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Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look.
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Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look. on 02/10/2012 21:14:05 MST Print View

This may not be of any value to many here, but I figure I would post my thoughts on this shoe for some that may have been interested in this....

I've been running in neutral trail shoes for several years now and have been less than monogamous in my relationship with off road footwear. There have been few that enthralled me and had me believing there could be no other- the New Balance MT100 and MT101 was one such shoe. The MT100/101 was the first minimal trail running shoe for me that opened the door to other moderately flat and simple trail shoe options. Since the MT100/101, I have run in a few other shoes, including the New Balance MT10 Minimus Trail for a period of time , which is an excellent near "barefoot" tool for stimulating the feet and working lower leg muscles differently, but they lacked the dampening and protection in the upper that I wanted in a daily trail shoe for me running 5-6 days a week. Seeking out a more robust shoe for an upcoming 50 mile trail race back in Oct. '11, I stumbled upon the Saucony Peregrine, which strikes a very good balance as a trainer/racer trail shoe. The Peregrine has been a solid trail shoe for me, both nimble and fast, but offering adequate protection for technical trails and a solid locked in fit with a relatively snug upper. The only real knock for me with the Peregrine is the slightly aggressive taper as you move toward the front of the toebox- small blisters developed on the tips of my toes in the Peregrines during my last ultra run- this was due to the toebox forcing my toes together in response to the repeated pounding and not accommodating for foot swell over the distance. Is this a problem? Only outside of my regular weekly running volume and distances. I haven't eliminated the Peregrine from my quiver. Moving on...

My unfaithful tendencies with trail running shoes has led me to the more recent Brooks Pure Grit, which is Brooks' first foray into the neutral/flat and "minimal" side of the shoe spectrum. Brooks has been clever in their marketing to not tout their Pure Grit line as a "barefoot" shoe, which it clearly is not, rather they are maintaining a certain amount of neutrality in their approach to this line in an attempt to not polarize this line of shoes into one camp of users. The Brooks Pure Grit is an amalgamation of different attributes currently found in minimal trail running shoes. It has a very wide one piece outsole that is broader than the upper that rests upon it- slightly atypical. Brooks forgoes the thin hardened rock plate in this shoe which has become common place in most trail shoes and they rely on a slightly more substantial midsole paired with a solid one piece rubber outsole to provide the necessary underfoot protection and traction required for running varying trail conditions on any given run. It seems Brooks did not have one specific surface in mind when designing the outsole tread pattern for the Grits, or flip that thought, maybe they had every possible surface type in mind when designing the outsole? The outsole appears slightly over designed and stylized, as if some Brooks designer ran some intense CAD models one late night- some form over function perhaps? I've run on my local desert trails and surfaces in the area in the Brooks Pure Grit, such as: slick rock, sandstone, arroyos, limestone, assorted gravels, volcanic tuff, mud, rough pavement, snow...... etc. What do I think? Well I haven't been slipping around out there on the trails so I guess the outsole is working just fine for me. How's that for qualitative data! The durometer on the outsole is unique, it is neither unwaveringly firm as is found on the MT101 and Saucony Peregrine, yet it isn't as soft as some blown foam outsoles found on extremely cushioned shoes. It is a generalist outsole in many ways, it doesn't excel exceedingly well at any singular surface, but does handle most conditions I have thrown at them over the last 8 weeks well enough to fade far away into the background of my runs and not be of any concern. One thing I have come to learn from using different trailrunning shoes is that deliberate foot placement and technique can often make up for any lack of traction related to an inadequate outsole.

