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Weight: Men’s: 11.3 oz; Women’s: 9.4 oz
Heel Drop: 12 mm
Retail Price: $120
Men’s 7-15, Widths: B, D, 2E, 4E
Women’s 5-13, Widths 2A, B, D, 2E
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS line has been the most popular running shoe overall for several years now. It has a moderate amount of stability and a softness that falls right in the middle of the range when compared to other brands, making it a great shoe for the average runner.
Year to year the Adrenaline series tends to change very little. A Brooks rep once told me that the motto for this shoe is always “don’t mess it up,” – if it has been working well, why change it? From the Adrenaline GTS 13 to the Adrenaline GTS 14 the weight of the shoe is the same and the amount of stability is the same, but there actually are a few changes to the rest of the shoe.
The plastic shank in the bottom of the outsole has been reduced from full-width to just a third of the width of the shoe on the medial side. The shank connects the heel of the shoe to the forefoot and adds some stability while also increasing the propulsion of the shoe forward at toe-off. The part of the shank that was on the lateral side of the shoe has been replaced with foam and rubber to increase the ground contact of the sole and make the transition from heel to toe more smoothe.
The upper of the shoe is quite different in the Adrenaline 14 as well. The mesh has been improved and the traditional sewn overlays on the forefoot have been replaced with overlays that are actually 3D printed onto the shoe. Also, the stretch eyelets on the Adrenaline 13 were replaced with a more traditional static setup to even out the pressure of the laces across the foot.
The sizing of the Adrenaline GTS 14 is a little different than in previous models. For the past several years it has been common to go up half a size in a Brooks shoe compared to other brands. Not on the Adrenaline 14. I wore my standard size in this shoe, and it was actually a little bit long for me.
The fit of the upper around my forefoot was one of the most comfortable I have ever felt from a running shoe. The 3D printed upper really gets the job done – there is structure to it but there is nothing to rub against your foot. The mesh gently wraps your forefoot without being too constricting.
I did have a couple of minor issues with the fit of the Adrenaline GTS 14. I had some problems with my heel sliding out in the back of the shoe, which almost never happens to me in any other models. I laced up the shoes using the extra eyelet at the top and that stopped enough of the sliding for me to run comfortably.
The lacing was another difficulty. I had a hard time getting it right in this shoe, and I struggled with it on every run. Each time that I have taken these shoes out I have had to stop and re-lace the shoes to get it right. Sometimes the laces are too tight in spots, sometimes too loose. This is not a deal-breaker by any means; it was even commonplace in most shoes that I wore just a couple years ago. The past couple of years I have had many shoes in which I never had to think twice about the lacing, though. Given that one of the supposed improvements to the Adrenaline 14 was the lacing I am a little disappointed in this.
The feel in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14 is soft enough to take most of the beating out of running on concrete sidewalks, but firm enough that I was able to run on dirt paths and retain a good feeling of contact with the ground.
The Adrenaline uses pads of a substance called DNA (basically a gel substance) under the heel and forefoot to add cushion to the foam midsole. One of my feet is shorter than the other (as is the case with most people) and the forefoot DNA pad did not hit my foot correctly on that side, which became annoying. This probably happened because the shoe fit longer than I expected – I actually should have gone down half a size from my normal running shoe size and everything would have been fine.
On a more positive note, the transition from heel to toe-off is excellent on this shoe. It is a very smooth ride and the shoe has just a little bit of an upward curve to the toe, giving it a little bit of “pop” as you push off. I loved this aspect of the shoe’s ride.
So far I have nothing but good things to say about the durability of this shoe. The rubber outsole seems more resistant to wear than most other shoes. The mesh on the upper is very tough and I have not had any problems with it breaking though. I have not run extensively in the Adrenaline in the past so I am not sure what type of mileage to expect, but so I would guess that I will be able to get at least 400 miles out of the shoe, which is a little more than my average for all shoes lately.
I can see why the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14 is the most popular shoe on the market. The ride of the shoe is brilliant and the fit, especially around the toebox, is fantastic. There were a couple of fit issues for me in the heel and the lacing, but these might not even be problems for others with feet shaped differently than mine. This is a top-quality shoe and should be a consideration for any runner who is an overpronator.