Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 Review
Most runners relish in a comfortable, smooth-riding running shoe. This includes runners who appreciate or need a bit of added stability in every stride.
With the new Adrenaline GTS 21, Brooks has continued to evolve its best-selling stability trainer. It has a new smoother, softer ride and more adaptable support.
Brooks has slightly tweaked its GuideRails stabilizing technology to provide holistic support for a runner’s entire kinematic chain from the feet to the hips.
A new uniquely airy and supportive upper rounds out an exceptional update. The midsole has been updated with a longer segment of soft, plush DNA Loft foam. This combines with the more compliant Bio Mogo DNA for an optimal blend of cushion and support.
Brooks continues to evolve its GuideRails support system aimed at keeping the knee aligned. It does this with medial and lateral bumpers that nudge a runner’s foot back to the center if it veers too far to one side. It can provide maximum stability or just a hint of stability depending on your gait pattern. In other words, the support is there when you need it and not when you don’t.
The outsole retains the segmented crash pad design that provides sufficient traction, optimally targeted cushioning and improved flexibility.
The Adrenaline GTS 21 is slightly lighter than last year’s edition and considerably lighter than the version from two years ago.
The weight reductions have been made possible from the new engineered mesh uppers that lack any unnecessary decorative elements. The new edition of the Adrenaline GTS is virtually as light as the Brooks Glyercin premium cushioned neutral shoe.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
Brooks has improved the fit, feel and ride of this popular shoe by making it slightly softer but more precisely stable.
The new upper gives the Adrenaline GTS 21 a more comprehensive and accommodating fit. It comes complete with a high arch, cushy tongue, padded heel collar, premium footbed, snug heel and wide toe box.
It is as comfortable as any shoe in the Brooks line, but it’s also as secure as any stability model on the market.
The beauty of this shoe is that that stability is delivered subtly and almost imperceptibly. It offers you just the amount of support you need when you need it. Otherwise, it feels and performs like a cushy neutral shoe, with a soft, accommodating sensation when your foot hits the ground and a smooth, rolling sensation to the toe-off phase.
The ride is mildly energetic, but not at all bouncy or lively like some other daily trainers.
WHO IT'S BEST FOR
Runners who want, need or appreciate stability-enhancing support in every stride will really enjoy the Adrenaline GTS 21. It's a durable and reliable everyday training shoe.
The Adreanline GTS 21 a great long run shoe and recovery shoe. It can be sufficient for tempo runs in a pinch, even though speed isn’t its forte.
It might not have the range of a lot of its contemporaries, but for a stability shoe it’s a gem.
If you have just one horse in your stable, the Adrenaline GTS 21 can be a good choice to be the only pair of shoes in your quiver.
This could be a good choice for a half-marathon or a marathon shoe for a committed mid-pack runner. It's not ideal for running shorter and faster workouts and races.
PROS: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
The Adrenaline GTS 21 is built on a midsole platform made from DNA Loft foam and BioMogo DNA. DNA Loft is a lightweight blend of EVA foam, rubber and air that provides a good balance of durability, smoothness and comfort in the heel and along the lateral edge to the forefoot. BioMogo DNA is a cushioning foam that includes a nontoxic natural additive encourages anaerobic microbes to munch away 50 times faster once it hits an active, enclosed landfill.
The new Engineered Air Mesh upper is soft, pliable and comfortable, but it offers specific support where your foot needs it most. It hugs the foot from the top, side and front and keeps it securely attached to the footbed.
We love this shoe because it feels like a comfy, neutral-oriented cruiser, but it provides understated support and stabilizes every stride without any extra bulk or awkwardness of traditional stability shoes.
CONS: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
While this shoe is lighter, smoother and more flexible than previous editions, the Adrenaline GTS doesn’t have the liveliness to handle faster track and fartlek workouts as well as some performance-oriented stability models.
SHOP ADRENALINE GTS 21
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.
As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”
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