Brooks PureGrit 5 Review Facts
It’s time to hit the trail, but before you grab your water, jacket, bug spray and headphones, there’s one very important consideration: What are you going to put on your feet?
Brooks is one of the most trusted names in running shoes, and now they’re offering a new addition to their Pure Grit series. The company made some significant updates to this trail running shoe, prompting mixed reviews from athletes who were happy with what they saw as improvements, but thrown by some of the tweaks that they might consider less thought-out. However, those who have tried the other products in the Pure Grit line feel that in most ways, the #5 shoe is true to the series. It provides considerable traction with its rugged outsole and offers style without being too flashy.
Some reviewers weren’t thrilled with the redesigned tongue, or the durability of the mesh, but the shoe succeeds in the overall goal of offering lightweight support for the runner tackling moderate trails, without sacrificing feel. Trail runners can be a hard-to-please group, often looking for top speed but also top stability, and for those picky customers the latest offering from Brooks may fall a little short, but before making up your mind, check out the full review below.
The outsole gets positive marks from athletes looking for a sticky, flexible feel. If the bottom of this shoe makes you feel like you could scale a wall, that’s no accident! The outsole design was actually inspired by climbing shoe rubber. That visual alone might make your next uphill climb seem like no big deal! The rugged hexagonal lugs offer maximum grip with every step, and the Omega Flex Grooves allow the runners to strike on the forefoot, whether they’re running on paved trails or dirt.
In between the outsole and midsole is where runners will find the shoe’s rock shield. It’s a tough layer that protects the foot and softens the blow from any loose objects on the trail that could lead to a nasty bruise
. Those who tested it out on rough terrain felt it did its job to disperse any pointed pressure throughout the foot, instead of concentrating it on one area.
Reviewers were also pretty pleased with the BioMogo DNA midsole. Most found it just springy enough to allow them to launch up hills. The company claims to have injected a little DNA into its design, developing a midsole that will adapt to the individual’s weight, pace and gait
. The idea is that as the runner wears into the midsole, he or she is helping to mold the shoe to create the most comfortable fit. Most reviewers liked this combination of science and personal touch coming together in one design.
Let’s talk about the change Brooks made that’s getting the most flack. On the fifth version, they’ve added a flap that covers the laces and presses slightly into the top of the foot. Reviewers repeatedly mentioned they were bothered by the change, saying the tongue is now too thin and the double loops annoying. Some complained that the narrow toe box had their piggies begging for a little wiggle room! However, the breathable mesh with Nav Band was seen as a highlight for most, offering enough support to keep the ankle steady and the foot comfortable.
The company made nips and tucks here and there and aimed to give runners a lighter trail option with this #5 model. The men’s version runs 9.9 ounces, down from 10.1 in the #4. The women’s version sits at 8.3 ounces, which is actually up just a bit from the previous version at 8.2. Experienced runners know how much even a slight weight on your feet can really zap your energy, especially when you're fighting an incline. If you're used to a heavier shoe, don't be surprised if you make excellent time on your runs in the Pure Grit 5.
The pure grit’s new upper design emphasizes breathability. Reviewers noted that the shoe’s lightweight mesh kept air circulating throughout their runs, and dried quickly after a muddy trail. Runners also noted that the shoes drained quickly if they did get submerged. If you tackle a particularly wet trail, don’t forget to let your shoes air dry. You can even remove the foam insole to help it dry more quickly.
Overall comfort is one area where the Pure Grit 5 doesn’t score as high as Brooks had hoped. Some reviewers found the upper sole to be a little stiff and even more commented that this version felt uncomfortable on the top of their foot, noting that the new tongue design pressed heavily into their skin. Others reported it took a few runs to get their arches used to the midsole. Reviews are still trickling in for this model, so whether runners will find this shoe more comfortable after more wear time remains to be seen. Most of the reviewers admitted they were still testing the shoes out on training runs.
If you like bright
, colorful shoes, the Pure Grit 5 might not quite what you are looking for. The color choices are a bit more subtle. The brightest color option would be women's teal. For both men and women, the shoe is offered in a deeper blue choice. However, many runners liked that the shoe was more subtle and that they were able to use it as a casual shoe as well.
