Shoe of the Week: Brooks Glycerin 19 GTS
Brooks' new Glycerin delivers dreamy plushness for luxurious comfort, with or without stability.
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Brooks Glycerin 19 GTS Review
Weight: M 10.7oz, W9.4oz
Offset: 10mm (31mm heel / 21mm forefoot)
The remarkable step-in comfort isn’t misleading: These cushioned trainers soften the ride for many a cushy mile.
The GTS version is an update to the Transcend 7, renamed the Glycerin GTS (Go-To Stability) to emphasize that it the same light, cushioned shoe as the Glycerin 19, only with GuideRails for non-intrusive support. Both shoes have additional cushioning and an improved mesh upper.
This is the shoe for you if…
You like a little foot coddling so you can cruise through the miles in blissful cushiness — and are looking for light stability and foot-path guidance as your form becomes less disciplined late in your session.
“I’m a big Brooks fan anyway, but the Glycerin 19 GTS helped reaffirm my love affair with this brand,” praised one tester. “Plush” was the first word that came to mind when a test team member took the Glycerin out for their maiden voyage, and, he said,“It’s still a word I’d use now, even though I’ve put these shoes through a decent number of miles.” Another tested said they were as soft as a bedroom slipper, and one compared them to stepping into a marshmallow.
While there was plenty of praise for the comfort and cushioning of the Glycerin, testers did acknowledge that, even if they did feel lighter than they weigh, these shoes are trainers, not racers. The Glycerin’s performance is built around being “ridiculously comfortable.” A speedy young tester said, “I don’t think I’d choose it if I wanted to go fast: it’s not really a workout shoe — but it was a good recovery run shoe!”
Testers also appreciated the sturdiness and durability and deemed the “workhorses” worthy logging some solid base miles, even if not for speed sessions or “snappy stuff.” The blown rubber outsole provided long-lasting traction while the updated flex grooves boosted flexibility over the Transcend 7.
Brooks’ use of the GuideRails is a sort of “invisible hand” support system, that works when you need it but goes unnoticed when not in play — unlike old-school medial posting that controlled the motion of your foot even when it wasn’t drifting out of optimal range. For neutral runners who don’t want the added stability of the GuideRails, the Glycerin 19 is a half an ounce lighter with an even softer feel underfoot. Some neutral testers who didn’t need stability still preferred the feel of the GTS model, finding that the GuideRails didn’t interfere with their foot motion, but made the platform less wobbly and seemed to create a smoother and quicker heel-toe transition.
The wide footprint also keeps the stride stable on the soft, moderately-high midsole. “The foot strike gives you a confident feeling,” said one tester, who added that the foam felt “self correcting.” The 10mm drop and significant toe spring keep the foot rolling forward, but one tester reported that the touchdown of the higher heel threw him off some, having grown used to lower drops in many of today’s current models.
What stood out most in the Glycerin was the increased amount of the light, soft, responsive, midsole compound, DNA Loft, that provided the plushness testers raved about. The soft foot wrap feel continued above the foot, as the engineered mesh upper with 3D-printed overlays was flexible enough to adjust to a range of feet with unrestrictive structure. Adding to the luxurious feel is a smooth, soft internal lining, and ample padding on the tongue and around the heel collar. “The inside cushioning felt very plush and supportive,” said a tester. “Plus, it was really breathable.”
The Glycerin 19 lives up to the model’s reputation as a top-shelf cushioned shoe that is “not at all clunky,” with a snug, flexible fit that moves with your foot. The GTS version adds to the range of runners who will be able to appreciate that ride.
For the next version of the shoe, we think Brooks should add its nitro-infused midsole compound and call it the Nitro Glycerin!
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