Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 review: the perfect blend of support and softness

Experience comfort and stability like never before with the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

T3 Platinum Award
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 review
(Image credit: Lucy MIller)
T3 Verdict

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 is a support shoe designed to help runners who tend to overpronate when they run. They feature Brooks' GuideRails® technology, intended to cut down excess movement and support your feet, knees and hips thanks to the blend of foam, air and rubber that delivers super soft comfort while logging long training miles. They're for everyday running - short distance or long - and a great investment shoe.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Soft cushioning but still supportive for overpronators

  • +

    Smooth and light to run in despite the level of support

  • +

    Roomy for those with wider, flatter feet

  • +

    Beautiful colours

  • +

    They look good for a moderate stability shoe

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    The light colours dirty easily

  • -

    Laces are slightly on the shorter side

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The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 sits in the middle of the Brooks line-up, labelling itself as the perfect balance of support and softness. Even more exciting is that Brooks has updated their level of soft cushioning, which hasn't affected the level of support and protection underfoot, which is second to none, thanks to their DNA LOFT cushioning, a combination of EVA foam, rubber and air. Yes, even air gets credit as a key cushioning ingredient.

This plush and updated foam formula is nice and soft and sits just under the heel. The rest of the shoe is built with the GuideRails support system that guides the middle of the trainer - and laterally in the heel area too. Those who have run in the Adrenaline for years (like myself - I’m talking 8 years now!) will rarely divert from this model - it's consistent and comfortable.

I chose this shoe back in 2016 when training for my first marathon and haven’t looked back. I’ve embraced the changes of each of the manufacturer's updates and still very much enjoy this best-seller. This design is available in men's and women's versions. I tested the latter and consider them some of the best women's running shoes and certainly the best Brooks running shoes around. Read on for our full Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 review.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 review

Price and availability

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 was launched in June 2023 and is available to buy now at Brooks US, Brooks UK and Brooks AU for a recommended retail price of $140/ £135/ AU$ 259.95.

The shoes are available in loads of colourways; in the US, there are currently 21 different colours to choose from, with the latest one being the White/Black model, which looks like TV static. Brooks also sells the Adrenaline GTS 23 in limited-edition colourways, including Black/Cream/Biscuit, Dawn Blue/Purple Cactus/Black and Blanc/Gray/Sunflower.

Specifications

  • Materials: 60% recycled materials 
  • Weight: 9.1oz / 258.0g (UK women's size 5)
  • Sizes: 3-11 
  • Colours: 12 different colours
  • Width: Narrow, medium, wide, extra wide  
  • Heel-toe drop: 12mm
  • Stack height: 34 mm (heel), 22 mm (forefoot)

Tech and ergonomics

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 review

(Image credit: Lucy MIller)

As a flat-footed over-pronator and prone to shin splints, I can confidentially say that the GuideRail technology in Brooks has saved me from expensive physio and frustrating injuries. The system not only supports your foot, just like stabilisers do on a bike, but works exactly as it should, encouraging me to push off with the front of my big toe rather than the inside. A straighter toe box on the inside than previous versions helps that too. 

It also targets and helps those who heel strike to stabilise the initial contact and reduce any inwards rolling of the foot. How? You’ll find two firm pieces of foam sitting on either side of the heel on the midsole. There’s also some on the outside of the heel, but the foam is both firmer and higher, reducing the shifting of the heel in the outward direction. This ensures your natural knee motion stays in a safe range, so you’re less likely to suffer pain and injury. 

The shoe also utilises a 12mm drop (which hasn’t changed from previous models) and is especially useful for those with a history of calf or Achilles issues who require that slightly higher heel.

The plush feel beneath your feet also extends to the upper of the Adrenaline GTS 23, which wraps the foot nicely, thanks to the 3D Fit Print mesh. This means there are no overlays, meaning there are no points of irritation or slipping of the foot or rubbing. This makes the shoes feel super secure and helps to give a snug, just-the-right fit feel.

The tongue is also thick and soft and sits nicely in the shoe, and there’s no need to overtighten laces. The laces are flat and, therefore, extremely unlikely to rub or need adjusting mid-run. My only gripe is that they could just be slightly longer - especially if you’re a fan of the runner's knot.

