Brooks Adrenaline vs Brooks Ghost

Written By: Jeremy N

Brooks is at it again with yet another group of new adaptation releases. That’s right; even before we’ve had a chance to adequately sample the older versions, these guys are hard at work trying to release a dozen more styles.

That’s why we’ve devoted a couple of segments to browse through and compare newest running shoe models; the latest Brooks shoe editions - the 15 Ghost & the GTS 23. 

The biggest difference between the Brooks Ghost and Adrenaline is that the Ghost is a neutral shoe and the Adrenaline is a stability shoe. Brooks Adrenaline offers more stability through the Guide Rails Holistic Support System which keeps you from rolling inward excessively. Ghost offers a less structured feel. Most runners could still wear both trainers without a problem.

Brooks Adrenaline vs Ghost

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Neutral Running Shoe
Brooks Women's Ghost 15

Brooks Women's Ghost 15

  • THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: Runners looking for a smooth ride that won’t distract from the fun of the run. The Ghost 15 offers a refined 3D Fit Print to create a more seamless, secure fit. 
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: New midsole features soft and lighter-weight DNA LOFT V2 cushioning to provide distraction-free cushioning under your feet with each stride.
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Supportive Running Shoe
Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 23

Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 23

  • THIS WOMEN’S SHOE IS FOR: The Adrenaline GTS 23 is for runners who need support and want a smooth, reliable ride. Predecessor: Adrenaline GTS 22
  • GUIDERAILS HOLISTIC SUPPORT SYSTEM: Our unique technology aligns your body in its natural motion path while keeping excess movement in check.
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Looking at both these models, it’s as clear as day that they fall in two different running categories. Brooks Ghost 9 is a neutral cushioning running shoe & the Adrenaline is famous for its stability style. We break down the complete differences - Brooks Adrenaline vs Ghost

Looking at both these models, it’s as clear as day that they fall in two different running categories.

Allow me to explain; whereas the Brooks Ghost is built like a neutral cushioning running shoe, the Adrenaline GTS  is playing a whole different ballgame.

See, we all know that the Adrenaline line is famous for its stability style.

That said, you can be sure the GTS is a stability running shoe that is perfect for overpronators.

Being the well-cushioned neutral trainer that it is, the Ghost delivers an overall softer ride with a solid touch of stability.

This is the ideal shoe for neutral runners since it keeps on propelling you forward.

The Brooks Ghost is definitely a high mileage trainer that is generously cushioned for those longer runs.

With the Brooks Adrenaline GTS, you can feel the shift in stability straight off the bat.

This is one shoe that impresses all by being a step above the rest in terms of insane stability.

In addition to tons of stability, this go-to trainer still keeps its end of the bargain by offering a smooth ride all the way.


Brooks Ghost 15 Review: 

This Brooks running shoe is essentially the premier daily neutral shoe for this brand. It has long been known to provide next level comfort across the board as well as a versatile ride that can kinda get you through any sort of training run. 

Brooks Ghost 15 - top view

The upper is constructed on an Engineered mesh material, providing lightweight structure and breathability. This mesh is complemented by a solid Heel Counter to create a more comfortable and secure heel fit. 

The tongue is comfortable, although it is not gusseted it still manages to stay in place throughout the entirety of a run. 

The midsole is made up of a DNA Loft foam to deliver plush cushioning while maintaining responsiveness and durability. I would say that it is not super “plush” but the foam definitely is soft and comfortable...especially in the heel!  I really like the cushioning as it applies just the right support for my plantar fasciitis 

There are also Omega Flex Grooves along the bottom to optimize forefoot flexibility without compromising cushioning.

Furthermore, a Segmented crash pad flexes with the foot, offering customized cushioning and stability for a smooth heel-to-toe transition. You can’t really feel this crash pad, but that is usually a good thing. 

The shoe is super durable due to its Blown Rubber outsole, which offers durability, responsiveness, and flexibility.

As an avid user, this trainer provides the cushion needed while being a very comfortable and light shoe. 

In fact, I ran my fastest 5K in these shoes. I included as a con that the front part of the shoe (the uppers) tend to let too much water in when running in the rain. 

