The Brooks Glycerin 13 was one of my favorite running shoes of all time. I put 5000 (this is not a typo) miles into my pair of Glycerin 13. I ran in that shoe until it had disintegrated into a few measly scraps.
As a shoe reviewer, I never have a chance to wear out my shoes. There are always barely used shoes laying around, but I couldn’t take my feet out of these shoes. The Glycerin 14 and 15 had too firm of a midsole.
Despite the weird looks, Brooks regained the absolute plush comfort in the 16th and 17th iterations, which are quite similar. Anyway, the Glycerin might be the most comfortable and reliable daily trainers on the market. This shoe will go the distance.
Yes, the Glycerin is a comfortable shoe. Perhaps, it is the most comfortable shoe. The entire upper has plenty of plush cushioning. The heel collar, tongue, midfoot and toe box are all very soft and comfortable.
The upper is so pleasing to my feet that I can even run sockless. The upper is heavily perforated and therefore very breathable. The upper is made of a synthetic, moisture-wicking material which keeps my feet dry if they do sweat and dries quickly after a storm.
My foot does not develop any hot spots or blisters when wearing this shoe. The midsole is also extremely comfortable. It is thick and soft while still maintaining its structure. It's as soft and cushioned as a Hoka, but it is not mushy.
The solid construction gives the shoe plush comfort that keeps feet happy for longer periods of time, whereas mushy shoes are very comfortable only for shorter periods of time. The Glycerin 17 is so comfortable that I can run, walk or stand in it all day, every day. My feet are so happy in these shoes. #Runhappy
The Glycerin has a standard fit in the heel and midfoot areas and a wider toe box. The toe box is not anywhere near as wide as an Altra or Topo, but it is wide for a standard running shoe.
The toe box allows for a straight big toe and toe splay. The laces are very adjustable so the shoe can adapt to many different types of feet.
Brooks uses as a thick layer of a variation of their BioMoGo DNA in the midsole of the Glycerin 17. Biomogo DNA is an adaptive cushioning system that adapts to your specific foot strike every time you land.
DNA is made of a non-newtonian compound, which means that it changed its state of matter when different amounts of pressure applied to it. When you are running faster, you apply more pressure to the midsole.
The extra pressure causes the shoe to become more firm and responsive. When you are lightly jogging, you apply less pressure to the midsole. This causes the midsole to be softer and less responsive.
These adaptations happen every time your foot touches the ground. The Glycerin has a lighter and overall softer version of their DNA Midsole for an even more plush ride.
The Glycerin has deep grooves in the outsole to improve flexibility. The shoe is moderately flexible as to improve comfort and not restrict the foot’s natural movement, despite the thick cushioning.
The Glycerin is a daily trainer, and for an experienced runner, the ride will feel a little bit slow on faster runs; however, the Glycerin has a more adaptive and snappy ride than other shoes with its level of cushion. For less experienced and heavier runners, the Glycerin will be able to handle any kind of speed and distance.
The Glycerin has exceptional traction. The forefoot has a thick layer of stickier rubber, whereas the heel is covered in a thick layer of more durable carbon rubber. Many who run in the Glycerin will heel strike.
The heel of the shoe will suffer more abuse, so the durable rubber in the heel is more appropriate. The forefoot is made of stickier since runners need maximum traction at toe-off so that all of the power from their push off is transferred into forwarding propulsion.
The traction is strong enough to run comfortably on wet roads. The Glycerin is not a trail shoe, so it works well only on light trails.
The Glycerin may be sleek, but it is certainly heavy duty. All the materials in the shoe are very high quality and durable. As I said in the introduction, I put 5000 miles into a previous model of the Glycerin.
Was that a good idea? No, but this does speak to the durability of the shoe. This shoe will outlast most other running shoes while staying in good condition. Brooks guarantees 300-500 miles and will replace them for free if they don’t last that long, but I'm sure anyone can easily double that figure.
The Glycerin is an interesting looking shoe. This may not come out in the images, but the Glycerin actually changes color. Depending on the way the light hits the shoe, the color distinctly changes between blue and purple. That's pretty cool.
