Monday, June 18, 2018

Brooks Glycerin 16 Review: Finally Delivering on the Promise! Always Plush. Now Any Pace Lively

Article by Jeff Beck
Brooks Running Glycerin 16

Introduction
The Brooks Glycerin 16 is a quantum leap forward for a shoe line that I have wanted to love for a long time. While the upper and overall fit and finish of this shoe has always been dialed in (leading to an immediate response of “This feels nice”), the 16 is the first version that puts it all together for me. This feels like Stockholm Syndrome is finally paying off.
My first Glycerin was the 8, and I have run in every version since (I skipped the 13 and 14), and ultimately every single shoe has been a disappointment in some way. Typically too sluggish, not responsive enough, or what felt great in the first few runs gave way to feeling just okay on the foot. That said, the 16 killed it. It's the first version that delivers on all the marketing promises of "balanced soft cushioning, plush transitions, and plush fit". This is a great all-around shoe, and none of its many predecessors were great all-around shoes. They were fine to good and mostly for long slow days, or heavier runners. The 16 breaks the mold to become an everyday monster.



Stats
Glycerin 16 ($150)
Weight: US M9 10.6 oz/305 g W8.5 9.4 oz/266 g
Sample Weight US M11 12.5 oz/453 g
Stack Height: 32mm heel, 22 mm forefoot, 10mm offset
Available June 2018


Upper
The Glycerin upper has been very good for some time. I would take the upper version of the Pepsi Challenge, comparing the Glycerin against just about any other running shoe. They have used premium materials for each version, and 16 feels like an improvement over it's predecessors. It is the first version since the Glycerin 11 to not actually label the upper as a 3D print, though it still is.
The latest upper is softer than any others have been, and while it has some stretch, especially in the toebox, the upper still feels very locked down. The toebox is plenty wide (not an Altra by any means, but I would bet most runners will not have a problem with the G16), and has plenty of vertical volume as well.
I had zero heat issues with the upper, even on very warm Phoenix mornings. The 16 upper is very breathable, but I would not hesitate to run in it during the winter. It has an upper made for Goldilocks.
The midfoot has a laminated 3D Stretch Print saddle overlay that gives the shoe some structure, but does not overstay its welcome. In the miles I’ve put on the Glycerin 16 I never once thought about the midfoot overlays, which is the best way to know that they are well done. The heel collar continues to be soft and supple, and if Brooks decided to make a pillow out of that material, I would give it a chance. It is that comfortable.
The toe has less structure than the 15, which gives the toebox more flexibility, but it did not feel wild and loose like some shoes might.


Midsole
This is where the magic happens. The brand new DNA Loft cushioning brings a lot of industry buzzwords like “ultra soft” or “luxurious” as well as the ubiquitous “responsive”, and like more and more shoes these days - it delivers. Underneath the foot, this shoe is unlike any previous Glycerin. It pulls off the paradox, being softer than it’s older brother Glycerin 15, while also being more responsive.
In my Sam Winebaum Signature “Run with Two Different Shoes on to Really See How They Compare” it became night and day just how different the 16 is from the 15. The 15 was comfortable on foot, but just okay when it hit the ground. The 16 bounced back in a way that few shoes do.


I am a mid-foot striker, but on that run I spent some time purposely heel striking, and the 16 shined even brighter. After a few miles of the mismatched shoes the 15 on my left foot felt like a perfectly adequate running shoe, while the 16 on my right foot felt like the culmination of engineering and design.
While many faster runners rave about the Nike Vaporfly 4%, the Glycerin 16 feels like the equivalent for slower runners. It’ a love letter to Clydesdales and Turtles. Or likely any other group of runners that compares themselves in a self-deprecating manner to an animal.


Outsole
The outsole of the Glycerin 16 is largely unchanged from the 15. So similar, that I almost skipped trying the shoe out altogether. "Been there, done that" kind of thing. It has plenty of rubber, that is pretty soft, almost all over the place. There is exposed cushioning near the lateral midfoot, and while I am sure it will wear down faster than the rubber, it is not a concern.
Traction wise, the 16 leaves little to be desired in both wet and dry conditions. My most recent run was on a cool rainy day in the 70s (something that most Phoenicians know as incredibly rare, especially in June) and slick concrete or pavement gave me no concern. We get rain so infrequently that an exceptional level of oil builds up on the roads making the first rain a somewhat dangerous one, but the G16 was kept on plugging like it was sunny and in the 90s. No slipping, no sliding. Unlike many other shoes in this category, the 16 has plenty of flexibility. The New Balance 1080v8 and the Saucony Triumph ISO 4, as well as the Glycerin 15, all feel far more stiff than the 16. Just a big block of cushioning under the foot.


Ride
The Glycerin 16 is a versatile shoe, that’s ideal at a slower pace - it is butter smooth during slow or recovery runs. It’s a big mileage workhorse. And if that was it, the Glycerin 16 would still be better than it's older brothers. But when you pick up the pace, the shoe is all for it. Near the end of a long slow run I spent a few miles at faster than my 10K pace without any issue. The shoe ate it up. I had tried a similar run a few weeks earlier with the New Balance 1080v8, and found that picking up the pace at all lead to hotspots all over the shoe as I sunk into it. And while I would not recommend most runners choose the Glycerin 16 as their 5K race shoe, there are worse options.
The more I pushed the 16, the more I liked it. It remained lively and enjoyable to run in, regardless of how fast or slow I was running, or how beat up my legs were going into the run. It reminds me of the heavier and more cushioned version of the Nike Epic React, a shoe that I have fallen in love with. There are nearly four ounces of weight difference between the two shoes, but on the foot the Glycerin doesn’t feel nearly that heavy.


