Josh helps you find your perfect fit with his review of the new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 stability running shoes. He highlights the tweaks from its predecessor the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 and weighs it up against the Brooks Ghost 14 that shares the same design elements, yet on a stable neutral platform.
From the ground up the engineering of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 complements the ever-reliable 100% DNA Loft midsole, with the full ground outsole providing a just-right balance of flexibility and stability. It’s reinforced in the high-wear zone of the heel to extend the lifespan of your best running shoes.
The GuideRails holistic support system creates an overpronator-friendly ride, providing non-intrustive arch support to guide you onto your most efficient motion path without compromise to the smooth, shock-absorbing cushioning to ward off fatigue during your daily training.
A breathable engineered mesh upper with a supportive yet plush heel counter and gusseted tongue delivers a secure, distraction-free fit for clocking up high mileage.
Check out the review with full transcript below
Hey guys, Josh here from Sportitude Running and it's shoe review time. It’s December 2021 and we've just received the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22. This honest, reliable daily trainer has had a minor update from where it was with the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21.
In today's review we're going to profile the foot type that could be considering this shoe, talk about those minor changes from the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 to the Adrenaline GTS 22 and also talk about a stable neutral shoe that has a lot of similar characteristics to this model. Without further ado let's get stuck in.
Before we dive into the tech features of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22, let's talk about the foot type that could be considering this shoe. It hasn't changed from where it’s been, catering for that mild overpronator. On a flat surface the arch is ever so slightly closer to the ground. When this runner comes through their transition with heelstrike or midfoot strike, there'll be a tendency to come across that medial side and roll in over that arch before the foot engages and gets ready to toe-off out of the gait cycle.
When we're talking about that overpronator, we're looking at a little bit of arch support and that's exactly what the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 has.
Today's review is going to talk about the three components of engineering being the outsole, midsole and the upper. We’ll talk about where the changes have come from regarding the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21.
First things first, let's talk all things outsole. There is next to no change in the outsole configuration. The only subtle changes are the decoupling or depth of decoupling of cutaways within that outsole and it's more to do with the lateral side.
When you're looking at the outsole on that lateral piece it's almost like a plus symbol. On the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21, the focus was more on that vertical line or flex groove. Brooks are creating additional compression on that outsole through that forefoot and the main reason is to do with the DNA Loft cushioning system change in the forefoot and the heel of this shoe.
The other thing to call out is obviously it's full ground contact. You have your harder, more durable rubber at the lateral component of the heel, strategically placed to give the midsole some protection for heel strikers coming through to midstance.
Coming through to midstance, you have full ground contact with rubber the whole way.You get a really smooth and effortless transition and there's no rigidity through this midfoot like we have seen in previous models going back a few years now when they used to place those Trusstic devices within the shoe.
The other thing to note is it's relatively flexible through the forefoot. You have two and a half flex grooves on offer which again is all to do with complementing that DNA Loft cushioning system. If you had an additional flex groove it would be a little bit too unstable, and on the flip side if they removed that half flex groove and only had two, the shoe would be a little bit too stiff. They have it right with regards to the appropriate amount of flexibility within this outsole.
Moving on to the midsole, first things first let's talk about the stats. We have a 12mm heel-to-toe drop with a 24mm heel and 12mm forefoot. The cushioning system on offer is the DNA Loft which is that patented technology that Brooks have had now for the best part of four years. In conjunction with that cushioning system, being a shoe that's catering for that overpronator which we touched on in the intro we have the GuideRails on offer.
The GuideRails come up around the wall of that medial side of the midsole to provide a little bit of transitional support for that foot type that comes through and transitions marginally towards that medial side as the foot gets ready to toe-off.
It’s important to call out the GuideRail on the lateral side as well because it creates a bit more of a bucket. Your foot sits deeper within that midsole so you get more support up and around the wall of the foot which works really well. It's a non-intrusive way to execute that arch support, a little bit like your LITE TRUSS from the Asics GT-2000 and also that blended arch support that the New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v5 is renowned for.
When we're looking at the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 running shoe and we're talking about the profiling of what it's all about there's plenty cushioning underneath the foot. It's not the softest shoe in the market, let's justcall that out. It is a very honest, very reliable but consistent feel. That's the direction Brooks have gone with in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22.
When I hold the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 in my hand, from the lateral side it doesn't look like much has changed and you're 100% correct. You've got the lateral GuideRail and the DNA Loft on the lateral side of the shoe. Flip it around to the medial side and there is a subtle change with regards to the density of the geometry of the foam on that medial side in the Adrenaline GTS 21 versus the Adrenaline GTS 22.
The Adrenaline GTS 22 has a more consistent geometry on the lateral as it does on the medial side. It’s very similar to the Brooks Ghost 14. That shoe had the quite an update from the Brooks Ghost 13 that made it a more consistent shoe on that lateral and medial side.
