Trail Monster Running

Visit the official TRAIL MONSTER RUNNING website for information on upcoming group runs, local trails, trail races and more, including the Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival and the Bradbury Mountain trail Running Series.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Shoe Review - Brooks Cascadia 3

My search for the right shoes to wear for my first 100 mile run coming up this summer has lead me to the Brooks Cascadia 3. Although I love running in Inov-8’s I think that I need something with more cushioning to get through 100 miles, and seeing that a lot of the Vermont 100 course is on dirt roads many people recommend using road shoes. I opted for somewhat of a hybrid shoe, although Brooks calls the Cascadia “100-percent pure trail running shoe” I’d call it “60-percent trail running shoe, 40-percent road running shoe”. I ended up buying a half size larger than I would normally wear, to allow for some foot swelling after running all day in late-July heat in Vermont.

Yesterday’s run at Bradbury left me with a black toenail that was still throbbing when I got up Sunday morning so the idea of running at all wasn’t very appealing at first. But when I remembered my roomy new shoes they seemed like just the thing for a recovery run on the roads and a good way to get them broken in. I had considered wearing them for my long Saturday run but since I’d never worn Brooks before it seemed like too big a risk. I did wear my first pair of Inov-8 Roclite 315’s on a 26 mile trail run fresh out of the box last year and they felt great.

The toe box in the Cascadias is very roomy, but the midfoot and heel feel very secure so my feet feel well connected to the shoe and the ground without exacerbating the swollen toe. I can imagine the potential for toes feeling pretty beaten up after 70 miles of running so this was a good sign that I was able to run pain-free. I also liked the fact that despite being a well-cushioned shoe they still feel pretty flat compared to many road and trail shoes that have built-up heels. Initially these shoes aren’t as flexible as I would like, but I’m sure that will change once I get some more miles on them. I’ve noticed that many trail shoes add rigid “protective” plates in the soles which often make them stiffer than I’d like, but the Cascadias have a fairly simple structure that should allow the foot to work naturally on uneven terrain.

Today I only did about 8 miles on the road in these shoes, but hopefully I’ll be getting in many trail miles with them including 100 in Vermont.

time: 1:04:45
distance: 8.23 miles
pace: 7:52
heart rate: 160/171


UltraFlash said...

Ian - Couldn't agree with your shoe choice more! I found the Cascadia a couple years ago and for me they truly are the perfect shoe. I wore them in my first 50K (Pineland), first 50 Miler (JFK), and first 100 (Vermont) and all the miles in between and never so much as a blister. At Vermont I never took them off and my feet were no uglier than before the race. Also, I love the Pineland Farms site. Kelly is doing the 25K and count me in for 50 Miles!

Anonymous said...

Nice shoe. I am interested in how you like them. I have owned one pair of Brooks and loved them. They fit like slippers.

I hope to make one of the Twin Brooks or Bradbury runs soon.

Take care.

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