I remember the fear I had going in to a running shop for the first time. Suffering from imposters syndrome I asked sheepishly what shoes they’d recommend for a marathon runner. It was October 2015, six months before I would line up for my first ever marathon and I needed some shoes to match the occasion.
Up until then I had worn a pair of basic ASICS trainers that I’d played badminton for a few years in and run about 40 miles. They were battered and bruised at the start of my first ever half marathon and by the end of that race they were ripped to shreds, I had literally incredible hulked my way through them. My big toe and little toe had burrowed through to freedom like Andy Dufresne in the Shawshank Redemption.
I knew I needed a real pair of running shoes so I went down to my nearest running shop and they threw me on the treadmill and watched me run. Within a few minutes they had me in a pair of shoes that I would run every subsequent road race in.
The Brooks Glycerin became my faithful steed. When I first brought them they were in their 13th incarnation and are now into their 16th which I will review when I get my hands on them as I am still running in the 15th model. I’ve gone through five pairs, run 13 marathons and clocked up 2,000+ miles.
Are they perfect? No. Are they brilliant? Oh, yes.
So lets get down to the nitty, gritty.
The Gylcerin’s are all about the comfort. It is cushioned to the max so it is a great shoe for anyone looking to get started in long distance running as they reduce the impact the increase mileage will cause on your muscles and joints. Everything from the upper made of a breathable, thin yet stretchy mesh to the heel and tongue being made of a plush soft material is aimed at offering the most amount of cushioning. I wouldn’t put it in the same category as the pillow like shoes that are the Hoka One Ones but in my eyes they are a perfect balance between comfort and responsiveness especially for someone of my size.
One of my major gripes, and it is a big’un, is the fit. I wear a size 11.5 and with wide feet I really struggle with how my feet sit in this shoe. It is perfect for any distance shorter than a half marathon but if I’m lacing my shoes up for anything longer I have to use my secret weapon: gel pads. A product typically used for high heels but they are the cure for the rubbing and blistering I can get on the inside part of my foot during a race.
A big problem I had of the 14 model was that it wore out quickly, with in a few weeks they started showing signs of wear, particularly on the heel. That shoe only lasted a few months as the heel wore away and a sharp bit of plastic protruded out making running incredibly uncomfortable. This has been sorted out in the 15 with a stronger more durable sole and improved materials throughout. I’ve clocked up around 150-200 miles in them and they still feel brand new despite the Game of Thrones esque weather they’ve experienced in the UK. In the photo below you can see how they’ve changed with my running form while still maintaining their durability and comfort.
Brooks offer (on their website) a 30 day trial run and I really recommend trying this out. You can use them for whatever runs you have lined up and if you aren’t happy with them just pop them back to them and they’ll offer you a refund. I was sceptical about the terms of return so got in touch and they replied saying I would be surprise with how some of them look and smell but they still offer the refund. This is a welcomed gesture as they are not cheap shoes (RRP £135) so at least you can put some serious mileage in before being tied to them long term.
SO THE SCORES ON THE DOORS:
A comfort filled, great looking, mile munching shoe that has allowed me to become the runner I am today. Thanks Brooks.
5 Cups out of 5!