Brooks Glycerin vs New Balance 1080 – Pretty Similar But For Different Running Purposes


In today’s comparison, I’m going to be taking a look at two very popular shoes, the Brooks Glycerin vs New Balance 1080.

If you like heavily cushioned shoes for your daily training miles, both of these options will probably crop up quite a bit in your research.

So, what I’m going to do today is just take a quick look at both of these shoes, find out what they’re meant to do, and look at the differences between them to make sure that when you buy a new pair of daily cushioned shoes, you’re getting the right one.

I’m going to start with the most important part of this comparison which is the performance of these shoes and which shoe you should get depending on your running needs. Then, I’m going to talk about the fit, the uppers, the midsoles, and the outsoles.

Let’s dive right into it…


Brooks Glycerin vs New Balance 1080

Both of these shoe lines have been around for quite a long time now and they’ve become really popular with people looking for really heavily cushioned trainers for daily running basically.

Although they seem similar in what they’re delivering, they’re actually slightly different, and depending on what type of runner you are, one of these shoes is probably going to deliver better for what you’re actually looking for.

I’ve been a massive fan of both of these shoe lines for a long time. I’ve already done about 60k in both of these versions, but in the previous iterations of both of these shoes, I did a lot more mileage.

Let’s get to the run test…

Make sure you read our latest comparison of the Brooks Glycerin 19 vs Saucony Triumph 19.

Running Performance

This is quite a difficult versus to do because I’m a massive fan of both of these shoes.

It’s not that I like one more than the other. It’s more that I just have slight different uses for these two shoes, which you probably won’t have the opportunity to do because you wouldn’t need both of these shoes if you were planning to add a new cushioned shoe to your running shoe rotation.

The reason that I use both of these shoes is largely for those daily training miles where I just want to go out, I’m not entirely sure how fast I’m going to go but I just want it to be comfortable. I want to deaden the impact as I go out and I just want to have a nice time really.

What I would say is that both the Glycerin and the New Balance 1080 aren’t exactly the same when it comes to that.

For me, the Glycerin 19 is the most cushioned option. It feels softer and it feels more comfortable when you’re running in it.

I’d probably say this is more like towards the recovery side of the shoe spectrum or the long-distance side where you’re looking for a really comfortable enjoyable ride and you’re definitely not going to go too fast. I find I can’t run very fast in the Glycerin comfortably. You can pick up the pace a bit with it, but it just doesn’t feel like that’s what it’s designed for.

Again, I probably wouldn’t use the Glycerin if I was training for anything at speed, but I really enjoy doing long distances in it where the speed doesn’t matter and I just want comfort over that distance.

The New Balance 1080v11 is not as soft as the Glycerin 19. It does feel a bit more responsive and I think it’s probably more conducive to running at a more versatile pace so you can go a bit faster over long distances as well.

So, I’d probably say that the 1080 is a good option if you’re looking to do long-distance running but you’re probably training for something you want to go a bit faster.



The comfort you get from the Glycerin not only comes from the midsole but from all of this extra padding around the shoe, which is a lovely plush feeling when you wear it.

The 1080 is a very comfortable shoe as well and I really enjoy wearing this for most of my runs. However, I would say that it doesn’t feel as plush or as comfortable as the Glycerin 19.

It just doesn’t feel like it’s cradling your foot in the same way and every step is just lovely soft cushioning, but it’s more versatile. So, you’re losing that sort of plush comfort and you’re getting a bit more speed and a bit more responsiveness.



Brooks Glycerin 19

I think the Glycerin 19 is a bit more of a stable shoe and it just feels like there’s a lot more in this base section of the shoe to kind of hold your foot in place. It feels like it’s firmly placing your feet on the ground every time.

Recently, Brooks added an even more stable version of the Glycerin 19 called the Glycerin GTS 19. The GTS has the new GuideRail stability system, which makes it a great choice if you’re looking for some real stability benefits. Check this in-depth comparison of the regular Glycerin 19 vs the Glycerin GTS 19.  

Stability is not a massive problem in the New Balance 1080v11, but it just feels like there’s a little bit less stability in the 1080 compared to the Glycerin.

I wouldn’t say the 1080 is an unstable shoe by any stretchy imagination. But if you really want a lot of stability and you don’t want a real stability shoe like the Asics Gel Kayano for example, the Glycerin 19 does feel very firm and you feel like your feet are just cradled and you’re not going to be wobbling around. I guess if you are a little bit unstable, you might struggle a bit with the 1080v11 in comparison.


Drop & Outsole Durability

The Brooks Glycerin has got a 10-millimeter drop and the 1080v11 has got 8 millimeters, but I have not really noticed any difference in those. So, I wouldn’t use the 2mm drop difference as a gauge to choose between these two shoes.

New Balance 1080v11

The outsoles on the shoes are very good. I think the Glycerin 19 just feels a little bit better at gripping. That rubber is a bit harder-wearing than what you’re getting on the 1080v11 and that goes for the whole of the outsole as well.


Brooks Glycerin 19

The Glycerin 19 just has a little bit more strength and durability in it in comparison to the New Balance 1080.


Which Shoe Should You Get?

I absolutely love both of these shoes. I think they’re great options and you’re not going to go wrong if you buy any of these shoes.

They’ve both seen many updates over the past few years although I would say that the New Balance 1080v10 and the Glycerin 18 were both brilliant shoes as well. I don’t think there’s a lot of differences between those shoes and these new versions.

