Brooks Adrenaline ASR GTX review
I’ve been wearing Brooks Adrenaline GTS running shoes for about 10 years. They are a great pair of running shoes and have served me well. As a runner, when I find something that works I stick with it. Brooks Running shoes work for me.
The need for change
A few weeks ago I went into Marathon Sports in Melrose to see if they had anything to help with cold weather running. The past few year’s winter cold has been rough on my feet. I’ve upgraded my running socks, but it was time to upgrade my running shoes. They suggested the Brooks Adrenaline ASR GTX running shoe.
Brooks calls these an all-terrain shoe. They’re good for road running but give you extra support and traction for trail running and winter conditions.
What I really like about these shoes is the GORE-TEX lining. Most shoes have a ventilated toe box which is great in July, but not in February.
The GORE-TEX membrane is waterproof, windproof and provides some insulation to help keep my feet warm. I had been looking for a shoe that does not have a ventilated toe box. I did some research, but not enough. I have since found several brands that make winter shoes and a few that also use Gore-TEX.
I tested these shoes on the road in the real world. And while I got a discount on last year’s model, I did pay for these shoes.
My first road test was the 25th ANNUAL BREAKHEART TURKEY TROT. This race was mainly on the paved path in Breakheart Reservation, but about a half mile was on trail. This piece of trail running was un-expected, but I dug in with complete confidence.
The tread dug into the soft sand and gravel on the uphill. I always felt like I had the traction I needed to keep pushing as hard as possible.
The second road test was the Boston Volvo Village Thanksgiving 5K Run for MS. This story in included in the Turkey Trot link above. This was strictly a road race through the neighborhoods of Brighton.
My foot falls are definitely a little louder in these shoes. I’m not a quiet runner in regular shoes, and people can tell it’s me behind them from the way my foot fall sounds. So I must be a racket.
As I ran through Brighton I began to notice how loud these shoes were. The tread on these shoes are solid and they sound that way on pavement. There was no sneaking up on the runner in front of me. They could hear me coming.
Even with the more substantial sole and tread I never felt weighed down, it felt like nice firm support.
Off road testing
On December 13th I ran The Assault on Mt. Hood XC race. 90% of this race was on grass, mud, hills and gravel pathways. This was a real test of this shoe’s all-terrain tread cred.
One hill was a steep, muddy embankment. You would never go this way as a short cut, it was just too steep. But, up we went. My shoes dug into the mud and I never lost traction. My legs were killing me by this point in the race, but the shoes would take and hold as much thrust as I could muster on that hill.
Out of 350 some odd runners I finished 104th. This was a challenging XC race with a lot of experienced XC runners who look forward to this race each year. I was out of my element and my usual strategies didn’t really apply here.
The shoes did their job and provided the traction I needed. My feet were dry when I got home also.
Brooks Running calls the Adrenaline ASR GTX their “most versatile all-terrain shoe.” I’m not a trail running expert or a shoe hound like some of my readers. I do know what feels comfortable and feels good to run in. The Adrenaline ASR GTX hits the mark on both counts.
On the trails the tread gave me the traction I needed. These recent races have been on cold days and these shoes have helped keep my feet warm.
The toe box is a little snugger than the Adrenaline GTS. I haven’t run more than 10K in these shoes, but so far I haven’t had any blister problems.
If you are looking for a shoe to help keep your feet warm this winter, I would recommend the Brooks Adrenaline ASR 12 GTX. They are a little more expensive than the Adrenaline GTS, but worth the price on a cold day.
I tested the model 10. Usually Brooks doesn’t make big changes in their model updates, so your experience should be similar in the 12s.
Run well my friends, and keep warm!