Our verdict

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 builds on the winning recipe that made its predecessors favoured among runners all around the world. We found that it shines as a reliable, well-cushioned, and stable daily trainer that's perfect for easy to moderate runs. Even with a slight shortfall in forefoot cushioning, we think that its value at £140 marks it as a standout choice and a welcome enhancement over prior models.

Pros

  • Excellent stability without being intrusive
  • Ideal for easy miles
  • Specifically designed for heel strikers
  • Outstanding breathability
  • Comfortable and cushioned
  • Availability in narrow and wide sizes
  • Capable of handling tempo paces
  • Not expensive at all

Cons

  • The engineered mesh upper lacks durability
  • Lacks cushion for forefoot strikers

Audience verdict

88
Great!

Who should buy

In our view, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 is a fantastic choice for:

  • Mild overpronators who need a running shoe with more support than the average daily trainer.
  • Midfoot or heel strikers seeking a workhorse with a traditional fit, steep heel-to-toe drop, and a cushioned heel.
  • Fans of Brooks looking for a reliable shoe that can handle easy and aerobic runs on various surfaces.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

Who should NOT buy

Those with a forefoot strike might find the 12-mm heel-to-toe drop of some shoes too steep and should consider the Saucony Guide 16. In our experience, another option that has a similar high drop but adds extra foam in the forefoot is the Brooks Glycerin GTS 20. We think these options cater better to such specific needs.

Two other groups that might want to explore alternatives are runners who prefer firm midsoles for additional stability. Based on our tests, the On Cloudflyer 4 or the Hoka Arahi 6 could be better choices. We found these models to provide the firmness some runners seek.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

Breathability

Breathability is one of the essential features for any daily trainer aiming to win over the market. It's vital for ensuring a comfortable run when the weather turns warm.

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 truly shines in this aspect, displaying one of the most impressive performances we've ever witnessed in the lab regarding breathability.

Naturally, we awarded it a perfect score of 5/5. Watching the smoke escape through the enormous ventilation holes in the upper is simply mesmerising!

After achieving the perfect score with the smoke-pumping machine, we took a closer look to understand why it succeeded. Under the light, it's incredibly easy to spot the large ventilation holes and understand why this 3D Fit Print upper breathes so well.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 microscope

When we examined the shoe under the microscope, we found an interior fabric layer, but its remarkable thinness ensures that it doesn't affect airflow at all.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 microscope close

It's important to highlight this feature, as it's a common mistake made by many running shoe manufacturers. They create large ventilation holes but then pair them with an interior layer that's too thick, effectively destroying breathability.

Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 5
Average 3.8
Compared to 234 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

However, the thin engineered mesh of the Adrenaline GTS 23 leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to durability.

We put it through our standardised Dremel test, where we apply consistent force and time to each shoe, and this one ended up at the bottom of the pile with a 1/5 score. 

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Toebox durability
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 1
Average 2.4
Compared to 168 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Brooks pulled off a wonderful surprise with the heel. It's crafted from a durable-yet-comfy material, which really shines in this test.

The heel completely turned things around, scoring an impressive and well-deserved 5/5!

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Heel padding durability
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 5
Average 3.2
Compared to 164 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Switching our attention to the outsole, the American brand takes a no-risk approach. Our measurements revealed a hardness of 80.5 HC, providing a nice grip without any issues of wear and tear.

This is exactly the kind of performance and durability we look for in a daily trainer.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Outsole hardness
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 80.5 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 285 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

We utilised the Dremel for one final test, and the outsole of the Adrenaline GTS 23 performed well.

Once the test was complete, we measured 0.67-mm indentation in the rubber—an okay outcome. On average, we get a deeper dent in running shoes.  

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Outsole durability
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 0.7 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 146 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

But there's still a vital part missing in the outsole puzzle. Fortunately, we've measured its thickness at 3.6 mm—more than enough to back up our well-founded claims of strong durability.

Yet it's not so much as to result in a significant weight increase in the shoe. It's a smart, well-balanced approach.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Outsole thickness
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 3.6 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

On the scale, the Adrenaline GTS 23 weighs in at 10.10 oz (286g). This is slightly above average, but we see it as a good result for a stability shoe.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Weight
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 10.09 oz (286g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

As a stable shoe designed for heel strikers, we anticipated a generous heel stack in the Adrenaline GTS 23. We measured it at 34.1 mm, which provides more than enough cushioning for any runner.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Heel stack
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 34.1 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

In the forefoot, the shoe seems too thin for our liking, measuring at only 21.5 mm and that includes the insole and the outsole. We would have preferred a bit more foam.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Forefoot stack
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 21.5 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
36.9 mm

Drop

The difference between the heel and the forefoot results in a 12.6-mm heel-to-toe drop, which is pretty close to the measurement stated by Brooks (12 mm).

This design feature makes the shoe particularly well-suited for heel strikers, which is exactly what we expected from a stability daily trainer.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Drop
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 12.6 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

Inside the shoe, we discovered a comfortable insole that has a thickness of 4.5 mm. We found nothing wrong with it, meeting our expectations for a typical insole.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Insole thickness
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 4.5 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

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

The midsole of the shoe is made entirely from DNA Loft v2, the same compound that Brooks uses in the popular Ghost 15.

