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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pure Grit ^2 = AWESOME! -- Pure Grit 2 shoe review.

I'm always a little skeptical of trail shoe claims.  Especially trail shoe claims that are from the same line as a pair of road shoes.  But the Brooks Pure line fit my feet so well that I figured it was worth the shot.
Take 1: The Brooks Pure Grit Original.  Light (7.6oz), fast, fits like a road shoe, and an interesting lug pattern that was worth a go.
Results: Not impressed.  While I liked how the shoe cradled my foot, the swirly cool looking lug pattern was worthless on anything other than dry dirt. And outside of the toe box was so soft that even gently gracing the smallest rock with the front end of the shoe felt like knocking your foot into a chair leg.

Take 2: The Brooks Pure Grit 2.  After slipping and sliding all over snowy trails in the original version, I stopped by Road Runner Sports in Falls Church to see what else was available.  After trying on nearly every trail shoe there (which for the record they have the best in stock selection of trail shoes I have found in NoVa since the local chains tend to cater solely to the asphalt pounders (I checked)) I settled on the Pure Grit 2.  

Results: An AMAZING and major upgrade from the original.

Still comfortable after 24 miles of trails!

For starters the 2s have a wrap tongue that stays in place and is attached to the length of the shoe on one side.  Next, the toe box is mildly reinforced with stronger material which whether intended or not protects the front of the foot from trail debris.  Third, the shoe laces stay tied better - a small but very important detail.  Fourth, the shoe has a little more cushion which gives it a softer ride. And finally, the lug pattern is amazing!  Little diamonds stacked on top of little diamonds, with little tiny "grippers" in the middle to really grab the trail. And the lugs change direction in the middle of the shoe so that the front half helps grab the trail going up hills and the back half helps break a little running down hill.  Pretty freaking sweet!  And at 8.2 oz it's still a super lightweight and fast shoe.  After runs of various lengths of up to 4 hrs, and in various conditions (dry, snow, through and after water crossings, and even navigating piles of horse crap) these shoes continue to feel great, stick to the trail, and really impress.  I'm not sure what they'll do to try to top the shoe next year; but as far as I am concerned, I hope they don't change a thing!

SWEET LUGS! The PureGrit2 close up!
Happy Trails Everyone!