Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 Review
Cons: On the heavy side, slightly warm
Our Analysis and Test Results
In reviewing the Adrenaline GTS 19s, we put in hours of research and even more hours of running, and there was never a moment of discomfort, which is perhaps the strongest point in favor of them. It's not that you can't still lay down the pace in them, but some models are a bit stiffer and easier to do tempo runs in. For comfort, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better model. It's not all weight and comfort though. We go into a lot more detail about our measures and findings in the rest of the review below.
We worked hard both to pin down individual performance and to step back and get some context for how the Adrenaline GTS 19 fares in the wider field of running shoes. Keep reading to see how they stack up across our performance measures.
If you are looking for a stability shoe, but don't want to dump the comfort, you'll want to look at the Adrenaline GTS 19 our Top Pick for Stability winner. Speaking of dump, the midsole is made up of both DNA LOFT and BioMoGo DNA, the latter of which breaks down in landfills up to 20 times faster than EVA foam, which could take a millennium to break down. So that's pretty cool.
It's a little heavier than some of the other running shoes, but it has comparable padding and underfoot cushioning to some of the mega-plush Brooks models. The difference is that it has more features to support you as you run, including a larger heel counter, the GuideRails Holistic Support System, and an Asymmetrical 3D Fit Print saddle. Its major difference in responsiveness comes from the stiffer BioMoGo DNA component of its midsole. It's slightly more firm than the Glycerin's wholly DNA LOFT midsole, so you have a little more control than in the plush model.
Much like responsiveness, a good deal of the Adrenaline's comfort can be attributed to its mixed BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT midsole. The BioMoGo portion adds a little more structure and response while the LOFT portion is the super compressive, cushy portion that softens each step. The advantage this has is that it doesn't eat up your step or sap away energy, so you don't feel like you're fighting or being slowed down by cushiness, even though it's one of the thickest heels out there.
The other two areas that contribute a lot here are the Segmented Crash Pad and the Asymmetrical 3D Fit Print saddle. Both help guide the foot into a natural position without forcing or allowing the shoe to come loose or flail about, which can sometimes happen with heavier stability models.
We understand not every foot is the same and folks might not have the same view or experience as we did with these shoes, but you've really reached the pinnacle of landing comfort with the Adrenaline GTS 19. If it's just too luxurious for you, there are a handful of other models with solid performance in this measure.
These come in on the hefty side at 24.8 ounces for a pair of men's 11. Now before you throw your arms up because you only want the lightest gear, let's get some spin control. These are uber-comfort stability shoes, so they have heavy upper padding, thick midsole cushioning, and supper mesh and inner sock lining. You're getting a lot of performance with the extra ounces.
Yes, there are more comfortable models out there, but they tend to offer very little stability and cushioning compared to the robust Adrenaline GTS 19. Some don't even have heel counters. You need a supportive shoe, you'll probably end up with a heavier kick, so you might as well add in the upper padding and have a nice ride.
This tank of a shoe uses a lot of reinforcement to make sure it's stabilizing your gait, which means that it's heavier, but has a tougher job of reducing the variation in movement. All of that comfort and stability comes at the cost of lifespan. The mesh and stitching hold up pretty well, but the BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT wear down a bit faster than is ideal. Both the midsole and rubber outsole should last about two seasons of hard running. On the plus side, the BioMoGo DNA will break down in a landfill after about 20 years instead of the usual 1,000 years.
While these should last you a reasonable amount of time, depending on your mileage, there are a few other shoes that will likely last a bit longer. Still, they'll be nowhere near the comfort or stability level of the Adrenaline GTS, if those are what you're after.
This is a measure where Brooks almost always excels with most of its running shoe styles. If you can imagine a structured, plush pillow, you'll have an idea of what the Adrenaline is like. The collar, heel, and tongue are all layered in thick plush padding like a sheet cake. The padding is covered by a smooth sockliner that invites you in every time. Another thing we like about the design is its ergonomic shape to fit against the ankle and reduce rub. It's a nice touch that pays off on the longer runs.
You're going to be hard-pressed to find a more comfortable stability shoe than the Adrenaline. The only thing to consider here is the kind of comfort you want. These are heavily padded and might crowd you a bit or overwhelm you with the guiding features and extra structure. Some really comfortable models have a more natural, second-skin feel like the Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14, our Editors' Choice. It has very little in the way of support and even less in padding, but it's still a very comfortable model.
The light mesh over the toes and midfoot are fairly breathable, but the large mass of padding toward the back and around the collar and tongue obviously limits the shoe's breathability. As great as the sockliner is, it has its drawbacks in the form of moisture and heat retention. The large internal heel counter can also hold some moisture on particularly hot days.
As we've said elsewhere, if you need stability and max comfort, go with the warmer pillowy shoe. Most comfort and stability shoes are going to have more cushioning, and that's going to hold onto heat. If you're set on the style, just try to wear thinner socks and run in the cooler parts of the day. Then again, if you're running in cool or chilly weather, you'll probably appreciate the added insulation!
If serious comfort and lots of stability are what you're after, you'll find your money well spent. A super soft sockliner and ample padding in the upper and midsole make this model one of the most comfortable available.
After many miles of all sorts of terrain and pursuits (short distance, long-distance, trots, pace work, sprints, hill repeats, etc.), we found that the Adrenaline GTS 19 had the versatility, responsiveness, and comfort to top most of our measures, but ultimately did not come away with the Editors' Choice Award simply because it was a little too cushy to be as fast as we'd have liked. Superb design features like the GuideRails support system and supple attributes like the DNA LOFT crash pad push its performance up across our measures and translate into hard-to-beat performance out on the road. Not only is it one of the most stable shoes out there, but it's also blessed with the Brooks complement of padded features, like the plush collar padding and marshmallowy heel, to limit the percussion and friction of landing, transitioning, and toeing off. It's a sweet shoe that earns top marks because it works for it and it'll work for you.
— Ryan Baham
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