What they say:
Step into men’s Glycerin 13 running shoe and into new worlds of comfort. We’ve pushed the limits of our 3D Fit Print technology to create a newly enhanced, seamless upper for streamlined support. The dynamic saddle wraps the foot in secure comfort and the wraparound collar adds the finishing touch for a perfect blend of Ideal fit and plush comfort. Underfoot, the Super DNA midsole provides 25% more cushion than our regular DNA for the ultimate in smooth rides. Ideal Pressure Zones in the outsole optimize pressure distribution from heel to forefoot and the rounded heel helps keep your body in its Ideal alignment.
Super DNA midsole provides the ultimate adaptive cushioning
Rounded heel offers better alignment, minimizing stress on joints
Ideal Pressure Zones disperse impact for an effortless ride
Conformable saddle construction gives your foot a snug fit
3-D Fit Print overlays on the upper add flexibility and structure
What I say:
My overwhelming impression of Brooks Running shoes is the passionate loyalty they have from their users; it always appears that once you convert to Brooks you become a devotee, more so than other manufacturers. However, I have a confession to make… the only Brooks shoes I’d owned before I was given this pair of to test & review are a pair of Pureflow that I don’t really get on with that well.
So it was with some trepidation that I took them for their first outing, but I shouldn’t have worried, for a couple of reasons they immediately suit me very well.
- The heel to toe drop is 10mm which is in the region I’ve discovered over the last few years of running suits me very well. More than this causes me injuries & much below generally doesn’t have enough cushioning for the kind of distances I enjoy the most.
- They’re designed for runners with a medium to high arch – I have a (very) high arch & this again has caused me problems with some shoes leading to injuries & requiring orthotics.
The general feeling you get when running in them is smooth. Despite my best efforts I’m an out & out heel striker, particularly when tiring but the heel to toe transition in these remains smooth throughout, which translates to a comfortable ride. They have good flexibility in the toe box for long days out too.
The material they’re made from is unlike most other shoes I’ve worn recently. The outer is, like the ride, smooth & slick not the more common mesh materials used in my other shoes. I assume must be down to the 3D screen printing techniques applied in their manufacture. The lining as you would expect from a top of the line shoe is very soft, in fact the only area of the shoe that isn’t soft or smooth is the heel. This has a rigid support built into it, which I have to say, I love. It seems to stop any movement & helps the foot feel secure, a great touch.
I went half a size up from my ‘normal’ & I’m still not certain I needed too, but it hasn’t caused any problems. I’m sure I’ll be thankful for it when I do start racking up serious miles in them & my feet swell.
All in all they feel well thought out & very well put together; they definitely live up to the label of premium.
But am I a newly converted Brook devotee? It’s too early to tell, but these shoes are a great step in that direction.
The Brooks Glycerin 13 is a neutral shoe that caters for a medium to high arch, a weight of 263g (9.3 oz), with a 10 mm drop. They are reported to be good for cushioning, fairly responsive with some traction but more suitable for track and road. These are the next model from the Glycerin 12 and are reported to have 25% more cushioning.
Brooks Glycerin 13
Upon receiving the Glycerin 13to review, the first thing that struck me was the design and somewhat surprisingly, the laces. Normally, I opt for vivid coloured shoes but when I saw these, I instantly loved the look. The laces are unlike any other laces I have and I was weirdly fascinated with them. I still have no idea why. However, they seem to fasten and remain well held with a variety of terrain and distance runs.
The sole has a slightly raised tread and it was expected that these shoes would provide greater traction compared to my Boost. The shoes are a size 7 and are true to size.
I decided to test these shoes on a variety of runs.
The recovery run – dry, 4 mile, tarmac
This was the first try of the shoe and in fact my first experience of any Brooks shoe. The fit was perfect for my foot shape. I need a wider toe box and I tend to spread my toes whilst running.
This recovery run was the day after a 12 hour relay race, and as such, I had a single, painful blister on the end of a toe. However, these shoes did not irritate the blister. Plenty of room was felt in the toe box which allowed me to comfortably spread my toes and avoid any irritation. One area that I tend to struggle with, in regards to fit, is the top of the foot (dorsal area). A lot of shoes tend to be a tighter fit here, and as such, can be quite uncomfortable on runs over 15 miles (such as my Adidas Boost). This shoe supported my foot well, but without the tightness normally felt in my other cushioned shoes. The shoes felt very cushioned and comfortable throughout the 4 miles, arch support appeared good and the slight pronation I can exhibit was controlled well. I hoped that this would been seen in my longer runs.
The Club run – dry, multi-terrain, +7 miles
My running club tends to include a lot of different terrains in their runs, from tarmac, to technical trails. This run was a mixture of tarmac, grassy fields, non-technical trail and gravel. A typical club run!
I was very interested to see how these shoes compared to my usual favourite club run shoe (Asics Gel Pulse 6). On tarmac, the feel was just as described above – close fit, comfortable and cushioned. The big test was running through a wood and across a field. The shoes had a surprisingly good traction on damp compacted mud and minimal slip was felt at tempo speed. These shoes have better traction compared to the Boost and comparable to the Gel pulse 6, if not marginally better. The support over uneven fields was OK but clearly not as good as my Salomon trail shoes. They did hold well for a short time which was perfectly fine for a mixed terrain short run. The grip felt around the heel was a little loose at first but a quick change of lacing style soon corrected the fit. It must also be noted that the temperature and humidity was quite high (27, 89%) and the shoe fit accommodated the swelling (and sweat) quite well.
The Long Run – dry, tarmac, half marathon race
This was the first time I had tried these shoes on a run over 8 miles and as above, comfort and fit remained throughout the run. The cushioning felt good throughout the race without loosing the feel of the road. Again, no irritation on the feet was felt by the end of the race. At this point, I was now convinced that this shoe was the best I have tried to date. The Wet Run – gentle rain, mainly tarmac with a gravel section, 4 miles This run was the first time I experienced reduced traction on the tarmac. This shoe tends to give some slip on wet leaves, but not as much as compared to the Boost. The shoe traction remains OK on tarmac and gravel but it is clearly a shoe that prefers dryer conditions. It would be interesting to see how this shoe holds up in very wet conditions, especially over a multi-terrain run. As said earlier, the traction was fairly good for a road shoe over a compacted muddy trail.
I have now run over 50 miles in these shoes over a period of 2 weeks and I now feel that these are my go to shoes, especially for club runs when the terrain can be changeable. They offer an extremely comfortable ride, a good supportive fit and they hold up well on distances of 13 miles. The under foot cushioning, I feel, is marginally superior the the Boost (Ultra boost not compared), but the overall foot fit is by far the best I have experienced in a road shoe. If these shoes provide the same comfort and cushioning over longer distances of +20 miles, they will be my choice for my upcoming marathon.