I have roughly ~300 miles in the Brooks Pure Grits and have been more than pleased with the shoe. The Grits are a relatively durable shoe considering the lightweight materials used and despite my initial reservations of the design- they have proven to be a very comfortable neutral trail shoe that I can throw on for everyday running, much like I can with the Saucony Peregrines. Where the Pure Grit also shines is in the toebox for me. Users of the MT101 with average volume feet may find the Pure Grit offers more in the toebox, at least this is the case with my experience and my foot shape. Tactile response underfoot in the Pure Grit is dampened due to the midsole, but not to the point of numbing proportions. I can still respond to sharp rocks mid strike and adjust on the fly in the Pure Grits without feeling compromised. However, don't expect to feel every detailed undulation of the trail underfoot in this shoe, not going to happen- if this is something you're looking for then run barefoot or make huaraches. Cushioned midsoles are the "epidurals" of the minimalist running world, but for runners who are going out for long runs on rocky trails a supple midsole can be a godsend, especially as distance and time on the feet increases. In this case I have found the ample midsole cushioning in the Pure Grit to be welcomed and have not noticed any deleterious effects on my form as a runner. Out of the box the Pure Grits felt awkwardly raised and elevated, this lasted through the first few runs, before proper settling of the footbed occurred. After this small break in period I found the shoe nimble and responsive underfoot.

Things that just flat don't do anything as far as I can tell:

Nav band across the top of the foot- too loose and is only good for serving as a signal flare to overhead aircraft or tucking laces.

Split toe- this has to be the single biggest gimmick on the shoe, it just isn't noticeable as far as I can tell. Maybe that is a good thing.


Now how would the Brooks Pure Grit serve as a backpacking shoe? YTBD- I haven't had a chance to wear these with a pack and probably wouldn't reach for these as my first, second, or even third choice for a multi-day backpacking trip. Why? For one the price of the shoe is costly, there are less expensive options that would suffice for hiking. Due to the open mesh design in the upper, long term durability would also likely become an issue if you gravitate off trail for extended periods of time while backpacking.


Enough words, here are some photos:

front

side

profile

heel

toe

toebox

outsole

heel interior

toe split

comparison 1/1

outsole comparison

comparison 2

outsole comparison 2

Edited by Eugeneius on 02/10/2012 21:20:48 MST.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Pure grit on 02/11/2012 03:08:18 MST Print View

I tried a pair on a couple weeks back. I was impressed with how comfortable they were even just standing around. I ended up taking home a pair of the pure flows instead (had intended to shop for a new road shoe in the first place), but have since ordered a pair of the pure grits because I couldn't get over how well they fit my feet.

My experience with the split toe is similar to Eugene's. It hasn't made any apparent difference in the shoe's performance yet but hasn't been a problem either.

REI has them on sale still too, I think. EDIT: just checked again, some colors are on sale for $69.

Also just wanted to add thanks to Eugene for the thorough review. Good to know others are liking the shoe so far.

Edited by NickB on 02/11/2012 09:33:07 MST.

William Brown
(MatthewBrown) - F

Locale: Blue Ridge Mtns
Re: Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look. on 02/11/2012 06:17:14 MST Print View

Great write-up. Thx for the info and pics.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look. on 02/11/2012 07:27:26 MST Print View

the split toe just seems goofy.
could you feel it during your runs or did its existance sort of disappear as you hit the trails?

would you wear it for 50+ ?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look. on 02/11/2012 07:40:27 MST Print View

The split toe seems a great place for small stones embedded in mud to gather during your run. Have you encountered this issue - is it full of gunk after the messier runs?

david delabaere
(davidvcd) - M

Locale: Northern VA
MT101 and PureGrit on 02/11/2012 08:47:30 MST Print View

I'll add a few more details when I have a bit more time but the short of it:

I use both.

MT101 for shorter distance,
PureGrit for longer distance since it is pretty comfortable.

Both have adequate protection (rock plate and all that padding).
Both i feel could use more traction (especially the MT101) in general.

Pure Grit did not do well in a mix of mud, snow and ice but does fine in the mud.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
PureGrit on 02/11/2012 09:18:15 MST Print View

Last I tried some on, I was impressed. They seemed to be a nice sweet spot between plush and minimal. If not the MT110, I'd likely be running in these. I still might try them when my MT110s are worn out; seems like it my be a better 20+ mile shoe for me than the 110- a little more cushion.
Only negative that I've heard is that the traction could be better; seems like the lugs could be a little more pronounced.
I'll put up a similar review/comparison of the MT110 with pics this weekend; I have about 200 miles of trail on them so far.

