Brooks Cascadia 16 vs. Caldera 5 (2022)

Brooks Cascadia 16 vs. Caldera 5

Historically, these two trail running shoes have always occupied different positions in the Brooks collection.

The Brooks Cascadia is a more responsive, more agile, less cushioned shoe with a superior grip for technical trails.

The Caldera, on the other hand, has a higher stack for more cushioning. Thus, shock absorption and overall comfort are better for longer distances. However, naturally, this reduces the underfoot ground feel.

Cascadia vs. Caldera: which one should you choose?

It all depends on the level of comfort you are after, the distances you plan to cover and the types of trails you’ll be running.

For very technical trails, the Cascadia is the better choice.

For long runs in comfort with optimal cushioning, the Caldera seems more suitable.

If you’re not sure which one to choose and can’t decide, then opt for the Cascadia which is more versatile with their better grip.

Also, the latest model (16) is more cushioned than ever before in the series, resulting in a softer, smoother ride that is much closer to the Caldera than in the past.

Side-by-side comparison

Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
More cushioned without losing ground feel; the Brooks Cascadia 16 is a very good trail running shoe that offers comfort and protection for all conditions
Great comfort
Very good grip on all terrains
Softer, more flexible cushioning that continues to provide a good ground feel
Durable shoe
Looser upper for wide feet, without compromising on fit for others
Still a bit heavy, even if it’s finally under 10.6 oz/300 g
The Brooks Caldera 5 is a comfortable high-stack trail running shoe for long distances.
Good overall comfort
Effective cushioning
Great grip on most terrains
Good protection from rocks
Versatile shoe
Heavyweight
Forefoot fit tricky according to some runners
Not so stable on very technical terrains

Brooks Cascadia 16

Brooks Caldera 5

Technical Specs

TerrainTrailTrail
Pronation typeNeutralNeutral
Drop8 mm4 mm
Lugs3.5 mm5 mm
Heel stack height29 mm27 mm
Forefoot stack height21 mm23 mm
Weight (men)298 g/10.5 oz272 g/9.6 oz
Weight (women)269 g/9.5 oz237 g/8.35 oz
Release year20212022
FeaturesGaiter attachment point, Available in GTX, Toe bumper, Wide feet, Rock plate, VeganRock plate, Toe bumper, Available in GTX, Gaiter attachment point

Technologies

OutsoleTrailTackPWRTRAC
MidsoleBallistic Rock Shield, DNA Loft v2PWRRUN
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh

Cushioning

Softness (1-5)4 – Soft2 – Firm
Bounce (1-5)3 – Moderate4 – Bouncy

Use

SpeedAllModerate, fast
DistanceMid, long, ultramarathonShort, mid
WorkoutDaily runsCompetition, daily runs