Durability is one of the issues runners had in the Pure Grit #4;
reviewers noted that the shoe didn’t hold up as well as the previous renditions. So in the #5, Brooks attempted to create a shoe with a longer lifespan. And for some reviewers, it worked. One reported putting in more than 75 trail miles on the shoe so far and said it’s holding up great. But another said she had only owned hers for a month and the mesh is beginning to separate from the shoe.
Of course, how you take care of your shoes does play a role in how long they’ll last. Brooks recommends cleaning shoes by hand right after a muddy run, using a damp cloth and mild detergent. Tossing your running investment into a washing machine is a sure way to get them to fall apart before their time.
Brooks recommends replacing your shoes anywhere from 300 to 500 miles. If you’re not sure if your shoes are near the end of their run, ask yourself if you feel more tired than usual after runs, or if your foot is beginning to slide around the midsole where it didn’t before. Brooks also recommends just using your shoes for their intended purpose: running. Wearing your trail shoes for other activities like circuit training or Zumba puts extra force on them, and will cause them to break down more quickly.
The rock shield between the outsole and midsole on the Pure Grit #5 gets credit for protecting the runner against a potentially harsh terrain. The technology helps to disperse the pressure of a sharp rock or stick so that it spreads throughout the sole of the foot, easing the pain. A rounded heel encourages better alignment and takes it easier on the runner’s joints. Lastly, the neutral support caters to runners with high to medium arches
Brooks promises runners twice the energy of their special BioMogo DNA midsole. The technology has a springy-give underfoot, and runners do report feeling a little extra pep because of it. Most say the shoe has a good amount of energy coming off the ground and is noticeable during the uphill climbs when it's often needed the most.
The elastic Nav Band wraps the foot for a snug fit, and Brooks says it is designed to conform to the individual's shape and size. Reviewers reported no problems with twisted ankles or other support-related injuries
Reviewers say the Pure Grit #5 provides enough cushion on rocks and roots while still being nimble on the snow and mud. Some even commented on how quickly the shoe drained after they hit an especially deep puddle
. However, some reviewers felt that while the shoe would be fine for a novice trail runner, they feared it would not be able to handle the difficulties of a more technical run. If you’re looking for a Brooks shoe that doesn’t need to tackle tough terrain, you might be happier in one of these options.
Because the #5 is the most recent version of the Pure Grit series, Brooks hasn’t made a lot of compromises on the price. You can find them a bit cheaper on some of the discount shoe sites. Or, if you decide to purchase directly from Brooks, you can always take advantage of their 90-day money back guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied with the shoe in the first 90 days after your purchase, you can return them for a full refund. Check out the fine print of the Brooks return policy before you settle on this route.
If your budget just doesn't allow for a new shoe purchase, you can always drop hints! Add it to your birthday wish list, and let friends and family members know what other items score big with runners.
The 3D Hex Lugs on the outsole of this shoe allow for decent traction on a variety of terrain. However, some reviewers found the shoe lacking traction on muddy trails. A few reported less grip than they'd like even on wet pavement.
Brooks points to their Omega Flex Grooves as a feature that helps optimize flexibility for the runner. These grooves allow for a more fluid and natural movement of the foot. Reviewers were pleased with the way the shoe was able to bend and flex with the tough challenges of the trail.
Runners say the rounded heel wraps around the foot and provides extra confidence for runners on the incline and downhill.
Reviewers reported it added extra alignment, minimizing stress on the joints.
Key Features of the Brooks PureGrit 5
Key Features of the Brooks PureGrit 5
• BIOMOGO DNA Midsole Cushioning
• Omega Flex Grooves
• Rounded Heel
• Ballistic Rock Shield
• 3D Hex Lugs
Brooks takes customer feedback into account, and they used the information they got from runners using the first four shoes in the series, to make tweaks to the Pure Grit #5. Some of those changes have been welcomed by runners, others not so much. The shoe is applauded for the rounded heel, but runners question the changes made to the tongue and collar. Most runners agree that this shoe hits the mark when it comes to novice to intermediate trails, but they had concerns about its performance on a more technical path.
When it comes to durability, most reviewers felt the company made wise improvements to make sure the shoe lasts longer, and the lack of flashy style was also seen a plus for the most part. The Pure Grit #5 won’t break the bank for most runners, but those looking for a cheaper option could take a look at the #3
versions, which are now being sold at a discount.