I have a long history with Brooks Cascadia’s. A pair of bright yellow Brooks Cascadia 4’s were my first trail running shoes, and it took a couple years before they fell out of cycle. I won a pair of Cascadia 5’s in a shoe selling contest, but I still preferred the 4’s, so they were backup. Brooks Cascadia 8’s were my shoe of choice completing a 466 mile section hike on the Appalachian Trail. Brooks Cascadia 10’s are now my primary hiking shoe and alternate heavy duty trail running shoe.
I call the Cascadia’s, the tank of trail running shoes since they can take everything thrown at them. But I make sure to explain that tank is somewhat misconceiving as they are not that heavy.
Upper- Solid and snug, does not let my foot slide any. I have somewhat of a narrow foot, not enough to have any difficulty with most shoes, so these did me well. The arch lock does a good job of wrapping the foot, keeping it in place within feeling too tight.
This shoes does a decent job at draining and drying quickly. Having used these while hiking on sections of the AT in summer downpours they typically dry the next day if the sun has come back out.
Sole/Tread- The Cascadia 10’s use multi directional lugs and their Pivot system to provide amazing traction. They work well in mud, red clay, rocks and some wet rocks. The sole is thick and protective with their Ballistic Rock Shield technology.
Which is basically a rock plate; which increases stiffness in the shoe, but protects against rock and other pointy objects. Since I use these mostly for hiking I am not as agile when carrying a pack, so the rock plate helps.
Cushion- Brooks use a gel based cushion system for most of their shoes called DNA, and the Cascadia’s are no different.
But the cushion feels firmer and that is something I prefer as opposed to floating on a bed of clouds. I like to feel like I am stepping on something solid beneath my feet. The DNA gel absorbs a lot of impact and helps out on those long multi-day hikes.
In conclusion, this shoes have long passed their 50 mile test period, so this review is pretty much final. Although the shoes do not have a low heel drop (-10) and are far from minimalist, they still have their place in my shoe arsenal.