Brooks Glycerin 17 Running Shoe Review: Plush And Comfortable

A soft shoe built for comfort, the Glycerin 17 is excellent for easy runs and ideal for new or heavier runners who want to minimise impact

Brooks Glycerin 17 running shoe
(Image: © Brooks)

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I don’t believe there’s a runner out there who could dislike how the Brooks Glycerin shoes feel when you slip them on. The Glycerin is designed for one main purpose – to be as comfortable as possible – and that’s immediately apparent when you step into the plushly padded shoe.

Of course, once you start running there will be occasions when all that padding plus the soft ride isn’t suitable, but if comfort is your chief concern the Glycerin has been a top choice for a long time and the 17 continues that tradition.

The midsole is made from the same DNA Loft material as the Glycerin 16, and it delivers a soft and smooth ride that’s perfect for easy days. If you’ve put your body through the wringer with some hard training sessions or races, there’s no better shoe for your recovery run.

Brooks Glycerin 17 upper

(Image credit: Brooks)

This soft ride also makes the shoe great for heavy runners and beginners worried about the impact of a new training regime on their body. If you’ve lined up a first marathon then the cushioning of the Glycerin will be much appreciated in the long months of training ahead.

The main difference between the Glycerin 17 and 16 is the addition of a sock-liner, which boosts the comfort of the shoe even further. To my eye the shoe has also been slimmed down and the design is more stylish than with past editions. It’s not in fashionable Adidas UltraBoost territory, but the Glycerin 17 is the best-looking edition of the shoe yet.

Brooks Glycerin 17 outsole

(Image credit: Brooks)

Naturally the plush ride and heavy weight (300.5g men’s) of the Glycerin 17 won’t suit all runners, and you do notice the heft when you increase your pace. Although the transition from heel to toe is smooth, the ride isn’t a responsive one – the shoe definitely feels like it’s designed to absorb the shock of running rather than return energy.

Since the Glycerin is designed to put comfort first that’s not really a problem, but there are a lot of shoes out there now that manage a better combination of cushioning and speed. The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 almost matches the Glycerin’s comfort while being better suited to fast running thanks to its bouncy Everun foam midsole, and the Hoka One One Clifton 6 is equally plush but far lighter than the Glycerin, making it preferable for picking up the pace.

However, if comfort is your priority, the Glycerin 17 remains the best option out there. And all you need to do to confirm that is head to your nearest running shop and slip a pair on.

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.