Brooks Grit (2012)

The new and highly anticipated Pure Project models are in stores now.

Are the high expectations realized? Pure Project is an entirely new line, soup to nuts, with four models.

The Pure Project line includes the Connect, the Flow, the Cadence and the Grit. The first three are made for road running. The Grit is a trail shoe. All the models are built with a 4mm heel-to-toe drop (aka “ramp”), and this 4mm ramp is a metric around which more and more companies are coalescing, when it’s “natural” running shoes that are contemplated. It’s the same as in the Saucony Kinvara and Mirage, as well as the Hokas.

But this doesn’t mean all these shoes feel the same. While Brooks Pure Project’s models and Saucony’s Kinvara and the Mirage maintain the same 4mm ramp, these Brooks shoes feel flatter, to me, than do the Saucony models.

The Grit
It’s an off-road version and feels more like the Cadence than the other two models. It’s also the same in terms of midsole firmness and Shore values, without the softer lateral side. In the women’s model it’s softer than the Cadence, because the Shore value is 53.

What really makes this a trail shoe is its outsole design—one-piece construction that enhances torsional stiffness—and an upper that is more durable. It has several supportive overlays to give your feet some extra support on the rougher trail surface. As in the Flow, the Grit has a different lacing pattern; in this model there are only 3 eyelets, so, to some the shoe may grab their feet a little less secure than the Connect and the Cadence do.

[Editor’s note: Our capable editor-at-large for footwear Jeroen van Geelen owns Total Running, one of the more important running and triathlon retail establishments in The Netherlands.]