Who should buy the Brooks Caldera 6

Don't skip the sixth edition of the Brooks Caldera if you're looking to buy a: 

  • responsive and protective trail shoe for long miles
  • road-to-trail option that provides a highly stable ride

Brooks Caldera 6 brooks logo

Who should NOT buy it

If you're a narrow-footed runner, try the Brooks Divide or the Brooks Cascadia 14. These are on the snugger side when it comes to fit. 

Brooks Caldera 6 forefoot

And if you want something for the mud, try out the Brooks Cascadia 15 GTX

Brooks Caldera 6 vs. 5: A worthy upgrade

Retooled from top to bottom, all experts agree that the Caldera—now on its sixth version—is in its best form yet. To achieve this, Brooks has implemented the following changes:

  • a more responsive ride
  • lighter weight (from 306 grams/10.8 oz. to 301 grams/10.6 oz. in US M 9)
  • new outsole layout that offers better traction

Brooks Caldera 6 heel mesh

A tank for the miles ahead

Almost all testers agree that the Brooks Caldera 6 has "lots of cushioning;" they barely feel the ground underneath. It prioritizes protection and comfort; they even say that a rock plate is not necessary for this trail runner. 

Brooks Caldera 6 max cushion

On rough and rocky terrains, the Caldera does a great job muting out the harshness underneath. With its size and level of protection, trail runners compare it to the massive Hoka Stinson ATR 6 and the Altra Olympus 4.0

Confidence-inspiring grip

Thanks to the shoe's new outsole, many Caldera fans feel more surefooted than ever. The new and improved multi-directional outsole pattern "bites better" than the previous iteration; they say they feel "more confident" running on moderately technical terrains. 

Brooks Caldera 6 grip

And on slick surfaces, it's just as tacky. 

Move steadily with the Caldera 6

Apart from the shoe's grip, the form-fitting upper and the midfoot saddle keep the foot locked in place. And in the rear, there's some serious padding going on that doubles down the security of the shoe.

Brooks Caldera 6 padded heel

Long-time Caldera fans state that this version corrects all the heel slips of the past. Even better, the Brooks Caldera 6 encourages surefootedness on rocky, challenging trail surfaces. 

Experience an energetic run

Like the Brooks Aurora-BL, this shoe also sports the brand's DNA Loft V3 midsole. And on the run, this translates to a "livelier," "more responsive" ride. So much so, reviewers say it's "one of the most fun" trail shoes out there. 

Brooks Caldera 6 ride

On top of this, it's a lighter version, making it a ton more enjoyable. 

It's easy to pick up the pace

Despite its chunky design, many still find it suitable for occasional fast runs, thanks to its energetic ride, lighter weight, and efficient transitions. 

Brooks Caldera 6 protection

A strain-free ride

The midsole is neither too soft nor too hard. It's just the right balance of both; the majority claim that it takes care of their feet. Even more, the upper is soft; abrasions and blisters should be the least of your worries. 

Brooks Caldera 6 comfort

Welcomes foot swelling

Compared to past versions of the Caldera, this one has a roomier toe box, which is why experts find it fitting enough for ultras. 

Brooks Caldera 6 toe box

However, this has been an issue for narrow-footed runners. According to them, it's "too roomy" up front to feel truly secure, especially during long descents. 

With better quality comes bigger price

Given the updates made to the Caldera 6, its price goes from $140 to $150. However, this is a price increase that many consider reasonable for the quality the shoe offers. 

Brooks Caldera 6 lacing

Some things are worth letting go

And this is especially true for mud. However, this is where this shoe falls short. The lugs, despite how grippy, collect and retain mud. This doesn't just make it heavier; it also hurts the shoe's traction. 

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Trail
Weight: Men 301g / Women 266g
Drop: 6mm
Arch support: Neutral
Pronation: Neutral Pronation / Supination / Underpronation
Arch type: High arch
Material: Mesh upper

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Brooks Caldera 6 video reviews

Jens Jakob Andersen
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.