This is a reliable midsole, providing a good balance between softness and stability. When we measured it, the result was 19.5 HA, a figure that really highlights its well-balanced approach.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Midsole softness
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 19.5 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 232 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

In cold temperatures, the midsole became noticeably firmer. We measured its hardness at 27.6 HA.

That's a 41.7% increase over the room temperature reading, which is a disappointing result.

Even so, we can't say we were surprised. DNA Loft v2 is an EVA foam, and this type of foam tends to become really firm in cold temperatures. We've explained this in an in-depth article on the subject.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Difference in midsole softness in cold
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 41.7%
Average 25.5%
Compared to 231 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

We utilised the Dremel for one final test, and the outsole of the Adrenaline GTS 23 performed well.

Once the test was complete, we measured 0.67-mm indentation in the rubber—an okay outcome. On average, we get a deeper dent in running shoes.  

Lateral stability test

As "GTS" comes from "Go To Stability", Brooks is already signalling to us that this is a shoe oriented towards that goal. But we don't really know this until we test it. Fortunately, we can confirm that this is indeed a very stable shoe.

It will suit 9 out of 10 runners looking for more stability. However, those who have extreme levels of pronation will be better off with a firmer and stiffer shoe like the Hoka Gaviota 4.

Torsional rigidity

We rated the torsional rigidity of the GTS 23 at 4 out of 5, and that's enough to deliver a stable ride.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 guiderails

Most of this rigidity comes from Brooks' GuideRails technology, a common feature in their stability shoes. These plastic pieces are smartly integrated into both sides of the shoe surrounding the heel, providing support by keeping excess movements in check.

Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 283 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

According to what the textbook says, a stability shoe must have a stiff heel counter. Here again, Brooks didn't want to go overboard with it but maintained a bit of comfort, so we rated it at 4 out of 5.

Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 4
Average 2.8
Compared to 267 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Let's keep the textbook open—if you want a stable stride, you need to have a wide landing base. Obviously, the wider the shoe, the more stable the ride, right?

That's why Brooks made this shoe wider than most others in the forefoot. We measured it in the lab at 117.3 mm. For instance, a Nike Pegasus 40 measures only 111.3 mm.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 117.3 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The heel of the GTS 23 follows the same approach, being wider than most neutral shoes. Measuring 96.9 mm, it provides a safe landing platform for heel strikers.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 96.9 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

In the pursuit of creating a shoe that's stable yet comfortable, achieving torsional stiffness is crucial, as demonstrated by the GTS 23 before. However, the shoe also needs a low score regarding longitudinal flexibility.

In our test, we find that we only need to use 17.7N of force to bend it to the 90º measurement point. This is exactly the result we were looking for.

Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 17.7N
Average 29.2N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

After leaving the Adrenaline GTS 23 in our freezer for 20 minutes to simulate cold temperatures, we discovered that the shoe got a little stiffer. It now requires 22.5N of force to bend to the same point. However, it almost feels the same as before.

In fact, we're looking at a 27% change, which is better than almost every other shoe on the market. This result is especially surprising for a foam based on EVA. Brooks has really done well with this formulation.

Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 27%
Average 35.9%
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Internal length

According to Brooks' sizing charts, a US size 9 should equate to 270 mm. In our measurements, we found it to be 271.5 mm, which is slightly longer than usual but not enough to recommend a size-up. For us, it's a true-to-size fit.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Internal length
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 271.5 mm

Toebox width at the widest part

If you have wide feet, you might find the upper in the Adrenaline GTS 23 to fit a bit like a performance shoe. However, we measured it at 99.9 mm, which is pretty standard and in line with most daily trainers.

But there's no need to worry, as Brooks offers multiple widths, ranging from narrow to extra wide. They are one of the few brands that provide such variety.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 99.9 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

In the area surrounding the toes, we measured 78.7 mm, and this measurement matches what we felt. It's neither wide nor narrow, just average.

But as we said just before, if you need a different fit, feel free to choose between the multiple widths available.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 78.7 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 179 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Heel feel

In cold temperatures, the midsole became noticeably firmer. We measured its hardness at 27.6 HA.

That's a 41.7% increase over the room temperature reading, which is a disappointing result.

Even so, we can't say we were surprised. DNA Loft v2 is an EVA foam, and this type of foam tends to become really firm in cold temperatures. We've explained this in an in-depth article on the subject.

Tongue: gusset type

Striving for a good balance between comfort and solid lockdown, the tongue of this shoe is semi-gusseted. We believe that's the right approach for this type of shoe.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

Fans of padded tongues—maybe because they often experience lace bite or need to tighten the knots a lot—will find this to be an amazing shoe in that regard.

Brooks went all out, and as can be seen in the picture, they added not just one, but two layers of padding into the tongue for an incredible thickness of 11.7 mm.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Tongue padding
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 11.7 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 302 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

Brooks is one of those brands that consistently skips adding heel tabs to their shoes, and they've proven it yet again.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Heel tab
Test results
Adrenaline GTS 23 None

Removable insole

One great thing about this Brooks shoe is that the insole can be taken out. This means you won't run into any trouble if you want to use your own orthotics.

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

Misc

Reflective elements

Many shoes today lack reflective pieces, a feature that's unfortunately becoming less common. The GTS 23 from Brooks does include some, but we're sincerely hoping for additional reflective elements in the next version. Come on, Brooks, what about a reflective logo?

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