2012 Trail Running Shoe Review

Photo: Scott Draper/Competitor

Editor’s Pick (Best Ride): Brooks Pure Grit, $100

www.brooksrunning.com

Weight – M: 8.7 oz.; W: 7.7 oz.

FIT: The Pure Grit has a wrap-like fit at the midfoot and a secure snugness at the heel, but a more generous cut in the forefoot.

FEEL: Combined with the snug fit and soft, pliable upper, this shoe feels like it’s an extension of your foot. A unique balance of soft cushioning and a low-to-the-ground design (plus a 5mm heel-toe drop), the lightweight Pure Grit allows a runner to feel the trail and run nimbly on a variety of surfaces.

RIDE: With a soft layer of foam from heel to toe and an easy-flexing demeanor, the Pure Grit serves up a cushy (but not marshmallowy) ride. A curved heel promotes an uninhibited heel-to-toe transition, while the split toebox, designed to let the big toe work independently, increases balance and encourages the feet to function more naturally—particularly when cornering. It has enough cushion to soften the impact of hard surfaces, even without a midsole protection plate.

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