Shoe Review Brooks Adrenaline GTS 9 vs. GTS 8

Brooks Adrenaline has been the exact same shoe version after version since the GTS 6. Now however, they have changed not only the version number (8 vs. 9) but also the shoe.

  • The Adrenaline 8 is much narrower in both forefoot width and throatline opening which is identified by arrows below. If  you have a tendency toward heel slippage, than the wider throatline as found in the 9 will be more difficult to secure snugly.
  • Width – Overall, GTS 9 is wider than GTS 8. Again this will be a problem if you are counting on the GTS 9 to be a good match for a narrow foot.



If you have a narrow foot and found the perfect fitting running shoe in Adrenaline GTS 8 , you will be disappointed with the extra volume found in GTS 9. In fact you may want to try Asics 2140  in narrow width instead. If you hve a wide foot, however you will like the changes GTS 9 provides.

Here is my Adrenaline GTS 10 post

30 responses to “Shoe Review Brooks Adrenaline GTS 9 vs. GTS 8

  1. I’ve been wearing Brooks Adrenalines since the GTS5s and have to say I love the new GTS9s. I noticed they area little roomier (I always had to get the other Adrenalines in a 2E). Ive also noticed that the support starts a little further back in the heel and is slightly harder. All in all, I like the shoes.

  2. Ever since I discovered the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 6, this has been my shoe of choice (6’s, 7’s, and 8’s). I just purchased two pair of the GTS 9’s and ran in them for the first time last night. I have never been so sore after running – ever. My hip joints, knees, and lower back are killing me today. I surely hope it’s not the shoes but there is no other reason to think otherwise. This is why I searched online for a review of the shoe and found this story. I do purchase the slim (B) model, so maybe this will be a problem for me. I’ll give them one more try.

  3. Mark, did this get any better?

    I just had the same experience. SHoe felt great in the store, also had a very short test run and everything good. But went for a quick 20 min run that night and next day had same symptoms; hip joints, knees, lower back all killing me.

    I was worried that the GTS9 did not have enough cushion in the heel. Would that be the problem?

  4. I have ran in Brooks – Adrenaline shoe for over five years. I am extremely disappointed at Adrenaline 9. I took them on a 30 minute run and had to make numerous stops to make adjustments. Definitely nothing to do with other adrenaline models, I ended up giving the shoe away as a gift.

  5. Update:
    I’ve continued to run in the 9’s and they seem to be OK now. Sorry if my first post misled anyone, but something freaky happened to make me extremely sore the next day. I’m still a fan of the Adrenaline’s.

  6. As a member of the Brooks footwear product team, I want to provide some insight on what stayed the same between the GTS 9 and GTS 8 as well as what the updates were.

    Kept the same:

    Last: The last is the foot form that the shoe is built around. As the exact same last was used on the GTS 8 and GTS 9, the internal measurements of the upper are unchanged. This includes but is not limited to the width of the heel, width of the forefoot, volume, length, and shape.

    Platform: Both the GTS 8 and GTS 9 are built on our Universal platform. The top net of the midsole, footprint, and overall midsole shape are identical.

    Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB®): This is the dual-density, medial support post. The size, placement, geometry, shape, etc…remain unchanged from the GTS 8 to GTS 9.

    Midsole/Outsole materials: both models have heel and forefoot Hydroflow as well as our MoGo midsole compound. The placement of the hydroflow as well as the density of the MoGo midsole have not changed. Additionally, the High Performance Rubber Plus (HPR+) in the heel and Blown Rubber Forefoot are spec’d the same.


    Upper pattern and materials: The saddle on the GTS has gradually become larger and more built up over the past few versions of the Adrenaline. By moving to a more ‘strappy’ upper on the GTS 9, we achieved a more articulated and conforming midfoot wrap while securing the foot on the platform very nicely. As we utilized a different pattern and different materials, the GTS 9 will fit a little differently than the GTS 8. Just as the GTS 4 fit sightly differently than the 5, the 5 slightly different from the 6, etc…All in all the GTS 8 and GTS 9 fit very comparably as they are built on the same last. Our wear test feedback was extremely positive regarding the fit of the GTS 9 and in reality, not much really changed.

