BROOKS CASCADIA 16 REVIEW: reborn with less weight and more traction. Today our section on TRAIL SHOES celebrates the rebirth of a saga that had lost a lot of momentum in some countries in recent years, but not in other markets. This 2021 comes lighter, with 298gr maintaining the 8mm drop, a ground height of 21mm at the front and 29mm at the heel, plus 3.5mm lugs.

But above all, many internal components change for better: new Brooks Trail track rubber that promises more grip, complete redesign of the four classic Pivots, which now go to side plates, wider sole to gain stability and cushioning. And more…


Cascadia has been, for more than 15 years, a household name for every mountain runner. The Brooks Cascadia saga was born in collaboration with the great ultrarunner Scott Jurek, living legend as a seven-time Western States champion and much more. They were firstly born as a  show for long runs in compacted paths. Over the years the brand tried to enhance its versatility to also tackle more technical terrain, however, we believe it didn’t work.

Nor was it cushioning like the new maximalist shoes, nor was it as versatile as the new Salomon Sense Ride or NB Hierro sagas, nor was it ever able to compete technically with specialized mountain brands such as Salomon, La Sportiva or Inov-8. Little by little, what at the time was a legion of followers in many countries, started to decrease.

At our Spanish brother web we continued to keep informing about them: from the Cascadia 5 with which Mayayo completed the 2010 Leadville 100 Miles in 28 hours, through the Cascadia 6, Cascadia 7, Cascadia 8, Cascadia 9, Cascadia 10, Cascadia 11. Cascadia 12, Cascadia 13 and Cascadia 15. Here you can see in the photo some of them, including those that crossed the finish line in Zegama, Transvulcania, Ultra Cerdanya and many more.


However, this continuity of concept in the Cascadia hides many changes, especially this 2021. Over the years the shoe has been redesigned little by little. They were born as a long run shoe, seeking comfort first and foremost. As time went by, it also wanted to provide protection and support  for more technical terrain, thus expanding its range of use.

With the arrival of her sister, Brooks Caldera in 2017, the Cascadia saga definitely opted to be more rigid and protected to put her on rocky ground, leaving long riding on compact and simple terrain for her young sister. So, for example, it gave up her role as Brooks’s heavyweight tumbler since her sisters, both the Caldera and the Adrenaline, offered more rubber and a correct grip in both cases. The Cascadia 14 added quite a few new features last year.

This 2021 version improves weight, protection, cushioning and grip at the same time. At least according to her technical data sheet. You can ask for little more, … Only that the in-depth filming that we can do with her confirms that leap forward. We do not want to end the preface without thanking the attention of BROOKS RUNNING ITALIA who during the official presentation at Lavaredo Ultra Trail reviewed all the details for us.


  • Weight 298 gr. The first Cascadia sub300 grams. The previous one was 312 grams, but it fluctuated in time: Cascadia12 weighed 350gr, the 13 lowered to 335gr and so on … The Cascadia 14 reached a minimum 303gr. At 15 we bounced a bit, to reinforce some point. Those 298 grams are already reasonable data for a shoe protection and cushioning. Lighter than rivals like NB Hierro V6 included
  • Very different structure: As you can see in the video, the pivot moves to four horizontal sheets, DNA is inserted, side and front protection is reinforced. Thus, a jump in cushioning and stability is sought.
  • Drop 8mm: For years it maintained a higher drop of 10mm. Now it is adjusting to the times. With the improvement of technique throughout the running squad, there is not as much need for high drops to cushion an excessive heel.
  • Medium cushioning: With 21mm at the front and 29 at the rear. He is not a maximalist, like many rivals. Thus, it sticks better to the ground and feels better. But in exchange for that better proprioception for the technical, we sacrificed some height for cushioning and comfortable running. Hence the sole.
  • Outstanding sole width, 9 cm heel and 11 cm forefoot: Provides stability and cushioning, with a medium support surface, narrower than its sisters, to increase precision in technical terrain.
  • In the midsole, it combines horizontal Pivot rubbers and BioMoGo DNA chassis. We go with it looking for that reinforced stability that, for example, we do not see in its sister Caldera, which with a greater height to the ground although with less drop, provides more cushioning but less stability. For this stabilization when we can be fatigued, the Cascadia continues to rely on its four pivots now redesigned in horizontal stabilizers in the midfoot, a birthmark until today. The heel height remains around 3.5-4mm.
  • Upper: Perhaps the most outstanding novelty is a new cover built with continuous mesh, which is combined by reducing external additives to improve ventilation and drying. It also incorporates Brooks 3D adjustment with screen printing technology to help maintain structure without losing flexibility or adding weight.
  • Anti-rock plate: still has the Ballistic Rock Shield in the forefoot for protection. Her sister, the Caldera, does not count on her, for example.
    Brooks TrailTack rubber outsole with 3.5-4mm studs. The sensations since using the Cascadia 14 have been improving little by little, both in wet and dry conditions. The durability was also very healthy, so there is no reason to expect any changes.

All in all, a shoe that won’t disappoint the Cascadia faithful … and will appeal to new ones.



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