The BioMoGo part of BioMoGo DNA means that in an anaerobic landfill, the midsole will decompose within 20 years, compared to the thousands of years that it takes other midsole materials to decompose.
You don’t need to worry about the midsole breaking down prematurely because you don’t live in an anaerobic landfill (hopefully)! BioMoGo technology is not patented because Brooks wants other companies to be more environmentally friendly.
The Glycerin works best for neutral runners looking for a comfortable everyday running shoe. The Glycerin has just enough structure to provide a little support to runners seeking a stability shoe. Heavier runners and lighter runners alike will enjoy the Glycerin 17.
The Glycerin works best as a daily road running shoe, but can really handle anything if you push it. The Glycerin is also comfortable enough to buy as a casual shoe and comes in a completely black colorway if you need black shoes for work.
In conclusion, buy the Glycerin 17. The comfort and ride of the Glycerin 17 are impeccable. Brooks logo is Run Happy; the Glycerines make that a reality.
I love these shoes so much that It may sound as if Brooks is paying me to write this, or that I know nothing about shoes. But no, Brooks is not paying me, and I have with experience with over 100 different running shoe models.
I am very happy to be able to provide a review of the Brooks Glycerin 17, and the latest updated features of one of Brooks best neutral running shoes.
This is my second time running in the Brooks Glycerin style. I have previously tried out the Glycerin 16, and in comparing the two, I like the 17 more than I realized I would.
Comfort heel to toe
Some of my favorite features about the new Glycerin remodel is the mesh upper, the Ortholite sock liner, and internal stretch bootie.
I really loved this feature when I wore the Glycerin 16, and I love it even more in the Glycerin 17.
Literally, from the moment I put my feet in these shoes, they were surrounded by comfort from heel to toe.
The tongue and upper heel on the shoe are softly padded, and you never have to worry about rubbing or blisters.
I have always worn socks while running, but if there was ever a shoe where I felt like I could go without them, this is it. The stretch in the upper mesh and bootie make the shoes very flexible and breathable as well.
In fact, when comparing both the Glycerin 16 and 17, I feel like the 16 is much stiffer compared to the updated 17 models.
Lastly, all the stretch in the bootie and mesh provide the shoes the ability to mold to various foot types of different runners, giving everyone a comfortable ride.
I think individuals who have tried this shoe would agree, that the comfort provided by the mesh upper, the sock liner, and the internal stretch bootie is unmatched and makes these shoes the most comfortable they have ever worn.
The Glycerin 17 is a lightweight running shoe weighing in at only 9.2 ounces. This is even lighter than the previous Glycerin 16 model, which was 9.4 ounces.
You wouldn’t think that 0.2 ounces would make that much difference, but when I try on one of the 16 models and one of the 17 models, I can tell the difference in the weight.
The Glycerin 17 does not feel heavy on your feet, and this makes them perfect for various workouts, including long runs and speed workouts.
Toe box changes & favorite colors
Other features of the updated Glycerin models that I always feel like are worth mentioning are the toe box changes.
The toe box in the Glycerin 16 and 17 is smaller compared to other Brooks models and previous Glycerin styles.
I personally never preferred the wider toe box because I didn’t feel like my foot fit in the shoe. This was one reason why I never tried the Glycerin until after the new update.
However, many runners that I know who liked the wider toe box in previous models dislike this about the new upgrade.
Also, due to the upper mesh design, the toe box no longer has the leather piece stitched across the front. I have read reviews where some runners didn’t like this new feature as well.
One of my favorite things about the new Glycerin 17 model is the 5 different color options, and that Brooks finally added in some lighter colors for this style.
When the Glycerin 16 first came out, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the color schemes because they seemed so dark.
This was totally different compared to some of the vibrant colors offered in previous versions of the Glycerin.
Thankfully, there are now some pretty colors back in this line-up, and I think most ladies would be able to find a color they liked for everyday wear in this shoe now.
DNA loft cushioning & responsiveness
Just like the Glycerin 16, the Glycerin 17 is designed with Brooks' DNA loft full-length midsole cushioning. This cushion offers runners a cushioned and responsive ride.
However, one positive thing that you will discover about this cushioning is that it’s not bulky at all. The cushion technology provides runners with comfort and durability while remaining lightweight.
