This is a tougher multi-activity shoe than you might expect from Brasher, which is perhaps better known for producing ‘softer’ footwear. The Calusa XCR has a mesh and leather upper with a waterproof lining to provide good protection for the foot. But what sets it apart is the tougher-than-average toe box coupled with a very supportive upper that provides good protection for the foot as well as support on uneven terrain. There’s a good amount of cushioning underfoot plus more support from the midsole than you get with most other options, so it’s stiff enough to take the pain out of rocky ground and make it useful for biking. It’s very useful for those who prefer lightweight shoes with good support underfoot.
The outsole lug pattern is a little shallow compared to others we’ve tested, so not the best for mud or grass slopes, and we suspect the sole will wear smooth faster than others due to this shallow lug pattern. For this sort of price there are lots of options.
Verdict: A reasonable shoe for rocky terrain, but on the softer ground the shallow lug pattern lets it down compared to others at this price.
First published in Trail magazine, April 2008