Where's the Cascadia bug

Brooks Cascadia 10 in the test

While the term marathon is precisely defined down to the meter, one can certainly argue about what exactly is meant by trail running. No matter how steep, muddy, rocky or how impassable the route has to be. As an old asphalt cowboy, I content myself with forest and forest roads, which, thanks to the Hessian mountainous region, contain at least one or two vertical meters.

Speaking of altitude. My first ultramarathon in April 2016 has a decent 1750 altitude meters over its 65 kilometers, which I have to conquer. A small part of the single trail is also the icing on the cake.

Without the right footwear, it is not advisable to tackle this project. The selection of trail models is huge, but frugal as I am, two shoes are shortlisted. One of them is the Cascadia 10 from Brooks. I will introduce another candidate to you soon.


I flirt occasionally (or rather constantly) with my old age. Perhaps they thought it would be better to give me the gray model of the Cascadias for a test. The bright green accents then set a fashionable highlight. However, the shoe does not look graceful. With around 370 grams on your foot, you may not walk lightly through the landscape, but you are well protected. What is noticeable is the extensive lack of seams, instead, everything was glued and welded - in the truest sense of the word. Just like a modern running shoe should be.

Speaking of modern - meanwhile one doesn't seem to be able to sell running shoes anymore without the advertising strategists worrying about how to impress the crowd with scientific terms like "BioMoGo DNA", "Segmented Crash Pad" or "Ballistic Rock Shield" . But more of that later.

The upper material of the shoe has an asymmetrical saddle construction, which can be recognized quite well by the colored textile straps on the inside and the primarily bonded structures on the outside. Moisture-regulating and water-repellent materials ensure that you don't get your feet wet at the first small puddle. However, larger amounts of water do not keep them away. My experiences on this further down in the report.

The toe and especially the heel area are adequately protected, the padding of the tongue and heel can be described as almost voluminous. All in all, the workmanship makes a very high quality and durable impression.

At the latest when I look at the Cascadia from below, it becomes clear that the way into the terrain should take place without major detours. The profile screams for unpaved roads. Its 10 mm drop is not small, but it is okay for a stable trail shoe.

The green studs in the middle of the sole are larger than the gray ones in the edge area. Shortly before the heel, a kind of serrated profile bites into the terrain. So-called pivot posts in the heel and forefoot area are intended to provide more control. The Ballistic Rock Shield, which can be recognized by the six small cutouts in the forefoot area, protects the foot from sharp stones and other nasty surprises on the trail. Thanks to the different profile properties, there should be something suitable for every surface.

What else does the sole structure offer? A continuous segmented crash pad for smooth rolling - I can certainly imagine something like that. With the term BioMoGo DNA Brooks shoots the bird, however. I may just quote:

Under a microscope you can see that Brooks DNA is made up of individual molecules that are connected to form strands. These strands in turn form chains and react to the force exerted on the foot; they distribute the pressure and provide elasticity. Conclusion of this little physics lesson: You get cushioning that is perfectly tailored to you and that adapts to your weight and speed, your running style, your movements and your running distance - absolutely individual cushioning instead of uniformity.

Let's make it short. The lady, a bio teacher by trade, almost tumbled off the sofa laughing.

Tried on and executed

Now that we have enjoyed the amusing scientific treatise, let's see whether the advertising promises come true in practice. First, let's try on the Brooks Cascadia. There's nothing to complain about about the fit. Thanks to the padding of the tongue and heel and a well-functioning lacing, the shoe sits comfortably and comfortably. The removable insole also offers nothing to complain about, as does the ample space in the toe box.

On the first few meters I was quite surprised. The Brooks Cascadia is one of the more stable trail shoes that you take for long runs. On the other hand, it makes a very dynamic impression. The rolling behavior is surprisingly good. An average 4 pace in the shoe - goes. But not in the long run. But that's not the job Brooks Cascadia has to do in April.

The cushioning can also convince. It's neither too soft nor too hard. Apparently, the molecules don't take my suspicion offense, because they swallow everything that could annoy your feet on the forest and forest paths of the Kaufunger Forest. What is not in their power is done by the Ballistic Rock Shield - you could also call it a protection plate.

There is little to complain about when it comes to grip - as long as you don't have to walk on smooth, damp stones. Whether cobblestone, basalt chunks or even wet asphalt - the Brooks Cascadia is not much fun, because here it smears like a bar of hand soap on the edge of the sink. However, there are no problems in dry terrain, nor on the obligatory forest trails with gravel and mud. This is exactly what the Cascadia is supposed to be used for, so we can definitely become friends in the long term.

Again briefly on the subject of wet: I had put the shoe under water a few times on my long runs. The material is water-repellent, but not waterproof. However, the foot will dry out quickly thanks to the breathable upper material.

My conclusion on the Brooks Cascadia 10

The Brooks Cascadia 10 is a real surprise. I expected a common trail shoe for the "long edges", more or less the block on the foot. I got a very dynamic shoe with balanced cushioning that never disappointed me during the almost 100 kilometers of test. Incidentally, the Cascadia is my first Brooks in the closet. I guess it won't be the last. Will he also accompany me on the Ultratrail in April? I already mentioned it above - another test candidate is still available. You will find out who it will be on day X at the latest.


For transparency

Brooks provided me with the shoes free of charge. I wrote the test report freehand. There was no influence on the content or the rating.


  • Great running feeling
  • Balanced cushioning
  • Good workmanship


  • Greasy on a wet surface

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