Our verdict

The Brooks Beast GTS 23 is far from ordinary, offering top-notch stability but also tipping the scale with its massive weight. We believe that if you can overlook the heft, this shoe shines with exceptional support from its geometry and GuideRails technology. Furthermore, we found it offers excellent breathability and a design meticulously crafted for heel strikers a stable ride.

Pros

  • Exceptionally stable
  • Effective GuideRails technology
  • Ideal for heel strikers
  • Superior build quality
  • Responsive DNA Loft v3 foam
  • Durable and grippy outsole
  • Comfortable and breathable upper
  • Good volume in the upper for those with wide feet

Cons

  • High weight can lead to leg fatigue
  • Not versatile for faster paces or longer distances.
  • Becomes too firm in cold weather

Audience verdict

87
Great!

Who should buy

This is one of the shoes with the most ambiguous use-cases we've come across. However, we think it might be great for:

  • Runners who don't mind—or even prefer—heavy shoes and are seeking stability features.
  • Heel strikers looking for a moderately firm running experience.
  • Fans of Brooks aiming to include a comfortable and stable shoe in their rotation.

Brooks Beast GTS 23

Who should NOT buy

If you like running without feeling like you're carrying extra weight like us, you might want to explore other lightweight and stable shoes. Consider options like the Hoka Arahi 6 or the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23, especially if you're a Brooks enthusiast.

Another thing to note is its firmer feel. If you're after a plush ride, the Saucony Tempus might be worth checking out based on our lab test.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 parts

Breathability

The Brooks GTS 23 might not be the most breathable shoe out there, but it sure holds its own—especially for a shoe geared toward comfort. We gave it a solid 4/5 in our lab tests.

Sure, it's not a record-breaking performance, but it's still a great score, suitable for most warm climates. Our light test also did confirm the presence of breathability holes, which Brooks incorporated to allow airflow in the toebox and medial areas.

Now, for a closer look, our microscope is unrivaled.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 microscope

These breathability holes are easily visible, but if you look closely, you'll see also a thin fabric layer underneath that stops the shoe from getting a perfect 5/5.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 fabric microscope

However, that fabric layer contributes to the shoe's overall comfort. In our opinion, Brooks made a smart choice, trading off a touch of airflow for a ton of enhanced toebox comfort.

Test results
Beast GTS 23 4
Average 3.8
Compared to 189 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

The engineered mesh feels cozy, but that's often a sign of a toebox lacks durability. That additional fabric layer we mentioned helps a bit, but a 2/5 score still isn't impressive.

It's true that most shoes these days barely scrape by with a 1/5, but we expected better.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Toebox durability
Test results
Beast GTS 23 2
Average 2.2
Compared to 123 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The heel padding mirrors the toebox story.

With a score of 2/5, it's not the worst. However, we know Brooks can step it up.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Heel padding durability
Test results
Beast GTS 23 2
Average 3
Compared to 119 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

With a reading of 67.9 HC on our durometer, this Brooks model boasts a softer rubber than we typically see.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 outsole

While it raises some eyebrows about durability, it's worth noting that factors like rubber formulation play a big part too.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Outsole hardness
Test results
Beast GTS 23 67.9 HC
Average 80.3 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 241 running shoes
Number of shoes
55.5 HC
Outsole hardness
92.8 HC

Outsole durability

With a $160 price tag, we're looking for some solid durability, and the outsole doesn't disappoint.

Initially, the soft rubber made us nervous, but our lab tests eased our concerns. Using our Dremel, we only managed a tiny 0.5 mm dent in the outsole—that's impressive!

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Outsole durability
Test results
Beast GTS 23 0.5 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 101 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Brooks isn't taking any chances. They've beefed up the outsole with 4.4 mm of rubber, which is one millimeter more than what we typically see.

They're clearly aiming to give the outsole a long life, but this might come with a trade-off in terms of weight...

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Outsole thickness
Test results
Beast GTS 23 4.4 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

And that extra weight really shows. Tipping the scales at 12.4 oz (352g), this shoe feels like a tank.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Weight
Test results
Beast GTS 23 12.42 oz (352g)
Average 9.42 oz (267g)
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

For a shoe designed for heel strikers craving stability, we figured there'd be a bunch of foam in the heel—and we found it.

Clocking in at 36.4 mm, there's plenty of cushion!

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Heel stack
Test results
Beast GTS 23 36.4 mm
Average 33.5 mm
Compared to 260 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

The forefoot stack measures 24.5 mm, landing it right in the average in terms of stack height. But remember, this shoe is geared towards heel strikers.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 forefoot

So, adding extra foam to the forefoot wouldn't have made sense for us. And it's enough if you land with your forefoot or midfoot.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Forefoot stack
Test results
Beast GTS 23 24.5 mm
Average 24.7 mm
Compared to 260 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
34.8 mm

Drop

When we subtract the forefoot measurement from the heel, we get an 11.9-mm heel-to-toe drop.

Brooks claimed a 12-mm drop and it's quite a feat for a brand to nail it this closely. Well done, guys!

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Drop
Test results
Beast GTS 23 11.9 mm
Average 8.8 mm
Compared to 260 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

For a shoe focused on comfort, we're happy to see it comes with a generous 5.8-mm insole.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Insole thickness
Test results
Beast GTS 23 5.8 mm
Average 4.4 mm
Compared to 256 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
9.8 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

When we examined the midsole, our durometer registered a 25.3 HA reading. Brooks uses DNA Loft v3 in this model—it's their premium foam for training, and it's infused with nitrogen for better bounce and resilience.

