Review: Brooks PureGrit 7

Written by

Henry Howard

Ultra runner and certified running coach.

This expert review is written by

Henry Howard

Ultra runner and certified running coach.
Henry Howard has come a long way since a teacher called him "molasses" during a fifth-grade track and field event.

Now living and running in Indiana, he has completed more than a dozen marathons and is a regular age-grouper in shorter distances.


We usually consider 10 ounces a "medium" weight for a running shoe: less than 10 and we are entering the lightweight category and above 10 the shoes start to be heavy.

Heel-to-toe drop

Heel drop is the measurement in mm of the difference between the height of the heel and the toe of the sole.

A lower drop (0mm - 5mm) promotes running on mid-foot and fore-foot, while higher drops (8mm - 12mm) are more traditional and meant to support a heel-striking gait.
Expert score

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Quick overview

Best for
Regular training, long, slow training runs, speedwork on flat surfaces, short trail races (up to half marathons), marathon and 50k trail races
Best for on dirt trails, on paved trails, through grassy sections or cross-country courses, along moderate trails
The PureGrit 7 does not always provide appropriate traction on wet and slippery surfaces
Lack Traction
Average Traction
Provide Traction
The PureGrit 7 offers little cushioning
Little cushioning
Medium cushioning
Highly cushioned


272 g
Heel to toe drop



Pros and cons according to our running expert

Pros and cons according to our running expert

  • Fast shoe with acceleration
  • Handles moderate trails superbly
  • Light weight
  • Comfortable
  • Not suitable for technical trails
  • Toe box is tight; not ideal for those who prefer toes spread out

Our verdict

The Brooks PureGrit 7 is a trail shoe sticking to its niche in the industry — and with good reason. There are shoes that offer more support. There are shoes that offer more comfort. But for trail runners who want to go fast on trails — even while transitioning to and from paved surfaces — the PureGrit 7 delivers.

Introduction Brooks PureGrit 7

The two words that come to mind when thinking about the Brooks PureGrit 7 ($120) are light and fast. However, it has limitations. I won’t be donning the neutral shoe (4 mm) when I do races or training with significant ascents and descents, or with technical terrain.

Cushioning Type
The PureGrit 7 is extremely responsive:... Read more provides energy return and speed over
Cushioning Amount
The PureGrit 7 offers little cushioning
Little cushioning
Highly cushioned
The PureGrit 7 is extremely flexible at the... Read more expense of some structure
The PureGrit 7 has some inherent stability... Read more and support
Not particularly stable
Very stable

Impressions Brooks PureGrit 7

But the PureGrit’s beauty is in the speed it delivers, including when runners transition to and from trails to paved surfaces like roads. Its low heel lift allows almost full ground contact, while Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA midsole adapts to the runner’s stride and provides adequate cushioning.

On a side note to those who are dealing with foot issues such as plantar fasciitis. The Brooks PureGrit lacks the cushion to protect against further aggravating such injuries. In my training, after a long run which included trails, paved surface and rocky sections, I reaggravated a heel injury.

Still, the PureGrit is extremely comfortable, fits true to size and provides smooth balance over moderate trails, grassy cross-country courses and similar terrain.
Similar to its cousin, the Brooks Mazama 2, the PureGrit’s lugs are shorter than the average trail shoe, which makes it suitable for the paved trails/dirt trails combo runs. This also explains its aversion to perform on rocky and muddy runs.

For its class, the Brooks PureGrit performs really well. Personally, it is one of a handful of shoes I would consider for a trail marathon or 50K that would be runnable and not very technical.

In fact, I have already worn it for a 29-mile training run on moderate terrain as my last long run before a 50-miler. During the training run, the PureGrit performed well and allowed me to complete hill repeats, stay upright through tricky footing areas and hit the accelerator when the trail allowed.

Protection Brooks PureGrit 7

As previously indicated, the PureGrit 7 (9.6 ounces for men, 8.7 ounces for women) is lightweight and therefore lacks some protection that heavier, less nimble shoes would provide.
Brooks’ full-length BioMoGo DNA midsole and Ballistic Rock Shield provide protection from trail obstacles, though the shoe does not have adequate protection for technical trails, sections that are rocky or distances of 50 miles or longer.

On the bottom, the PureGrit’s sticky rubber outsole features a mix of low-profile hexagon and chevron-type lugs. For Brooks fans wanting to take on more challenging courses, the Cascadia or Caldera would be better choices.

The PureGrit 7 does not have a rock plate.
Not present
Solid protection
The PureGrit 7 does not always provide... Read more appropriate traction on wet and slippery
Lack Traction
Provide Traction
Water resistance
The PureGrit 7 offers great water protection.... Read more Not completely waterproof but dries quickly
Water Resistant

Durability Brooks PureGrit 7

Brooks updated the upper to improve protection and durability in high abrasion zones while offering strategic stretch and structure. To add lightweight protection and durability, the PureGrit 7 was finished off with a stretchy air mesh upper and 3D Rubber Print overlays.

After more than 50 miles in, the shoe shows little signs of wear and tear even though I have pounded it on dirt trails, paved trails, rocky sections and through hill repeats.

Responsiveness & Speed Brooks PureGrit 7

The PureGrit is built for speed and it delivers. Whether I was doing hill repeats or strides during my workouts, when I asked the shoes to kick it up a notch, they responded. Among fast trail shoes that I have tested, the Brooks PureGrit is among tops when it comes to responsiveness and overall speed on easy or moderate terrain.

During the time I tested the shoe, I didn’t have a fast trail race on the calendar. But I would definitely turn to the shoe as an option for a race where I wanted to PR or challenge for a podium spot.

Comfort and Fit Brooks PureGrit 7

A plush midsole gives the PureGrit a slipper-like feel. The midsole contours to the runner’s foot, providing minimal cushioning. That enable the runner to get a quicker push-off but on rocky and technical terrain, the foot takes on the burden of the trail hazards.

And interesting note about the PureGrit 7. It is one of the last remaining models with Brooks’ “burrito” tongue which connects from one side of the upper and curves down for a comfortable but unusual fit.

What’s really notable is that the tongue wrap is made from Ariaprene, which does not absorb water. That way it keeps the foot secure and dry.

The PureGrit 7 fits a little large: buy half... Read more a size smaller than ususal
Buy size smaller
Buy size bigger

Conclusion Brooks PureGrit 7

For those looking for a fast trail shoe with just the right amount of comfort and a seamless fit, I would fully recommend the Brooks PureGrit 7.

This is especially true for runners hitting light trails or a mix of road and trails. They will be able to easily hit their same road times as they would with a daily trainer. For more heavy-duty runs, runners should consider a shoe with superior protection that are also durable.

Price comparison:
Brooks PureGrit 7

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