I like a challenge but trying to find a difference between the Brooks Glycerin 19 and the Brooks Ghost 14 was anything but easy. Both running shoes have very similar stats and cater for the same demographics. However, as well as some small differences, one of these shoes has a unique feature that the other lacks. And it's not the one you think...
The Brooks Glycerin 19 is probably the most beloved shoe franchise from Brooks and is generally regarded as the 'plushest' running shoe on the market. You'll find this everyday runner on the feet of every dad everywhere, but the Glycerin 19 is also preferred by people who don't chase PBs and instead enjoy running comfortably.
Similarly, the Brooks Ghost 14 is a comfortable running shoe, and of the two, definitely the less well-known. Considering how similar the two shoes look, you might wonder what the point is having both on offer, but the Ghost 14 has a couple of tricks up in its sleeve that might tip the scales in its favour.
Which is the best running shoes from Brooks? Or at least the best neutral running shoes? Which one should you buy? Are you better off getting neither and buying the sexy Brooks Aurora? Read on to find out.
Brooks Glycerin 19 vs Ghost 14: price and availability
The Brooks Glycerin 19 is available in various colourways and has two width options: Medium (1D) and Wide (2E).
The Brooks Ghost 14 is available in various colourways and has four width options: Narrow (1B), Medium (1D), Wide (2E) and Extra Wide (4E).
Brooks Glycerin 19 vs Ghost 14: similarities
The Brooks Glycerin 19 looks nearly identical to the Ghost 14, and their running metrics are also similar. Both shoes feature the DNA Loft midsole, Brooks' softest cushioning system, which consists of a mix of "EVA foam, rubber, and air", as Brooks explains.
Adding extra air to the mix allows the midsole to be thicker to improve cushioning without making it too heavy. That said, neither of the shoes is light: on my kitchen scale, a size 10 (UK) shoe was exactly 313 grams. This is not heavy for running trainers; just compare it with the Adidas Ultraboost 21's 384 grams. Crikey!
Both shoes are neutral from a support point-of-view and emphasise cushioning over performance. Neutral shoes are ideal for people who don't pronate, meaning their feet don't tilt to the medial side when they land. Both the Glycerin 19 and the Ghost 14 provide soft landings and are ideal for everyday runs or tarmac.
Brooks Glycerin 19 vs Ghost 14: main differences
Some of the more vigilant of you might have already noticed a huge difference between the two shoes: the Glycerin 19 is more expensive than the Ghost 14. Given that both shoes are nearly identical in aesthetics and running dynamics, it makes sense to get the Ghost 14 to save some money.
However, the Ghost 14 has one feature that might even be more enticing to millennials: it's Brooks' first carbon-neutral running shoe. As Brooks explains:
"Moving forward, all Ghost products will be carbon neutral. Almost all upper textiles have now been converted to contain a minimum of 30% recycled polyester, and many are 100% recycled polyester. In addition to reducing the product’s environmental impact by incorporating recycled materials, Brooks is purchasing carbon offsets from projects that meet strict criteria and make a meaningful difference in addressing climate change that equals residual carbon emissions. Additionally, Brooks is also prioritizing projects that align with climate science, and lead to clear social and environmental co-benefits."
Plus, the Ghost 14 is available in more width options than the Glycerin 19.
All this said, some runners might prefer the Glycerin 19 as it's even more cushioned than the Ghost 14. It also features an extra-plush liner for even more comfort.
Brooks Glycerin 19 vs Ghost 14: verdict
If I had to describe the shoes with one word (each), I'd say the Brooks Glycerin 19 is 'plush' while the Brooks Ghost 14 is 'neutral'.
The Glycerin 19 adds extra cushioning and padding where it can, while the Ghost 14's main concern is to provide a comfortable fit that's not too OTT.
Given the similarities, even if you aren't overly concerned with the environmental impact of your running footwear (you should be), I would certainly recommend the Ghost 14 over the Glycerin 19. If you can't get enough of that plush feeling, well, you're better off with the latter.
Interested in running footwear? Check out T3's best trail running shoe guide (curated by yours truly) and the best women's running shoes guide (curated by the super talented Tina Chantrey). If you prefer HIIT over jogging, have a look at our best workout shoes guide.