    Crumple Zone: We utilized a separate lateral heel crash pad on the GTS 9 to improve lay down and control more motion at impact. Using a separate piece allows the use of geometry and larger flex grooves to enable the heel to crumple more readily setting the foot up nicely through midstance and aligning the foot for toe-off.

    all the best,


  7. I just spent $100 on these shoes and I have never been in so much pain. I went for a couple shorter runs in them and they felt OK. Then I went on a 7 mile run. They hurt from the beginning and I ended up with a sore/bruise on the top of my ankle. My back hurt the entire run ( I know I should have stopped….). I took a couple days off and tried them again. I can hardly stand to tie the left shoe. I have unlaced it and it still hurts. I don’t even want to wear them to walk around in. I just bought a cheaper pair of Asics at Shop-ko and I am so much happier. I have had the Adrenalines before and never had such problems. My last 2 pairs were Saucony so I thought I would switch it up and go back to the Brooks. I might try them again when they stop hurting me ankle but I don’t have time to keep recovering from them!

  8. I too have been running in Adrenalines since “6” and have had great success. I’ve purchased two pairs of “9”s and have had nothing but problems. I’ve had blisters on both feet, my right knee has caused me so many problems I’ve had to take time off running and my legs have felt just dead in general. A local sporting goods store was kind enough to swap me a pair of used “9”s for “8”s they had remaining in inventory. Within five days my legs were recovered and I feel great for a marathon this weekend. I will need to find a new shoe for the future though.

  9. I am having the same problem with sore hips , knees and ankles with these shoes. I also have been in the adrenaline for many years – 6 at leasts and have been a runner for over 20 years. I think the problem is the hard heal area and very flat mid foot. I can’t run down hill in this shoe because I come off that hard heal and slap the mid foot so hard it is jarring??? I have to change shoes I can’t run in these.

  10. Just want to thank everyone for these comments that really helped me today to not buy the 9s. Been wearing Adrenalines since the 4s – went today to try on the 9s and felt the difference. Decided to check the web before plunking down $104 and found this board. Phoned around and found 8s at Sports Authority for $59.99 and got a couple pair. Hopefully will last until Brooks either listens to customer feedback or at least will give me time to find a new shoe for next time. Thanks to all of you!

  11. I have been using Adrenaline since 6 and I change 3 times a year. The GTS 9 did not work for me and after my first long run I ended up with metatarsalgia in my left foot. I got hold of a new pair of GTS 8, got ready for a marathon and finished without a problem and continued 20K runs weekly with the GTS 8s. I then decided to verify that the metatarsalgia really was from the shoes. First 20K run and I now have metatarsalgia in my Right foot–I guess I took one for humanity there so here I am sharing it with others. The 9s may not be a perfect fit for those who loved the 8s.

  12. Wish I’d seen this site earlier. I have been wearing adrenalines with no problem for the last few years 6 and 7, missed out 8. 9 seems to be significantly different and not in a good way. I too have developed metatarlgia in my right foot but thought it was me and didn’t realise it was the shoes. They feel completely different and have caused a lot of grief. I preferred the older models.