If you’re conscious of budget and you want to get something like this but a little bit cheaper, check the sales for the older versions of these shoes.

I still run in the older versions and I’m completely happy with them. I’m not seeing any major differences between these and those and I actually prefer the colorways as well from the previous versions.

But which of the Glycerin 19 and the 1080v11 should you get?

I would say that if your main focus is comfort and cushioning, the Glycerin 19 is probably the one to go for. The Glycerin is just a fantastic plush ride but it also feels really stable as well.

This is my go-to shoe if I just want to go out there and just want peace of mind that I’m going to have a nice comfortable ride but I’m not going to go fast. I very rarely try to go fast in the Glycerin.

In my shoe rotation, the Glycerin firmly fits in that sort of recovery run, long-distance training run, maybe up to about half marathon distance. It’s just a reliable great shoe for that.

As I’ve said, the New Balance 1080v11 is a bit more versatile. It still sits in my rotation, but I use this for those runs where I got out of the house and I don’t know what’s going to happen.

I might go out for a 15k-run and it might turn into a 22k or something like that. I go for it when I want a shoe that I can pick up the pace in if I’m feeling great on that day. I could probably do tempo training in this if I wanted to. It’s not like it wouldn’t be my chosen shoe for it, but you could do it.

So, the 1080 is just that versatile shoe that you leave the house in and you pretty much can do anything. With the Glycerin, I think you’re pretty limited in terms of the speed that you can do.

I also think that if you want stability over anything else, then the Glycerin 19 is what you should go for. Although there’s no major issues with stability in the 1080v11, you’re just going to get a bit more in the Glycerin 19.

Other than that, I think both the Glycerin and the 1080 are great shoes. As I’ve said, I can’t fault them in any way, but it all comes down to that type of run you’re going for.

Again, if you want comfort, go for the Glycerin and if you want versatility, go for the1080v11.


Stats, Materials, Fit

Stack Height & Drop

Brooks Glycerin 19: 38 mm in the heel and 28 mm in the forefoot for 10 mm heel-to-toe drop.
New Balance 1080v11: 34 mm in the heel and 26 mm in the forefoot for 8 mm heel-to-toe drop.

Although the Glycerin has a higher drop, I wouldn’t use this 2mm difference as a gauge to choose between these two shoes.

But the difference in stack height is important and we’ve talked about that above.



Brooks Glycerin 19: Men’s size 9: 9.9 oz (280 grams) / Women’s size 8: 8.5 oz (240 grams)
New Balance 1080v11: Men’s size 9: 9.2 oz (260 grams) / Women’s size 8: 7.8 oz (221 grams)

As you can see, there’s a slight difference in weight mainly because of the midsole cushioning in the Glycerin 19.



Brooks Glycerin 19

The Brooks Glycerin 19 uses a very soft DNA Loft midsole that runs across the whole of the shoe. It just feels very comfortable and very cushioned and just deadens the impact as you’re running.

New Balance 1080v11

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 uses Fresh Foam X as a midsole material. This midsole compound also runs the whole length of the shoe and is also a very comfy soft enjoyable foam to run in.



Brooks Glycerin 19

The upper of the Glycerin 19 uses a mesh design which is quite similar to what you find in a lot of more conventional running shoes. There’s also a lot of cushioning especially around the collar section and there’s a reinforced heel counter for stability and support.

New Balance 1080v11

The New Balance 1080 has this sort of sock-like upper which is a lot thinner than the Glycerin 19. It’s almost like putting on a sock because it does hug your foot quite a lot. At the back of the shoe, there is very little cushioning around the collar compared to the Glycerin 19.

It also has this sort of elf heel tab which was also on the previous iteration. This new heel is designed to help you pull the shoe on and off quicker.

New Balance 1080v11

There’s a bit of reinforcement in this heel and it does extend a bit. The idea here is that because you’ve got this extended heel pocket, your foot can really fit into it nicely and it’ll cradle it.



New Balance 1080v11

The fit for me in the New Balance 1080 and the Brooks is true to size. Both fit me really well and I’ve never had any problems with either of these shoes.

Brooks Glycerin 19

But what I would say is the Glycerin 19 is just a bit wider than the 1080v11. You can actually feel that when you’re wearing the shoe because there does seem to be a lot more room through the toe box.

It’s not too much and I’ve never had a problem with it feeling too roomy, but the Glycerin does have a noticeable amount of more space.

So, with the Glycerin, you could splay your toes a bit more and it just feels a little bit more relaxed in terms of the fit through the toe box.

The 1080v11 is more restrictive with this sock-like design. It’s not uncomfortable because when your foot kind of pushes out, the stretchy upper material pushes out with it.

I never had any problems with blisters, rubbing, or anything from the 1080v11, but it is slightly more restrictive than the Glycerin. It’s not really a narrow shoe, but there’s less space in that toe box and in the midfoot than in the Glycerin 19.


Brooks Glycerin 19

The outsole of the Glycerin 19 and the New Balance 1080 is actually very similar. The amount of rubber that you can see across both of these shoes is almost identical. There’s almost the same level of exposed midsole material and maybe a little bit more on the New Balance.

New Balance 1080v11

That’s it from me. Thanks a lot for making it to the end of this Brooks Glycerin vs New Balance 1080. I hope you’ve learned something new today. As always, be safe and see you in the next one.

About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

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