Light, Fast & Free: 2014 Summer Trail Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Brooks Cascadia 9

Brooks Cascadia 9, $120

11.9 oz. (men’s), 9.3 oz. (women’s)

28 mm (heel), 18 mm forefoot

Category: MODERATE HYBRID

Fit: As with other versions, the new Cascadia fits reliably tight in the heel, snugged-down in the midfoot and fairly compact in the forefoot.

Feel: A shoe with a good balance of cushion and stability, this longtime favorite features a new upper that has more subtle support overlays than in previous editions, a slightly lower heel-toe drop, flat laces and a more subtle outsole lug pattern.

Ride: The Cascadia 9 has a great combination of stability, softness and agility, making it a great all-around shoe for experienced and novice trail runners who are looking for something slightly more than a typical road-to-trail hybrid. It has a stability-enhancing four-point pivot system built into the midsole, and with its lower-profile lug pattern (an update from a previous model), it is very versatile and more nimble than ever before. “Same old Cascadia, only better. I like the evolved version even better than the Cascadia 7 and 8,” one wear-tester said.

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