Today, we’re going to compare the Brooks Glycerin vs Glycerin GTS.
As you know, these two shoes are from the same brand and they’re essentially the same shoe but one is neutral and the other is stability.
We’re going to be comparing the new releases from Brooks, the Glycerin 19 and the Glycerin GTS 19.
Brooks Glycerin vs. Glycerin GTS
Brooks considered the Glycerin 18 to be their most cushioned shoe, but I didn’t feel like it was cushioned at all.
So, I was a bit skeptical when I saw that the Glycerin 19 was coming out, but of course, I wanted to give it a shot.
Right off the bat, I have to say that I am really happy that I did give it a try because the Glycerin 19 has been a total joy and pleasure to run in and so has the Glycerin GTS 19.
The Glycerin 19 is Brooks’ premium flagship shoe designed for somebody who:
- Is a high-mileage runner.
- Puts a lot of force on the ground and needs a lot of cushioning.
- Runs on very hard surfaces.
So, what’s the difference between Brooks Glycerin and GTS?
The Glycerin 19 and the GTS 19 are nearly identical shoes. They both fit the same and they both feel the same underfoot.
Both shoes have DNA Loft, but they start to kind of separate a little bit in terms of feel and some of the technologies implemented into the midsoles.
So, let’s get on with it…
Neutral vs. Stable
Both these shoes are rocking a full-length DNA Loft midsole. It is the most DNA Loft that has been in any Brooks shoe thus far.
The foam in the heel is actually pontooned out both medially and laterally and through the rearfoot.
This is going to give you just a big slab of their luxuriously soft DNA Loft foam.
The regular Glycerin is neutral and it’s not going to provide any kind of guidance through your gait cycle.
The Glycerin GTS is a stability shoe. On both the medial and lateral sides of the midfoot dipping back into that heel area, you have Brook’s GuideRails, which is their stability system that helps to keep your foot in place and prevent it from under or overpronating.
What the GuideRail technology does is it keeps your foot from rolling too much in or too much out, but it stays out of your way if you’re a truly neutral runner.
There is a little bit of energy return in this midsole. It’s not a crazy amount but it’s enough to notice it.
Bith Glycerins feel extremely plush in that forefoot and you’re still going to get tons of comfort and cushioning for those longer miles.
But one thing that I do want to point out is that the Glycerin GTS does feel a tad bit firmer in the forefoot, and it’s supposed to do because it’s a stability shoe.
Brooks wanted to make the GTS a little firmer so that your foot is more stable on the platform.
When I first put the GTS on my foot, I noticed this doesn’t feel anything like the regular Glycerin 19. It feels a little different and firm.
As far as underfoot feel goes, these are the two shoes that I want to grab the most recently. That’s saying a lot because a Brooks shoe really hasn’t been that for me ever and now, I have two shoes that are.
By no means does the GTS feel firm or hard as a rock. There’s nice amounts of cushioning underfoot, but I just wanted to let you know that they do feel slightly different on foot.
At times, I’ve actually enjoyed taking the GTS out over the neutral version because it gives me that little extra support and stability with those GuideRails.
Talking about GuideRails…
As you can see on the medial and lateral sides, there is a GuideRail.
Think of GuideRails as those bumpers that kids rely on to guide their bowling balls.
GuideRails gently guide your feet back to their upright position once they start to roll in or out too excessively as your foot comes into the mid-stance phase.
Yes, you heard it right. These GuideRails help both overpronators (whose feet roll inward) and supinators (whose feet roll outward).
Other stability elements in some other shoes are geared toward either overpronators or supinators, but GuideRails seem to work well for both.
And the other great thing about GuideRails is they only activate when your feet need them to, which is great news because if you’re a neutral runner, you can still run in the GTS.
So, this is another case of a stability shoe that has a stability technology that’s not intruding on your stride and forcing you in a way that you’re not really feeling as natural.
I didn’t feel these GuideRails for one second.
So, if you’re looking for a long-run shoe that’s plush, cushioned, and comfortable but you need a little stability in there, the Glycerin GTS is another fantastic option.
You might lose a little bit of cushion with the GTS version, but for what you’re losing, you’re gaining in support and stability. To me, that’s worth it.
The Glycerin 19 is a massive improvement over the Glycerin 18. It is plush, it is comfortable, it is super soft, and it’s so enjoyable to run in.
This is what a max cushion shoe is supposed to feel like.
If you look at the shoe from the side, you’ll see that the heel looks pretty beefed up, and then the forefoot gets a little bit more minimal.
But honestly, you get so much more cushioning than it looks like in the forefoot of the shoe. It is very plush.
What I like about it so much is that my foot isn’t sinking like the Clifton kind of feel and those sorts of shoes.
The Glycerin 19 is soft, but you’re not going to feel like you’re dragging the shoe along after those longer miles. I think that it’s going to feel fresh.
Bend & Twist Tests
As you can expect, you can bend the regular Glycerin a little bit through the midfoot while the stability Glycerin GTS is a little harder to bend.
If you do the twist test, there’s less torsional rigidity on the neutral Glycerin but, with the Glycerin GTS, it’s harder to twist.
When you walk in the Glycerin, the stability version feels a little bit stiffer.
However, I’m happy to report that dynamically when you’re running in it, it smooths out a little bit and you don’t really feel the stiffness of the Guide Rail at all.
So, for that reason, it’s important for you to run in a shoe before you make your decision.
