride that wasn't 100% sensitive, but just enough to respond effectively to trail hazards. While it's not the most sensitive shoe out there, it's exactly what you need for any trail run, whether you're running long or short distances.
This trail shoe is built for smoother, less-technical trails with flowing trails and less underfoot hazards. We appreciate the super sticky rubber that grabs and holds onto most dry surfaces. It also does well on steep switchbacks littered with rocks and holds onto pavement and dirt roads as well. Unfortunately, the newly designed outsole has lugs that are closely spaced together and aren't 100% ideal for super sloppy conditions. They slip and don't shed mud easily. While you can use these shoes for winter running, know that it will slip out.
This shoe feels relatively stable in uneven terrain but is tippier than others. The body of the shoe makes you feel like you're sitting higher while the forefoot is more narrow; this is new for this iteration, which doesn't feel as stable as the previous iteration of the Cascadia. The shoe is also a little rigid, which adds to the stability but can feel tippy if in super technical terrain with lots of uneven surfaces. On less-technical surfaces, it transitions really well and feels good underfoot. Overall, stability is decent, but not impeccable.
Comfort and Fit
Comfortable for all-day wear, we appreciate the responsive nature of this shoe. The upper is thin and relatively breathable, wrapping the foot while embarking on trail missions. The collar fits well without any strange rubbing points and a supported Achilles tendon. The fit is best for those with a regular to narrow foot, offering a supportive fit around the arch. We also appreciate that on the downhill, the foot doesn't slide too badly front to back.
This shoe feels lightweight on the trail, but in comparison to the rest, it isn't the lightest out there. At 10.3 ounces, it's lighter than the previous version, but still a mid-weight trail shoe. It's still a great option for longer runs or training jaunts.
While the price is right up there with the top performers, it doesn't perform as well. It does have relatively good traction for less-technical surfaces and can perform both on the trail and the road. For those seeking a narrow fit, you might find this of value, but there are many other high scoring contenders with similar features for the same or lesser price.
The Brooks Cascadia 14 is the newest renditions of the Cascadia line, and is a trail shoe to consider if you're looking for middle of the road performance in basically every metric. It's versatile but is limited to trails that aren't super technical or sloppy. This new version also has a less aggressive outsole that doesn't shed mud as well with a more narrow fit, that some Cascadia lovers will be disappointed by.
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