  13. I’ve been running in Adrenalines for about three years now, and every pair I’ve had were always great. I could pound out ten mile runs a few times a week and not feel any of the aches and pains that I used to get from running shorter distances in other shoes. So I was excited to get into a new pair of GTS 9’s. And after putting in enough mileage so that I could really get to know these shoes, I am finally ready to report that they SUCK. A hundred dollars bought me a neverending series of blisters. The back of my foot (what’s that called, the rear ankle? The upper heel?) looks like it got caught in razor wire every time I take them off, thanks to the way the stiff material they used keeps grinding against my foot as I move through my gait. The GTS 8’s did not do this. Nor did the GTS 7’s. I guess I will find out if Asics will fit me better.. But what I am certain of is this: my next pair of sneakers will not be a new model of Adrenalines. What a shame they killed something so good…

  14. I really like my 9’s. I noticed they felt different from my 8’s the minute I tried them on but I actually found them more comfortable. I’ve been on many long and short runs with them including a half marathon 2 weeks ago. No pain whatsoever. No problems.
    I’m really surprised that others dislike the 9’s so much. I’m very happy with them.

    I also like Adrenaline 9’s. For many of the runners I treat however, the differences seen with the 9 are subtle enough from the 8 that the shoe doesn’t fit/feel the same. -Dr S.

  15. I tried to run in the 9s again but was too worried they were causing problems again so I went back to Saucony’s. I do have a narrow foot so maybe that was the problem. They did feel better than the first time around but I don’t need any more variables for injury than I already have! I did talk to a Brooks rep at a race and he said about 20% of people have problems with them and that was far too many from their perspective. I have no real reason to go back but I am glad they are not a problem for everyone.

  16. I have enjoyed my 9’s until recently. I bought mine the first part of May and I run about 28 miles per week. I had shin splints before I bought these from trying a pair of Ascics for a couple of weeks so these shoes seemed very, very comfortable although I agree the heal felt a little hard but now after about 350 miles later in these shoes I have plantar fascititis, not sure if it is the shoes are worn out prematurely or if this was caused by walking around in flip flops for over a week while on vacation. I bought a second pair of these shoes a while back because I liked them so much but now I am questioning the durability. I’m going to be stuck on the elipictical for a while, letting my feet heal but will try my new pair I guess and see if the shoes work out. I have been running for over 2 years and have had a heck of time finding a pair of good shoes that work for me, I thought the 9’s were it, now I’m not sure.

  17. I have been a huge fan of the GTS shoes until now. At first I thought I just wasn’t breaking the GTS shoes correctly and kept running shorter runs. Today I ran a 20K( after breaking in the shoes for weeks) and I thought my knees would fall off during the run. I hate to spend $100 on grass cutting shoes but that’s about all these Brooks will be used for! Very disappointed!

  18. I have worn Brooks Adrenalines 7, 8, and 9. This shoe has always felt tailor made for me. I was confident that the 9’s would be an improvement on an already great shoe. Unfortunately they aren’t. I find the toe box fit quite uncomfortable with seams where seams never were before. I did a 16 miler on Saturday and had a nice blister on the top of my foot even though I have nearly 150 miles of training in these shoes already. The forefoot padding is insufficient and the heal seems harder than my 8’s – which I still where on some runs today. Nope, this is a big step back for a shoe that really was top of the line.

  19. So I can add one more review here. After starting out with the 7s and running over 1000 miles on numerous 8s the 9s are horrible. I did a 16 miler run and an 8 mile run today. The cushioning seems to be much less especially in the forefoot area. They are brand new and they feel like they already have 250 miles on them. Very disappointed, I should also mention that I have wide feet so I wear EE. Time to try a new brand….

  20. As former Asics 2130 wearer, I went into my running store to get the new 2140s. They didn’t feel right. I was then asked if I wanted to try the New Balance 769s, which I tested a few years ago. On the treadmill, I was overpronating horribly in the 769s. Next up, the Adren. GTS 9, which has a bigger toe box than the GTS 8 (good for me) and more stability (good for me, apparently). With all of the “pain” complaints here, it would seem that a treadmill test with a video camera might be in order–esp. if hips and knees are hurting. Find the shoes that puts you in a good running position–bottom line!

