Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 Review

A “Ghost with a post”? Introducing the new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19.

The new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19! With one of the biggest changes in the shoe’s history, the new Adrenaline GTS 19 ditches the traditional post for Brooks’ new Guide Rails system.  What does this big update do for Brooks’ best selling stability model? Let’s find out!

Brooks has completely redesigned the Adrenaline for the 19th version, updating the entire concept of the shoe to get away from post-provided stability and move to a Guide Rails system that provides stability for those who need it while not affecting those who don’t. The Adrenaline GTS 19 is more than ever a “Ghost with a post,”  and with the popularity of their recent Ghosts, that’s a good thing.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 vs 18:

  • Brooks has updated the midsole material to their new DNA Loft foam, which is  a little softer and more flexible than their old DNA foam
  • The more flexible foam gives you a little better transition and you feel a little lower to the ground, but at times can feel like a little less shoe when compared to the 18
  • The upper is little more streamlined and minimal than the outgoing GTS 18, so it can feel slightly less luxurious
  • Stability – we’ll see! Brooks has completely redesigned the stability system in the Adrenaline GTS 19, and their previous attempt at guide rails was somewhat underwhelming
  • The new Adrenaline GTS 19 is a little narrower, but has a much deeper toebox. It is also about a half-size longer than the 18.

Fit

The new Adrenaline GTS 19 remains a pretty standard fit, with the more flexible mesh upper possibly providing a little more room for wider feet. It seems comparable to the previous Adrenaline in the heel, but is maybe a little more tapered in the forefoot. The toebox is very accommodating overall, having a very generous volume (especially in terms of depth).  While the toe box might be a little more tapered, the mesh upper with no significant overlays gives you a significant about of flexibility. Length is on the long side, so those who are somewhat between sizes should probably use the smaller size. One notable thing that you might notice about the fit of the new Adrenaline is that it doesn’t have much of a arch – if you typically like to have your arch engaged while running/walking you might want to request one of our custom orthotic felt arch supports (free with a purchase!!!) or get an over-the-counter insole.

Feel

Brooks has recognized that the feel of the past few versions of Ghosts have really resonated with a lot of runners. The recent dominance of the Ghost in specialty running can’t be understated. With the redesign of the Adrenaline, the 19 does a remarkable job of mimicking the Ghost 11. Despite weighing considerably more than the Ghost, on-foot you can’t really tell that the Ghosts are considerably lighter.  The balance that Brooks has found between cushion, flexibility, and responsiveness with the Ghost is now found in the Adrenaline. The overall feel of the Adrenaline GTS 19 is soft but playful. You don’t feel the increase in weight from the old GTS 18 and the guide rails are unobtrusive enough that that you don’t notice the difference from either the Adrenaline 18 or the Ghost.

 Function

While you don’t feel anything from the Guide Rails in terms of feel, that doesn’t mean that they’re not working! Brooks has spent a long time and a lot of money developing the Guide Rails concept, which originally debuted in the original Brooks Transcend back in 2013. The Transcend has been using them throughout its lifespan, but we have never found the proper niche for that shoe. Brooks has developed Guide Rails to address not just pronation but overall alignment of a runner’s body including knees, ankles, hips, etc. The issue with Brooks’ high tech solution is that right now there’s not much anyone can do to predict whether it’s working or not. The technology is designed to help whether you need it or not, so in theory there’s no risk to using Guide Rails as a neutral runner (except a significant weight penalty). Overall, we’ll see whether Brooks latest change to the Adrenaline GTS series works better than the last big swing they took (with the Adrenaline GTS 14) and we hope that it does.

Comparisons:

Brooks Adrenaline vs Ghost

The Adrenaline vs Ghost comparison is much more apt with the dramatic overhaul of the Adrenaline. Traditionally, the Adrenaline has been designed as Brooks’ standard-weight stability shoe while the Ghost is their neutral alternative. The “guide rail” technology will theoretically allow a wider range of runners to use the Adrenaline, so more runners might cross-shop these two in their current versions. In terms of fit and feel, the two are now virtually identical. While the Ghost is a much lighter shoe on the scale, that difference is barely perceptible on-foot. Whether the transition to Guide Rails compromises

Brooks Adrenaline vs Glycerin

Like the comparison to the Ghost, the switch to Guide Rails technology in the Adrenaline makes this comparison a little more apt as theoretically the Adrenaline can now be used by a wider range of runners. That being said, however, the shoes have different design goals – with the Adrenaline focused on providing stability for runners who need it while the Glycerin is designed as Brooks’ max-cushioned neutral shoe. In terms of feel, the Glycerin is much softer than the Adrenaline. It’s also a little higher overall. You get much more toebox room in the new Adrenaline, both depth and width, and the Adrenaline is probably about a half size larger than the Glycerin overall.

Brooks Adrenaline vs ASICS GT-2000

The two titans of standard-weight stability shoes! In their current versions, the shoes have a very different feel. The Adrenaline has an overall softer feel, both in the upper and in terms of midsole/ride. It also feels more flexible and has a much more smooth transition than the 2000. The GT-2000 feels more compact, but doesn’t have the smooth transition that the Adrenaline has. The Adrenaline just feels a lot more flexible overall. Each runner might have their own opinions on which feel calls to them. The GT-2000 is much lighter than the Adrenaline, but thanks to the Adrenaline’s smooth transition it feels pretty much the same on-foot. The width of each shoe is about the same, but you might have a little more depth in the toebox of the 2000. The aspect of stability is somewhat of an open question, since the Adrenaline’s change to Guide Rail technology is still pretty open.

Brooks Adrenaline vs ASICS Kayano

Despite a slightly different design objective (with the Adrenaline trying to be more of a standard-cushion stability shoe while the Kayano is attempting to be much more luxurious and soft), the shoes have a similar feel. The Adrenaline might be a little softer, but it’s higher. The Kayano has a much bigger toebox, both in terms of width and height, and is a little wider overall. The weights of each shoes is almost identical and you can’t tell any difference when wearing the shoes. Stability on the Kayano is well established and we expect that the new Adrenaline will continue to provide a decent amount of guidance.

Brooks Adrenaline vs Nike Air Zoom Structure

The 19th version of the Adrenaline and the 22nd Structure. Both shoes have a proven pedigree, but they take a very different approach to stability in their current forms. The Structure has an overall softer feel, both in the upper and in terms of midsole/ride . It also hugs your foot both from the bottom and top, with the midsole feeling more like you sink in and the upper much tighter. The Adrenaline has more room in the toebox and is a little wider overall – with the Structure’s knit upper flexible but still much tighter than the Adrenaline. The Structure is much lighter than the Adrenaline, and because of the flexibility of the shoe it actually does feel lighter on your foot. Once again, the jury is still out on the stability of the Adrenaline. Historically they have been pretty comparable and we expect that to continue, but the Guide Rails technology is different and we aren’t able to assess the effectiveness visually in-store yet.

 

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 Review

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