Brooks Glycerin 12 Review


Color: High Risk Red/Flame Orange/Black-Lime

Intended use: All runs except trail and in bad weather.

Surfaces tested on: Road, synthetic track, 21° C/70° F

Upper: Closed type spacer mesh, synthetic leather, high density ink and TPU overlays .

Midsole: Dual-density foam with foam 'cradle' surrounding the shoe.

Outsole: Carbon rubber pieces under heel, blown rubber in forefoot.

Weight: 340 gms/ 11.99 Oz for a half pair of UK10/US11

US Retail: $150

Features a similar upper to last year's Glycerin 11, and replaces the Gel based DNA cushioning system with 'Super DNA', which suspiciously looks, feels and rides like regular EVA foam. Otherwise a beautiful looking shoe with a uniform, albeit stiff ride.
Saucony Ride 7, Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 31


The general truth is, a $150 shoe isn’t necessarily better (functionally) than a $100 one. We mean, it won’t make you go faster, burn calories faster or blunt the annoying effects of gravity. Of course, you can point out exceptions, but then those are exactly that. So why do we pay so much for a pair to run in, a humble feat which can be achieved by far lesser shoes? What do we really get for the price difference? The answer varies.

The notion of extra value could come in the form of innovative upper construction (Flyknit), cushioning technologies (Boost, Air, Wave) or simply the use of expensive materials which makes the experience of slipping into a shoe surreally luxurious. For the average runner, this could translate into a better fit, more plushness, increased cushioning/support. Or could be none of the above, but simply be the newest pair of heavily marketed running shoe which every double-page ad spread talks about.


The Glycerin is the second most expensive shoe in Brooks running’s stable.


The Glycerin 12 boasts of ‘Super DNA’. What is it? We try our best to find out later in the review.

In that context, where does the Brooks Glycerin fit in? Before the strangely shaped Transcend showed up, it used to be the Seattle based brand’s most expensive running shoe. Till 2012, that lofty price was justified by use of extremely plush upper materials and a multiple layer midsole, resulting in a fine example of running footwear opulence. The pièce-de-résistance was the use of this unique thermoplastic Elastomer material named ‘DNA’ by Brooks, one which actually lived up to its marketing claims. DNA cushioning was shear-thickening, which meant that when force (foot-strike) was applied, the material would briefly change its molecular structure by absorbing impact forces and briefly turn harder. This kind of protection is tried and tested in the safety apparel industry. BMW Motorrad’s Rallye Jacket for example, uses NP2 foam protectors which harden in an event of an impact, hence absorbing residual force. Naturally, we were impressed by the very notion of it – and Brooks DNA came into its own during running, doing everything it claimed to do. The Brooks Glycerin 10 was a shoe which combined exemplary plushness with DNA, a shoe which so pleased us that we chose to shoot it within the opulent confines of a first class aircraft suite.

Brooks running, for the past several years, has focused on the high end of the running shoe market, staying clear of the cut-price footwear model. Their approach has been successful, to say the least. Just on the basis of that strategy alone, the brand has crossed half a billion dollars in sales. In April 2014 that is, on a rolling 12 month basis. Even in June 2014, the brand has seen high single digit sales growth. Given that background, we have high expectations of every new Brooks shoe. Unfortunately, the 2014 Brooks Glycerin 12 is a letdown, one which has us scratching our heads in bewilderment.

Last year’s Glycerin 11 featured the DNA Gel, but toned down on plushness and instead chose the path of 3D-printing upper overlays. We couldn’t complain; innovation is an indispensable ingredient for progress, and change has to be embraced for things to move forward. Ok, the Glycerin 11 did not feel as luxurious as 9 and 10, and rode slightly firmer. Still, we were curious about what the future will bring, and waited for Glycerin 12 to make its appearance. The 12 incarnation showed up last month, and here we are, doing a review. The Brooks website says that the Glycerin 12 comes with a ‘full length DNA’ and that the new “Super DNA has 20% more cushioning than Biomogo DNA”.


Cut the strobel open, and there’s just white foam.


Just to be doubly sure, we slit the under-heel area and prised open the midsole.

Well, we’ve got news for you. All that the Glycerin 12 features is a compression molded foam midsole, and no sign of the Gel based DNA inserts anywhere. Don’t just take our word for it, we cut a small part of the heel strobel and all we saw was white foam. Maybe, this DNA thing is embedded inside the white foam like a Jelly doughnut, we thought.

So we partially slit the heel foam open with a cutter and then prised open the gap with a flat-head screwdriver. Still nothing, and more white foam. Now, for your reference, the picture is what a ‘full length’ DNA should look like – example is that of Glycerin 9.


This is how a full length Glycerin layout should look like. From the 2011 Glycerin 9.


In our quest to unlock the mysteries of the elusive ‘Super DNA’, we went all Indiana Jones-y with our tools.