PROS

  • Smooth Heel-to-Toe Transition
  • Versatile Design
  • Soft, yet Springy DNA LOFT Midsole

CONS

  • High Heel-to Toe Offset (12mm)

Brooks Women's Ghost 15 Neutral Running Shoe - Ebony/Black/Oyster - 8.5 Medium
2,734 Reviews
Brooks Women's Ghost 15 Neutral Running Shoe - Ebony/Black/Oyster - 8.5 Medium
  • THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: Runners looking for a smooth ride that won’t distract from the fun of the run. The Ghost 15 offers a refined 3D Fit Print to create a more seamless, secure fit. This Brooks Ghost 15 is a certified PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe and has been granted the APMA Seal of Acceptance.
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: The Ghost 15 offers neutral support while providing high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Ghost 14
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: New midsole features soft and lighter-weight DNA LOFT V2 cushioning to provide distraction free cushioning under your feet with each stride.
  • SMOOTH, STABLE RIDE: No matter how your foot lands, our soft midsole and Segmented Crash Pad - an integrated system of shock absorbers - team up for easy flow from landing to toe-off.
  • ENHANCED UPPER: Engineered air mesh upper provides comfort and breathability with 3D Fit Print for added structure.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 Review: 

Brooks Adrenaline 23 - top view

There is a reason that there are 23 iterations of this shoe...because it's a staple for many runners. 

The Adrenaline GTS 23 has long been known as one of the best and most reliable stability shoes on the market. 

It will pretty much handle anything that you throw at it, and those who know of its greatness pretty much exclusively roll in this stability shoe. 

Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 23 Supportive Running Shoe - Blue Glass/Nile Blue/Marina - 9.5 Medium
44 Reviews
Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 23 Supportive Running Shoe - Blue Glass/Nile Blue/Marina - 9.5 Medium
  • THIS WOMEN’S SHOE IS FOR: The Adrenaline GTS 23 is for runners who need support and want a smooth, reliable ride. This Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 is a certified PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe and has been granted the APMA Seal of Acceptance. Predecessor: Adrenaline GTS 22
  • GUIDERAILS HOLISTIC SUPPORT SYSTEM: Our unique technology aligns your body in its natural motion path while keeping excess movement in check.
  • SOFT, LIGHTWEIGHT CUSHIONING: New midsole features soft and lighter weight DNA LOFT v2 cushioning.
  • ENHANCED UPPER: Engineered air mesh upper provides comfort and breathability with 3D Fit Print for added structure.
  • TRUSTED, SECURE FIT: Engineered Air Mesh and use of 3D Fit Print to enhance upper and deliver the structure and proven fit the Adrenaline is known for.
These aid in greater personalization for your stride, but they aren’t deal breakers. 

BioMoGo DNA fuses BioMoGo midsole and DNA cushioning technology for a fully custom responsive ride that adapts to the needs of each and every runner. 

The Adrenaline’s foam really rewards you for running in it more and more, as the foam forms to your feet better the more time you spend in it. It does feel firm in the forefoot, that may feel good to some, but to me it was a little too flat.

Brooks Adrenaline 23 - heel view

For extra stability, Brooks implements its Guide Rails Holistic Support System to keep you from rolling inward excessively. It does not feel as supportive as previous models, but I think it is a smarter support system that only really provides stability when the runner needs it.  

PROS

  • Superior stability
  • Modesto updates on the shoe
  • Slightly more affordable

CONS

  • Can be a bit on the bulky side
Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 23 Supportive Running Shoe - Blue Glass/Nile Blue/Marina - 9.5 Medium
44 Reviews
Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 23 Supportive Running Shoe - Blue Glass/Nile Blue/Marina - 9.5 Medium
  • THIS WOMEN’S SHOE IS FOR: The Adrenaline GTS 23 is for runners who need support and want a smooth, reliable ride. This Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 is a certified PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe and has been granted the APMA Seal of Acceptance. Predecessor: Adrenaline GTS 22
  • GUIDERAILS HOLISTIC SUPPORT SYSTEM: Our unique technology aligns your body in its natural motion path while keeping excess movement in check.
  • SOFT, LIGHTWEIGHT CUSHIONING: New midsole features soft and lighter weight DNA LOFT v2 cushioning.
  • ENHANCED UPPER: Engineered air mesh upper provides comfort and breathability with 3D Fit Print for added structure.
  • TRUSTED, SECURE FIT: Engineered Air Mesh and use of 3D Fit Print to enhance upper and deliver the structure and proven fit the Adrenaline is known for.

Uppers: Brooks Adrenaline 23 vs Brooks Ghost 15

Both are similar in material, but differ mostly in the amount of structure they provide to your foot. 

