Brooks Caldera 2
Weight: 9.9 oz. (US M9); 9.0 oz. (US W8)
Height Stack: 28 mm heel /24 mm forefoot (4mm drop)
Price: $140; available now
The Brooks Caldera 2 is a steady, all-a-round choice with a well-cushioned, softer-yet-stable ride. It is the stiffest shoe but flows smoothly. It has the most forefoot stack cushion but no rock plate, which we didn’t miss. Its cushion is forgiving, and the Caldera is stable and quite responsive due to its extensive outsole coverage of 4mm-high, surface area lugs. These relatively low-height lugs were surprisingly effective in New Hampshire mud and over wet roots and rocks. It also boasts a quick draining, durable mesh upper and slightly stretchy 3D-rubber-printed overlays. Lastly, it includes a thoughtful lace garage and rear Velcro Gaiter Tab.