Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16

By Tim Sweeney2956616-p-2x

They Say - These trusted, go-to running shoes for men are the perfect balance of support and soft cushion, and especially great for those who tend to pronate. The midsole dynamically adapts to every step thanks to our DNA midsole, while your body is guided into it’s natural alignment with the help of a supportive Progressive Diagonal Rollbar. Plus, smooth heel-to-toe transitions are made possible by our Full-Length Segmented Crash Pad.

This sixteenth edition is more plush than ever—an updated V-Groove folds deeper inward to absorb and disperse impact away from the foot. Also new to this men’s/women’s running shoe is a nearly seamless design that provides a comfortable and secure fit. Set out for an effortless run in this popular men’s running shoe.

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We Say - If you want a trail shoe that allows you to hammer down rocky trails without a care, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 might be the shoe for you. Brooks packs a lot of technology (and acronyms) into this shoe, to the point where people might think you are talking about the stock car you take to the track rather than your trail shoes. BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning, Full-Length Segmented Crash Pad (more on this later), V-Groove folds and Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar (PDRB) to name a few. What does all this mean as far as how the shoe performs on and off the trails? While being a little heavy for my liking, the shoe fits pretty well. I find the overall size of the shoe, as in how far it extends up the back of your heal for example, to be a bit excessive and clunky. The tread has fairly minimal lugs for grip, so they might be best on hard, dry trails, but this also makes transition to the road easier. I got them muddy on the trails and they definitely prefer a dry track.

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The segmented crash pad may be the feature that I find offers the most benefit, and also part of the issue I have with the Adrenaline GTS. The crash pad itself is very solid and rugged, especially for a shoe that Brooks describes as plush…meaning you still have plenty of cushioning, if you’re into that sort of thing. I was going out of my way on trails to find rocks and hard roots to step on. While this isn’t something I’d suggest as a running style to keep you injury-free, I did it because you can step on the hardest and sharpest rock, and you will barely feel a thing…which is pretty cool.

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So what is my issue with the crash pad technology? Well it comes in the descriptor “segmented”. I suppose my problem is more with the 12mm heal drop of this shoe when you break it down. I went on about my dislike with such a high heel shoe in reviewing the Brooks STF5 Racer (which I liked, despite also having a 12mm drop, see that review here), so I won’t beat a dead horse, but this shoe is mostly designed for a heel striker. In Brooks own words, the “Full-Length Segmented Crash Pad accommodates any foot landing and delivers smooth heel-to-toe transitions”. So in a nutshell, there is my biggest problem with this shoe. As a midfoot to forefoot striker, the elevated heel just seems to get in the way for me. If I had a medium length trail run on a rocky, technical trail, I would likely choose the GTS 16 shoes and be quite happy with the feel and performance, but mostly I’m left wondering how good a Brooks trail shoe might be that isn’t designed for heel strikers.

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I’m impressed by the quality and fit (they do seem to size small; these fit me well but they’re at least half a size bigger than most of my other shoes), and also with the fact that Brooks shoes are vegan friendly, but I will have to look out for a lighter model trail shoe with something closer to a 4-6mm drop before I’m ready to swear my undying allegiance. If you run on rocky trails and aren’t such a whiner about how high your midfoot drop is, give Adrenaline GTS 16 a spin, and enjoy not giving a damn about the rocks under foot.

To discover more about these Brooks running shoes, see http://www.brooksrunning.com/en_gb/adrenaline-gts-16-mens-running-shoes/110212.html?dwvar_110212_color=068#q=Brooks+Adrenaline+GTS+16+&start=1

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