Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 Review Facts
Brooks released their Adrenaline GTS line of footwear to much fanfare from novice runners. The simplicity of their design is accentuated in this 16th iteration of the product, coinciding with the addition of a diagonal rollbar. This is paired excellently with the signature fit that Brooks is known for. However, due to the lack of significant changes, some people may reach the conclusion that the running shoe giant is running out of ideas. However, a closer look at the Adrenaline GTS 16 reveals more than just a gimmicky shoe with entry-level features, instead showing that Brooks still has a few tricks up their sleeves.
Brooks brought their signature DNA cushioning technology to the Adrenaline GTS 16 in conjunction with a V-Groove. This combination is said by the manufacturer to “harness the power of geometry” for the purpose of absorbing and dispersing energy from foot impact. While this may sound like a lofty claim, runners have found that this combination of features really does provide greater impact control than its initial appearance may suggest. That said, some runners felt that the cushioning in this outsole was too soft and that it caused responsiveness and speed to suffer. While these complaints may have something to do with the construction of this shoe’s outsole, it’s still worth noting that these traits are also heavily correlated with a runner’s current strength and ability
Out of all components that make up these running shoes, the midsole is what sets this one apart from most others on the market. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 provides such a strong and stable ride through their very well-designed midsole. Runners have remarked that the small insert Brooks placed under the arch did wonders for stability and they also appreciated how this part of the shoe doesn’t flex along its longitudinal axis. Another aspect of this midsole’s design that is sure to be great news for runners with wide feet is that the base of the Adrenaline GTS 16 is wider and more comfortable than previous models.
The upper portion of this shoe is only traditional as it relates to other Brooks running shoes. What this means is that the near seamless construction, and all the benefits associated with it, are difficult to find in other footwear brands. This design means that little to no risk of blistering or skin irritation is present, thanks to the absence of hard seams rubbing against the foot. The heel area is also very well padded and provides decently rigid support. The toe bumper used in the GTS 15
was removed due to complaints of hampered breathability. Finally, a newly designed midfoot saddle gives these shoes the edge over products from other running shoe companies
The Adrenaline GTS 16 just over 12 ounces on average. This is quite a bit heavier than the standard weight of a running shoe, placing this product in the weight class of hardcore trail runners. The good news is that this shoe does manage to weigh less than the previous model but the bad news is that this weight is bound to cause some fatigue for runners with less conditioned legs. The reason for this extra weight is that the GTS models as a whole are designed around providing a forgiving support system, packing extra DNA foam for this very purpose. This means that runners should expect a slower but highly protective stride.
Fortunately for runners who enjoy spending time in the heat, the material used by Brooks for their running shoes
is very breathable and moisture friendly. In arid and dry regions, most runners found that the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 provided more than enough breathability for longer runs even while they were wearing thick athletic socks. Furthermore, the woven material lining the midfoot is light and avoids body heat retention. This was found to be a welcome addition to the shoe’s design that helped avoid arch irritation. Finally, Element linings commonly found on Brooks footwear help to wick away moisture and ensure a dry run.
A plethora of changes has been made to the GTS 16 from the previous model that stand out, especially in regards to comfort. The lacing area has been shifted slightly away from the forefoot alongside a redesign of the speed lace loops into a more standard eyelet hole design. Although this may appear to be a visual change alone, this drastically changes the way these shoes feel with tighter laces
in a manner that better fits long distance running. Another comfort-related change enjoyed by runners was the thinner midfoot panels; this works to provide more breathing room and reduces stress on the arch.
Adrenaline GTS 16 comes in seven different styles offering something for just about every runner. Some of the available styles are bright and flashy, demanding attention from passers-by with loud coordinations of reds, yellows, and blues. This is great for runners who like to make a lasting impression; however, even runners who prefer a more subdued aesthetic should find something to love. After all, these shoes also come in more low-key palettes of black, silver, and gray. Despite all these color schemes, the core design of these shoes stresses function over form, making it abundantly clear that these are meant for running rather than clubbing.
The quality of the Adrenaline GTS 16’s design is on par with Brooks’ other high-quality running shoes and just as strong as their competitors, if not stronger. In particular, the HPR Plus was an addition highly praised by runners due to how effectively it was used to cover high-impact areas. The lateral side of the heel features a layer of DNA midsole that is highly resistant to abuse as well. Hard foam is also used to encase internal components, providing excellent protection on top of amazing resiliency. There is no question that these Brooks shoes were built to last.
