Shoe Review: Brooks Glycerin 17

The women's Brooks Glycerin 17

The Glycerin is a workhorse in Brooks’ lineup of running shoes, and the latest model makes sure it stays that way.

The new Brooks Glycerin 17 is the softest shoe in the Brooks stable. Stuffed with DNA Loft foam and wrapped in an engineered mesh upper, the Glycerin is for runners who prioritize cushion over all else.

This year, Brooks redesigned the upper for a sleeker look than past versions, but the soft feel and cushy ride remained the same.

Before you step into the redesigned Brooks Glycerin 17, here are the important details:

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 10 mm
  • Weight: 9.2 oz, women’s; 10.6 oz, men’s
  • Category: Neutral, road
  • MSRP: $150
The women's Brooks Glycerin 17 in black

Brooks Glycerin 17 Fit

The Brooks Glycerin 17 is designed to be plush, both inside and out, and our testers found that the fit is just like the ride: comfy.

Plus, the engineered mesh upper provides just the right amount of stretch to make sure the shoe fits comfortably for a range of foot widths. She also praised the fabric sewn around the heel collar.

“I love the plush heel collar,” she says. “The material has a very smooth feel, which is great for anyone who struggles with rubbing around their ankles.”

Another tester loved how the shoe’s internal bootie hugged his midfoot without feeling too constricting. He says the bootie was noticeably snug when he first put the shoe on, but it easily blended into the background when he started running.

The heel provided excellent structure to the shoe, and it fit securely without slipping or rubbing. A Fleet Feet tester who has average-width feet but a wide heel, says the shoe was comfortable during long runs on pavement.

Brooks Glycerin 17 Ride

We can’t say it enough: the first thing you’ll notice about the new Glycerin 17 is how pillow-y soft it is.

Brooks used its DNA Loft foam to cushion the Glycerin 17. Billed as Brooks’ softest foam technology, it’s ideal for long runs on unforgiving pavement.

The full-length DNA Loft midsole felt luxurious during one tester’s eight-miler on a paved greenway and other long runs on the road.

“This is the perfect long run shoe,” she says. “The cushion will help with the impact of long miles on the road. It’s also great for recovery runs.”

Even with the full bed of foam, though, the Glycerin’s weight doesn’t creep up; the men’s shoe weighs 10.6 oz, and the women’s weighs 9.2 oz.

While Brooks designed DNA Loft for softness, it never felt like it was holding the shoe back. One tester who typically likes running shoes with firmer cushion says the DNA Loft midsole soaked up the impacts of running on pavement but rebounded easily to avoid feeling like a memory foam mattress.

“I never felt bogged down by the softness,” he says. “It felt like the right balance of cushion and bounce for longer runs.”

The shoe gripped pavement well, too. Two testers made note of the shoe’s traction as they rounded corners and picked up their pace.

Brooks Glycerin 16 vs. Brooks Glycerin 17

A comparison of the Brooks Glycerin 16 and the Brooks Glycerin 17

The differences between the Brooks Glycerin 16 and the Brooks Glycerin 17 are subtle, and they don’t change the overall fit or feel of the shoe from the outgoing model to the new one.

Brooks made the changes to the shoe’s upper. The 16 used a wide midfoot overlay anchored by three lace holes to secure a runner’s foot, but the 17 did away with the overlay, opting instead for a printed design over the mesh.

Inside, Brooks added the OrthoLite sockliner to the 17 for increased comfort.

The engineered mesh is almost the same as before, though. Brooks rearranged the pattern of the openings in the mesh, but it didn’t affect how the upper moves or feels.

While updating the upper, Brooks kept the spotlight on the bed of cushy DNA Loft foam underneath the Glycerin 17. Like last year’s shoe, the foam midsole runs the length of the shoe for a continuously soft feel as you transition from heel to toe, and the design on the midsole is identical between models, too.

Underneath all that foam, designers used the same outsole for grip and durability. Brooks notched the outsole with seven grooves to let the Glycerin 17 flex naturally as you power off your toe, and the heel employs the same segmented crash pad to soften your landings.

Conclusion

The Brooks Glycerin 17 is a plush everyday training shoe that’s full of the softest DNA Loft foam. We loved how soft it felt on pavement and how it never left us feeling like we were stuck in sand.

This is an update that we were happy to run in mile after mile after mile.


Still not convinced? Don’t sweat it. Fleet Feet's return policy means you can test drive your shoes and gear without risk. If you’re not happy with the way your gear performs, looks or fits, we’ll take it back within 60 days. Plus, you’ll get free return shipping on all fleetfeet.com orders. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.

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