Brooks Glycerin 19
It’s a nice and easy training day shoe that lets you really rack up the miles and add a little extra pep to your step. The cushioned features are lightweight and flexible, making this shoe surprisingly agile, which makes it great for working out in the gym or exercises such as CrossFit. It has a low profile, comes in a variety of unique color options, and a plush upper really helps to securely lock your feet in place.
Below, I wanted to take a deep dive into all of the advanced features that make the Brooks Glycerin 19 one of the best daily trainers out there on the market.
Plush tongue and heel collar
Highly cushioned DNA LOFT midsole foam
Springy blown rubber outsole for excellent energy return
Added cushioning in transition zones
Roomy toe box and enhanced lockdown
The toe box is too wide for some
Upper runs hot in the summertime
Personally, I feel that Brooks’ DNA LOFT is one of the best midsole materials out there on the market. It is composed of a blend of EVA foam, rubber, and air, to provide a highly cushioned yet responsive run. It’s like the Goldilocks of midsoles because it’s not too firm and not too soft. It offers that plush step-in feel that I love in my running shoes, but your stride doesn’t turn to mush when you start to pick up the pace. While the EVA foam contours to the shape of your foot, the added rubber in the midsole provides a good deal of energy feedback.
What I also love about the midsole of this shoe is that Brooks just doesn’t slap in a midsole plate and call it a day. This midsole is specially crafted with your stride in mind. It has reinforced areas of cushioning in transition zones (such as the toe box and heel counter) to help make your gait cycle nice and easy without the use of bulky stability features. While it may fit like a stability shoe with its high level of cushioning, it performs like a neutral runner.
The upper of this design is incredibly comfortable and limits the occurrence of hot spots on your feet. It is composed of a dual-layer engineered mesh that really contours to the shape of your foot. It has an added layer of cushioning on the tongue and heel counter that offers a good deal of comfort on those long days. Plus, the gusseted tongue stays in place, and the stretchy laces help you craft a secure fit for your foot.
The only downside to the upper of this Brooks shoe is that the materials used are a bit slick. When running in the winter in thick wool socks, this won’t be much of an issue. If your socks are made from slippery materials, you may notice that your feet slide around the inside of this shoe. It’s not a deal-breaker for most, but it’s worth mentioning.
One of my favorite features of the Glycerin 19 is that the outsole is composed of a modest layer of blown rubber that is incredibly springy and responsive. Unlike other durable runners out there on the market, this outsole is surprisingly springy and flexible. Weighing in at 10 ounces, this shoe is light and responsive. Plus, the tread is great for road running but gives you slight traction when running on modest trails as well.
What’s great about the construction of this outsole is that it is designed to really take a beating. Even after 100 miles, the outsole shows little signs of wear and tear. Overall, these shoes are built to last up to 500 miles, but various factors can actually mean more than 500 miles of wear and tear before the outsole starts to break down.
Runners were quite pleased with the overall fit of this shoe. It runs true to size, which means that if you are a 9 in other Brook’s running shoes, that will be true when it comes to the Glycerin 19. It has a wide and roomy toe box to prevent jamming, but there are a few runners that feel that the toe box is just a tad too wide. By tightening and adjusting the laces, this wider toe box will not affect the overall fit and lockdown of this shoe, but it will take a little time to tinker with the laces to get it to fit just right.
I often suggest that you head down to your local shoe store to try on your running shoes before you buy them, but this may not be necessary with the Glycerin 19. It has a wide and accommodating frame and a stretchy upper that really contours to the shape of your foot. Brooks also provides a detailed sizing chart, so be sure to take ample measurements of your foot to ensure that you get the right size for you.
Overall, I would suggest the Glycerin 19 to anyone looking for a great daily trainer. This neutral runner gives you agility and flexibility where you need it most while still offering that patented Brooks cushioning (without the heavy stability features found in other Brooks trainers). The plush cushioning is great for nice and easy runs and even performs well when you want to pick up the pace and shave a few seconds off of your overall time.
It’s also a great option for runners that want to put a lot of road behind them. The roomy toe box allows your toes to naturally splay for added stability and a durable outsole that is built to last. I found that the plush upper performs a little bit better in cooler weather, as the thick upper tends to run a little hot in the summer.
I like the overall styling of Brooks’ shoes, and the Glycerin 19 is no expectation. It doesn’t set out to reinvent the wheel, and it doesn’t experiment with new and trendy running shoe designs. Under the definition of the word ‘running shoe’ in the dictionary, you are likely to find the Glycerin 19.
While the style is pretty average, I do love that it comes in a wide variety of unique color options, such as royal blue with sharp yellow accents (my favorite), and gray with orange accents. It also comes in neutral color options as well.
Brooks struck gold in the design of the Glycerin 19, and they know it. This neutral trainer is slightly more expensive than other similar designs out there on the market, but I feel that it is well worth the slightly higher price tag. It is a neutral trainer that gives you the movement of a neutral trainer with the cushioning of a stable shoe.
It has higher durability than other designs out there on the market, making it a great investment. If you can swing the higher price point, this shoe is worth every penny.
Comparisons to Previous Versions
While all of the materials remain the same, Brooks did some serious tinkering with the use of these materials. The Glycerin 19 provides a thicker EVA midsole for more support on those longer runs and added more cushioning along the heel collar and tongue for a comfortable ride. Somehow, Brooks added more cushioning while shaving off almost a full ounce in overall weight. Older models may save you a little bit of cash initially, but opting for the new and improved Glycerin 19 will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
It’s great for long distances, but the responsive DNA LOFT midsole firms up a bit to help you shave a few seconds off of your personal best. It may cost a little bit more than other neutral runners out there on the market, but I feel that the smart design of this shoe makes it an investment worth making.