Since we have (or had?) a high opinion of Brooks, we assumed that like BMW’s NP2 foam, the new midsole foam must have unique shear-thickening powers. We tested that hypothesis by hitting the midsole foam with a round hammer head. Now you must think we’re nuts for doing that, but hear us out. If you hit a piece of BMW NP2 foam hard, the surface will instantly harden, resulting in a sharp whack sound instead of being muffled. But unfortunately, striking the midsole hard resulted in no such outcome, and we finally had to conclude that the midsole behaved just like an ordinary piece of foam. The change in weight is also a dead giveaway. The similarly built Brooks Glycerin 11 was 30 grams (just over an ounce) lighter, and the absence of DNA gel explains that.

Now, this clearly shows that the product description on Brooks’ website is misleading, bordering on blatant mistruth. The ’Super DNA’ is nothing but a piece of EVA foam which looks and feels exactly like the ones used in much cheaper shoes. It does not have the spring of Adidas Boost nor the resilience of Nike Lunarlon, and even if it was more than just ordinary foam, there’s not much on the Brooks website describing it. We looked around on the internet, but couldn’t find any answers. Maybe there is nothing to be found after all. We sent a Twitter question to Brooks running, but that was a week ago, and we haven’t heard peep.

Wording the midsole as ’Super DNA’ draws the obvious conclusion that it is an extension of the original DNA material. But if it isn’t ,Brooks owes it to runners to explain what it is actually made of, instead of saying things like ’25% more cushioning than Biomogo DNA’, which means little, and sounds more like marketing spin for catalogs and press releases. We know that the foam based DNA has been in use on Pure Connect/Grit/Cadence/Flow models for sometime, but it is unclear how it differs from Super DNA used in Glycerin 12.

However, if this US patent (see description 0033) is anything to go by, there is a provision of mixing the unique properties of the original DNA gel with foam, allowing a full length unisole without the need for an insert. But our point is, if this is the case, Brooks should have made digital material explaining this, along with spending money on fancy spaceship boxes and video ad inserts in Runner’s World print magazines. (True, this was during Transcend’s launch)


The lateral side of the G-12. The top layer is just a wall surrounding the shoe, and does not go below the foot.


The foot rests on the white midsole instead of black, making the G-12 feel more cushioned than 11.

How does the ’Super DNA’ actually perform? It feels padded, as all foams usually do, and delivers a cushioned ride which is neither mushy nor too stiff. It rides softer than the outgoing Glycerin 11, and that is because the foot rests directly on the white midsole foam instead of the firmer layer, which was the case in 11. The Glycerin 12 appears to have a secondary layer of midsole atop the white portion, but it is only a fringe which surrounds the shoe. The construction is similar to what was seen in the Transcend. It doesn’t come in contact with the foot, which means that foot strike happens directly on the softer foam beneath. It is not pillowy soft by any standards, the best word to describe the cushioning feel would be firm. Because of one single midsole material underneath, cushioning is delivered in a uniformly spread out manner.

Based off our wear-testing, there’s no sensation of the foam’s shear-thickening properties, if it exists at all. The midsole foam is rather firm to begin with, so there’s a narrow spectrum between its passive (standstill) and reactive (foot-strike) states. The Gel based DNA was effective because it was soft to begin with, so the shear-thickening effect was more noticeable. So while the midsole works as a padded platform, this whole ’Super DNA’ thing falls woefully short of expectations.


The outsole design has been updated. Narrower in the heel, wider in the midfoot.


Narrower heel, but does not affect stability. Heel to toe transition comes across as good.

Nevertheless, the Glycerin 12 comes across as a very stable shoe, with no uncomfortable sink either in the heel nor to the sides. The raised midsole walls on the sides also help keep the foot in place. Heel to toe transition is also superb, in much part a result of the full contact midsole and increased width underneath the midsole compared to G-11 and prior. The rear-foot outsole area is narrower than before, but has no negative impact on stability.


The heel rubber wears down, fast. On the plus side is better grip.

The outsole rubber continues to be an area of concern, as it has been for previous Glycerin and Ghost models. Rubber wear on the heel starts happening from the first 5k, so expect to see faster than usual wear and tear relative to other brands. On the flip side, the rubber is sticky and grips well, but is it too much to ask for both? Forefoot is soft and cushiony blown rubber and the durability is so-so.




Drop-in footbed is unchanged from last year’s Glycerin 11. It’s a contoured layer made of molded BioMogo EVA, Brooks’ biodegradable sockliner. The latter is placed atop another layer of EVA strobel, so both of these combined add to cushioning levels.


Upper is made using identical construction technique featured previous year. Brooks calls it ‘3D Fitprint’, a way of fusing upper overlays by printing high-density layers of polymer over mesh. The end result is thinner than traditional high-frequency welded TPU, reducing bulk. But what about the fit? Brooks claims that the 3D fit print creates a custom fit, but in reality that isn’t the case.

