Step Aside, Ghost—Brooks’s Glycerin 19 Is the Best New All-Purpose Trainer

This rendition of the most cushioned model is a departure from the clunky recovery shoe we used to know.

The RW Takeaway: Lace up in the responsive and generously cushioned Glycerin 19 for all kinds of runs. Its luscious feel didn’t weigh us down as we pushed the pace during training.

  • DNA Loft foam is even softer
  • Padded heel collar and tongue provide a comfy and snug fit
  • Shoe runs a bit short in both men’s and women’s sizes

Price: $259.95
 10.2 oz. (M), 9.0 oz. (W)

Once regarded solely as a heavily cushioned recovery trainer, the Glycerin has gradually metamorphosed into an everyday, every run workhorse. Evidence for that lies in the feedback we got from our wear-testers, where they raved about the 19’s versatility, and our impressions logged in both long runs and speedwork. One diehard Ghost fan even dared to say the Glycerin knocked that shoe off its pedestal—or at least off her shoe rack.

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  • Plush interior lining


  • Runs a little short

Within the shoe’s history, this shift began with the 17th iteration. We bounced around the title “the Cadillac of cushioning” when describing the previous models. The 16 maxed out our shoe lab’s cushioning rating, and, like the Glycerins before it, was praised by testers for its luxurious feel. But its ride just didn’t have the fluidity of a daily trainer. Said one tester, “The shoe felt a little bit clunky compared to some of the lighter shoes I’ve been running in lately.” But the 16 also introduced DNA Loft foam, which Brooks has tweaked over the years, resulting in a shoe with a lush midsole that can chase hard tempos.

Soft Cushioning With High Energy Return

Brooks put in more DNA Loft foam for an even softer platform. The ride feels smooth and bouncy instead of bulky. “I absolutely loved these shoes,” said a tester. “The Glycerin is a versatile trainer perfect for speedwork and long runs. The shoe doesn’t feel heavy but has the feel of superb cushioning.”


Testers with lingering pain from old running injuries found the Glycerin’s cushioning supportive and beneficial to rebuilding their base. One suffering from mild plantar fasciitis commended the shoe’s comfort and support under her arch. But softness is not sequestered to the midsole alone; the bootie-like interior provides surrounding comfort.

Finding the Perfect Fit

You might want to size up before making a commitment and heading out for your first run in the Glycerin. The shoe felt quite snug, with separate tester evaluations reporting slightly crammed toes, chafing by the Achilles, and a midfoot that was too narrow, causing pins and needles.

“I attempted to test a 10 in Brooks because that used to be my size—but no,” said a tester who ran in the Ghost the previous testing cycle. “It’s a bit too snug, and so a 10.5 would’ve been better. I haven’t run into this problem with other shoes recently, just Brooks, so I’m not sure what they’ve done to their sizing, but that is my main complaint.”

Troubleshooting the correct fit is worth the effort, however. Your feet will feel like they’re running on springy memory foam.


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Wear-Tester Feedback

Jeannine R., tester since 2017

Arch: High | Gait: Overpronator | Foot strike: Forefoot

“I LOVE Glycerin. I need a lot of cushion, and I need it to ‘form’ to my foot. My feet are not identical, so I usually end up hating shoes for one foot when the other feels fine. [With] Brooks’s Glycerin I never have that issue. These shoes have a thicker sole for extra bounce. This is helpful for my overpronation and keeps my feet from hitting too hard.”

Stephen K., tester since 2012

Arch: Medium | Gait: Overpronator | Foot strike: Heel

“The stability of this shoe was perfect for longer runs on hard road surfaces. The smooth ride from heel to toe gave the feel of uniform support. The great traction on wet and dry surfaces made it easier to focus on effort than footing. Even on gravel trails the shoes remained responsive.”

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