• Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 75% 75%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Versatility 90% 90%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Best Application: Daily Trail Running/Hiking

Upper: Internal Saddle System, Cordura Mud Guard

Midsole: BioMoGo DNA, Built-in Rock plate

Outsole: TrailTack Rubber

Weight: M – 303g, W – 269g

What we like: Comfortable, A Good Crossover Option, More Protective

What we don’t like: Not Very Stable, Grip is Good for Moderate Terrain

Price: $130

Brooks Cascadia 14 is an adequately cushioned trail shoe that has had been updated to improve its durability, comfort level, as well as extend and expand the options for its use. The previous version of the Brooks Cascadia was more at home on the trail, but with the Cascadia 14, you’re going to get a crossover shoe with the right amount of underfoot protection plus moderate stability.

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Compare to Similar Products

See Our The Best Trail Shoes of 2020

The Best Trail Shoes: Salomon Speedcross 5 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 95% 95%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 85% 85%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Versatility 75% 75%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Reliable Grip and Traction

Comfortable

Offers A Stable Ride

Has Performance-focused Features

Has Wide-width Option

Cons

Narrower Than Other Trail Shoes

Not Very Versatile

Doesn't Drain Well

Best Application: Running On Soft Ground, Slippery Running Conditions, Highly Technical Terrain

Upper: SensiFit™, Welded Upper, Anti-debris Mesh, Lace Pocket, Quicklace™

Midsole: EnergyCell™+, Molded OrthoLite®

Outsole: Contagrip® TA

Weight: M - 320g, W - 280g

The Best Trail Shoes: Asics GEL-Venture 7 - Gear Hacker

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  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 95% 95%

Pros

Sufficient Traction

Comfortable

Budget-friendly

Beginner-friendly

Delivers A Stable Ride

Well-cushioned

Has Wide-width Option

Versatile

Cons

Upper Not As Breathable

Not Suited For Highly Technical Terrain

Best Application:  Casual Hiking or Running

Upper: Mesh Upper

Midsole: GEL® Technology, EVA Midsole, ORTHOLITE™ Sockliner

Outsole: AHAR®

Weight: M - 303g, W - 252g

The Best Trail Shoes: Salomon Supercross - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Foot Protection 85% 85%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 65% 65%
  • Comfort 85% 85%
  • Versatility 85% 85%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Speedcross-like Traction

Comfortable

Affordable

Wider Forefoot

Cons

Ride Is Not Very Stable

Best Application: Occasional Trail Running and Hiking

Upper: Ripstop Fabric, Protective Toecap, SensiFit™, Welded Upper, OrthoLite® Diecut

Midsole: EnergyCell

Outsole: Contagrip TD, Chevron Lugs

Weight: M - 310g, W - 260g

The Best Trail Shoes: Altra Lone Peak 4.5 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 75% 75%
  • Stability 90% 90%
  • Comfort 75% 75%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 75% 75%

Pros

Comfortable

Delivers A Stable Ride

Above-average Protection

Responsive

Cons

Not Suited For Highly Technical Terrain

Clunky Shoe Shape

Best Application: Casual Hiking or Running

Upper: Quick-Dry Air Mesh, GaiterTrap, FootShape Toe Box

Midsole: Dual Layer EVA / A-Bound™, StoneGuard™

Outsole: MaxTrac™ Rubber, TrailClaw™

Weight: M - 298g, W - 247g

The Best Trail Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 75% 75%
  • Durability 75% 75%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 95% 95%
  • Versatility 90% 90%
  • Value for Your Money 90% 90%

Pros

Lightweight

Versatile - Can Be Worn on Trail and Roads

Comfortable

Breathable Upper

Designed for Speed

Cons

Thin Toe Bumper

Not Suited for Technical Trail

Doesn't Lock the Foot Down

Best Application: Road/Trail Running

Upper: Perforated Mesh, Synthetic Upper

Midsole: Zoom Air Units

Outsole: Trail Lugs

Weight: M - 291g, W - 232g

The Best Trail Shoes: Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 - Gear Hacker

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  • Grip 80% 80%
  • Foot Protection 90% 90%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 95% 95%
  • Versatility 70% 70%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Generous Cushioning

Improved Grip

Breathable

With Wide-Width Options

Enhanced Durability

Efficient Stride

Cons

Slightly Narrow

Heavier Compared To Other Trail Shoes

Best Application: Long-distance Trail Running/Hiking (50 miles and above), Ultra Distances

Upper: Open Engineered Mesh Construction

Midsole: Reinforced TPU midfoot overlays, Oversize EVA Midsole, CMEVA Foam

Outsole: Vibram® Megagrip

Weight: M - 306g, W - 261g

The Best Trail Shoes: Brooks Caldera 4 - Gear Hacker

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  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 75% 75%
  • Comfort 85% 85%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 70% 70%

Pros

Plush Cushioning

Breathable

Enhanced Durability

Door-to-trail Ready

Cons

A Bit Expensive

Can Only Handle Moderately Technical Terrain

Best Application: Daily Training/Hiking, Long-Distance Hiking/Running

Upper: Mesh Upper, Synthetic Overlays, Lace Catch

Midsole: BioMoGo DNA

Outsole: TrailTack Sticky Traction

Weight: M - 283g, W - 252g

The Best Trail Shoes: Altra Timp 1.5 - Gear Hacker

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  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 80% 80%
  • Comfort 85% 85%
  • Versatility 70% 70%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Plush Cushioning

