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Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 Review

For the runner looking to pound out the miles with a bit of support and cushion, there’s nothing better.
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $130 List | $99.93 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Like running on clouds, excellent stability, superior comfort
Cons:  On the heavy side, slightly warm
Manufacturer:   Brooks
By Ryan Baham ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 30, 2019
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 17
  • Responsiveness - 25% 8
  • Landing comfort - 25% 8
  • Weight - 20% 6
  • Durability - 10% 6
  • Upper comfort - 10% 9
  • Breathability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

Once again, Brooks has created another irresistible shoe that tops our charts: the Adrenaline GTS 19. Its use of a silky smooth sockliner goes a long way to ensuring it produces zero chafe, no matter the mileage, but it's the pillowy collar and forgiving upper that really ties it together. Pair that with a snappy midsole and relatively cushy heel, and you get an excellent running shoe unmatched in both upper and landing comfort that just happens to be one of the most responsive, stable shoes on the market right now. If you're into that kind of thing, read on and see how it stacks up against the other pretenders.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $99.93 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$119.94 at Amazon$149.85 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$89.95 at Amazon$105.00 at Backcountry
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Like running on clouds, excellent stability, superior comfortFlashy, fast, extra comfortable upper and landingStable, super comfortable upper, breathable, stylishAffordable racing flats, more comfortable updated design, lightLightweight, cushioned forefoot, supportive, responsive, really comfortable stability model
Cons On the heavy side, slightly warmOn the heavier side, can feel too stiff, premium priceClunky, may wear down quickly, priceyLimited durability, less attractive, less responsiveSlightly pricey, bulky, glue may fail prematurely, limited arch support, may feel stiff to some runners
Bottom Line For the runner looking to pound out the miles with a bit of support and cushion, there’s nothing better.It doesn’t get much better than these plush speedsters.Best choice for a comfortable, stable distance shoe.Fast racing flats that will get you across the line in comfort.High cushion, low weight, excellent support, and great responsiveness makes this one of the best stability models out there.
Rating Categories Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14 Brooks Glycerin 17 Brooks PureFlow 7 HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 3
Responsiveness (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
9
Landing Comfort (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
Weight (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
Durability (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
Upper Comfort (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
Breathability (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
7
Specs Brooks Adrenaline... Nike Air Zoom... Brooks Glycerin 17 Brooks PureFlow 7 HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 3
Weight (oz per pair for size 11) 24.8 oz 22.3 oz 23.2 oz 20.8 oz 21.2 oz
Toe to Heel Drop 12 mm 10 mm 10 mm 4 mm 5 mm
Width Options Regular, Narrow, Wide, Extra Wide Regular, Wide, Extra Wide Regular, Wide Regular Regular
Style (Traditional, Minimalist, etc.) Traditional Traditional Neutral Neutral Stability/Maximal
Sizes Available 7 - 15 6 - 15 7 - 15 7 - 14 7 - 15
Upper Material Synthetic mesh Mesh Synethetic Stretch weave 4-way stretch mesh/polyurethane
Midsole Material BioMoGo DNA, DNA LOFT Nike React DNA Loft BioMoGo DNA EVA
Sole Rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber Blown carbon EVA/rubber

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.

Performance Comparison


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.

Responsiveness


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 the mega plush Brooks Glycerin 17, our Top Pick for Comfort. 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.

You really notice responsiveness when you're out in the middle of nowhere  looking to get back. The Adrenaline GTS 19s are there for you.
You really notice responsiveness when you're out in the middle of nowhere, looking to get back. The Adrenaline GTS 19s are there for you.

Landing Comfort


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.

The Adrenaline GTS 19 uses its thick stack of BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft to dampen the road and terrain.
The Adrenaline GTS 19 uses its thick stack of BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft to dampen the road and terrain.

Weight


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.

24.8 ounces per pair of men's 11 makes this one of the heavier models  but check out all that padding.
24.8 ounces per pair of men's 11 makes this one of the heavier models, but check out all that padding.

Durability


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.

Brooks has decent coverage  but they might consider reinforcing the outsole a bit more.
Brooks has decent coverage, but they might consider reinforcing the outsole a bit more.

Upper Comfort


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.

Breathability


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!

The mesh over the toes let in a good deal of air  but the heel tends to heat up a bit more.
The mesh over the toes let in a good deal of air, but the heel tends to heat up a bit more.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

The stable Adrenaline GTS is also a great descender and it's not too bad out in the desert heat despite all the padding.
The stable Adrenaline GTS is also a great descender and it's not too bad out in the desert heat despite all the padding.


Ryan Baham