Brooks Transcend vs. Brooks Glycerin 12 review

Brooks Transcend and Brooks Glycerin 12 both deliver a very soft ride and plush fit to heavier runners, but there are some subtle differences between these two running shoes...

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The Brooks Transcend and the Brooks Glycerin 12 are both running shoes that provide a lot of cushioning and are good for heavier runners, but they fall in different categories of running shoes.


The Brooks Transcend is meant to provide support and cushioning to overpronators, while the Brooks Glycerin 12 is meant to be worn by neutral runners who want cushioning.

The uppers of the Brooks Transcend and the Brooks Glycerin 12 are similar in that they partially or completely consist of no-sew overlays. The Brooks Glycerin 12 uses 3D Fit Print to provide a custom fit and closer-to-foot feel on top, and the overlays that wrap the midfoot contain minimal stitches.

The Brooks Transcend has no-sew overlays and a velvety upper lining that provides an extremely comfortable fit and a plush in-shoe feel.

And to provide that extra lock down, the Brooks Transcend makes use of a heel counter at the back of the shoe and lots of overlays around the midfoot and towards the front of the shoe.

Both running shoes should feel pretty comfortable on top and cause minimal irritation points, but you might get a snugger fit from the Brooks Glycerin 12 than you would from the Brooks Transcend.

The midsoles of the Brooks Transcend and the Brooks Glycerin 12 are very similar in that they both make use of Super DNA for cushioning. Super DNA provides 25% more cushioning than BioMoGo DNA, which can be found in for example the midsole of the Brooks Ghost 7.

This should tell you that both the Brooks Glycerin 12 and the Brooks Transcend deliver an unsurpassed amount of cushioning and that both will feel very cushy under your foot. The Brooks Transcend seems to have just a tad more cushioning in the heel, but not by much.

Both running shoes also have a segmented crash pad and ideal pressure zones to distribute and absorb shock, so the Brooks Glycerin 12 and the Brooks Transcend should provide you with a smooth transition from heel to toe.

The main difference between the Brooks Transcend and the Brooks Glycerin 12 lies in the guide rails that the Brooks Transcend implements around the top of the midsole to provide support and stability.

The theory goes that these guide rails will help your body move in its preferred motion path. It does not really "correct" your stride, but instead help you body to find its own naturally way of moving.

Other stability features of the Brooks Transcend include its wide base and the full ground contact it provides with its outsole.

When you look at the outsole of the Brooks Glycerin 12, horizontal flex grooves dominate in the forefoot and the entire layout promotes back to front movement typical of neutral runners.

And when you look at the outsole of the Brooks Transcend, there is a vertical flex groove that dominates throughout the length of the shoe starting from the back, and the compartments are laid out in such a way to cater for an out-in movement of the foot with a larger compartment directly under the arch for support, typical of the movement overpronators make.

Both the Brooks Transcend and the Brooks Glycerin 12 are pretty stiff running shoes, but that should not be much of a problem for heavier runners.

The women's version of the Brooks Transcend weighs approximately 9.7 oz (275 grams), while the Brooks Glycerin 12 for women weighs approximately 8.7 oz (247 grams). The men's version of the Brooks Transcend weighs about 12.2 oz (346 grams), and the Brooks Glycerin 12 for men weighs 11.0 oz (312 grams).

The Brooks Glycerin 12 and the Brooks Transcend could be twins. If it wasn't for the guide rails on the Brooks Transcend and the printed overlays in the Brooks Glycerin 12, you wouldn't be able to set them apart, because they deliver a similar amount of cushioning and stability.

If you are a bigger runner who is a neutral runner, either running shoe may work for you, because the guide rails on the Brooks Transcend should not get in your way. If you are an overpronator, the question remains whether the guide rails and other stability and support features on the Brooks Transcend would provide enough support – it would be a matter of trying it out...

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 where you can read more about the running shoes.

This review falls under: Brooks

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