A good pair of trail running shoes can turn a cross-country run, with all its potential hazards, into sheer joy. For anyone serious about their running – however inexperienced – it’s worth investing in some decent trainers to take you onto more interesting paths in comfort, rather than just getting by with road runners. The new generation of Cascadia trail runners from Brooks are worth the investment.
Brooks Cascadia 16 shoes are designed with some serious cushioning, so hard, rocky trails have minimal impact on knees and joints. In fact, putting them on feels like slipping your feet into a pair of cushions. There’s a fancy-sounding ‘Ballistic Shock Shield’, too: basically a bit of plastic underneath running along the front half of the foot to lessen the impact of pebbles and hard surfaces. But if you just wore these shoes while out running in parched, craggy environments, you’d be doing them a disservice. They’re designed for all kinds of conditions, and great for running in the British countryside.
Give me mud, they cry. The squelchier, the better.
The tread gives excellent grip – better than many of the trail running shoes I’ve tried – and sheds well. On mucky runs through field paths, off-road in forests and on mossy ground, the purchase is excellent. Mud is nothing to them. Back on the hard paths, the support is very good both on the soles and at the sides, although they’re not quite as at home as on the trail.
They dry quickly and don’t seem to hold the water either, presumably down to the ‘drainage ports’ – little grooves on either side that give the water a channel to escape along. They feel very light on my feet – which means I do, too.
At a glance
- Weight: 269.3g
- Fits: Medium or wide. Size up 1-1.5 to get correct shoe.
- Designed for: Trail running with extra cushioning