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Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 - Women's Review

Yet another comfortable pair of Brooks constructed to suite the needs of beginning and experienced runners alike
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Price:  $130 List | $90.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Responsive, durable, comfortable
Cons:  Stiff, heavy
Manufacturer:   Brooks
By Ally Meller ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 22, 2020
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 15
  • Responsiveness - 25% 8
  • Landing Comfort - 25% 8
  • Weight - 20% 5
  • Durability - 10% 9
  • Upper Comfort - 10% 8
  • Breathability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 is turning 20 and is arguably the most popular running shoe in existence. Brooks delivers high-quality kicks time and time again, never wavering with their satisfying consumer upgrades. The updated Adrenaline offers a supportive ride with new, patented GuideRails and the softness that Brooks wearers know and love. Beginners, as well as experienced runners, will enjoy wearing such a supportive and classic 12 mm drop pair of shoes. The GuideRails provide a slightly narrow midfoot, but these shoes are offered in a variety of width options to satisfy all shapes and sizes.

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Our Analysis and Test Results

The twentieth version of this shoe was put forth with GuideRails, a new structural system that runs bilaterally through the midfoot. They also offer plenty of impact-absorbing cushion and softness in all of the right places. The midsole is made up of DNA LOFT and BioMoGo DNA, two of Brooks' highest performing materials.

Performance Comparison


Jumping for joy  the Adrenaline just gives us so much... adrenaline!
Jumping for joy, the Adrenaline just gives us so much... adrenaline!

Responsiveness


The Adrenaline scores highly here, and we are happy we get to honor another pair of shoes for being comfortable and responsive. This shoe is one of our favorites for speedy splits on pavement. Its energy return is exceptional, especially considering its weight. The tough rubber and soft cushion heel stack help to propel legs forward mile after mile.

We could bound down the beach every day in these responsive and supportive shoes.
We could bound down the beach every day in these responsive and supportive shoes.

Landing Comfort


Yet again, Brooks comes in clutch with the landing comfort. They earn a well-deserved high score here as well. The cushion is strategically placed and understated — they are built as a traditional runner with a 12 mm offset and classic shape. Walkers and runners alike will enjoy the streamlined and timeless aesthetic and feel of this foot snuggling masterpiece.

Look at all of that plush luxury.
Look at all of that plush luxury.

Weight


We aren't disappointed, just apathetic! This pair of shoes weighs what we'd expect a pair of runners to weigh, earning them their ONLY average score (every other metric is way above average). The rubber sole is on the heavier side, but it balances well with the GuideRail structure and engineered mesh. The Adrenaline weighs in at slightly over 8 ounces per shoe (women's size 7), and that is pretty standard. But hey, in this case, we must quote the old hillbilly adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Why should Brooks lighten the load of thee kicks when so many runners buy them year after year? The Adrenaline offers everything we want in a running shoe regardless of its weight.

The GuideRails add weight and structure which is necessary for some runners.
The GuideRails add weight and structure which is necessary for some runners.

Durability


It's no secret that Brooks manufactures brilliantly durable running shoes, and the Adrenaline holds up to that rumor with impeccable accuracy. In our testing history, we've found that shoes start to decompose through the sole and through the outer, upper mesh due to high mileage. We are happy to report that none of the Brooks shoes in our collection, most notably this one, started to break down during our testing period.

These durable lugs hold up mile after mile.
These durable lugs hold up mile after mile.

Upper Comfort


And, drum roll, please… another high score for the GTS 20. Brooks constructs the best shoelaces, first of all. They don't slip out or loosen mid-run, yet they maintain silky softness no matter how much gunk they get coated in. That said, when the laces wear through the extra eyelet, the latticework seems to overwhelm the small tongue flap. We love the thoughtful amount of tongue cushion, but its shallowness is a bit underdeveloped

The GuideRails on this shoe are so supportive yet covered with just the right amount of cushion to keep the anatomical foot structure happy. If you squeeze the shoe body together in your hand, you'll think, "No way this will be comfortable," but somehow, it is. This generous and thoughtful composition is what brings us back to Brooks run after run.

Brooks makes the most functional shoelaces. Lucky for us the updated Adrenaline is no exception  every inch is silky smooth and doesn't loosen even on the toughest hills.
Brooks makes the most functional shoelaces. Lucky for us the updated Adrenaline is no exception, every inch is silky smooth and doesn't loosen even on the toughest hills.

Breathability


This shoe might be the most supportive and breathable on the market. We often find that the uppers of super breathable shoes are constructed entirely of mesh and lack support. Brooks strikes the perfect balance on this shoe with engineered mesh but a lightweight structural component through the midfoot. If you're looking for a breathable pair of runners that offer good airflow, these will be your go-to.

Breathable and speedy  the Adrenaline takes beach runs to a whole new level.
Breathable and speedy, the Adrenaline takes beach runs to a whole new level.

Value


The money spent for the GTS 20 will deliver comfort over many miles, no doubt about it. If you are a runner looking for a supportive, long-distance best friend, look no more — we think these are worth every penny.

100% worth every penny.
100% worth every penny.

Conclusion


The Adrenaline GTS 20 is a coveted fan favorite for a reason. They perform well regardless of the terrain, with lugs that offer enough traction for mellow, cross-country trails, and a structure that helps correct posture throughout even the most fatiguing training sessions. Anyone looking for a supportive and breathable shoe will love the feeling of these. They run slightly narrow, but Brooks offers a wide and extra-wide version to accommodate all shapes and sizes. It doesn't matter if you're just getting into running or about to run your hundredth marathon, this shoe can supply you with the tools you need to meet your goals. Runners looking to run long distances in a supportive and traditional shoe will love running in these — they will very likely earn a place in your heart and in your closet just like they did for us.

Ally Meller