As a follow-up to the iconic Brooks Cascadia 5, I’ve now put plenty of miles on its successor, the Brooks Cascadia 6. This new show boasts a 100% upgraded design on a similar chassis. In the end, I really like both the 5 and 6 for some of the same and different reasons.
Brooks Cascadia 6 Features:
- Synthetic leather and nylon/polyester mesh uppers with microfiber overlays are lightweight quick drying performance
- Element air-mesh in uppers and linings provides excellent ventilation and moisture management
- DNA cushioning uses high viscosity liquid to react instantly to each step
- Midsoles feature BioMoGo polymer alloy foam for cushioning and is biodegradable
- Medial and lateral Pivot Posting system helps outsoles adapt to your stride
- Forefoot Ballistic Rock Shield keeps your feet protected
- Weight: 640 grams (size 9)
- Colors: Energy/Navy/Silver or Slam/Maize/Black (tested)
- MSRP: $110
Brooks Cascadia 6 Trail Running Shoes Review
I was flat-out smitten last year by the Cascadia 5’s, so I was going into the 6’s with a very high bar. Initially, I found that some of the changes in the uppers seemed unnecessary, but after use I began to appreciate them. Walking through the shoes, there remains an abundance of mesh for supreme breathability. I have a tendency to get really hot feet and never experienced anything of the sort with the Cascadia 6’s.
I’ve enjoyed running in the Cascadia 6’s all Spring. With all the cool, wet weather, I’ve had a mixed-bag of trail conditions along the way. Wet, soft and even snowy trails have since given way to tacky and now dry and loose trails. Throughout all those conditions, I have to say I’m impressed with the grippyness of the low-profile treads on the 6’s. Some may be skeptical with such low-profile lugs, but once you’re on the trails, a believer you will be.
The 6’s continue with the slightly-rockered midsole that translates into smooth-rolling forward motion. I think this is one of my favorite features of the Cascadia’s. I have a whole closet full of trail running shoes and only my two pairs of Cascadia’s offer a rockered sole. For my forefoot running style and technique, I have yet to find another shoe that feels as natural. Given the choice of running a trail marathon with any shoe I’ve got, I’d pick the Cascadia’s every time.
The uppers fature enough mesh for breathability yet still have a slew of supportive material to keep your foot in place and under control. New this year is the flexing upper eyelets that are suspended via a small piece of stretchy elastic. The intent is to provide a flexible fit under a variety of conditions and foot shapes. For me, I found it nice sometimes, but could never really get used to the extra movement when going downhill. Frankly, I missed the secure feeling of a locked-in foot.
More on the feel of the shoe… the ballistic rock shield is absolutely perfect. It provides just the right amount of trail feel while offering killer protection from trail scree. Cushioning is superb and feels a little more taut than last year. I opted to run with the Superfeet Blue insoles in these and found the combination to work very well with my feet. They add very little weight and are low profile enough as to not change the feel of the shoe. That said, I did find that the overall volume of the 6’s was a bit higher than last year, but the length feels about the same (I was again good with size 11’s).
Good Cascadia 6
- My favorite feature is the slightly-rockered sole
- The BIOMOGO sole is biodegradable
- Efficient for training or racing alike
- Excellent stability
- Inside heel protection keeps scuffs at a minimum
- Traction is solid in most terrain
- Trail feel is spot-on
Bad Cascadia 6
- The stretchy lacing can be a little too stretchy on the downhill
- Perhaps a little “blingy” in the red color (but you sure look fast)
- Wet traction is its only nemesis
Bottom Line: Brooks Cascadia 6 Trail Running Shoes
I’m again impressed with the new Cascadia’s. While I still really like my 5’s the 6’s are a bit more feature-packed and should fit a wider variety of feet. Given the choice of all the shoes in my quiver, the Cascadia’s are still the top of the heap.
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