Review of the Brooks Cascadia 11 Trail Shoes

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For the last two years I’ve worn the Brooks Cascadia 10 trail running shoes and, for the most part, have loved them more than any other shoe I’ve worn. Support gone, torn, and at the point of no return, it is now time for me to transition into a new shoe. Even though I had/have a love obsession for the Cascadia 10, I’ve come to realize they aren’t the shoe for me. Here are my honest thoughts on why I loved them and why I chose to go with a different shoe this time around.

What I loved

  • Cute Colors – Let’s be honest, in the world of women’s fashion, color and style trump all! Even if it’s an athletic pair of shoes, it’s still an opportunity to make a statement. With the Brooks Cascadia 10  trail shoes a wide variety of colors are offered and the slim design makes anyones foot look good!
  • Comfortable – After the shoes were broken in (which took several wearings), they provided the most comfort I’ve experienced in a shoe built for the trails. I hiked mountains in Washington State, traversed trails in Wisconsin, explored the rainforest in Costa Rica, and walked on river walkways with complete comfort. They were the perfect combo of gym shoe and hiking boot.
  • Great trail grip – The tread on the sole of the shoe always made be feel secure and stable. Crossing wet rocks or clambering up damp stairs on the side of a mountain was never easier. It always felt like I had the grip of suction cups on the bottoms of my shoes. If you live in a wet climate, these would be the trail shoes for you.
  • Long lasting – I’m going on two years with my Cascadias. It’s been just within the last 2 months or so that they have completely worn out. The support is shot and the outer fabric of the shoe is tearing (which is probably due to the fact that my foot is so wide). The tread though still has quite a bit of life left. and the shoes still look great overall.
  • Breathable – These shoes provided comfort not only in wet conditions but also in dry climates. Coming from the desert side of Washington State where summer temperatures can read to 100 degrees, my feet never felt hot or uncomfortable using the Cascadia 10 trail shoes. My socks would sometimes be a bit sweaty after a hike, but I never formed blisters or felt that it was an excessive amount of moisture.29513890_10155469853225838_1659073528_o

What I disliked

  • Break in period – Cuteness usually comes at a price and this was the fact with the Cascadia trail shoes. For the first month of so of wearing them the sides of me feel felt cramped and squished into a form. I even questioned if I should keep them. I stuck with it though and they eventually broke in/stretched out so that I no longer noticed the tightness.
  • Narrow toe bed/Slim Design –  Obviously if a shoe feels like it needs to be broken in when you first wear it, it’s probably not the right fit for your foot. In my quest for a cute trail shoe I shook aside the fact that they weren’t fitting my foot properly – I have since begun to regret that decision. My biggest complaint with the Brooks Cascadia 10 is that they are built with a narrow design and not at all in a way that accommodates a natural food shape or a wide foot. Because of this, my right foot has begun to show signs of a bunion forming and when I wear the shoes now the joint on my big toe lets me know the shoes aren’t fitting properly.
  • Aren’t sold in wide sizes – An easy solution would be for Brooks to offer these shoes in wide sizes. Cuteness and comfort could then coexist! This isn’t the case though and I have my own philosophies on that topic. Companies have trained people to think it’s their foots problem if a shoe doesn’t fit rather than the shoes issue. When a shoe runs naturally narrow it’s as if the shoe company is saying “slender feet are better!” Offering a wide could possibly change the look the shoe is trying to give.
  • Price Point – I bought my Cascadias at the Brooks mothership store near Seattle, WA and paid a slightly discounted amount for them. They are originally retailed at $120. That’s not necessarily an affordable amount for many people. 

 

Alternative Trail Shoes 

Altra Lone Point 3.5 Trail Shoes

Hoka One Speedgoat 2 Trail Shoes 

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