Summary

We spent 9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

7 reasons to buy

  • Many runners noted that the Brooks Glycerin 18 is comfortable to wear. 
  • Some consumers praised the roomy toebox of the shoe. 
  • A few buyers appreciated this running companion’s flexible upper unit. 
  • The shoe offers just the right amount of cushioning, said some commenters. 
  • One reviewer claimed that this running partner is responsive. 
  • A couple of testers mentioned that the shoe is perfect for long runs.
  • This running shoe is also comfortable for work, school, and other non-strenuous activities, based on reviews.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Several users complained that the Brooks Glycerin 18 is stiffer than its predecessors. 
  • It does not offer enough arch support, according to a reviewer. 
  • A handful of purchasers reported that the shoe is a bit narrow.

Bottom line

The Brooks Glycerin 18 is a neutral running shoe that can work for mild pronators or people who supinate. This shoe is suitable for runners and athletes who are seeking comfort, flexibility, and protection. It is equipped with advanced technologies that aim to enhance the running experience. Aside from road running, it is also suitable for gym sessions and casual walks.

Facts

Expert Reviews

93 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews

  • 89 / 100 |

    Cushion for cruising with Brooks Glycerin 18

    More photos

    Whether you’re a long time seasoned runner or you’re embarking on a new running journey as part of your new quarantine fitness routine, the Brooks Glycerin 18 is a great shoe of choice.

     

     

    More specifically, if you believe there is no such thing as too much cushioning, perhaps the Glycerin 18 is the perfect shoe for you!

    Overview

    If I had to describe the Glycerin 18 in one word, it would be COMFORT. It’s no secret that the Brooks Glycerin is a longtime favorite running shoe for many runners.

    These shoes are designed to keep your feet comfortable mile after mile. With that being said, the Glycerin 18 debut couldn’t have come at a more perfect time!

    I haven’t run in a Brooks running shoe in a while, so I was eager to try the Glycerin 18, especially since my weekly training mileage has dramatically increased.

    The plush comfort of the Glycerin 18 made my feet happy on those long runs for sure!

    Specifications

    Here is a quick break down of the Glycerin 18 specifications:

    Weight 9.0 ounces (W7), 10.2 ounces (M9)
    Heel-to-toe drop 10mm offset
    Shoe type Road running
    Category Neutral
    Cushioning Plush cushioning

     

    First unboxing! Cornflower blue colorway :)

    Sizing/fit

    The Brooks Glycerin 18 fits true to size.

    As for the fit, the toe box has a wider toe box, yet not as wide as a Topo or Altra model by any means. The overall fit was very comfortable, and I didn’t have any issues with hot spots.

    Furthermore, the heel counter is amply cushioned for optimal comfort.

     

     

    Here is my size chart of various shoe brands to be used as a comparison in choosing the right size for yourself:

    Brooks 9.5
    Nike 9-9.5
    Reebo9 9
    Asics 9
    Salomon 9
    Altra 9
    New Balance 9.5
    Topo Athletic 9.5
    Inov-8 9.5
    Mizuno 9.5
    On Running 9.5
    Saucony 9.5
    The North Face 9.5

    Midsole and outsole

    Say hello to the reconfigured DNA LOFT midsole of the Glycerin 18! The full-length DNA LOFT midsole coupled with an OrthoLite sock liner increases the overall step-in comfort and cushioning of the Glycerin 18. As soon as you insert your feet in these shoes, the cushioning is very obvious!

     

     

    Lately, many of the shoes in my shoe rotation have been on the firmer side, especially for speedwork and up-tempo runs.

    With the changes to my training regimen, I needed a shoe that was cushioned for longer distance training. The Glycerin 18 provided the perfect amount of cushioning for what I desired.

    Moreover, I feel as though these shoes would be an excellent choice for those who are on their feet for long periods. Thanks to the plush midsole and excellent underfoot cushioning, the Glycerin 18 would be a great option for prolonged walking or standing.

     

     

    The rubber outsole of the Glycerin 18 is somewhat similar to its previous iteration with minor modifications. With over 132 miles in the Glycerin 18, the outsole has shown only minimal wear. All of my miles were only on the road or occasionally the treadmill.

     

     

    The rubber outsole in the Glycerin 18 shows a diagonal tread pattern, whereas the Glycerin 17 has a straight pattern. I am not certain if the diagonal pattern increases traction, but I have run in wet road conditions, and the traction of the Glycerin 18 had no issues whatsoever.