Better Traction and Grip

Durable Outsole

Roomy Forefoot

Better Ground Feel

Cons

The Ride Can Be A Bit Unstable

Can Handle Moderately Technical Trail

Takes Awhile For Sweat to Dry After A Run

Best Application: Daily Runs or Hikes on Moderate Terrain

Upper: Footshape, Gaiter Trap

Midsole: Balanced Cushion

Outsole: Trail Claw, DuraTread

Weight: M - 312g, W - 266g

The Best Trail Shoes: Brooks Cascadia 14 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 75% 75%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Versatility 90% 90%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Comfortable

A Good Crossover Option

More Protective

Cons

Not Very Stable

Grip is Good for Moderate Terrain

Best Application: Daily Trail Running/Hiking

Upper: Internal Saddle System, Cordura Mud Guard

Midsole: BioMoGo DNA, Built-in Rock plate

Outsole: TrailTack Rubber

Weight: M - 303g, W - 269g

The Brooks Cascadia 14 is a well-cushioned, neutral support trail shoe that can be a good crossover option. This version has been made tougher so you can conquer more miles. The softness of the cushion was tweaked, so comfort is not sacrificed even during long-hauls. It’s one of the shoes that received special mention on our list and for good reason.

Grip & Foot Protection

The mesh upper does a good job of keeping tiny particles from getting into the shoe. However, just like with other mesh uppers, there will come a point when debris will penetrate. For added protection and coverage, you can easily add your gaiters to the Brooks Cascadia 14 with the front connection and back gaiter tab. The front connection is a bit low profile, but you can find it in the area where the laces stop, towards the tip of the shoe.

 

Its Cordura Mudguard protects your feet from mud. These mudguards are overlays on the sides of the Cascadia 14, which prevent gunk from entering the shoe without compromising the breathability of the upper.

Another protective feature is the TrailTrack Rubber with multi-directional lugs that are more closely positioned near each other. The rubber itself is strapping, protecting the bottom of the foot. This technology has been combined with the built-in rock plate to give you a moderately protective trail shoe for running or hiking.

As for the grip, it seems to have been improved when compared to previous iterations. The lugs are fairly long and wide, and they cover the entire outsole area, seemingly making the traction sufficient on dry trail conditions. You might want to rethink using this shoe for more complicated terrain, as it can only deliver a moderate hold on different surfaces.

Durability

The Best Trail Shoes: Brooks Cascadia 14 - Gear Hacker

The outsole rubber on the Brooks Cascadia 14 feels well-made. Though the lugs aren’t too deep, you will likely run or hike more miles with this trail shoe because of the formulation of the outsole rubber. Certainly, the outsole will eventually wear down, but it will take a reasonable while before this happens.

The upper has been reinforced with several overlays that protect the mesh from wearing and tearing prematurely. The reinforcements cover key areas on the upper, not just for minimal structural support but for coverage, so the mesh is protected from abrasions.

 

Stability

When it comes to the shoe’s stability, it can feel a bit off-center, especially when you are running or hiking on terrain that’s more complex and uneven. The drop has been reduced from 10mm to 8mm, but it may feel like your foot is sitting higher. This won’t be a problem on flat surfaces, but you will really feel the difference in your balance when you are on technical paths.

 

The back counter and the padding from within secure the heel, the midfoot, and forefoot nicely and without constriction. A snug fit can be immensely beneficial when it comes to stability, and the Brooks Cascadia 14 delivers just that. In general, the stability that the shoe delivers is okay, as long as you are running or hiking on flat planes.

Comfort & Fit

The Best Trail Shoes: Brooks Cascadia 14 - Gear Hacker

You’ll be happy to know that the Brooks Cascadia 14 is a shoe that you may want to use during hot runs. The upper is breathable and stretchy, moving with the runner or hiking and allowing air to circulate within the shoe. You will not complain about how the in-shoe feels either. It’s not as comfortable as the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail, which is described as having a slipper-like feel, but the level of comfort you feel is totally sufficient.

For those with a wide-set foot, you have the option to choose wide versions of the shoe. By design, the forefoot has enough room, but since it slightly tapers towards the tip, the wide-size options are good to have so that you don’t have to go full-size or half-size up to get a better fit.

Versatility & Value for Your Money

As mentioned, the Brooks Cascadia 14 is a good option for a crossover shoe. It does have road shoe qualities as well as trail shoe characteristics, just like the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36. They both have the same price tag. However, the main difference is with the level of comfort delivered. If you want to forget that you even have trail shoes on, it’s likely that you will go with the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail. On the other hand, if you want an acceptable level of comfort with a bit more grip and better stability, this shoe is the one to consider. 

 

Additional Features

The tongue pocket is useful for keeping your laces out of the way. This additional feature ensures that your laces don’t flap aroundneither interrupting your run or hike nor tripping you.

The Bottom Line

The Brooks Cascadia 14 made it on our list because of the positively forward-looking updates it has received. It’s more durable, comfortable, and versatile. In most cases, if you are not a hardcore trail runner or hiker, the three improvements are really all you need. It also has a built-in rock plate, and this is one of its main advantages when it comes to protection.

With wide-width options, it’s more inviting for runners with wide feet or who have already been using wide versions of their previous trail shoes. The fit can be forgiving when you pick the right width.

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!