Brooks Cascadia 7

My first, pair of “real” trail running shoes is the Brooks Cascadia 7.  I’ve been very happy with these shoes and even switched over to them for all my running for a time.  What I like:
– They are wide enough.  I wear a wide size, and wear the Brooks Beast in 12 EE on road runs.  I was pleasantly surprised with the Cascadia that, while only offered in a D width, it is wide enough for me.  Maybe a more experienced trail runner can chime and let me know if that’s normal for trail running shoes or just a lucky find.
– They have good traction.  I did my first trail runs with my road shoes, which was a mistake.  These shoes have great traction and are a night and day difference from using road shoes on the trail.  I don’t yet have the experience with other trail running models to compare them with, but the traction on these has been great for me.  I usually run in the foothills west of Denver, which is generally hardpacked dirt/clay with a loose top and fairly rocky.  I also used these in an obstacle course race with plenty of ups and downs on a moto-cross track, and they were great.
– They have good support and stability.  These have been working well for me.
– Bottom line.  If you are on the fence about buying a new shoe just for trail running, I say go get some.  I’m skeptical of very specialized gear and don’t often buy “one trick ponies”, but I’m completely convinced that buying trail specific shoes is a good buy.  And, for me at least, they work just fine on the pavement, too.  By the way, the same thing goes for buying quality running shoes, no matter what your surface.  I always thought that if I bought a good brand, but at a department store, I was probably better off than getting the cheapy “running style” shoes.  That may be, but when I finally coughed up the money for a “real” running shoe – the Brooks Beast – it was a great day.  Very little discomfort in my lower legs and I could, for once, run until I was winded rather than run until my feet or shins or calves or lower back or [insert body part here] started hurting.  I’m still surprised at all of the various aches and pains that lessened with the buy of good quality running shoes.

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