Brooks PureGrit 3 shoe review
Brooks Pure Grit 3
After a little web surfing I was surprised at how few reviews for this shoe there are. I never wore the Pure Grit 2 so this won't be a comparison review either as many others seem to be.
To say I was excited about trying out a pair of Pure Grit 3s would be a minor understatement... My feet were tingling with eagerness to get a pair on. Ever since I heard of the modifications Brooks had made to the shoe I was as keen as Coleman's to put a pair the test. I'd gotten on so well with the Pure Flow 3s the thought of a trail running version was almost too much for me. Imagine how miserable I was in the shop when I was told there was a shortage of 8 1/2s and I'd have to wait another few weeks. That wasn't a good day.
Ladies and gents Pure Grit 3s looking fine.
The Grit has a plush yet rigid heel counter, the split heel is also noticeable and the flex grooves in the outsole are shown.
The above image shoes the level of toe protection and extra tread rising up the toe box . The wide footprint of the forefoot is apparent, particularly on the medial side.
The Pure Grit 3 is the shoe that fits somewhere in the middle of your shoe quiver... it ain't an out and out mud eater but it's so much more than a "cruise along good trails, oh no, a puddle!" shoe. As part of Brooks' Pure Range, the Grit has a very natural feel to it. The low 4mm drop, split heel, roomy toe-box and asymmetrical lacing make the Grit feel spectacular on the foot. It rates a big 9/10 on the 'out of box' comfort scale. The Pure Grit 3 for me is perfect for those longer trails and off-road runs. It's not in the same league of cushioning as a Cascadia or Raven 3 but it's so much lighter and more nimble. I've found that due to the more aggressive outsole (4mm deep, hexagonal lugs-they're great for shedding mud) I'm happy running down steep grassy slopes or through rock talus, whereas in other shoes of this type I'm often a little reserved, never fully letting rip. The Grit feels good on tarmac too, no, I wouldn't use it solely for road running but as a city-to-trail shoe it is awesome.
Image. Hexagonal tread, natural ridges and forefoot propulsion plate.
What I've used it for.
- Fell race. I wore the Pure Grit 3 for the Bradwell Fell Race, this is a short, typical Peak District fell race... you go up a muddy hill, along a rough bridleway through some bracken and heather and down grassy slope. My one reservation on choosing to wear the Pure Grit was for the latter, grassy down hill section. Now, I didn't feel I was quite as accurate with the Grit as I would be in a fell shoe, it has a wider footprint at the heel and forefoot (meaning it's really stable) but also meaning I should perhaps have got used to the different foot shape before attempting a technical downhill in them. Nonetheless, I was taken aback by the grip on this shoe, it bit well into the wet grass and I can honestly say it did a stirling job, far better than I had expected. (I managed to pull out a 3rd place and will certainly be using the Grit for future races).
- Long trail run from home with Fartlek. Absolutely great. I had the cushioning for my plodding, yet the lightweight nature and tread meant I could pick up the pace easily in them and didn't feel weighed down or unstable.
- Recovery trail runs. Again, I would happily just use the Grit for this. However, I do tend to run in low drop, lightweight shoes. I could understand if many people would prefer to wear a more cushioned shoe for their recovery runs.
- I think I've sung the shoes praises sufficiently in the above text but here's a few more...
- The rubber tread has been brought right onto the front of the toe, this seems to provide more protection but also grip, especially when running up grassy slopes.
- The Grit feels firm through toe off, giving a good platform to transfer force through but also flexes well, allowing the foot to function naturally.
- I've found the tongue has a tendency to move to one-side during long runs. Not so much so that the sock is exposed to the laces but enough to annoy someone with OCD (I just about coped).
- One of the things I look for in a trail/off-road shoe is a fabric that drains water and doesn't hold any. Unfortunately, the Grit only ticks one of the boxes... The shoe drains water really very well however, the cushy tongue and fabric do seem to hold a little water meaning it's a bit heavier after being dunked in a mega-bog or river.
Tech Specs. (will be updated once Brooks have sent over some more geeky information)
Purpose - City>Trail>Fell Running
Weight - Women's 224 grams (UK 4.5) Men's 280 grams (UK 8)
Forefoot stack - **mm
Heel stack - **mm
Drop - 4mm
- Synthetic mesh with welded and stitched overlays.
- Asymmetrical lacing.
- Stretch nylon 'Nav-band'.
- 4mm deep hexagonal lugs
- Forefoot rock plate.
- BioMoGo DNA Foam
Image. Heel split and lateral outsole heel flare are shown here.
Any comments, feedback and thoughts are always appreciated.