Gear Shoe Review: Brooks Glycerin 20

Shoe Review: Brooks Glycerin 20


There’s nothing better than a perfectly made neutral shoe. The Glycerin, one of the world’s most popular running shoes and a sneaker now in its twentieth iteration, is that shoe with as much perfected details that you almost forget what you’re wearing when you’re on your run. When the shoe works, that’s how it should be: it shouldn’t call attention to itself, it should just do its job.

The Glycerin 20 does its job really, really well.

Retailing for $200, the Glycerin 20 is touted as the softest line of cushioning of any Brooks shoe and you really feel that in the ride. Great support from the toe to the heel, the shoe is carefully calibrated—heel height, 81mm—to be responsive and light, but mostly super comfortable. On my long run, I truly felt capable of going forever because the springiness matched the level of comfort to create the sensation of an effortless ride. It was pillowy, even deep into my training.

Some of the additions to the Glycerin 20 include nitrogen-infused DNA Loft v3, which is the secret sauce behind the Brooks’ cushioning. The shoe feels like landing on a sponge, however, it also reacts quickly with the ground leaving the runner back in the air quickly after landing, thus not wasting any valuable time or effort. It’s plush and breathable and the air-mesh upper fits snugly and stays in place: there’s no need to tie your Brooks Glycerin 20 shoes extra tight because the fit feels good. The laces stay tied and the shoe fits well: straight out of the box I was able to wear the 9.5 for 35K and felt terrific.

You do not need to break in the Brooks Glycerin 20, and I always appreciate that with a new shoe. It should fit correctly right away and the Glycerin 20 nails that, as it nails all the other details. I always think, when reviewing new shoes, would I recommend these to my cousin? To my mother? To someone I care about, and whose money I care about, and who I want to love the sport? By that metric, the Brooks Glycerin 20, at $200, is almost a perfect shoe: good for training, good for long runs, and durable enough to get you through your summer and into your races this fall.

It’s a smart update to an iconic line and a shoe I unequivocally endorse.