Verdict from 8.1 hours of research from the internet

6 reasons to buy

  • Stable: Many buyers are happy with the wide base of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21, giving them a surefooted ride. 
  • Supportive: Several runners hail the lockdown fit of the shoe, preventing in-shoe slippage. 
  • Lightweight: Quite a few users claim that the shoe employs minimal bulk. 
  • Roomy: According to some reviewers, this road shoe has ample room for toe splay. 
  • Comfortable: Multiple athletes commend the plush underfoot sensation that the model delivered.
  • Breathable: Some commenters say that the upper permits sufficient airflow.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Lacks responsiveness: Various experts agree that this stability shoe is not as bouncy as other models in its category. 
  • Skin-rubbing: A number of critics have expressed that the upper causes abrasion and irritation on the skin.

Bottom line

Comfort and stability amplified—these are the words that perfectly describe the 21st iteration of the long-standing Brooks Adrenaline GTS series. Featuring several upgrades, you can expect a smooth, effortless ride from the runner. Those looking for excellent support without compromising comfort should consider the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

Our reviews

90
/100 by Paul Ronto, posted on .

brooks-adrenaline-gts-21.jpg

 

Celebrating its 21st year, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is yet another daily support trainer from Brooks. It is perfect for road runners who suffer from overpronation. With its 12 mm stack height, this running model falls in the maximalist stability category. 

Updates

  • DNA loft cushioning extends from the forefoot to the heel for smoother transitions
  • More breathable engineered mesh upper
  • 3D Fit Print for strategic support on the upper
  • Lighter weight and 1-mm lower than the Adrenaline GTS 20 

Fit 

This iteration really hugs the foot and is reminiscent of the Ghost 13’s fit. I really love the stretchy tongue gussets, which I did not find in the Ghost 12. However, they are pretty loose gussets and they don’t do as much for holding the tongue in place as snuggly as hugging your midfoot. 

There are no heel slip issues with this one all due to the very plush ankle collar on the stiff heel counter. Brooks also has this odd cushioning on the outside of the ankle. Not so sure what it’s for so I called Brooks and they said it’s just for looks. Maybe lose this and drop another ¼ ounce! 

 

heel-counter.jpg

Comfort

The Adrenaline GTS 21 has a very comfortable upper; it flexes very nicely. The added 3D print, meanwhile, helps secure the fit across the midfoot. The flexible lockdown is also supplied by the shoe’s stretchy laces. It also doesn’t feel too tight over the top of your foot. 

Nice and soft, but not mushy—this is how I would describe the midsole. Not as plush as the Clifton 7, but a nicer ride than a more comparable shoe in the Gel Kayano 27. It could have had more pop, but it’s a daily trainer and not a speed shoe, so I won’t complain too much here. 

The Guide Rails Support System is not intrusive like some stability shoes with a medial post under your arch. It’s there in the background working but you don’t notice them, which to me, is key in a stability shoe. 

Durability

brooks-adrenaline-gts-21-outsole.jpg

 

The shoe has plenty of rubber on the outsole which protects the softer midsole foam. I think this should have a long wear life.  

Weight 

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 weighs 288 grams. This is 10.2 oz, while Brooks says 10.4 oz, and the 20 was more like 10.7 oz, and the 19 was 11.1 oz! I must say, they are heading in the right direction. 

Drop/stack 

dna-loft.jpg

 

This has the same drop (12 mm) as the last version. I think this is headed in the right direction, but a few more mm would be ideal.

Looks

neutral-running-shoes.jpg

 

It looks like many of the other running shoes Brooks is offering these days—there’s nothing about it that stands out. 

Paul Ronto | Level 3 expert Verified
Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21: Maximalist runner with maximum support 

Coming from a long line of stability shoes from Brooks with maximum cushioning, the Adrenaline GTS 21 strives to maintain its go-to-shoe (GTS) status among runners. The iteration focuses beyond the foot as its design is targeted to prevent excess movements throughout the run to hinder knee injuries. With its revamped midsole, the model aims to deliver a smoother heel-to-toe transition.

What to look forward to 

Stability and responsiveness combined. Because of the midsole of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 holds the right blend of softness and rigidity, support and bounce are optimized. This creates more efficient, surefooted steps while securing a comfortable ride. 

Lockdown, breathable fit. The adaptive fit of the Engineered Air Mesh upper of the maximalist running shoe guarantees a supportive wrap around the foot. The perforations of the material are effective in carrying out light, airy in-shoe feel. Complemented with the 3D Fit Print technology, a more structured and reinforced upper is created. 

Better transitions. Because the DNA Loft of the platform runs from the heel all the way to the forefoot, smoother transitions are created. This powers more effortless strides while maintaining comfort. 

Who and what is it for? 

This Brooks model is for runners who suffer from overpronation looking for an everyday trainer that can handle short to long-distance runs. 

Size and fit

True to size based on 49 user votes
Small (12%)
True to size (88%)
Large (0%)
Add rating

Same sizing as Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20.

Calculate size

Toebox
Tight Roomy

How Adrenaline GTS 21 compares

This shoe: 93
All shoes average: 86
53 98
This shoe: $130
All shoes average: $119
$40 $350
This shoe: 10.4oz
All shoes average: 9.5oz
3.5oz 16.2oz
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com