Additionally, since wearing these shoes, I have not noticed any wear on the bottoms as I would to other shoes.
High retail price
The Glycerin 17 model retails for $150.00. This may not be feasible for some runners and is one disadvantage that I find about new releases of running shoes.
For this reason, I feel like frugal runners may be a year behind on shoe styles because they wait for the previous model to go on sale and don’t buy the update.
Wrapping it up
To conclude, I have enjoyed testing the Glycerin 17. I have found the Glycerin 17 update to be even better than the previous Glycerin 16 version.
If you are a runner looking for a lightweight, responsive, and a neutral running shoe, these are a great option.
The comfort provided by the upper mesh, Ortholite sock, and internal stretch bootie is unmatched to any shoes that I have tried.
The new color options make these shoes really pop, and I think most ladies will agree they can find a color to wear when running or just with casual attire.
Lastly, Brooks is a trusted brand among runners, and they stand behind their gear with a 90-day money back guarantee.
Over the years, I’ve heard good things about the Brooks Glycerin, and since I like neutral cushioned shoes, I had to try them out for myself. Especially since I was looking for my next marathon shoe and thought the Glycerin 17 might be right for me.
The 17th edition of the Glycerin has a 10 mm drop with a 22 mm forefoot stack and a 32 mm heel stack, and it’s a neutral road running shoe which comes in at 260 grams for the women’s model.
This is not my first pair of Brooks, but it is my first pair of Glycerin. I’ve previously tested their Levitate 2 (which has Brooks’ DNA AMP), known for its energy return.
The Glycerin has the DNA LOFT midsole material, which is soft and plush. Exactly the way I like my running shoes to be.
The upper is made out of a double layer of jacquard mesh. There are some hexagon shaped overlays on either side of the shoe. I assume these are referring to DNA and thus referring to the midsole material.
The tongue has some medium padding, while the heel collar has medium to plush padding. There is no stitching directly along the heel collar because of the fabric heel collar runs over the edge to prevent any hotspots.
I really like this because I’ve also encountered running shoes where the fabric of the heel collar stops right on top, and that is where I’ve often experienced hotspots due to the seam that ran along the collar.
The midsole of the Glycerin 17 is completely made up of Brooks’ DNA LOFT material. It is a mixture of rubber, EVA foam, and air.
DNA LOFT is the softest midsole material that Brooks has. You do sink into the midsole a little bit. It is soft, but it still has a decent energy return.
Most of the outsole is covered in rubber, providing pretty good traction on most surfaces.
I’ve done over 50 miles in these shoes, and the outsole has started to wear a little bit underneath the forefoot. The seven flex grooves make the shoe really flexible.
I’m just not entirely sure why there is an uncovered EVA part on the lateral side of the midfoot. I’m not convinced it really serves a purpose; maybe it is more for esthetic reasons to make the outsole more recognizable.
I had some trouble with the width of this shoe. It's surprising since I didn’t have any problems with the width of the Ghost 12 and the Levitate 2.
The problem wasn’t really the toe box or the heel, but I found the midfoot to be too narrow. So, I decided to order the shoe in a wider size.
That did give me more fabric in the upper, made it a bit more difficult to get the right lock down, but the platform still didn’t feel right. It made me realize my problem was with the OrthoLite sockliner rather than with the upper or the platform itself.
Once I switched out the sockliner for another, I was definitely more comfortable in the shoe, and I could run in the regular width.
I have tested out this shoe in several training runs. I also did a 10-mile race in them, which went fine, although I did learn that I had to tie them a bit differently to get the right fit.
It took me a few tries to figure out the best way to tie them. In the end, I did decide to run the marathon in them. It was fine until halfway, after that, I started to feel pain in my hips and my feet began to hurt.
Sure, some pain is normal, but this was not the type of pain I was used to experiencing during the marathon.
I think in the end, the shoe didn’t absorb enough of the impact for me. Maybe that’s because I’m a heel striker and although this shoe is cushioned, it might not be the most ideal shoe for heel strikers,
However, I did finish the marathon with all my toenails intact and no blisters, which are pretty impressive.
