Brooks Adrenaline GTS History

Too often in the past have we witnessed footwear brands ruin perfectly good running shoes by attempting to “improve” them for the sake of marketing. Fortunately, that isn’t the case for Brooks and its “go-to shoe,” the Adrenaline GTS.

Over the last decade and a half, the Adrenaline GTS line has single handedly carried the torch for Brooks Running—something the shoe continues to do so even today with its 14th installment. Designed specifically to cater to moderate overpronators who require the perfect balance between cushioning and support, the GTS has built up a huge reputation for being one of the premiere stability running sneakers on the market.

After making its debut just prior to the turn of the 21st century, the series has continued to improve year after year without straying from its key identity, building a cult following in the process. Key updates (both in the aesthetics and performance department) along the way have warranted numerous accolades for the GTS, and Brooks itself has been awarded for its efforts by strong sales (1.6 million pairs sold and counting) year on end.

This is the story of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS—a shoe that has held a close place in the hearts of all of us who’ve had the pleasure of running in it; a modest yet effective shoe that has proved to have enough cushioning and stability to hold it down for average runners and billionaire social networking gurus alike. We see you Mark Zuckerberg.

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Brooks Adrenaline GTS

Brooks Adrenaline GTS

Year: 1999
Weight: 11.9 oz

The Brooks GTS series may be popular today, but when the shoe first got its start back in the ‘90s, it took some time to gain traction in an already competitive running footwear industry. At the time of its introduction, Brooks already had a shoe called the Adrenaline in its arsenal. However, it was the 1999 versino that kick started the line that we know and love today. Oddly enough, the brand rolled out two different versions of the original GTS—both of which are technically considered the GTS 1. 

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 5

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 5

Year: 2005
Weight: 12.8 oz

The GTS 4 was so well received that Brooks opted not to change much on the next version of the shoe. In fact, besides for a slightly redesigned upper and a couple of minor tweaks on the sole, the GTS 5 remained virtually unchanged—something runners certainly appreciated. Brooks did, however, offer up additional colorways.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 6

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 6

Year: 2006
Weight: 11.8 oz

The GTS 6 was a lighter and more responsive version of its predecessor. After keeping the weight of the shoe steady at 12.8 ounces for the previous three versions, Brooks reduced the weight of the 6 by an entire ounce. Much of the weight reduction was attributed to the switch to a more porous open-air mesh upper with slightly less bulkier overlays, as well as a more refined sole. It a CMEVA midsole with new full-length MoGo cushioning and a redesigned dual-density DRB Accel shank for improved midfoot torsion. The shoe was most known for its excellent fit.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7

Year: 2007
Weight: 11.5 oz

Brooks continued the success it found in the fit department with the GTS 6 with the release of the equally impressive GTS 7 a year later. Along with close attention to fit, the brand continued to shed weight from the shoe as it refined the design further yet. Despite a 0.3-ounce weight reduction, the GTS 7 still managed to provide the same support and shock absorption the series was known for.  It wasn’t the perfect shoe just yet, but it was close.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 8

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 8

Year: 2008
Weight: 11.5 oz

The GTS 8 seamlessly picked up where the previous version left off. By now, it had become evident that Brooks was going for a more aggressive look for its popular workhorse. There weren’t any major chances in terms of cushioning and fit, however the design element continued to be tweaked to refine it further and further.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 9

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 9

Year: 2009
Weight: 11.3

By the time 2009 rolled around, the Adrenaline GTS line had already built up quite the reputation for its superior support and fit. However, Brooks took things to yet another level with the GTS 9.  The biggest update was the introduction of a separate molded piece on the heel of the sole (the blue colored part in the image above) rather than just a single, full-length piece. The result was improved heel geometry, allowing the shoe to better control the runner’s motion upon impact. Brooks also tweaked the placement of the synthetic overlays for improved midfoot feel, and for the first time, introduced its eco-friendly BioMoGo midsole and recycled shoe laces—both of which are still implemented by the brand today in the name of environmental responsibility.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10

Year: 2010
Weight: 11.1 oz

For the its milestone 10th year, Brooks gave the Adrenaline GTS a fresh makeover both on the surface and under the hood, once more exceeding runner expectations. With the GTS 10, Brooks continued its focus on support and stability, and also stepped it up in the comfort and cushioning department. The brand reconstructed the upper with more breathable and created a more asymmetrical fit with redesigned overlays. The heel bevel on the shoe was increased for a smoother transition from heel to toe and a slower rate of pronation. Brooks continued to refine the separate molded heel pad by giving it a “caterpillar” shape, which was more segmented for increased fluidity. The changes warranted yet another “Best Update” award from Runner’s World.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11

Year: 2011
Weight: 11.3 oz

Leave it to Brooks to somehow continue to improve on an already near-perfect shoe. By adding a heel cradle, the design team gave the heel of the foot a more secure fit and added more gel underneath for impact protection. The upper was also given a facelift via adjustable straps in the eye-row for a more custom fit. Runner’s World “Best Update” for the third time (second consecutive)? You better believe it.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12

Year: 2012
Weight: 11.3 oz

After a slew of major updates in the previous few years, the GTS series only got a moderate upgrade for its 12th iteration. Still, Brooks found ways to further improve the heel pad with greater segmentation. The midfoot saddle wrap on the upper was also reinforced to balance out the shoe’s firmness—a great shoe both off-road and on the pavement.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13

Year: 2013
Weight: 11.3 oz

Much of the GTS 13’s frame stayed the same compared to the previous version, including the support and sizing. However, minor changes were made to make the interior softer and more seamless. Brooks also expanded the color offerings for the otherwise classic silhouette. Granted I myself never got the chance to test out the first half of the series, of the models that have graced my feet, the 13 is the clear-cut favorite. Something about them just felt right.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14

Year: 2014
Weight: 11.3 oz

Remember that caterpillar crash pad that was exclusive to just the heel? Well for the most recent edition of the Adrenaline GTS, Brooks went all out—for the sake of natural motion—by extending it from heel to toe. Additional foam was added in place of the midfoot shank, allowing the shoe to keep maximum ground contact. The upper on the shoe which features a more porous mesh for breathability and reconfigured overlays, is also more refined than ever. Notice, too, the GTS 14 is by far the loudest iteration of the series in terms of bold colors and design.