Brooks Levitate vs Glycerin: Key Points [2023 Guide]

We had them both and would like to review Brooks Levitate vs Glycerin side by side. Basically, the key difference between the Brooks Levitate 5 and Glycerin 20 is their design intent. Indeed, the difference between them is the trade-off between cushioning and energy-return (springy & bouncy feel). Long story short, the Brooks Glycerin is a cushioned trainer, which is soft and protective. On the other hand, the Brooks Levitate is an energized trainer which is designed for responsiveness and its springy structure adds extra lift to your stride.

Brooks Levitate vs Glycerin Compared The Full List of Key Differences

Therefore, the first question you need to answer is how you would like each step to feel?

If you seek a soft and protective running shoe, the Brooks Glycerin 20 is your go-to shoe. If you want springy feel to propel you forward, then Brooks Levitate 5 is the top-notch and highly recommended.

There is also one more point that needs to be highlighted. Both Levitate and Glycerin running shoes have neutral and stability versions. So, if you are tend to over-pronation you may consider the Brooks Levitate GTS 5 or Glycerin GTS 20 which have the GuideRails to offer stability & support in each stride.

You can consider Brooks’ Own Shoe Finder Tool in the to see how Brooks shoes differs than each other.

Related Article: Best Brooks Running Shoes

Brooks Levitate vs Glycerin Comparison Chart

Here is a chart that we have put together to help you understand Levitate 5 vs Glycerin 20 comparison better:

Comparison of of #Levitate 5Glycerin 20
Our Score85/10087/100
Our Selection forBest for MarathonsGreat Comfort
FeelEnergize 3/3 & Balanced Cushioning (2/3)Plush Cushioning (3/3)
FlexibilityFlexible (4/5)Flexible (4/5)
Drop-mm (M/W)810
Weight-gr (M/W)292/260290/255
Width OptionsNormalNarrow/Normal/Wide
Expert ReviewLevitate 5 ReviewGlycerin 20 & GTS Review
Deals & DiscountsRates Men’s / Women’sRates Men’s / Women’s

Based on these facts, we use Brooks Levitate 5 for long distance running, it is designed for marathons or ultra-marathons. However, the Brooks Glycerin 20 is designed for long distance but slow paced running.

Brooks Levitate vs Glycerin: Pros & Cons Comparison

Brooks Levitate 5 Pros & Cons

  • Great Flexibility
  • Both neutral and stability versions available
  • Very Springy & Tons of Responsiveness
  • Perfect Fit
  • Fast Heel to Toe Transition
  • Not so breathable
  • The thin outsole is not forgiving
  • Heavy a bit

Brooks Glycerin 20 Pros & Cons

  • The Top Comfort of Brooks Family
  • Both neutral and stability versions available
  • Durable
  • Plush Interior Lining
  • Ample Room – Toe Splay
  • Smooth footstrike
  • Comfortable & Fine fit
  • Runs a little short
  • Not Responsive but protective
  • A bit warm – not for summer

Upper Comparison for Levitate 5 vs Glycerin 20

Both the Levitate 5 and Glycerin 20 have highly comfortable upper. In this case, the Glycerin 20 upper is engineered mesh. It is highly reliable than the Levitate 5. On the other hand, the Levitate 5 Upper is Fit Knit. It is lighter than its competitors and has a sock-like fit. Frankly, it can easily conform to any foot shape and offers a wider and custom fit. Yet, it feels so unstable especially on uneven surfaces. Therefore, the upper of Glycerin 20 is more supportive compared to the Levitate 5.

Both Brooks Levitate 5 and Glycerin 20 have StealthFit variants. These models conforms the shape of your foot and easy to fit.

The lacing system for both of them are fine, but not the same. The Glycerin 20 has plusher laces, but the Levitate 5 has flatter which makes it lighter and sleeker feeling shoe.

Sole Unit Comparison for Brooks Levitate 5 vs Glycerin 20

This is the main difference between Brooks Glycerin and Levitate line. The sole unit of Brooks Glycerin 20 offers soft, protective, plush feeling and provides more supportive landing compared to the Brooks Levitate 5. However, the Brooks Levitate 5 is bouncier, and provides great energy return in each stride.

Brooks Levitate 5

Brooks Levitate Score

Brooks Glycerin 20

Brooks Glycerin Score

The Brooks Glycerin 20 uses DNA Loft 3 in the midsole, it is the softest material that Brooks company uses in their running shoes.

The Brooks Levitate 5 uses DNA AMP which is highly propulsive (the most responsive). It is highly cushioned as well, but not as much as the cushioned trainer Glycerin.

Bottom-line for Brooks Levitate 5 vs Glycerin 20 Comparison

As a final statement for Brooks Levitate vs Glycerin comparison, we do recommend both of them, they are well above the average of the running shoes we tested so far. Before deciding which one to pick, consider how you would like each step to feel. Do you expect cushioning or a responsive and springy feel from a running shoe? Generally speaking, we chose Glycerin 20 for recovery runs, it is highly cushioned, protective and soft. It is the best choice for slow-paced long-distance runs. However, the Levitate 5 fits the best for marathons or ultra-marathons. It is highly responsive and very springy which propels you forward in every stride.

Here is a useful video of Brooks Running Company which highlights the key points of Brooks Levitate Shoe:

Here is a useful video of Brooks Glycerin running shoe that you might be interested in:

We also recommend checking out our HOKA vs Brooks, Brooks vs Saucony and Brooks vs Asics posts, where you might find very useful details about the great running shoes.