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Road • January 15, 2021

Brooks Glycerin 19/GTS 19 Performance Review

brooks glycerin 19 copy 2

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 10.7 oz. (303 g) for a US M9 / 9 oz. (255 g) for a US W8
  • Full-length DNA Loft midsole
  • Plush ride for recovery and long runs
  • RIP Brooks Transcend

ALDREN: Working in a run specialty store, I quickly learned that most people like a Brooks running shoe. All the way from the speedy Hyperion Elite to the straight jacket Beast, there’s a 90% chance there’s a Brooks shoe that will suit your needs. I also learned that if you look up pictures of Shia Labeouf running on Instagram, he’s usually wearing a pair of Brooks. I wonder what Shia is up to nowadays. Remember Even Stevens? Is anyone reading this young enough to have watched Even Stevens?

We have here a top of the line max cushion, stability trainer. The midsole is composed of DNA Loft, an EVA component that provides a soft, but responsive feel. This midsole, combined with the supportive GuideRails will keep your foot in a smooth ride with every step. The GuideRails system sits above the DNA Loft misole, supplying stability to remove any inward movement or overpronation.

At 10.7 oz in a US men’s size 9 and with a 10 mm drop, the Glycerin GTS will be that Go-To Shoe for anyone looking to Run Happy.

AUSTIN: Like the Brooks Launch 7, I didn’t have high praises to heap on the Glycerin 18. Frankly, I expected more cushioning from a premium trainer, especially since I loved version 10. I’m talking about HOKA Bondi 7 (and the forthcoming sleeper hit Mach 4) kind of cushioning folks. So, all this garble is to say that the Glycerin 19 is a throwback to better days.

glycerin 19

The Good

ALDREN: Cushioned and supportive? If I wasn’t too careful, I might mix this up with one of my Boyfriend Pillows. I mean, I don’t have one, or need one but you get what I’m saying. 

The breathable mesh upper does a good job of holding my foot in place. With the added benefit of a gusseted tongue (Thomas’s favorite thing), my foot was locked down for a secure fit. I expected my foot to feel warmer, especially since this Florida weather hasn’t touched anything below 70° F but my foot stayed surprisingly cool. There’s a softer liner around the heel and tongue that only adds to an already comfortable shoe. The volume of the shoe fits on the lower side except for the toe box. It’s stretchy and naturally moved with my foot.

The shoe isn’t incredibly flexible but it didn’t feel stiff in any way. It’s responsive in more of a slightly bouncy sensation. The Glycerin GTS has a “sink your foot into the shoe” feel, then toe-off bounce. 

DNA Loft isn’t anything new from the Glycerin GTS line, but Brooks seems to make tiny tweaks for the better each year. This iteration’s midsole is less compressed than last year’s version, with more DNA Loft in the unit. 

Even more kudos to Brooks for making a bold move with the design this year. I’m really into this unfilled Brooks logo. It’s like a discrete look into the design. I hope they throw this logo on the Hyperion Tempo and Hyperion Elite.

AUSTIN: The Glycerin 19 isn’t your Bondi 7 from a stack height perspective, but I won’t hesitate for a moment to put it up against HOKA’s high-rise platform shoe as a go-to trainer buoyed by a midsole of marshmallows. What’s more, the Glycerin shines after your run as an errand shoe. You forget it’s there as the run transitions into tasks around town.

Along with the Mach 4 and Torin 4.5 Plush, I tagged in the Glycerin 19 for easy runs and recovery runs. The underfoot ride feels similar among the three, but the Glycerin is a little more responsive. The DNA LOFT shines as the miles stack up and the shoe refrains from faltering into mush. I like the design too. The Glycerin 18 men’s colors were boring. Black, grey, white, blue, ehhh. Except for that Cherry Tomato fireball. The volt Chevron logo looks like a neon sign glowing at the local convenience store, I really hope this is an indication of bright colors in 2021. Have you seen the Kinvara 12 yet? I want more of this electricity!

ADRIENNE: Ever ride in a Mercedes G-Wagon? Me neither, but I imagine this shoe probably feels like a 100k-plus luxury vehicle. It’s sturdy and burly, but inside is like riding on a cloud. I ran one of the most comfortable recovery runs in forever in these after a banger of a long run. Tired, sore legs will benefit from this shoe, and the DNA Loft seems to have zero vibration and legs feel fresh after running any distance in them. Like the Saucony Triumph, I had trouble taking these off afterward and just ran errands in the Glycerin because they felt so good. In pure Brooks fashion, the step-in is superb. 

When it comes to the ride, the Glycerin 19 worked really well for me. Buttery smooth with just a hint of bounce and stayed out of the way of my stride. I guess they heard me when I asked them to liven up the ride up in my review of last year’s model!  I give Brooks props for making subtle yet effective changes to their flagship neutral trainer.

Shop Glycerin 19 – Men Shop GTS 19 – Men
glycerin 19

GTS Version

The Bad

ALDREN: Only one thing comes to mind that bothered me about the shoe. I’ve been getting hit with some heavy rains down here and the shoe tends to hold water. I also don’t try to avoid puddles so that’s my fault, but the Glycerin GTS will retain some water.

AUSTIN: I’m leaving this section blank.

ADRIENNE: I really don’t have much negative to say about this shoe, except the upper felt nearly baggy in places in my Women’s size 9. A touch more midfoot support in future iterations is much appreciated. Of course, there’s lighter options on the market, however, for the purpose the Glycerin, it remains a solid offering.

Shop Glycerin 19 – Women Shop GTS 19 – Women glycerin 19

Brooks Glycerin 19 Conclusion

ALDREN: I’m never going to turn down a pair of cushy shoes, especially a supportive pair like the Glycerin GTS 19. Any runner in the need of something for their recovery miles or long runs should grab a pair for themselves.

The Glycerin GTS 19 compares closely to the ASICS Gel-Kayano Lite and HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 4.

AUSTIN: A secure midfoot saddle. True to size, as usual. The Glycerin 19 is a darn good trainer. Feels like Brooks has something cooking for the 20th iteration in 2022. Twenty years of celebration, hopefully in the best way possible when the shoe rolls off the manufacturing line. I suggest they use version 19 as a template.

ADRIENNE: I am putting the Brooks Glycerin 19 in the running for Adrienne’s “Most Improved” award. Soft but not mushy and with a smooth ride, this workhorse is ready to take on the miles with you in comfort. I can see myself reaching for this shoe on my recovery and easy days, and likely would be a good long run shoe for many as well. And, of course, if it’s good enough for Des, it’s good enough for me. 

You can pick up the at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Glycerin 19 – Men Shop Glycerin 19 – Women Shop GTS 19 – Men Shop GTS 19 – Women

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