Sunday, April 28, 2013

Brooks PureGrit2 trail shoe review

I got my first pair of trail shoes via Brooksrunning.com and have managed to put about 100 miles on them so far.

The PureGrit2 ($110) weighs 8.2 oz for ladies', and 10 oz for the men's shoes. This is considerably lighter than many trail shoes on the market, but slightly heavier than the original PureGrit.

And they feel light...weighing less than my usual road trainers by an ounce. (Weight makes a big difference, especially in racing if you encounter water, as anyone who has ever ran in very wet shoes knows!).

These are part of Brooks Pure line and are designed with a 4mm heel-toe drop. There is good arch support within them, but they still maintain a "natural" feel. The asymmetrical lacing feels comfortable, and once laced, I don't notice them again.

Compared with Brooks Cascadia8, these are a sleeker, nimbler model. The Cascadias feel more like a rugged hiking/running shoe with a wider toe box (too wide for my foot), but the PureGrits fit more closely with less sole and bulk to the upper.

How they performed
I was able to test the PureGrit2 shoes on a variety of trail surfaces: gravel, bark, grass, packed dirt and slick mud. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I was unable to test them in loose sand, snow or icy surfaces.

 The hardest test for the shoes was certainly mud, but in my 7 mile run with mud I lost traction only twice- both times going downhill on a very slick slope, and only momentarily. Overall, they handled very well on each trail  they were worn.

The flexibility rivals my other speed shoes, but they are still sturdy and protective.  And as far as protection goes, there were no issues with rocks poking through to my feet. I suspect there is something (thin plastic maybe?) within the bottom of  the shoe to prevent this.

The PureGrit2s seem to almost repel mud.

Water penetrated my PureGrit2s when going through puddles, but the mesh upper fabric design allowed for it to drain quickly. My friend, who wore regular trainers on the same muddy run, had mud caked on her shoes when we finished.

A couple of cautions
The heel tab/achilles notch hits my foot a little higher than in some other shoes. Wearing longer socks will  keep them from rubbing sand or dirt into your foot. Gaiters are also recommended for especially gnarly trails.
If you are new to the 4mm platform, take your time adjusting to them.

Evaluation
The PureGrit2 are an excellent lightweight trail training and racing shoe. I would strongly recommend them to anyone, especially those interested in a trail shoe with lots of flexibility and a lower heel drop.

21 comments:

  1. I have been waiting for a review on those shoes. I am not much of a trail runner, but I have been wanting to try them out. I really love my Pure Flows right now. They cushion my feet just a touch more than the connects do. Still having a lot of issues with super sensitive feet. Really annoying.

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    1. Yes Tasha- there is definitely more protection in the Grits than in the Connects. Hope you can find some mud!! :)

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  2. very cool... thanks for the review. Any idea what the stack height on these is? Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Jeff!
      Sorry I missed listing the stack height in the review. The shoes are 15mm at the heel and 11mm at the toe.

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  3. I agree with your review! Only thing I noticed myself, there isnt much of a toe guard, so clumsy runniners liker me who trip on every root on the trail, they leave me with some bruised toes and toe nails. Unlike the Casadias.

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    1. This comparison is true. Trails differ a lot around the country, so some might need the Cascadias for trails with more boulders, etc.. With added weight you get greater protection.

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  4. great review Raina. Thanks! I loved the Brooks Cascadia's but noticed they started to get heavy. It's nice to know there's another option, especially because I'm due for another pair of trail shoes once my foot gets better.

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    1. Thanks Jodi!
      I think you will love these. It's nice to have light shoes so that it continues to be easy to step over roots and rocks as the run gets long- IMO.

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  5. I love the Grits! Did you ever wear the first model? I'm wondering how the new compares to the old... also glad to see that you are back running ! Woot woot!

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  6. I'm still in my old blue original Grits-actually just took them off after a quick run on the nature trail. You're right, those things never get muddy! Weird!

    Sounds like the 2s are just as responsive as their precursor. Keep running-safely:)

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  7. Those shoes definitely look cool!

    Are you running pain free now!?

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  8. You make me want to buy a pair of trail shoes...and get them dirty! :)

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  9. I have these same shoes. I was hoping to love them, as I wear the Brooks Pure Cadence all the time and absolutely love them. As you mentioned the heel is a little high and tends to rub, which is my biggest complaint with them. Even higher socks I still tend to feel it rubbing so I haven't put many miles on mine.

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  10. Interesting post. Just yesterday I was talking with my wife about buying a pair of trail shoes because she liked to join a group to visit many etruscan places in the country (Etruscan walk - 12 km). This is not a race but only a touristic walk with a stop for lunch.

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  11. Have you ever tried Brooks Pure Cadence (the originals)? I love those, but not the Pure Cadence 2. I'm looking for something similar to the first ones and am wondering if this could be the shoe.

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    1. I haven't tried the PureCadence- the ones or the 2's. But maybe you would like the PureFlow if you liked the Cadence. The PureGrits are a not really a road shoe.

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  12. Great review! I've been thinking about buying another pair of trail shoes this summer.

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  13. They look comfortable. Any idea if they'd fit a wide foot? I used to swear by the Brooks Radius until the year they changed them and made them narrower. Very disappointing as I bought them without trying them on first!

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    1. Good question!
      I would say that if your foot is wider near where the lacing ends toward the toes, you should be OK. But if your foot is very wide closer to ankle and heel, a different shoe might be better.

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  14. Those look super cute and sound great. I need a trail shoe!

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  15. thinking of hitting some trails in hopes of lessening the impact on the joints...but i have such bad ankles I am afraid!!! However, these shoes sound like a great fit and good looking...it's all about the look sometimes ya know, lol? :)

    hope you're doing well...

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