Brooks PureGrit 3 General Info:
In its third iteration, Brooks PureGrit 3 gets redesigned from top to bottom. The 3 sports a much more aggressive look, but continues to hold true to the principals of the Pure Project collection.
This newest version has done away with the split toe design in favor of a more tradition one piece outsole with a more aggressive lug pattern. The addition of a forefoot rock plate has also been slipped into the 3. The coupling of these two elements have made the PureGrit 3 a much more desirable shoe for a variety a terrain than its predecessors.
Brooks PureGrit 3 First Impression:
I have to say that when I received the PureGrit for review I was super excited as this has now given me the chance to have sampled every shoe in the collection.
After looking over the modifications that Brooks had made to the shoe I was even more excited to get into the shoes and on to the trails. What really impressed me was the new aggressive look of the shoe.
Immediately out of the box the shoe had great traction and comfort. The 3 also has a nice roomy toe box that was immediately evident and appreciated. Like all of the shoes in the collection the PureGrit 3 had a nice low profile stance.
Brooks PureGrit 3 Sole Unit:
The Midsole of the PureGrit 3 remains consistent with the rest of the Pure Project collection and begins with an anatomical shaped bed of Brooks BioMoGo DNA enhanced foam.
While this gives the shoe it’s just right cushioning and responsiveness it also makes it slightly less sensitive for it to be a minimalist shoe. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the foam protected my feet and provided superb cushioning over the sharp rocks, and steep hills in such a reasonably thin midsole.
The biggest change to the outsole of the PureGrit 3 is the move to a one piece construction with a more aggressive octagonal lug pattern. In addition, a forefoot rock plate has also been added.
The overall traction of the shoe was top notch providing me with unwavering confidence when hammering downhill’s however, were were a bit squirrely through tight corners but still better than most trail shoes.
The shoe climbs like a bear over any terrain. The added rock plate provided great overall protection on the most technical trails while also providing a nice touch of added propulsion through toeoff.
Another feature that I also liked was the toe cap that definitely saved me from a few missing or blackened nails.
Brooks PureGrit 3 Upper:
The PureGrit 3, like all the shoes in the collection,has changed to a silicone vs. elastic Nav Band. The difference between the PureGrit and the other shoes in the collection is that the band does not extend down into the medial side of the shoe. The band provided nice midfoot support and lock down while allowing movement and eliminating discomfort.
By in large the upper of the PureGrit 3 seems fairly unchanged. However, upon closer examination runners will find a more traditional tongue versus the medial coupled wrapped tongue that is consistent in the rest of the line.
While I am not sure completely why Brooks deviated with this shoe, the answer may be as simpleas just to accommodate a wider variety of feet. As for my experience this new tongue was definitely a negative and what kept it from being a nearly perfect shoe.
I had difficulty keeping the tongue centered on my foot and after only a few miles it would move off to one side of my foot, typically the lateral. While this may seem nit-picky I feel it becomes notable when it begins to cause discomfort that graduates into irritation.
Hopefully I am not alone and the good people and Brooks will take some notes and just leave the tongue alone. The combination of welded and stitched overlays gave the rest of the upper a nice comfortable fit, and the open mesh on mesh material not only was breathable but shed water well.
Brooks PureGrit 3 Opinion:
The PureGrit 3 is a great performance trail shoe in that it fits nicely into the void between traditional and minimalist shoes. The PureGrit has a very natural feel and simple look, but has just the right amount of cushioning and support to keep it light, fast, and fun to run in.
The 3 for is great for long trail and off road runs, and I am now using it as a go to race shoe. The upgrading to the more aggressive outsole and the addition of the rock plate is definitely a plus as the shoe performs so remarkably well on any terrain that you put beneath it.
In my opinion the PureGrit 3 will give any runner confidence to take on any trail or off road challenge.
We thank the nice people at Brooks for sending us a pair of PureGrit 3 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.