Brooks Glycerin 18 Running Shoe Review: Extremely Comfortable And Perfect For Beginners

Built for comfort, the Glycerin 18 is perfect for easy runs and ideal for new or heavier runners who want to minimise the impact on their legs

Brooks Glycerin 18 running shoe
(Image: © Brooks)

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Brooks’s Glycerin line has a refreshingly simple proposition – it’s the last word in comfort. The plush underfoot cushioning and the padded collar and tongue combine to create a protective and comfortable ride for any user, but beginners and heavier runners in particular.

I’ve enjoyed running in the past three versions of the Glycerin, and the 18 lives up to the line’s high standards. It’s an excellent, soft shoe that makes racking up the miles feel that little bit easier, whether you’re an experienced runner using the shoe for your recovery runs or a beginner taking your first steps in the sport.

The latest version of the shoe has a reconfigured midsole that has allowed Brooks to cram in even more of its soft DNA Loft foam without increasing the overall weight of the shoe. At 303g for a men’s UK size 9 it’s not what you would call light, but that’s not too heavy either for a shoe built for comfort rather than speed.

I used the Glycerin 18 for several easy runs ranging from eight kilometres up to around 25km, along with a couple of slightly quicker efforts. It’s not the best shoe for faster runs, and even for tempo runs the Glycerin feels a little sluggish – I’d certainly prefer to use a lighter shoe for my interval running and races.

However on easy and long runs it’s a delight, and it helps to protect your legs so you feel fresher and ready to run again in the days afterwards.

The upper hugs the foot snugly, and the padded collar and tongue add to the comfort. Some people might prefer a more stripped-back approach, but not me. The comfort from the moment you step into the Glycerin is unrivalled and a large part of that is down to the padded tongue.

Brooks Glycerin 18 running shoes

(Image credit: Brooks)

For a runner who has several shoes in a rotation to cover a range of different runs, the Glycerin could work as an easy day option. There are more versatile options like the Nike Pegasus 37 or Saucony Triumph line that might not be quite as comfortable as the Glycerin but are still amply cushioned and a little better to use for faster running.

It’s beginner runners who will enjoy the Glycerin the most. Though £140 may seem a lot to those who aren’t running converts yet, it's such a comfortable and enjoyable shoe to run in that the cost may well be justified. It may even make the sport feel less daunting if you are just starting out, especially if you’re worried about the impact running on pavements will have on your feet and legs.

All Brooks Glycerin Reviews

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

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.