Product Review – Brooks Glycerin 14
By Chris Chapman, Founder, The Running Company.
Brooks Glycerin 14
Now as you’d know, if you want a fluffy “marketing” review, check out the popular websites, Brooks website or magazines, they’ll tell you how much they weigh, what the new colour is etc. and how it’s going to be the shoe that will change your life.
I don’t really care too much about that stuff, if you want to know, we’ll tell you but to us at The Running Company, it’s more about the function and how that relates to every person which will be different. As with shoes and updates, there’s always going to be people who will win and love the shoe and others whom the update will not work for at all, there’s no one really bad shoe as there’s always a good shoe out there for everyone, it’s just trying to find that right one in the minefield of product, especially when it updates and changes so often!
So if you want the “advertorial” sponsored review – stop reading now! If you want my pure unbiased no marketing bullshit view of how the shoe is performing instore – continue…
The Brooks Glycerin has been around for donkeys years. It’s been through some radical changes over the past few years with the biggest change coming from the Glycerin 11 vs the Glycerin 12.
Above – The new Brooks Glycerin 14 and below, Brooks Glycerin 13, both very good shoes but there’s more changes under the bonnet when you have a closer look…
This was the year that Brooks totally redesigned the full midsole, have a look at our blog for more in-depth information but it was a very significant change which caught a lot of unsuspecting people out whom assumed that just because it had the same name and one number higher, that it was going to be one number better. For some people, it was a great update, for others, it was a disaster.
The changes from the 12 – 13 weren’t significant. Brooks knew that making wholesale changes like the 11 – 12 isn’t what runners like so with the 13 vs 12, the rear foot bottom net was a touch wider and that was pretty much it.
The 14 has just landed on shelves in the past few weeks, so after having it in-store a bit and learning more about it, I thought it was high time to continue the analysis on the Glycerin lineage, especially as there’s some changes again.
The most dramatic changes are this:
1. More flex grooves, specifically in the mid foot. These flex grooves help to give the shoe a smoother heel to toe transition, it’s really smooth now, almost like warm butter. This isn’t a bad thing but sometimes when you put too many flex grooves in a shoe it can decrease it’s ability to give support as well, it’s a very fine line and balance between giving a shoe some structure and helping smooth out the heel to toe transition.
I feel that for some people who need a touch of structure in the shoe, the extra flex grooves can make it a touch unstable in the mid foot. In saying that though, the flip side is that for those whom need help to pronate (i.e. supinators) this shoe is great as it allows them to be thrown into more pronation.
The other great thing about this shoe is that it is the same density medial to lateral – there’s no path of least resistance to have the shoe compress laterally so again for those supinators – it’s gold.
Above – you can see the additional flex grooves in the mid foot and if you look closer you can see how there’s more in the forefoot as well, these both significantly increase the flexibility and create a very smooth heel to toe transition.
2. There’s a gutter carved just under the rear to mid foot medially which collapses to attenuate shock.
You don’t really notice this by looking at the pretty pictures on the internet but when you compare to the 13 – this makes a difference.
Having this gutter helps the wearer to compress the midsole easier, which in turn helps cushion the impact which is what this shoe is all about BUT again, if that runner needs a touch of mid foot support/structure but they’re still relatively neutral, then the Glycerin 14 in trying to give the ultimate cushioning, has gone just that touch too far and will compress easily in the mid foot, especially if you’re a slightly heavier built runner and putting more force through the mid foot.
Above – Medial mid foot, you can see the gutter skived out of the shoe.
But everything is about balance, as mentioned above, this shoe now becomes a supinators dream as it doesn’t compress very laterally and helps to throw people into pronation, so the Glycerin 14 can be a go to shoe for you.
This shoe is soft and that’s what Brooks wanted to achieve in her.
I always have loved the fact that it’s the same density medial to lateral (and only one of a handful of shoes on the marketplace that is so) so there’s no path of least resistance and that the shoe gives a very true and even wear so for those people whom are neutral to supinated, it’s great. For those whom are neutral and are a bit heavier or need more of a “stable neutral” option with a bit of structure, then I’d steer clear of the Glycerin 14.
How do you know if it’s suitable for you?
Best make your way into any Running Company store, bring your current shoes and we’ll have a look and see what’s right for you.
Can’t make it in store?
When you’re ready to buy your next pair of shoes – try our concierge service, it’s our full service gait analysis just like in store but virtually – we come to you!
Take the 10 minutes, fill in the questions, submit your footage and let us work with you to help find the right pair of shoes for you.
Any Qs, feedback or need to know anything, just drop us an email