Conclusions and Recommendations
There’s no shoe out there that can be all things to all people. While it feels like we are currently living in the Golden Age of Running Shoes (seriously, look around at the vast number of phenomenal running shoes that exist today, it is an embarrassment of riches) nothing is going to check every box for every person. But the Brooks Glycerin 16 is going to get close to that. It’s cushioning comes alive as you run, the upper locks the foot down without heating things up, and the outsole has plenty of flexibility and grip.
About half of my runs with the Glycerin 16 were coming the day after a faster run, and it shined as a recovery shoe. It also excelled as a long run shoe, or for just getting out and running. I would recommend it for anything outside of speed work, and it could be a one stop shop for many newer or heavier runners.
I am excited for the future of DNA Loft cushioning. This was their first offering with the new material as a full midsole, the Ghost 11 having DNA Loft as a heel crash pad insert, and they hit it out of the park, I can only imagine what they will come up with for future generations with more experience. If you were to grab the shoe off the wall and do the completely irrelevant “squeeze the midsole to test how cushioned a shoe is”, Glycerin 16 would fail. It feels very firm, without much give, but under foot there’s plenty of squish in a shoe that encourages you to push pace a little. Like the portly sibling of the New Balance 1400v6 (a shoe that screams "RUN FASTER IDIOT" just putting them on, like an impatient puppy waiting for its walk) the Glycerin 16 does not make the mistakes of its predecessors and paint itself into the slow run corner. It wants you to set PRs, but it won’t leave you feeling like you got into a car accident when you wake up tomorrow morning.
If you can stack up seven minute miles then this shoe is probably not on your radar, though it should be for your longer runs. For the rest of us who think of an easy run closer to ten minutes per, you should give it a chance. Especially if you have a history with the Glycerin - this is the best they have ever done.

My Score 9.75/10
-.25 for weight
I was so impressed by the shoe I debated giving it a full 10 points, but at the end of the day I had to dock something for the weight penalty. The shoe did not feel heavy on the foot, but other runners may take issue with the extra ounces - especially when it is compared to the Epic React and others. The upper is perfect, the midsole is fantastic, and while it is an expensive shoe at $150, that has become more and more common as a premium price point and there are no durability concerns here. Plainly put: this is one hell of a shoe.


Comparisons
Brooks Glycerin 16 vs. Brooks Glycerin 15 (RTR review)
The share the same outsole, but everything else has changed. The upper is softer and more comfortable, the midsole is softer and more responsive, and it looks better. It put on more than an ounce of weight (12.5 ounces for the 16 and 11.4 ounces for the 15) but when it is on your foot that weight disappears. The 16 pulls it off, being better at going fast and slow.


Brooks Glycerin 16 vs. New Balance 1080v8 (RTR review)
On paper they are the same shoe, both relatively heavy (my size 10.5 1080v8 clocks in at 11.5 ounces) with plenty of old school foam cushioning underfoot, a comfortable upper, and a decently wide toe box, but that’s where the comparisons end. The 1080 is great for walking or standing around in, but it does nothing special during a run - and if that run picks up the pace at all, hotspots everywhere. The Glycerin wins hands down.


Brooks Glycerin 16 vs Skechers Go Run Ride 7 (RTR review)
This is a hard comparison, mostly because I only have a few runs in the GRR7. From what I have experienced so far, I like the shoe, while I love the Glycerin. They feel very comparable underneath the foot, with a lot of material that is bouncy and active. While Brooks and Skechers are not affiliated, these two shoes almost feel related - with the Brooks being the premium version. Picture the Glycerin is the Acura while the GRR7 is the Honda, or Lexus to Toyota. The price reflects it too, with a $60 difference between the two (and weight as well, the 9.8 ounce GRR7 is svelte compared to the Glycerin). That said, I subscribe to the “Buy Once, Cry Once” philosophy, and would take the Glycerin 16 over the GRR7. Just barely.


Brooks Glycerin 16 vs. Nike Epic React Flyknit (RTR review)
This is the toughest comparison I can make. I have been running for years, and until the Epic React Flyknit came out, I had not found “My shoe.” A few runs in, and I could no longer make that claim. It has not been out very long, and I already have two pairs of them that I bounce back and forth between. I’m enamored with it. That said, the Glycerin is the opposite side of the same coin. I find the Epic React is great fast, and good slow, while the Glycerin is great slow, and good fast. To keep the car industry comparisons going, the Glycerin and the Epic React are both the luxury sport sedans that have been battling it out for years. The Epic React is the BMW 3-series, that brings more sport than luxury, while the Glycerin is the Mercedes Benz C-Class, which brings more luxury than sport. They are both great at what they do, but have a slightly different mission statement. If my legs are fresh, I’m still reaching for the Epic React more than the Glycerin. The Epic disappears on my foot unlike any shoe I’ve ever worn, and even though it’s nearly four ounces lighter (my size 11 Epic React is 8.8 ounces to the Glycerin 12.5) it feels nearly as cushioned as the Glycerin. But, if I feel too beat up the following day I’ll have the Glycerin to help me dent the pavement around the neighborhood.

The Glycerin 16 was a personal purchase. The opinions herein are entirely the author's.

Reviewer Bio
Jeff Beck is the token slow fat guy runner. Wasting his youth on such endeavors as playing golf and writing, he only started running in his thirties, and has a marathon PR of 4:15 to prove it. A full-time property manager, this part-time author and cold brew coffee maker lives in Phoenix, AZ with his wife and daughter. He enjoys running desert trails as well as the road, and is trying to get his 5K time to sub-twenty.
Photo Credit: Jeff Beck
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54 comments:

Steve Starr said...