When you look at the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 and Brooks Ghost 14 side by side, they are so similar in the outsole and the midsole. The only real variance is that we have the GuideRails on offer with the Adrenaline GTS 22.
I think it's been a difficult one for Brooks to juggle over the last few years because you have a very good performing shoe being the Brooks Ghost and they have their honest and reliable shoe for overpronators being the Brooks Adrenaline. We're seeing the two shoes becoming closer and closer together however there is that segregation with regards to what foot type should be considering each shoe.
It's really important to know that while they look the same to the naked eye they actually perform differently. You get a little bit more support in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 which is what you would expect, and for me it more comes into play when you're looking at that last third of your longer run. If you put in a Brooks Ghost 14 on your foot like I have and ran on the treadmill and then ran on the treadmill in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 for a minute, you're not going to notice much of a difference.
When you get to the back end of a long run out in the road which I have experienced with the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22, that's when the arch support does most of its work and that's exactly what I found.
Let’s dive into the upper now. Like the midsole and the outsole there's nothing overly tricked up with regards to what Brooks have done. They've provided a very breathable but strong overlay system with regards to the execution of their engineering.
Over the years I’ve never had any real complaints with regards to the upper of a Brooks Adrenaline. There was the Brooks Adrenaline 18 which I thought was a little bit boxy through the forefoot but that's being a little bit critical. Ever since then I've really liked the fit, feel and function of pretty much every single Adrenaline. That's from GuideRail inaugural year being in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 to where we are today with the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22.
Touching on the componentry, let's dive into the tech aspects. We have the internal heel counter which is that nice plastic structure at the back of your calcaneus. It’s strategically placed back there to keep that heel nice and stable when you make contact with the ground. Whether you’re heel striking, midfoot striking or even forefoot striking, getting some calcaneal support is vitally important for the overall support and transition of your gait cycle.
I say this in every single Brooks review and I’m waiting for the day when they're going to really screw this up but they haven't and I can't see it happening anytime soon is that the lining on the inside of any Brooks shoe and especially the Adrenaline GTS 22 is so comfortable.
It offers the right amount of memory foam and the perfect material on the inside to provide that soft and plush feel. They really get their heel counters right and nothing has changed with regards to the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22.
Coming down to the midfoot of this shoe, the tongue is gusseted so you get a little bit of extra support on top of the navicular which really helps overall comfort and performance. Coming through to the forefoot there is engineered mesh with a really good execution and great amount of breathability.
Also, it's a minor thing but the execution of the upper to the midsole on that medial side of the toe box and also the lateral side of the toe box is a slightly tighter weave. It just provides a little bit more structure and integrity without adding weight to the shoe.
Talking about the fit and feel of this shoe, it's important to note that nothing has changed with regards to what widths are on offer. You have four widths in the men's offering being B narrow, D standard, 2E which is broader and then 4E which is your extra wide width.
In the women’s model you have four widths as well, being the 2A width which is narrow, B standard, D which is a little bit broader and then the 2E which is that extra wide width. For a brand to come out and put four widths on offer in a shoe is just magnificent.
Obviously when we're talking about pronators, we are talking about the majority of runners. The majority of runners have a tendency to mildly overpronate. If you're catering for that runner which they are with the engineering philosophy of this GuideRail but also making it accessible with four widths, that is a great sign and it makes our life easier here at Sportitude Running when it comes to fitting this shoe to that cohort of runners.
The Wrap Up
There you have it, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22. It’s a really good update with minor changes but that's what you want and what you expect out of a shoe like this because they don't go back to the drawing board and move all the chess pieces around. They keep it very similar from one model to the next.
If anything the shoe has ever so slightly firmed up in the midsole and it probably took me about three runs to really figure out what was going on. It wasn't so much to the point where it was really different.
When I stepped my foot into the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 last year I hit the ground running straight away. This time around, I found the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 to be a little bit firmer but after three runs as I said it softened right up and it was very comfortable.
Therefore, if you think about this if it is marginally firm which we believe it is from our data and the feedback we've had early days from our wear testers out there, it might be a shoe that you consider if you're doing some grass intervals as well so keep that in mind. Again, it's a shoe that's designed to go long and go for miles. It’s also designed for that bitumen and pavement surface.
If you have any questions, queries or theories or want to let us know what you think about the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22, please contact our Sportitude shoe experts. If you have any other feedback with regards to our shoe reviews we love to hear from you, the running community all around the world.
Until next time, stay safe, be kind to one another, happy running and we'll see you down the road Take care.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
- Support: Stability
- Upper: Mesh
- Midsole: Brooks DNA Loft
- Heel Height: 24mm
- Forefoot Height: 12mm
- Offset / Drop: 12mm
- Weight: 289g / 10.2oz
- Widths: B (narrow), D (standard), 2E (wide) and 4E (extra wide)
- Weight: 258g / 9.1oz
- Widths: 2A (narrow), B (standard), D (wide) and 2E (extra wide)
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
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