Summary

We spent 9.5 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • The underfoot cushioning system of the Brooks Glycerin 17 was considered to be efficient at providing comfort throughout the running session.
  • The inclusion of an OrthoLite® sockliner was welcomed by most testers; they believed that it enhanced the plush and pleasant platform of this neutral running shoe.
  • Some testers stated that the in-shoe fit followed their expectations; the width profiles and the shape of the shoe accommodated the foot with ease.
  • A couple of purchasers observed that the inner sleeve didn’t cause any irritation or discomfort to the skin.
  • The foot-shaped platform and the well-adjusted build of this shoe helped it making it versatile; people have commented that they were able to use this shoe for activities other than running.
  • Most of the running enthusiasts who have tried the Glycerin 17 praised the outsole unit’s capacity to grip the ground. They claimed that the ground control and steadiness were easily achieved because the rubber pad was reliably traction-ready.

1 reasons not to buy

  • Some purchasers didn’t like the color schemes of this road shoe, stating that the hues looked different from the more appealing online pictures.

Bottom line

Overwhelmingly positive feedback was given to the Brooks Glycerin 17. Those who have tried it were happy with its individual components and the overall quality of its entire existence. The luxurious underfoot experience, the agreeable in-shoe coverage, and the versatile construction were highlighted as the things that made this neutral shoe a great go-to runner.

The Glycerin 17 is designed for neutral pronators and those who desire versatile footwear for speed training, asphalt adventures and gym exercises.

Facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
Top 1% most popular running shoes
Better rated than the previous version Brooks Glycerin 16

Expert Reviews

87 / 100 based on 19 expert reviews

  • 88 / 100 |

    Brooks Glycerin 17 - Flexible cushioning

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    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. 

    Upper

    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.

    Midsole

    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.

     

    Outsole

    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. 

    Fit

    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. 

    Performance

    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.

    Conclusion

    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.

  • 100 / 100 |

    The Brooks Glycerin 17

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    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.

     

    Comfort

    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

    Fit

    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.

    Ride

    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.

    Traction

    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.

    Durability

    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.

    Looks

    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.

    Sustainability

    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.

    Best uses

    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.

    Conclusion

    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.

    Disclaimer

    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.

  • 95 / 100 | Road Trail Run | | Level 5 expert

    They run lighter than the numbers would indicate and they are very, very comfortable. I deduct for low toe box. It’s most troubling on downhills--it hasn’t caused any major issues yet, but there are definitely times when my third and fourth toe seem to scrape the ridge at the front of the toe box. . Consider sizing up.. I’ve been running in lots of “Max cushion” shoes lately due to an injury and most of them are just maximally unenjoyable. The Glycerin is a delight to run in.

  • 85 / 100 | JackRabbit | | Level 5 expert

    Runners who really appreciate thickly cushioned training shoes will love the Glycerin 17.

Become an expert

  • 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.

Regular sizing methods were used in the making of the Brooks Glycerin 17. Runners are encouraged to get a pair using their usual shoe-size preferences. When it comes to width, the available variants are D – Medium and 2E – Wide for men; for women, the options are AA – Narrow, B – Medium and D – Wide. The variety of width profiles is a testament to the versatility of this product.

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 Downshifter

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.

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