Sounds like an Epic review! (Pun intended.) My question is, how does this compare with the Glycerin 11's, the last Glycerin version with gel pads? That has been the only Glycerin I've run in, and along the way I've had 5 pairs, with another pair on it's way via a great deal I found on Ebay a couple of nights ago. Your thoughts on the 16 vs. the 11?

Jeff said...

Hi Steve, great question. I still have my pair of deep blue 11s somewhere to wear casually, but it has been ~4 years since I ran in them. I remember the 11 fondly, that they more responsive than the previous few Glycerins, but maybe not as well cushioned. Direct comparison to the 16? I think the 16 is softer, but comparable responsiveness. If memory serves, the 16 will be a little heavier, but perhaps not feel like it.

Jeff said...

Following

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
A great review. I am just wondering how the sketchers go run ride 7 compares with the Nike epic react. Do you have a preference between the two. Which is a more responsive shoe ? Most comfortable and versatile shoe of the two. Is the cushioning and stability about the same level. And any other comments. Thanks

Jeff said...

HI Anonymous,
The folks who wrote the reviews could probably go more in depth in the differences between the two, but personally I find the Epic to be much more enjoyable to run in. It's my most run in shoe of the year so far (and my other pair is my third most run in shoe), but it's not perfect. I definitely think it is more responsive than the GRR7, but the GRR7 is more cushioned. I was shocked how much cushioning is underfoot in the GRR7, especially for it's weight. Stability-wise I would say they are about the same, though versatility I may give the edge to the Skechers. The biggest knock on the Epic is the outsole, or lack thereof. You have very little rubber (only in the extreme toe and heel), and the rest of it is exposed React midsole. The wear is a little surprising at first (the first 20 miles I had a ton of wear, but since it seems to have slowed down) but the overwhelming response is that they do not have much traction in the wet. Being a Phoenix based runner that doesn't really concern me, but I don't know where you are. If rain is a concern, you may want to favor the GRR7, because slipping, or worrying about slipping, isn't how you want to spend your runs.

All that said, given almost any oppotunity, I grab my Epics. They just nailed that shoe for me.

Jeff said...

Hi Anonymous,

Also, here's the link to the GoRun Ride 7 review (https://www.roadtrailrun.com/2018/01/skechers-performance-gorun-ride-7.html) as well as the full review of the Nike Epic React (https://www.roadtrailrun.com/2018/02/nike-epic-react-flyknit-review-hype.html). Hope that helps, and for what it's worth, you can't make a wrong decision between those two. Both great shoes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jeff, very helpful comments on the GO run ride 7/s and epic react. A few more questions. How many miles you would expect out of the Nike epic reacts and the Go run's 7's (durability). Also we get hot weather here, I hear the upper is quite hot in the Go run 7 compared to the epics is that correct. Do you do both slow and fast runs in the epics and what distances.Do you find the epics a very cushioned trainer (I am around 80 kg) and to save my knees and lower back issues. Thanks :)

Jeff said...

You're very welcome, Anonymous. As for durability? I don't know. My two pairs of Epics only have 50 and 20 miles respectively, and while the outsole foam had immediate wear on the exposed React foam, after the first 15 miles or so the wear has slowed down. From what I've read the structure of the foam lasts really well, but I'd assume the outsole will be the failure point of the shoe. The GRR7 has more rubber in it's outsole, and I think it will last a normal length.

The GRR7 is definitely warmer than the Epic, but not all that hot. Not Adidas Solar Boost levels of hot, though I've got a 5-7 mile run in my GRR7 planned for tomorrow morning where it will be 85 degrees when I start, so I may change my tune tomorrow.

I've run fast (for me) and slow in the Epic, and they've been great. They were my shoe of choice this year for Pat's Run (4.2 mile race in memory of Pat Tillman) and I was pushing pace the last two miles, the shoes took everything I could give them and more. I personally wouldn't wear them for a 5K (that'd be 1400v6 without a second thought), but if I had a half marathon tomorrow, they'd likely be my choice (though I've yet to go longer than 7 miles in them, but at the end of the run my feet still felt great). It is a well cushioned shoe, without being sluggish at any pace. I'm ~100Kg, and there are many shoes I'd like there to be a few more mm of cushioning at some part of the shoe - but with the Epic, I'd change nothing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
Many thanks, I bought the Nike epic react. I went for first short run in them, and was impressed by the smoothness, weight and response in them. I like them more than my Saucony freedoms, more cushion, comfort and more versatile. Thanks for your recommendation.
How did you go in the Sketchers on that hot day? Adidas really wreck their shoes by making them so hot and with that dreaded plastic cage, I have a pair of ultraboost and can only wear them half the year as they make the uppers to hot, so until they fix the uppers I am tempted not to buy Adidas. Thanks again.

Jeff said...

Hi Anonymous,

Congrats on the Epics, hope you end up loving as much as I do. My Skechers run confirmed it - the GRR7 is a phenomenal shoe, more squish and better for recovery runs than the Epic, but wow, that upper gets hot quick. I ran a 10K through the neighborhood (it was 95 degrees by the end) and just after the first mile the heat showed up, and it never left. It's a great shoe that's going to stay on the rack until at least October, when we get out of the hundreds.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
Just to understand your message, the Sketchers shoe was hot after 1 mile -so lack of ventilation? In what way is it better for recovery runs than the epic? Is the epic okay for recovery runs too? I do have the Saucony Triumph iso 3s for slower runs, I didn't like the Saucony iso 4's - too firm on the forefoot and inflexible.
Have you tried the sketchers without the inner sole, I heard its more responsive? I usually wear size 10 1/2 for running shoes and went a 11 with the epic's since the upper was a little too tight and I wanted to put my own insoles in. What size would you recommend for the Go run ride 7's then, as I have to buy them online if I want to get a pair.
Thanks

Jeff said...

