Brooks Glycerin 17 Review Facts
The most cushioned shoe of the brand, the Brooks Glycerin 17 is a shoe that offers immense comfort while road running. Designed for neutral pronators and people who value underfoot protection and comfort over speed and responsiveness, this shoe exceeds the expectations and creates a luxurious riding experience. One would have to try hard to find a real fault with the Glycerin 17, and we’re not that sure that the shoe even has one – in its own category, of course.
The outsole of the Brooks Glycerin 17 cushioned running shoe is made with the use of the same rubber compound that was seen in the previous version of the Glycerin family
. This is due to the fact that the resilient rubber showed excellent performance on a variety of surfaces and proved to be durable as well. The outsole features seven deep horizontal flex grooves in the forefoot that allow the weight of the runner to be transferred smoothly in order to achieve an easy heel-to-toe transition. The lugs of this shoe are discreet but able to efficiently grip to flat surfaces. The shallow lugs are also present around the heel and the midfoot, while the center area of the outsole is lug-free. This configuration encourages a natural gait cycle while also providing great traction, and most runners are more than satisfied with it.
The midsole of the Glycerin 17 features DNA LOFT technology, for which the brand claims it’s their most softly cushioned midsole. The DNA LOFT also featured in Ghost 11 and Adrenaline GTS19 is a foam compound aimed at providing substantial cushioning, without the corresponding weight. The thick and responsive nature of this compressed foam provides an energized and bouncy ride. On top of the soft and protective midsole is a removable OrthoLite sockliner that adds another layer of cushioning and comfort, making the in-shoe feel as plush as possible. This sockliner also has moisture-wicking and antimicrobial capacities that provide a healthy foot environment.
The upper of the Brooks Glycerin 17 features an interesting build which consists of double jacquard mesh that resembles a woven knit. The construction of the upper is seamless and sock-like, providing ultimate comfort while enwrapping the foot in a secure and flexible way. The interior bootie construction prevents irritation and discomfort, without hindering ventilation
or flexibility of the upper. The collar and tongue are generously padded, and this padding increases the supportive fit of the shoe, while also protecting the ankles from distress caused by ground impact. The sides of the upper feature the 3D Fit Print technology, which seems like it has a primarily visual purpose, but the synthetic prints are actually aimed at strengthening the sides of the shoe and offer additional structure to the upper. The lacing system employed in the construction of the Glycerin 17 is traditional and consists of eyelets that are an integrated part of the upper, and semi-flat laces that offer a firm and comfortable fit.
The Brooks Glycerin 17 isn’t a light road running shoe. This is somewhat expected, given the thick midsole cushioning in the midsole. At 300.5g or 10.6oz for a men’s half-pair and 261g or 9.2oz for women’s, the weight for underfoot protection trade-off seems more than reasonable. If you’re looking for an extremely cushioned shoe that provides comfort throughout the entire run, you’ll be satisfied with the Glycerin 17. However, if you’re after a moderately cushioned, lightweight racing shoe, the weight of this road runner will probably be too heavy for your needs.
The double jacquard mesh used in the construction of the Glycerin 17’s upper offers great breathability even on very hot days. The perforated upper is capable of providing sufficient in-shoe ventilation, which complements and intensifies the antimicrobial properties of the OrthoLite sockliner. The creation of hot spots is down to a minimum in the Brooks Glycerin 17, which prevents blistering and discomfort. All in all, the foot chamber of this road running shoe will have satisfactory ventilation throughout the entirety of the run.
The key aspect of the immense comfort that the Brooks Glycerin 17 has to offer is its soft, foamy DNA LOFT midsole, which offers consistent underfoot cushioning throughout the ride. Additionally, the OrthoLite sockliner adds more softness and cushioned support to the runner, and most runners were very pleased with its inclusion and performance. The vast majority of runners agreed upon the in-shoe feel of the Glycerin 17, stating that the shoebox accommodated their foot with ease, providing a flexible and supportive fit. The inner sleeve didn’t case blistering or irritation. This shoe runs true to size, so runners are encouraged to follow their usual sizing when ordering the shoe. The widths available are D–Medium and 2E–Wide for men and AA–Narrow, B–Medium and D–Wide for women, so most runners will have the chance to find a fit that suits their needs.
The bulkiness of the Brooks Glycerin 17 is to be expected, given the thickness and cushioning
of the midsole, and most runners actually prefer this kind of look, due to the fact that the bulky, thick-soled shoes are all the rage in recent years. However, some customers were disappointed by the colorways because the colors of the shoe looked better in pictures than in reality. That being said, the overall impression is that the shoe looks good, and with eight different colorways at play (4 each for men and women), this shoe can also be worn as a comfy lifestyle shoe that can be worn on casual occasions.
The outsole of the Brooks Glycerin 17, made from the same material as its predecessor, already has a reputation of being resilient in a variety of circumstances. The outsole rubber continues onto the toe cap, slightly increasing the longevity of the midsole as well. The midsole is thick and sturdy enough that it won’t flatten nearly as quick as some IMEVA midsoles seen in road running shoes; it’ll probably take a long time before the Glycerin 17 starts to lose some of its cushion. The two-layered mesh materials utilized in the upper construction isn’t abrasion resistant, but its stretchy build gives off an impression of decent durability. From the look and feel of it, you can expect the Glycerin 17 to last upwards of 350 miles, provided you don’t stray off-road, where the mesh upper would be at a greater risk of tearing.
