Make Miles Per Week Your New Performance Metric

Brooks Running Shoes: Trance 8 and Cascadia 4


Don’t look now, but spring is about to, well… spring. If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to get your fitness routine in gear. I’ve got no better recommendation for you than to be or to become a runner. I’ve been ramping up my ’09 runs for a few months now, as I traditionally like to bounce back strong after my holiday glutton-fest.

If you need to find a little extra motivation get up and out, or if you’ve been running so diligently as to dilapidate your existing shoes, some new kicks may be just what you need. For my new shoe needs, I turn to the good folks at Brooks, who can set you up regardless of how you run, where you run, and how far your body and mind care to take you. Hit the jump to see my picks.

Trance 8

The majority of my running happens on roads, sidewalks, and greenways, thus a good pair of shoes for street mileage is of prime importance to me. I literally took the Trance 8’s out of the box, slid them onto my feet, and ran six miles in them on day one. I haven’t looked back since, using them as my primary pair for the half-marathon training I’ve been doing.

The Trance 8’s feel great, providing the perfect balance of springiness and support. I’m a mild overpronator with one bad knee and one bad ankle (opposite sides!), so I’m always looking find shoes that can bring the stability without weighing me down. Coming in at a svelte 12 ounces, the Trance 8’s fit the bill perfectly. As the follow up to the much lauded Brooks Trance 7, the 8 model has only served to reinforce the Trance line as a top pick for me.

Cost: $125 | More Info

Cascadia 4

brooks-cascadiaAs a change of pace, I occasionally like to swerve off the beaten path and take advantage of the many trail running locales here in East Tennessee. If you haven’t done much trail running in the past, let me encourage you do give it a try, as the benefits are numerous. Suffice it to say, I’m not sure there’s a better way to get ripped by running, as your core muscles will be pounded with far more intensity than road work can provide. Best not to attempt the technical challenges of trail running, though, without the support and features of the Cascadia 4’s.

I though that my last pair of trail shoes were a pretty good companion, until I tested the Cascadia 4 model. These shoes operate as boldly as they look. The sole of the Cascadia 4 is the key to giving you trail confidence. It features an aggressive tread pattern, a ballistic rock shield, and pivot posts designed to minimize the destabilizing effect of running on the irregular surface of a trail. Never before have a felt so assured to be skipping over rocks, roots, and ruts. The icing on the cake: great color choices that will help you find your feet despite being caked in mud.

Cost: $100 | More Info

Editors Note: In addition to being some of my favorite reasons to run, these Brooks models both feature their BioMoGo midsole. That’s an eco-friendly version of their tried and true MoGo midsole. Where the Bio comes into play is with a natural additive compound that enourages anaerobic microbes to nosh the otherwise long-lasting sole into non-existence once it lands in a landfil. Kudos to Brooks on this greenovation.