Sep | 9
Behind the Laces

PureGrit 3 Wins Editor’s Choice Award

Here at Brooks Running we are excited that the PureGrit 3 received Editor’s Choice Award from Runner’s World. Our product team worked with Scott Jurek, ultra marathon champion, and completely redesigned the PureGrit 3. The team took a cue from climbing shoes to reimagine the concept of feeling the trail. We sat down with the PureGrit 3’s Product Line Manager, Carson Caprara, to learn more about how this award winning shoe came to be.

We’ve watched the video with Scott Jurek talking about the PureGrit 3 and noticed that only your arm makes a cameo. Why not more of you in the video?

No comment. Ha, ha. Ok, let’s just say that they cropped me out of the video. Hey, it’s tough to look graceful on the trails when Scott Jurek is front of you…

Tell us, how does the PureGrit 3 fit into the Brooks core line?

There are different ways to approach the trail.  Some runners prefer to plow over the terrain and be completely insulated from the trail.  For that experience we have our award winning Cascadia.  However, our work with Scott Jurek has helped us to deliver a unique trail shoe experience that allows the runner to connect more intimately with the terrain.  The shoe is designed to be ultra light and flexible, yet aggressive and durable, allowing the runner to pick their line and trust their feet with every step.  We believe that most trail runner’s will find themselves in one of those two experiences.


The PureGrit 3 didn’t always look like its current self. Take a look at a sketch from an earlier iteration.

Two words: hex lugs. Care to explain?

We really like the hexagon shape for the trail because it has six sharp edges that can grind up the surface, while still allowing the foot to control the direction of traction.  We peppered the bottom of the shoe with these lugs to give the runner complete control of the grip under their feet.

The PureGrit 3 is slightly lower to the ground than previous versions, why?

We wanted to get the runner as close to the trail as possible without compromising essential cushioning and protection.

What does the forefoot propulsion plate offer trail runners?

A trail shoe that is only lightweight and flexible tends to lose energy return and get “stuck” in the trail, especially in the cold and rainy seasons.  This is especially the case on trails that see a lot of rain and are muddy or damp for much of the year.  As a result, we built a propulsion plate into the forefoot for maximum energy return and allow the runner to be more agile on various terrains.

How did the “trust your feet” saying influence the shoe’s design and construction?

“Trust your feet” is a phrase that rock climbers use to impress upon the value of a good foot hold.  It takes a great rock climbing shoe with a superior rubber compound and smart design to give them this confidence.  We want to deliver that same confidence to our trail runners.  The Grit is designed to work with the foot to enhance its natural ability to adapt to the surface.

Did you encounter any big challenges while building the PureGrit 3?

Our biggest challenge was figuring out how to keep the shoe flexible despite the aggressive traction and forefoot propulsion plate.  Typically, the more rigid you make a shoe, the less flexible it feels on foot.  So we had to think outside the box to find the solution.  We ended up designing 3D contouring into the midsole and rubber.  If you turn the shoe over you will notice channels in the rubber that groove into the midsole in high flex regions.  This allows the shoe to adapt more freely to the terrain without  compromising the grip or durability.

It’s a beautiful shoe, it just won Editor’s Choice from Runner’s World. What are you most proud of with the PureGrit 3?

We are pumped about the award.  It is always nice to see the shoes that we work so hard on be recognized, but we are always looking forward at how we can make the Grit 4 and 5 even better.  I am most proud of our team’s keen focus on functionality and delivering a truly unique experience for the modern trail runner.  I hope that runners feel like we accomplished this as well.

Congratulations, Carson and team! Check out even more details on the PureGrit 3 here

About Carson Caprara
Carson is the senior footwear product line manager at Brooks. When he's not running, he's dreaming of playing golf and chocolate chip cookies.