Thanks Eugene.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 02/11/2012 09:44:11 MST Print View

@Art,
I would definitely wear these for 50+ miles Art, they're very comfortable, moreso than the Montrail Masochists that I wore back in '09 which were quite cushioned. I think Brooks nailed the density of the midsole, it is responsive and still smooths out the rough stuff. I haven't owned them long enough to comment on longterm midsole compression, but so far so good. The Cascadia 7 recently came out and I'm keeping that shoe on my radar for next October as a 50 mile shoe, but from the photos that I've seen the toebox doesn't look very accommodating.

The split toe is a slight gimmick IMO, it has simply gone unnoticed on me while running. I'm cool with this in part because I like everything else about the shoe and didn't view the split toe as a selling point when I purchased the shoe. Brooks may have found quantitative data in their R&D supporting the split toe aiding in toe off but my experience with the shoe so far on trail tells me otherwise. One thing you don't see easily is that the split toe design does NOT continue into the interior of the shoe, it only extends up 1" on the front of the outsole. What is obvious is the flexibility of the shoe and this is where the split toe I do believe plays a role, particularly in torsional flexibility of the outsole which is pretty impressive with the Pure Grits.

@Doug,

Small rocks and trail debris do not get embedded in the split toe, not once have I caught anything inside this area. This isn't an issue because the split toe doesn't extend into the interior of the shoe, like Vibram Five Fingers for example, which are notorious for getting things lodged in between the toe.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look. on 02/11/2012 11:20:20 MST Print View

Hey Eugene,

Nice write up.

After reading the review of them by Tom Caughlan I almost bought a pair of these.

The thing that keeps me from spending the money on them is that I unbelievably love the spikes on the Inov-8 X-Talon 212. I have over a thousand trail miles on mine and no matter what I am hiking on - be it established trail, road hiking, rock faces at the top of mountains, etc - I have just completely fallen in love with the soles.

As I said I have been thinking about buying the PureGrits as well as the new Brooks Cascadia 7 (which they thankfully solved the horrible problems that the 6 had) but neither of them really had the same feel of grip and protection that the Inov-8 X-Talon 212 have given me.

Granted the Pure Grit has a much more aggressive sole than the Cascadia's but still nowhere near as good as the X-Talons. I am really hoping that in next years model Brooks becomes a bit more aggressive with their soles on the PureGrits.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Re: Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look. on 02/11/2012 12:37:12 MST Print View

Great review. I tried on a pair a month or so ago and also found them really comfortable. Like John, I like a more aggressive sole and was looking for something I could also backpack in and was a little unsure how they'd be for bp'ing. Seems like they'd drain/dry super fast.

John, I've also found the 212s to be surprisingly long-lasting. Seems like they reach a wear-plateau and just keep going. I feel like mine should be totally worn well past flat and they still somehow have some quite respectable lugs at 800-900ish miles. Uppers are in great condition.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 02/11/2012 13:21:20 MST Print View

Great writeup Eugene.

I have been using these shoes for a bit now. As a heavier guy I appreciate the cushion of the PureGrit's midsole. The low heel rise makes it easy to maintain a midfoot strike.

I have 2 problems with this shoe:

1) The fit is narrow enough that I have to use a size 11 to get the width I need, though I usually wear a 10 or 10.5 in shoes with roomier toeboxes.

2) The sole's grip is not that great on slimy surfaces like mud on a hillside.

I am interested in trying the New Balance MT110, which is said to address many of the complaints aired against the earlier models. I like being able to get the width I need without having shoes so long they belong on a clown (or at least they feel that way).

