For several years now, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS has been a category leader in the maximum support category. Shoes in this category offer support just beyond moderate over-pronation but not so much that they become motion control shoes. This niche is filled by other shoes like the Mizuno Alchemy and Saucony Omni (Ultimate now 8), but the Adrenaline has been the sales leader and is one of the most popular shoes in the industry. Thus any update to this shoe is always critical.
1. The heel design has greater decoupling and a beveled angle to slow the rate and degree of pronation while also providing a smoother ground impact and transition.
2. The medial TPU support has been removed, as it is no longer needed as a result of the heel redesign.
3. Asymmetrical midfoot wrap has been added to provide a better fit.
4. Profile Sockliner replaces standard sockliner for greater cushioning and enhanced arch contour.
Does this version run better than last years?
No longer just about good pronation control and a reliable fit, The Adrenaline GTS provides a noticeably smoother ride compared to past models. Our wear testers were all in agreement that the ride of the shoe was fairly smooth and, in comparison, the ride of the Adrenaline GTS 9 was a bit abrupt. Jonathan and Phil felt the shoe was a bit softer than average, whereas Bonnie noted the shoe was a bit firmer than average. All wear testers assessed the energy return as good but felt there was a slight delay in the energy return. Another consistent evaluation was the flexibility of the shoe was a tad toward the stiffer side.
How is the fit?
The fit of the shoe tends to be geared toward lower volume feet, but the medium width accommodated a good range of feet. Phil has slightly wider, flatter feet and noted that his feet hung over the base of the midfoot but overall fit was not an issue. Jonathan has a slightly narrower foot and felt the shoe hugged his foot nicely without too much excess material. Although it did not cause a problem, Jonathan noted the tongue was a bit short. Bonnie has normal width foot and commented that the fit seemed tailored for her feet. All testers noted the toe-box height was a bit lower than medium. Bonnie said the heel collar was low, so it did not cause irritation but the resulting fit with orthotic inserts was not ideal.
Bonnie says: The shoe has great step-in feel. For a support shoe, it feels a bit light and the shoe keeps me in touch with the road. I am concerned that the loss of TPU reinforcement may result in less pronation control than previous versions.
Phil says: I think the shoes feel comparable to other shoes at this price. The midfoot could be a bit wider to better accommodate my flat feet. I liked the low arch feel and the feel for the road.
Jonathan says: Best Adrenaline to date. The 9 was a bit firmer than the 8 and I feel like the 10 is probably a bit softer than the 8. I liked the heel-to-toe transition and even though the shoe is a bit softer than other versions it has a pretty good road feel. I just wish the tongue was longer.
Symmetry is usually good, what about asymmetry?
With the Adrenaline 10, the Brooks’ designers were challenged with making a top-selling shoe better without losing its current customer. We feel the designers were successful. Fit is always a critical component of any shoe update. Although a new, asymmetrical midfoot wrap has been introduced to better specifically fit the medial and lateral sides of the foot, the overall impression of shoe fit remains consistent with the Adrenaline GTS 9.
Do innersoles really make a difference?
The new Profile Sockliner is made of BioMoGo and delivers a softer feel underfoot and a noticeable arch contour, which is a deviation from previous models. Although different, we think most runners will welcome the added support and lively feel the new sockliner provides.
Something, nothing, hard to say. A redesigned heel crash pad and loss of additional medial TPU support are design changes that raised questions from our staff. Would the pronation control be less? Maybe. Would the shoe feel softer? Yes. By increasing the heel bevel and adding additional decoupling to the heel contact zone, Brooks designers have been able to produce a shoe that no longer needs the additional TPU support to attain a high level of pronation control. Our high-speed video tests demonstrated that the Adrenaline GTS 9 and Adrenaline GTS 10 are very similar in terms of pronation control. An improved heel-to-transition is attributed to the same decoupling that helps with excess pronation. By increasing the number and depth of notches in the lateral heel, the shoe better copes with impact forces. Additionally, this heel design should perform better for rear heel strikers and lateral heel to midfoot strikers.
The Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PRDB) remains unchanged and offers the heart the pronation control for which this shoe known. The PRDB consists of three midsole foam densities and delivers, smooth pronation control. The forefoot pattern and flex points remain unchanged and contribute to the familiarity this shoe provides to previous Adrenaline users. The podular forefoot design creates a stable and moderately flexible platform for toe-off.
Some things had to stay the same, right?
Of course. As has become the standard among Brooks shoes, the Adrenaline GTS 10 is built on a BioMoGo midsole and Universal platform to provide durable, responsive cushioning and a stable platform. Additional cushioning comes from Hydroflow ST in the heel and Forefoot Hydroflow. The overall package results in a reliable shoe, well suited as a daily training for runners with moderate to severe over-pronation.
Since this is a 10th edition, how did we get to this point?
Well, back in the 1990s Brooks was known primarily for the Brooks Beast. This dominated the motion control category (still does). Brooks also had a strong player in the neutral shoe category with the Radius. What was lacking was a true performer in the support category, the most popular shoe segment of the era.
The Brooks Adrenaline was introduced in 1995 in an attempt to fill this void. While the ride of the Adrenaline was nice, the shoe suffered from poor wear in the blown rubber forefoot and the fit was a bit wide. This wide fit was a trend for Brooks in ‘90s and made it difficult for Brooks to reach a broad audience. The Talon replaced the first Adrenaline. The Talon took advantage of Brooks’ podular sole construction and thus delivered great flexibility. Even though outsole wear was no longer a problem, the Talon suffered from outsole delamination issues. True to form the Talon was a bit wide, but the shoe did take a small step forward in terms of appearance. The first Adrenaline was very stodgy looking and the Talon at least looked liked it belonged in the decade.
What does GTS stand for?
In 2000 the Adrenaline was back as the Adrenaline GTS 2. Solved was the delamination problem of Talon. The Adrenaline GTS 2 used a modified podular design that delivered good flexibility, forefoot stability and good durability. Cosmetically, the Adrenaline GTS 2 was now dynamic. No longer was this shoe playing catch up. However, to be truly successful and become a “go to shoe” (GTS) the Adrenaline needed a more universal fit. The newly designed upper now had a true medium fit and the shoe has been an ongoing success.
How did innovation play a role in the evolution of the Adrenaline GTS series?
Breaking new ground, the Progressive Diagonal Rollbar was introduced via the Adrenaline 4. This innovation resulted in a less abrupt approach to reducing excess pronation. In 2006, the upper was retooled more greatly than the previous versions. The toebox became slightly shallower and the cosmetics and material selection were now leading the way. The Adrenaline GTS 6 was hugely popular and the shoe began updating every 12 months, versus 18 months. The Adrenaline GTS 7 incorporated a MoGo midsole, which delivered greater responsiveness and durability compared to the previous S-257 midsole. To become more environmentally friendly, the Adrenaline GTS 9 incorporated the BioMoGo midsole.
The Bottom Line
Category leader is slightly reengineered, resulting in a smoother ride. Still a “go to shoe” in the support-maximum category.