I'm guessing it was lack of ventilation - I'm the furthest thing from an laminar airflow engineer, so I can't say why it was hot; only that it was. I find it better for recovery/easy/long runs simply due to the extra material underfoot. Per RunningWarehouse.com the Epic has 28/18 underfoot, and the GRR7 is 30/24 underfoot - that's a big difference. One to two mm is minor, but an extra six up front feels very different. That said, I've run recovery runs in the Epic with no issue, but to each their own. My goto track intervals shoe is the same thing the elites run in the marathon, so I'd never say a shoe can't be used for something, especially to someone lighter than myself.

I've tried other Skechers without the insole, and I wasn't a fan. I like cushioning, and if I want a responsive shoe with cushioning I'll wear my Epics, or if cushioning isn't a concern I'll throw on my 1400s. The GRR7 is a phenomenal easy ride shoe (reminds me a lot of the right evolution of the early Hoka design, with a better toebox of course) and I don't want to make it something it isn't.

I'm right with you, normally a 10.5, and I went 11 in Epic React, and they are perfect for me. Strangely enough, my dad is normally a 10, and he bought a pair of Epics after trying mine on (for casual wear) and he went 11 as well. Makes no sense. My pair of GRR7 is a 10.5, and while it might be a touch more snug than my Epics, that could also be due to the upper being a little thicker.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the feedback very helpful. I am loving the Nike epic react. I am wondering how the new Adidas solarboost compares withe the Nike epic reacts and the sketchers go run rides 7 for response, comfort and breathability etc. I am thinking I may get a sketchers go run rides 7s as a back up shoe or maybe the solarboost or solarglide. Thoughts? Thanks

Anonymous said...

I hope you don't mind me ask one more question - or is there another place I can ask these questions of you: I found out they don't sell the sketchers GR7 here so I cant test it, so I have to buy on line. Does your foot sit pretty flat in the shoe as I don't like any hard arch support and I need a soft heel as I get heel spurs. Many thanks and much appreciated for your patient with all these questions. Again fantastic reviews you guys provide :)

Jeff said...

I can't speak about the SolarBoost at length. I had a pair, and after two very bad runs I returned them for the Glycerin 16. I really wanted to like the SolarBoost, in the past I've run in a number of different shoes in the Boost line, and each one was close but just not quite right (Ultra Boost was too heavy, Supernova Glide Boost needed a little more cushioning up front, Energy Boost upper never got right especially in the toe box, Adios Boost was great for me as a speedwork/5K shoe but nothing more) and I was hoping this was it. In less than ten miles I had two blisters on toes, weird pain in both feet, and a strained hamstring.

But that's me. I know others have really enjoyed them, but it just wasn't for me. Hope springs eternal though - I've spent more time trying to learn about the differences between the Solar Boost and Solar Glide, hoping that maybe the SG would be a great shoe for me. Apparently I'll never learn.

But now that you've got some miles in your Epics, picture this in regards to the GRR7. The upper is similar, but with less stretch and not as soft (and just a touch hotter). Under the foot has more cushioning the entire way, but especially in the forefoot. It doesn't have quite the same pop as the Epic, but I think it's a net gain (you'll gain more cushioning in the GRR7 than you'll lose pop). The shoe runs a little hotter, and is a little heavier (about an ounce, and my Epic is 11 while GRR is a 10.5). I just threw one on each foot and walked around for a minute, and the GRR7 heel is definitely softer than the Epic. I wouldn't say that the arch support is hard by any means, I have normal arches and don't really feel anything on my arch in the ER, while I barely feel the insole in the GRR7, it isn't anything I've noticed while running. Considering the price of the GRR7, it may be the steal of the year.

Glad this is helping out, and feel free to keep asking - we love to chat about running shoes. I believe Dave has had some heel issues as well, and might be chiming in later regarding heel spurs and such. However, if a soft heel is really a big issue for you, I might suggest the Glycerin 16 as the counter shoe to the Epic. The GRR7 is very similar to the Epic, I've referred to it as the flipside of the same coin (one is a little better for speed, the other is a little better for distance) while the Glycerin is much more cushioned, especially in the heel. Yes it's heavier by a few ounces, but it isn't a pair of bowling balls strapped to your feet. And it would give your feet a much needed rest/recovery/break from the Epics.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Great feedback and thanks for taking my questions.
There was a sale and had a look.I tried the old brooks levitate 1 - to heavy no pop like the epic. Briefly put on solar boost - to hot and not comfortable, solar glide a bit nicer but don't like the plastic cage (feel on edge of foot) certaintly not as bulky as older supernova. I forgot to try the Glycerin 16 was $249 a bit to much cost. The older versions (14/15) felt more dead than my saucony triumph iso 3's. The vomero 13's didnt like - hurt my arch, I wanted to try the new balance beacon but they didn't have it, its $160. How does that compare with the epics, go runs 7s.
At the moment the go run 7's are on sale online for $112, so think I am keen in getting it from your feedback. I am confused about the sizing I want to get 11 US 10 UK 45 Eur in a sketchers shoe online:
Looking online these are the sizes :
10.5 (45), 10.5 (44.5), 10 (44), 11(45.5)
which one is my size 11 US/10 UK. What are the other shoe sizes? 44.5, 44, 45.5
Thanks again :)

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you nearly prefer the Epic over the G16. The epic better for faster runs, the G16 for slower runs, any other differences - breathability, comfort etc. If you had to take one of those which one do you prefer.
The Grun 7's, from what I have read it would be slightly more responsive/faster over the G16 ??, Are they similar for recovery runs - main differences between those 2. Thanks.

