Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12 First Impressions

When I first took the Adrenalines out of the box, I immediately noticed the upper design of the new model. The silver mesh overlay with white and colored details were classic to the model, but freshly updated. The synthetic leather overlays are designed with reflective accents that run from the heel to the toe. Brooks’ DNA formula provides adaptive cushioning giving a smooth and even run. Immediately after putting on the shoe I noticed the “wrap around” cushioning. The medial post, colored in grey along the arch area allows maximum stability and gait balance.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12 Sole Unit

The sole unit of the GTS 12 is very similar to the one in the GTS 11. The stability and cushioning elements remained the same, with the biggest change to be found in the heel pad.

For the stability elements, the sole unit of the GTS 12 relies on two main components. The big, grey coloured insert of a harder foam compound on the medial (internal) side of the shoe is called Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar (PDRB) and it’s a traditional medial post, but with varying in hardness from soft to hard going from the heel towards the arch. The result? Different stability for different runners. Brooks calls this “pivot posting”.

Second element of stability is the plastic shank right below the arch (DRB Accel in Brooks’ terms).

Cushioning is provided by two units (one in the heel and one in the forefoot) of DNA. DNA is high-viscosity, non-newtonian fluid that is soft when the speed is low, but gets firmer when the pace gets faster. When you go slow you are longer in contact with the ground and want/need a softer landing, but when you go fast you want the sole to be harder in order to propel you forward. When walking or running at a slow speed, I noticed the DNA pods conform to the ground and remain soft. As my pace quickened, the DNA became firm, as intended, to guarantee faster energy return and providing a smooth run.

The main change versus the previous model is a better “landing crash pad”: the heel area is split in many different pods that compress differently according to the runner’s individual gait.

Although the sole unit is cushioned, it is very supportive. After running a few miles to break in the shoe, I was surprised to feel that lack of needing to “break in” the shoe.

The additional heel cushioning added maximum comfort and a firm back. It’s easily detectable as it matches the Brooks side logo on each shoe.

Its stacked foam Bio MoGo provides additional stability and reduces foot fatigue; perfect for low to mid arch runners and added custom fit. Additionally, Brooks boasts the foam core is biodegradable; an additional bonus to help Mother Nature.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12 Upper

The upper unit is very flexible and breathable due to the top mesh overlay. The mesh and interior polyester and nylon lining provide strong moisture management. With four newly added adjustable straps, the elasticity ensures a snug and secure fit.

The synthetic leather overlay adds additional structure along the top and sides of the shoe. Additionally, Brooks has designed a new lace tab, Tongue Tied, which keeps the tongue up while running. Although initially weary of the new Tongue Tied technology, I was surprised that the tongue not only stayed up during my run, but provided a more snug fit.

Overall the upper keeps the traditional look and feel of the Adrenaline, but improves in the sense that is lighter and more comfortable: the lacing system is more adaptive of the shape of the foot and locks the foot closer to the midsole, adding stability. The shoe fit is very similar to the Adrenaline 10 and 11.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12 Opinion

I have been running in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10 model for the past year. I expected the shoe to be comfortable and durable, but to feel very similar to the GTS 10. It was surprising to immediately feel the differences between the two models. Not being the lightest of the shoes, the weight reduction comes as a very welcome news.

The added heel cradle gives extra cushion in the back, which keeps the shoe firm but at maximum comfort. There is a reason I am loyal to this model, and Brooks keeps showing me why through its continued ensured quality.

After running a half marathon in the shoes, as well as having logged over 60 miles in training, my feet still had breathability and were comfortable.

We thank the nice people at Brooks for sending us a pair of Adrenaline GTS 12 to test. This did not influence our review of the shoes, written after running more than 60 miles (and a half marathon) in them.