A couple of weeks ago, I was witness to the unveiling of the new Brooks baby: Glycerin 8. I occasionally drool over a nice looking shoe or pine over a new model, but it takes a good shoe to impress me. And, this one definitely did.
Toby Claudio of Runnr admitted that there were no plans to hold a mini press launch for the Glycerin 8. But, after testing the shoe for himself—and being amazed with the cushioning, he felt compelled to tell the public about it.
Hitley Dulay of SRI presented a background of Brooks as a company. Did you know that Brooks is the No. 2 running shoe in the US? (Asics No. 1, Nike No. 3). Hitler went on to discuss the features that make Brooks Glycerin 8 unique, especially Brooks DNA Technology.
– Coolness. The Brooks Green Silence, a performance racing flat using earth-friendly materials (hence the name). Note: each side has a different color so it looks like you’re wearing different shoes. Eduardo Buenavista and Fr. Robert Reyes each have a pair of this –
ROAD TESTING THE BROOKS GLYCERIN 8
I was privileged to receive a pair of Brooks Glycerin 8 for road testing after the press launch. I took it for a spin first at an 8k run on concrete and then during Rexona Run’s 10k at SM Mall of Asia. I took a break from it for a week or so and found myself using it regularly for training runs this week.
1. Brooks DNA Technology. In the shoe is a highly viscous, non-Newtonian polymer fluid which makes the Glycerin 8 highly adaptable. Say what? Bascially, the shoe automatically and physically adapts to your footstrike and gives you the kind of comfort and protection you need as your pace changes throughout a run. It’s like custom cushioning! Hitler made it easier to understand for us visual folks. He showed us exactly how Brooks DNA works:
– Punch the polymer fluid and it suddenly feels as hard as a brick. (I tried it myself!) If you run or sprint at a fast pace, the shoe will respond by giving you protection and dispersing the impact away from your foot –
After using the shoe, I guarantee this was no marketing ploy. It truly works. The shoe was well-cushioned and comfortable, yet it was responsive to my every step. When I run on concrete, I usually feel the tension and tightness on my ITB and the harsh impact on the foot. This time, I was almost oblivious to the harshness of the road.
2. Stability. The Brooks Glycerin 8 is a neutral, cushioning shoe. It’s not the perfect shoe for a flat-footed, overpronating runner like me, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover how stable it felt during runs. No knee pain, baby! (Note: I haven’t tested it for runs above 10k.)
3. Comfortable Fit. My feet sat snugly inside. Toe box or vamp was perfect for the width of my feet. Heel counter cupped my heel well so that there was no annoying movement with each step.
4. Attractive. It’s a handsome shoe. I loved the Men’s colors more, but I wouldn’t say I complained about mine. The shoe does not have too many frills; it’s not ostentatious either. It’s the kind of shoe that stands out in the crowd because of how simple and clean it looks.
5. Green shoe. And I’m not talking about the color. It’s an environmental shoe. All materials used to make the shoe are completely recyclable.
1. Heavy. For someone like me who favors Nike+ Lunar Glide and Newton Racers, you can imagine how heavy the Glycerin 8, a training shoe, felt when I first used it. I was literally dragging my legs (especially during Rexona) and I felt like I had to double my efforts with each step. But, after a few runs, my feet got used to the weight and I was able to enjoy its cushioning and stability. Weight: Men’s – 12.6 oz; Women’s – 10.3 oz
2. Blisters!!! I wear low socks, which was never a problem with other shoes. With the Glycerin 8, however, the achilles notch (the topmost portion of the back of the shoe that hits your heel) was hard and high for my taste. I learned about this the hard way during my Rexona Run 10k (see photo below. Cringe!) I wore ankle high socks during the next runs—problem solved!
– Yeooowch! Back of my foot right after Rexona Run 10k –
It took me quite some time to review this shoe thoroughly. The Brooks Glycerin 8 and I were off to a rocky start with the blister and weight issues, but I was so impressed by its features—DNA technology, comfort, and stability—that I was motivated to give the shoe several chances to prove itself to me before I labelled it “For Gym Use Only”…and I’m glad I did.
As of this week, I’m happy to report that I’ve used the Glycerin 8 on most of my training runs on the road and treadmill. I don’t see myself using it in any race (I have the Newton Universal Racers for that) nor for any long runs (It’s still the oh-so comfy Nike+ Lunar Glide), but it will definitely be one of my training buddies for NYC Marathon.
Brooks Glycerin 8 retails for Php 6,495. It is available at Runnr and selected Toby’s outlets.