Brooks Glycerin, why can’t I quit you?
This isn’t a running blog, I promise, but part of content creation is writing a good product review and I intend to do it. In all honesty writing running equipment product reviews would be a dream come true.
There is so much to love about running and the biggest draw for me as a young, full-time mom was that it’s free, (no gym fees) and I could fit it into my day by leaving my front door and running for as long as I had the time.
There is one non-negotiable piece of equipment every running needs, and that would be a good pair of shoes. What I have found over the years on my running journey is that every foot is different, and while one type of shoe works for one person, and trends in shoes come and go, you have to find what works for you.
I have had my running gait observed by professionals and the Brooks Glycerin was one of the first shoes that I tried on and loved almost immediately. It is considered to be a neutral support shoe which means it doesn’t inhibit your body’s natural movement from the foot up through the knees and hips. Your body is free to wobble however it does naturally.
According to Brooks they have upgraded the soles by infusing them with nitrogen, creating an extra light-weight, responsive and durable experience. They run around $90 to $150 depending on if you buy last year’s model or the newest prototype.
If you buy Brooks from a good running store, you usually have a month to return them, even if you’ve run through a muddy mountain-top. If you buy straight from the site you have up to 90 days to return if they don’t work for you. (Remember when I mentioned that every runner is different?)
What do I like most the Brooks Glycerin? Consistency, for one. I have been a consumer of this product on and off for 12 years. It is consistently the shoe I come back to. I have followed shoe trends before, the “zero drop” trend that encouraged us runners to go “back to our roots” we were clearly “born to run” and didn’t need any adjustment to our natural feet. Love the concept but also had the only foot injuries of my running career in these types of shoes. The Glycerin is also durable. Unlike another popular brand one pair of these usually last me a running season, which is about a year. I also use a set of trail shoes about once a week and give these a spin about 20 miles a week give or take. That is good longevity. They feel good on my joints. The neutral claim that comes with them always feels legitimate. My hips stay happy, my knees stay happy and my ankles are happy with these shoes on my feet.
What I don’t like…they aren’t cute. Okay, I said it. I’m a girl, I like cute shoes. Glycerins are not and never have been the ones you buy for fashion. Brooks as a company does have other styles that are very stylish. They have seasonal shoes and special addition shoes. They might offer this model in special options but you will pay more than a normal price point. Mostly they come in gray, or black which is fine, but in this day and age I expect a little more pizzazz. Also, they don’t always fit the same every year. I’ve had years where I need to get a bigger size than usual, or one year the heel seemed to jab me if I wore the wrong socks. These were conundrums but not enough for me to give up these shoes.
Other neutral shoe models include Brooks Ghost, which I have tried and felt knee niggles every time I took them for a spin. I ended up returning them. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus (long name!) I have tried Nikes. I haven’t tried this particular model, but other types of Nikes and I tend to love them, but they break down quickly for people that put in a lot of weekly miles. To be fair, maybe these have better staying power? Hoka Cliftons are also another suggestion from the Fleet Feet running store when you are looking for a neutral shoe. I have run in Hokas. They are one of the “lower drop” shoes meaning the height from front to back is close to neutral. I got a foot injury while running in Hokas but it might not have been the shoe and maybe it was my terrible running form? I tend to need a higher drop shoe to force me to run properly.
Finding the shoe that is right for you can take time. My suggestion is to find your local running store, have a professional watch you run and bring out a gaggle of shoes to try on till you find one that feels good. If that doesn’t seem to work, try again. Glycerins are a good bet and tend to make my feet and body feel pretty great after a long run.
“Run Happy,” is Brooks Motto and so far, using their shoes, I have.