Brooks Glycerin 12 vs. Mizuno Wave Rider 17 review

Mizuno Wave Rider 17 should feel light, fast, smooth, and responsive to neutral runners. Brooks Glycerin 12 provides a plush and comfortable ride to heavier runners. Learn more...

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The Brooks Glycerin 12 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 are neutral running shoes that are geared towards runners who do not need any kind of support.

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The uppers of both the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 and the Brooks Glycerin 12 differ in that the Mizuno has much lighter overlays.

While both running shoes implement no-sew overlays around the midfoot, the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 has very light films in its upper to provide structure and also in and under the mesh to keep your feet on the platform.

This really contributes to keeping the weight of the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 down.

The overlays on the Brooks Glycerin 12 have been printed on and should give you a closer-to-foot feel. And while the upper of the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 is meant to bend and stretch with your foot, you should feel more secure in the Brooks Glycerin 12. But both shoes should not cause irritation points due to their no-sew upper.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 17 does have a stitched-on overlay that goes around the heel, so you should get a pretty secure fit at the back of the shoe.

The biggest difference between the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 and the Brooks Glycerin 12 lies in the midsole where different cushioning technologies have been used.

The Brooks Glycerin 12 has a Super DNA midsole, which is DNA cushioning blended into a BioMoGo midsole to give you 25% more cushioning than BioMoGo DNA as found in the Brooks Ghost 7.

And since the cushioning is uniformly distributed from heel-to-toe, you get a really soft feeling under your entire foot. So not surprisingly, the Brooks Glycerin 12 should feel softer under the heel as well as the forefoot than the Mizuno Wave Rider 17.

However, the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 has a Wave Plate in the heel that provides extra cushioning and shock absorption. This allows the amount of heel cushioning to be almost similar to that in the Brooks Glycerin 12. But the amount of forefoot cushioning in the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 is almost half of that delivered by the Brooks Glycerin 12.

But less forefoot cushioning generally makes a running shoe more flexible. This combined with a relatively large heel-to-toe drop, makes the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 the more responsive running shoe of the two.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 17 has a more traditional outsole where the heel and forefoot are separated, while the Brooks Glycerin 12 provides full ground contact, therefore making it the more stable running shoe of the two.

Full ground contact also generally means a smoother transition from heel-strike to toe-off, especially when you combine it with a full-length segmented crash pad as in the Brooks Glycerin 12.

But because the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 implements SmoothRide engineering which comes into effect when you land on your heel and then rocks you forward to finally give you a good toe-off by using flex grooves and flex controllers in the forefoot, the transition should also feel pretty smooth.

The outsoles of both running shoes are segmented under the heel to absorb shock. The only difference there is that the rubber compartments are more separated in the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 than in the Brooks Glycerin 12.

And while the Brooks Glycerin 12 has a good amount of flex grooves in the forefoot, because it has more cushioning and is 3 mm thicker (1.3 mm thicker in the female version of the shoe) than the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 in that area, it should feel stiffer than the Mizuno Wave Rider 17. So the Brooks Glycerin 12 is better suited for heavier runners who can handle and appreciate such stiffness.

The women's version of the Brooks Glycerin 12 weighs approximately 8.7 oz (247 grams), while the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 for women weighs approximately 7.7 oz (218 grams). The men's version of the Brooks Glycerin 12 weighs about 11.0 oz (312 grams), and the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 for men weighs 9.5 oz (269 grams).

If you are a neutral runner looking for a very light and responsive running shoe that provides lots of heel cushioning, then the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 would fit the bill.

And if you are a heavier runner looking for an overall plush and comfortable ride, then the Brooks Glycerin 12 might be able to give you that.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

The two links above will take you to Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


This review falls under: Brooks | Mizuno

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