I just slipped on the Brand New 2010 Brooks Cascadia 5's. I will be running a hard hilly 50k on Sunday and will post my opinions about the shoe ASAP after that. The shoe is said to have a better feel than the Cascadia 4 did with only the uppers being changed. They feel good to me sitting here at my desk. Ha! Last year I ran a Marathon in the Cascadia 4's right out of the box.
It's was a nice day on Tiger Mt. this past Sunday, a good day to try out some new shoes. The tread on the Cascadia 5's is pretty much the same as last year. It performed just like it always does. The steep uphill and steep downhill were no problem. I never felt I couldn't trust the shoe to do what I asked it to do. I didn't slip on any wet tree roots, rocks or mud. I did slide a little on the wet bridges, as I always do.
The uppers did feel like they were a little more comfortable. They seemed to stretch out a little by the time I finished my first descent and I had to tighten my laces so my toes would stop hitting the end of the shoe. After that the fit was good. I didn't get any blisters or rashes. I did get that old comfortable feeling of "hotfoot" on the downhill a few times. That's when the entire bottom of your foot heat's up from friction when you are really pounding the steep technical downhill trail. If I wasn't comfortable and confident in the shoe I wouldn't be able to get that feeling.
I tried standing in a stream for a minute so I could see how well the shoe would do after being totally water logged. I'd estimate that in less than 25 steps the shoes were completely drained.
I think Brooks as found a good mix of a minimalists shoe that really helps you feel the trail, a little protection, good traction, and adequate cushioning. My only complaint is that it seems to weigh more than it needs to. My pair was about 12 1/2 ounces.
Disclosure: I get shoes from Brooks at a discount.