The Brooks PureGrit 5 is Brooks latest update to their PureGrit trail shoe series. This version has seen the midfoot wrap call the Nav-Band disappear but the shoes grip has remained the same. Another thing that they have left untouched is the 4mm drop which is a nice level between no drop and average ( 0mm – 7mm ). That’s enough about how the shoe is made, let’s get into the review.
Brooks PureGrit 5 Features
Hex Lugs – The PureGrit 5 has a very interesting shape to their lugs, they are 6 sided unlike the more traditional 4 or 3 sided lugs. I’m not sure how much this affects the grip but the depth of 3/16″ for the lugs is on par with most trail shoes and doesn’t leave you wanting more.
Rounded Heel Cup – The heel cup provides a very cushioned and controlling feel while not being overly restrictive. The overall feel of the heel was something I immediately noticed because of how unique it felt. Most running shoes are basically just structure with cloth wrapped around them. But the PureGrit 5 has a pillow like feel that still manages to keep you feeling locked in.
Brooks PureGrit 5 Usage
As soon as I got these in the mail, as usual, I instantly changed my plans to run later in the day and threw them on for a run down my local trail. I had mentioned just before the cushion feeling and how that was something I wasn’t sure about when I initially took them out – I like my shoes to feel wide and roomy. These are very padded and a little claustrophobic feeling at first but this does wane as they break in. Still with all things considered I’m not sure I would ever wear these for anything over 12 miles since my feet have some issues with swelling and pressure on the nerves.
After about 50 miles in the shoes I found that they still looked like new and the durability overall was outstanding. I ran on mostly technical trails and even some more bushwhacking type trails where I was just jamming my feet between jagged rocks that would have destroyed a shoe like the Reebok All-Terrain Super OR. There is a toe box coating of a rubber like material that I’m pretty sure could withstand a knife attack or be your first line of defense in a bear attack if you could coat your body in it.
When the Brooks PureGrit 5 did get wet I found this to be an area that left something to be desired. I run in a rotation of Inov-8 Ultra 290’s, Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5′s, and Reebok All-terrain Thrill’s that would all outperform the PureGrit 5 as far as draining and water retention. The PureGrit 5 isn’t worse than regular road running shoes but it is at the lower end compared to trail shoes.
Brooks PureGrit 5 Durability
Durability is one area the PureGrit 5 excels in beyond most trail shoes used for Obstacle Racing. As I previously mentioned they have a toe box that can withstand small arms attacks, and the rest of the upper shows signs of where I stepped on a board with nails sticking out but no rips. The sole of the shoe also has an interesting section on the rear corner where most peoples heel striking hits. Instead of uniformly covering the bottom in hex lugs they added a reinforced section that will withstand more use than a lug as you can see in the photo below.
Brooks PureGrit 5 Pros and Cons
- Very Durable
- Innovative grip solution
- Poor water drainage
Brooks PureGrit 5 Conclusion
If these shoes were more spacious I would wear them more often. As it is the Brooks PureGrit 5 is a hard shoe for me to wear since my usual training runs gets near the limit of where foot swelling would become an issue. If you have average to narrow feet these shoes should be an option you look into. I enjoyed the grip and the protective nature of the shoes for when I just want to run through rough terrain and not worry about my shoes holding up. This should could be your ideal shoe, or too narrow, so it’s worth buying them if you are looking to experiment a different type of trail shoe.