Custom fit is true for slightly elastic uppers, like Adidas Techfit or Nike Flyknit where the stretch tends to wrap the fabric around foot contours. The Glycerin 12 fit isn’t any better or worse than traditional synthetic overlay uppers. What it does is to reduce bulk, both aesthetic and metric, while minimizing waste – which is a good thing.



Mesh is lightweight, but closed type, making the Glycerin run a bit warmer.

The shoe does look visually graceful because of 3D Fit-print, and the color we reviewed is absolutely delicious. Amazing contrasts of light and dark red, gold and black come alive on the upper, and the mid-foot color gradient with molded logos is a standout.

But this is more form than function and does not translate into a higher level of plushness or fit. Given the 3D Fitprint, there’s a limitation in what texture of mesh can be used here. On the Glycerin 12, it is of a closed type so that the shoe runs warmer than comparable open-mesh models.



In fact the Glycerin 12 feels much roomier than the 11 and the reason doesn’t seem to be the last, because the foot-bed have identical last markings – indicating that it hasn’t changed. What is different though, is the way in which the tongue is attached to the upper and the placement of printed patterns. At first glance, the Glycerin 11 and 12 appear to have internal sleeves, but they don’t. There’s a small strip of fabric connecting both components, and it just about keeps the tongue in place.

This strip of mesh is much small in width in Glycerin 12 than it was in the 11, and it influences the fit. While the forefoot fit on the sides feels unaltered, there’s a lot of vertical slack. The lacing in the Glycerin 12 starts a little later compared to the G-11, so that results in looseness on top of the foot. Length-wise, the G-12 fits true to size, with almost no extra space ahead of the big toe. Downhill running is a more of a struggle on the new Glycerin 12, with forward foot slide more pronounced than 11.


The gusset construction is crude. Appears to be scissor cuts, and there’s a factory marking scribbled on the component.


The tongue is comfortable, but attached lopsided. Assembly fail.

We’d like to add that the tongue gusset design is extremely shoddy, with poor finishing. The lining to which the tongue is attached appears to have been crudely cut using a pair of scissors, and there’s a factory marking of some kind scribbled on that component. The Glycerin 11 also used a similar construction, but with a much cleaner execution.

In our pair, the tongue was also not perfect, with the final assembly giving it a lopsided look. Incidentally, the Ghost 7 pair which we’re currently testing also has issues with manufacturing. Brook’s recent growth seems to have negatively affected its output quality; these are indications of slip-ups in its quality check processes.



Reflectivity on the Glycerin 12 (right) has disappeared completely.

The collar area is same at the back, except that the softer Achilles dip area is increased. If runners were facing dig-ins with the previous (we did not) Glycerin 11, the Glycerin 12 has this sorted out now.

Reflectivity is an unfortunate casualty of the annual evolution, with the huge reflective panel of G-11 being replaced by an overlay of molded synthetic. This leaves the Glycerin 12 with absolutely no reflective element, so please bear that in mind if it happens to be a need for you.


For past many years, Brooks had their premium, neutral cushioning template down pat with the Glycerin. Major updates came on board last year with the G-11, and this year’s avatar adds new layers of update to the revised platform. The shoe carries the illustrious badge forward, but has little in common with namesakes as recent as two year prior. So you have to ask, is the price of admission worth it? In this case no.

The upper looks visually graceful, but the cushioning quality, level of plushness and fit behaviour doesn’t justify paying $150 for the Glycerin 12. We are also current wear-testing the much cheaper Saucony Ride 7, and that is a good alternative if you’re in the market for a decently cushioned shoe with no special tricks.

(Disclaimer: For the review, bought this shoe at full US retail price)

Your purchase through any of the promoted retailers in this review supports solereview’s work. We make a small commission every time you do, and this helps funds our review costs.
  • Numbers

    Again, great work. You’re reviews are the most detailed and best written on the web. Most importantly, I find that you make a lot of non-obvious observations. As someone who has ran in the Glycerin 10 and 11, I found this review very insightful; both for the commentary on the “super DNA” foam in the Glycerin 12 and comment about potential problem of Achilles heel dig in the Glycerin 11. I injured my Achilles tendon on March when switching to the Glycerin 11 from my usual shoe (Adidas Energy Boost v 1.0 at the time) during one of my treadmill workouts. While it’s likely that my steep ramp-up in training was the major contributor to the injury (going from barely any running during the past six months to 20+ miles per week), I wonder if the shoe was partially to blame, considering that even walking in the Glycerin 11s after four weeks of rest still aggravated my Achilles, while this didn’t happen in any of the other shoes I was wearing. I’m currently running in the Energy Boost 2.0 for the majority of my workouts, but want to add another shoe for recovery runs to my rotation. After reading your reviews, I’ll probably stay away from the Glycerin 12’s. Do you know whether I’d be likely to run into the same Achilles tendon problem with either the Nike Pegasus 31’s or the New Balance 890 v4’s? Keep up the great work!

