The Brooks Glycerin 19 is, Brooks informs us, the brand's softest shoe yet. Even more exciting, is that you can get a Glycerin 19 GTS, or Go-To Support. Think of this as an added bonus for runners who need support, delivered through GuideRails technology.
Back to the cushioning. With Brooks extending the DNA Loft so that it runs the full length of the midsole, expect an even softer experience from heel to toe, making this an especially good choice for half marathons and above. This design is available in men's and women's versions. We tested out the latter, and consider them some of the best women's running shoes around. Read on for our full Brooks Glycerin 19 review.
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Brooks Glycerin 19 review: tech and ergonomics
What does the GTS technology mean for those runners who aren't looking for a neutral shoe? Brooks' GuideRails system will support your foot, just like stabilisers do on a bike when you're learning to ride. They reduce both excess shin rotation (supination or the outward roll of the foot) and pronation (the inward roll of the ankle). Two firm pieces of foam sit on either side of the heel on the midsole. On the inside of the heel, the foam reduces the rolling of the foot inward. On the outside of the heel, the foam is both firmer and higher, reducing the shifting of the heel in the outward direction. The aim? To ensure your natural knee motion stays in a safe range, meaning less likelihood of pain and injury.
The plush feel beneath your feet extends to the upper, which really offers a complete wrap-round luxurious fit. No edging, no rubbing. The tongue is thick and soft, the OrthoLite sock liner also has the same spongy depth – both of which help to give a snug, just right fit. The mesh upper on the front half of the shoe has enough flex to move with your foot too, as it hits the ground and your toes splay out, with a more structured fit around your heel to improve support and keep your foot in a locked in position. It's a pleasure to wear these and if you want a soft, comfortable ride they are going to make you extremely happy!
Brooks DNA Loft is another feature that aims to promote comfort over injury. Extra air in the midsole improves cushioning and keeps the weight of the shoe down, and it's this feature that is the most stand-out difference to the Glycerin 18. The blown rubber outsole also feels strong and durable, especially on the outside of the heel, where there is no sign of wear. You also get flexed grooves in the forefoot area of the outsole, to increase flexibility as you are pushing off the ground. This shoe feels grippy and performed to a high standard in wet conditions.
Some have found the 19 a slightly smaller fit, so if you size up a half size normally it may be worth trying a full-size for this model. I have a narrow foot and size up a full size, and these fitted perfectly, with a size 5 fitting exactly as I expected and hoped.
Brooks Glycerin 19 running shoe review: aesthetics
Testing the ice flow / navy / pink design, I felt these shoes really show off your feet. Overall the ice colour is quite neutral, but the flashes of pink, complemented by pink lace tips gave a more edgy feel. There are other colourways including a more traditional blue and black, but the ice flow / pink model is the brightest option. It has pink rubber on the outsole too, so those runners behind you are going to spot you quickly as you overtake and fade into the distance. I think this range needs some more colourful options – at the moment the designs on offer are quite limited.
Brooks Glycerin 19 running shoe review: verdict
These shoes are for those long miles, when you want to prevent fatigue as long as possible and ensure a comfortable run. From the first miles they adapt to your feet and provide premium comfort, with the soft feeling of the upper being sustained however long you run. With both superior cushioning and a soft, padded upper for comfort, you won't notice you are wearing them.
While this isn't a fast shoe, I suspect if you are a fan of Brooks as a brand, are looking for a training shoe for your weekend long runs, and love your cushioned shoes you are going to think these are pretty special. These are an excellent choice for long runs and recovery days and offer a superior cushioned run. It's worth mentioning that this model has a lot of fans, not just amongst runners, with many healthcare workers, and those in similar professions who spend long shifts on their feet, giving them a five-star rating. I've been happy to stand in these all day, too, while working at my computer.