I’ve been trail running (and some paved outings) with my Brooks Running Cascadia 5s for quite some time and have always really enjoyed them. Plus, any shoe that still looks practically brand new after many, many miles and a year and half is clearly quality made. When Brooks told me they were sending me a pair of Cascadia 7s ($110.00) to try out, I got really excited.
“Designed from the ground up, the Cascadia 7 defines what a trail shoe should be: rugged without sacrificing runnability. Infused with Brooks technology and a bit of insight from ultrarunner Scott Jurek, this amazing piece of equipment features an asymmetric upper that anatomically wraps the foot with conforming materials, a ballistic rock shield and toe protector for dicey terrain, and four-point pivot posts that act like a suspension system for your feet. Top it off with an intuitive lug pattern and this trailblazer is ready to tackle even the toughest terrain.”
The only thing that ever bothered me about the Cascadia 5s was the fact that a size 13 just barely fit me; in fact, I had to run with extremely thin socks if the outing was going to be anything longer than a 3-4 mile run. For the Cascadia 7s, I nervously requested a size 14 (if only shoe companies made 13.5s!), but am so glad that I did. The shoes fit comfortably with all my favorite socks now and, funny enough, I can still wear my thinner socks without a problem. While roomy in the toe box, the shoes fit snugly around the arch and through the heel. I’m going to give credit to the shoe’s designers and also the asymmetrical lacing system.
|Note major design changes on uppers,
more subtle underfoot.
Some other major differences between the two shoes – one, obviously, is the color. The 5s were muted and understates, while the 7s scream that they want to be seen. The asymmetrical lacing is another big difference, but even more so is what you can’t see – the firmness underfoot. The 5s are incredibly stiff, even now, which give great protection on rocky and root-filled runs, but can tire the foot on pavement. The 7s come out of the box stiff, yet much more pliable underfoot – no less protection, but way more comfort.
Based on my previous experience with the Cascadia 5s, I’m expecting to run in the 7s for a good long time. They are incredibly comfortable, protect the underfoot without beating it up, and give a great feel for the trail. Much of my training has been on cement recently (and unfortunately), but it’s a testament to the shoes that they’ve worked equally well in all situations.
Brooks’ True Blue Guarantee – Brooks products come with a no-questions-asked, 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your new Brooks equipment within the first 30 days after purchase, they will replace or exchange your product. Nice customer service!
(Disclaimer: I was sent these products for free to review on my blog – courtesy of Brooks Running. I did not pay for the items, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)
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