    • solereview

      Thank you for the comment!

      We haven’t tested the 890 V4 yet (but we’ll probably plonk that into our rotation soon), but compared to the Glycerin 12, the Pegasus 31 fares much better in heel area. Why? The Achilles dip area is much softer because of no stiff overlays, the internal heel counter is curved outwards more than the G-12, and the height of the counter is also lower. So unless you’re wearing the shoe too tight, the Pegasus 31 will not chaff that area nor put pressure on the base of the Tendon.

      That said, the reason for an Achilles injury may or may not be because of inappropriate footwear. In such cases, as you must have already done so, is to eliminate the variables one by one – if retiring the Glycerin-11 helped in relieving your injuries, then it could have been the reason after all.

      At the time of the injury, did you have an uphill gradient set on your treadmill during workouts?

      • Numbers

        Thanks for the reply. Regarding the treadmill settings, I wasn’t using any grade, but I was running a little faster than usual. I had probably put 50 miles on the G-11’s previously (all outdoors) without issue, but did notice some pressure on my Achilles tendon during that particular run. If I was smart, I would have stopped, and at the least, switched shoes… I did take the G-11’s out of my rotation since thereafter they seemed to aggravate my Achilles even at a walking pace. After resting and slowly building up mileage, my injury has healed. I guess this goes to show that not all shoes work for everyone.
        I actually picked up a pair of the 890 V4s at a good price. Really like these shoes, very light, lots of cushioning, and very responsive.
        Looking forward to reading future reviews.

        • solereview

          So it could have been the shoes after all.

          Thank you for reading our reviews, we’ll keep pushing forth!

  • Zumadume2

    Since the 890 v4’s were mentioned here, I’d like to ‘second’ a request for a review. I enjoy the appeal of limited collector’s edition shoes (like the NYC Marathon Asics models), and the New Balance 890 is the basis for the current Run Disney exclusives. (Or at least some of them.) I’ll be doing the Dopey Challenge in January and I was curious if these were quality products worth buying beyond just for their novelty.
    Thank you for all you do!

    • solereview

      Thanks for the suggestion, we’ll make a mental note of that! Good luck with your training 🙂

  • Newbie

    After a 3 year hiatus, I decided to start running again (I had previously started running, kept at it for a couple of months and then took time off and had a kid). I used my previous shoes – Mizuno Waves – and after a couple of weeks in, I have AWFUL shin pain. I went in today to get new shoes, and ended up with these Brooks Glycerin 12s. Of the 5 pairs of “neutral” shoes the guy brought out, these were the most comfortable (with an insole). Think I’ll be disappointed? I have a medium arch, serious shin pain, and tend to alternate between treadmill and pavement. After your very detailed review (THANK YOU!), I’m considering returning these but not sure what to ask for / try instead?!

    • solereview

      If the Glycerin 12 feels good out of the options sampled, (at least initially) sticking to it isn’t a bad idea. Shin splints happen due to different reasons, and footwear might or might not be one of the causes.

      Still, if you want to try more shoes, Brooks Transcend is an alternative which is very cushioned without being mushy. (Just watch out for that high curved part of the midsole on the arch side, and see whether it digs into your arch)

      • Mark

        Tried the Transcend. I loved it….except for the fact it dug into my right arch (great observation on your part). So disappointing because the shoe has a good underfoot feel.

  • Mark

    Thanks for the reviews. It’s nice to get reviews that are not just rehashing the talking points of the shoe company. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who felt the ride of the Glycerin 12 was firm. I’ve read the reviews of how soft these are, but my experience was quite the opposite. The shoe does have a very nice, comfortable upper. It sure feels good on your feet, but I felt the ride was a let down.

    • solereview

      You’re welcome. We try and be as unbiased/objective as possible, while putting in the details for potential buyers to be able to come to a decision.

      You’re right on the firmness.The Glycerin has never been very soft. If it was called out as such by the brand/runners, it could have been relative to past/future versions of it, or simply marketing fluff.

      The upper materials notwithstanding, the $150 price is just too steep.

  • Ethan

    I think Brooks “Super DNA” foam differs from Brooks normal “DNA ” in that one is blended in with the foam compound(like a mixture) and the normal DNA is just added(Gel-like pods) for cushioning, although I’m not sure if one “really” works better than the other…

    • solereview


      The Gel based DNA was unique in the sense that it was ‘shear-thickening’. Which meant that it stiffened on impact, reducing residual forces. The Super DNA, even if blended with the DNA, shows none of the earlier shear thickening characteristics.

  • Virginia

    Thank you so much for this review! I loved the Glycerin 9 & 10. They were the most comfortable shoe I had worn.
    I was so disappointed with the 11, but figured it was either me or just an “off” pair. I just picked up the 12 but will take it back, as I expect to be as disappointed as I was with the 11.
    Such a shame…

    • Yup, these past few Glycerins haven’t been in the same league as 9 and 10.

