Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14 Review Facts
Referred to as your “go to shoe,” (that’s literally what GTS stands for) Brooks continues doing what it does best by producing a stability trainer that is loaded with innovative technology. Since the last version, the GTS 13, the 14th edition has seen a few minor upgrades. But overall, the main concepts of the “go-to-shoe” remain intact.
With a medium height arch support, the GTS 14 is a good fit for runners with moderate to heavy overpronation. It addresses many of the imperfect running deficiencies in a runner’s stride through specific components such as TPU shanks located on the medial side that help to support and stabilize a runner’s foot. Every area of the shoe has been designed with the intent of maintaining as much uniformity as possible so that the end result is a shoe that keeps you fully supported and protected while delivering optimal levels of comfort.
The outsole is comprised of a mixture of rubber materials, including soft blown rubber which is naturally more gentle and is intended for added cushioning. Other forms, like carbon rubber, add protection and durability.
A notable feature on this shoe are the lugs located from the midfoot through the forefoot. The lugs help with protecting the sole unit and provide traction, especially over rougher terrain. Omega Flex Grooves run through the center of the shoe and provide more efficiency during heel to toe transitions. In addition, the grooves also add flexibility to the outsole.
This part of the shoe has remained virtually untouched since the last version of the GTS, and rightfully so. DNA technology is perhaps one of the most innovative technologies to come out of the engineering efforts put forth by the company. DNA is referred to as a unique technology that incorporates non-newtonian material which provides adaptive cushioning to a runner’s foot. Essentially, DNA works by responding to a runner’s specific characteristics like weight, stride, speed, and even the terrain. Cushioning is dependent upon the amount of pressure that is applied to the shoe, which will continuously change throughout a run.
The midsole also features Crash Pad technology which is a collection of shock absorbers located on the medial side. They work against sideways deviations that come as a result of overpronation, making transitional footwork more safe and efficient. The thermoplastic shanks also perform a similar function.
And known as an environmentally conscientious
brand, Brooks makes use of their renowned BioMoGo construction
which incorporates biodegradable material that the company claims is 50 times more biodegradable than standard EVA.
The upper has seen the most improvement since the prior versions. Air mesh material still blankets the top but the perforations have been enlarged to improve breathability. The overlays are constructed from non-synthetic material and Brooks utilizes their proprietary 3D Fit Print technology. 3D Fit Print uses screen print technology which results in a structured but flexible fit. On the interior, the fabric material consists of nylon and spandex, both of which wick moisture away and help with preventing friction and irritation.
Several parts of the shoe have been constructed with the idea of maintaining weight to a minimum. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to earn it the distinction of a lightweight shoe. The GTS 14 is fairly heavy at about 11.2 ounces for a standard men’s version. While it does offer a lot in terms of protection and technology, the shoe does feel large and bulky. Those of us who are not particularly fond of bulky running shoes might want to consider other lighter options
The updates to the upper have benefited the breathing abilities on the GTS 14. The larger perforations allow more air to infiltrate the inside. The mesh material also has the ability to wick off any moisture and dry off very fast. These characteristics, along with the shoe’s internal fabric materials that combat humidity, make for an effectively breathable shoe.
On top of its breathability, the GTS 14 also provides a great deal of comfort in terms of its fit. 3D Fit allows for a comfortable and structured measure that results in a shoe that cradles the entire foot without being too lose or too tight. 3D Fit print materials are lighter and more flexible than standard materials. Toward the midsole, DNA technology gives a runner the right amount of cushioning that’s based on individual dynamics. And finally, the internal components of the shoe allow for a comfortable interior with the right amount of padding and fabrics that feel smooth and comfortable against the skin — fabrics which also help to prevent skin irritation and other related issues
The GTS 14 incorporates a saddle construction which allows for a comfortable wrap around feel over the foot. Visually, you can tell that the shoe is loaded with features and it’s the main reason for its bulkiness. But judging from user reviews, it becomes clear that most individuals who purchase this shoe are not looking to make any fashion statements. This shoe doesn’t have the same aesthetic appeal of a Nike
or a New Balance
. The GTS 14 resembles a traditional shoe, but what it lacks in style, it more than makes up for it in terms of technological functionality.
There are no indicative issues about the GTS 14 underperforming in this area. The outsole is constructed from a mix of rubber components, some of which are intended to protect the shoe against normal wear and tear. The lugs help out with an additional dose of protection by raising the sole platform a few centimeters off the ground. Furthermore, the flex grooves on the outsole are designed to help reduce friction against the surface.
