Brooksrunning.com | 8.7 oz | $100
Fit | Brooks created a nimble trail shoe with a minimalist-style sole that’s low enough to feel the ground. Fit in the rear-foot and mid-foot is the key to making a shoe with this much agility. Testers categorized the fit as being reliably snug, allowing the runner to bounce along the trail without losing his connection to the sole. There’s a little extra room in the toe box, and some testers found the forefoot to be a little loose, but the design isn’t overly generous.
Feel | Allowing the runner to sense the ground without subjecting the foot to abuse from sharp roots, rocks and other debris on technical trails is a difficult task, but the PureGrit pulls it off. It feels like a minimal shoe, but it has sufficient cushioning and a durable rubber outsole to keep most of the pointy things away. It is light, nimble and decidedly soft on all terrain.
Ride | The ride is cushy on most surfaces. “It definitely felt a lot ‘foamier’ that most trail shoes I’ve run in, and a lot more flexible, for that matter,” one tester said. That softness was mostly appreciated, especially for long training runs, but a few testers said they didn’t feel as zippy as they’d like for faster workouts and short-distance races.