Yes, the Glycerin is a nicely cushioned shoe. It’s soft, it’s plush, and it was enough room in the toe box. And the flex grooves make for a pretty effortless heel to toe transition.
I didn’t experience any hotspots; however, the fit wasn’t effortless. I had to change the way I laced them several times, and I had to switch out the sockliner.
Even though the shoe is nicely cushioned, I found it didn’t absorb enough impact on very long runs, but it’s a great shoe for medium to long runs.
After weeks of running with the new Brooks Glycerin 17, I can report that the shoe delivers exactly what the company promises – a plush, enjoyable ride.
It’s essentially the Lincoln of shoes, maybe not the fastest, maybe a little more expensive, but it gives a soft, comfortable and luxurious ride.
The Brooks Glycerin is a neutral running shoe. It is designed to be soft and smooth and has a plush fit.
It is a great shoe for long runs on the road. I also enjoyed it when I went on light off-road trails.
The exterior mesh and interior liner gives it a very compliant and comfortable feel on your foot. Let's get into the details.
Comfort and fit – Feels like you’re wearing socks
The upper of this shoe is made of an engineered mesh with an interior liner that really stretches and forms around your foot. It just feels good.
When I put these shoes on, I had the impression of a pair of socks that just happened to have a sole attached to them. The comfort kept up during the beating I took to it.
The upper has just the right amount of support and breathability. It never felt like my feet were overheated and my toes had plenty of room to splay.
The heel counter held my foot in place just fine, and I never felt any sock slippage. The tongue is attached to the inner lining and doesn’t move around like some other shoes I’ve tested. This made for a very secure and reliable fit.
Now as a negative remark, I wish that these came in a 4 wide because that would have really sealed the deal for me.
The 2E’s were good, but my midfoot felt just a tad cramped while using them. That being said, I’m still quite impressed with the fit and feel.
Ride – Miles and miles of cushioning
The shoe is made for cushioning, and it delivers.
The midsole is made of ultra plush DNA Loft foam. I love this stuff in the Adrenaline and I love it even more in the Glycerin.
The pure plush feels good on long miles. It staves off foot fatigue quite well.
The shoe is more compliant than stiff. It allowed for a very natural movement of my foot, which I really enjoyed.
One negative about this kind of material that I can never get away from is that it does tend to flatten.
I have some wear on my shoes from my heel strike that I expect to continue as the shoe wears on.
The shoes feel awesome running, but they actually feel even better when you’re walking. These are not the kind of shoes you throw off as soon as you’re done with a run. You will want to wear them all day long.
The outsole is fantastic on this shoe. Never during my snow, mud, sand, gravel, or wet pavement runs did I feel a loss of control. I love the full ground contact they have. The material is extremely durable.
There is minimal tread wear after my testing, which is impressive as I am quite heavy and tend to rip through tread quickly.
Style – I’m a fan
The style of the Glycerin hit me just right. It is an understated but still good looking shoe that I felt comfortable wearing at work or out running.
I dig the polygonal shapes on the upper and in the foam, they evoke a glycerol molecule, which is kinda cool and nerdy, good enough for me!
I wish the laces were just a bit longer for my lace lock, but then again I think that may just be related to my fat feet. I liked shape on the facing of the shoe, it has a kind of squiggle that I am a fan of.
Value – Ouch
The Glycerin 17’s go for $150, which is just a lot of money. I think that if you are looking to save some money, you could go with the ghost and lose some of the cushioning and gain just a tad bit of weight.
That being said, these shoes are all about luxury and comfort. If those are your priorities, go ahead and spend the extra $30, you won’t be sorry.
Overall – A premium ride at a premium price
These shoes are very comfortable. It’s hard to imagine unless you try them on. They are a good pair of shoes for slower, longer runs.
They also are very durable. The tread is stable and will last forever.
They, unfortunately, don’t come in 4E, and they are on the pricier side, but overall I’m a fan. Overall, I’d rate these shoes 9/10.
The Brooks Glycerin 17 is one of the best Brooks shoes one can buy. This is the 17th iteration of the shoe, and the 18th iteration releases to the public on March 1st of 2020.
This shoe weighs 10.5 ounces for a men’s 10.5. It has a 10mm drop and is like running on air.