The feel underfoot isn't overly soft or too firm, although it leans towards the latter. It has a nice balance which is perfect for this shoe, especially since this model prioritize stability above all.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Midsole softness
Test results
Beast GTS 23 25.3 HA
Average 23.6 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 242 running shoes
Number of shoes
6.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
52.5 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.
Brooks Beast GTS 23 Midsole softness in cold

Difference in midsole softness in cold

DNA Loft v3 has EVA as its core, and that's typically a sign that the foam will become significantly harder in cold weather. Just how hard? Well, each shoe reacts differently, but we often huge differences after leaving the shoe in freezing temperatures for 20 minutes.

With a 36.8 HA reading on our durometer, brace yourself: in winter, this shoe is likely to feel really firm.

There's a 45.5% increase, which disappoints us, especially considering this shoe isn't exactly budget-friendly.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Beast GTS 23 45.5%
Average 26.3%
Compared to 241 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
125%

Stability

Lateral stability test

This is a stability shoe, and it truly delivers on that promise. While other features matter, the Beast GTS 23 definitely checks off the most crucial box for us.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 GuideRails

The primary source of stability in these shoes is Brooks' GuideRails technology. This system helps support your body's natural movement, limiting any unnecessary shifts.

Torsional rigidity

For proper stability, brands often need to give up some flexibility. This is why the shoe feels so stiff in our torsional test—earning it a score of 4/5 in our lab.

Test results
Beast GTS 23 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 238 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The story continues with the heel counter—where we encountered again a rigid design. While this is great for stability-driven runners, those in search of a softer, more comfort-focused heel might be disappointed.

If this sounds like too much, consider giving the ASICS Kayano 29 a look.

Test results
Beast GTS 23 5
Average 2.7
Compared to 222 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

With a width of 113.1 mm, the forefoot offers ample space for secure landings, and we see no issues at all with it.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Beast GTS 23 113.1 mm
Average 113.4 mm
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

On the other hand, the heel has more to discuss. Brooks aimed for maximum stability with an ultra-wide design, catering to heel strikers who value this feature.

Measuring 102.7 mm, it's impressively wide!

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Beast GTS 23 102.7 mm
Average 90.3 mm
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

In stark contrast to the torsional stiffness and the heel, our 90-degree bend test (21.3N) revealed the shoe to be reasonably flexible.

This is beneficial because it proves enhanced comfort for everyday use without sacrificing stability. It's flexible lengthwise but remains torsionally rigid. Whether you're walking around the neighborhood, shopping, or heading to the gym, these shoes will be up to the task.

Test results
Beast GTS 23 21.3N
Average 29.0N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 244 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

They don't become much stiffer in cold weather. After exposing them to freezing temperatures and testing again, we found it took only 28.0N to bend them to 90 degrees.

With a 31.5% difference, it outdoes most other shoes in the market. And this is the kind of performance we anticipate from a shoe priced at $160 despite having an EVA-based foam.

Test results
Beast GTS 23 31.5%
Average 38.8%
Compared to 244 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Internal length

Measuring 268.7 mm, this shoe is true to size.

According to Brooks' sizing charts, the US 9 we tested should be around 270 mm. We think a difference of 1.3 mm is quite reasonable.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Internal length
Test results
Beast GTS 23 268.7 mm
Average 268.9 mm
Compared to 124 running shoes
Number of shoes
259.9 mm
Internal length
277.4 mm

Toebox width at the widest part

This shoe also earns our wide feet seal of approval. We found its widest part of the upper to be 102.2 mm, showcasing its roomy design.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Beast GTS 23 102.2 mm
Average 98.2 mm
Compared to 262 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

While the big toe area isn't exceptionally wide at 78.3 mm, it offers more room than most other shoes. We believe this makes it an excellent choice for those with wide feet—there's no question about it.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Beast GTS 23 78.3 mm
Average 77.8 mm
Compared to 134 running shoes
Number of shoes
67.6 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
90.4 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The new Beast GTS features a unique one-side semi-gusseted tongue. It's a feature we don't see often in today's running shoes, but it gives a great lockdown.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Beast GTS 23 One side (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

Brooks went all out on the comfort game with the Beast GTS 23. I mean, an 11.3-mm thick tongue? We tied those laces super tight, and we felt there was still zero chance of feeling any discomfort in the area.

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Tongue padding
Test results
Beast GTS 23 11.3 mm
Average 5.7 mm
Compared to 258 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Removable insole

The shoe's insole is easy to remove, letting you seamlessly insert insoles from other shoes or third-party orthotics. Great!

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Removable insole
Test results
Beast GTS 23 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

We often categorize shoes based on whether they include reflective elements. In this instance, we should note that the shoe has a "reflective element"—singular—because it only boasts one reflective piece in the heel area.

Anyway, this minor detail puts the Beast GTS 23 ahead of most competitors. However, we'd appreciate seeing more from Brooks in the future. For instance, incorporating a reflective logo could not only enhance visibility but also serve as a unique brand promotion!

Brooks Beast GTS 23 Reflective elements
Test results
Beast GTS 23 Yes