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Shoes

Brooks PureGrit 3 Trail-Running Shoe (Fall 2014)

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9.9 oz / 4mm drop / $120

 

 

The Dirt: The PureGrit 3 boasts many welcome updates from previous renditions. Our testers praised the protection of the new forefoot rock plate, as well as improved tread that handles a wider variety of technical terrain than the original PureGrit and 2 did—everything from wet roots and boardwalks to muddy singletrack.

Brooks did away with the PureGrit 2’s burrito-wrap tongue in an effort to improve fit, though the PureGrit 3’s tongue slides around laterally. A few testers also complained of durability issues after just a few weeks—holes in the upper, a delaminating outsole and even lugs tearing off altogether.

Best For: Mildly technical trails; 5Ks to marathons.

Fit: True to size; snug through the midfoot with a wide toebox.

 

Tester Raves

  • “Overall, I was VERY satisfied with this running shoe. Brooks traditionally make a shoe that fits snug from toe to heel without sacrificing comfort. This shoe was no different. The lacing system is effective and the cushioning successful in even the most jagged/rocky sections of the trail. Throw in a stylish look and Brooks has mastered another shoe—my newest ‘go-to’ shoe in my running arsenal!”
    —John Taylor
  • “I owned several pairs of the first-generation PureGrits and found the 3s to be a definite improvement. The change to a rounded toe without the split is better for protection on toe-stubbing roots and rocks, and generally looks better, too. The addition of a rock plate gives more protection and confidence to wearing the shoe on more rocky terrain.”
    —Joanna Pomilio
  • “I’m tickled pink with the updates in features and functionality. They are comfortable and gritty—the first PureGrit that can actually boast that—enough that I enjoy running anywhere. The lacing has resumed its symmetry, the toebox feels slightly more voluminous, and the upper more flexible. Brooks has also improved the heel and ankle collars and tongue materials by making them softer and slimmer. The hex-lug sticky grip performed well descending on rocks and their traction provides secure footing. Now, a lot of the technical terrain I’ve been running has felt a bit more effortless.”
    —Sheri Atkinson

 

Testers on Fit

  • “They fit closely without being too snug. There’s enough room in the toebox for your toes to spread and feet to respond to the terrain, and definitely not like running in other clown shoe style trail shoes.”
    —Joanna Pomilio
  • “The shoe feels and looks fast. It fits snug everywhere I want it to—heel cup, mid-arch and across the forefoot to keep my feet secure on downhills.”
    —Michael Linscott
  • “Runners with narrow-medium width feet will find it sloppy and loose. A wide-footed runner will enjoy this shoe for shorter distances.”
    —Mark Feinsinger

 

Testers on Tread

  • “The diamond-shaped lugs on the outsole proved to very grippy on many surfaces, e.g. roots, loose dirt, rock sand grass. The lugs have sharp edges that enhance gripping power, similar to a track spike’s purpose.”
    —Mark Feinsinger
  • “I can’t make a good evalution of this shoe in wet conditions, but judging based off the terrain I ran, it performs best in rocky and somewhat technical conditions. The cushion allows for superior protection from jagged obstacles underfoot, while the flexible sole and lightweight construction allows for good range of movement/flexibility.”
    —John Taylor
  • “I found the shoe performs best on less technical trails that are more dirt, pine needle or grass than rocks and roots. While the shoe is light and responsive, the tread still leaves room for slipping on more technical or wet trails.”
    —Joanna Pomilio
  • “The PureGrit 3 performs well on almost any terrain/trail, except with (as with any shoe) sandy slickrock. I wrote it through sections of deep mud, and it didn’t seem to accumulate a thick layer like other shoes.”
    —Sheri Atkinson

 

Testers on Downsides

  • “I was somewhat disappointed in the weight of the shoe. Being a minimalist runner a fan of the Brooks ‘Pure’ Series, I expected an extremely light shoe. Not know the actual weight of the shoe (compared to others), for some reason it felt a little heavier than I expected. Not a dealbreaker, though.”
    —John Taylor
  • “After about 100 miles on them, the shoe started to blow out where the ball of my foot would press out against the fabric. I know this is a spot that can cause irritation if there is excess material, but in these shoes the fabric at this spot is too fragile.”
    —Michael Linscott
  • “After a few runs, I noticed that one of the lugs had ripped out and was missing (less than 40 miles) and the bottom was delaminated and torn around the lug, out to the seam. I was able to successfully repair the portion that delaminated with superglue, but I would’ve been really bummed had I bought these.”
    —Sheri Atkinson