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
MT 110 on 02/11/2012 13:32:06 MST Print View

Good write up Eugene. Sounds like a good shoe for me as long as I don't take it backpacking.
Those of you that use the MT110 how would you rate the durablity of the mesh? The 101s are not that great but they do have one thing going for them. The plastic overlays on the toe and on the side seem pretty durable. Even after the mesh was totally trashed this area held together preventing a catastrophic failure. There was a big hole that let in dirt but I could still wear the shoes. I wore them most of the summer that way just to see if I could really make them unwearable. It never happened. This makes me feel better taking them on long hikes. Even if I trash the mesh I'm confident enough of the shoe will survive to get me home.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: MT 110 on 02/11/2012 13:49:58 MST Print View

The mesh on the mt110s is one of the things I was most excited about. There's a couple reviews online of people with 500+ miles with hardly any wear on the uppers. Another plus is that should absorb hardly any water (other than the thin liner). Looks like it should be a super durable shoe (other than the part of the sole with the midsole exposed).

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: MT 110 on 02/12/2012 21:21:52 MST Print View

I kicked a rock and tore the "mesh" on one of my MT110 uppers on top of my toes. The nice thing about it being perforated plastic as opposed to fabric is that tears don't seem to run. You can hose these off and they look new; no staining or fraying.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 02/12/2012 21:31:54 MST Print View

"You can hose these off and they look new; no staining or fraying."

That's too bad, dried up blood on your shoes pairs well with misfired snot rockets stuck to your shirt and salt stain riddled running shorts. ;-)

In all seriousness, the design of the MT110 upper looked pretty stout with the synthetic one piece perforated overlay, definitely unique. What I don't understand is why they didn't make the MT110 with a continuous one piece rubber outsole, the blown foam instep with foam lugs doesn't make any sense to me. Was their intention to save weight here?

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: "Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 02/12/2012 21:36:38 MST Print View

"What I don't understand is why they didn't make the MT110 with a continuous one piece rubber outsole, the blown foam instep with foam lugs doesn't make any sense to me. Was their intention to save weight here?"

That's the really stupid part of this shoe. The lugs on the instep disappeared in about 3 or 4 good trail runs. I think it's a real compromise in the overall durability. And what's more sad is that the rubber is SO good. If they could have covered the entire bottom it would be amazing.

As far as I can tell, the lack of rubber in the middle is purely to save weight/increase flexibility.

I'll put up a review with pics similar to Eugene's. A lot of question have been getting asked about these.

Edited by xnomanx on 02/12/2012 22:33:33 MST.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: "Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 02/12/2012 21:40:32 MST Print View

For the MT110, they pretty much made the shoe that Anton Krupicka wanted. He was known to do a few modifications on the 101 and those modified 101's became the 110.

Here's a story about it: http://www.irunfar.com/2012/01/the-making-of-the-new-balance-mt110.html

Edited by reacttocontact on 02/12/2012 21:44:55 MST.

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Pure Grits on 02/12/2012 21:56:53 MST Print View

I've been shopping around for shoes for the PCT and have found these intriguing. Glad to find a review about them I was about to post a thread asking anyone if they had any significant use on them. Looking at using these for 400-450 miles a pair, do you guys think they'd hold up that long? I do most of my running in 101's and Trailgloves. I love the 101's and these seemed very similar.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
MT110 on 02/12/2012 22:18:48 MST Print View

Here's my only gripe:

1

2

I think the blown foam lugs were nearly gone in only 40 miles. Contrast them with how sharp the rubber lugs still are; this is after over 200 miles.
If the sole was completely rubber, they'd have a real winner. The rubber lugs are the best I've used yet. The lack of rubber in the center certainly lightens them and adds to flexibility. But for me, these are lesser concerns than versatility and durability.

Despite this, I still love the shoe for running. As a forefoot striker, the lack of lugs through the center isn't much of an issue.

This does, however, pretty much eliminate them as a backpacking/adventure shoe (with the exception of short trips). In sloppy conditions I'd want the midfoot rubber. Whereas I used to use the MT101 as a running and backpacking shoe (also for adventure racing/obstacle courses), this is more of a purely running shoe. But that's OK; that's what they built it for. I'll use my Inov8 Roclite 295s for adventuring and backpacking.


I've worn out two pairs of 100s, two pairs of 101s, and 1 pair of MT10. These are my favorite for running (also best traction) of the lot. But backpacking fans of the MT101 will likely be disappointed; due to the foam instep, this is now more of a running shoe.

