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Brooks Cascadia Trail Running Shorts + Long Distance Shirt

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The Brooks Cascadia trail running shoe has been a steadfast icon in the world of trail running for many years.  This trail running shoe has been the go to for thousands of trail runners year in and year out and it’s no surprise that Brooks has added running apparel focusing on the trail runner. The Brooks Cascadia 7″ running shorts feature pockets for gels, phones and keys.  For everything else, you’ll need to rely on your trusty trail running pack and handheld.

Shorts Storage – Pockets

There are a total of three pockets in the Brooks Cascadia 7″ running shorts. There is one zippered mesh pocket that sits on the back of your left hip.  This pocket is big enough to fit an iPhone 7 with a slim case.  There is a non-zippered pocket on the back right hip that is good for storing non valuables such as energy gels. There is a small key pocket on the inside of the shorts.  For your standard everyday trail run, the pockets have you covered for all your storage needs.

Not your standard running short fit

The Brooks Cascadia Trail Running Shorts 7″ shied away from the traditional fit of the running short.  With most running shorts, the thigh section of the shorts have a little extra room for motion, comfort, and to allow for larger thighs when needed.  The Cascadia running shorts have a trimmed down fit around the leg that initially had me saying to myself, no way, these will not work!  After giving myself a few minutes to come down from my resistance to change temper tantrum with myself, I went out for a run and began to put the shorts to the test.

I feel it is my duty to put the caution flag out there for runners that don’t fit the skinny runner build.  In my time of testing out these shorts, I dropped 10 pounds, from 175 lbs to 165 lbs and I find the shorts to fit way better at my lower weight.  At 175 lbs and 6ft tall, I didn’t find myself to be overweight, but with these shorts I felt a little self conscious at 175lbs and a typical jeans waist size of 32-33.  I would say that if you’re a little overweight, you may not like the fit of these shorts.  Skinny runners, you shouldn’t have any problems!

Brooks Cascadia 7″ Running Shorts Testing

Brooks Cascadia 7" running shorts

Testing the Brooks Cascadia 7″ running shorts on a 23 mile training run.

To date, I’ve put the Brooks Cascadia Running Shorts 7″ to the test on runs ranging between shorter 3-5 mile tempo runs to longer distance runs and trail races up to the marathon.  My 2nd run in the shorts was a 23 mile point to point trail run in the shorts.  To be on the safe side, I brought an extra pair of shorts in my pack in case the Cascadia running shorts didn’t make the cut, but I am happy to say these shorts stayed comfortable the entire run.  In my opinion, long runs greater than 15 miles is where a running short will show weaknesses.  Having run 10 or so runs over 15 miles in these shorts, I can say that while the fit is not like your typical running short, they do just fine.  On shorter runs, they work too, but typically there is not enough wear and tear to do a lot of damage to your body.

Brooks claims to use snag free fabric on the Cascadia running shorts 7″, but having kept a lot of running shorts in my rotation for between 10-20 years, I hardly ever get snags or tears in my running shorts.  This is not much of an added bonus in my opinion.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I have mixed feelings with the Brooks Cascadia Running Shorts 7″.  I like wearing these shorts while on my runs, but it’s hard to train my brain away from thinking that the traditional running short fit is the correct fit.  At the end of the day, these shorts perform.   Whether you’re scrambling up a steep rocky peaks or running down the gravel paths in suburbia, you should be happy with how these shorts perform.

Brooks Distance Long Sleeve Running Shirt

When the temperatures begin to dip, it’s time to swap out that tech tee for a long sleeve to keep you warm on those chilly mornings and evening runs.  The Brooks Distance Long Sleeve Running Shirt is a soft to the touch tech shirt that keeps the cold from running up your arms.  This shirt uses a fabric that resist smells from getting into the shirt, which helps keep the amount of laundry down each week.  It also will allow you to hang on to the shirt for a few more years and avoid tossing it out or turning it into your car wash rag.

Distance Long Sleeve Fit

The fit of this long sleeve shirt is a little on the small side for me.  I usually wear a medium in most running tops, tee shirts and jackets, but I found the fit of the distance long sleeve shirt to fit a little on the small side.  For runs where I’ll have a running jacket over the shirt and don’t want a lot of bulk, it works fine.  For using the shirt as my only top layer, I usually like there to be a little more room to move around.  That said, I would recommend sizing up if you if you fall between sizes.

One Thing in Common

If you’re made your way through both reviews, you’ll notice there is one thing in common between both of these reviews, the fit.  I am finding the fit for both the shorts and shirts on these brooks men’s apparel pieces to focus on the standard fit of the old school runners body.  In the future, I would like to see the fit of the men’s apparel to be a little more forgiving to accommodate a greater array of body shapes and sizes.

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About Kevin Fonger

If there's an activity or sport, I'll generally try it at least once. My main activities include running, hiking, skiing, cycling, camping, backpacking, and pretty much anything else you can think of. I love writing product reviews as I like helping people find the right gear so they will enjoy their activity that much more.

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