As previously mentioned, excellent protection for the foot is provided thanks to a great deal of padding in the Adrenaline GTS 16’s construction. This hard padded foam does a terrific job defending the foot from impact with the ground and any debris that may be in a runner’s path. However, this extra protection does come at the cost of additional weight that will inevitably result in a slower top speed. It is ultimately up to each runner if the excellent safety provided by this shoe is worth the extra burden.
Some upgrades have been made to the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 over the previous model in regards to responsiveness. Runners have noted that they had a faster response time going uphill thanks in part to a shorter tongue near the heel collar area. However, some features are still present in this shoe’s design that detract from its response time. For instance, the presence of a wider opening near the heel caused the GTS 16 to feel a bit slower. The synthetic overlays also can contribute to a less responsive ride, by not providing enough of a secure fit and weighing down the shoe excessively. Unfortunately, it appears that this is the consequence of making such a cushioned and durable running shoe.
The overall support in this shoe has been upgraded from the previous iteration. This can be primarily observed in the Progressive Diagonal Rollbar, a new addition that works to guide the foot and prevent excessive pronation. The aforementioned BioMoGo DNA cushioning that comes stock in most Brooks footwear provides customized support that adapts to a runner’s foot type. This supportive and adaptive
cushioning is a feature that helps to set the Adrenaline GTS 16 apart from its peers. Because of these features, runners with pronation issues enjoy running in these shoes.
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 is primarily a road running shoe. Some of the features used for its design may be overkill for simple treadmill running but they are still effective at that. Customers are torn regarding the V-Groove design; some say it’s nothing more than an aesthetic addition, while others say that this style of sole construction helps provide control during flat to uphill
conversions. Essentially, the GTS 16 is a fantastic all-around city shoe that handles everything that comes with that form of running environment.
Much like the vast majority of Brooks running shoes, customers will be hard-pressed to find a running shoe with a similar offering of features for a lower price. This wasn’t the case when these shoes were first released since the suggested retail price put them in the higher end of typical running shoe costs. However, time has caused these shoes to be discounted to the point where they now cost roughly half of this original retail price. As a result, an exceptionally high build quality and a bevy of convenient features are included for a very reasonable price tag. Thanks to tiny features that may go unnoticed by most casual runners, like a small shank between the midfoot and toe box, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 a smart buy.
Two features of the GTS 16 play the largest role in providing it with traction. The first is the V-Groove style of outsole construction, which helps to provide a solid grip on the ground by distributing energy along the entirety of the underfoot in conjunction with the midsole. The second contributing feature is the heavier weight of this product which functions as a kind of ballast for the foot. As a result, enough traction is present for running in a multitude of environments.
Runners expecting a flexible shoe will not find it in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16. Thanks to a very heavy weight and multiple layers of protective cushioning, these shoes offer a very rigid ride despite the addition of Omega Flex Grooves. This shouldn’t come as a major detriment to most runners since the shoe provides decent stability through this stiffness. On the other hand, runners looking to improve their top speeds will not appreciate the feeling of these shoes.
The name of the game for the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 is stability. Most of the major design choices implemented in this shoe’s construction manage to provide tangible benefits to this particular area of its design. The most obvious addition is the aforementioned Progressive Diagonal Rollbar, which works to prevent many of the issues commonly faced by runners with pronation issues. The use of highly dense padding around the upper and midsole of these shoes provide further stability as they prevent excessive foot movement inside the shoe.
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 showcases a very high heel drop in the design of its midsole. From the rear of the shoe to the forefoot, the difference in elevation is around 12 mm. This is close to the average for running shoes of its kind but it’s definitely on the higher end of that spectrum. As a result, runners should expect an easier time running if they tend to focus much of the impact on striking their heels.
- Upper features conformable saddle and adjustable eyelets
- V-Groove sole disperses impact along the outer boundaries
- Segmented crash pad provides comfort and support for landings
- BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning is highly adaptive and responsive
- Breathable Element upper lining wicks away moisture
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 does not disappoint. Runners of all skill levels can appreciate the balance of comfort and performance provided by this Brooks shoe thanks to its extremely stable sole and overall reliable construction. While the cushioning may feel too bouncy and the weight too significant for some discerning runners, most will welcome the comfort and protection that comes with these additions. Combined with an aggressive price point, this fantastic Brooks running shoe is a must-buy for comfort-focused road runners.