Brooks Adrenaline GTX Review
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If you run in any sort of adverse or variable conditions, the Brooks Adrenaline GTX has got you covered. (If you are familiar with Brooks models, this shoe is basically the GORE-TEX® version of the Adrenaline ASR 8.) For me, Brooks’ claims that this shoe is for “ultimate protection from elements on and off the trail” and the “GORE-TEX® membrane allows you to go almost anywhere, in almost any weather” could not have been more true.
Colorado’s winter weather provided me the opportunity to test these shoes in a myriad of conditions including: dry pavement, snow-packed sidewalks, slush, snowy singletrack, mud, and ice. Given the variable conditions, the GORE-TEX® membrane was the star of the show. Even when splashing through slush or puddles, my feet remained warm and dry. In milder, dry weather my feet did not overheat; as advertised, the GORE-TEX® membrane kept the cold and wet out while still being breathable and light.
I was also really impressed with the midsole of this shoe. I generally run in very minimalist, sub-5mm drop shoes, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the relatively substantial Adrenaline GTX. From the moment I slipped my foot into the shoe, the fit felt great and it seemed to mold to my foot, which is exactly what the Brooks DNA technology is supposed to do. Even with a thicker, more supportive midsole, I felt connected to the ground with each step, the impact was dispersed throughout the sole, and the rebound felt just right – not too soft, not too firm. Additionally, I felt very stable in uneven, varied terrain. Brooks does stability well – the shoe is designed for pronation control and has a rollbar to prevent twist torsion.
The HPR outsole was sufficiently lugged to deliver excellent traction on both wet and dry terrain.
I have already raved about the GORE-TEX ®membrane, but the rest of the upper on the Adrenaline GTX is also impressive. It is tough, but not too heavy. At 10.7 ounces they’re about twice the weight of my minimalist shoes, but I honestly didn’t notice it, and think the go-anywhere and stay-dry feature is worth the weight. Although I did not have the opportunity to run on overly rocky trails, I have no doubt that these would protect me from sharp edges. I was also a huge fan of the attached tongue. No need to worry about it slipping out of place. My one concern is that, for people with higher arches, the attached tongue may put too much pressure on the top of the foot. Even with a normal arch I could feel a bit of pressure – more than just the snugness of the shoe.
The Adrenaline GTX has a feature I hadn’t seen on a shoe before: four of the shoelace eyelets are stretchy, so that when you lace up, you get a more of a customized fit.
I did have one issue with the shoes that arose for the first time after approximately 50 miles. I went out for a long run and, for no apparent reason, my second toe began to go numb, and it spread into pins and needles in the rest of my foot. The same thing happened on a trail run the following week. I still have yet to pinpoint the issue. I liked the shoes so much from the start that I’m reluctant to set them aside, and I plan to further investigate the cause.
Overall, I loved the Adrenaline GTX; this is a great all-terrain shoe for heel-toe runners who get out in all conditions. They held true to the manufacturer claims, the fit ran true to size, and the black with teal accents keep them looking new even after they’ve been put through the paces. I am curious to see if a black GTX shoe – even with good breathability – will get hot in summer months. More on that once I am able to test in those conditions.
For more info on the Adrenaline GTX and other Brooks footwear, visit www.brooksrunning.com.
Available also in Men’s (black/orange).