    The flex grooves in the outsole add an element of flexibility to the Glycerin 18, which enables heel-to-toe transitions to feel smooth, creating an overall comfortable ride.

     

    Upper and laces

    The upper of the Glycerin 18 is one of my favorite features of the shoe. Aesthetically speaking, I like the looks of the shoe, too. The upper is comprised of a double-jacquard engineered mesh which feels like a stretch bootie. The fit is not too tight or not too loose. It’s just right.

     

     

    The stretchy feel of the upper increases the overall comfort. I have neither wide, nor narrow feet, but I feel as though various foot types could be accommodated by the upper of the new Glycerin 18.

    The Glycerin 18 is outfitted with flat laces which are great because they evenly distribute pressure across your feet when lacing up.

     

     

    As far as lockdown goes, I didn’t have any issues with heel slippage or discomfort. I felt as though my foot was secure in the Glycerin 18.

    Performance/comfort

    I had really high hopes for the Glycerin 18, but my overall experience was simply just okay. Right out the box, I took the shoes for a 10-mile run, and I absolutely applauded the cushioning!

    As for the ride of the Glycerin 18, it feels a bit slower and less responsive than other cushioned running shoes I’ve tested.

     

     

    Now, the Glycerin 18 isn’t a bad trainer at all. I’m just not exactly sure if it’s the right shoe for me and my running needs. For long easy runs or recovery runs, I believe the Glycerin 18 is perfect.

    Additionally, I did find myself wearing the Glycerin 18 out-and-about because of the overall comfort of the shoe was phenomenal. I simply prefer a shoe that encompasses both cushion and responsiveness.

    Furthermore, comfort is a 10/10, but there was a lack of responsiveness and energy return. I also personally found the Glycerin 18 to feel somewhat heavy. Many of the shoes I’ve been running in lately weigh no more than 7 ounces which made the Glycerin 18 feel heavy.

    I completely understand that sacrifices need to be made in the name of cushioned comfort, so the few extra ounces in weight weren’t the end of the world, but something to note.

    I suppose the Glycerin 18 would be suitable for midfoot strikers and heel strikers alike due to the abundance of cushioning. A 10mm stack height is pretty typical of many trainers, yet my “sweet spot” is more around 6-8mm.

    Realistically, shoe stack height is more of a personal preference though. The Glycerin 18 isn’t a bad shoe! In a nutshell, I suppose I just wanted a little more ground feel than the Glycerin 18 offered.

    Pros

    • Well-cushioned and comfortable fit
    • Great for distance running/recovery runs
    • Comfy updated engineered mesh upper

    Cons

    • Lacks desired responsiveness
    • A bit on the heavy side
    • Not as versatile as other running shoes on the market

    Final thoughts

    Ultimately, the Glycerin 18 is a well-constructed shoe that is designed to keep you comfortable. If cushioning is what you’re after, the Glycerin 18 may very well be your next go-to shoe.

     

     

    Though I found the Glycerin 18 to lack responsiveness and energy return, I still found the shoe to be comfortable enough for slower and longer runs where pace wasn’t my priority.

    I applaud the comfort of these shoes and choose them for when I need to be on my feet for long periods and even for daily wear. Brooks is moving in the right direction for sure!

    Small updates to the responsiveness could be a game-changer for the Glycerin line!

  • 95 / 100 | Road Runner Sports | | Level 3 expert

    For your typical training workout, this is an amazing shoe to try on.

  • 95 / 100 | Runner's World | | Level 5 expert

    ...The shoe provides all-around comfort in a seamless upper, and a structured, secure fit with a stretchy 3D Fit Print saddle...

  • 90 / 100 | The Outdooraholic | Level 1 expert

    When the worst comes during a marathon, Brooks is there for you. With Brooks Glycerin 18 you can have that smooth cross over the finish line without any damaging bruises and painful blisters. It is specifically manufactured for runners who value comfort without sacrificing quality. This pair of running shoes will make you feel like you are stepping on the clouds.

  • First look | Running Warehouse | | Level 4 expert

Become an expert

The Brooks Glycerin 18 is an everyday running shoe that is built to handle any distance on the roads. This shoe has undergone several improvements to provide a softer and more comfortable ride without sacrificing performance.

This road running shoe now features more DNA Loft foam, which is responsible for providing excellent cushioning for extreme plushness. Another update that is incorporated into the shoe is the new stretchy double-jacquard mesh top. The mesh material and 3D-printed overlays are used to provide an adaptable fit and breathable comfort. 

