Brooks is really changing things up this year and as we mentioned with our Launch 8 review, the Glycerin 19 continues that evolution and sees the emergence of more GTS shoes. The standard Glycerin 19 gets a re-formulated midsole and a nice tweak to the upper so it will feel like a solid upgrade for anyone running in the 18. The GTS version brings GuideRails to the same model platform and essentially replaces the Transcend in the Brooks lineup. The Glycerin has always opted for comfort over performance, so let’s see if anything has changed. If anything, it visually looks way better.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Best for easy long runs or as a recovery shoe or for those that like a much softer experience.
- Expect minimal updates from the Glycerin 18 to the 19 on the tech side, but it looks so much better.
- The Glycerin 19 GTS replaces the Transcend as GuideRails get added to the base model.
- Weighs in at 10.2oz or 289g for a US Men’s 9, 9oz or 255g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features 31mm of cushion and has a 10mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $150.00 USD and comes in 4 colors for Men and 5 for Women (2 colors for the GTS).
We talked a bit about this before in our view of the Launch 8 but it is worth reiterating that Brooks in 2021 is creating GTS versions of all their flagship models. Before we had shoes like the Transcend which were entirely different builds and were stability specific. Now, those folks that need a bit more support can get the same great shoe as neutral runners, in this case, the Glycerin 19, but with the addition of GuideRails. This means folks don’t have to sacrifice.
As to this update, the biggest thing the 19 has going for it is the redesign of the upper. From the time this shoe goes on your foot, it is all about comfort. The upper is still breathable but feels so good against your foot that you almost want to wear these shoes without socks (please don’t unless that’s your thing). The addition of the printed overlays creates some semblance of mid-foot support, but more than anything makes them look even better. That heel still holds you really well and the collar and tongue are still nice and plush leading to just a slipper-like experience on your foot. The midsole is still DNA Loft, but they have reformulated a touch to make it softer than before, but if we are honest it doesn’t feel significantly different.
On the performance side, this is an easy running everyday recovery shoe that leans into its comfort characteristics and should not be expected to deliver on performance. The Glycerin 19 provides solid cushioning for your knees and legs and when you have those days where your quads or your calves are burning or you need to work out some of that acid after a race, this is a very easy shoe to throw on and just put some miles on. It is a no-fuss no-muss shoe and delivers on its promise pretty well. The new upper definitely improves on the shoe overall delivering a better overall on-foot experience.
The GTS version adds GuideRails to the lateral and medial sides providing stability for those that need it. Honestly, we have a lot of respect for what Brooks has done here because they have taken a shoe that a lot of people have wanted to try, but couldn’t for whatever reason and made it more accessible. If you truly don’t need stability, then there is no reason to go the GTS route, but it is here if you need it.
The upper is an engineered mesh that almost feels like a knit because of the design. The internal tongue and gusset extend all the way over the top of the forefoot making it silky smooth against the top of your foot. The tongue itself, as well as the collar, are well-padded and this leads to a rigid internal and externally supported heel counter which locks you in place.
As we mentioned, the midsole continues to use their DNA Loft technology. In this case, it has been reformulated to be a bit softer, but doesn’t feel much different. You should not expect significant responsiveness from the tech of the shoe, your legs will have to do that work for you if you want to speed them up.
The GTS version adds GuideRails on both the lateral and medial sides for those that need additional stability.
The outsole features quite a bit of rubber with only a small area of exposed midsole on the lateral side. You can expect solid traction even in the rain as we’ve had a chance to put it to the test here in the Pacific Northwest quite a bit.
Style & Aesthetics
On the styling side, we totally love the update, light years better than the 18. It definitely feels a bit more sporty and since it will be available in 4 colors for men and 5 colors for women, you can expect a decent amount of diversity. Brooks also tends to add colors throughout the year so keep an eye out for more showing up.
Overall, the Brooks Glycerin 19 is a solid update to the platform and so much better looking than the 18. The new upper alone makes it a must if you are using the 18. The reformulated midsole doesn’t feel all that much different, so if you are looking for a recovery shoe or just an easy everyday shoe and you want a little more cushion, then the Glycerin 19 can be a great option. If you want a bit more performance and want to save some money, then the Ghost 13 is your obvious choice instead. We do have a lot of respect for what Brooks is doing with the GTS models, so very glad to see them bring it to this shoe as well. Glycerin 19 definitely remains Brooks’ highest and softest cushion shoe and it feels like it’s getting more comfortable every year… if that’s even possible any more.
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.