If comfort is your chief concern on the run, there is no shoe better than the Brooks Glycerin 19. The soft, cushioned ride is ideal for easy runs and makes the shoe a great pick for new runners concerned about the impact of pavement-pounding.
- Very comfortable ride
- Plush padding on upper
- Durable outsole
- Too heavy and awkward for fast running
- Not much of an update on the 18
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The Glycerin is built primarily for comfort, offering a high degree of cushioning that makes it great for easy runs, or all your runs if you’re a new runner keen to limit the impact of pavement pounding. It’s the first shoe that comes to mind when someone asks me for a really comfortable option to tackle a Couch to 5K, or a cushioned cruiser for long runs.
It seems as though every year Brooks makes the same couple of small adjustments to the Glycerin line, which are to make the shoe a tiny bit more cushioned while also making it a tiny bit lighter. And every year those improvements count, making the Glycerin that tiny bit better at what it does, which is offer exemplary comfort during a run.
That’s still the case with the 19, which does feel ever so slightly more sprightly on the run when you up the pace, although that’s not really what the Glycerin is for. That also means it’s well worth looking for deals on previous generations, because there won’t be a great deal of difference compared with the newest model. What I will say straight away is if you see a great deal on the Glycerin 18 then buy it.
The mesh upper is much the same as on past models, holding the foot snugly with a lot of padding around the tongue and collar. If you live in a warm climate I suspect the padding might become a bit oppressive, but I run in the UK and have never experienced this. It’s a very cosy shoe though, almost inviting – go out and run!
I have found that all the Glycerin shoes I’ve tested have fit true to size, and that remains the case with the 19. The toe box fits closely but I’ve never had any rubbing issues, and the heel is held in place by all the padding around the collar.
Brooks has also launched a GTS version of the shoe for overpronators, which has the company’s Guiderails system to provide additional stability. If gait analysis has shown your feet tend to roll too far inwards the Glycerin 19 GTS can help mitigate that, even though the standard 19 is a fairly stable shoe in my experience despite the soft underfoot feel.
If you’ve run in a Glycerin shoe before you’ll know what you’re getting with the 19. All Brooks has really done in updating the line each year is made it more Glycerin-y, and that’s undoubtedly a good thing.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.