Shoe Review: Brooks Caldera 6
Enjoy maximum cushioning for endless miles in the new Brooks Caldera 6.
The Brooks Caldera 6 is Brooks’ most cushioned trail shoe yet, thanks to a plush bed of nitrogen-infused DNA Loft v3 foam. The cushioned midsole reacts to your unique stride, while a wide platform and multidirectional lugs provide stability and traction.
Our Fleet Feet reviewers tested Brooks’ latest creation on the trails and added it to our list of Best Trail Running Shoes of 2022. Here’s an in-depth look at the Brooks Caldera 6.
Brooks Caldera 6
Brooks Caldera 5
9.9 oz (W), 11.3 oz (M)
9.4 oz (W), 10.6 oz (M)
Brooks Caldera 6 Offers Comfort, Support for Trail Running
Trail running isn’t for the faint of heart. Traversing over rocks and roots, running up and down mountains and even through the occasional stream is no easy feat. But the Brooks Caldera 6 is there to offer plush cushioning and comfortable support while you’re hard at work on the trails.
Built on a bed of Brooks’ nitrogen-infused DNA Loft v3 cushioning, the Brooks Caldera 6 keeps your legs feeling fresh while absorbing the impact of tough terrain. You may have experienced Brooks’ new nitrogen-infused cushioning in the Brooks Glycerin 20. Shoe designers used an innovative process to inject nitrogen into the midsole, creating a soft, smooth ride that adapts to your stride.
“These shoes surprise and delight within the first few steps. They feel soft while also feeling like they’ve got some life in them. They felt light and maneuverable, in other words not at all clunky, while doing some fast intervals on the trail,” Nate says.
What’s a midsole? Learn about the parts that make up a running shoe.
Stability and security is top of mind for most trail runners, and the Brooks Caldera 6 answers the call. The latest version of the Caldera offers a widened base for stable landings and takeoffs, and raised midfoot foam walls to keep your feet securely in place.
“The Caldera 6 has the ideal combination of cushion, stability and grip for me. The split-heel outsole and wider base dispersed my weight as I ran over roots and rocks, providing a stable ride,” Mandy says.
A TrailTack rubber outsole offers grip and traction as you navigate tricky terrain, and a TPU toe cap provides an extra layer of protection from the elements.
Smooth, Secure Upper Tops Off Brooks Caldera 6
The Brooks Caldera 6 features a quick-drying air mesh upper that wraps around your foot, while a thick, plush heel collar and gusseted tongue hold you in for an effortlessly smooth fit.
“The Brooks Caldera 6 felt comfortable as soon as I put them on. I love the interior material and the thick, sturdy laces,” Adina says.
“The upper hugs my foot in the midsection and is very breathable. I ran in 95 degree weather and my feet never got hot. I also ran in the rain and through mud puddles and they drained really well,” Mandy says.
You can tuck the laces into the handy lace keeper in the middle of the tongue, ensuring they don’t get caught on anything while you’re braving the trails.
If you’ve ever gotten a pesky pebble or twig in your shoe during a trail run, fear not. You can secure trail gaiters onto the Brooks Caldera 6 with front and back attachment points.
Brooks Caldera 6 vs Brooks Caldera 5
The Brooks Caldera has always been Brooks’ most cushioned trail running shoe, but shoe designers truly upped the ante in the latest version. The redesigned midsole, complete with nitrogen-infused DNA Loft v3 foam, makes the Caldera 6 softer and more cushioned than ever before.
The Brooks Caldera 6 features a 6 millimeter heel-to-toe drop, which is slightly more than the previous version’s 4 millimeters. It’s just the right offset to provide smooth transitions without feeling too aggressive. It’s slightly heavier than the previous version, which can be explained by the increased cushion.
Overall, reviewers appreciated the updates to the Brooks Caldera 6.
“Everytime I run in the Caldera 6, I am sad that the run has to end. I have been searching for years for a trail shoe that is cushioned with enough traction and stability for the trails, and the Caldera 6 fits the bill. These will definitely be in my ultramarathon training rotation,” Mandy says.
Whether you’re an avid trail junkie who eats up serious mileage or a novice who’s just getting started, the Brooks Caldera 6 offers dependable support and superior cushioning for all types of runners.
A soft, plush midsole provides generous comfort for long days on the trails, while aggressive lugging and a breathable upper provide protection from the elements.
“These are a great option for trail enthusiasts who prefer a lot of cushioning. I haven’t yet tried on a trail shoe that has as thick of a midsole as this one,” Caroline says.
Wherever your next offroad adventure takes you, bring the Brooks Caldera 6 along for the ride.