Article by Allison Valliere
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 ($140)
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 is Brooks’ long running reliable stability trainer (in its 23nd iteration). It features stability enhancing Guide Rails, maximum cushion, comfort, padding and support. With 36 mm of cushion at the heel and 24 mm at the forefoot, the 12 mm drop is substantial, but comfortable. The Adrenaline is best suited for those looking for added support for daily runs, walking or just long days on your feet.
New in the Adrenaline 23 is DNA Loft v2 foam that is not only softer, but a little bit lighter and more lively. Brooks has also updated the outsole just slightly with a few nearly imperceptible changes, adding some more flex grooves and a slight change to the rubber pattern.
Being a nurse and spending 8-10 hours on my feet each work day is what initially drew me to the Adrenaline when I first tried the Adrenaline 22 as the Danskos I have been wearing for years were taking their toll on my feet and especially my heels (I think I had a pesky case of Plantar Fasciitis). Wearing the Adrenaline 22 at work helped to relieve my PF and the 23 is now performing that task equally well.
Pros: Cushion, comfort, stability, support for long days on your feet, low weight for a stability trainer (even lighter than last year)..
Weight – Official: 9.1 oz/258g US Women’s Size 8
Sample: 9.25 oz/261g US Women’s Size 9 (for comparison, the Adrenaline 22 is 9.6 oz/271g US Women’s Size 9)
Stack height: 36mm heel/24mm forefoot (12mm drop)
Available now: $140
First Impressions, Fit and Upper
The upper of the Adrenaline 23 features a new engineered mesh design with very minor tweaks to the already flexible, breathable and comfortable nature of the shoe.
The fit is now just ever so slightly more accommodating, with ample room for my foot and is overall true to size. I find the upper to be secure for walking, road running and very non technical trail running, but most importantly for me is that it is very comfortable for long days on my feet with room for foot swell and is cool and airy.
Like the previous version, the heel counter is sturdy.
It has an extreme level of padding, solid lockdown with no heel lift and has plenty of structure to enhance support and stability.
The gusseted tongue is thick and comfortable, providing nice protection from the laces.
Lacing is easy and comfortable with proper fit and security on the first try.
The biggest change to the 23 is the upgrade from DNA Loft to DNA Loft v2, a newer compound that is softer than the midsole used in the 22. It is more lively, lighter underfoot, and delivers an overall better experience.
While not a fast shoe, I find the 23 to be lively enough for moderate paces and very soft and forgiving for either pounding pavement, or standing on hard floors all day.
Like the previous versions, the 23 has the same supportive GuideRails that run along either side of the shoe to provide top notch lateral support and stability with the medial rail somewhat firmer than the lateral for more pronation support there.
The GuideRails and support elements help to keep your stride in line thus supporting your feet, knees and hips. This is especially helpful when you are tired and your form gets sloppy. For long days on my feet at work, daily training or long walks, the midsole is supportively firm and comfortable.
The outsole is very similar to the previous version’s, with very minor tweaks to the flex grooves and the rubber pattern. As was the case before, the blown rubber outsole is mostly full coverage, with just a bit of DNA foam at the lateral midfoot and in a cavity at the heel.
The outsole integrates well with the shoe and feels soft and flexible, with nice flex grooves to promote a smooth transition. Durability has been amazing on the 22 and thus far is proving to be the same for the 23.
Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations
The ride of the Adrenaline 23 is smooth, supportive, stable and predictable, with the Guide Rails providing a nice structured and stable feel without feeling heavy, stiff or clunky. While not particularly responsive or speedy, they do not feel slow or sluggish either.
The new Loft v2 midsole is a big improvement over the previous version, enhancing the cushion, comfort and overall enjoyable nature of the shoe.
I would recommend the Adrenaline to anyone looking for a long distance stability trainer or even for those who might not even need stability, but just want a nice, well cushioned, easy going, predictable comfortable trainer. Of course if you are on your feet all day as I am as a nurse, then these are a sure bet as well.
Ride: 9.7 – performs exactly as intended on the run and on my feet all day
Fit: 10 – Perfect for my narrow, low volume foot, with just enough room for all day comfort
Value: 10 – Anything that relieves my heel pain is a value, quality is excellent and they should last a long time
Looks: 9.5 – The Adrenaline GTS 23 is stylish and comes in a wide range of colors
Index to all RTR reviews: HERE
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 (RTR Review)
Compared throughout, but the 23 with the Loft DNA v2 has a softer, more lively feel and is lighter, but still plenty supportive for long days. Fit is just slightly more accommodating in the 23, but is a negligible difference.
Left: Adrenaline 22 Right: Adrenaline 23
Saucony Guide 16 (RTR Review)
Both are very comfortable, supportive and close in stats, but I find the Adrenaline to be a little more roomy in the forefoot and a touch more supportive. It is a flip of the coin really.
Brooks Ghost 15: (RTR Review)
The Ghost is lighter and now the Adrenaline has the same Loft DNA v2, has similar fit, but is not quite as supportive for long days on your feet. The two shoes are very similar if not the same now, with the only difference being the Guide Rails in the Adrenaline.
Saucony Echelon 9: (RTR Review)
The Echelon is heavier and not nearly as supportive or comfortable as the Adrenaline. The Echelon has a really flat feel to it at the arch. I think (one needs to add insoles or orthotics (if required to really appreciate this shoe. I tried the Echelon at work, but it did not work for me as the Adrenaline does. The Adrenaline also runs much better as it is lighter, more responsive and more supportive.
Saucony Tempus: (RTR Review) The Tempus is also a stability shoe, but is a light stability shoe with not as much guidance. The Tempus is lighter, more responsive and much more fun to run in, though the Adrenaline is more supportive, stable and better for long days on your feet.
Allison Valliere is a 5th generation Coloradan who is passionate about the outdoors and has been hiking, backpacking, skiing, snowshoeing and running in the mountains since she was young. She has completed all but 5 of the Colorado 14ers (a dozen or so in winter), has many hundreds of year round ascents of 14ers, 13ers and other peaks in Colorado and the West. Allison has also traveled the world and trekked to over 18,000 feet in the Himalayas, to high altitudes in Ecuador and has worked for the National Park Service mapping plants in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California . Her almost daily routine involves runs/power hikes in the foothills above Boulder, or 4-5 mile flatter runs at 8-10 minute mile pace if schedule necessitates. But what really keeps her on her toes is working as a nurse and taking care of her 12 year old twin daughters who are also growing to share her love for the outdoors.
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 is available now at our partners
Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors’.
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