Thursday, 10 November 2011
Review: Brooks Glycerin 9 - How Far is Too Far?
Brooks Test Package included a shoe that Id not run in before. The Brooks Glycerin, currently in its ninth version.
The Glycerin 9 is the Rolls Royce in the Brooks neutral category... built for comfort. The extra cushioning is immediately obvious. The whole shoe just feels plush when you put it on. From the thick foam around the collar, to the extra thick tongue, even the material in the toe-box feels thicker than what you get in a Ghost. Walking around in them the shoe feels soft, luxurious and just a little bit squishy underfoot.
It had been wet and windy all day Saturday so it was especially inviting to wake up Sunday morning to clear skies, some residual fog, and cool temperatures around 4°c Conditions that just scream at the runner that they should be outside taking advantage of the moment. The perfect opportunity to christen a new pair of shoes.
What surprised me was that as the pace kept climbing the Glycerins also seemed to get firmer under foot. Still not as firm as the ghosts, but nothing like the soft cushy 'walk on clouds' feeling you get when your walking in them. I Guess the DNA does what it says it does and firms up the midsole as the impact increases. We wound the pace down to around 4:50/km the glycerins took it all in their stride. My first run in the Glycerin 9's turned out to be just over 21km.
Personally i wouldn't pick these shoes for short fast racing, there are other shoes in the Brooks lineup that might be more appropriate, however if your looking for extra cushioning, want to feel super comfortable or are planning on raking up some high millage then you cant really go wrong with them.
It was that High Millage point that really piqued my Interest. Id decided to attempt my first Ultra as a reward for an outstanding run in the Münster Marathon. The Röntgenlauf a 63km race in Remscheid over a mix of mostly non technical bike paths and asphalt seemed like the ideal candidate. The Glycerin 9 like a good shoe choice. All that i needed to do was make sure that they, and I, would be up to the challenge.
Two weeks out i put us both to the test. On Saturday I ran the teutoberglauf, in the Ghosts that had served me well in Münster. Sunday it was time for the Glycerins to step up to the plate with a longer training run. I headed for the Halterner Haard, 47km later it was getting dark, and my legs were shot. My feet on the other hand were just fine, wrapped in infinity socks and the Glycerin 9's.
Here's a short video I took of me unveiling my feet after that run through the Haard. Im speaking (murdering) German in the Video btw.
After that, the decision was easy, id use that exact same combination for the Röntgenlauf.
My experience at the Röntgenlauf was fantastic. Yes it was hard, the hills were tough, and my legs were feeling it towards the end, but i achieved a great result for my debut. I must give some credit for that to the shoes, my feet posed me no problems during the race. The combination of the thick Infinity Socks and Glycerin 9 protected them from the pounding I gave them over the 63km course. In the final 10km's it was just a battle between my will, and my legs. My feet were fine, i didn't have any blisters or hot spots, nothing to make those last 10k harder than they were.
Ive done my best to find the Distance Limit for the Glycerin, but it has me beat as the guys at activegearreview say 'you’ll quit long before they do'. For comfort, for high millage the Glycerin 9 is a fantastic shoe. My pair is going to see some pretty hard usage this winter, especially on my long runs, as I build up for Boston. I know that they can handle it.