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Trail Running Shoes • March 7, 2024

Why the Brooks Caldera 7 is the Perfect Long-Haul Shoe


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What You Need To Know


10.6 oz (300 g) for a US M9,

9.4 oz. (266 g) for a US W8

Stack Height / Drop

26 mm in heel, 20 mm in forefoot (6 mm drop), midsole only

Best For

Long distances over varied technical terrain, from running to thru-hiking

Key Features

TPEE Air Mesh upper, TrailTack Green outsole with 4 mm lugs, DNA Loft v3 supercritical midsole, bathtub-style construction

Price / Availability

$150, available now

Special Promotion

Buy any Brooks running trail shoe and get 15% off anything in the High Point Apparel Collection at

Brooks Caldera 7 - women pink black 1

Brooks Caldera 7

Introducing the Brooks Caldera 7

As we look ahead to the coming days of spring, the melt of snow, and the arrival of all things new, we also look forward to all the adventures of the coming seasons.

For some, that means an uptick in trail races on the schedule, anything from short distances to ultramarathon treks. For others, a hike in the woods will suffice, and maybe that hike will take you on a point-to-point journey from Springer Mountain to Mount Katahdin. 

Whatever your goal, we can all agree that good footwear is key to morale and overarching success on any outdoor excursion. While some shoes are designed for certain purposes (i.e. race day or recovery), others can handle it all. From technical terrain to long hauls over longer distances, these shoes are the beasts of burden that hold up to anything you throw at them, making them worth their weight in gold.

One of those shoes is the Brooks Caldera 7.


brooks caldera 7 - the running event

Brooks Caldera 7 (men)

All About the Brooks Caldera 7

When we’re looking for a shoe that can go forever through different types of climates and terrain, we need something that offers both comfort and versatility. A shoe that won’t slip on wet rocks or roots after/through a rainstorm, that will drain quickly, that will keep the legs fresh after traveling long distances with high elevation, and that will hug the foot just right to prevent blisters.

For seven versions, the Brooks Caldera has pretty much tried to do all of those things, providing a working class effort in a comfort package for runners everywhere. In short, it’s a max cushion shoe designed to get runners and hikers from point A to point B over long distances.

We’ve reviewed several of those versions, and I personally ran a 50K in both the Caldera 6 and the Caldera 7. I can tell you from experience that the newest version builds on the Caldera foundation and its past successes, but dials in key components of the shoe in an effort to maximize its versatility and potential. 

brooks caldera 7 heel vert

Snug and secure fit

brooks caldera 7 outsole vert

TrailTrack Green rubber outsole

Starting with the upper, an external cage provides a secure and adaptable fit, with the air mesh providing breathability. A toe bumper keeps your toes safe from kicked rocks and debris.

Underfoot, a soft, nitrogen-infused DNA Loft v3 midsole gives a responsive ride with some ground feel without sacrificing comfort. High sidewalls give a touch of added stability, as does the wider platform. 

A TrailTack Green rubber outsole provides a sticky grip over most any terrain and is made of 25% recycled materials.

All of this comes together in a fairly lightweight package (10.6 oz. for a US M9), especially for a rugged trail running/hiking shoe.

brooks caldera 7 heel

Higher sidewalls give added stability

Why The Brooks Caldera 7 is Perfect for Pretty Much Anything

Out of the box, I ran a 33-mile fatass race in this shoe, which featured a good deal of elevation over a mix of roads and technical trail that became quite muddy as the weather warmed up. It exceeded my expectations for every part of the course.

The TPEE upper locked my foot down very securely, much better than the last version where I had some movement in the forefoot. The high sidewalls keep the foot over the shoe, providing needed stability in a high stack package. Speaking of high stack, the large volume of midsole foam really does provide all the comfort you need. It’s not squishy soft, and it shouldn’t be– you want to feel the ground you’re treading on. But it gives great energy return when running and solid cushion while hiking. 

And then there’s the outsole, which is tacky and grippy thanks to the TrailTack Green rubber used by Brooks. It can pretty much roll over anything, so you may feel like you’re going overlanding; however, instead of a tricked-out Tacoma, you have a 4×4 trail shoe in the Caldera 7.

Shop The Shoe

brooks caldera 7 - shop transport gtx - shop women
Shop Brooks Caldera 7 Men
brooks caldera 7 - women shop
Shop Brooks Caldera 7 Women

Why You Should Buy the Caldera 7

If you’re looking for a durable and rugged trail shoe for your next ultra or thru-hike, or you just love getting out on the weekends for some timber vibes, then you really can’t go wrong with the Caldera 7. We reviewed this shoe back in January and all four of our reviewers came to the consensus that this is one of the best trail shoes money can buy right now. 

Bonus: If you do pick up the Caldera 7 (or any trail running shoe) on, you can also take 15% off anything in the High Point Apparel Collection, which includes the High Point Waterproof Jacket, High Point 2-in-1 Short, High Point Short Sleeve, and more (check out our review of that collection as well).

Whatever you decide, enjoy those trails and the lushness of spring as it arrives in all its glory.

Save 15%

Brooks High Point Apparel Collection


Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Jeff says:

    True, all of this…mostly. You mentioned the toe bumper. And in that lies my rub with the Calera 7, literally. The toe protection is so stout it left me with blisters and pain on the medial side of my big toes. I had a similar experience in the newer Cascades. After 50 miles mine did not soften up and putting Leukotape on just to go for an hour run seemed ridiculous.
    I’m jealous this shoe worked for you, it’s amazing and I really really liked all other components of this trail cruiser/ultramarathon shoe. Drainage, grip, midsole are all top notch. Give it a try, hope they fit your feet. Don’t buy if you experience rubbing from the get go, it will not change.

    1. Robbe says:

      Sorry you had that experience. In our full review, one of our guys did note that he had some irritation. I think it depends on the foot shape, I know I get some rubbing on some brands in particular, but I personally didn’t have any issues with the Caldera 7.

  2. Frank Field says:

    Wow, you really made me want to take a second look at this shoe. The first time I looked at it (I think the 5), I thought it looked ridiculous and like I would destroy it after 30 miles. I opted for Salomon. Then, I tried the Caldera’s stablemate, the Catamount, which carried me 50 miles over and through the Rockies. Same with the Catamount 2. The Caldera reminds me of the Yellowstone caldera (google it), but that “bathtub” still looks wonky to me. I guess I will just have to dive in and try now. Maybe looks can be deceiving.

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