Brooks Glycerin 16 vs. Brooks Transcend 5 review

Brooks Glycerin 16 is a premium cushioning shoe that delivers a very soft and smooth ride for long runs. Brooks Transcend 5 provides a secure fit and a good amount of support...

The Brooks Glycerin 16 and the Brooks Transcend 5 are meant to be worn by two different types of runners, because the Brooks Glycerin 16 is a neutral running shoe, while the Brooks Transcend 5 is a stability running shoe.

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However, what the Brooks Glycerin 16 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the Brooks Transcend 5 have in common is that they can both house large feet so are good running shoes for bigger runners.

The uppers of the Brooks Transcend 5 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the Brooks Glycerin 16 differ quite a bit in what they offer to runners.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 tends to have an upper that is wide open and free from overlays, except for the ones around the midfoot and at the front of the running shoe.

Other than that, you get plenty of room from the toe box of the Brooks Glycerin 16, and it offers a standard amount of support around the heel.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 might also feel a bit more plush inside the running shoe by having an internal bootie that wraps your foot with softness.

The upper of the Brooks Transcend 5 clearly offers much more support than that of the Brooks Glycerin 16, which is what overpronators need.

The Brooks Transcend 5 comes with broad overlays around the midfoot that contain some stitches and offer lots of support around the midfoot.

Then there is an external heel counter at the back that locks your heel in and minimizes heel rotation.

While the forefoot of the Brooks Transcend 5 is quite open and free from overlays, the overlays around the midfoot do come pretty far forward so could cause some constriction around the bunion window.

Therefore, the Brooks Glycerin 16 would likely offer more comfort to those who have big bunions.

All in all, the upper of the Brooks Glycerin 16 is clearly geared towards delivering lots of comfort with some support, while that of the Brooks Transcend 5 is geared towards delivering lots of support, especially around the heel and the midfoot where overpronators tend to need it most.

The midsoles of the Brooks Transcend 5 and the Brooks Glycerin 16 used to be alike in that they used to make use of the same type of midsole material that delivers somewhat more cushioning than Brooks' standard midsole material. However, when the Brooks Glycerin 16 was introduced, this changed.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 now uses a type of midsole material that can be seen as Brooks' cushiest midsole material, so in that sense alone, the Brooks Glycerin 16 would logically deliver more cushioning than the Brooks Transcend 5.

This is confirmed by lab tests, which have found that the Brooks Glycerin 16 delivers an overall very cushy ride to both men and women, while the Brooks Transcend 5 has a cushy forefoot with a heel that is somewhat firmer than the forefoot, but you should still be able to get an overall soft ride from the Brooks Transcend 5, especially as a woman, because men get a bit less heel cushioning than women.

The job of the Brooks Transcend 5 is to deliver a soft running experience but also a good amount of stability and support.

It does so by having elevated sections along the upper edge of the midsole that are meant to help guide your feet and body to align themselves.

While this is a stability feature, it is not one in the traditional sense, but it has been found to deliver an above average amount of stability to overpronators when you combine it with the external heel counter in the upper of the Brooks Transcend 5.

What also adds some stability to the Brooks Transcend 5 is the fact that its midsole provides full ground contact.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 also offers this, and while both running shoes display a good amount of segmentation, the Brooks Glycerin 16 is a bit more segmented and has a midsole that has a bit more structure than that of the Brooks Transcend 5.

All in all, the midsole of the Brooks Glycerin 16 is constructed in a way to help it deliver somewhat smoother rides than the Brooks Transcend 5, although the latter is also capable of delivering a smooth ride.

While Brooks lists the Brooks Transcend 5 as having a slightly lower heel-to-toe drop of about 2 mm compared to the Brooks Glycerin 16, lab tests have found their heel-to-toe drops to lie very close to each other.

According to lab tests, the Brooks Transcend 5 has a slightly higher heel-to-toe drop and a somewhat thicker midsole under the heel of women, which explains why women get more heel cushioning than men from the Brooks Transcend 5.

The Brooks Transcend 5 has a somewhat thicker midsole under the forefoot of both men and women, so the Brooks Transcend 5 puts more foam between you and the road in the forefoot.

By looking at the midsole setup and the amount of cushioning delivered, both running shoes seem to be good for long runs, but if you are a heel-striker, the Brooks Glycerin 16 might offer more comfort than the Brooks Transcend 5.

The outsoles of the Brooks Glycerin 16 and the Brooks Transcend 5 are similar in that they both have zones that are meant to distribute pressure and disperse shock.

The Brooks Transcend 5 seems to be a bit wider under the midfoot, but both the Brooks Glycerin 16 and the Brooks Transcend 5 provide a good connection between the heel and the forefoot for smoother transitions.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 has more deep flex grooves in the forefoot than the Brooks Transcend 5, but both running shoes have been found to be stiff for both genders, probably because they deliver so much forefoot cushioning.

According to Brooks, the Brooks Glycerin 16 is lighter than the Brooks Transcend 5 for both men and women, but the differences in weight are very small.

According to lab tests, the Brooks Glycerin 16 is somewhat heavier than the Brooks Transcend 5 for men. The weights of the two running shoes are almost the same for women, with the Brooks Glycerin 16 being just a tiny bit lighter.

The Brooks Glycerin 16 and the Brooks Transcend 5 are similar in many ways, but they stay true to their goals, that is, the Brooks Glycerin 16 delivers a very cushy ride as a neutral cushioning running shoe, and the Brooks Transcend 5 delivers a good amount of support as a stability running shoe.

Therefore, if you are a neutral runner who is looking for a very soft, comfortable, and smooth ride, you should definitely look into the Brooks Glycerin 16.

However, moderate overpronators who need stability and support should consider the Brooks Transcend 5 before looking into the Brooks Glycerin 16, because while the latter is seen as a stable neutral running shoe, it does not deliver pronation control.

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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