François said...

Hi,

First thanks for this amazing review, though it makes have serious doubts for the choice of my next running shoes :).

Let me explain a bit, I’m a french 38 yo runner, i go for a more or les 10k run from 1 to 3 times a week. I’m 5.9 feet and 165 pounds, and i am not a very fast runner.

Until now i use to run with saucony triumph ISO 3 but i wanted to switch for something more dynamic but with a great cushion, so I bought the pegasus 35. I only ran once with and had a pretty good feeling, but few days after I hurt my hamstring playing basketball, so I have to stop running for a couple of weeks.

It’s good to know that I have a history with injuries, as I played basketball since I’m 11 yo (ankles, meniscus, hamstring, tendinitis...).

When I red this review, i wondered of the glycerin wouldn’t be a better option for an old broken runner like me :)... rather than the pegasus.

Could you please tell me how would you compare both shoes? I know these are rather different,but if have any advises it would be great ;).

Thanks a lot in advance !

Jeff said...

Hi Anonymous,
Sorry, I missed your last comment. I do slightly prefer the Epic React to the Glycerin 16. It is a little more fun to run in, and feels better when I push pace than the G16 (though for its size the G16 handles that well), while the G16 is better for easy days. As for the GRR7 and the G16? I'd say the GRR7 is a little more bouncy/responsive than the G16, and a little less than the Epic React. Kind of in the middle of the two.

Hi François,
Thank you very much for your comments, and hopefully I have/can help. I think the Pegasus 35 is a great step forward from the Triumph ISO 3 (I'm still sour at what Saucony did to the Triumph, the 11 was the closest thing to *my* shoe and I haven't liked any since), and while I personally haven't logged any miles, I know it is very well regarded. I did try it on and ran a bit in a store, but it didn't have enough cushioning for me to fill the hole I needed. It felt similar to the Epic React as far as capabilities go, and I already had that shoe. That said, at 165 pounds you probably don't need as much squish underneath the foot as I do. The Glycerin 16 definitely has more cushioning than the Peg 35, but is there something you do not like about the Pegasus? I am a big advocate of utilizing at least two different shoes in the rotation (which can be expensive, but helps shoes last longer, and some studies suggest may reduce the number of injuries you'll sustain running), and I could see the Peg 35 and G16 working well together with the Peg being the faster shoe while the Glycerin is the longer one. But, if you are going only train in one at a time, I would think the Pegasus would be the better shoe for you. I'm afraid that the G16 might be too heavy and too cushioned. If it were me, I'd probably go Glycerin, but I have more than 60 pounds on you, and the extra cushioning is very appreciated.

I hope that helped, if you have any other questions, please let me know. I'm always happy to help.

François said...

Thanks for your speedy answer ! Indeed having both pair could sound like a good idea in a near future.... I'll start using my pegasus and see later if a second pair could be useful when i will have more milage ;)

thanks a lot !

François said...

Last question, are these glycerin true to size? My pegasus are 10.5, should I go for the same?

Thanks a lot !

Jeff said...

Hi François,

I find that I need to go up in Nike by a half size from my normal 10.5 to an 11, and I did the same in the Glycerin 16 (had read that the shape of the toebox would necessitate that and glad I did), so if you are a 10.5 in the Pegasus, I'd go with the same in Glycerin 16. Hope you enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
I purchased the skechers gorun ride7. I am impressed, only been on short run and they certaintly are comfortable, light and responsive and cheap to buy. They transition a lot quicker than my heavier saucony triumph iso 3's. I agree they do get a bit warm. I pulled out the insole and put another one in and it did seem to improve a bit. Two great shoes Nike epic react and Go run 7s. Thanks for all your advice.

Jeff said...

You are very welcome, Anonymous. I think the GRR7 is the hidden gem of the year that a lot of people won't give a shot because it's made by Skechers. It's a versatile shoe that offers the value of last year (or even a two year old shoe), and the knocks against it are minor. Enjoy both and have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Thanks you too Jeff, I went for a second run. I put a firmer insole in, made it a bit more stable, a little more responsive and the heat was a bit better too, still a little warm though. Many thanks

Unknown said...

Hi, could you tell me how sizing compares to the 15? I have size 11 in the 15. Would you go the same in the 16? My ghost 10s are 10.5, so I'm not sure with Brooks sizing. Thanks in advance.

Jeff said...

Hi Unknown,

I went up a half size from the 15 to the 16, from a 10.5 to an 11 - and I'm very glad I did. I have not had a Ghost in a few years, my last version was the 8, and I was a 10.5W (to get a little more room in the toe box). I hope that helps.

matheus said...

Excellent review!congrats.
I'd like to know what shoe would you suggest for me. I have a zante v4, but I feel that it is to firm to me. I felt my legs hurting after run in them.I also have the energy boost 2017, but I think that it's too heavy. The shoe I prefer to use is a Skechers gorun 400. Would you indicated to try the Skechers go run ride 7, the new NB ff Beacon,this glyceryn 16 or the Pegasus turbo? I will begin my 10km training in few weeks. I run only 5km by now, at the pace of 6:30/7 minutes per km. Thanks for everything. Always reading yours reviews here from Brasil!

Jeff said...

