Brooks Cascadia 6 Review
Cascadia lovers, it’s time to rejoice! Brooks has come out with its 6th version of the Cascadia and nailed it! As the Brooks Cascadia is a favorite among many trail runners, Brooks has to be very careful among the changes that it makes to the shoe.
I’ve been testing the Brooks Cascadia 6 in different types of conditions that include; loose gravel, hard rock, mud, road, and standard dirt trails. One of the changes I have noticed in the updated Cascadia 6 version is the Brooks DNA in the heel and toe of the shoe. And while I don’t like a lot of cushioning in a trail shoe, I found the amount of cushioning used was just perfect. Brooks DNA is their proprietary cushioning system that allows the shoe to adapt to each foot strike. It was initially introduced in the Glycerin 8 and has since started to spread throughout the line.
The outsole of the shoe is a little less beefy than previous models in my opinion, but I didn’t notice too much of a difference. They have added bi-directional lugs that allow the shoe to grip whether you are going uphill, downhill, or from side to side. These are located on the inner of the outsole. On the outside of the outsole, there are some heavier lugs that allow for better traction on the uphill and downhill. From the toe to the midfoot, there is a different pattern on the inside and outside of the outsole. The outside of the sole (the side of your pinky toe) has a lug pattern that helps control your foot on the downhills. This is primarily where you put a lot of your weight if you are not on your heals. On the inner side of the outsole, the lugs are reversed for better traction on the uphill. The lugs on the heal are primarily meant for downhill running. I have noticed a little wear in the bi-directional lugs which could reduce the amount of traction towards the end of the shoes life, but it hasn’t been a problem as of yet.
The toe box of the Cascadia 6 has a light rubber covering that helps keep out water and mud while providing a little bit of a toe guard. As far as the toe box goes, the width seems to be in line with previous models. To accommodate runners with different volumes of feet, there is a adjustable piece on the upper that allows the lacing to expand and contract as needed. This also helps give the shoe a more snug fit and helps adjust to different runners feet sizes. The Brooks Cascadia 6 upper is about 85% mesh, so your foot is sure to stay well ventilated. And while the shoe is primarily mesh, there is a smaller mesh liner used on the inside of the shoe to keep out debris.
Continuing along with the tradition of it’s wild look, Brooks has used a few variations of colors that just pop. I personally love the look, but some more conservative runners might not be so keen. To continue with its commitment to sustainability, Brooks uses its Bio MOGO in the midsole which speeds up the shoes biodegradability. To become more transparent, I would like to see Brooks provide each sustainable change made in each shoe and keep this information viewable to the public. I would also like to see running shoes go away from shoe boxes. This creates a tremendous amount of waste. It is a hard place for Brooks and other shoe manufactures as running shoe stores need an easy way to organize their inventory.
To keep up with the growing trend of less is better, the Brooks Cascadia weighs in at 11.2 oz. which is about an ounce lighter than it’s previous model. Overall, I am extremely happy with the new Brooks Cascadia 6 and highly suggest it for both faithful Cascadia lovers and those looking for a change!
Tell us how you Run Happy or would Run Happy in Brooks and get a chance to win a free pair of Brooks Cascadia 6 trail running shoes!
One pair of men’s and one pair of women’s Brooks Cascadia’s will be given away.
Contest expires: 5/9/2011
Congratulations to Kyle and Tracy for the Brooks Cascadia 6 contest! Run Happy!