09 November 2012

Brooks Cascadia 7...a review

I remember when I bought them...I had such high hopes...


The first time I ran in them I got a ginormous blister. I chalked that up to running in muddy, wet socks. What I didn't remember at that time was this:  a whole lot of trail running is going entail muddy, wet socks. Hence, ginormous blistering might not be a one-time occurrence...and it wasn't  :(

In that first run I also struggled a lot with my form. I wrote that off to the muddy slipperiness of the trail and being out of shape. Today I was well-rested and things were just a little muddy and not at all slippery and I still struggled to hold things together :(

Muddy during that first run

Not so muddy today

 So the shoes....


I hate them.

I want to like them. I want to LOVE them. But I just don't :(

They are the right size. They feel comfy when I put them on. They are pretty and blue. But as soon as I start running in them...*sigh*...I find myself wanting to love them and just...not.

They are not as responsive as I would like. They feel squirrelly. I don't really know how to explain it. I don't need a stability shoe, yet when I wear these I feel totally unstable. I feel too much of the trail. I like feeling the trail somewhat...but these don't feel like they provide enough buffer for my tastes. And I slip more on rocky surfaces in the Brooks Cascadia 7 than I do in the Mizuno Wave Rider 15.

I've run in them about 6 times...in mud and on dry dirt. Over rocks and tree roots, too. I've tried them with a variety of socks...mostly dry running so it isn't sopping wet socks that are causing the blister...which I get every time. I've used BodyGlide and 2Toms SportShield and still get that blister :(  I guess I should have tried the BlisterShield, but damn...needing to buy a special product to utilize a shoe that is not wowing me at all anyway is annoying...is that lame? Don't say 'yes.'

Okay...so... bleh... not enchanted with the Brooks Cascadia 7. I'm so bummed it took me 7 months (and only 6 runs) to figure it out. Yeah...if you dread running in a certain shoe, chances are it's not the shoe for you! I should have returned them and gotten something else :(

On the bright side of things...

Today was a glorious day! And I got to run on my favorite trail...we won't mention those shoes anymore...just going with the positive from here on out :)

The sun was shining. The air was clean and cool and crisp...

This is the meadow at the bottom of the valley near the start of the trail. I call it a meadow even though it has tall stuff growing in it.

I love the smells where the trail is under the tree canopy...the damp, rotting leaves mixed with the wet earth. Not blurry because of my speed...more likely because of those shoes...I will blame them for everything that wasn't perfect about today's run :)  Oh, bummer...I mentioned them again :(

The first half of the run is in that shaded, damp, earthy environment. Once you get to the top of the hill, the view across the valley shows the trail in the sunshine :)

The long afternoon shadows are so bizarre. I look sort of like an inverted giraffe. The ol' shadow ain't so sexy this time of day at this time of year :P

After today's run, I am officially giving up on those shoes. I don't even want to walk in them. I'm in the market for replacements and am all ears for suggestions. In the meantime, my non-trail-running Mizuno Wave Rider 15's will suffice. But now that the rainy season is upon us, they are going to get thrashed :(

Maybe I should run with baggies over my feet?

Or be a total wienie and never run in mud.

But where's the fun in that?


  1. The trails in your photos probably don't require anything more than a road shoe anyway.... but have you tried any Mizuno trail shoes? My feet don't like switching brands at all, maybe yours are the same.

    I can't offer any recommendation to you because: I LOVE LOVE LOVE MY BROOKS CASCADIAS (I'm on pair #4). Sorry they didn't work for you.

  2. In response to your question, I'm a size 8.

  3. I tried the cascadia too and hated it - it felt odd to say the least. Anyway I love my Saucony progrid razor the one with the built in gator - its awesome!! For some dumb reason they are not bringing this particular style back - but I think you can check it on running warehouse. Hope you find a trail shoe you like :)

  4. I feel the same way with my Brooks PureCadence. I wanted to love them so much and tried and tried but they just aren't right for me.

  5. sorry they didn't work out! That trail looks beautiful!

  6. What *IS* it with women and shoes? I swear you have better relationships with your shoes than the men in your life. At first I thought it was just uncomfortable shoes with weird designs and pointy heels. Now I see it's running shoes as well. I don't get this. I buy shoes. If they work for me I wear them till they don't. Then I throw them away and get new ones. I had one pair, the next series of New Balance that I had been buying, and they seemed to make me run on my heels. So I passed them on, and got different ones. No muss, no fuss.

  7. I'm bummed your shoes didn't work out for you. I've been wanting to try the Cascadia's for a loooooong time but have never gotten around to buying them. Like you, I just felt they would be the perfect shoe for me... maybe not, good to know.

  8. Oh...those pictures of the trail are absolutely gorgeous!!! i want to run that one day! Nothing worse than getting brand new shoes that stink...and not becasue you have smelly feet! It is so hard, I think at least, finding the right shoe for you!!! I hope you find it soon ;)

  9. I love my Mizuno Wave Ascends, for what it's worth! Our trails are often muddy in the spring, and I haven't tried them on those, but I can say I've had them on stony trails and gravelly ones. They keep me from slipping around and I've had NO blisters.

  10. Beautiful scenery ... not so beautiful blister, ouch.

    The high ropes course was awesome. My thrill seeking children will love their chance when they get bigger. My oldest, conservative fellow, was pushed well beyond his comfort zone, but he did it.

  11. I live in rainy, muddy ville and run on all sorts of hills and mtns in the PNW. i LOVE my salomon shoes... speedcross for the super muddy nasty gooey stuff... crossmaxes otherwise. seriously, speedcross's are amazing. they drain well, i don't get blisters (drymax socks), and i just love them. ;) i'll be wearing one or the other at quad dipsea in a couple weekends... anyway... i'm not a cascades fan... reviewed the 5's I think? nope. too narrow, too stiff, too clunky, too etc etc etc... so you're not the only one. anyway... you can find these in person down at zombie runner in the bay area, REI, or on sale through runningwarehouse.com (my personal fav, but only if you know you like the fit, etc)... good luck!

  12. Okay, just found your blog from The Bloggess...and I even quoted your halloween decor comment on my FB status because it was just so perfect. Anyhow, I am in a fitness slump (but working on getting out of it starting yesterday) but after years of being an avid soccer player, and have recently discovered that I kind of like running....something I never thought I would ever say. I have never tried trail running...I am afraid of falling on my ass on regular level ground, so I am not sure I am up for it, but perhaps at some point...who knows. I did my first 5K (running, always walked before) on New Year's Day 2011 and I am kind of addicted to them...and I want to get back into it. I haven't done a 5K since March and I miss them.

    Oh, and since you posted about shoes, I guess I should mention my favs are my Saucony ProGrid Guide 3s...in fact, I had to find some online recently since my others were wearing out and they aren't current anymore. I am going to be SOL when these wear out because I probably won't be able to find them anymore. Sad face...

  13. i have no trail shoes. i don’t do trails. or mud. i’m assuming those are actual trail shoes…i’m still loving my wave riders too!


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