The Brooks Mazama is fun. That was my first thought during my first run in these shoes. Coming from the Cascadia 11, a shoe I found myself wearing long after retirement, I was skeptical that the Mazama’s light and fast fit would be supportive enough me. A few runs in the Mazama, and I gave up the Cascadia. This shoe has enough stability that even a cautious trail runner like myself, will feel comfortable on Colorado’s rocky terrain. This is a fairly stiff shoe, thanks to the rock plate that does an excellent job protecting all the right places. The cushioning is moderate, at best, but it’s a light and fast shoe. For runs around 10 miles (give or take) I had no complaints with comfort. Occasionally on longer runs I did develop hotspots under the forefoot, but I often use my own custom insoles during my longer runs, so it’s possible those contributed.
The lug pattern on the outsole performed well in all conditions, from wet sloppy snow to rocky terrain. The upper is almost fully mesh, so I could expect wet feet by the end of a snowy run run. On warm days, the mesh does a great job of keeping the shoe breathable. The gusseted tongue is comfortable and did its job. There is a lace holder on the tongue, but it sat a little too low for convenience, so I never used it.
You don’t have to be a light and fast runner to enjoy these shoes (trust me). The Mazama provides great stability, in a light, responsive shoe.
Weight: 7.9 oz
Best used for: short to moderate trail runs