This year I was fortunate enough to win a free pair of shoes from Brooks in our team lottery!! Initially I had wanted to try out the Launch, which I’ve heard are incredibly dependable trainers. However, the smallest they make them in mens are an 8 so my baby feet were not a match for them. As I’ve never owned a pair of brooks before, I asked around to see what some of my friends wore. The answers were unanimous – you have to try the Caldera 2’s out on the trails. Before I review the shoe, I will admit that I trusted the opinions of my running friends and did not do a whole lot of research myself before choosing these shoes.
When I first opened the box I was pretty surprised – wow there were a lot of different colours going on! I don’t love the design of the shoe, but it does have some neat features – improved breath-ability and more efforts to improve it’s water resistance have been greatly appreciated. It’s also an awesome shoe for anyone who is worried about injuring their feet. It has superb protection, you honestly don’t ever really feel like you’re stepping on roots and rocks out on the trails. However, this is almost a negative for me – I found myself stumbling and almost rolling my ankles a lot as I typically run in a minimal shoe. This shoe has an incredible amount of cushioning (almost felt like running in marshmallows) but because of this I was usually pretty unaware of what the ground felt like (sticks, stones, uneven surface, etc.). Maybe this is just a personal preference, but I really did not like this. I also found that the sole of the shoe was quite slippery in more muddy conditions. As mentioned above, I have baby feet. I ordered a size that was true to my regular fit but I found that while running on steep downhills my foot would actually slide around in the shoe. I used a heel lock lacing technique which did improve things, but I was still surprised given the general comfortable feel of the shoe. A huge benefit of the shoe is the weight. While the shoe looks pretty clunky and large with all of the cushioning, it is actually remarkably light. This could have also contributed to my discomfort in the shoe as it felt way lighter than it should have on my feet.
If I were to recommend this shoe to anyone, it would be someone looking to run an ultra on easy terrain. Its maximal cushioning makes you feel like you could run forever, but it’s honestly a really uncomfortable shoe if you prefer being able to feel the ground with your feet. Overall, I can tell that these shoes have great promise, I just don’t think we were a good match.
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Thanks for the read,