To continue providing durability and protection, this edition still uses the HPR Plus and blown rubber materials. These elements are also featured in the outsole units of the Brooks Glycerin 16 and Brooks Glycerin 17.

The standard sizing measurements were used during the creation of the Brooks Glycerin 18. Runners can get a pair using their usual sizing preferences. However, it should be noted that some reviewers mentioned that this running shoe felt a bit narrow compared to its previous versions. It is advisable to test the shoe in-store before making a purchase decision to ensure a pleasant wearing experience. 

Several factors influence the fit of the shoe. This includes the traditional lacing system that offers a snug and personalized in-shoe fit. Other elements include the 3D Fit Print overlays, OrthoLite™ sockliner, and padded tongue, which aim to provide added comfort and supportive fit.

A full-length, green rubber outsole is integrated into the Brooks Glycerin 18. This outsole material boosts the midsole’s cushioning performance while enhancing traction and decreasing the platform’s overall weight. 

The HPR Plus rubber is positioned in the heel section of the outsole. It is a high abrasion-resistant rubber that promotes durability for long term use. This element also offers a firm grip on various paved surfaces. 

The blown rubber material is placed in the forefoot for exceptional durability. It is a responsive rubber material that also allows for flexibility.

Providing plush comfort is a soft midsole material called the DNA Loft foam. This technology delivers luxurious cushioning while maintaining durability and responsiveness. The DNA Loft transition zone also makes moving heel to toe feel remarkably soft and smooth.

An OrthoLite™ sockliner is placed above the DNA Loft foam for premium step-in comfort. This component offers another layer of cushioning and underfoot protection.

This Brooks running shoe utilizes a stretchable double-jacquard mesh for a comfortable in-shoe wrap. The mesh fabric allows for continuous airflow to keep the foot dry and cool throughout the day. It also offers flexibility and added support. 

The 3D Fit Print technology is also infused in the upper for an enhanced fit. This technology applies strategic overlays to give a seamless and secure fit.

For added comfort, a plush interior lining is used to complement the soft mesh fabric. The padding that surrounds the foot is designed to move and expand with every stride.

The traditional lacing system is featured in the Brooks Glycerin 18. The shoelaces help ensure a secure and customized fit every time. 

A padded tongue and heel collar are also included to offer added comfort and support while running. The padded tongue prevents the small rocks and other elements from getting inside the shoe. It also protects the top of the foot from getting pinched by the shoelaces.

Similarities between the Brooks Glycerin 18 and Brooks Cascadia 13

Similar to Brooks Glycerin 18, the Brooks Cascadia 13 is a neutral running shoe that works best for runners and athletes with neutral gaits.

Both of these running shoes are constructed with a mesh top for breathability. The Cascadia 13 uses the Element mesh fabric that has a moisture-managing feature, which staves off sweat and mild splashes of water. The Glycerin 18 features a more stretchable fabric called the double-jacquard mesh that offers flexibility. This component enables the Glycerin 18 to provide a softer and snugger in-shoe feel. 

Just like the Glycerin 18, the upper unit of the Cascadia 13 is also supported by thin printed overlays. The Glycerin 18 makes use of the 3D Fit Print technology for a secure and adaptable. While the Cascadia 13 uses the 3D Rubber Print that also repels mud and mild splashes.

The HPR Plus rubber is incorporated in the outsole units of these running shoes. This rubber material offers a firm grip and long-lasting durability. 

Differences between the Brooks Glycerin 18 and Brooks Cascadia 13

The Brooks Glycerin 18 is designed for running on roads. At the same time, the Brooks Cascadia 13 is crafted with trail-specific features like the aggressive gripping lugs that perform well even on challenging terrains. Cascadia 13 is also created with a rock shield and other protective features. This is the reason why the Cascadia 13 is heavier compared to the Glycerin 18. 

Another big difference between these shoes is the type of materials used in their midsoles. Cascadia 13 utilizes BioMoGo DNA technology as its primary cushioning unit. The BioMoGo DNA is made from environmentally friendly materials, which deliver contoured support and excellent shock absorption. The Glycerin 18, on the other hand, incorporates a generous amount of DNA Loft foam that offers not only premium cushioning but also responsiveness and durability.   

The Element lining serves as the interior sleeve of the Cascadia 13. Like the Element mesh, the lining can stave off sweat in ease. It also offers a smooth in-shoe feel. The Glycerin 18 features a softer interior lining that helps prevent irritation. The plush interior lining that hugs the foot can expand and move naturally with the foot.

Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com