      • Maria

        I loved the Glycerine 9/10s (including their ‘cushioning’) – would you recommend another sneaker that was most similar? Thank you!

        • Buy the Glycerin 11 – we think some of it is still available online.

  • Tom

    great review. I transitioned from the Ghost to the Glycerin 10 when they came out (and I was adding distance) I am larger runner at 200lbs. 423 marathoner / 129 10 miler / 23 5k. I noticed a huge difference in ‘mushiness’ from the 11 to the 12. So much so that I returned my 12’s and have been looking for a replacement. Your research into the DNA gel answers lots of questions. I think that the DNA gel was a key part of this shoe and removing it just makes it feel too soft. I reverse engineered (with a knife!) my old 11s and I can see the gel in the heel, down the outside, and across the entire forefoot section. I am in the process of ordering as many pairs of the 11’s (and 10’s if I can find them) as I can find. Thanks again for a great review…

    • Thanks. The 10 was our favorite by far, though the 11 is not bad either. The DNA gel did play an important part in the ride behavior, so the new one just feels ordinary.

  • Waspman

    Very informative review and I wish I had read it before I bought them. I got a pair of these after 2 pairs of Glycerin 10’s and 2 pairs of 11’s. Both those were great although I preferred the 10’s. I run an average of 10 km’s at a time four times a week doing a lot of hill work with the vast majority being street running. They started off ok but were noticeably more cushioned than the 11’s and appeared a lot less supportive around the heel area. However after 3 weeks I started noticing weird pain throughout my legs, feet and ankles that worsened with each run. I have only experienced similar discomfort, albeit nowhere near as bad, with very cheap runners. I took them back to my retailer and got a pair of Asics Cumulus 16’s although I didn’t know a lot about these. The improvement with the Asics is back to normal pain free running was and the improvement has been immense. And the good news is the Asics are cheaper. Whatever Brooks were thinking it was not a step in the right direction.

    • The Glycerin 10’s were the best, in our opinion, still hanging on to a pair. Asics Cumulus is a well balanced shoe, though not as plush.

      Brooks is turning over most of their Gel DNA models to this ‘new’ foam set-up, including the Adrenaline GTS 15. So far we have been disappointed with the outcome.

  • Dale Matson

    Thanks for the comprehensive review. Too bad I didn’t read it before getting the model 12. Less cushioned than the 11s. I have run in the Gylcerins for over a decade and find this to be the first pair that caused heel problems. My left heel had a hot spot after my 12 mile run today and I could feel my heel moving back and forth sideways as I ran. The new price is simply outrageous. I ordered a new pair of model 11s for $100.00. What a huge investment! I just bought a nice pair of waterproof insulated boots for $100.00. With the CA sales tax, I paid out over $160.00. There is nothing in the technology or quality of this shoe to justify that price. I have always been willing to live with the butt ugly colors.

    • You’re welcome. The new Glycerin isn’t anything on the older versions when it comes to cushioning feel. Brooks is trying to ape Hoka, we think, with even the GTS 15 converted into a full foam midsole based shoe.

  • Mike J

    As a heavy runner (220 lbs) who runs on asphalt and concrete, I was constantly looking for a durable, comfortable, cushioned shoe. I tried a variety including Nike, Saucony, and Brooks G-11, etc. The 11s were the best of the bunch, but still not great in terms of comfort or cushion. I then bought the Brooks G-12s and immediately noticed the cushion and comfort I’d been seeking. I run an average of 45 miles a week and the foot and knee pain I suffered from while in all previous shoes is gone. I’m actually on my third pair of the G-12s and am very happy with this shoe. I appreciate the in depth review but this shoe works for me.

    • Just proves how shoes work so differently based on runner profiles. Thank you for sharing your feedback, great to know the G-12’s are working out perfectly for you.

  • Run4funandfit

    Very impressed with your review! Unfortunately my timing is off. I was looking to try a different model just to see what was out there. Have been pretty happy with the Asics Gel Cumulus 15, Saucony Ride 5 and Brooks Ghost 5 and 6, but thought hey maybe there’s something even better out there. Went to the running store today armed with a hefty gift card and after trying on a new Ghost model and Glycerin side by side went with the Glycerines, Now i’m wondering if i should have played it safe and stuck with the tried and true Ghosts…

    • Actually both the (new) Ghost and Glycerin have moved to foam based midsoles, so doubt if your switch would have made a lot difference.

      Our vote goes to the Ride 7, and tentatively the new Triumph ISO (though we need to run a lot more in them before finalizing our verdict).

  • Mark

    Quick question….how does the ride of the Glycerin 12 compare to the new Saucony ISO Triumph? Softer or harder? Thanks!

    • Give us a few days time, we’ll do a quick test and get back to you.

      • Mark

        Thank you so much. I appreciate it!