Edited by xnomanx on 02/12/2012 22:35:39 MST.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Re: Pure Grits on 02/12/2012 22:38:57 MST Print View

@Matthew: According to that article, Anton trains and races in the 110's. If you check his blog, he runs 200+ miles a week. I'm sure you could email him through his blog and ask him how long a pair lasts him. He lives in Trust Fund, opps, I mean Boulder.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
MT110 on 02/13/2012 00:01:33 MST Print View

Anton was at a movie showing in SB last week for the film "Unbreakable" which was a documentary on the 2010 western states race.

Anyway part of the film shows Anton using a butter knife to modify the tread on the bottom of his shoes, around the midsole. Looked like he basically cut of the lugs.

In the Q&A after the movie he was asked how many pairs of running shoes he goes through a year. He said about 30!

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look. on 02/13/2012 05:35:47 MST Print View

Both of those are interesting to me, but neither would fit. So far the only performance-type shoe I've found shaped correctly for me is the Altra Instinct. The Lone Peak (supposedly on the same last) is too narrow in the toe.

I wore the Instinct on a hike Saturday in the snow. Surprisingly my feet stayed pretty dry over 10+ miles despite the mostly mesh upper.



Anyway, note the more boxy/square nature of the toe box versus most "anatomical" shoes.

Edited by simplespirit on 02/13/2012 05:36:41 MST.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Altra on 02/13/2012 06:29:33 MST Print View

Man you people and your wide feet...I tried on some Lone Peaks and felt like I could fit both my feet in one shoe (despite my big toe hitting the end of the toebox). Guess my feet just grew long instead of wide (size 13 usually and I'm 5'8").

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Altra on 02/13/2012 07:12:59 MST Print View

My feet are pretty normal except for the more squared primitive shape across my toes. I credit going barefoot a lot throughout my life and never tolerating pointed shoes.



Oddly the left foot (I'm right footed) appears a little more squared.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 02/13/2012 07:41:46 MST Print View

Craig, that wear on the instep is nuts in comparison to the rest of the outsole which looks absolutely rock solid. I think I have gone a bit "soft" in my footwear preference as of late-pun intended- a bit of midsole cushion goes a long way for me and the MT110 was simply too dainty and slipper like of a shoe (*only tried them on and pranced around the house in them). I'm definitely still desire neutral design and minimal differential in the shoe but with some added softness to the ride.

@Nicholas,

'Unbreakable' was a pretty solid flick which kind of consolidated all the last few years of footage, interviews, and hype on all those big name runners into a good documentary. 30 pairs of shoes a year sounds about right considering he has been averaging over 100 miles per week the last few years- insanity! I think those off the chart 200 mile weeks were several years back when he and Skaggs were logging miles when Skaggs set the Hardrock course record and Anton blew Leadville wide open.

@Chris,

You have some seriously wide feet! I've seen the Lone Peaks and played around with them and they are quite wide. Everyone has a different foot shape, so what Altra considers "natural" may not be the case for someone with an arrow shaped foot like myself. I like the wide toe box in the Lone Peak but don't think that I would want such a wide toe box on technical trails and rocky ascents where having a secure fit throughout the full length of the upper is important for me.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 02/13/2012 09:24:11 MST Print View

What are good online sources for Inov-8 shoes in the US? Nobody near me carries them.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Inov8 online options... on 02/13/2012 09:52:31 MST Print View

Runningwarehouse.com (*2-day free shipping, Inov8 are usually in stock)

Zombierunner.com (*typically carry Inov8, great customer service)

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 02/13/2012 10:05:38 MST Print View

@ Chris,

I credit my foot shape to genetics, my entire family on my fathers side has relatively narrow/normal D width feet and long pointed toes (fingerlike!). Do you believe your foot shape is in some way a response to going barefoot and not using narrow shaped shoes when you do go shodded? I've read about this being the case for people but don't quite buy the argument nor understand it.