The underfoot protection offered by the cushioning of the DNA LOFT midsole is one of the best in the business, and the Brooks company is known for shoes that offer great protection without overwhelming the runner with the weight of the shoe. The OrthoLite sockliner further protects the foot from ground-contact impact forces, so that you won’t experience pain or discomfort during the ride and you won’t end up with tired feet. The thoroughly padded collar and tongue dampen the vibrations caused by running, which saves the ankles from wobbling and having to stabilize the foot on its own – this way, the ankles are supported
, which protects the foot from injury while running.
As you can deduct from the build and weight of the Brooks Glycerin 17, this isn’t a shoe meant to be ultra-responsive – a trait which is almost always connected to racing abilities of the shoe. Given that the Glycerin 17 isn’t built with racing in mind, the brand has focused less on providing responsiveness, and more on making sure that the heel-to-toe transition of the DNA LOFT midsole is smooth and reliable, while providing enough bounce as to not create an impression of sinking into the midsole and wasting energy of ‘returning’ or the foot in its original position. For most runners that are after cushioning, this kind of responsiveness
will be enough for the ride in the Glycerin 17 to be considered energizing.
The Brooks Glycerin 17 is a neutral
road running shoe that the brand claims is best suited for runners with high and medium-high arches. A lot of runners with normal arch height will also find the shoe pleasing and supportive enough, and those who need additional arch support can switch the removable OrthoLite sockliner for a custom-made orthotic insole that offers more arch support than the shoe itself. For runners who don’t have any pronation issues, the OrthoLite sockliner is a welcome addition that offers just a slither of support, providing a plush running platform. As for the upper, the synthetic 3D Fit prints provide additional structure, while the lacing system enables the runner to adjust the fit of the upper to his or her liking, increasing or decreasing the amount of support.
The Brooks Glycerin 17 is a road running shoe, meaning that it’s meant to be worn on roads, pavements, track, treadmills, and light gravel. Some runners claim that the sole is durable enough to be able to tackle uneven sidewalks in some more rural areas, given its resilience and sturdy construction, and some even claimed that the shoe performed well on light snow. However, our advice is to stay away from off-road surfaces, or any technical trails for that matter, because the outsole configuration of the shoe isn’t made to tackle uneven and/or rugged terrain. Furthermore, the mesh upper, while durable, isn’t built with enough of protective properties to prevent tears that branches, sharp edges or rocks can cause. If you need a combination of a comfortable road running shoe
and a city walker, the Glycerin 17 will do the job perfectly.
While the Brooks Glycerin road running shoe family isn’t known for its affordable price, the fact that it lasts for so long, with hoards of faithful fans around the globe means that the brand obviously does something right. The price of the Glycerin 17 is up there, and the pair of 17s will probably cost you as much as two pairs of some mediocre road running shoes, but if you run often and crave a soft, supportive and energizing shoe that won’t leave your feet feeling tired and crushed after a long run on the concrete, there aren’t a lot of shoes that could do the job better than this one.
Most runners who have tied running in the Glycerin 17 have praised the shoe’s performance on dry terrain, claiming that the sole gripped to the ground easily, offering stability and control to the runner. The flat tread pattern of the Glycerin 17 offers great traction exactly due to the fact that it doesn’t pick up dust or debris between the shallow lugs, which would otherwise make the sole slippery and unstable. Some runners even claimed that the shoe offers excellent performance in light rain, and over wet road and grass, which covers the entirety of possible running surfaces of a road running shoe
The internal stretch bootie construction of the shoe not only provides great comfort, but it allows the upper to move seamlessly with the foot, providing amazing flexibility
and moving along with the foot without constricting it in any way. The forefoot of the Brooks Glycerin 17’s outsole features 7 grooves that enable a natural, swift and flexible toe-off movement as well as a smooth gait cycle. There is also a segmented crash pad in the heel which offers flexibility during the landing phase of the gait cycle, which serves the purpose of softening your stride. With the midsole as thick as the Glycerin 17’s, the flexibility that the brand achieved with the help of sole flex grooves is really great and most runners will find it more than suitable.
The lacing system, along with the padded collar and tongue, provides a stabilizing and supportive feel of the shoe, by preventing wobbling and sliding of the foot inside the shoe box. One runner has noticed that the fit in the women’s version of the shoe is slightly loose around the ankle, but that this downside can be rectified by tightening the laces firmer than you’re used to. The compressed DNA LOFT midsole is thick and runs a bit wider than the shoe box, which provides some essential stability
and increases the balance, especially on more uneven patches of pavement.
The heel stack height of the Brooks Glycerin 17 measures a whopping 32mm, while the forefoot stack height measures 22mm – a height that most racing shoes have in their heel! This amounts to a 10mm heel-to-toe drop, which has become a standard drop in the road running community because it provides great cushioning while catering both to heel strikers and midfoot strikers alike. Forefoot strikers might have to opt for some other low-drop or even zero-drop shoe
because the substantial heel cushion of the Glycerin 17 will probably get in the way of their natural stride.
● Rubber outsole with 7 forefoot flex grooves
● DNA LOFT midsole with removable OrthoLite sockliner
● Double jacquard mesh upper
● 300.5g / 10.6oz for men’s half-pair, 261g / 9.2oz for women’s
● Extremely comfortable without any break-in time needed
● Durable materials
● Great underfoot protection
● Road, track and treadmill shoe
● Flexible, especially for a shoe with such a thick sole
● Good traction
● Versatile looks
● 10mm drop
The Brooks Glycerin 17 has garnered a lot of positive feedback from satisfied runners, and not without a reason: it’s cushioned, comfortable, breathable, grippy and protective performance is one of the best on the market. People have grown to expect the immaculate quality of the Glycerin line
, and the 17th iteration of the shoe didn’t disappoint. The only reason not to purchase the shoe is its price, which does require some budgeting for a lot of people, but other than that, you’re going to have to look really hard to find a better neutral cushioned road running shoe out there.