Right out of the box, this shoe was very comfortable. I took this shoe on a 6-mile run and found that the shoe needed little to no break-in time as it was soft and cushioned for the long run right out of the gate.
This was slightly concerning to me because I was fearful that this would lead to premature breakdown of the shoe. However, I could not have been more wrong.
I have rotated two pair of Glycerin 17’s for the last 700 miles of my running. Both pair have kept to their comfort level that Brooks promises out of a cushioned shoe.
The mesh upper is extremely comfortable and very durable. I have a bad habit of my foot slipping in shoes with mesh uppers, but this upper is supportive and holds your foot in place.
After 350 miles of training in these shoes, I have made them my go-to shoes for casual wear because they still look fairly new and are in good condition.
The sock liner in the mesh upper gets a little uncomfortable in the summer months and is best for morning or evening runs avoiding the hot summer days in South Carolina.
While this shoe is extremely cushioned, it is still very responsive thanks to the DNA loft. It is a combination of foam, air, and rubber that lead to this cushioned yet responsive feel.
After 300 miles in these shoes, the toe box began to feel a little cramped. I am not sure if this is from the mesh upper and sock liner shrinking or the foot size changing after my first 1000 plus mile year.
The outsole is very durable and can handle most if not all terrains. After 300 miles, the foam is not overly compressed.
I feel like the sole could last closer to 450 miles. But, the knit upper seemed to have shrunken from runs in the rain or possibly from my feet swelling. The outsole is perfect for less than optimal weather and grips all terrains very well.
While this is one of Brooks neutral shoes, it provides just enough stability for someone who is on the verge of needing a stability shoe. For me, I should run in a stability shoe but have not found a “stability” shoe that I love due to the added weight.
This shoe is a neutral shoe that, for me, works to help give me enough support without a huge weight increase. It would be even more amazing if they could get the weight of this shoe down without sacrificing the structure or comfort of the shoe.
- Fit true to size
- Available in all black
- Still feels like they could trim the weight
- Not a shoe for speed work
- Not many colorways
Overall, it is durable, cushioned while still being responsive. But, I could not give this a perfect score. Coming in at 10.5 ounces, I still feel that Brooks can find a way to trim the weight down while still making a shoe that can be a go-to for runners looking for that cushioned run.
I am looking forward to seeing what the Glycerin 18 brings to the table.
Good to know
- The Glycerin 17 is a member of the global family of Brooks running shoes. It is a product that aims to offer responsive cushioning and a pleasant in-shoe experience to those who want to try it out. The façade is similar to its immediate predecessor, the Glycerin 16, save for sparing use of printed overlays. The same double jacquard mesh still makes up the majority of the upper unit, with visible breathing holes accommodating the flow of air into the foot-chamber.
- Underfoot cushioning is the job of the DNA LOFT, a full-length midsole unit that is meant to ensure comfort and responsive performances. A sockliner with antibacterial capacities is placed on top of the primary midsole foam, giving additional support to the foot.
The outsole unit of the Brooks Glycerin 17 is composed of a rubber compound that shields the entire underside of the midsole. It has a grid-like configuration with a helping of non-prominent lugs to heighten surface grip and control.
Flex grooves allow the platform to bend in conjunction with the foot as it goes through the gait cycle. Moreover, these trenches make sure to optimize the coverage of the contact points, thereby enabling a balanced and well-rounded heel-to-toe transition.
The midsole unit of the Brooks Glycerin 17 is composed of the DNA LOFT technology, a foam that is created to last long through its succinct construction and compressed build. It has a generous thickness, but it doesn’t have a substantial weight. Its reactive nature permits energized performances on the roads.
An OrthoLite® sockliner brings additional comfort to the underside of the foot. This removable piece also has anti-moisture and antimicrobial capacities which permit a clean and healthy shoe interior from which the foot can benefit.
The upper unit of the Brooks Glycerin 17 features double jacquard mesh which resembles woven cloth. The soft and seamless construction of this material accommodates the natural shape and motion of the foot, moving with it as it takes each step. The visible breathing holes are areas that welcome environmental air into the foot-chamber.
