Brooks Caldera 7 Review

Shoe type: Trail

Heel Drop: 6mm

Support: Neutral

Sizing: True to size

Cushioning: High, plush


At first glance, these shoes almost made me drool. I fell in love with the colours and design instantly, and felt very happy to get my hands on a pair! This was my first time using Brooks for a few years – an old model of Glycerins were my PB marathon shoe but for some reason I never delved into their trail range. The regrets are BIG because these are truly great.



I put them on the scales to compare against my other trail shoes of the same size and they pretty much matched up. These were 242g in size 5, which kind of shocked me considering the stack height and sheer size of the shoe in general. 


Sizing and Comfort

In terms of sizing, I tend to go half a size up in trail shoes (5.5), but these were a 5 (like my usual road shoes) and fit perfectly. I also usually go for a wide fit where I can, so I worried slightly when these didn’t have the option, but was happy to find the toe box allowed me to fully splay. I didn’t experience any hotspots whatsoever on the first wear, which is always a relief, and I feel like they almost moulded to my foot by the end of the run, they were that comfy.


Other notable qualities when first trying them on was that they laced up tightly and felt like they hugged my feet. They have a gusseted tongue which keeps your foot secure in the shoe so it doesn’t move around too much (preventing rubbing and blisters)! The laces are also a good, long length and you can actually double knot and use the extra hole for runners knot – something I struggle to do with most other shoes!



I wanted to test them over a mixture of terrain to see how they fared, so I headed to a hilly park after a few bouts of heavy rain. 


As hard as I cringed getting these lovely things caked on their first outing, I sucked it up and gave them a good run over dry dirt, slick mud, sand, grass, and puddles. I even ran 6 miles to and from the park on pavement – this is where I first discovered how sticky the traction was. Not sure if it’s a thing for all trail runners, but the sound of sticky traction is music to my ears. I found myself totally relaxed on every incline and descent, and could keep a good pace through the wetter sections, fully trusting the shoe. They gripped amazingly well on everything I put them through – usually shoes either shine on dry/loose dirt OR wet/thick mud, but these scored high across the board.


The chevron lugs are deep and tacky, but with a firmness that suggests a good level of durability. Time will tell how quickly they wear down, but I have very high hopes.

Responsiveness and Cushioning

On flatter sections of dirt and gravel these shoes came into their own. Running felt smooth and effortless, and I honestly could have just kept going and going. The energy return is absolutely palpable; my legs felt springy and fresh right to the end of the run. The DNA LOFT midsole foam was so soft and comfy, cushioning every step like a cloud. For day to day running I often pick shoes with minimal stack height as I love the close-to-the-ground feel, but for longer distances I always seek out a bit more softness and protection underfoot. If you’ve done anything over 50 miles, you’ll know shoe choice plays a huge part in holding off that bruised, battered feeling for as long as possible, and I feel like the Calderas would do that successfully.


I didn’t have any problems going over a few rocks and tree roots, and felt nimble and light-footed changing direction and skipping over minor obstacles. I’d have zero hesitation picking these for my next trail marathon or ultra, and am super keen to give them a go on some proper techy mountain paths!



I feel like these shoes do everything a long distance trail shoe should do. I would massively recommend these for any run or race where you need confidence in their grip and comfort, mile after mile, whatever the weather. I’m definitely putting these into my regular rotation and can’t wait to take them on more adventures.


Shop Caldera 7


We also took these shoes for a spin at our Henley Trails event and filmed it for you below 🙂