The Glycerin 7 continues the mainstay line of neutral Brooks running shoes. The Ghost, Launch, and others have come along to try and get a piece of the market share for lighter, more performance-oriented training. The Glycerin 7 stays true to its heritage as a neutral shoe able to tolerate high mileage and hard impact.
I purchased this shoe with what I believed to be the very rational fear that the BioMoGo midsole would begin to biodegrade before I could put significant miles on the shoe. BioMoGo is supposed to biodegrade over 20 years in a landfill, which I equated to be about as dirty as some of the trails on which I run. Fortunately, my thinking was a bit irrational and the shoes are surviving quite well. The BioMoGo does not show significant compression even after 100 miles.
The rubber sole on the bottom shows very little wear. The rubber is made of a very hard material that handles pavement friction and rock nicks like a champ.
The mesh upper holds the shoe’s form well and reminds me of a strong nylon, whereas more mesh shoes these days try to put something of the texture of soft yarn that wears away easily or loses form.
The shoe is generally comfortable. The midsole does not feel particularly soft or firm, which to me means it’s a good balance of both. I sometimes put on the shoe and think of it as being very straight-lasted, as if the medial side of my forefoot is suddenly pressing against mesh, but it happens too rarely for me to really say it’s the fault of the shoe, as the shoe’s width generally fits my every-so-slightly wide feet.
The shoe’s heel cup is cut slightly lower than that of most shoes, which means it does not have a noticeable Achilles notch. During periods of Achilles discomfort, I’ve found the Glycerin 7 to be an appropriate shoe, as it provides neutral cushioning without touching the Achilles.
Most modern Brooks trainers have a “sprung toe” that essentially builds the curve of toe-off into the shoe. The Glycerin 7 is built modestly to enhance transition through running gait. I often times don’t like this, but this shoe might be a heavy deadweight if not for the slight curve the shoe takes. I expect to heel strike hard in a neutral trainer providing the impact absorption in the Glycerin, but I can’t find evidence of heel striking. I can’t figure out for sure if this is a compliment to the durability of the sole for not showing the wear or whether the shoe’s transition is putting me slightly more forward. Sometimes I put on other shoes and feel like they want me to happily crash from heel to heel as I effortlessly put in the miles. The Glycerin 7 gives the feel of a distributed impact and makes the work more pronounced in your muscles instead of your joints. This shoe is heavy by modern standards. I think we all need to accept that running shoe weights have experienced a major phase shift. The weight of the Glycerin 7 is tolerable, but you will notice the difference if you rotate it with speedier shoes.
This shoe is worth a glance from any runner experiencing Achilles trouble, as the not-so-tall heel cup causes less irritation directly while the standard heel-to-toe ratio and strong cushioning make the shoe an optimal daily trainer.
The durability of the sole also makes the shoe a good option for anyone fed up with how quickly their soles disintegrate due to pavement friction.
“Plush gets plusher when the new Glycerin® 7 hits the ground—running, of course. With two layers of BioMoGo stacked in the heel and shock-dampening e-1 material sandwiched between, the Glycerin® 7 is already a luxuriously cushioned ride. Add to that another layer of BioMoGo in the forefoot for extra softness and resilience, and this high-end neutral shoe takes home the plush prize.”
I originally purchased the Glycerin 7 after a summer of injury. I was looking for a shoe to handle a lot of impact. I bought a red pair and a blue pair of Glycerins from my local running store and then started training for a road half marathon. I encountered a fair amount of rain during my training and set the blue pair aside for rainy days and wore the red ones on dry days while the blue ones aired out. I wore the red pair for the half marathon and, son of a b—-, it started raining. Anyway, I can tell you that I found the shoes to have good traction even in the rain. The sole held up well on 13 miles of road that day, though I wasn’t setting any PRs.
As of writing this, I think I have maybe 130 miles on the blue pair and 180 miles on the red pair. I sidelined them in an effort to explore more minimal footwear. During times of calf and Achilles soreness, I’ve brought the Glycerins back out. The cushioning is still good, the traction is there, and I can’t really complain about the shoes except that they are fairly heavy and not too friendly to many of the faster workouts I do. I have a hard time picking them up on any day I’m trying to target a pace, because the weight makes it harder to relax at high speeds. I use them now for some daily training runs, recovery runs, or when I absolutely don’t want the back of my shoe touching my Achilles for some strange psychological reason akin to heel claustrophobia. So long as I don’t store these shoes in a trash can, I expect them to easily last over 300 miles without showing any significant wear.