        • You’re welcome. The Triumph ISO differs from the Glycerin 12 by a large margin.

          The ISO gives us a sense of ‘deeper’ cushioning as compared to the G-12. You can feel the foam compressing under heel and forefoot without bottoming out.

          Talk about the Glycerin, and one key difference is how the shoe feels immediately underfoot. It is softer (vs. ISO) just under the foot and the insole feels smoother too. We think the thicker Biomogo insole has a role to play in this – a lux top cloth over responsive insole foam.

          The G-12 midsole isn’t as cushioned as ISO, but the transitions are better, and so is the grip.

          Hope this helps!

          • Mark

            Thank you! Really love your sight. Best shoe info I’ve found. You are so helpful to us runners.

  • Cami

    I developed plantar fasciitis running on Transcends, went back to Glycerin’s, running in the 11’s. Picked up a pair of Glycerin 12’s and hate them. Only four runs into the 12’s (21 miles total) they are going back and I’m gonna try and find some 11’s. So disappointed with the extra cushion. Extra cushion caused my problem, why do they have to change something so drastic, frustrating to feel the pain coming back…

    • The Glycerin 11’s should still be around, so good idea to grab a few pairs. That said, not sure why the Transcends should lead to PF – it might be helpful to incorporate condtioning and strengthening exercises for your PF.

  • JC

    I run cross country and I am soon starting track, I will be running 200 and 400. I started with the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 and then I switched to the Brooks Glycerin 17. I like them but I over-pronate really bad. Many people have told me to get a neutral ride shoe… but I’m trying to decide if switching to the Nike Air Zoom Structure 18 would be a good choice?

    • We’re assuming that you’re hunting around for track training footwear. Since switching to negative heel to toe drop shoes is inevitable on raceday, suggest you look at something more lower profile and lighter.

      Shoes like the Brooks PureConnect, Mizuno Wave Hitogami/Sayonara and adidas adios Boost come to mind.

  • Homer45

    Hello,continuing my question on zante review,since the profile of the midsole are similar with transcend(look wise),do you think they are also felt similar??

    • No! Two very different shoes, apples and oranges 🙂

      • Homer45

        Thanks for the clarification

  • Pedro

    I stumbled across this review so I thought I would give my two cents. I’m a big guy therefore I need a very cushioned shoe when I run. I have gone through A LOT of shoes over the last few years. I’m a sneakerhead in general so I own a lot of basketball, running, and athletic shoes, and I’m extremely well versed in shoe tech. Nike, New Balance, Saucony, Asics, Brooks, etc…I’ve owned a lot of shoes. With regards to shoes specifically for running, the Nimbus and the Pegasus were my go to but I still felt like they were not cushioned enough. In fact after the 29, Nike completely ruined the Pegasus. So I decided to try the Glycerin 12’s based upon a few reviews from various reputable websites. After wearing these shoes for almost a year, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that they are the greatest pair of running shoes I have ever owned. My feet always feel great. One test I have of a shoe is whether I feel like taking them off after I exercise. I never ever feel like taking my Glycerin 12’s off after a run. I actually have three pairs because I keep two in my running rotation, in fact my only two, and I have a third as my regular tennis shoes to wear around. Once the 13’s come out, I may go nuts and just buy as many pairs of the 12’s as I can in.

    • Great to hear about your overwhelming positive experience with the G-12!

      Just shows that how shoes can behave differently from person to person. While we (and some other readers) did not find the G-12 particularly impressive, there are many people who absolutely love the current version of the Glycerin.

  • Robert

    Thanks for the reviews, find myself reading reviews of shoes I’m never going to buy!
    I did w onder if you could advise though , I have a niggle in my right foot -almost like a trapped nerve and pf,therefore I use custom made insoles which help a lot. I run in glycerin 12, they take the insole well but I find i develop a ‘hot spot ‘ in the ball of my foot after 6/7 k. I normally run 5 k 5 times a week but when I go a little further this seems to occur, I experianced something similar in asics cumulus 15. I have run in Pegasus 30 without problem and pegasus 31 but I think they may be a bit soft for the insoles to work well. I find the glycerin fairly firm, do you think a lot of the cushioned feel comes from the standard insole?

    Any recommendations , need to be neutral, take an insole?

    Am I correct in thinking firmer is better to allow the insole to do its job?

    I have seen people comment on hotspots in asics before but not glycerin 12,



    • Insoles have a great deal of influence on how the cushioning feels. Sometimes most of the softness comes from the footbed and not the actual insole.

      In that context, more the difference in softness between the insole and midsole, greater the feel of the insole – if that is what you meant. In simpler words, if the midsole beneath is firmer, the insole will compress more – enhancing cushioning feel just under the foot.

      You could try shoes such as the adidas Supernova Glide Boost, Saucony Ride 7, Breakthrough and the Triumph ISO. However, you will need to take your custom insole along during the fit sessions and see how it sits inside the models mentioned here.