Brooks Adrenaline 23 - top view

The Ghost 15 feels slightly more relaxed around your foot, not in a loose way, just in a less structured sort of way compared to the Adrenaline GTS 21. It just does not hug your foot quite as much, it is different, but ok! 

It is quite breathable in the best way, and the internal sock-liner is slightly more comfortable than the Adrenaline shoes.

Sale
Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 23 Supportive Running Shoe - Black/Gunmetal/Sharp Green - 9.5 Medium
44 Reviews
Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 23 Supportive Running Shoe - Black/Gunmetal/Sharp Green - 9.5 Medium
  • THIS WOMEN’S SHOE IS FOR: The Adrenaline GTS 23 is for runners who need support and want a smooth, reliable ride. This Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 is a certified PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe and has been granted the APMA Seal of Acceptance. Predecessor: Adrenaline GTS 22
  • GUIDERAILS HOLISTIC SUPPORT SYSTEM: Our unique technology aligns your body in its natural motion path while keeping excess movement in check.
  • SOFT, LIGHTWEIGHT CUSHIONING: New midsole features soft and lighter weight DNA LOFT v2 cushioning.
  • ENHANCED UPPER: Engineered air mesh upper provides comfort and breathability with 3D Fit Print for added structure.
  • TRUSTED, SECURE FIT: Engineered Air Mesh and use of 3D Fit Print to enhance upper and deliver the structure and proven fit the Adrenaline is known for.

There is not a ton of room for critique when it comes to the Ghost 15 upper. It might feel a little narrow in the toe box area if you have a wider foot.

Brooks Ghost 15 - top view

Much like the Ghost, the Adrenaline GTS 23 also boasts an engineered mesh upper that is not only comfortable but also has the same breathability. 

The 3D Fit Print definitely provides more structure and support. The fit is noticeably more locked down and secure. It is not uncomfortable, but you can tell Brooks intended this to enhance the overall stability of the shoe so you can’t swim around in the shoe a lot. 

Being a stability shoe, the Heel Counter on the Adrenaline GTS 23 is updated from its previous model to create a more comfortable and secure heel fit. This helps guide your foot along with the guide rails to enhance stability.

The lacing system is super smooth and easy in the Adrenaline GTS, I would say it flows a little better than the Brooks lacing system, although they seem to be super similar.


Sole: Brooks Ghost vs Brooks Adrenaline 

The midsole foam is the same in both of these shoes, and the DNA Loft is super comfortable and soft. They both feel firm in the forefoot area, but the 15 pulls it off better because it contributes to a better overall rebound.

Brooks Ghost 15 - side view with sole

As you probably observed earlier, the Adrenaline 23 comes with more “stuff” making up its midsole. It starts with the BioMoGo DNA, which fuses BioMoGo midsole with more DNA cushioning technology for a fully custom responsive ride that adapts to the needs of each and every runner.

Furthermore, the Adrenaline offers a Guide Rails Holistic Support System to help protect your knees by keeping excess movement in check.

This is going to add that support aspect that many overpronators seek. It's very effective, but more inherent than a traditional posting. Even neutral runners could enjoy it without their stride being “over corrected”. 

Omega Flex Grooves are implemented in the forefoot to optimize flexibility without compromising cushioning.

A Segmented crash pad allows the foot to flex, offering stability for a smooth heel-to-toe transition. These feel about the same in both the Ghost 15 and Adrenaline GTS 23. 

They both have a heel-to toe transition that is smooth as butter

Brooks Adrenaline sole


Honestly, the Ghost 15 and Adrenaline GTS 23 have virtually the same outsole design pattern, which is nearly comprehensive to protect the entire midsole and increase traction. 

The main difference is with the Ghost, it feels like the outsole in the forefoot really contributes to a snappy ride on the toe off, compared to the Adrenaline GTS, which feels slightly more sluggish.

BROOKS GHOST SOLE


As for the Adrenaline GTS 21, the BioMoGo DNA midsole that adds a custom touch by adapting to the wearer’s feet and style of running. It really does get better as you run in it more and more!

A nice little added touch is that this foam is biodegradable to make sure that we’re all playing our part in saving the planet.

