Gear Preview: Brooks Cascadia 11

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The Brooks Cascadia is back this year with version 11. The Cascadia is an icon in the world of lightwieght hiking, and can be seen on the feet of countless hikers enjoying the miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, the John Muir Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail. For years, the Cascadia has been know as a durable ATV of a shoe that can handle anything a hiker or runner is capable of throwing their way. The Cascadia really seemed to hit their peak when Brooks released versions 8 and 9. While hiking sections of the PCT in years past, it seemed that more than half of the hikers I met on the trail were wearing v8 or v9. This all changed last year with the release of v10. Brooks added a newly redesigned upper on the v10 that looked great, but had serious problems with durability. Many hikers and runners reported a crease on the toe box that would begin to disintegrate at around 100 miles of use. Brooks has a brand new upper on v11 which looks to remedy the problems found in the v10. Will this be the shoe that once again makes the Cascadia king of the trails? Maybe so. Below you’ll find my preview with a more in-depth look.

Support Trail to Peak by purchasing the Brooks Cascadia 11 on Amazon:
Brooks Cascadia 11 Men’s | Brooks Cascadia 11 Women’s

Brooks Cascadia 11 Shoe Review
Brooks Cascadia 11 Shoe Review

Fit and Feel:

Brooks lists the Cascadia at 11.6 oz, and it feels about as light on the foot as other Cascadia models. If you liked the fit of the v9 and v10, you should feel right at home with the v11. The last of the Cascadia is a bit too narrow for my taste, but I know there are many hikers and runner how love the feeling of precision, especially those with narrow feet.  The heel of the v11 feels very snug and secure, and the heel counter provides a nice amount of later stability. Like the narrow last, the toebox is a little narrow for my taste. I would wear a 12 in the Cascadia if not for the narrow toe box. For this reason, I wear a size 12.5. This is true to size for me, more or less. The inside of the upper for the v11 is very comfortable and did not provide an discomfort or hot-spots upon first wear.


As I mentioned in the introduction, the v11 of the Cascadia has a completely new upper that looks to fix the durability issues many wearers had with the v10. Brooks uses a breathable and durable mesh on the upper that they call ‘Element Mesh’. For foot security and stability, Brooks added microfiber and synthetic overlays. This ties in with the added lace loop (yellow) to provide a very nice ‘dialed-in’ fit. There is also an overlay rand that runs alongside the midsole on the medial and lateral side of the Cascadia to keep water and mud out of the shoe. Finally, Brooks used a sturdy and protective heel counter and toe guard to provide protection for both the front and back of the foot. The tongue on the Cascadia 11 is not fully gusseted. It is attached to the shoe, but there are gaps that can allow dirt and debris to enter.

Brooks Cascadia 11 Shoe Review
Lateral View
Brooks Cascadia 11 Shoe Review
Medial View
Brooks Cascadia 11 Shoe Review
Toe Cap


Brooks is once again using the beloved 4-pivot system on the Cascadia midsole. There aren’t a lot of changes in the midsole from previous years, and that’s probably a good thing. Brooks states the “BioMoGo DNA fuses BioMoGo midsole and DNA cushioning technology for a fully custom responsive ride that adapts to the needs of each and every runner.” Brooks also brings back the beloved Ballistic Rock Shield for forefoot protection.

Brooks Cascadia 11 Shoe Review
Heel Pivot
Brooks Cascadia 11 Shoe Review
Forefoot Pivot
Brooks Cascadia 11 Shoe Review
Rock Shield

Support Trail to Peak by purchasing the Brooks Cascadia 11 on Amazon:
Brooks Cascadia 11 Men’s | Brooks Cascadia 11 Women’s


The outsole on the Cascadia v11 is the same as the outsole from v10. The outsole of the Cascadia is what has made it such a popular choice for thru hikers. Brooks uses a very resilient rubber compound that lasts well past 400 miles, even through the tough Sierra granite here in California. The lug pattern is nice and aggressive, offering traction in all environments. To get the durability, Brooks uses a very hard outsole compound. The trade off here is that traction on slick surfaces isn’t the best. It’s a fair trade off though.

Brooks Cascadia 11 Shoe Review
Full Outsole
Brooks Cascadia 11 Shoe Review
Rear Rudder and Crash Pads

Closing Thoughts:

The Cascaida 11 looks to be a nice update to the v10, and one that Cascadia fans are sure to love. If you have a narrow foot and like a shoe that fits with precision, this could be a great choice for you.


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11 thoughts on “Gear Preview: Brooks Cascadia 11”

  1. We loved the Cascadia 7s, wore them on the AT and beyond. But now we are shopping for our PCT thru hike and I have to admit, I hate what brooks has done with both the 10 and the 11. The whole burrito wrap thing, the stretchy piece of fabric that wraps from the tongue down under your arch is terribly uncomfortable. Instead we tried on Pearl Izumis, Altras and Nike Wildhorse. We ended up going with the Altras. Everyone we have talked to has said don’t go with the Brooks… and that there are newer better shoes on the market, but that we might be seeing good things from brooks in the next couple of years… only time will tell. For now I am moving onto different brands.

    • They have departed from the DNA of the 7,8, and 9 so much with the 10 and 11. The constant need to change and innovate isn’t always a good thing in the shoe market. Did you go with the Altra Lone Peak or Superior? I saw a lot of both models on the PCT and JMT last year. I love the Lone Peak. It’s a great protective shoe and is a 10+ on the comfort scale.

  2. Awesome review, I loved the level of detail! I am in the market for a new fast trail runner for distances of 12 miles and under. Do you think the Cascadia would work or is it more of a fast hiking shoe?

    • Thanks, Grant! The Cascadia is a bit heavy, but could be used as a fast trail runner. I guess it depends on your preferences. It’s very protective and sturdy, so that might not be needed for a runs under 12 miles.

  3. Just hit 350 road/trail miles on my cascadia 11’s and am seeing the same problem as the 10. not nearly as bad, but still. i contacted brooks and they are sending me another pair, which is great. however i just wish they would go back to what worked.

  4. You know I’m having the same problems on my 9’s that really don’t get much use. Also my Brooks Beast road shoes are doing the exact same thing.

  5. My Cascadia 10s have managed over 500 miles of trail running in the soggy & boggy English Peak District, with the uppers Gorilla-taped together for half of those miles. I just ordered Cascadia 11s to replace them, and a new roll of Gorilla tape too, found the 10s so comfy I am prepared to put up with this flaw.

    I also have Brooks Beasts which have done me proud for over 500 miles of road running. Any ideas what would be a good replacement for the Beasts? So comfy, but I think I may benefit from trying a lighter shoe.

    • Thanks for the comment, Guy. There are few motion control shoes on the market like the Beast. I have a few friends who were them and try to find lighter options, only to return to the Beast shortly after.

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