The Brooks Glycerin platform has always been about comfort. It isn’t necessarily all about a high stack in the heel, but more about the use of the materials. In their latest installment, the Brooks Glycerin 18, things get even more comfortable with a new upper, some shifts to the midsole, and a super plush interior. The bottom line is this is a premium running shoe with a $150 price tag, but whether it is right for everyone might be up for debate.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Updated mesh upper and a fully reconfigured midsole
- Weighs in at 10.2oz or 289g for a US Men’s 9
- Features a 10mm heel/toe drop
- Billed as a Neutral Cushioned Road shoe
- Retails at $150.00 USD and comes in 5 colors for Men and 7 for Women
We had two testers take these out and bring two very different perspectives to the shoe. Our male runner is faster and typically focused more on performance, but is always on the lookout for a nice easy riding recovery shoe and our female tester is slower and focuses on lower mileage and comfortable ride to reduce knee pain.
Jeremy – On foot, these the Glycerin 18s are pretty amazingly comfortable. You sink into this midsole like you are dropping into a memory foam bed and the upper, especially the internal mesh really just feels good. The shoe also flexes really well and I would definitely say it feels premium enough to warrant the high price tag. It is a well-designed shoe with materials that definitely feel premium.
On the roads, I could tell pretty quickly that these would never be my long term jam. First off, while the ride is ultra cushioned, there really just isn’t any bounce for me. Trying to make these go faster takes work and it may just be that DNA Loft midsole just isn’t my thing for normal runs. Personally, I would reserve these for really slow recovery days or even when I am in injury recovery mode as that is when that softness will be the most beneficial.
Lauren – I would definitely agree on the comment on the upper as these are super comfortable. I just want these on my feet all the time and if I had to call out anything it would be an ask for a bit wider toebox, but overall the feel of these on your foot is tremendous. The comfort level is better than anything I have felt from Brooks in a while.
In run, I definitely see what Jeremy is saying with the lack of bounce, but it is not necessarily a concern for me. I just want to take my team and click off my miles and not have a lot of lower leg discomfort. My knees still get sore (old soccer injury), so having cushion like this that is softer and less bouncy is definitely easier for me to run in. If I wanted to go faster, then I would probably go to a different shoe as well, but this would really be an everyday shoe for me.
The upper on the new Glycerin 18 is pretty fantastic. It uses their new engineered double-jacquard mesh which is very soft against the foot. Small slits throughout the toebox provide additional breathability and flexibility. The tongue is gusseted and the internal mesh liner actus like an extra soft cage around your foot. The internal heel counter holds you in place well and the padded collar is like a memory foam around your achilles. One issue we found up here is that narrower feet will need to really lock down because it does feel a little floaty at times.
The midosle gets a ton of updates here. The DNA Loft has been extended across more of the foot as well as deeper toward the outsole. This makes the shoe incredible soft underfoot which will definitely help for those in recovery or who experience joint soreness. It is not however really meant for heavy performance… so think pillowy but without a ton of pop.
The outsole on the Glycerin 18 is pretty much full-length rubber, with just a few open spots of exposes DNA Loft. The forefoot is grooved for additional flex and then outlines the heel. Leaving some exposed midsole decreases overall weight and while it will wear faster, it is not in areas where your foot will contact repetitively.
Style & Aesthetics
Visually it doesn’t get any more Brooks than the Glycerin and they have a ton of color options to choose from. The only issue with the color options is that for men it is basically black or white with different midsoles and then one royal blue. The women have a ton of other color choices and honestly the better picks of the bunch.
The Brooks Glycerin 18 has seen some massive updates over the years and this really pushes them even further forward. Our biggest concerns with this update come down to how soft the midsole has actually become. It is comfortable, no question about that, but we are not sure it translates particularly well into performance. It is great for slower runners who just want something nice and easy and that will provide more cushioning on their joints. For faster runners, Brooks has a ton of other great options you will want to consider first, but for slower runners and even walkers there is a lot to love.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.