A heavy hitter in trail running, the Brooks Cascadia 7 is built to handle pretty much any kind of terrain you can throw at it.
- New Upper: The Cascadia 7 gets a fresh upper using “element” mesh for moisture management and good breathability. The upper also features synthetic overlays for a durable, secure fit.
- Carryover Platform: No changes to the mid/outsole in this version of the Cascadia compared to the Cascadia 6. You still get front and rear DNA cushioning along with a thermoplastic rock shield to protect against stone bruising.
If you’re looking for a rugged, traditional trail shoe, your options these days are getting a little sparse. While many lighter and lower shoes have been introduced to the category, our test of the Brooks Cascadia 7 proves that there are still many good reasons why a runner might want a more heavy-duty shoe.
The Cascadia is certainly not the lightest or most flexible shoe for the trail, but in return you get a shoe that will keep you chugging forward with confidence. The tread is particularly well suited for gravely or sandy trail environments, but can handle softer terrain as well. The long-lasting cushioning kept testers happy for extended runs, and in fact you’ll still see the Cascadia on the feet of many ultrarunners who enjoy its combo of comfort and performance.
Testers liked the new upper. It looks great, and more importantly helps your foot to feel firmly anchored in place, thanks to the gilly lacing system. The transition from ground contact to toe-off was a bit abrupt according to a few testers, but on the other hand you feel very planted once the mid/forefoot has dug in.
It’s a firm platform that doesn’t provide a ton of ground feel, but frankly that’s OK if you’re tackling your umpteenth mile of mud, rocks or gnarly scree.
The Cascadia 7 felt a bit roomy through the midfoot, but at the same time the arch is a little higher than I generally prefer.
Not too many trail shoes have traditional cushioning these days. This works for everything from short runs to ultramarathons.