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Road Running Shoes • November 21, 2019

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 Performance Review

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 10.6 oz./300g for a size US M9.0
  • Newly redesigned 3D mesh upper
  • Same midsole and outsole as the Adrenaline 19
  • Don’t talk to Austin if you’re a Florida Gators fan

AUSTIN: As a business student at the University of Georgia, I loved studying advertising and its effect on buying behavior. The current ad set for the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 has a direct message for the buyer: “The better it gets, the better you get.”

End of story.

However, that short pitch carries a lot of baggage. While a better (i.e. comfortable) shoe may make for better running, not everyone likes the better— after all, it’s subjective. In the end, the shoe won’t make you better. You get better by running, by putting in those daily miles. Again and again and again.

For better or for the same, here is the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20, a staple in the stability shoe stable for Brooks. This newest version features a redesigned 3D mesh upper, but with the same midsole and outsole as the Adrenaline GTS 19 (the last version we reviewed was the Adrenaline 18). And let’s just get this out of the way—the GTS stands for “go-to shoe.”

As for the rest of the shoe? Let’s see if it indeed did age like a fine wine, becoming better in the process.

brooks adrenaline gts 20 side

The Good

AUSTIN: There’s a lot to like about the Adrenaline 20. This isn’t Brooks’s first rodeo.

I’ll start with the upper– a simple, unflattering engineered mesh, stripped of the midfoot overlays in version 19. The step-in comfort, as usual Brooks, is so nice. There’s ample padding in the tongue and heel collar. The laces, once flat, are now tubular with a bit more stretch.

Moving down, DNA Loft in the heel and Brooks’ traditional BioMogo DNA throughout the rest of the midsole make for a smooth ride.

This is the second year the Adrenaline has had GuideRails, Brooks’s newest technology for support. Instead of the traditional medial post situated under the arch, GuideRails mimic bowling alley bumpers to help guide the feet into a neutral position inside the shoe (Brooks calls it a Stride Signature). What I did notice and appreciate about GuideRails is that they make the Adrenaline 20 less stiff than its predecessors as the miles accumulate.

Like most Brooks shoes, the Adrenaline is a comfortable and durable trainer. For a stability shoe, it gets the job done. If you liked the Adrenaline 19, there’s nothing about the Adrenaline 20 that will throw you off.

Shop Brooks Adrenaline GST 20

brooks adrenaline gts 20

The Bad

AUSTIN: Even though I’m not so much a stability runner, I can appreciate the comfort of stability shoes. Over the last month, I’ve been alternating between the ASICS GT 2000 8 and Adrenaline GTS 20 as both models provide similar levels of stability and comfort.

However, I noticed the two diverge at responsiveness. In the first run of the Adrenaline, I was hoping for lots of pop at toe-off, but the shoe felt flat. More of a thud than a stud.

Also, I don’t mind shoes with wider toe boxes, but the forefoot felt roomier than expected. I’m all for space, but my narrow feet experienced a little bit of lateral sliding here and there. This may be due in part to the absence of the midfoot overlays of the 19.

I’d like to see the drop come down a few millimeters too, but I don’t anticipate this happening anytime soon.
Lastly, the look of the 20 is kind of bland. For a company that loves to release crazy ice cream and holiday designs, it’s boring at best. At least the midfoot overlays of version 19 provided a way to add some accent colors. Of course, the initial models are always the most basic colorways, so perhaps something snappier will arrive in 2020.

Shop Brooks Adrenaline GST 20

brooks adrenaline gts 20

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 Conclusion

AUSTIN: As expected, the Adrenaline GTS 20 is a daily trainer suited for easy runs, recovery runs, and long runs. It probably goes without saying, but it’s not meant for speedier workouts. This is a stability daily trainer through and through.

At $129.99, it’s priced well for many miles. I’m not sure Brooks’ advertising speaks to me, but then again, I’m still getting better.

You can pick up the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 at Running Warehouse (with free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Brooks Adrenaline GST 20



Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Kelly says:

    Hey Austin, great review. How would you compare them to the new Saucony Guide 13’s ? Debating on the 2 Thanks !

  2. Austin Bonds says:

    Hi Kelly!

    Thanks for the note. I haven’t run in the Guide 13, so I do suggest checking out the Believe in the Run review for those (dated Nov. 8th). I do know that the Guide 13 dropped the ISOFIT lacing system and features a new midsole (PWRRUN+). Historically, most people I speak with find the Adrenaline to be a touch more stable than the Guide, but I do think that the GuideRails system may change that perception a bit based on how people feel inside the shoes. Price points are similar, so I do suggest trying on both to gauge the fit, feel, and ride. I hope this helps in some way! Thanks!

  3. Matt Parker says:

    It’s not the same midsole, the guiderails are now comouldef, rather than glued on, and there is a deeper groove running down the lateral aspect of the midsole, in an effort to make the shoe more stable.

    1. Robbe Reddinger says:

      The composite materials of the midsole are the same.

  4. Jacob says:

    Hey Austin, I enjoyed reading your review and was wondering where I could find the color scheme for the brooks adrenaline gts 20 pictured at the top of this page of your review. Thanks!

    1. Austin C Bonds says:

      Hi Jacob!

      Thanks for the note. I’m glad you found the review helpful. If you click the link box at the end of the review, “Shop Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20,” it will take you to Running Warehouse where you can see all the colors for the Adrenaline. The color pictured at the top of this page is Black/Ebony/Ketchup.

  5. Chris A. says:

    I previously ran in GTS18’s and loved them. I recently tried Hoka One One Arahi 3’s and have not had a good experience (sore hips, knees). I’d like to revert to my GTS18’s but can no longer buy them – any idea what would be closest? It seems Brooks changed the design a lot from 18 to 19? Thanks!

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