Hi Matheus,
I'm not familiar with the GoRun 400, but I'm with you on the Zante V4 being on the firm side of things and the Energy Boost being heavy so we're on the same track there. Brooks Glycerin 16 vs Skechers Go Run Ride 7 vs New Balance Beacon vs Nike Pegasus Turbo? That's a lot to unpack, so its best to do a process of elimination.

First to go for me would be the Peg Turbo. It's a good shoe, but it has some faults (the toe box is very tight for me and it is far and away the most expensive). Then its Glycerin 16 vs GRR7 vs Beacon, and I'd recommend all three to most runners. It's just a question of what you are looking for. The G16 is the heaviest and most cushioned, but it isn't too heavy. The GRR7 is a few ounces lighter, and close in terms of cushioning. The Beacon is even lighter, with less cushioning, but still a well cushioned shoe. If you were picking one shoe to do most/all of your training and then run the race - I'd go Beacon. I don't have that many miles on mine, but I've enjoyed literally every run in them - they have a pop to them that few shoes do, but there's still a substantial amount of squish below (and the upper fits really well). If you were to buy a shoe for training, and then a month before your race pick up a lighter shoe, you could coin toss between the G16 and the GRR7. I think both of those shoes will hold up for more miles (the exposed midsole of the Beacon makes me weary that it might wear out prematurely).

Either way, I don't think you can make a wrong choice of the three, all three shoes are absolutely fantastic (but not without faults - the Beacon's outsole could wear prematurely, the GRR7 upper fits well but can get hot, and the G16 is kind of heavy and $150). If possible you should get them on your feet and see what feels best on your foot. I'm sorry I can't give you a specific "You should use ______" but in my opinion you are on the right track. Enjoy the reviews, there's a bunch of great stuff coming, and enjoy your run.
Jeff

matheus said...

You helped a a lot! Thanks for answering. I'm gonna think in what you said. It's hot where I live, so, maybe, the GRR7 it's not the best option. If I buy both Beacon and glyceryn, how you suggest the rotation?

Jeff said...

Hi Matheus,

You are very welcome, glad to help. If you went Beacon and Glycerin 16, that'd be a great rotation. If you kept your longer runs restricted to the Glycerins, your faster runs restricted to the Beacons, and then alternated between the two for your easy runs, that'd work well. The Beacons have plenty of cushioning (my wife is likely going to wear one of her pairs for her upcoming half marathon), but if you are putting up a lot of miles, the Glycerin will get you through with less wear and tear. You could do a whole lot worse than that pairing.

Good luck!
Jeff

Wes Arnold said...

Hi Jeff, have been reading the comments with interest as I’m also looking at getting the Glycerin and Beacon to cover my training runs - long/easy with the Glycerin and tempo/Intervals with the Beacon. I’m kind of stuck on race day shoe for half and full - aiming for 1’45 half and sub 4 for full. Was considering Glycerin for the full and Beacon for the half - but would love to get your views on that and if you would do same. Or based on your love for the Epic React where you would place that as a trainer and race day shoe. Cheers.

Jeff said...

Hi Wes,

Thanks for following along! Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing. While I think the Epic React is a phenomenal shoe, I wouldn't replace either of the shoes you have mentioned. I don't think it has the long run or comfortable easy miles capability of the Glycerin 16. And while it is a comfortable and lightweight trainer, the Epic React (at least for me) is not even close to the Beacon when it comes to picking up the pace and running tempos, intervals, or even lazy group runs that inevitably go too fast. The Beacon has a pop to it that just makes it fun to run in, but has enough good cushioning that even slow mortals like myself can enjoy it. I've been mostly rotating between the Nike Zoom Streak 6 and New Balance 1400v6 for my weekly intervals, but the Beacons are taking over that duty - and I'm actually looking forward to the punishment. My wife has two pairs of Beacons that handle 90%+ of her mileage, and she's trying to hit a 1:40 half in a few weeks. You could even sub the Beacon in for a few long runs late in your half training, and really see how it will play out on race day. And for a full, there aren't any shoes I would put above the Glycerin 16 for a sub 4:00 attempt. That's a lot of time to be on your feet, and a comfortable & roomy upper with a lot of cushioning under the foot would be far more beneficial than shaving a couple ounces.

Hope that helps, and I hope your training goes well - let us know how the shoes are working for you.
Jeff

Wes Arnold said...

Thanks for the comprehensive reply Jeff, that’s really helped me make my mind up, and confident that it’s the right choice. Out of interest, have you raced or trained in the Beacon to 13.1? And if so how was the cushioning towards the end? I’m a fan of cushioning over everything else first as I’m not exactly a light weight speedy runner and heading towards 50 so won’t be getting any quicker. I’ve tried lower stack responsive shoes in the past and my forefoot really fatigues after about an hour if there isnt enough cushion. I’m also tempted to try the Reebok float ride Fast for 10k and intervals. Would like to know what this Peba is all about!!

Jeff said...

Hi Wes,

You are very welcome, I'm always happy to help. Sadly, I personally haven't run in my Beacon much. I was not a part of the review team for that shoe, and only picked up my pair recently. I've only run in them a few times, but every run has impressed me greatly. Easy runs become fast runs, and fast runs are even faster. In a few weeks I hit 38, and while I don't have a half on the books, if I didn't have a pair of Vaporflys waiting for me in the deepest part of my closet, I'd wear my Beacons for a half and I'm 220 lbs. There is enough cushioning, and the upper fits me perfectly, that I have no doubt I could take the Beacon 13.1 miles.

