Brooks Running PureGrit 3

The midsole on these trail runners adapts to hard and soft footstrikes.

Performance

A shoe that reacts the same way all the time is great for treadmills, but you run outside, where conditions change. The PureGrit’s flexible, 14mm EVA midsole changes right along with the hard and soft surfaces, the fast and slow gaits. How? Its cushioning comes from a proprietary material that adapts its density with every footstrike, becoming firmer with harder footstrikes (like running fast, or on concrete) and cushier on softer footstrikes (like running slowly, or on dirt trails). The rounded heel creates a natural, rolling gait. One ultrarunner loved the feel during a 22-mile training run over a combo of granite and dirt singletrack in Northern California, noting that they felt firm and responsive early in the run, and soft and cushioned later, when he slowed down.

Breathability

The open mesh upper releases excess moisture and heat, even during long, super-hot runs (we used them up to 105°F). Plus, they dried in about 15 minutes after creek crossings.

Durability

The upper is bolstered with a laminate on high-wear areas.

Traction

Hexagonal lugs provide solid grip on all kinds of terrain (including loose rock descents), but they’re too shallow to provide much traction in mud.