The Brooks PureGrit series is designed to help you feel the trail beneath your feet, without compromising your ability to run hard and fast. The PureGrit 5 delivers fairly well on both of these counts.

Brooks PureGrit 5 Features:

  • Weight: 9.9 oz
  • Midsole drop: 4mm
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole
  • Omega flex grooves for forefoot flexibility
  • Rounded heel for improved heel to toe motion
  • Ballistic rock shield impact plate
  • 3D hex lug outsole
  • Two color options
  • MSRP $120

A versatile, high-mileage trainer

The PureGrit series represents Brooks’s ongoing endeavor to combine the benefits of rugged, protective trail runners with the smooth-flowing dynamics of natural or minimalist road runners. The series has undergone a number of changes from one version to the next, and the PureGrit 5 features some tweaks to the upper construction compared to its predecessor that work pretty well, while keeping construction largely unchanged from the midsole down.

Patterned, welded overlay helps keep the dust out.

The primary change to the upper is removal of the longstanding NavBand strap across the top of the forefoot, which some users felt compressed the top of the foot excessively. In its place is a flat webbing that connects the lowest lace eyelet to the midsole platform to enhance midfoot security. Other additions to the upper include an approximately 1” thick overlay at the base of the laces and around the entire base of the upper; this keeps dust and small grit out of the uppers without compromising breathability, and also adds a bit of abrasion resistance at the base of the upper.

The unconventional tongues were finicky.

On top of the midfoot, the tongue is slightly nonconventional as a flat padded piece which is only attached at the center base. The wings of the tongue flare out beneath the laces, but the bottom of the tongue has a tendency to roll up on itself when you’re putting on the shoe. Once you secure the correct fit, the laces keep everything in place quite well on technical terrain.

The BioMoGo DNA midsole delivers dynamic energy return.

Brooks sticks with its outstanding BioMoGo DNA midsole underfoot; this material has dynamic energy return depending on how much impact force acts upon it. In other words, when you’re cruising at slower speeds, it’s more of a cushioned ride, but when you increase the pace, the response is quicker and firmer. The 4mm drop platform makes the PureGrit 5 well suited for midfoot strikers to run naturally, but there’s enough cushioning in the heel to help heel strikers roll smoothly from front to back also; a rounded heel structure also helps with heel to toe motion.

It features a wicked-grippy outsole.

To help you push the pace, a ballistic rock shield helps absorb and disperse impact forces from rocks and roots. Additionally, the hex lug outsole is one of the best we’ve tested in terms of grip on a variety of terrain. Much of our testing took place on steep dusty fire roads as well as muddy, sloppy single track, and our footing felt secure in virtually all of these conditions.  The only minor drawback to speed is the weight spec; at nearly 10 oz, the PureGrit 5 is right on the fringe of being considered a lightweight shoe; we’d love to see this number drift downward just a bit in future versions.

The Good

  • Strong traction
  • Excellent midsole ride
  • Comfortable uppers

The Bad

  • Slightly heavy
  • Proper alignment of tongue is tricky

The Bottom Line: Brooks PureGrit 5

The brooks PureGrit 5 is an outstanding option for runners looking for a versatile high-mileage trail training shoe – and it’s particularly well suited to help midfoot strikers and natural runners run smoothly in a variety of conditions.

Buy Now: Available on Amazon

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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