24 best Brooks trail running shoes

Based on reviews from 166 experts and 3,193 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to Brooks trail running shoes. Updated Apr 2020.

  • Trail
  • Brooks
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  1. Any color
    Brooks Caldera 3 - Blue/Grey/Navy
    Brooks Caldera 3 - Black Grey Nightlife
    Brooks Caldera 3 - Grey/Brick/Navy
    $140 $85 Save 39%
  2. Any color
    Brooks Cascadia 13 - Grey/Black/Orange
    Brooks Cascadia 13 - Grey/Blue/Ebony
    Brooks Cascadia 13 - Black/Nightlife/Blue
    $130 $70 Save 46%
  3. Any color
    Brooks Cascadia 13 GTX - Black/Red/Tan
    $160 $76 Save 53%
  4. Any color
    $120 $66 Save 45%
  5. Any color
    $160 $130 Save 19%
  6. $140 $80 Save 43%
  7. Any color
  8. Any color
  9. No offers available

  10. No offers available

  11. Any color
  12. $120 $100 Save 17%

Performance meets style in running shoe collections manufactured by Brooks, a globally-recognized sports company that continues to be highlighted in 100,000+ shoe reviews in terms of fitness. If you are curious how the best Brooks trail shoes can improve your running regime, read more or start comparing shoes through our reviews.

Features of the best Brooks trail running shoes

Trail shoes are favored by those who want to explore the rugged topography. As opposed to road shoes, they feature aggressive treading patterns, durable lugs, better traction and grip and even debris-proof features to keep the elements away from the foot. The best Brooks trail shoes are expected to have a combination of protection, comfort, and performance to thrill fitness enthusiasts and athletes made for the outdoors.

Below are the characteristics that set the best Brooks trail shoes from others:

  • Aggressive outsole. The level of traction and grip is high in the best Brooks trail shoes. With aggressive patterns and lugs, these shoes provide better balance on uneven terrain. They also allow runners to facilitate an efficient gait cycle, given that they check their pronation and use the right type of shoe to control it.
  • Waterproof/Water-repellent coverage. Some of the best Brooks trail shoes are weatherproof. There are shoe technologies that make a platform resistant to water while being well-ventilated. There are also pairs that seal the shoe off from snow or wind, making them suitable for colder climates. The best Brooks trail shoes may or may not have waterproof features, so do not forget to read reviews or ask shoe experts. The GTX (Gore-Tex) membrane is a popular component in trail shoes, especially in the Brooks performance line.
  • Durable material. Trail running shoes should be made from durable materials to survive technical terrains. The best trail shoe is durable enough to last when used on stony paths, muddy grounds, and rugged mountain ranges. It is also well-cushioned to provide protection against slight irregularities on the trail.
  • Reliable foot protection. Trail runners need a lot of protection against mud and sharp rocks. Some Brooks trail running shoes offer reliable foot protection. Some technologies include the rock plate, mudguards, and toe bumper.
  • Versatile design. Versatility can be observed in the best Brooks trail shoes. They are not only designed to take on rugged terrains but even grounds as well. If you like doing mixed trail and track runs, better find off-road pairs.

Brooks trail running shoes: Technologies and materials

best brooks trail running shoes
Best Brooks trail running shoes - November 2019

Brooks men’s and women’s trail running shoes have the protection, grip, stability, and cushioning for a satisfying performance while traversing off-road terrain. Some of the technologies and materials incorporated into their shoes are the following:

Sticky Rubber Compound

This outsole material offers durability and traction. It provides protection on high-wear areas and durable grip on varied trail surfaces. Brooks trail shoes with this kind of outsole material won’t disappoint runners who are traversing the unpredictable trail paths.

3D Hex-shaped Lugs

Aggressive lug pattern found in some Brooks trail running shoes. The 3D Hex lugs provide unmatched grip, allowing runners to confidently tackle both muddy and rocky surfaces.


The BioMoGo DNA is a notable midsole foam from Brooks that is made from biodegradable materials. It aims to provide runners with long-lasting comfort. Trail shoes with this kind of cushioning offers responsiveness and flexibility throughout the run, which will result in a more satisfying ride.

Propulsion Plate

This material provides a stable platform while enhancing propulsion during toe-off.  It also gives added durability to the shoe. This thin layer is strategically placed in the forefoot midsole.

HPR Green

Brooks uses the HPR (High-Performance Rubber) Green outsole material in some of their best trail running shoes. This high-density carbon rubber delivers durability while increasing traction. It functions well on both dry and wet surfaces.

3D Rubber Print Mud Guard

It is a protective element found in the upper of the Brooks trail running shoe. The purpose of the 3D Rubber Print Mud Guard is to provide foot protection against water, mud, and dirt exposure. The printed rubber is lightweight in nature and does not affect the overall fit of the shoe.

Ballistic Rock Shield

It is a thermoplastic sheath placed in between the outsole and midsole. It disperses landing impact over a larger area. It acts as a protective layer that shields the foot from rocks and other hazardous objects. This durable layer remains to be flexible and light.

