Brooks Glycerin 14 Review Facts
The Glycerin 14 is a shoe made with comfort in mind, to strike the road and get those miles in without having to worry about your feet disagreeing with the distance. With advanced midsole technology, pressure zones on the outsole to alleviate shock upon impact, a plush comfort collar with an interior to match you get a very dynamic range of cushioning. Now, it sounds great, but what exactly do these aspects stem from, and how do they perform when actually put to the test? Let’s find out. Specifics below.
First Impression – The moment I slipped into these shoes, the cushioning aspect was apparent. Stepping was very pleasant, although at least thirty minutes of breaking in are suggested to really get the feel for them. Or, a run or two before really getting serious.
The outsole is made of pressure zones for the sole purpose of lessening the force of ground impact. This is a resistant rubber between the midsole and the ground that acts as a medium and absorbs the shock. It's segmented so that you still get the full performance but with a higher level of flexibility allowing full articulation of the foot joints. With this, you also have much more grooves coming into play for better traction and ability to catch the ground beneath your feet. The flexibility allowed from these grooves played really well for me on the road. I did catch pebbles from time to time, but nothing major that didn't remove itself as I pressed on.
The midsole is made up of an updated Super DNA rubber profile, and not their BioMoGo as you would see in previous versions. It is said to offer a whopping 20% more cushioning
than the previous. That's a really significant jump. How does it actually perform when on feet, or under I should say? Well, for one, you get very adaptable comfort, stemming from the heel area where the cushioning factor is at it utmost benefit, going up toward the forefoot where you get a more firm, but flexible ride. This is due to the deep grooves on the side that work with the outsole to minimize any impact or force from transferring over to the foot. This allowed me to push and step harder without having to worry too much about the ground strikes and focus more on propulsion.
The upper features Brooks
' well known 3D Stretch Print Overlays. If you aren't already familiar, let me bring you up to speed on what this technology is all about. You want breathability in a shoe, so you incorporate a mesh upper, but you also want flexibility and enhanced support. The 3D stretch print does this without being a hindrance to the airflow by not blanketing everything. There you go, support, better stretch-ability and without sacrificing the breathability. For evenly added support in the midfoot area, they added an overlay-saddle that effectively grabs the foot as the laces tighten, securing it properly. To allow airflow through this addition, they've cut windows into the saddle so airflow isn't compromised too much. How does this all tie together? Well, my foot felt very secure in the shoe and I'm one to usually complain about this. Aside from that, the airflow kept my foot's temperature regulated perfectly.
The Glycerin 14 comes in at 10.6 ounces. This is certainly lightweight for shoes in general, although it isn't the lightest of running shoes I wouldn't consider it heavy. With so much cushioning and protection added, you get a well-performing shoe, at a very fair weight. I could easily pull off a marathon in these. With that being said, if you want to race or get gain a personal record, you may have to sacrifice a bit of the cushioning and support, but if you're just going for the long run, you will fair well.
So, what do you get when you have a mesh upper? You get great airflow, period. You also need support and structure in the upper so on top of that mesh needs to be an overlay unless you're going for a super minimalistic style, but that's not why we're here. What Brooks has done to give that support and structure is to incorporate their 3D stretch print technology which effectively encompasses the upper's mesh without total blockage. Therefore, you get as good of breathability as you need.
There's so much to say about comfort here. Let's start with the comfort collar. This feature alone is enough for me to recommend this shoe and it is "one" of my favorite additions. I've had numerous shoes in the past, where running longer distances
caused an extreme amount of rub-rash from the collar area. With the comfort collar, I can probably run all day and not feel a single thing. You also get a very smooth feeling from the inner walls and the underfoot when slipping your feet into them. It's a comfort that's hard to explain, but it's a very pleasant feeling. It's a very smooth inner. To top it off, or bottom it I suppose, the midsole acts as a huge cushion to keep the hardness of the ground and you completely separate. This means no extreme shock from foot strikes or hard landings. The method in which the midsole is grooved and cut is the culprit here. Brooks calls it their Super DNA midsole. I call it a pleasant run.
