Ultra distance runners tend to have a harder time finding trail shoes that can go that extra mile. The Brooks Caldera 4 succeeds as a very maximal low-drop shoe that is designed to offer a highly-cushioned smooth feel even if you’re going the distance. You simply cannot negate the importance of both whether you’re a distance runner or someone who just likes going on short runs on average trails. With ample protection and adequate traction, this may be one of Brooks’ best trail offerings yet.
Protection that Goes the Extra Mile
Both distance runners and short-trail runners can agree that protection is paramount in enjoying your run. What makes Brooks Caldera 4 such a top contender is their BioMoGo DNA EVA foam which is used in the shoe’s midsole. With ample stack height, the shoe itself is still very flexible and easy to wear. The inclusion of the foam in the midsole offers up significant protection against roots, rocks, trail debris, and anything else you may encounter along the way. Aside from protection, you’re also getting a very responsive shoe. Navigating a section of trail is easy, especially if you want to pick up speed gradually over a long distance.
Larger Lugs for Ample Traction
Before we touch on traction, let’s speak on durability. This is a highly durable shoe with mesh uppers that adequately secure the foot. Heel fit is snug with zero slop, while the forefoot still provides ample toe splay for stable landing. We found that the shoe handles water crossing with ease, shedding water like a pro and drying fairly quickly after water encounters. In terms of traction, this is a shoe that stands up to most terrain. Though you may not want to tackle mountainous regions or rough trails, this is a shoe well-suited for what you’re going to encounter on most trails. Sticky TrailTack rubber and innovative large lugs spaced far apart allow for zero mud build-up and a firm grip on all trails.
Pick Up Speed With Extra Responsiveness
Distance runners often crave a type of responsiveness that many shoes cannot bear. The Brooks Caldera 4 offers superb responsiveness that allows runners to easily pick up speed without compromising stability or traction. There is also no shortage of cushion if that’s what you crave. For trail runners who need plenty of cushions, you’re getting a 4mm drop and three more inches of stack height than the previous generation. These shoes will require a bit of break-in time as they may feel a bit tight on wider feet upon first wear. However, once broken-in the cushioning in the heel-collar, mid-sole, and forefront provide ample responsiveness and a cradled foot feel.
Overall, this is a shoe that should work well for most runners after a brief break-in period. Brooks had updated this shoe to make a lightweight and stable trail runner with multi-use capacity.