Dare I say, but could this be the best Brooks Glycerin ever?
For over two decades the Glycerin has sat atop Brooks lineup as their premium cushioned neutral road running shoe. Earning its moniker from the song “Glycerine” by the English band Bush in the 90’s, the Glycerin’s popularity has engulfed the North American market over the years — so much so that they released 4 different versions of the Glycerin 20 this year (yes 4). From early HydroFlow tech, to their newest nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3 foam, the Glycerin has always been at the forefront of Brook’s technology and the 20th iteration continues that legacy.
When a shoe stays around for this long, you know they must be doing something right— right? Well after putting some miles in them the past few weeks, here’s my top 5 takeaways from the new Brooks Glycerin 20.
Nitrogen Infused Midsole
The Glycerin 20 gets some fresh new cushioning. Gone are the days of just regular plain old EVA foam. Enter, DNA LOFT v3 foam. Brooks softest midsole cushioning yet composed of EVA foam, rubber, and nitrogen. Brooks took their DNA LOFT cushioning and injected nitrogen into it to give supreme softness, amplified cushioning and a ton of energy.
I’m a few weeks off a marathon and the legs have been craving some luxurious comfort and the Glycerin 20 nailed just that. The new midsole compound amps up the comfort all the while shaving off a few grams from the previous version. I found it had a bit more bounce and was a much smoother ride than its predecessor. I even found the new DNA Loft foam gave it a degree of responsiveness that I didn't expect as well—super soft upon landings but had a good amount of response when toeing off.
Smooth and Stable Ride
Along with the new midsole composition, the Glycerin 20 gets a redesigned midsole and outsole configuration offering a widened platform for smoother, easier transitions. The new geometry provides a more balanced transition from heel to toe with new flex groves aiding the shoes flexibility.
I’m always a little skeptical when I hear companies widening the platform as I feel like a lot of the time they end up making the shoe feel super heavy and clunky.
However, that wasn’t the case with the Glycerin 20—I found the widened platform enabled Brooks to soften up the forefoot giving it a smooth transition to my stride. A win-win in my books.
Nailed Step-in Comfort
Something I think Brooks does better than most companies is the immediate step-in-comfort. The Glycerin 20 feels absolutely fantastic putting on, leaving your feet wanting more. The Glycerin 20 features a plush and breathable engineered air mesh upper that offers a secure fit, comfortably holding your foot in place.
I found the v20 to have a fair bit more padding in the tongue and upper to compliment a full seamless upper. If you’re needing a more forgiving fit to accommodate those family heirlooms (bunions) look no further.
There’s a few companies out there that pack a ton of cushioning into a shoe and then cheap out on the outsole tread. The Glycerin 20 is not one of those shoes, featuring a big slab of blown rubber that’s sure to last the test of time.
I’m pretty hard on my shoes and notorious for shredding the outsole on my trainers. When I’m putting in big mileage (190+km a week) I tend to look for shoes with a hearty outsole otherwise they’ll be gone in a couple weeks (hence working at a shoe store). After cruising in the Glycerin 20’s the past few weeks I’m confident that these will stand the test.
All the Glycerins Please
When a shoe becomes as popular as the Glycerin, why not make several different types to fit everyone's needs? Like the Glycerin 19 the 20 comes in a neutral version as well as a ‘GTS’ version, which contains Brooks’ GuideRails technology to aid extra support and prevent over pronation. Additionally, the Glycerin 20 and Glycerin 20 GTS now come available in a StealthFit upper. The same midsole as the Glycerin just with a snazzy new, sleek, lightweight upper.
Not to mention, the Glycerin 20 is available in three different widths in the neutral version: medium (which is the standard), wide, and narrow. In the GTS version, the shoe comes in two widths — medium and wide.
The possibilities are just endless, I feel like I’m in the Glycerin multiverse.
Overall, I think the Brooks Glycerin 20 is a great shoe for someone that wants to go the distance with a lot of comfort. Individuals craving a softer landing while they're cruising the pavement will be in for a treat with the Glycerin 20s.
It’s not necessarily a shoe you want to go fast in, but something that is reliable and can pack in a lot of miles.
In my books, the Brooks Glycerin 20 is a tried-and-true daily trainer that's a cozy and reliable pick for both beginners and seasoned road runners.