When I'm wearing a running shoe, I want a shoe that looks like a running shoe. This doesn't mean overly exaggerated or flashy, but I want the technology implemented to not be hidden, but also not pop too much. I think Brooks did a great job with the Glycerin 14, and all their shoes in general for that matter, when it comes to the well-balanced design. You have the Stretch Print overlay which gives aesthetic appeal but of course is also practical. The same can be said with the overlay saddle and deep, grooved cuts into the midsole. There are two shoe brands in which I really favor the aesthetic appeal of their shoes in general, and proudly wear them around. One is Nike
, and the other is Brooks. I like the style. Take a look at the pictures above and decide for yourself whether it's the look for you. These come in three color-ways for men and three for women to give you options.
Well, with about 100 miles on these the shoes are still kickin', alive and well with some scrapes, scratches, and bruises but overall the shoe is doing a very good job with no support lost. Everything's holding up as needed, and I will continue to put the miles on, to see where the threshold is on these guys, but I don't see it coming soon. That just means a lot more run testing for me! I suppose I'll see you back when I hit two-hundred and then we'll go from there.
We already know it has protection capabilities. The first thing you see up top is the large, plate-like overlay up the sides of the shoe. This is meant for support
, yes but also acts as a shield, between the foot and any exterior hazards. The mesh is soft, so it doesn't withstand as much as this overlay. That's why this is a significant protection piece. Furthermore, you have a very solid toe guard and overlay to ensure anything you may accidentally bump, does not cause damage to the toes.
There are two major factors that come into play here. One, the material used in the outsole, two, the profile of that material. The outsole is made up of what Brooks dubbed their "Super DNA" material. This is said to have much more cushioning than their previous BioMoGo material, but also gives a good level of responsiveness in my opinion. I've tried previous versions of the glycerin, and they all provide a good snap-back and return. The 14 follows the same path but seems to have a higher degree of this spring effect. This falls into the second factor I mentioned. It also has deep grooves cut into the sides along with its segmented outsole. This gives the midsole an ability to flex a lot more, providing a much better return of energy in the to-off. It can be a bit stiff around the saddle, but not too much to hurt the overall performance in this regard.
Not only do you get great support from a rubberized "saddle" overlay coming up on both inner and outer sides of the shoe, you also get the flex grooves (as mentioned before but still noteworthy) spanning the rest of the shoes outer to provide all-around support. The midsole is decent in providing a solid platform for your feet but this is a neutral shoe
, so you won't be getting any special support benefits, although you do get the general effective package.
If we're talking about support for the foot in general, I do feel like the firm saddle kept the foot in place securely, giving structure, and all around had enough support without being too "built" or bulky. One observation I made is the forefoot being loose, which I'm seeing as intentionally done, and I'm willing to bet some people love the "stretchy" wiggle room. For my taste, a few thicker 3D printed overlays would have been perfect. Read also about marathon shoes.
This is an effective road running shoe that should not be taken off the road
. Brooks has great shoes like the Mazama
if you want to get down and dirty on some trails. The outsole profile is modest and finetuned to absorb the shock of hard pavement like surfaces, not grab into dirt or tear through the grass. The upper is formulated to provide breathability and although has very good support features, does not have the support or structure needed for trails. If you do find yourself on a detour as I have a few times, you won't run into any extreme problems as the shoe is built well enough, but if you want to utilize the dynamic midsole cushioning and outsole pressure zones to their full extent, stick to the pavement.
The retail price for this shoe stays true to that of earlier models. You're looking at a $150 price tag for the 14. I wouldn't categorize this with the most affordable shoes on the market, but it's not a bad price point considering it's the latest model (as of January 2017) and has up-to-date features.
Key Features of the Brooks Glycerin 14
Key Features of the Brooks Glycerin 14
• Super DNA Midsole technology for an adaptable and comfortable feel
• Pressure Zones to effectively nullify shock from ground strikes
• 3D Stretch Print incorporated onto the upper to provide structure
• Comfortable Saddle overlay on the upper to properly secure the foot upon tightening of laces
As mentioned, I did about a hundred miles accumulative in these and one thing that stood out, in particular, was the comfort. The shoe has great responsiveness, breathability, and an overall great fit, but the feel of them through the long run
is really something noteworthy. I can still slip them on, and get the comfort I felt from day one, which is great because some shoes give in and lose their overall support after the same mileage is put on them. Who would I recommend the Glycerin 14 to? Of course, those who want an easy cushioned ride as you will feel less impact every time your feet strike the ground, but more importantly, those who want a shoe that fits just right.