Brooks PureGrit 4 General Info
Similarly to the PureGrit 3 the PureGrit 4 has underwent a fairly serious overhaul. The PureGrit 4 definitely has much different look than the couple previous versions.
However, most of what has been updated has been limited to the upper of the shoe leaving the outsole, midfoot, and rock plate untouched; which is great since these were three of the improvements of the PureGrit 3 that helped make it such a great shoe.
The updates found on the 4 have definitely helped eliminate problem areas that existed in the PureGrit 3, but have created a couple new potential ones as the shoe has narrowed in the forefoot and widened in the heel.
Brooks PureGrit 4 Sole Info
The PureGrit 4 carries over much of what helped make the PureGrit 3 a success and that was the sole unit. Hey! If you got a good thing going why mess with it.
The 4 has the same anatomical last that is shaped from brooks BioMoGo foam which is remarkably responsive and offers the perfect amount of cushioning.
The 4 really does a great job of providing superb energy return something I particularly noticed on some of my more runnable climbs.
The foam and rock plate combination still continues to provide the same level of protection over more aggressive and sharper terrain.
The 4mm drop of the shoe kept it super nimble over really tight technical terrain, but also helped accelerate foot transition when I wanted to up my pace on flatter groomed trails or roads.
The one change to possibly have been made in the sole unit was in the rubber material used in the outsole. Many runners complained of premature wear and tearing off of the lugs in the PureGrit 3.
The PureGrit 4 still has the same one-piece hex lug outsole; but the rubber to me is a different compound that is more durable and thus far shows ve
Brooks PureGrit 4 Upper Info
So the biggest issue that I had, and also that was voiced by other runners, with the 3 was a fit issue in the tongue.
To refresh memories not long after beginning a run the tongue would track off to one side, in my case the lateral, and allow the laces to rub the top of the foot and the tongue to bunch up along the side.
With the newly updated upper of the PureGrit 4 this issue is clearly in the past. The tongue is now considerably wider and also generously padded which I found to stay in place quite well.
Along with the tongue improvements the lacing system has been incorporated into the Nav Band which helped lend a nice snug fit across the midfoot.
The new upper of the PureGrit 4 uses a much tighter weaved mesh than before. This newer material is most likely key to the 3D fit print design which eliminates seams and hugs the foot closely.
This new design definitely hugs the foot well, possibly a little too well as the forefoot of the shoe is a bit narrow.
What I found was that this made the forefoot of the shoe feel stiffer than it is in reality; which took away from the comfort of the shoe especially on longer runs.
The heel of the PureGrit 4 is a bit wider which could be a slight cause for concern also. While I never experienced a lot of slippage what did happen was the opportunity for stuff to enter the shoe on almost every run.
No matter what I tried dirt, sand, small rocks etc. etc., found its way into the shoe usually through the heel.
Often times I would have to stop and dig out slightly bigger pebbles that would enter but were too big to make it all the way into my shoe.
Brooks PureGrit 4 Conclusions
For me the PureGrit remains a great choice for a versatile performance trail shoe. Aside from thick mud or really wet conditions the PureGrit 4 is the one shoe that can give most any runner the confidence to take on anything.
The shoe is comfortable and resilient enough to make it well suited for longer distances, while its low profile keeps it nice and nimble.
I know speaking for myself if I were to choose only a single trail shoe it would be hard to find one more adaptable than the PureGrit.
We thank the nice people at Brooks for sending us a pair of PureGrit 4 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.