Brooks Women's Ghost 15 Neutral Running Shoe - Ebony/Black/Oyster - 8.5 Medium
2,734 Reviews
Brooks Women's Ghost 15 Neutral Running Shoe - Ebony/Black/Oyster - 8.5 Medium
  • THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: Runners looking for a smooth ride that won’t distract from the fun of the run. The Ghost 15 offers a refined 3D Fit Print to create a more seamless, secure fit. This Brooks Ghost 15 is a certified PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe and has been granted the APMA Seal of Acceptance.
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: The Ghost 15 offers neutral support while providing high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Ghost 14
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: New midsole features soft and lighter-weight DNA LOFT V2 cushioning to provide distraction free cushioning under your feet with each stride.
  • SMOOTH, STABLE RIDE: No matter how your foot lands, our soft midsole and Segmented Crash Pad - an integrated system of shock absorbers - team up for easy flow from landing to toe-off.
  • ENHANCED UPPER: Engineered air mesh upper provides comfort and breathability with 3D Fit Print for added structure.

Verdict: Brooks Adrenaline vs Ghost

As you can see, I am a BIG FAN of Brooks shoes. From all the information above, it’s now clear as day which shoe is engineered to do what.

Even just looking at both these models you can tell that they fall into two different running categories, which makes it hard to declare a better shoe.

While the Brooks Ghost 15 is built like a neutral cushioning running shoe with great support in the midsole, the Adrenaline GTS 23 is made to aid those who need greater stability, and it does a great job for that!

Being the well-cushioned neutral trainer that it is, the Ghost 15 does deliver an overall softer and smoother ride. This is the ideal shoe for neutral runners since it keeps on propelling you forward without overcorrecting your stride. That foam in the heel area is pretty much a selling point all on its own!

The Adrenaline is definitely built for those who need extra support in their stride, but besides that, you’re getting some similar stuff that the Ghost is offering...just in a slightly more structured and firm package.

Put simply, they are both some of the best in their respective classes and you can’t go wrong with these trainers. 

A good rule of thumb: if you are a neutral runner then pick up the Brooks Ghost 15, if you need a stability shoe then grab the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21. 

If you were looking for a comparison between the Brooks Ravenna and Adrenaline, you can find it here. We also compare it to the Brooks Glycerin and you can find that complete comparison here

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Neutral Running Shoe
Brooks Women's Ghost 15

Brooks Women's Ghost 15

  • THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: Runners looking for a smooth ride that won’t distract from the fun of the run. The Ghost 15 offers a refined 3D Fit Print to create a more seamless, secure fit. 
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: New midsole features soft and lighter-weight DNA LOFT V2 cushioning to provide distraction-free cushioning under your feet with each stride.
Check Price on AmazonCheck Price on Wal-Mart
Supportive Running Shoe
Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 23

Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 23

  • THIS WOMEN’S SHOE IS FOR: The Adrenaline GTS 23 is for runners who need support and want a smooth, reliable ride. Predecessor: Adrenaline GTS 22
  • GUIDERAILS HOLISTIC SUPPORT SYSTEM: Our unique technology aligns your body in its natural motion path while keeping excess movement in check.
Check Price on AmazonCheck Price on Wal-Mart

Brooks Running Shoes Quick History lesson -

In 2000, Brooks was on the verge of bankruptcy, having barely enough to make payroll, when their Board of Directors tabbed Jim Weber as CEO.

Weber, as Alexia Brue shares, made a bold choice, “we made a decision that no other brand has made: We decided we’re just going to be a running brand in 2001”.

Making a decisive decision like that forced Weber and his employees to double-down on their efforts and focus on a specific target market, but that choice did not come without consequences. Weber adds "we were at about $65-70 million in revenue and we got rid of almost $30 million of it!

We simply cut all the lower-priced and non-running shoes and decided that we were only going to make technical running products" 

At that time, it was viewed as an unorthodox decision that has since resulted in tremendous growth for the company.

Today, Brooks continually releases new models by the day without fail. And all of them excellent pieces of footwear that actually do what they were built to do.

So whether you’re out on the running track, hiking trails, or just indoors working the treadmill, you can be sure that good ol’ Brooks has a shoe for that.

However, Brooks is starting to experience the most common drawback that comes with too much variety.

Because the more their catalog starts to pile up, the more difficult it is for runners and athletes to grasp the purpose of each shoe.

That’s why I’ve been comparing and contrasting a few of Brooks best sellers to help you guys out.

Today, we’ll be checking out two of the best shoes from the Adrenaline and Ghost series, specifically their newer versions.


Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Jeremy. 

I have run over 250 races including the California International Marathon, Clarksburg Country Run, and various other 5K & 10K races throughout the United States. I am a former Athletics department employee at University of the Pacific and Shoe Consultant with Dicks Sporting Goods

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