GTX (Gore-Tex)

A lightweight and durable material used to provide the foot a waterproof coverage. This material is found in some waterproof running shoes.

Trail shoe models from Brooks

Brooks is a reliable name when it comes to running shoes. The brand manufactures both road and trail shoes for men and women. Below are the best trail running shoes from Brooks:

Brooks Cascadia

The Brooks Cascadia is a rugged, trail running shoe available for both men and women. The latest version, the Brooks Cascadia 13, features a comfortable and protective coverage. The midsole employs the BioMoGo DNA midsole for responsive and comfortable cushioning. It also has the Ballistic Rock Shield for underfoot protection. In the outsole of the shoe is the HPR Green which provides durability and traction for varied trail surfaces.

The Cascadia 13 is available in a waterproof version. It uses a Gore-Tex membrane in its upper for a waterproof coverage. This shoe offers the same level of comfort, protection, and grip from its non-waterproof version.

Brooks Caldera

The Caldera model is the newest addition to the Brooks trail shoe line-up designed for daily running. Now on its 2nd version, the Caldera still delivers reliable cushioning and comfortable foot wrap.

The midsole features the BioMoGo DNA foam for a comfortable and responsive ride. It has a lightweight construction and offers durable cushioning throughout the run.

In the upper of the Brooks Caldera 2 is the Ariaprene mesh, which offers breathability and comfortable coverage. This material is also more durable than other upper materials.

For outsole durability and traction, the shoe uses a sticky rubber compound with a rugged design. The 3D hex-shaped lugs deliver grip and added durability.

Brooks Mazama

The Brooks Mazama model is the lightest and fastest trail shoe from the brand. The latest version of the model, the Brooks Mazama 2, features an updated outsole. The new sticky rubber material aims to provide runners with a durable and protective outsole. This material also gives added grip on varied surfaces.

To provide the foot a dry and comfortable environment, the shoe uses a single-layer mesh that drains water quickly. It also offers superb breathability and flexible wrap.

This trail running shoe also has a lace garage to secure the laces, keeping them clean and out of the way.

Brooks PureGrit

The PureGrit model is a reliable trail running shoe that is available in affordable price. The Brooks PureGrit 7 has a lightweight design with breathable upper and durable construction.

Designed for daily trail running,  the shoe uses a sticky rubber outsole for durability. The 3D lugs, in hexagon shapes, offer grip on varied trail surfaces.

Just like the other Brooks trail running shoes, the midsole is equipped with BioMoGo DNA for durable and responsive cushioning. It also has the Ballistic Rock Shield for protection against sharp trail elements.

Overall, the Brooks PureGrit 7, has received a lot of positive feedback from trail runners. If you need an affordable trail shoe, you must give this shoe model a try.

Frequently asked questions

Are Brooks trail running shoes expensive?

Yes, they are a bit expensive but not as expensive as compared to other premium trail running shoes from Salomon, Altra, and Hoka One One. The prices of the Brooks trail shoes are considered average by some trail runners and hikers.

Are Brooks trail shoes good for walking?

Yes, they will work fine on paved surfaces or on a treadmill. Brooks trail shoes have durable outsole and comfortable cushioning, but it is still advisable to wear a walking shoe. You should try the Addiction Walker, a popular shoe from Brooks designed for walking.

What is the best Brooks trail running shoe for men?

The Brooks Cascadia 13 is a reliable trail running shoe. The shoe has a reliable upper, grippy outsole, and durable midsole. Women can also wear this use because it is available in men’s and women’s sizing.  It is also available in a waterproof version.

Can I purchase a waterproof trail shoe from Brooks?

Yes, the Brooks Cascadia 13 GTX is a reliable waterproof trail shoe. Most users lauded the shoe’s waterproof upper, grippy outsole and comfortable cushioning. The shoe is more expensive compared to its non-waterproof version.

Does Brooks trail shoes run small?

Brooks generally recommends runners to purchase shoes 1/2 size to one size larger than the usual sizing. It is also advisable to visit a local store and fit the shoe before actually purchasing a pair.

Can I use a trail shoe on the road?

Yes, users can use a trail shoe on the road. But, you have to consider that trail shoes are constructed for off-road runs. Trail shoes are necessarily heavy, especially if their outsoles are made from pure carbon rubber. However, if you want to go for a road running shoe, there are other alternatives available on the market.

8 best Brooks trail running shoes

  1. Brooks Cascadia 14
  2. Brooks Caldera 4
  3. Brooks Divide
  4. Brooks Caldera 3
  5. Brooks PureGrit 7
  6. Brooks Cascadia 13
  7. Brooks PureGrit 8
  8. Brooks Cascadia 14 GTX
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

This shoe has recently been added to RunRepeat. There are still not enough reviews for us to assign it a CoreScore.
A score from 1 to 100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts. The average CoreScore is 78. More...