The Brooks Glycerin 19 is 10.2 oz (men’s size 9) and 9 oz for (women’s size 8), but for my size 10.5, this shoe came in at about 10.4 oz.
The Glycerin GTS 19 is 10.7 oz (men’s size 9) and 9.4 oz (women’s size 8) and for me, it came in at about 10.9 oz.
So, we are talking a little bit of a weight difference here and I think what that’s going to come down to is the GuideRails on the sides of the shoe.
Both the Glycerin 19 and the GTS have a 10-millimeter drop with what I believe is 31 millimeters in the heel and 21 in the forefoot.
Both the Glycerin 19 and the GTS 19 are true to size with no issues at all.
Let’s talk about the upper …
I think both of these shoes have the exact same upper and I cannot find a single difference. So, in terms of the upper, they’re identical as far as I can tell.
Brooks is using an engineered mesh which is extremely comfortable and very soft.
The upper feels almost like a sock. It’s super stretchy, which is good news for a runner looking for a shoe that’s good for their bunions. There’s only some 3D printing and hard no overlays.
The 3D-printed overlays are designed to create structure and support and to give you a nice snug fit through the midfoot.
When I say that this upper is comfortable, it is comfortable. Apparently, they’re using some kind of interior lining to make it even more comfortable.
I definitely feel that it’s super soft in the forefoot and the tongue is very plush, very comfortable, and soft.
I’d say both Glycerins are fairly breathable and it’s nothing to write home about, which is fine for the colder months, but in the summer, they might be a little hot.
Heel & Lockdown
Moving back to the heel, it is a very sturdy hard heel counter and it’s going to keep your ankle locked in.
Then, we have lots of padding around the ankle collar.
So, if you’re looking for comfort, you’re going to find it in both the Glycerin 19 and in the GTS version as well.
I do feel like I can get a nice solid lockdown in the midfoot of this shoe. And then in the forefoot, my foot has plenty of space widthwise.
I didn’t need to use the last loophole for heel slipping, which I was very happy about.
Again, the tongue is very plush and padded and the inside feels super comfortable.
The tongue is gusseted so that helps with that lockdown fit across the midfoot.
Overall, I think Brooks did a really nice job with this upper. It’s definitely my favorite upper from Brooks that I’ve tried recently.
I didn’t get any hot spots, blisters, or irritation, and my foot felt snug and dialed in but not overly so.
I had some extra room to breathe and my toes could splay out and it was great.
As far as the outsole goes, they both have the exact same thing and Saucony built these on the same last.
Both these shoes are rocking lots of blown rubber in the forefoot and some on the medial side of the midfoot and we have some dipping in the heel.
This is a lot of rubber which surely contributes to the weight of the shoes, but the Glycerin is supposed to be a shoe that goes along for a long time and gives you plenty of miles.
So, I do understand why there is so much outsole rubber and it’s also great because it provides fantastic traction.
You’re going to feel totally confident even on wet days because the rubber grips onto the pavement just fine.
I don’t feel like this rubber gets in the way of the ride of the shoe either. I like that there are some flex grooves to just help you roll forward better.
Brooks carefully engineered the flex grooves to take you through that motion without an abrupt hinging of the forefoot.
Brooks Glycerin 19 vs Ghost 13 & Adrenaline GTS 21
If you’re someone who’s familiar with Brooks shoes, the Glycerin and the Glycerin GTS are basically more cushioned versions of the Ghost and the Adrenaline GTS.
If you like the Ghost, the regular Glycerin is just that shoe with more cushion.
And if you like a more cushioned version of the Adrenaline, then you have the Glycerin GTS.
Lately, people have found the Brooks Ghost and Adrenaline to be a bit more comfortable than the Glycerin.
So, Brooks knew they had to do something, and they did a great job with this update.
However, that cushion goes a long way in terms of the durability of the shoe and the durability of the runner.
I know this is supposed to be more of a max cushion shoe and I think that these shoes are both worth it, but I don’t love the price.
To be honest, Brooks shoes and I haven’t really gotten along in the past. I didn’t love the Hyperion Tempo much, but I liked the Hyperion Elite but it gave me blisters.
Then I liked the Ghost 13, which is a solid trainer, but the Glycerin 18 didn’t really like spark my interest.
But both the Glycerin 19 and the Glycerin GTS 19 are a yes for me.
I’m going to continue to run on them and they’re my GTS right now and I love running in both of these shoes. By the way, GTS simply means”Go-To Support”
I highly recommend the Glycerin to all kinds of people whether you’re a beginner runner or an elite and you’re looking for a little cushioning under your foot.
If you’re a neutral runner or you just need a little support, Brooks has got your back.
I’ve been experiencing some Plantar Fasciitis issues lately and I’ve been doing a lot of shorter easier runs, and this just fits the bill for that.
I mean the Glycerin is great for a short easy distance, but this could go long and longer than that.
This is such a good shoe and it’s really going to be a solid long-run choice for a lot of people.
- Tends to hold water.
Brooks Glycerin vs Glycerin GTS
The regular Glycerin is for that neutral high-mileage runner who runs on hard surfaces putting a lot of force through the ground.
The Glycerin GTS is for somebody who has a bit of an overpronation. It’s also good for you when you become fatigued and your feet start to roll in or out.
The new GuideRail technology is a smoother way to run in a stabilizing shoe rather than simply slamming into a stiff medial wedge and kicking you back out when you run.
Brooks claims that one of the benefits of having a guide rail instead of a stiff medial wedge or a posting is it’s not just about controlling navicular drop, but it also helps stop rotation at the knee.