The Brooks Pure Grit 4 is a lightweight shoe designed for minimalist, natural-feeling trail running. The hexagonal lugs give a good grip in dry conditions and performed reasonably well on damp rock. They coped with the odd muddy patch but didn’t have enough bite for some of the softer off-road conditions they encountered on test; they will definitely be best suited to firmer trails. I found them comfortable and, with a soft, light upper, there is just enough protection from the toe shield to run on loose, rocky ground. Being lightweight, the upper isn’t water repellent and won’t be as resistant to abrasion as some of the other shoes on test. As a result, they’re not ideally suited to running over too much rough rock and coarse vegetation. The fit was comfortable – less snug than the Salomons but certainly not sloppy – and contouring on steep ground wasn’t a problem. The 4mm drop makes the shoe responsive, yet there is still a reasonable amount of cushioning and I never felt lacking in protection underfoot. The bright orange colour might not be to everyone’s taste but you’ll soon get them muddy!
A good, lightweight shoe for trail or racing o dry trails, the Pure Grit 4 makes an ideal summer trail shoe for a wide variety of trails and races.