  21. I too have been in Adrenalines for years. And been having trouble w/ the 9s. Things would be okay for runs under 10K, but as soon as I bump it up a bit, the back left area of my heal (including the achilles) become real tender. I’m not glad I see other similar experiences, but feel as though it’s time to move on.
    So…any suggestions as far as brand and style?

  22. So I have an update after my 9/16 review. I ran another 8 miler in the GTS 9s and some speed work just to make sure I was not crazy. Sure enough they still feel really hard and hurt my knees for days after. In a desperate attempt to find a shoe before my next Dec marathon I ordered the new Adrenaline 10s, and after a 7 mile run on Tuesday and an 8 mile run today I am happy to report back the GTS 10s are much better! They have similar cushioning to the GTS 7s and 8s. I will reserve full judgement after a few long 20 mile runs but so far so good! My advice is to try the 10s if you hated the 9s. Note that it looks like they no longer make size 4E. The GTS 10s also look much better than any previous version (nice bonus).

  23. I had the same problem as Alex with the shoe cutting into the upper part of my heal. I didn’t have very many miles on these shoes when I discovered the root cause. The plastic heal cup poked through the material in shoe after a 10 mile run. I have ran in GTS’s for years, the GTS 9 is definitely lacking compared to previous versions.

  24. So disappointed with the GTS 9. After buying them I went out for a 10 mile trot and my calfs and tendons tightened. This never happened with my Asics Foundation. The shoes felt simply too hard on the heels. I managed to get my legs right in time for the Amsterdam marathon but the same thing happened again even after careful warming and stretching. The shoes fall too hard on landing and seem to cause vibration and presssure on the tendons. Sadly I think they need to go.

  25. I’m glad to see that other people are feeling the same thing. I have had GTS 6, 8, and now 9’s. With the GTS 6 and 8, I loved them the moment I put them on, no matter what distance I ran. With the new GTS 9, I hated them the first time I put them on. After reading your comments I’m not going to fool myself, the marathon is in just over a month and I found my exact pair of new GTS8’s on ebay. Thanks for your comments!

  26. I’ve been wearing Adrenalines since GTS 5 and they have all been great. But with the GTS 9 I had some knee issues and I noticed it had a smaller toebox. I even took the GTS 8 and 9 to a physical therapists and verified my finding. I thought it would get better once I broke them in, but after running over 50 miles in them it felt the same, my right big toe joint swelled up after each run. I decided to do an experiment and ran in my GTS 8 the day after running in the 9s and there was no discomfort in my right foot. I ended up returning them.

  27. I have been running in Adrenalines for several years…GTS 6-8 were great. I bought the GTS 9 and immediately noticed this was not the shoe I knew and loved. The toe box is huge if you have narrow feet and just a few short runs in them with some nasty foot pain made me realize this shoe would not work for me. The good news is the GTS 10 seems to fit the way the models did before the GTS 9. If you are an Adrenaline fan who bought the GTS 9 and don’t like it, I’d encourage you to try the GTS 10.

  28. The GTS 9 are a terrible fitting shoe BUT they made up for it with the GTS 10. The 10 is the same fit as the GTS 8, with just a little more cushion in the landing. I ran in the 8s for many years, got a pair of 9s, the guy told me they were the same as the 8s and he was wrong. Just get the GTS 10.

  29. I thought I was imagining things! I’ve gone through 20+ pairs of Brooks Adrenaline 6-8 and ordered the 9s. I immediately thought I ordered the wrong shoe when I put them on. My feet kill during the runs and are so sore at night. I’m going to have to find another shoe… and it won’t be a Brooks!

    Shame on you Brooks for changing such a popular, great shoe!

  30. Alfonso Armendariz

    I bought Brooks partly due to the good comments my buddies made about them. Unfortunately, the 9’s were a nightmare from the start. I used them new for a 10K (big mistake!) and ended up not running for a week due to pain in every leg joint! I was using Sauconys up to that point, so there’s where I am returning to. Sorry Brooks, you goofed and lost a costumer!

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