      • Robert

        Thanks for the advice and the great reviews, I’ll try the recommendations – maybe glide / ISO !

  • Carlos Cuevas

    Hello. I´m indecised between Glycerin12 and Triumph ISO. I need stability and I also have a Glide6. I’ve just found Glycerin in $80 and the Triump in $115. I usually run in hard pack trail. I´m 80kg weight. What do you recomend me? Thank you very much

    • You need more stability? Then Glycerin 12 it is, over the ISO.

  • Neil Flippance

    Love this website, do you have an approx date you might test the 13’s ?

    • ETA is early July.

      • Neil Flippance

        thx SR

    • Katherine

      I have the brooks glycerin 12 (womens). I really appreciate this site that discusses in detail why the 12 isn’t up to speed. Great explanation about the super DNA. My heels hurt! I tried the 11 but could not get the right fit. The B width wasn’t wide enough. The W was too wide. The 12 is perfect, so agreed it’s a bit roomier. Because I typically have this width problem, can you recommend a neutral shoe with some’ support. I’m reluctant to stick with glycerin because of the heel pain I constantly experience post exercise. Otherwise nice fit. Quality materials. Saucing ride 7??? Ghosts just don’t do it for me. Not enough support. Quickly begin to supinate. Help??

      • How about the Nike Vomero 10? Plenty of room upfront, and comes with none of the midsole lean which makes people nervous.

  • katherine

    Could you explain midsole lean please. I am very happy I’ve discovered your site. Will always check with your opinion before I purchase so many different shoes. It’s hard to really wrap around all the tech. Thank you so much for making sense of it all!

    • Hello Katherine, midsole lean happens because that one side of the shoe (inner or outer side) tends to be softer than the other.

      Many shoes are designed like this on purpose. Like most of the ‘stability’ shoes you see in the stores – those have a harder foam piece on the arch side, so the midsole is biased towards the softer side.

      Hope this makes sense.

      • Katherine

        Got it! Thank you. Will be trying the Nike come to 10

  • Miguel Alvarado Weigend

    With the Glycerin 12 being cutter down to 98 USD would you reconsider the grade you gave to this shoe? Websites like Runnea and Runners World classify this shoe as excellent.
    I try it in the store and like it, but honestly I am very influeced by editors reviews. And this is one of he sites that gave such a los score to this shoe model.

    Let me know of at 98 USD you would recommend to buy this shoe (over the others) as a neutral cushioned shoe for long runs.
    PS love the site.

    • $98 is a sweet deal for the Glycerin. If it fits well and feels nice, then buy it – don’t worry about what reviews say, including ours.

  • Kim Morrow

    Hi, Great review. I have been running in Glycerins since Glycerin 5. I hated the 11’s and so far I’ve logged about 100 miles in the 12’s and I am not a big fan. What shoe is most similiar to the Glycerin 9 or 10? Have you reviewed the 13’s yet?

    • A shoe similar to the Glycerin 9 or 10? That is a hard one – we don’t see a shoe which currently matches up. We’ve got the Glycerin 13 but it will be sometime before we post a review – beautiful upper but similar ride to the 12.

      Different shoes, but you could try the Nike Vomero 10, Saucony Ride 8 and New Balance 1080 V5.

  • Kumpon Petchrutchatachart

    I test this shoes in half marathon. Great transition and support but create some blister on lateral side of left forefoot . Poor durable of 3Dprint and logo ,easy to wear off.

    • Thanks for the feedback. How long (time, miles) before the 3D fit print and logo started peeling off?

  • Christian

    Hi guys – any updated ETA for the Glycernin 13 review? Or any preliminary feedback?

    • We’ve had the shoe for sometime, but no ETA. These things tend to go haywire. Upper has a nice update, ride is similar in many ways to the G-12.

  • Neil Flippance

    Any chance you could please leave the comments thread open for longer ? I wanted to review Glycerin 11, ghost 6 and nimbus 15. I don’t always get the latest models. I buy when discontinued model comes on sale, rotate my shoes and do not do alot of kms so my reviews are not always up to date….

    • Sure, opened it. But will close again in a few days, so you can post there in the meanwhile.

      A lot of the comments are answered after actually re-wearing the shoes – and we don’t have (easy) access to the older models anymore. This limits our ability to reply to questions on older threads.

  • I am very disappointed in my second pair of Glycerin 12s. I trained for and ran a marathon in the ombre. Unfortunately, there was a heavy rain throughout the race so I trashed the shoe. I purchased another pair in a different color on May 20th. Just over 3 months and 220 miles later, the soles are showing excessive wear. I have had knee problems in the past so I do not plan to run in these any more and I am skeptical about purchasing the Glycerin 13s.

    • Thank you for the pictures! Brooks shoes in general do not have long outsole durability. Even their harder rubber under the heel wears down faster vs. a adidas, Nike or Mizuno.

