I tested the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 and found them an unsurprisingly reliable pair of running shoes. I don’t need speed (not that I wouldn’t welcome it, but it’s not something I crave), nor do I need a shoe that’s so light as to be barely there. I have zero interest in bells and whistles unless I’m at a parade — and I never go to parades. What I want is a shoe that will work with me over the miles without shouting about it. The GTS 22 did that. The GTS 23 does it just that little bit better.
But how does it compare to some of the best running shoes on the market, as well as the best men's running shoes on the market? To find out more, I laced up and did a variety of different runs in the shoe, on different terrains, and in different weathers. Read my full Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 review below to find out more.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 review: Price and availability
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 is available for $140 and comes in 13 colorways for women and 12 for men. Widths range from medium to extra wide and sizes 5-13 (women), and medium to extra wide and sizes 7-15 (men).
The women’s shoe weighs 9.1oz (the 22 was 9oz) and the men’s comes in at 10.1oz (down .1oz from the 22). The midsole drop for both is 12mm, which is significant and won’t suit some runners. I had no problems with it.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 review: Design and fit
The GTS 23 sits in the middle of the Brooks line-up: the website places it in the More Cushioning category, between Standard and Most. Your usual size in running shoes should be fine.
As with the GTS 22, the 3D Fit Print-engineered upper is light and breathable, and offers effortless security – no need to overtighten laces here. And, once again, flat laces are most welcome. One difference in this part of the shoe compared with the previous version is that the collar seems more plush and feels as if it’s cut slightly lower on the ankle. With the GTS 22, I noticed some stiffness in this area, but the GTS 23 is supremely comfortable.
This time around, Brooks has updated its DNA Loft cushioning to v2, and it does feel slightly softer and lighter (though, in fact, the weight difference between this shoe and the GTS 22 is marginal to the point of irrelevance in the men’s shoe, while the women’s shoe comes in ever-so-slightly heavier, but, again, not so you’ll notice). This softness means this is not a shoe for those who like to tear up the track, but it is more responsive than it looks, so it will do the job for an everyday runner who wants to pick up the pace when the mood strikes.
Brooks keeps the GuideRail system for the new shoe. The intention is to add stability by cradling the heel, allowing for a natural stride even for the tired runner. The company likens the system (made up of two pieces of foam on either side of the heel) to the stabilisers many of us remember from our first bike. I really can’t say if it had any effect on my running style. I covered a lot of miles in this shoe and had no problems, but now we’re getting into correlation and causation, so let’s move on.
The durable rubber and tread on this shoe meant I felt secure at all times on the road, though good weather ensured I didn’t have to test the GTS 23 in wet conditions. The harder heel protected the back of my foot while the softer midfoot gave just enough snap to the transition phase. No complaints here. Not a single one.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 review: Run performance and verdict
I think this is a better shoe than the GTS 22. The earlier model is a dependable, comfortable workhorse, but with the new iteration, I simply pulled them on, left the house, started running, and forgot all about what was on my feet. Plenty of room, the right amount of flexibility, breathable, wraps the foot nicely, bouncy without being squishy – none of these things occurred to me on any run, because the shoes were doing their job in strong-but-silent mode, right out of the box. No breaking-in necessary. The changes from the GTS 22 are not big but they are significant. If you want a shoe that will not let you down as you put in the miles on the road (and it definitely is a road-running shoe), you’d be hard pushed to find a better option than this one. Sometimes, it is indeed the little things that make all the difference.