The Brooks Glycerin range has long been a favourite amongst the kind of runner that wants comfort above all else. The Glycerin 18 is the latest iteration of that shoe line, with Brooks adding a sprinkling of new design features to ensure it's still up there as one of the best daily trainers.
The range has become a staple for those looking for a daily trainer that offers a soft, cushioned feel with every step, instead of a fast race shoe.
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The Glycerin 18 adds even more comfort this time around, with an updated mesh upper for a better fit as well as adding increasing the DNA Loft cushioning in the midsole. And if looks are your focus, the new colorways are by far our favourite of the Glycerin range to date.
We've spent the past few weeks putting the Brooks Glycerin 18 through it's still one of the best options out there for those who care about comfort over speed.
Price: $150 | Weight: 289g/ 10.2oz (men) 255g/ 9oz (women) | Type: Road/Training | Stability: Neutral | Heel to toe drop: 10mm | Sizing: True to size | Alternatives: Hoka One One Clifton, Mizuno Wave Skyrise, Saucony Triumph 17, Adidas Ultraboost 20, New Balance Fuelcell 1080v10
When a shoe delivers the goods it's always a relief to find that the latest version actually incorporates minimal design changes. Yes, it's always exciting to try out the updated features of a new shoe, but when you have something that gets things as right as the Glycerin range, stick with it.
Luckily Brooks has only slightly tweaked the design of the Glycerin 18, offering an almost identical feel to its predecessor with a few additional updates to the build.
First is the upgraded DNA Loft foam that makes up the midsole. The material is almost identical to that found in the Glycerin 17, albeit with a slightly softer cushioning. It's also a touch lighter than the 17, although it's unlikely that any runner will notice the difference.
Then, and perhaps most importantly, it's the revamped upper. Brooks has used a double jacquard mesh to offer increased breathability and flexibility. Visually it's almost identical to the 17, but you can really feel the benefit of the new material when you hold it. Extremely soft and almost squishy, it feels more like a shoe designed for relaxing than one focused on performance.
The tongue, like the rest of the shoe, delivers a padded feel that holds the foot in an almost cosy position ‚Äď not a phrase we normally use to describe a running shoe. The laces add to that by being possibly the most cushioned shoelaces we've ever seen on a running shoe, something that also makes them extremely easy to tie up.
On the outsole, there's a healthy dose of HPR Plus rubber which does an excellent job of adding to the durability of the shoe, another feature which makes these a great option for those runners that want a shoe for high mileage and comfort.
The fit, for us, was true to size and we found the Glycerine 18 was comfortable as soon as you put them on. No need to wear them in or worry about chafes or rubbing.
It probably comes as no surprise that the Glycerin 18 is an extremely comfortable shoe to wear, even from the first time you slip your foot into it. The soft cushioning and ample padding makes it feel more like you're wearing a slipper than a technical shoe.
That feel transfers perfectly to the ride, offering one of the most enjoyable shoe experiences you're likely to find during training sessions. And, although that soft midsole offers a high level of protection against impact, it doesn't feel slow or sluggish like many heavily cushioned shoes can be.
We say training sessions because the Glycerin 18 is a shoe designed for covering a lot of miles, whether that's through consistent daily runs or longer distances, without making it feel like a slog. The midsole not only does an impressive job of absorbing repeated impact, but the padded upper makes the foot feel stable and secure without being constrictive.
At faster pace, it's clear that the Glycerin isn't a shoe designed for speed. It's by no means a slow option and the cushioning does an admirable job at offering a competent level energy return, however, if you're after something for a fast time on race day, it's not one of the Glycerin 18's strengths.
That rubber outsole also does an excellent job at protecting the midsole, delivering a durable shoe that should last you for a lot of miles.
The Glycerin 18 is one of our favourite options when it comes to daily training miles, offering an incredibly comfortable and enjoyable shoe to run in whether you're doing 5km or 42km. For those runners looking for a fast shoe on race day, there are far better options out there. However, it could be a great choice for those running a half marathon or a full marathon where the focus is covering the distance in as much comfort as possible.
Like its predecessors, the Glycerin 18 is one of the best shoes out there for runners who want comfort above all else, both in the midsole and in the cosy upper. Although the updates are minimal, the modifications made are noticeable in comparison to the Glycerin 17, specifically around the softness of the upper.