BROOKS UNVEILS ITS LATEST TRAIL SHOE
By Jonel Mendoza
The CALDERA is Brooks’ latest trail shoe, coming off an already impressive line of trail shoe models (Cascadia and Pure Grit) currently offered in the market. I wore it in a mountain marathon held a month back, after a mere 20-kilometer break-in.
At first glance, the shoe appears beefy, and this is where the surprise comes. It was not as heavy as I thought it would be after getting it out of the box and eventually slipping into the pair. Not exactly light as a feather, but its actual weight vis-a-vis its appearance is noteworthy.
The Caldera is cushioned generously without much added poundage. The 4mm soles provide a softer landing of the feet upon impact but are not exaggeratedly thick to the point that you can no longer feel the ground. I could still get a good grasp of what’s under my feet. The lug pattern is designed purposely, it seems, for generally dry conditions, for I experienced good traction going both up and down gravel and dirt surfaces when they were dry. However, I found that the lugs are not deep enough to tackle mud and soft ground effectively.
Its forefoot area is somewhat accommodating; therefore those with wider feet should find this shoe, compared to other models, more comfortable to wear. The probability of having dead toenails, hot spots and blisters may be eliminated to some extent.
The shoe also has a nice velcro attachment for those who use gaiters. Another neat add-on is the lace compartment placed on the upper part of the tongue where you can fold your laces into. This helps prevent the laces from getting undone or tangled while you’re running.
I did not find traces of plastic on the exterior of this shoe. Besides not looking good on shoes, plastic would usually break or peel out first when the shoe gets wet then is left to dry out in the sun, or generally, when you venture into trails. The uppers look sturdy enough to withstand brushes with rocks and fallen twigs.
With its impressive features inside and out, the Caldera delivers. You can tell a lot of research went into the making of this shoe – a combination of the latest technology with some serious consideration for real runners’ needs. I think this shoe model will go a long way and earn its own loyal clientele, just like the Cascadia and Pure Grit that came before it.
Overall, I’d say the Caldera would be ideal for an ultra distance race, daily training runs, or even a recovery run owing to its enhanced soles which will help ease the effects of heavy foot pounding.
The shoe is now available in the Philippines at Runnr and selected Toby’s stores.