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Brooks PureGrit

rated 4 of 5 stars

The PureGrit has been discontinued. It was replaced by the Brooks PureGrit 3 for Spring 2014.

photo: Brooks PureGrit trail running shoe

This shoe is light, durable, and a beast on the trails. The only downside is traction when it gets wet.


  • Light
  • Minimal-ish
  • Stands up to technical trails


  • Slippery when wet

Honestly, I love my PureGrits so much my wife should be jealous. I've been running them for about 8 months now, and recommend them highly — with one caveat.

The trails I run are fairly technical — rocky, New England single track mostly — and coming from a much heavier, sturdier trail runner, I was worried that these shoes wouldn't stand up to them. But I loved my Brooks Green Silence road shoes and decided to give the PureGrits a go. I haven't regretted it. They are light, but sturdy, and the BioMoGo midsole is great. I really do feel more "in touch" with the trail. And my calves look awesome.

The only negative about this shoe is very specific — they tend to lose all traction on wet surfaces. I think this is partially due to the rubber used and partially due to the minimal tread pattern. But they can be very slippery when wet.  

I believe I read somewhere that this is going to be addressed in the next generation of the shoe. To be clear — I'm talking about surfaces like bare rock in the rain or wet logs or that kind of thing. Specifically, I would not recommend them for a Tough Mudder or similar wet race.

Anyway, if you run trails and don't spend much time running over naked granite in a rainstorm, you will love these shoes.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100

Fairly lightweight, nimble, yet padded, trail runner with minimal drop and great ground feel. This is my go-to shoes for long trail runs in most conditions.


  • Lightweight
  • Minimal drop
  • Perfect amount of padding in mid-sole


  • Traction on wet or slick surfaces
  • Superfluous "Nav Band"
  • Bit too wide in heel

Brooks has found the sweet spot for a shoe that is both minimal in drop and underfoot extras, yet still includes plenty of protection to keep my feet from getting wrecked on more technical trails or long distance pounding. I have a wider forefoot and these have plenty of room towards the front, though the heel could be a bit narrower for me (an issue i've had with most Brooks shoes).

I've run in most conditions from craggy, granite filled technical single-track to muddy fire roads and the only issue i've had is with the outsole lugs not having quite enough grip on wet or slick surfaces. They tended to slip a bit more than I like.

Overall I really like this shoe and it has been my go-to for this season's training and racing of 1-2 hour tempo runs to ultra distance trail races.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100

Great trail running shoe for the minimalist at heart...but not in the mud.


  • Lightweight
  • Low heel to toe drop
  • Drains well
  • Wide toe box
  • Heel counter
  • Price


  • Slippery when wet
  • Band on the top does nothing
  • You're going to look goofy at the supermarket

This has been my go-to minimal trail running shoe for a while now. I picked them up on sale just as the Pure Grit 2 had been released and overall...I'm happy.

The most of my comments can be summed up in my pros and cons list, but I must stress just how lousy the outsole is in muddy situations. The lugs are fairly far apart, leaving lots of surface area for sliding in the wet...including slipping on wet roots. If you are primarily running in relatively dry conditions, you'll have no problems whatsoever.

The real positive for me is the wide toe box and the shape of the heel. This shoe definitely promotes a mid to forefoot strike and it feels great doing it.

I've yet to try the 2nd version, but now that the 3rd has been announced...I'll probably be digging through the sale bins.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $50

Fit well out of the box. Smooth, comfortable ride.


  • Excellent cushion
  • Beauty laces
  • Nice fit
  • 4mm drop


  • Grip

Bought my red pair two years ago and finally packed them out. These were the first-gen PureGrits and I have since recommended them to a few folks around here. I recommended that they never take them out in the wet or out onto technical, rocky sections though as the grip is non-existent. For gravel or mellow, dry singletrack they are the cat's meow and I put many a mile on them.

The Nav Band helped me stash my never-loose laces so they weren't flapping all over the place. The separated forefoot felt like it was of assistance when it came to off-camber sections. The BioMoGo foam was so comfortably cushy.

Just a nice set of well-balanced trail shoes that performed in the bush, on the pavement on the way there and even on the treadmill/track. Will keep my eyes open for the 3rd version of these bad boys.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 100 bones

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