Brooks Glycerin 8
The Glycerin is Brooks' top cushioning shoe. It has enjoyed a reputation for reliability, comfort and protection through its evolution. I remember the first Glycerin I tried on - it was like wandering about in a pair of carpet slippers - and for the next 500 miles or so they proved a solid friend. I wouldn't have used them on race day - I didn't think responsiveness was their best quality - but for high mileage runners in the heavier weight range the Glycerin has always been a very good solution.
Now with the introduction of the 8th series, Brooks has taken its flagship model forward quite considerably. I trialled the new shoe on my return from a 4 week winter lay-off so while I was immediately impressed by the streamlined no-nonsense look of the shoe and the quality finishes in the toe, the heel and the tongue, I wasn't exactly striding along carefree.
My next couple of outings were different. The expected Glycerin comfort was there but there was definitely greater responsiveness than in earlier models. So are the claims being made for the new DNA technology justified? The Brooks team says 'the new cushioning system, DNA, is a 'non-Newtonian' fluid designed to give 30 per cent better cushioning, twice as much energy return, a smoother ride and greater forefoot flexibility. The new DNA of individual molecules join together as soon as pressure is exerted on them. Together with BioMoGo,the DNA distributes the pressure in the best way possible and, in doing so, adjusts itself to meet your individual requirements.'
Two key things there for me - 'energy return' and 'your individualised requirements'. I'm giving pass marks on both fronts - the DNA technology reacts to your foot pressure and I think there is a measure of response momentum. The Glycerin 8 seems lighter than its 357oz so that tends to reinforce the energy return claims.
Overall high marks for the Glycerin 8 - a serious contender in the neutral category.
Mizuno Performance Long Sleeve Shirt
As a heavy duty 'sweater' there are just a few running tops that work for me during the colder months - approximately an 8/9 month period in Scotland! I need something that's going to do some serious moistur transfer and will also remain reasonably warm on the inside. I usually look for full or half-zip tops with a soft fleece-like lining.
So the new long-sleeved Mizuno Performance shirt isn't what I'd normally go for. However I liked the look of the crew top - a nice bright blue colour with narrow vertical white flashings; it had a flattering slim fit. The cut was impressive - the seams were sturdy but unobtrustive - and the detailing was excellent - quality trims at the waist and cuffs. It felt comfortable too - the fabric was soft and comfortable next to the body. Overall a well-made garment.
How did it perform? I liked wearing the Mizuno Performance shirt; it was lightweight, had excellent wicking qualities and, worn with gloves, kept me reasonably warm on a cold March day. As the weather improves the Performance will be a good top through spring and again in autumn. A good quality top and value at £28.