Are Brooks Glycerin Good for Running?

Brooks Glycerin shoes have been a popular choice among runners for years. With their plush cushioning and smooth transitions, they promise a comfortable and enjoyable ride. But are Glycerin models truly good running shoes? Let’s take a closer look at their features and performance to find out.

The History and Evolution of Glycerin

Brooks first launched the Glycerin in 2010 as a neutral yet supportive daily trainer. Since then, the Glycerin has undergone regular updates and is currently in its 19th iteration. With each version, Brooks made improvements by adapting to the changing needs of runners.

They fine-tuned the midsole and outsole while retaining the signature “cleaner and greener” DNA of Glycerin. Over a decade, the shoe has garnered an impressive fanbase and remains a shoe staple season after season.

Key Features and Technologies

The Glycerin 19 contains several noteworthy features that contribute to its popularity and efficacy as a running shoe:

  • Plush DNA LOFT Cushioning: The full-length DNA LOFT midsole delivers soft yet responsive cushioning that accommodates your footstrike. The cushion feels lively without losing structure and durability.
  • Air Mesh Upper: The newly updated mesh upper offers ventilation and stretch where you need it. The result is a breathable, flexible feel that moves with your foot.
  • 3D Fit Print Saddle: Strategically-placed 3D Fit Print regions in the midfoot provide structure that securely cradles your foot. This helps prevent in-shoe sliding inside the roomy Glycerin.
  • IDEAL Pressure Zones: For a smoother heel-to-toe transition, this technology places cushioning and traction where you need them most. High-wear areas under the heel and forefoot are well-catered to.

Performance for Different Types of Runs

Daily Runs

With ample DNA LOFT cushioning throughout, the Glycerin performs brilliantly for daily training runs at easy to moderate paces. The plush midsole softens impact while providing energy return to keep your feet feeling fresh, even during longer runs.

The smooth transitions also minimize fatigue and discomfort in your joints and muscles. Meanwhile, the breathable upper offers in-shoe comfort run after run.

Long Runs

The Glycerin offers the soft landings and support needed to withstand long distances without complaints. Slow to moderate paces are where the Glycerin really shines during half or full marathon training.

The consistency underfoot maintains efficiency so you can remain resilient through latter miles. The roomy toe box also allows natural splaying as your feet swell and tires over long durations.

Recovery Runs

Between demanding tempo or speed workouts, sliding into the Glycerin 19 means welcoming your feet with open arms. Runners recovering from intense training bouts or races will appreciate the forgiving cushioning during shorter, slower strides. If you’re returning from injury, the gentle heel-to-toe transition is also less jarring on tender areas as you rebuild your fitness.

Speed Workouts

While the Glycerin isn’t designed for faster paces, its responsive cushioning does allow for some tempo runs or strides. The partial GUIDRAIL support keeps you steady through transitions as you work through mile or kilometer repeats. However, for track workouts or sustained speed training at paces faster than 8:00 per mile, a dedicated lightweight shoe would likely suit better.

Race Day

Come race day, the Glycerin is best for half or full marathons where cushioning takes priority. The energetic midsole ensures your legs stay fresher even in latter miles when form falters. Quicker racers up to a 10K can also rely on the Glycerin, although racers prioritizing responsiveness may lean towards other options for 5Ks or 10Ks. Ultimately, the Glycerin offers a reliable racing flat across long distances.

Ideal Runner Profile and Weight Recommendation

The Glycerin works well as an everyday neutral trainer for runners with medium to high arches requiring cushioning. The sweet spot seems to be runners logging between 15-50 miles per week at easy paces. In terms of weight, the Glycerin accommodates average-sized runners best.

Per RunRepeat’s aggregated data, the average user weight is approximately 140-165 lbs or 64-75 kg across genders. However, feedback from heavier runners above 200 lbs suggests the Glycerin still delivers ample cushioning and support at slower paces.

Comparison to Other Popular Running Shoes

How does Brooks Glycerin compare against other top cushioned trainers by major brands? Let’s look at some key similarities and differences:

Brooks Glycerin vs Hoka Bondi:

While both are well-cushioned, the Bondi features maximally-cushioned midsoles. So the Bondi offers greater shock absorption for recovery days or injured runners. However, the Glycerin’s firmer ride feels more versatile for varied running needs.

Brooks Glycerin vs Saucony Triumph:

These two neutral shoes have long been rivals in the cushioned shoe domain. The Triumph excels specifically for long distances with its lively, bouncy PWRRUN midsole. However, the Glycerin likely appeals to more runners needing an everyday trainer with its more balanced ride.

Brooks Glycerin vs Nike ZoomX Invincible Run:

Nike’s maximal Invincible Run flies the flag for softness, enabling easy miles like nothing else. But compared to the Glycerin, they’re less stable and harder to handle at faster speeds. Glycerins offer more secure padding and support if that’s still a priority alongside cushioning.

The Glycerin holds its own against the giants of the running shoe world. While it may not be the absolute best choice for specific uses like recovery or race days, it remains one of the most versatile options. Considering its broader appeal and completeness as a package, that helps cement the Glycerin’s spot among the best neutral trainers available now.

Pricing and Availability

The Glycerin 19 retails at $150 USD at full price on Brooks’ website and partner retailers globally. That positions it competitively among premium trainers using innovative midsole foams. Discounted older models like the Glycerin 18 and 17 can also be found.

Brooks typically launches new Glycerin iterations mid-year around June. Stock is usually bountiful upon launch then tapers off closer to the next launch as sizes sell out. Signing up early for launch alerts secures you the best size availability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions runners have about the Brooks Glycerin:

Who are the Brooks Glycerin best suited for?

The Glycerin works very well as a well-cushioned daily trainer for neutral runners logging moderate to high weekly mileages. Runner types who would appreciate the Glycerin most are longer distance lovers, heavier runners, and those wanting relief from hard surfaces.

How do the different Glycerin models compare?

Key technologies get fine-tuned across models rather than overhauled. Expect a consistent cushioned ride but with gradual improvements to breathability, transitions, and stability. Moving from an older to newer model brings these small but appreciable changes.

Are the Brooks Glycerin good for walking?

With its DNA LOFT cushioning and smooth heel-to-toe transitions, the Glycerin performs equally brilliantly as a walking shoe for travel, workplace commutes or leisure. The spacious, breathable upper also keeps feet ventilated and comfortable over miles.

How long do the Brooks Glycerin last?

With proper rotation and avoiding excessive wear, Glycerin shoes can clock over 300-500 miles. But athletes logging very high weekly miles might find the resilient midsole compressed closer to 300 miles. Using them primarily for easier runs extends their lifespan.

Can I use custom orthotics with the Glycerin?

You’ll be happy to know that the Glycerin plays well with most orthotics like Superfeet and Spenco. There’s ample room to insert prescription or over-the-counter insoles comfortably without it feeling overly tight.

Ready to Make These Shoes Your Next Running Partner?

Over successive versions, the Brooks Glycerin continues to hold court as a leading neutral trainer that gets the fundamentals right. The Glycerin 19 brings a dialed-in fit working in harmony with its DNA LOFT cushioning to deliver accessible softness without excess.

Regardless of whether you’re racking up daily miles or embarking on long run adventures, the Glycerin remains a reliable running shoe choice.

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