At work I wear zero drop shoes with no padding for 9hrs, have been for a while now, it feels "natural" and comfortable, but I haven't noticed any changes in the foot shape, but do use my lower legs and engage my feet differently than I did climbing ladders and hauling toolsin while wearing boots in the past.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: _ on 02/13/2012 10:21:19 MST Print View

@James: What are good online sources for Inov-8 shoes in the US? Nobody near me carries them.


I got my first pair of Inov-8 X-Talon 212 from RunningWarehouse.Com and my second pair from Amazon.Com.

My local "Inov-8 distributor" wouldn't even order them and than a few months ago stopped being a distributor all together. Nearest one to me now is 300+ miles away.

Daniel Smith
(scissor) - F
re pure grit on 02/13/2012 12:28:43 MST Print View

Eugene, what kind of arch do you have?

FWIW I have a flat foot and overpronate and I have about 200 miles on the pure grit. Over time (maybe as the cushioning wore in?) I developed pain on the outside of my midfoot at the end of longer runs. My impression is the grit is built more for an underpronator. I even tried it without the insert and still had issues. The inside of my foot (peak of the arch) was fine it was just the outside. I was interested in the grit as I wanted something minimal with a bit more cushion for longer runs. It is cushioned but not exactly minimal. They are shaped and for my case did not fit my foot. The pain got so bad I am not wearing them anymore. I never had any trouble with my 101s.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Foot shape on 02/13/2012 12:43:00 MST Print View

@Eugene

I think genetics play a part as well as footwear. As an example, my slightly younger brother can wear narrow/normal shoes fine.

Unfortunately, it only takes a short time with narrow footwear to (mis)shape our feet when we're very young, and it can take a lifetime to undo it. There are obviously varying degrees of what most would consider a wide toed (anatomical per se) shape, and that's likely where the genetics come in to play more (IMO anyway).

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: re pure grit on 02/13/2012 12:49:59 MST Print View

@Daniel

If you truly overpronate, a shoe that corrects that should do so by forcing you to supinate (or underpronate) more. A shoe built to correct supination (or underpronation) should cause you to overpronate even more.

I had a very similar issue a few years ago, though, when a store put me in a shoe for an overpronater even though I have a very neutral strike. An 18 mile run in them had the outsides of both feet (instep area) sore for days and I pulled the peroneus brevis in my left leg. I immediately switched back to neutral shoes and haven't had a problem since.

Daniel Smith
(scissor) - F
re Chris on 02/13/2012 13:09:11 MST Print View

Perhaps you are right and I am more neutral now and perhaps this has changed since I switched to minimal? I did use to overpronate at one point. Either way I raise an eye toward what Brooks calls 'minimal' after wearing the shoe. I had no intention of getting a lightweight stability trail runner but that appears to be more of what it is rather than what I view as a 'minimal' shoe.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 02/13/2012 22:19:13 MST Print View

I used the term "minimal" in my original post because compared to their other trail shoe offerings, the Pure Grit is relatively minimal in design (flat, simple outsole, sockless liner, minimal overlays) but I don't think Brooks claims this shoe to be a "minimalist" shoe. They do throw around the words "natural" and "anatomical" like it's going out of style however, so yeah, definitely proceed with caution and be an informed runner and know what works for you and what doesn't- not what Brooks claims works for you.

Daniel,

I have a low arch, not completely collapsed but close- my left arch is slightly lower than the right. Despite having a low arch, running in neutral shoes has proven to work best for me and feels best underfoot. The Grits are definitely not as neutral as the 110's, there is some midsole build up in the arch possibly for slight overpronators, but nothing to shake a stick at. I definitely wouldn't call the Pure Grits a stability trainer, but if you're typically running in non cushioned zero drop "barefoot" style shoes, then yes, this is going to be overkill for you. The hefty amount of cushioning is the biggest divergence from the MT110. The thing with the MT101 that I didn't like so much was that it was, yes, neutral, but allowed for too much lateral foot movement due to the floppy mesh upper, it also had a relatively severe drop (9mm) which only seemed to increase as you compressed the forefoot down over time.

