An image of Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 21 Running shoes in black/ebony

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 Review



Many runners praise the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 as a true stability training shoe. It guarantees reliability with each stride and ensures a long-lasting, durable running experience. Each year, Brooks updates their Adrenaline editions with new technology and features—and the GTS 21 doesn’t fail to impress. Like the GTS 20, the 21 model offers superior comfort and a variety of vibrant and muted colors. If you’ve been searching for a new pair of running shoes, check out our Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 review so that you can make a more educated purchase.

Adrenaline GTS 21 Sole

The Adrenaline had significant changes between the GTS 20 and the GTS 21. Suppose you’re unfamiliar with the GuideRail Support System. In that case, Brooks features two guide rails on either side of the trainer—a short lateral guide and an extended medial guide—to provide a more balanced running experience. The GuideRail Support System adapts to the shape of your foot and helps when you need a little extra support—great for flat-footed runners. For runners that haven’t had any experience training in Adrenaline shoes, you’ll enjoy the GuideRails, which almost act as a bumper for the feet and ankles. This allows for a more stable ride, especially for people looking for a reliable pair of recovery shoes. The GuideRail Support System doesn’t over-engage, either, but rather only when you need it to. They offer smooth landings as you transition between feet. The Adrenaline’s outsole features a blown rubber that’s built to last long, extended runs. The shoes also include Omega flex grooves, strategically designed to provide higher adaptability, making these trainers excellent recovery shoes. The grooves connect with crash pads divided into segments, which work together to deliver smooth heel-to-toe transitions. The Brooks shoe’s midsole utilizes a dual-foam design, with BioMoGo DNA paired with the DNA loft used as the main foam. It takes some breaking in to soften the shoes. Some users say it took them anywhere from 20-30 miles to break in the trainers fully. Thanks to the BioMoGo DNA, the softened running shoes give you a better feel while running. Compared to the GTS 20s, the new GTS 21 edition features an extended cushioning from toe to heel.

Adrenaline GTS 21 Upper

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 shares many similarities with the previous model. The GTS 20 features a newly designed mesh upper designed to provide more structure, and the GTS 21 emulates that design. While offering flexibility, the running shoe’s composition maintains a balanced and stable form. Additionally, the mesh surrounding the upper is double-layered and breathable. Compared to other running shoes, the Brooks Adrenaline features a wider upper portion with little to no feeling of restriction for wide-footed runners. The new edition also updated the heel by adding more cushioning, especially useful for runners with shin splints. The cushioning throughout the shoe isn’t excessive, offering the perfect amount of foam that serves as a soft landing pad. The secure heel allows for additional stability, and the detached tongue isn’t overly cushioned, securing the trainer’s overall fit.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 vs GTS 20

While the GTS 20 version is reliable, Brooks made some excellent modifications to their new GTS 21’s. One of the biggest changes is the extension of the DNA Loft technology. In the previous model, the DNA Loft cushioning was primarily in the heel. But with the new edition, Brooks’ DNA Loft foam extends to the toe, making for a softer, more responsive ride. The Adrenaline features a smoother and more streamlined heel-to-toe transition, which certainly aids in the overall performance of this daily training shoe. Brooks also made some adjustments to the upper portion of the shoe. The Adrenaline GTS 21 now features lighter, breathable, and more flexible transitions due to the new Air Mesh upper. The Air Mesh provides more leeway with each stride so your toes can stay comfortable instead of crushed. It also helps relieve swollen feet. Brooks also adds a 3D Fit Print along either side of the shoe, providing a more secure structure.

Key Features of the GTS 21

The rundown:
  • Upper: Mesh fabric with durably packed printing
  • Midsole: Features an EVA-blend foam and a stronger GuideRail Support System; 12mm heel-to-toe offset
  • Outsole: Durable heel with firmer rubber; forefoot features a softer blown rubber
  • Weight: Men’s—10.6 ounces; Women—9.4 ounces
  • 4 widths available:
    • B = narrow
    • D = regular
    • 2E = wide
    • 4E = extra wide
  • Available in 5 colors for men and women
In the two previous iterations of running shoes, Brooks went with a more streamlined design, and the GTS 21’s follow along with the same trend. Many runners experienced a bulkier fit with last year’s model. However, the newest edition modifies the bulky fit with more lightweight foam technology. This model offers a more fitted shape along with the midsole—locking in your feet and ensuring a firmer ride. The toe box doesn’t crush your toes but adapts to the shape of your foot. In the midsole, the full-length DNA Loft helps you achieve a better running performance. Over the recent years, many shoe brands are releasing trainers that offer an already broken-in feel, and the Adrenaline GTS 21 goes along with that same trend. After just a few miles, the running shoes felt fairly soft and broken in. Brooks’ GuideRail system works to aid each stride, giving you the exact amount of necessary boost. However, some runners say the long medial guide distracts from the DNA Loft technology. To prevent any accidental inward movements, the GuideRails Support System resides just above the midsole. And even better, this feature doesn’t take away from the cushion provided by the DNA Loft foam. Over their last few editions, Brooks has worked to improve the shoe’s tongue. Some brands fall short on this small detail. The tongue on the Adrenaline GTS 20 was significantly more padded than the new model, but it’s much longer, so you can slide on the shoes with ease.


Our Adrenaline GTS 21 review helped show you how these shoes are great recovery shoes for no-nonsense runners. Brooks continues to stick to their tried and true stability with each model, including the GTS 21. This shoe brand receives widespread acclaim for its stability and for good reason. If you’ve experienced ankle, knee, hip discomfort, or overpronation, this might be the shoe for you. For an overpronating runner, the Adrenaline GTS 21 works as a great long-distance running shoe. As you start to tire out and your form starts foundering, the GuideRail Support System is there to correct and support you with each stride. The durable midsole provided a firm and controllable run. The GuideRail system cradled my feet as I ran in them, giving me the right amount of stability when needed. With a simple, durable design, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is a snug recovery or daily trainer that supports smooth heel-to-toe transitions and delivers an enjoyable running experience. The Adrenaline 21 isn’t flashy by any means, but it gets the job done.


Extended DNA Loft foam for extra cushioning
Built with a lightweight EVA foam
New Air Mesh is soft, breathable and flexible while offering support with each step
Offers stability while minimizing unwanted bulk


Takes 20-30 miles to break in fully
It isn’t ideal for faster track and high interval training workouts
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