Brooks Pure Grit 4 uses 3D Hex lugs to have a better traction across different surfaces. It keeps its Runner friendly shoe DNA that makes it a perfect running partner whether on road or trails.
Brooks Pure Grit 4
Brooks Pure Grit has earned being called “girt” for its lasting durability. My first Pure Grit is about 5 years old now is still good to go on trails. It’s nice to be reacquainted with the Pure Grit line with its 4th incarnation. Brooks is among the tops when it comes to running shoes, being a shoe created by runners for runners. It has running engraved deeply in their DNA.
Compared to the previous editions, Brooks Pure Grit 4 is a lot more compact. The 3D hex lugs on the out sole is designed for maximum grip and protection from rocks and debris. It comes with the rounded heel for better hold on the ankle and the Navband for better fit and security of the shoes. I’m more comfortable with the Navband in place as it keeps the shoe in place even when the shoelaces get loose.
Testing out Brooks Pure Grit 4
The first time I’ve used it was at the rolling terrains of New Casile Road in San Mateo, Rizal and also had a river crossing. I was able to try it on dirt roads, steep ascents and even on paved roads.
The Brooks Pure Grit 4 had a lightweight and flexible feel with a weight of 10.1 ounces. 10.1 ounces is about mid range when it comes to trail shoes. You would barely feel the weight of the Pure Grit 4 though as it feels comfortable and provides a better feel of the road. In this case, it was hardly a factor as it had the same level of comfort all throughout the hours we were on the trail. The rounded heel also gives a better hold and alignment on the ankle. This reduces unnecessary pronation especially with the uneven surfaces, which could lead to sprains and injuries.
Descents can really be painful on the knees especially of you don’t have sufficient cushioning. It does help that Brooks has an adaptive mid foot cushioning to reduce the impact of the strides on the knees. The toe guard in the out sole also give added traction on steep descents. End result is that I can move faster on descent.
Brooks vs Steep Climbs
I got an appreciation of the traction of Brooks Pure Grit 4 when we had to go on a steep climb for about 2 kilometers after the river crossing. Gravity is no longer on your side on the steep ascents. The 3D hex lugs can really plant you firmer on the ground so you won’t easily slip or slide on steep ascents.
There’s a big correlation between the trust in your shoe traction and grip with your confidence. The better the traction and the grip, the more your confidence on technical and difficult trails. The Ambuklao trail was a bit raw and there were surfaces that have soft and crushed soil that cracks at times. It really leaves you in a tough spot along a cliff. I was able to use the rubber grip on the front side of the shoe to keep me planted on the ground even on slanted trails. With that confidence in my shoes, I was able to brave the tougher trails and respond quickly to the changing trail conditions.
Brooks Vs. Waters
Brooks Pure Grit 4 is water resistant, meaning it minimizes water going inside the shoes. It also has vents for water to move out of the shoes. It’s not a water proof shoes since the problem with water proof shoes is that it when water do come in on higher waters, it stays in. You just got to enjoy the feeling of getting your feet wet since eventually the water would flow out of your shoes and things goes back to normal. It didn’t take long to have the water out of the shoes during the climb.
Brooks Pure Grit 4 had a more immersed interaction with the clear rivers of Tanay, Rizal. It never bothered me a bit that my shoes were wet because it didn’t feel heavy as the water flows out of the shoes in time. The snug fit feel also doesn’t give much room for water to stay in the shoes too. This a really good feature for me as I love braving the water on river and stream crossings.
Brooks vs. Technical Trails
When trails get technical expect the traction of your shoes to matter. Mount Makiling was a relatively easy trail except for the last 1.3 kilometers heading to the summit. The last 1.3 kilometers was a total body workout. The trails were slippery and uneven. You really had to rely on the twigs, roots, branches and rocks just to maintain your balance. The tiny spokes at the out sole gave additional traction on the slippery part of the trail.
The other thing I consider for a trail shoes was how it reacts on paved grounds. Some shoes with good traction on trail are either too heavy on the concrete or too noisy. Since the shoes keeps its lightweight feel and the 3D hex lugs is not too bulky, it reacts to concrete well too. So you won’t compromise speed when you’re on paved runs. Brooks Pure Grit 4 is an excellent choice for trail running as it can keep you fast on different surfaces, protected on the steep climbs and ascents, and remains comfortable throughout.
Brooks Pure Grit 4 is available at Runnr Stores and Brooks Running Store.