Found this article this evening, worth a look for anyone directly comparing the two...

http://ultra168.com/2012/02/14/gear-review-minimalist-trail-shoe-showdown-new-balance-mt110-vs-brooks-pure-grit/

Edited by Eugeneius on 02/13/2012 23:18:35 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Eugene - Peregrine Question on 02/14/2012 01:03:14 MST Print View

"The Peregrine has been a solid trail shoe for me, both nimble and fast, but offering adequate protection for technical trails and a solid locked in fit with a relatively snug upper. The only real knock for me with the Peregrine is the slightly aggressive taper as you move toward the front of the toebox- small blisters developed on the tips of my toes in the Peregrines during my last ultra run- this was due to the toebox forcing my toes together in response to the repeated pounding and not accommodating for foot swell over the distance. Is this a problem? Only outside of my regular weekly running volume and distances. I haven't eliminated the Peregrine from my quiver."

Eugene,

What if you went up 1/2 size in the Peregrine?

I have been using this shoe (Peregrine) for the past two months on some really steep and rocky trails (1,000' elevation per mile of trail). They have the best traction of any shoe I have ever worn. Normally my shoes are either a 11.5 or 12. The Peregrine's are a little big in the toe box in a size 12, and I almost got a 11.5. I love these shoes!!

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Brooks Pure Grit- A Strong Maybe on 02/26/2012 14:32:08 MST Print View

Tried them on in the store today, and I was very surprised at how much I liked them.
I'm not a minimalist, not even close. These shoes feel like the top edge of minimal or the lower edge of regular shoes.
Fit is Great.
Cushion is great, as long as you are a mid foot or fore foot striker. First shoe I ever tried on that had more cushion in the mid foot then the heal. weird at first to walk in, but then you start running and it totally makes sense.
The shoe feels like it is good for a 50+ mile race as long as you don't have too many miles on them going in to the race.
These shoes are a strong candidate for my next trail shoe purchase in the near future.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 02/26/2012 21:58:53 MST Print View

Art,

I'm completely satisfied with the Pure Grit, it's a solid shoe for me. You're definitely spot on in regard to the cushion, which is ample, but still responsive and not 'mushy' in any way. I think Brooks dialed in the durometer of the outsole and midsole, plenty of dampening for aggressive trail and the shoe still picks up and toes off nicely on the flat and mild stuff.

I broke in my 2nd pair of Grits on my long run today, my first pair is slowly nearing the end of it's life and has lost that "pop", the upper is still in excellent condition, minor hole in the mesh on the outer left upper where the forefoot flexes, but the midsole is beginning to go flat and not offer the protection against rocks as it has since early December. Outsole wear on my first pair is not so great on the climbs, especially on face smearing footstrikes where I have to toe off aggressively. I will use the first pair for my weekly runs and save my 2nd pair for my long runs and possibly for our R2R2R if the midsole holds up for the next 6 weeks of runs.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Foot Shape on 03/07/2012 17:46:58 MST Print View

Chris I have very similar feet to yours. Mind sharing what other shoes have worked for you? I was excited about the NB110 but Craig's review has put a damper on that. NB 101s work OK but they blow out on the side pretty fast. That just happens to be were my wide toes rube the side so they are probably a bit tight and I'm only getting away with it because they're a flexible shoe.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re Foot Shape @Luke on 03/07/2012 17:59:29 MST Print View

I've had good luck with 3 options thus far.

The first is the Inov-8 230 sized up considerably. My real shoe size is about a 9.5 and I can make an 11 work in the 230. I went through a couple of pairs over the last two years.

The Altra Instinct is a perfect fit in a 10, but they're a road shoe with no aggressive tread. With that said, I did use them on a couple of trips recently and didn't have any major issues.

I'm currently testing a pair of New Balance Minimus MT00 in the 4E version for review here on BPL. If anything, they're a bit too wide but that isn't a real concern for me personally. These are extremely minimal and if you go tromping through rocky terrain with any kind of recklessness your feet will undoubtedly pay. That said, they drain like a water shoe. I thought the 230s drained fast but these make those look like they hold water.

