Brooks Glycerin 19 review and lab test

The Brooks Glycerin 19 is a daily trainer for neutral runners, with ample cushioning and lots of plushness in the upper. 

This is our first lab-tested shoe. We are starting to put hard numbers to everything we can test on a pair of shoes, from the softness of the midsole and outsole, the force it takes to flex and bend the shoe, slip resistance of the laces, where they fall on the minimalist index, and so much more. 

Glycerin 19 torn apart

We’ll keep refining this process, but our goal is to ensure we have the best and most detailed information so you can confidently buy the right shoes every time. 

Padded, stretchy and roomy

I liked that the upper is super flexible with lots of padding, it’s a plush shoe designed for comfort. The forefoot and toe box are nice and stretchy and there’s ample room with the upper measuring 98.2mm wide at the forefoot, which lets your toes splay nicely. 

Padding in Glycerin 19

Tongue stays put!

I also love the gusseted tongue. It has a full gusset made from a stretchy nylon/polyester, the mesh starts just in front of the heel and continues all the way around the toe which is a great feature, it helps with lock down across the midfoot but stretches and breaths well.  

These have a heavily padded tongue at 8.4mm thick and a plush 14.4mm ankle collar, making it feel soft and inviting to your foot on every run.  

Tongue design in Glycerin 19

Perfect midfoot lock

The soft tubular laces stay tight, taking an average of 25.7n of pressure to come undone. I dig these laces because they stretch enough to be flexible over the top of your foot, but not so much to hinder lockdown on the upper. These laces had a stretch ratio of .125. 

Glycerin 19 upper and laces

Soft and super stable ride

The DNA Loft midsole has a nice soft ride, averaging 37.2ha in the forefoot and 39ha in the heel. Plus they are built on a nice wide 117.3mm platform under the forefoot making it very stable and well balanced. 

Durable and grippy

The Glycerin 19 has a full rubber outsole extending its durability and I had no problems with grip on even, dry surfaces. I’ve tested it on asphalt and on dry dirt roads with no issues. This is a dual-density outsole with the forefoot measuring 77.2hc on our durometer and 3.1mm of depth, and the heel logging 84.8hc with 3.9mm of depth, adding a little extra durability for those heel strikers out there.

So unresponsive that they are boring

They are a bit heavy at 294g or 10.25 ounces, and there’s really not a ton of pep under foot. They are medium stiff with our flex test showing 25.8n of force to bend them at the breaking point, but there’s not a ton of response. They feel a bit dull, I really wanted this midsole to have a bit more life to it, it needs a little CPR I think.

Softness varies with temperatures!

They get stiffer too when cold. It's not a ton, but it's noticeable, which makes them even duller in the winter. We froze these shoes to 31°F (-0.6°C) and repeated our flex and durometer tests. The midsole was 17.4% firmer and the flex of the shoes was 60.2% stiffer than when measured at room temperature. 

Glycerin 19 in the freezer

Not a summer running shoe

They are also a bit warm due to all the padding, and as always it could use a heel loop. I would avoid them on hot summer days. I also did my homemade light test and you can see that not a lot of light penetrates through the upper, it’s thick!

Light test on Glycerin 19

Conclusion

The Brooks Glycerin 19 is inviting and comfortable, there’s lots of padding in the upper, and the midsole has a smooth, yet slightly uninspired ride, which for an everyday trainer is not necessarily a bad thing, it's consistent. 

I think the $150 price tag is a touch steep for an every-day trainer without anything super sexy to write home about, but if you need comfort, durability, and a tried and true platform that’s stable under foot, the Glycerine 19 is worth checking out.

Complete lab-specs overview 

Brooks Glycerin 19 
Weight - Left 294g
Weight - Right 294g
Weight - Insole 28g
Weight - Lace 3g
Length - Overall 308mm
Length - Insole 287mm
Width Midsole - Forefoot  117.3mm
Width Midsole - Heel 95.3mm
Width Midsole - Middle  72.8mm
Width Upper - Forefoot 98.2mm
Width Upper - Heel 80.1mm
Width Upper - Middle 69.2mm
Stack - Forefoot with insole 26.3mm
Stack - Heel with insole 38.1mm
Stack - Forefoot without insole 21.3mm
Stack - Heel without insole 33mm
Drop 11.8mm
Outsole thickness (Forefoot) 3.1mm
Outsole thickness (Heel) 3.9mm
Lugs Depth NA
Insole Thickness 4.8mm
Laces (without stretch) 48inches
Laces (with stretch) 54inches
Lace Stretch Ratio 0.125
Laces - Thickness (Height) 1.2mm
Laces - Width 6mm
Durometer Outsole Forefoot (Room Temp: 59.5 F) 77.2HC
Durometer Outsole Heel (Room Temp: 59.5 F) 84.8HC
Durometer Midsole Forefoot (Room Temp: 59.5 F) 37.2HA
Durometer Midsole Heel (Room Temp: 59.5 F) 39.0HA
Durometer Insole (Room Temp: 59.5 F) 28.5HA
Flexibility of the shoe (Room Temp: 59.5 F) 25.8N
Durometer Outsole Forefoot (Freezer 1 hour) 79.8HC
Durometer Outsole Heel (Freezer 1 hour) 85.9HC
Durometer Midsole Forefoot (Freezer 1 hour) 44.7HA
Durometer Midsole Heel (Freezer 1 hour 45.0HA
Durometer Insole (Freezer 1 hour) 30.8HA
Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 1 hour) 41.4N
Thickness - Heel Counter/Insert 2.8mm
Thickness - Heel Collar 14.4mm
Thickness - Tongue 8.4mm
Flexibility of the heel counter (Middle of heel) 121.1N
Light test (transparence) 11.2LUX
Lace slip test with the knot 25.7N
Longitudinal flexibility (0-5) 3
Torsional flexibility (0-5) 4
Tongue: gusset type, length and material Gusseted (both sides), stretchy nylon/polyester mesh extends from behind the midfoot all the way through the toe
Laces: profile  Tubular
Laces: extra hole  yes
Laces: are they long enough to use the extra hole  no
Heel: pull tab  no
Insole: removable yes
Control devices:
Multi-density midsole
Rigid heel counter
Elevated medial insole under arch
Supportive tensioned medial upper
Medial flare
Thermoplastic medial post
no
yes
yes
no
yes
no
Longitudinal flexibility (on a 1-6 scale) 3
Torsional flexibility (on a 1-6 scale) 4
How minimalist the shoe is in % 26

Note: all the tests were done on a men's shoe US size 9. 

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 10.2oz / Women 9oz
Drop: 10mm
Arch support: Neutral
Update: Brooks Glycerin 20
Collection: Brooks Glycerin
Pronation: Neutral Pronation / Supination / Underpronation

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Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.