Brooks DNA Loft is another feature that aims to promote comfort over injury. Extra air in the midsole improves cushioning and adds to a plush ride - but not overly so you’re bouncing around. There’s more than enough response for the pacier runs with enough cushioning to keep your joints aligned and your body on form over longer miles. 

The blown rubber outsole also feels strong and durable, especially on the outside of the heel, where most of my shoes tend to wear - and I also loved how grippy they felt in wet conditions. 

You’ll also notice (and welcome) flexed grooves in the forefoot area of the outsole, which helps to increase the flexibility of the rubber as you push off the ground. 

I personally found the Adrenaline GTS 23 true to size. I do, however, always go up a size in my running shoes, so as a size 4 - I went for the size 5. I also have very wide feet, so I went for the medium 1B width to accommodate a non-existent foot arch. I could have gone for the wider 1D of 2E option - but going a size up and the medium was more than sufficient and I’d have to forgo my colour choice - the wide unfortunately only comes in two colours.

Aesthetics

Testing the Apricot/Estate Blue/Orchid design, I loved the pastel colours that soften the look of ‘technical running trainers’. Overall the apricot colour is girlie and clean looking, yet not too bright. The flashes of blue, make them feel more sporty. There are other colourways, including a more traditional blue and black, but the Apricot/Estate Blue/Orchid model is the prettiest option, making them perfect for Spring. If you wanted to blend into the crowd more - or you like running through puddles I would go for the darker colours like the black or peacoat models. With 12 colours to choose from, there’s a colour for every taste.

Performance

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 review

(Image credit: Lucy MIller)

I wore the Adrenaline GTS 23 when training for a half marathon - think 5, 10, and 15km runs as well as the shorter and sharper interval and hill sessions. What I love about these trainers are their comfort levels straight out of the box. The stability was there for the shorter, faster runs, and they most certainly supported me as my body tired on my longer runs, too. 

The 12mm heel-to-toe drop works well for heel strikers (guilty as charged). And while they aren’t featherweight, at just over 9oz / 258.0g, they are light enough to be a reliable, responsive everyday trainer.  

It's worth mentioning that this model has a lot of fans, not just among runners, with many healthcare workers, and those in similar professions who spend long shifts on their feet, giving them a five-star rating - and describing them like ‘running on clouds without sacrificing stability.’

I'm guilty of wearing them all day, too; a half-term trip to London saw me cover 23,000 steps without an ache in sight. I also can’t fail to mention that these latest Brooks Adrenaline additions use almost 60% recycled materials in the uppers, which is a major plus for me is a plus, and I love the choice of widths and fit, too - my toes are so appreciative of the extra room in the toe box.

Verdict

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 review

(Image credit: Lucy MIller)

It can almost feel a bit unnerving when you hear that a brand is bringing out a newer version of your favourite kicks, but I’ve found that the GTS shoes get better each time. If you’re looking for a reliable stability that feels protective and accommodating to your gait and running style from the get-go, you can’t go wrong with the Adrenaline GTS 23. They are ready to serve your feet straight from the box; the minute you pop them on, you can feel their support, and there’s no breaking-in necessary.

Lucy Miller
Freelance writer

Lucy Miller is a journalist, Level 3 Personal Trainer, Nutritional Advisor and Children’s Fitness Specialist. She holds fitness qualifications from NASM Training and Premier Training International and has been a fitness journalist and fitness (and cover) model for over 20 years. Since going freelance in 2014, Lucy left Men’s Fitness Magazine to write for an abundance of top consumer titles such as Women’s Health, Women’s Fitness, Waitrose, The Times, The Guardian and Runners World.


She’s also extremely passionate when it comes to educating others about health and physical activity and loves inspiring and working with children and adults to help make fitness fun, sustainable and accessible. In her spare time, Lucy is ever the sportswoman. Once a national gymnast, having won three national titles, she has also run a handful of marathons around the world and loves to test her physical and mental side with daily running and gym sessions, not to mention ballet, bootcamp, boxing and TRX.