Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Introduction
The Brooks Adrenaline is one the most well known stability trainers and for good reason. They maintain that with the 23rd edition.
The Adrenaline was one of the first stability trainers to take out the medial post and install GuideRails in their 19th edition.
Since then they have continued to make small changes every year with this edition continuing the trend.
The Adrenaline continues to be Brooks’ flagship stability offering. It is a moderate stability trainer.
The other trainers bookend the Adrenaline are the Launch GTS and the Glycerin GTS.
They retail for 140 dollars and compete with the ASICS GT 2000, Saucony Guide, and Hoka Arahi.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 First Impressions
Brooks offers 7 colorways of the Adrenaline 23, so everyone can find one they like.
Upon opening mine I was drawn to the stylish look of them. They were a unique combination of shades of greens. The overall design looks strikingly similar to last year’s, but there are more than just similar looks between this edition and last one.
Slipping them on for the first time I was taken back to last year, when I tried on the 22s for the first time. I experienced a firm/responsive feel, along with comfort. In fact, I put on a 22 on one foot and 23 on the other. I almost couldn’t tell the difference.
A 4.5 mile run was their maiden voyage. The drop caught me off guard, at 12 mm it is one the steepest ones out there. It was not something my feet were ready for. Comfort and stability were present from the first step to the last. A slight bounce was also felt throughout the run.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Upper
Like the midsole, The Brooks Adrenaline has undergone some changes to its upper. There is a new engineered 3d fit print mesh used for the upper.
This means there are no overlays, meaning there are no points of irritation. When this material is compared to the mesh of the 22s there is a noticeable difference.
The new mesh seems simpler yet just as strong as the previous mesh. It doesn’t sacrifice durability or flexibility. It provides a medium amount of structure to the trainer and aids in the overall stability of the shoe.
The lacing system is simple and effective. It helps lock the foot in place. There is a medium amount of cushioning used for the tongue and heel portion, which was an ideal amount for this trainer.
The fit was like a hug from heel to toe. No areas of tightness were felt.
The upper added to the comfort and stability of the trainer but holding your foot in place along with ideal amount of cushioning throughout the upper. The small changes were noticeable and effective in the upper.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Sole Unit
Let’s start from the ground up. Blown rubber covers the outsole. This rubber is durable and provides traction in all conditions. They have made small changes to the rubber pattern along with the flex grooves. This increases the flexibility of the rubber and traction while running.
DNA Loft v2 makes its first appearance in the Brooks Adrenaline. Overall, it is a touch softer than the previous midsole compound. Along with being softer it is also lighter. This makes for a responsive ride with the same bounce. Slightly more than previous editions.
The GuideRails stability system was introduced in the 19th edition. Since then they have made a small tweak here and there but overall kept it the same. It is an adaptive stability system, engaging only when you need it. It is effective in providing that stability, balancing the foot and ankle as you land each time. Truly acting as bumpers for your feet. Brooks was one of the first brands to embrace this dynamic approach and still one of the best at it.
There is a 12 mm drop in the Adrenaline. This can be an adjustment for some, like myself, who came from running in lower drop trainers. Some would say the benefit of this size drop is the forward momentum it gives you.
I noticed the drop on most of my runs and didn’t experience that momentum. I would love to see them try an 8 mm drop.
All of these familiar aspects with a few new tweaks come together to make a versatile midsole equipped to tackle any type of run.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Conclusions
I read a quote the other day which fits how I feel about the Adrenaline 23. It said “Average, consistent effort beats amazing inconsistent effort.” The Adrenaline won’t blow you away with a complete redesign. Instead, they make small tweaks to a proven build every year resulting in one of the most consistent rides out there.
The midsole features an updated foam compound, DNA Loft v2. It is softer than previous foam giving the ride more bounce. This foam cuts down the break in time I have experienced in previous Brooks trainers. The adaptive GuideRail system is reliable as ever, engaging only when you need it. One drawback for me was the 12 mm drop. There is an adjustment period because of this. I would love to see it with a drop between 6 to 8 mm.
The new engineered 3d fit print mesh is an improvement to the upper of the Adrenaline 23. It is a simpler material but just as strong. It provides structure that holds your feet in place adding to the stability of the trainer. It is also quite flexible and durable as well.
The amount of cushioning is ideal along with the lacing system. The upper is simple but effective in providing a stable and comfortable ride.
Last year the Adrenaline sat atop my list of trainers I reviewed. I said “Sure you could find more envelope pushing stability trainers out there but I doubt you will find one that consistently performs as effortlessly as the Brooks Adrenaline.”
This is especially applicable this year as other brands are doing complete overhauls on storied stability trainers.
Brooks focuses on small changes to improve one of the best stability trainers.