Do you remember when the first Fresh Foam shoe came out from New Balance? The Fresh Foam 980, that had all kinds of marketing of soft and bouncy and making running fun? I feel like they screwed up their marketing timeline, because the Beacon is everything they claimed the 980 was. It is soft and bouncy, and makes running fun. My first Beacon run was supposed to be three very slow miles a day after a particular grueling hot and long run. A mile in I couldn't stop myself, and effectively ran a 35 minutes tempo run.

I haven't put the Reebok on, though like you I've read plenty of good things. That said, I wouldn't put that much stock into the Peba cushioning in and of itself. While the VF4% is a different beast, and I like the Pegasus Turbo enough, I don't know that the cushioning is a magic bullet without something more, be it a carbon plate or certain design or something.

You could always pick up a pair of Beacons at Running Warehouse, or someone else that has a great return policy, and if you don't feel the love the same way, return them for the Float Rides. But from my experience with the Beacons(and watching my wife come unglued and giddy - and she's not a shoe geek in the slightest) I bet you'll keep them.

Jeff

Wes Arnold said...

I’m 48 next year, currently 175 lbs. so sounds like the Beacon will be a great race shoe for my half marathon. I only started running 4 years ago and have been mainly into trail running. And almost all races/events I enter are trail marathons or ultras. But now I’ve decided before I hit 50 I’d like to get a few road-based PBs before it’s too late. And your website has been a real inspiration into deciding what road shoes will be best for me to achieve this.
I did buy the Peg Turbobut returned it. Just didn’t really do much, and to keep it at that price it needed to set my world on fire - but I was kind of indifferent about it. However, I am interested in the soon to be released Zoom Fly Flyknit with the React midsole and same carbon plate as the 4%. Not sure where it would best fit in my rotation based on my performance level but does sound tempting!!

Jeff said...

At 175 pounds the Beacon may be enough shoe for a full marathon too. Pictures don't do it justice, it almost looks like a baby Hoka - just more bouncy than squishy, if that makes sense.

If I'd purchased the Peg Turbo at retail, I probably would've returned them. I like the shoe, but not for $180. That said, I'm very curious about the ZF Flyknit - React plus carbon plate has my interest all day long. That could be another uptempo long run shoe as well.

We're in the golden age of running shoes right now Wes. Even compared to just 4-5 years ago, there are so many great shoes put out by a number of different companies. Having too many options is a wonderful problem to have.

Jeff

Wes Arnold said...

Talking of too much choice, have you tried the new Altra Paradigm 4.0 with the EGO midsole which sounds really cushioned and responsive. Seems like a natural competitor to the Glycerin 16.

Jeff said...

Hi Wes,

I have not had the opportunity to try the Paradigm 4.0. It definitely sounds like a great shoe, and I enjoyed the first Paradigm - I had two pairs that were my go-to long or recovery run shoe when I was training for Chicago a few years ago. As much as I am intrigued, I already have several pairs of shoes that fill that slot, and I find that when I spend too much time running in Altras the rest of my shoes start feeling tight in the toe box. I like some room up front, and while I don't have a wide foot, but once I get used to that use amount of room even well sized toe boxes feel cramped. Kinda like the guy who gets used to eating filet, and suddenly a ribeye just isn't very good anymore. I'm plenty happy with ribeye.

Thanks,
Jeff

Wes Arnold said...

Brilliant - steak metaphor to describe the feeling of toe boxes of running shoes 😂. Now I understand why my non running friends just don't get it....

Jeff said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's all part of the service we offer here at RoadTrailRun.com. Tell your friends, tip your server, and the 10 pm show is completely different from the 8 pm show. :)

Unknown said...

I just bought this shoe today and as a new runner, (used to guy) I found it overwhelming to find a great shoe. Thanks so much for the indepth review. It makes me feel like I made the right choice. I am in Canada and plan on some winter runs so it makes me happy to hear the tread was good underfoot. Happy trails!

demian sims said...

just picked up a pair of Nike Odyssey React and I've got to say they are one of the best running shoes I've ever tried...and I've tried a bunch. Much more stable than the GRR7. I'm 'supposed' to be running in a stability shoe but my feet felt great after a long run. This might be my NYC Marathon shoe!

BTW, related to the Glycerin 16, I did try them in the store and they are very nice. One of the best Brooks shoes. Just for me I need a light shoe even on long runs. YMMV

Jeff said...

Unknown - that's fantastic. Glad you like 'em, and I really think Brooks hit a home run with the Glycerin 16.

Demian - I haven't had a chance to try the Odyssey, but I definitely like the thought of an Epic with a little more rubber/durability in the sole. Totally understand that the Glycerin may be too heavy for some runners. The beauty of so many great shoes out there right now; there's something for everybody.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
How does the Beacon compare with the Nike Epic react. Do you prefer one over the other? Which is more versatile and responsive and how does the cushioning compare? Thanks

Jeff said...

Hi Anonymous,

Hmm, that's a hard one. I could probably write a solid 2500 words comparing the two shoes, but I'll try to keep it brief.

On paper they are very similar. Both lightweight, comfortable, flexible, lots of exposed midsole, and fun to run. I think the Beacon is more cushioned, and a little more bouncy - and I like soft and bouncy. But for whatever reason, whenever I throw on my Epics the shoe disappears on my foot. It doesn't feel like...well, anything. The one place the Beacon wins for me is uptempo runs. Back in April I wore my Epics to Pat's Run, the 4.2 mile fun run/race around the Tempe area to remember former Sun Devil and Cardinal Pat Tillman. As I pushed pace the shoe got hot underneath my foot. My wife ran Pat's Run in the same shoe (but she's much faster than me and was in an earlier corral) and she had 100% the same experience. The Beacon on the other hand wants to go quick. Every time I put that shoe on I end up going faster than I intend to. Which might be a great problem to have, but it is a problem when you need an easy recovery day. I think the Beacon's upper isn't as comfortable, but it's toe box is better. And while they both have exposed midsole as the primary outsole, I think the Epic will last longer in that development.

