Brooks Glycerin 16 vs. Brooks Beast 18 / Brooks Ariel 18 review

Brooks Glycerin 16 is a premium cushioning shoe that delivers a soft and smooth ride. Brooks Beast 18 delivers maximum pronation control and comfort to bigger runners...

The Brooks Glycerin 16 and the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 fall in two different categories of running shoes, with the Brooks Glycerin 16 being a cushioning running shoe for neutral runners and the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 and stability running shoe for severe overpronators.

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The one thing that the Brooks Ariel 18 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com / Brooks Beast 18 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 definitely have in common is that they can house large feet so are suitable for bigger runners.

The uppers of the Brooks Glycerin 16 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com are similar in that they have a forefoot that does not have overlays on it.

While they both provide room to big bunions, the Brooks Glycerin 16 is the one that would provide more freedom of movement, because it does not come with overlays that run along the sides of its toe box like the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 does.

In addition, while the Brooks Glycerin 16 does come with some no-sew overlays around the midfoot, they are more pulled back than the overlays around the midfoot of the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18.

Both the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 have broad no-sew overlays around the midfoot, but those on the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 are more continuous from the saddle to the midsole than those on the Brooks Glycerin 16.

In addition, the overlays on the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 join up with an external heel counter around the heel of the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 that locks your heel in and minimizes heel rotation.

The area around the heel of the Brooks Glycerin 16 is quite open and provides a standard amount of support.

Therefore, the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 would be the one that delivers a good amount of support from midfoot to heel, while the Brooks Glycerin 16 delivers a good amount of support around the midfoot and lots of comfort in the toe box.

Note that the Brooks Glycerin 16 might also feel more luxurious inside the running shoe thanks to the internal bootie that it has.

The midsoles of the Brooks Glycerin 16 and the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 make use of different types of midsole material.

Previous versions of the running shoes used to make use of the same type of midsole material, which delivered more cushioning than Brooks' standard midsole material. However, with the introduction of the Brooks Glycerin 16, this changed.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 now makes use of Brooks' latest midsole material that is meant to deliver an ultra-soft ride, while the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 is still on an older type of midsole material.

Therefore, while the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 has a midsole material that delivers a good amount of cushioning that should be able to give you a soft ride, the Brooks Glycerin 16 is meant to feel super soft under your foot.

The midsoles of both the Brooks Glycerin 16 and the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 are well segmented on the lateral side, but whereas the Brooks Glycerin 16 has one layer of foam, the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 has a separate crash pad that runs along the entire length of the midsole to deliver smoother heel-to-toe transitions as well as shock absorption and stability.

While the midsole of the Brooks Glycerin 16 also provides full ground contact like that of the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 and more or less functions as a crash pad so delivers a bit of stability, it would be a bit less stable than the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 due to the fact that the Brooks Glycerin 16 makes use of much softer foam than the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18.

However, the Brooks Glycerin 16 is not meant to deliver stability and support but rather cushioning.

The Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 is meant to deliver stability and support, and for that it has a long post on the medial side that runs high and that is reinforced by a midfoot shank that hooks up into the post under the heel.

Therefore, you can expect to get a large degree of pronation control from the medial post, midfoot shank, and external heel counter combined, which is also why the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 is considered to be a motion control running shoe.

The rubber outsoles of the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 display a good amount of separation with both having small rubber pods throughout their entire outsole.

While the outsole of the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 is not divided into separate zones like that of the Brooks Glycerin 16 is, it is very capable of dissipating and absorbing shock to give you a smoother ride like the Brooks Glycerin 16.

The platform of the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 is also broader than that of the Brooks Glycerin 16, which is a good indication that it is a suitable running shoe for runners who have big or flat feet.

The platform of the Brooks Glycerin 16 follows that of a normal foot and Brooks suggests the Brooks Glycerin 16 for medium and high arches, while the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 is listed as being for flat and medium arches.

The Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 is much heavier than the Brooks Glycerin 16 for both men and women, but this is understandable, because the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 comes with many more and heavier items to add support to the running shoe.

Making a decision between the Brooks Glycerin 16 and the Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 should not be that difficult.

If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a very soft, smooth, and comfortable ride with a touch of stability, you could choose the Brooks Glycerin 16.

The Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 would not be a suitable running shoe for neutral runners, because it delivers way too much pronation control for neutral runners.

The Brooks Ariel 18 / Brooks Beast 18 is a good running shoe for severe overpronators who need lots of stability and support and those who have big or flat feet.

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

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