Edited by simplespirit on 03/07/2012 18:00:39 MST.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 03/07/2012 19:56:09 MST Print View

The issue I have with the MT00 is the cutouts on the outsole, which expose your feet to rock bruises and potential debris penetration on anything but tame trails. The "scallops" on the outsole are effective in minimizing the outsole weight and maximizing flexibility, but it is a definite compromise in the area of protection.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: "Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 03/07/2012 21:28:59 MST Print View

I would LOVE to try a pair of the minimalist New Balances but they just don't fit my foot. I tried a half and full size larger than my normal shoe and that still didn't work. Stupid goofy feet.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Re: "Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 03/07/2012 21:34:21 MST Print View

And if you want to see some goofy feet, here's a photo of mine. Notice the I wear my climbing shoes a tad, ok a lot smaller than my normal shoe size big toe. Hahaha. I'm surprised any shoe fits my foot.

Feet

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 03/07/2012 21:49:27 MST Print View

Paul,

Can you grasp objects with those things?

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: "Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 03/07/2012 21:54:33 MST Print View

I can probably beat you in Jenga.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 03/07/2012 22:14:18 MST Print View

Jenga?

Talk to me when you can play Piano Sonata No.32 in C Minor.

;-)

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: "Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 03/07/2012 22:27:07 MST Print View

With my toes? No problem. Hahahhahaha.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: "Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 03/08/2012 04:48:01 MST Print View

I thought I'd have the same issue initially and was worried given how rocky and rooty our trails are out here, but I had zero problems on a recent trip that included rocks, roots, stream crossings, and a fair bit of bushwhacking. The leaf cover didn't help any either. I was pleasantly surprised but it could just be that my body has developed an increased sense of foot placement over the years. I also only ran on short sections since it was a hike. If I had been doing a trail run or pushing a 30 mile day I might have different results. I expect to get in a lot more trail time with them and my views may change some through the progression.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: "Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 03/08/2012 08:05:09 MST Print View

The split toes might actually make some sense in a shoe with a wide toe box. I often used Chaco sandals for both hiking and sometimes running in the mountains. When I used the Z1 Chacos (without toe straps) my feet slid around a lot on the footbeds, especially in the rain. Using the Z2's though (with tow straps) my feet are very secure all the time, even in the rain. Japanese high-rise construction workers and tree farmers also use light split toe shoes for safety and more agility when climbing. Could be the split toes in these shoes might hold the feet more in place, though I haven't used them or even seen them.

William Parker
(parkerwp) - MLife
Pure Grit and Backpacking on 08/04/2013 21:08:26 MDT Print View

Bookmarked this discussion. I'm not a long distance runner, but I just picked up a pair of the Pure Grit 2s for HST from Crescent Meadow to Whitney. Pairing with the MH Seta Strapless Gater for Scree. I wear the Pure 2s for regular running. I'll do a write up on how they (and I) fared when I get back. Cheers until then.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: "Brooks Pure Grit- A quick look." on 12/12/2013 17:13:22 MST Print View

Thanks for the write up Eugene. I thought I'd bump this and see if anyone is still paying attention.

My second pair of Pure Grit's are in the sunset of their life and I'd been looking around at available options. I tried on the 2's today and they just didn't feel quite right to me. Maybe slightly narrower and a little firmer mid to forefoot... I dunno, they just didn't give me the same warm fuzzy that my original two pairs did. In the originals I really like the snug fit on my mid foot and the roomy toe box. Their weight and also the minimal drop (I don't handle zero drop well) are perfect for me.

My only complaint with these shoes has been traction on wet/frozen stuff. Wet rock surfaces are bad news as is anything frosty or frozen, albeit trouble for most shoes in that case. I'm really considering picking up a 3rd pair of the original models (they're still around and bargain priced) and putting some sheet metal screws threw the bottom for added grip. Whatever I get will be my shoe for the upcoming Zion traverse in spring.

BTW, I've backpacked in them some and I like them a lot for that... except on slippery rocks of course.

Edited by JacobD on 12/12/2013 17:15:30 MST.