The Brooks Adrenaline, the cornerstone of their stability lineup enters its 22nd year this year. While staying true to itself, Brooks has made a few small tweaks to the trainer for this edition. The Adrenaline along with the neutral counterpart the Ghost remain Brooks best selling trainers.
Last year Brooks discontinued their minimal (Ravenna) and maximum (Transcend) stability offerings. Instead, they added the GuideRail system to their Launch and Glycerin trainers. The Adrenaline sits in the middle of their stability lineup offering a moderate amount of stability.
Every year the moderate stability field becomes more and more crowded. Brooks Adrenaline competes with the Saucony Guide and Omni, ASCIS GT-2000, and New Balance 860.
It is priced at 140 dollars which is an increase of 10 dollars from last year. Does this increased price mean better performance? I would have to find out for myself.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 First Impressions
The 21s were my first experience with Brooks Adrenaline so I thought about that experience when I opened the box of 22s. The colorway of the Adrenaline is stylish, with an all black upper accented with pops of orange and blue throughout the trainer. The blue Brooks logos especially pop. There are 9 colorways to choose from so you are guaranteed to find one that you love.
When I put them on for the first time I noticed a small amount of tightness in the arch area of my right foot. It was noticeable, but not uncomfortable. The rest of the fit was wide from toe box to heel. There was a balanced, responsive, and plush fit to the cushioning of the Adrenaline, which resulted in instant comfort. The 12 mm drop was felt initially on the first try on but my feet and legs adjusted to it.
An 8 miler was their maiden voyage.The drop and firmness took some getting used to. Regardless of those two things they were comfortable from the first step on. As with my experience with Brooks I was looking to put more miles in them because the more miles you put into them the more comfortable they become.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Sole Unit
Let’s start from the ground up. A dense blown rubber is found on the outsoles of the adrenaline. This rubber provides traction and handles all mother nature throws at it. There was no slippage when it was wet. Like last year you will find Omega flex grooves and segmented crash pads on the outsole. The flex grooves added flexibility which aided the transition from strike to toe off. The crash pad absorbed the impact of foot strikes allowing the Adrenaline to maintain comfort during runs. Comfort was also found throughout the midsole.
BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft were the midsole materials in previous models. This year they have decided to simplify things by making the midsole completely out of DNA Loft. There is a small but noticeable bounce to this midsole compared to the 21s. It is still a balanced ride, by being responsive but also slightly plush. Like other Brooks offerings I’ve reviewed, the Adrenaline has about a 20 to 30 mile break in period. Once they are broken in they become more comfortable as the miles add up.
The Adrenaline 22 is the third edition to feature Brooks GuideRail system. For those unfamiliar with the GuideRail support system, you have two pieces of midsole foam on both the medial and lateral sides of your heel that cradle your foot while wearing them. They are dynamic, meaning they engage when you need them to. This cradle-like feeling takes a little distance to become used to them but once you have they provide valuable stability to your stride.
The Brooks Adrenaline has a 12 mm drop, with the heel height of 36 mm and toe height of 24 mm. This is a high drop compared to other brands. It pushes you forward because it is substantial. This aspect took longer to get used to because many other recent shoes I’ve reviewed have been anywhere from 0-8 mm drops. Since it is a steep drop it encourages you to push the pace some. This can be done because of both the stability and comfort felt from the Adrenaline.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Upper Unit
The upper of the Adrenaline 22 is built with a new engineered 3d fit print mesh. It is one piece upper that has no points of irritation. It is a simple and strong material providing comfort mile after mile. The upper maintains its form while also being flexible. The mesh is softer and more breathable than the last edition.
You will find a wider upper than other Brooks stability trainers. This allowed my feet to naturally stretch out as I ran along with adding comfort to the ride.There is a medium amount of cushioning in the right areas, especially in the heel portion. The heel counter has been updated for the 22s. This update has improved the comfort and fit of the heel.The fit is secure which translates to stability.
The lacing system is a traditional one. One difference is the laces used on the 22s are thinner than last year’s. This allows you a secure tie the first time and not having to worry about having to re-tie your shoes during a run.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Conclusion
Think about your favorite running shoe brand. What makes you keep coming back to them? Is it because they are always developing new “outside the box” technologies? Or is it because they are like comfort food for your feet? Ones that can always be depended on to satisfy your running cravings. The more experience I have running in Brooks, the more I feel like they fall in the latter category. Because of this they have cultivated a loyal base over the years. Comfort running was the name of the game with the Brooks Adrenaline 22.
Let’s talk about the midsole. It provides a comfortable, firm and responsive ride from the first step in them. The update to a full DNA Loft midsole slightly softened the ride compared to previous editions. There is still a break-in period of about 25 miles for these like other Brooks trainers I have reviewed, but the good news is once they are broken in they are one of the most comfortable stability trainers out there. This is also achieved by the support felt by the GuideRail system. Providing stability when needed.
I would love to see Brooks decrease their heel to toe drop from 12 to 8. One drawback is the 12 mm drop that is noticeable in the Brooks Adrenaline. While it pushed me forward on many runs it also felt like it made it slightly harder to relax the pace.
Now the upper, which utilized a new 3d fit print mesh this year. It maintains its structure while also being flexible and adaptable to your feet. The wider fit throughout the trainer allowed my feet to run more naturally by allowing them to splay out. The medium amount of cushioning found throughout the upper was the ideal amount. It is a traditional fit with the Brooks Adrenaline that delivers support and comfort.
Despite there small drawbacks, (break in time and 12mm drop) the Brooks Adrenaline remains as a member of the lead pack of trainer in a crowded stability field. Its firm yet responsive ride provides stability when needed along with comfort all the time. The addition of the DNA loft midsole and 3d fit print mesh upper just make it that much better.
The durable midsole provided a firm yet responsive ride. The GuideRail system cradled my feet as I ran in them giving me the right amount of stability. Overall, you are getting a reliable ride with the Adrenaline whether it is a 2 mile or 12 mile run and by the way it is built it will last you for hundreds of miles and it is well worth the 140 dollar price tag.
Last year I said this about the Adrenaline “the Brooks Adrenaline is worth every penny. They provided me with countless comfortable miles because of the execution of all aspects.” This is even more fitting for the Adrenaline 22.
Only time will tell if another trainer can bump it off the top of my list for 2022. But what I can tell you is that it is the best trainer I have reviewed so far this year.
Sure you could find more envelope-pushing stability trainers out there but I doubt you will find one that consistently performs as effortlessly as the Brooks Adrenaline.
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 at Running Warehouse with our own money.