They are both great shoes, with a ton of similarities, but ultimately very different. The Epic reminds me of a Hoka in disguise, and just eats up slow easy miles. The Beacon is an undercover Vaporfly 4%, offering a similar pop with every step, at a fraction of the price.

I hope that helps, if you have any other questions, fire way.
Jeff

demian sims said...

And based on the great reviews on this site for the Beacon and new Reebok Sweet Road 2, I'm going to have to compare the 2 although Sam already gave some good advice. I tried the SW2 and it was a wonderful fit. Have not run on the concrete yet but very excited by this shoe. My future rotation looks to be my Odyssey React and either Beacon or SW2. What great and 'fun to run' shoes we have here!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, it sounds like you like the Nike epic react and the NB beacon - hard to choose between the two. It sounds like the beacon is better suited to faster runs and the epic slower runs - I though the epic was a fast shoe. The beacon not so good at recovery runs?? I have read the beacons upper can be a bit hot? Did you find that. Thanks

Jeff said...

Demian - I'm going to have to try some of the new Reebok offerings in the near future. I keep hearing/reading great things about them. Which is so strange to say in 2018...

Anonymous - I like them both very much. Two of the best in a year jam packed with great shoes. I've seen Nike billing the Epic as a fast shoe, but also making marshmallow comparisons. I've found it to be in between the two, which is why I've got more miles in Epics than any other shoe this year. The Beacon can be a great recovery shoe, there's a lot of cushioning under the foot - but I find every time I run in them I subconsciously pick up the pace. I've yet to try them on a real recovery day where my legs are truly beat up. I've worn them when my legs were a little sore, and I ran ~90 seconds per mile faster than intended. So really no complaints there. Also, I did not notice the Beacon upper to be warm at all. I just quizzed my wife, who has several hundred miles in her two pairs of Beacons, and she said the same. But, as they love to say we've got a dry heat here, maybe a more humid climate could lead to that.

I hope that helps,
Jeff

matheus said...

Sorry for coming back. How does the glycerin compare to the hoka one one vanquish 3. They are in promo here in Brazil, same price of the Skechers Go Run Ride 7.

I didn't said, but I am a heavy runner, with 94kg. I didn't find the review of the vanquish 3 here. Did you run in them? Thanks again.

Jeff said...

Matheus - don't apologize for coming back, we're always happy to help!

Unfortunately, I cannot help much in this case, because I have not run in the Vanquish 3. Sadly, my toes/forefeet are wide enough, the vast majority of Hokas don't work for me for anything over 2-3 miles - and I like running longer than 2-3 miles at a time. Some of their wider variants work for 5-6, but again, with that type of shoe I'm looking for longer distance because of their prodigal level of cushioning.

Looking at the Vanquish 3 I think it will be a much more cushioned shoe than the Glycerin 16 or the Go Run Ride 7, but unless your feet are narrow (other reviews call them narrow even for Hokas) I would be cautious.

matheus said...

Thanks for the reply, my feet aren't narrow. I think I'll wait for the glycerin 16 comes to Brazil and get in promo. I like soft shoes and I'm heavy, can you indicate another? Maybe the glycerin take a while to arrive. Thank you again.

Jeff said...

Matheus - you are very welcome. I'm with you, I like soft shoes as well, and I'm ~5kg heavier than you so we're in the same boat.

Soft comfortable shoes? My new dark horse favorite for shoe of the year is the Topo Athletics Ultrafly 2. Nicely sized forefoot, comfortable upper, and the midsole is far softer than I would have thought. Plenty of rubber that has some solid grip, so you can run it on road or trail (maybe not very technical trail though) without concern.

My affection for the Nike Epic React is long and storied, there's plenty of cushion there, though I wouldn't necessarily call it soft.

The New Balance Beacon is another very well cushioned and comfortable shoe. I find myself running faster than I usually want when I wear it, but that's not a huge problem in my world.

Hoka EVO Mafate has a pretty good toe box, for a Hoka, but still plenty tight up front. Great feeling shoe, and while it is a trail shoe, it might be even better on the road. Those lugs don't get in the way.

Brooks Caldera 2 has some nice cushioning, isn't too extreme of an outsole, and a decent width toe box.

A few I haven't personally run in, but they are intriguing and in the ball park of what you're looking for:

Skechers Go Run Maxroad 3 Ultra - I've run in an older version, and really liked it.
Reebok OSR Grasse Road - Hard to believe how hard Reebok has bounced back, but they have. Supposed to be a very comfortable shoe.
Altra Paradigm 4.0 - if you can do zero drop, this one could be the winner. Very well cushioned, but supposedly very "bouncy" it's at the top of my "to try" list.
Brooks Ghost 11 - just a little bit lighter and less cushioned than the Glycerin, which might make it better than the Glycerin.
Salomon Sonic RA Max - Could be great, I don't have much Salomon experience, though the little I did with the Sense Pro Max was comfortable and secure. My issue was still toe box related - and that's supposed to be their biggest.

I hope that helps, and gives you some options. If there are some brands that are easier to find in your country, let me know and I'll weigh in.

Happy running!

matheus said...

Thank you a lot! It's more than helpful! I'll try one of them. Topo and altra don't sell here, Salomon it's difficult too. I think that I'm gonna try De Beacon, cause it's in a good price and you liked. After I try I'll tell you my impressions. Once again, thanks!