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Brooks Addiction vs Adrenaline – Which Is Right For You?

Brooks makes running shoes for all types of runners. They’re known for being well-cushioned and comfortable – and they only make running and walking shoes, so all their R&D goes into making the best shoes possible.

If you’re an overpronator looking for a stability or motion control shoe, Brooks makes two popular options: the Addiction 14 and the Adrenaline GTS 21.

Both are stability shoes designed for overpronators. They’re actually quite similar in fit and price.

The biggest difference is their support mechanism. Technically, the Addiction is a motion control shoe that uses a medial post (also called a rollbar) to prevent your foot from rolling in.

On the other hand, the Adrenaline is classed as a stability shoe and uses GuideRails to prevent unnecessary movement of the foot.

Let’s have a look at the differences between the shoes in more detail.

Upper

Brooks Addiction

The upper of the Addiction is seamless for increased comfort and made from form-fitting engineered mesh.

To keep your foot dry and cool on your run, there are perforations over the forefoot which make the shoe surprisingly breathable.

It features synthetic overlays on the sides and back of the shoe, which create a structured saddle. These give you a supportive and adaptive fit when you lace the shoe.

The Addiction uses a traditional lacing system with discrete eyelets. Its laces aren’t completely flat, which provides a snug, secure locked-down fit.

The shoe has a sleek, low-profile design and the collar runs low around the ankle. It’s padded with soft foam cushioning that won’t cause any irritation or chafing and feel good from the moment you put the shoes on your feet.

The tongue is made from a light, engineered mesh, which not only improves the ventilation through the shoe but also has plenty of cushioning that won’t create pressure points when laced up.

Brooks Adrenaline

The Adrenaline also features a lightweight, airy mesh upper that’s comfortable on the foot and allows for plenty of airflow through the foot chamber.

3D Fit Print overlays on either side of the shoe provide light external support. These overlays are light and inconspicuous, and hardly noticeable when compared to the Addiction. They aren’t going to offer extensive support, but they do have a mildly supportive effect.

Traditional laces work with this light support system, and feature an extra eyelet which can be used if you need some extra space to tie a runner’s loop.

A padded ankle collar and tongue increase the comfort of the shoe, while a rigid heel counter keeps the foot stable to provide a secure lockdown.

Midsole

Brooks Addiction

The Addiction has BioMoGo DNA foam cushioning, which provides a good mix of a soft and a responsive ride.

The foam is a combination of firm, which helps to support the arch of the foot, and spongy to reduce the impact of shock from footstrikes.

To control overpronation, the Addiction features an Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB). Its job is to guide your foot and promote smooth transitions throughout your gait cycle while stopping your foot from rolling inwards on the step.

Brooks Adrenaline

The Adrenaline also uses a mix of BioMoGo and DNA Loft foam.

The BioMoGo is firmer and placed on the medial side of the shoe, which helps to prevent foot rolling. Softer DNA foam runs the full length of the lateral side, cushioning the foot against impact.

Instead of a medial post or rollbar, the Adrenaline uses GuideRails. These are inconspicuous supportive sections built into the midsole in the heel, which helps to keep the foot upright instead of it falling over.

This encourages the foot to remain in a natural position, which can significantly reduce the chances of overuse injury.

Outsole

Brooks Addiction

The outsole of the Addiction was designed to last for hundreds of miles. It features a generous amount of HPR Plus rubber, which is highly durable.

This rubber protects the midsole from the abrasive surface of asphalt and pavements, and also has a light cushioning effect, reducing the impact of shock.

The outsole is textured into rectangles and squares. These help provide more grip and deliver more surface contact, while the flex grooves in the forefoot promote the natural movement of your foot through the gait cycle.

 

The shoe also has a heel segmented crash pad (deep grooves that reach part of the midsole), which not only encourages smoother landings, but also reduces the impact of shock on every foot strike.

Brooks Adrenaline

The midsole is exposed in some areas under the foot. Blown rubber covers most of it, and those parts that are exposed don’t make contact with the ground, so there’s no need to worry about them wearing away.

The blown rubber adds a bit of shock absorption to the shoe, and delivers excellent grip on a variety of surfaces. It’s fairly sticky, so you can count on safety on your feet.

In the forefoot, Omega flex grooves promote flexibility, which makes for a more natural and comfortable movement of the foot.

Other Features

Drop

Both the Addiction 14 and the Adrenaline GTS 21 have a heel-to-toe drop of 12mm.

This is one of the higher drops you’ll find, but it’s not uncommon in running shoes. Chances are you’ve already been using a shoe with a similar drop, so it shouldn’t be hard to adjust to this one.

Take note, though, that those who suffer from forefoot pain (eg. metatarsalgia) might find that a high drop puts pressure on their area of pain.

If this sounds like you, you may be better off choosing a stability or motion control shoe with a smaller drop.

Weight

Brooks Addiction

The Brooks Addiction 14 is on the heavy side, which is to be expected for a shoe that’s designed with extra stability features.

A men’s shoe weighs around 12.6 ounces (357 grams), while the women’s shoe comes in at 11.4 ounces (323 grams).

Brooks Adrenaline

For a stability shoe, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is unusually light.

The men’s shoe weighs 10.4 ounces (294 grams), which is a full 2 ounces and a bit less than the Addiction. The women’s shoe weighs just 9.1 ounces (258 grams).

Price

Both the Brooks Addiction and the Brooks Adrenaline are priced at $130 at the time of writing.

Summary

Obviously, as both of these shoes are stability shoes, neither of them are really suitable for runners with a neutral foot.

If you’re a neutral runner and really want one of these two pairs, we’d suggest the Adrenaline. The GuideRails are a less intrusive support option for a neutral foot than the rollbar.

If you overpronate, you have a very contest between the two shoes. They both have a wide, comfortable toe box, light protective overlays, and a stability mechanism.

They also both cost the same, so if price is your deciding factor, unfortunately, it won’t make any difference in this choice.

It really comes down to the amount of support you need and the kind of support you prefer.

The Addiction’s Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar offers stronger support via a medial post, which is technically just a firmer section of foam on the medial side of the foot.

On the other hand, the Adrenaline uses the less intrusive GuideRails to provide the necessary support, which offers slightly less rigidity than the medial post.

If weight is your biggest deciding factor, then the Adrenaline wins hands down. It’s a full 2 ounces lighter than the Addiction, which is very significant if you’re going to be using this shoe in races.

The Wired Runner