A lot of protective features are packed into the GTS 14 with one of the most obvious ones being the Crash Pad feature located on the lateral side. It resembles a guard rail which is actually a series of shock absorbers that aid with smoother heel to toe transitions. Crash Pad technology also helps to maintain alignment for the foot and prevent overpronation. In addition, TPU shanks located on the medial side provide stability and protect the foot from swaying too far outward. A runner can also expect to benefit greatly from the mesh material’s anti-moisture properties and the internal fabric lining that helps do the same.
Not only does DNA technology provide a customizable approach to cushioning, but by default, it also does the same with the amount of energy it returns. Therefore, depending on your stride, speed, and terrain, a DNA midsole will respond accordingly in terms of how much energy it absorbs and releases. Additionally, the use of BioMoGo materials in the midsole enhance the shoe’s responsiveness. According to Brooks, BioMoGo is known to provide more energy than standard EVA materials.
The GTS 14 is encased with a lot of supportive functionality through every angle. The Stable Pod Configuration ensures that the foot is supported from the bottom. At the top, the use of 3D Fit Print ensures that the foot is cradled comfortably and securely. In addition, the GTS 14’s saddle construction and overlay system add a structural framework for the foot. And finally, features like Crash Pad technology and TPU shanks help to keep the foot in proper alignment.
The GTS 14 is intended for road use and lots of it. But the outsole’s lugs also make them suitable for some light to moderate trail conditions
. Plenty of traction is generated and it’s certainly capable of handling some mildly uneven surfaces. Of course, the key word here is "mild," but generally speaking, the GTS 14’s construction is indicative of its effectiveness as a shoe for the open road.
The GTS 14 has three versions ahead
of it and this one has since been discontinued. The GTS 17
is the latest upgrade. But despite its discontinuation, price remains high, hovering well above $100. Also, its discontinuation means limited availability. So anyone still considering this shoe might want to look into other options or simply opt out for the latest version of the GTS.
When a shoe’s outsole combines a mix of rubber materials, as most do, parts of the shoe will incorporate thicker and sturdier components. These components, on top of adding durability, will also deliver traction. Soft blown rubber, being the lightest of this combination, aids with added cushioning but it does contain some gripping capabilities as well. On top of including a mix of rubber components, the GTS 14’s traction abilities get an edge through the outsole’s lugs and flex grooves which further elaborate its grip on the road.
Through the upgrades on the upper, this version of the GTS has seen an improvement with its flexibility. The meshing on the upper, along with the non-stitch overlay system and 3D Fit Print, make for a physically adaptive shoe. Furthermore, the grooves on the outsole provide flexibility through the entire bottom with the end result being a shoe that’s flexible from top to bottom
Categorized as a stability trainer
, the GTS 14 contains a medium arch support structure. The outsole pod unit provides support through the bottom and the TPU shanks provide support on the medial side. And with the shoe’s upper structure which keeps the foot supported from the top, the GTS 14 is the quintessential support and stability running shoe that makes it appropriate for the heavy overpronator.
The heel measures 35.5 mm and the forefoot measures 24.4 mm. The resulting drop offset measures 11.1 mm exactly. The heel area is considerably higher than the forefoot which gives us the high drop offset. This is not a particularly good thing for neutral runners
, or anyone for that matter. Higher drop offsets can encourage more heel striking which can lead to injury. Fortunately, the GTS 14 is heavy with protection so it should be enough to keep most runners safe by providing plenty of motion control. Nevertheless, a higher drop number will not work so well for runners who are accustomed to landing toward the front part of their foot.
Key Features of the Adrenaline GTS 14
Key Features of the Adrenaline GTS 14
• DNA Midsole provides adaptive cushioning and responsiveness
• Omega Flex Grooves for more efficient heel to toe transitions
• Stable Pod Configuration for stability
• Air mesh upper
• No-stich synthetic overlays
• Caterpillar Crash Pad technology for lateral support and protection
• Biodegradable midsole construction
• Diagonal Roll Bar feature
What Brooks has developed through the GTS 14 is a classically functional stability trainer
that exceeds expectations. How it exceeds them is through the use of their own innovative technologies that work to enhance and protect runners from overpronation
and other mechanical inadequacies. Features, such as Crash Pad and Stability Pod Configuration along with the entire upper structure in that way that it has been built, result in a seamless model that protects and keeps runners in proper alignment throughout the duration of their run.
The GTS 14 certainly has limitations when it comes to its size, weight, and high drop ratio. It might not be the “go to shoe” for the neutral runner who doesn’t require so much “stuff”. But this is not the type of runner for who this shoe was developed for. The GTS 14 is intended for the individual who requires additional help in the form of added protection, support, and comfort. If this happens to be you then a shoe like the GTS 14 should be able to provide plenty of satisfaction.