I’ve never had a pair of trail running shoes that were as enjoyable as the Brooks PureGrit 5. I first laced them up for a local running event, called “Golden Hell Week”, which is about 32 miles and 6,500′ of ascent. Somewhere in the middle of Hell Week I fell in love with these shoes, and after about 100 miles I can confidently say that these are the best running shoes I’ve tested.
The outsole has low-profile lugs that perform well in all directions. They really don’t look like much, but I had no problem with traction on Colorado’s rocky terrain. It also has a rounded heel, and a thermoplastic EVA rock shield under the forefoot.
The DNA midsole is made of non-Newtonian materials that are said to adapt to each specific force applied to it. Long story short: the midsole performs differently depending on factors like weight, pace, gate, movement, and running environment. It’s also supposed to provide 30% more cushioning than traditional materials, and it biodegrades 50x faster than EVA once it ends up in a landfill. I couldn’t possibly attest to whether or not the DNA midsole makes a big difference, because every single run is so circumstantial, but I can tell you that my feet have been very, very happy in these shoes. If you want the full physics lesson, you should head on over to the technology page on the Brooks website.
I enjoyed the PureGrit 4s, but they ultimately had durability issues. Brooks has addressed the issues with the PureGrit 5, in fact the material has shown almost no signs of wear and tear. It also has an updated tongue, which contours to the top of my foot perfectly, and provides a nice tight fit to keep the rocks out.
I have moderately high arches and a narrow foot. If anything, I might make the toe box just a tad wider, but overall this shoes maintains a really natural feel on the trail. The 4mm of midsole drop is a really nice balance for me, and at 9.9 oz the shoe has nice agility.
Different people like different running shoes, but these worked for me. In fact, I like these so much that I’m going to buy another pair to have for deck for when these bite the dust. For a light trail shoe with a good balance of support while also maintaining a natural feel, I would highly recommend the Brook PureGrit 5.
Weight: 9.9 oz
Color: Light blue and dark blue (shown)
Best used for: Trail running