Gear Review for Brooks PureGrit Trail Shoes
Brooks PureGrit are my go-to trail shoes in any kind of weather or conditions! I have worn many generations of this shoe but this was my first time in a “4” which always makes me a little nervous when a shoe company unveils the next generation of their shoe! To my feet’s delight, the shoe did not have any detectable differences from the previous generation – especially since the first time I choose to wear these new shoes was pacing a friend for 50k of her 100Miler race in sloppy, muddy, wet technical conditions through the mountains of Vermont!
First of all, I love the colour change! Although for trail shoes, it doesn’t much matter since they tend to get quite muddy and dirty quickly, the PureGrit 4’s are a cute blue and pink (which was a nice change from the ugly dark brown and mint green of their last offerings). I tend to wear a half size to a full size up in running shoes as compared to my regular shoes and these shoes were no different, so I guess you could say that they fit true to size! The toe box is quite roomy if you have wider feet like mine.
The shoes are quite rugged but still very comfortable to wear. The sole is quite aggressive which makes for good grip but it is not cumbersome. There is a rock shield and a toe guard which both offer great protection in the trails. I especially like how there is a band (they call it Nav-band) that wraps around the mid foot for extra security, making my foot feel nice and snug without being annoying. Not sure if the laces have been changed but these shoelaces do not seem to come undone like my old ones used to. It is almost as if they have added a bit longer lace so you have more room to tie it. The PureGrit 4 weighs in at 8oz and has a 4mm drop which makes this shoe very lightweight and flexible but still able to perform. So far, (approx. 250km in), the shoe has proven to be pretty durable and it has been worn in some pretty tough conditions. If this shoe is anything like my old PureGrit 3, holes will begin to form by the balls of my foot on the upper and they will become uncomfortable to wear around 500k.
The only negative thing I can find about this shoe is that it does not, for me, transition into a road shoe that well. I have a very hard time with these shoes on pavement, even if it is just a 500m section to get to the next trail as they feel too flat and rigid. Dirt roads or trails are perfect for this shoe.
All in all, the PureGrit 4’s are an awesome go-to trail shoe because it has a natural feel with just the right amount of protection and cushioning. I am confident with these shoes in any trail conditions.