Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 - Women's Review
Cons: Stiff, heavy
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Arcuri
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More