Brooks Cascadia 16 vs. Hoka Speedgoat 4 (2022)
The two titans of trail running face to face! The choice between these two shoes is not an easy one as they both have their strong points and intended use.
Overall, the upper’s lockdown and volume of the Brooks Cascadia make it more comfortable, especially if you have wide feet. However, this comfort comes at a price: the lockdown is slightly less effective than with the Hoka Speedgoat and its stricter upper.
If you’re going to be speeding downhill on treacherous trails, the Hoka seems more secure.
In terms of cushioning and underfoot feel, both shoes feature a generous stack (29 mm heel height for the Cascadia, 32 mm for the Speedgoat). However, the Cascadia comes with rock plate, which significantly improves comfort, especially during long runs.
Finally, in terms of grip, while the Cascadia provides effective traction on the vast majority of terrains, testers note that the Speedgoat is still superior in this regard.
Cascadia vs. Speedgoat: which one should you choose?
Think of these shoes as complementary models: the Brooks Cascadia for comfort on moderately technical terrain and the Hoka Speedgoat for tougher routes with lots of challenging descents.
If in doubt, you can start with the Cascadia and add to your rotation later if you feel the need.
Also, if you have wide feet, the Speedgoat may not be compatible (to be tested).
Very good grip on all terrains
Softer, more flexible cushioning that continues to provide a good ground feel
Looser upper for wide feet, without compromising on fit for others
Maximum cushioning and responsive at the same time
New upper with a broader toe area
Robust, durable design
Versatile: even though the SG4 excels above all on rugged terrain, it will also be suitable for small dirt roads with no particular technical skills.
Brooks Cascadia 16
Hoka Speedgoat 4
|Drop||8 mm||4 mm|
|Lugs||3.5 mm||5 mm|
|Heel stack height||29 mm||32 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||21 mm||28 mm|
|Weight (men)||298 g/10.5 oz||307 g/10.8 oz|
|Weight (women)||269 g/9.5 oz||261 g/9.2 oz|
|Features||Gaiter attachment point, Available in GTX, Toe bumper, Wide feet, Rock plate, Vegan||Available in GTX, Toe cap, Wide feet|
|Outsole||TrailTack||Vibram Megagrip Hi-Traction, 5 mm lugs, flex grooves|
|Midsole||Ballistic Rock Shield, DNA Loft v2||Injection-molded EVA foam, Balanced Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry|
|Upper||Engineered mesh||Engineered mesh, overlays, structural cage, reinforced toe cap|
|Softness (1-5)||4 – Soft|
|Bounce (1-5)||3 – Moderate|
|Distance||Mid, long, ultramarathon||Mid, long, 10k, half marathon, marathon, ultramarathon|
|Workout||Daily runs||Daily runs, recovery, speed|
Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner’s Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He’s also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.