I’ve known about the Brooks Caldera 6 and previous models, but it’s never been a shoe I’ve tried. For no real reason, I haven’t. I have been looking for a more cushioned trail shoe for easy runs on the trails and sand. I’ve been a big fan of the Brooks Glycerin 20, so I decided to try the Caldera.
Brooks Caldera 6 Quick Facts:
Weight: 9.9 oz
Heel to Toe Drop: 6 mm
Brooks Caldera 6 Introduction:
The Caldera 6 has been given a fairly substantial update. It’s always been the Brooks high cushion and “premium” trail shoe but now even more so. It gains 2 mm of drop and has the DNA Loft v3 cushioning. It’s one of the more plush trail shoes without being bulky. There is a market for high-cushioned trail shoes and it seems to be growing. Or maybe I’m just reviewing more (see: Hoka Mafate 4).
Brooks Caldera 6 Fit:
The Brooks Caldera 6 features a quick-drying air mesh upper that wraps around your foot. The thick tongue and heel collar create extra comfort. Brtooks has always been well known for a very comfortable fit and a shoe that disappears off your foot. (Which is what you want).
I believe the best running shoes disappear off your feet, and the Brooks Caldera 6 does just that. You don’t have to worry about anything irritating your feet. The wide toebox gives your foot plenty of room to breathe, and the plush heel creates comfort on your foot.
Specialized in trail shoes, the Caldera 6 also has attachments to secure trail gaters to keep extra debris out.
Typically I wear a size 10-11 wide in running shoes, and the Brooks Caldera 6 size 10.5 fits perfectly. I must admit Brooks running shoes *usually,* the most true to the size of any brand. The exception was the Glycerin but thankfully, it’s been updated to be true to size.
Brooks Caldera 6 Ride:
The Caldera 6 is designed as a premium trail running shoe. If you want more cushion with trail running (for whatever reason, you like it or running super long, the Caldera 6 is designed for that).
The Caldera uses nitrogen-infused DNA Loft v3 cushioning. This is the same cushioning used in the Brooks Glycerin 20 and gives the shoes a soft yet smooth ride that adapts to your stride. They are light and, even with the cushion, aren’t bulky.
The split-heel outsole looks goofy but allows more stability. Are the Brooks Caldera 6 a stable shoe? No, but the wider base and split-heel allow for more stability.
Traction and Durability: Arguably, the most critical component of trail shoes. If the trail shoe doesn’t have good traction, what’s the point? Brooks road shoes are known for their traction, and the Caldera 6 is just as good. The TrailTack rubber outsole provides grip and traction to keep you grounded. The TPU toe cap also provides extra protection against debris on the trail.
Brooks is always well known for making durable shoes, and the Brooks Caldera 6 is no different. I’ve put about 100 miles on them and expect they’ll get their entire 300-400 miles.
I wasn’t sure what kind of trails I would use or need the Caldera 6 on. It responds to almost everything: loose rock, smooth, easy runnable trail, and even wet and more technical track. It is a jack-of-all-trades trail shoe. If you’re running long (like an ultra) or prefer more cushion in your trail shoe, it’s definitely one of my top choices. I’m not running more than 10-12 on trails right now, but I enjoy the extra cushion, and my body feels less.
The Brooks Caldera Caldera 6 vs. Brooks Caldera 5:
The Caldera has always been the most cushioned trail shoe from Brooks, but Caldera 6 has even more cushion and is softer than previous versions (all thanks to the DNA Loft v3 foam). The extra 2 mm heel to drop (from 4 mm to 6 mm) adds extra cushion and softness. You don’t notice the difference too much. I had no idea until I read a tech sheet that it had two more mm of drop.
Brooks Caldera 6 Conclusion:
I think this is one of Brooks’s better updates. Brooks has done many great things over the years, especially in 2022, but the Caldera 6 is a great trail shoe. There is plenty of cushion without it feeling bulky or heavy. If you’re looking for a multipurpose trail shoe or a trail shoe that can handle all different types of terrain, the Caldera 6 is a good option.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
Easy/Daily Runs: New Balance 1080v12, Diadora Mythos Blushield Volo, Saucony Triumph 19, Brooks Launch 9,
Speed Work: Brooks Hyperion Elite 3, Altra Vanish Carbon, 361 Flame, Nike Tempo Next%, Reebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Nike ZoomX Streakfly, Reebok Floatride Energy X
Long Runs: Saucony Freedom 4, Hoka Clifton Edge,
Trail Running/Hiking: Brooks Caldera 6, Saucony Peregrine 12, Hoka Torrent 2, Hoka Zinal Shoe, Speedland SL: PDX,
Races: Nike ZoomX Streakfly, Asics Metaspeed Sky, Hoka One One Rocket X, adidas Adizero Pro, New Balance Fuelcell 5280, Nike Next%, Saucony Endorphin Pro 2, Reebok Run fast Pro
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
Are you looking to learn more about running shoes? My ebook talks about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths about running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the Brooks Caldera?
What is your favorite trail shoe?