  • Alex gad

    You guys should completely break down the shoe, don’t just stick a tooth pick in it and say oh no gel

    • Ha ha, we don’t use a toothpick, that’s a badass cutter doing its job! But you can be assured that there is no Gel inside, Alex.

      Will do complete tear downs once we have some money/budget to buy an additional pair. Right now, we find it hard to make even ends meet 🙂

      • Alex Gad

        i replied a few days ago but some how my comment didn’t show up, anyway I will comment again. I was so shock when you guys say ends are hard to meet. This site is such a great site for shoe review, extremely detailed and comes with superior analysis. Perhaps the number one review site I even seen, much more better than the so call famous websites like runner’s world etc. You guys reply to every single comment and again, the quality of the reviews is just absolutely phenomenal. You guys deserve so much more.

        • Many thanks for your kind words. Not sure what happened to your earlier comment, sometimes the commenting system here works funny.

          The problem is that it is hard for content websites to make serious money, and particularly in our case, where we chose to buy all the shoes, not stuff the site with ads, spend an insane amount of time on reviewing/photography/editing/writing/responding. All this ends up with an income of a few hundred dollars a month, but with expenses of several thousands dollars. So in short, this is a massively loss making deal.

          It appears likely that solereview will have to shut down sometime in the next few months.

        • Thank you so much for the kind words, they mean a lot to us! We’re currently going through some budgetary challenges of late, but we expected that to happen. Hopefully things should improve soon.

          Not sure what happened to your earlier post, the disqus comment system acts funny at times.

  • There are no sponsors, 100% of the funding comes from the founder’s personal savings!

  • Gretchen Saaduddin

    Your site is amazing. Unfortunately, I found it after I bought my G-12s at the Long Beach Marathon expo. They were $55.00 (worn once and returned). I have a bit of pronation, but plan on using my orthotics. I hope my knees will be safe in these shoes. Thanks for all you do. You should get a sponsorship from an athlete supported product other than shoes (to keep your results pure). You deserve some help financially. Thank you so much. I will be referring other athletes and runners.

    • Thank you for the kind words, Gretchen! And hope the G-12 works out just well for you.

  • sidthekid

    Amazing in-depth reviews.Absolutely spot on for the glycerin 12.Tried it on and felt it was too hard, going back to asics gel nimbus 17…(hard to find deals for it though!)

    • Thank you for the comment! The Glycerin 13’s fare better than the G-12, have you had a chance to try them yet?

  • Foam = foam. Gel=Gel. The two are different. We’ve done our research. Don’t believe everything a brand says.

    • danamforrest

      Nice try, I just left Brooks as a Footwear Developer. You are wrong.

      • It does not matter what the website says, what matters is how the shoe feels. The foam does not feel like the Gel and foam stack of previous models. Period.

        You’re taking this personally because of your connection with Brooks. Don’t. This is an unbiased review/opinion, and should be treated as such. If you poke around, you’ll notice that we’ve said great things about other Brooks shoes.

        For the record, the reviewer has over a decade of footwear experience. Manufacturing/developing/design/product/etc etc. Seen it all, and have learnt that brands should not drink their own Kool Aid.

        • danamforrest

          No, no. I have many issues with Brooks which is why I don’t work there anymore. My issue is that this review implies that Brooks lies about how they make their shoes. They didn’t lie. The shoe represents the technology.

          • Understood.

            We were checking our notes for the review after reading your comment – at the time of writing this review, the DNA description just carried over the text from the older model (G-11). The link to the DNA tech also resulted in a pop-up which showed a picture of the older Gel Tech.

            There was no mention about the foam+Gel tech in July 2014. Since then, they’ve updated the description like you said.

            We actually said good things about the Glycerin 13.

          • Update to our comment below. Here’s a snapshot of the older Glycerin 12 page. (Navigate to June 2014 date)


            As you can see, the description is very confusing. Uses terms like Brooks DNA, Biomogo DNA and SuperDNA interchangeably. Notice that the ‘features’ text and pop-out from the Brooks DNA graphic contradict one another.

            First Brooks says that SuperDNA is better than BioMogo DNA (which implies that Biomogo was the older tech), then proceeds to explain DNA as a combination with BioMogo in the pop-out without talking about SuperDNA.

    • danamforrest

      And as any normal person could see from the website:

      BioMoGo DNA is DNA technology blended with the BioMoGo midsole to provide adaptive cushioning throughout the midsole vs. just in the heel and forefoot.
      BioMoGo DNA midsole includes an organic, non-toxic additive that biodegrades the midsole 50 times faster than traditional EVA when it comes into contact with anaerobic landfill microbes (otherwise known as active, enclosed landfills).
      30% more cushioning than standard midsole materials (gel or EVA)
      Twice as much energy return for more pep in your step
      Great performance no matter your weight or running pace
      Smoother transition from heel to toe