Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 Review

After a big change in the Adrenaline GTS 19, the 20 features a pretty similar look, feel, and fit.

The new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20! After one of the biggest changes in the shoe’s history, the new Adrenaline GTS 20 maintains Brooks’ new Guide Rails system.  While Brooks has made some changes to the construction and upper, the 20 is much more of a minor update. How does the new Adrenaline GTS 20 fit, feel, and function? Let’s find out!

Brooks 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 20 maintains that Guide Rails system and while Brooks as changed the way the guide rails are manufactured and installed in the shoe, you can’t tell a big difference on-foot.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 vs 20:

  • Brooks has kept the midsole and outsole from the 19, so the 20 feels pretty much identical to the 19
  • 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
  • While the upper is little more minimal with fewer overlays, the interior of the 20 feels slightly softer/more luxurious
  • Brooks claims to have shaved a little weight off, and while the scale confirms that, you don’t really feel a significant difference on-foot
  • The new Adrenaline GTS 20 might be a little wider, but its fit is very similar to the 19

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The new Adrenaline GTS 20 remains a pretty standard fit, with the flexible mesh upper providing a decent amount of room for wider feet. It seems comparable to the previous Adrenalines in the heel. The toebox is very accommodating overall, having a very generous volume (especially in terms of depth).  The interior is slightly more luxurious and padded feeling than the 19 and might feel a little smaller, the material is flexible and accommodating enough that it shouldn’t be an issue. 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 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 at Phidippides!!!) or get an over-the-counter insole.


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. Using a very similar midsole, sock liner, and outsole to the Ghost allows the Adrenaline GTS 20 to feel very similar to the Ghost 12. 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 20 is soft but playful. As a soft(ish) stability shoe, the Adrenaline continues to provide no-frills support and cushion in a pretty lightweight package.


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). In working extensively with the Adrenaline 19, we have had very few issues with the level of support that Guide Rails are providing.

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Brooks Adrenaline vs Ghost

The Adrenaline vs Ghost comparison is much more apt with last year’s 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 theoretically allows 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, with the Ghost being a little softer. While the Ghost is a much lighter shoe on the scale, that difference is barely perceptible on-foot.

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, and is much plusher inside. 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 are pretty comparable in terms of feel. With the big change in the 2000 v8, it is now about as soft as the Adrenaline. The Adrenaline has a softer feel inside the shoe, with a much more luxurious step-in feel. 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 and lower overall. Each runner might have their own opinions on which feel calls to them. The GT-2000 is a little 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. Guidance is pretty similar between the two, providing a moderate level of support.

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 is 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 the Guide Rails of the Adrenaline have proven to provide a similar amount of stability.

Brooks Adrenaline vs Nike Air Zoom Structure

The 20th 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. They will provide a very similar amount of support overall, and both are a good choice for runners who need/desire a higher level of guidance without sacrificing flexibility and cushion.