An interior cleatie construction evokes a smooth and irritation-free wrap. A textile lining hugs the foot, contouring its outline and embracing it with its seamless structure. Ventilation and flexibility aren’t hampered by this sleeve.
Wobble-prevention and foot security are the responsibility of the padding in the tongue and collar. These sections of the upper are also designed to mitigate the vibrations generated by each step, saving the ankles, the heel and the instep from any unpleasant consequences during the run.
The 3D Fit Print technology is comprised of a set of synthetic prints that are placed on the sides and the heel. These add-ons seemingly focus on improving the aesthetics because of the colorful visuals, yet they’re designed to bolster the façade and maintain its structure. The resulting feedback on the upper’s integrity affects the foot through an extra supportive hug that’s influenced by the adjustments made to the lacing system.
A traditional lacing system is used for the Brooks Glycerin 17. Semi-flat shoelaces go through discreet eyelets, crisscrossing across the bridge of the shoe and ending on the front portion of the collar. Such a mechanism adjusts the tightness and looseness of the fit, thereby permitting a customizable yet agreeable in-shoe experience.
Asics Gel Cumulus
The Cumulus series of running shoes is an Asics line of products that has a storied history. The name is a part of several that are based on types of clouds; apparently, the brand wanted people to experience ‘walking on clouds.’ Such a distinction warrants a midsole that can evoke the feeling of being supported by a light and reactive piece of foam, and Asics asserts its greatness through in-house technologies that are touted to be lighter and bouncier than the industry-standard ones.
Shoes like the Asics Gel Cumulus 20 encompass features that were born out of innovation and constant pursuit for betterment. Decades of existence are testaments to the quality and reliability of the Gel Cumulus.
Mizuno Wave Rider
The Wave Rider series is one of the longest-running neutral running shoes in the market. Mizuno has taken each iteration and placed mild-to-extensive changes to the construction, depending on the innovations that were available at the time. The precursor models from the end of the 20th century had façades that were filled with stitched overlays and bulky outlines. But the Riders evolved with the times; they even saw potential in slightly subdued design, with simple yet clear color schemes gracing the uppers.
But the aspect that took center-stage was the Mizuno Wave, a thermoplastic piece that is placed in the heel part of the midsole. This feature is tasked with mitigating impact shock during the landing phase, steadying the foot at all times, and guiding the step to achieve smooth takeoffs. All the iterations have this Wave aspect, including the well-received Wave Rider 22.
New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi
The Fresh Foam Arishi hasn’t seen a lot of versions. It is one of New Balance’s most recent members of its stable, embodying the company’s protocol for embracing style and functionality in a single package. The initial model in this series, along with its Sweatshirt and Sport counterparts, employed a traditional design that made it look like the classic New Balance runners of the ‘90s. The close-to-the-ground construction was present in that iteration, as were the muted color schemes which may remind people of clothes that are created for the fall season.
The jump from the original Arishi to the Fresh Foam Arishi v2 isn’t as visually distinct as anyone would initially think, though a side-by-side comparison would show a more open upper configuration for the sequel. The engineered mesh that predominantly graces the v2’s façade shaves off weight while ensuring a cool and dry in-shoe experience. Targeted support is also heightened thanks to the printed overlays that, in the case of the Arishi v2, now extend to the base of the midfoot, giving additional support when it’s needed. Subtle yet helpful changes embody this family of shoes.
Nike is a company that is known for its flagship running shoes and products that bridge the divide between performance and style. The creative teams of this brand dole out foot apparels that are meant to capture attention while also accommodating people’s needs for functionality. These characteristics make most Nike running shoes very lucrative options, especially since they have prices that escalate with the level of popularity the particular series has.
The Downshifter line of running shoes, including the much-lauded Nike Downshifter 7, doesn’t conform to such norms. In fact, this series is one of the few cheap running shoes that enjoy the quality and functionality expected of products from the brand that embodies the Swoosh logo. The models that comprise the Downshifter family usually feature industry-standard technologies like the ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole and the open mesh upper, yet they seem to be implemented well. People like these shoes for their comfortable and accessible builds. They have been touted as no-nonsense products that focus on the ‘running’ aspect of performance footwear.