BROOKS GLYCERIN 18 REVIEW

Melanie Mitchell | February 13, 2020

BROOKS GLYCERIN 18 - SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | FEBRUARY 2020

Onto its 18th edition, the Brooks Glycerin has lightened up for 2020 bringing in less weight and more cushion to this legacy go-to running shoe.

Guest reviewer Brian Metzler gives his insight into what else is new for this perennial bestselling runner from Brooks.

THE BUZZ

Already one of the plushest and most cushioned neutral training shoes on the market, Brooks added more cushioning to the Glycerin 18 and improved the fit, the feel and the ride while also making it noticeably lighter than the previous edition.

The Brooks Glycerin 18 is a durable, well-cushioned trainer with a noticeable amount of energetic pop.

Brooks Glycerin 18 - What's New

WHAT'S NEW: BROOKS GLYCERIN 18

The cushy midsole has been reconfigured with a tad more DNA Loft cushioning, resulting in a softer feeling in every stride without any loss of responsiveness or durability.

A new double-jacquard mesh upper with 3D printed support elements provides more stretchiness, more breathability and slightly more structure for a better fit. The updated outsole provides ample flexibility and consistent ground contact for reliably smooth ride.  

On the 18th edition of the Glycerin, the bottom of the shoe has been reconfigured with thinner layers of outsole rubber to provide optimal traction and energetic toe-off. To keep the weight of the shoe moderately low, Brooks alternated sections of durable high-abrasion rubber in the rear of the shoe with sections of lighter, blown rubber in the forefoot.

Brooks Glycerin 18  - Fit and Feel

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The plush interior of the Brooks Glycerin 18 is infinitely comfortable for a wide variety of foot shapes. It has a narrow, locked-down fit in the heel and saddle area with slightly more room in the forefoot. The snug fit and soft feel are enhanced by the premium Ortholite sockliner footbed, creating a luscious sensation in every stride.

With a thick, resilient DNA Loft midsole, the Glycerin 18 is produces a soft but very resilient ride with easy heel-to-toe transitions. It’s not a shoe that will feel exceptionally fast or quick, but it is consistent, durable and endlessly energetic.

WHO'S IT BEST FOR?

If your primary criteria in a running shoe is comfort and cushioning, you’ll love the Glycerin 18. It can be the go-to shoe for those training for a half marathon or marathon because it’s ideal for long runs and recovery runs and can suffice for longer tempo runs.

Although the Glycerin isn’t designed to be an all-out speedster of a shoe, this version is lighter and faster than previous reiterations and could be the optimal shoe of choice for someone hoping to finish their race in comfort and style.

PROS AND CONS: BROOKS GLYCERIN 18

Brooks Glycerin 18 - Pros

Pros: Brooks Glycerin 18

A stretchy internal bootie and cushy ankle collar provide a seamless, sock-like fit that allows the Glycerin to adapt to a wide variety of foot sizes, shapes and volumes.

Although most of the changes to the Glycerin 18 were minor, the overall improvement is considerable. It’s lighter, more flexible, more cushioned and generally a better shoe for a wider range of runners.

Brooks Glycerin 18 - Cons

Cons: Brooks Glycerin 18

Given all of the refinements, we didn’t find any glaring drawbacks to the Glycerin 18. But a few of our wear-testers suggested that the maximal cushioning made it harder to have a distinct proprioceptive “feel” for the ground.

BROOKS GLYCERIN 18 SPECS

SHOP BROOKS GLYCERIN 18

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado. 

He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of "Kicksology", "Running Colorado's Front Range" and the co-author of "Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running" and "Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner."