Brooks Ravenna vs. Brooks Adrenaline GTS
Brooks running shoes have been a favorite with running pros and weekend joggers alike for decades, and with good reason. Their wide array of shoes offers a solution for every kind of runner—but sometimes it can be hard to choose. The Brooks Ravenna and Brooks Adrenaline GTS are both popular for their stability and comfort, but the shoes do have important differences. Read on to find out how to choose which one is the best fit for you.
Pros: The Ravenna is a long-time favorite for runners who want a light, speedy shoe but need stability due to overpronation—in fact, it’s the lightest in Brooks’ support lineup at a reasonable 9.4 ounces in the men’s shoe. While it’s far from the lightest shoe on the market, runners with moderate support needs should find that it doesn’t weigh them down over long races or distance runs.
That lightness comes in part from Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA cushioning, which extends throughout the shoe to provides a comfortable feel without compromising on responsiveness and spring. It also sports a special Midfoot Transition Zone and a heel bevel designed to help the runner smoothly transition onto the toes. The forefoot has good flexibility, helping to propel the runner forward. And the well-padded tongue and heel provide comfort for even the most blister-prone feet.
The shoe also provides support for moderate overpronation with its GuideRails system, which uses carefully placed thin strips of support instead of medial posts to control side-to-side movement without impairing the stride. In the Ravenna, this support is mild enough that many neutral runners will also be comfortable in the shoe. And with a 10 mm drop, the shoe is designed to keep excess pressure off the feet and calves.
Cons: While the Ravenna is a good compromise for the runner who doesn’t want to be weighed down but needs support, this is not a true speed shoe—it’s a fine choice for a long effort like a marathon, but is unlikely to give a 5k runner their best time.
The shoe’s upper is fairly unyielding and the shoe is on the narrow side generally, so runners with a wider forefoot will need to either size up or look for a different option. That stiff upper also traps heat, especially during long runs. The level of support in the shoe is fairly light, making it appropriate for neutral runners to moderate overpronators, and for flat to medium arches. Runners in need of more serious stability should likely look for a more supportive shoe.
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Brooks Adrenaline GTS
Pros: GTS stands for “Go to Shoe,” and the Brooks Adrenaline has lived up to that name for two decades. It’s one of the more popular choices out there for recreational joggers to amateur marathon runners thanks to its durability and suitability for a wide range of runners.
Instead of using BioMoGo DNA the full length of the shoe like the Ravenna, the Adrenaline GTS uses BioMoGo DNA in the forefoot for spring and uses Brooks’ DNA LOFT foam in the heel for additional cushioning that will be appreciated by heel-strikers.
Since it’s designed to be suitable for a wide range of running conditions and distances, the Adrenaline GTS is not built for speed and weighs in at 10.6 ounces, but it remains lighter than the company’s maximalist options. Runners who put in significant miles will find that the shoe’s durability and comfort is well suited for training.
Like the Ravenna, the Adrenaline GTX uses the Brooks’ GuideRail system but is designed for a bit more support. The well-structured heel cup also locks in the foot, reducing excess movement. The shoe is recommended for runners with a medium to high arch, and its 12 mm drop results in reduced load on feet and ankles.
Cons: While the Adrenaline GTS is a good shoe for all around runners who prefer support and cushioning, that also means it’s not the best choice for runners at either extreme—either those who want the lightest racing shoe they can find or those looking for maximum support.
The additional stability features, while designed to avoid changing the runner’s stride significantly, add weight that a neutral runner won’t need. The 12 mm drop, while a good choice for runners who struggle with injuries like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis, does run the risk of increasing pressure on knees and hips.
Like other Brooks shoes, the front foot runs a bit tight on the Adrenaline, but runners may find that the flexible upper results in the shoe loosening more than desired during a long run.
Conclusion: For Brooks loyalists, both the Ravenna and Adrenaline GTS are good representations of the brand’s strengths—in particular, its cushioning systems and GuideRails support. However, each shoe is designed for a slightly different runner. A mid- to long-distance runner looking to combine speed with some support will likely be better suited for the Ravenna, while a runner whose need for additional stability and cushioning outweighs pace concerns. Whichever shoe fits your needs, you’ll find it right here at Shoekicker!