Brooks Adrenaline vs Ravenna (Launch GTS) – Explaining the Difference

Wow! Brooks is really pumping out some new products super fast these days to keep up with the ever-changing running environment. It seems to happen so quickly that it is hard to keep up.

Because of this, we are devoting a couple of segments for you to browse through and compare the best that Brooks models on the market.

Below we break down the differences between these two popular stability running shoes. Brooks Adrenaline Vs. Ravenna (now the Launch GTS 8) - below is a quick comparison.

More in-depth reviews and differences are included below.

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

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE:

Before we dive any deeper let’s clarify the elephant in the room so everyone can be on the same page (and so I do not have to use parentheses every time I write down the name).

The Brooks Ravenna has now been officially renamed the Brooks Launch GTS.

This seems to be Brooks taking a small pivot in their marketing, which now sees them essentially making a stability (GTS) model for its most popular neutral shoes.

So just to clarify one last time, the Brooks Ravenna is now called the Brooks Launch GTS. So for the rest of the article that will be the name I use to refer to the shoe.


Adrenaline GTS 21 vs Launch GTS 8

Even just with one good look at these two shoe models, it’s obvious that both shoes fall in the stability category of running footwear from Brooks.

But even with a couple of similarities, these two models differ considerably when it comes to certain features and qualities.

Brooks Launch 8 Black/Grey/Blue 12.5 D (M)
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Brooks Launch 8 Black/Grey/Blue 12.5 D (M)
  • THIS SHOE IS FOR: The Launch 8 is for neutral runners who want a lightweight shoe with a fast, fun, ride. Durable enough for training but light enough for race day, the Launch 8 is designed to keep up on every run. Predecessor: Brooks Launch 7.
  • NEUTRAL SUPPORT: Streamlined yet cushioned, with neutral support, this shoe hits the sweet spot between a race flat and a standard trainer.

With the Launch GTS 8, you get a slightly more stripped back ride with a hint of support and a snappier ride. The shoe is definitely made to provide performance oriented stability.

You will see more mild support out of this shoe as there is definitely no massive posting to interfere with your natural stride. The Guide rails will do a nice job at preventing mild overpronators, but we will talk about all of that more soon.

Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 21, Grey/Light Blue, 6 Medium
  • THIS SHOE IS FOR: Runners looking for a supportive shoe that's soft and smooth, the Adrenaline GTS 21 offers an improved ride and reliable support for however your body moves so you can forget the shoes and enjoy the run.
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: Provides just the right amount of stability and support, great for overpronation while providing high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Adrenaline GTS 20

The Adrenaline GTS 21 is the undisputed flagship stability model for Brooks. As it has been refined over the years, we have seen great improvements in the fit, feel and ride that still make it the go-to shoe for overpronators.

And that’s not even the best part! So, let’s dive right into the devilish details, shall we?


So essentially the Brook Adrenaline GTS series is the GOAT of stability running shoes. We have said this before, but it’s a well known fact that Brooks makes continued, substantial improvements to their shoes every year so that we can get a more satisfying running experience.

This year's iteration is no different.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 Jet Stream/Black/Atlantis 6 B (M)

The Adrenaline GTS 21 is offering some great stability mixed with some adaptable cushioning. The Guide rails and the DNA loft midsole are utilized well to provide a soft landing onto the ground while also getting you some good guidance if you overpronate.

The engineered upper mesh material is lined on the inside so that you could practically run in it sockless, the lockdown over the top of your foot is delightful and you will rarely feel like you are slipping out of the ankle collar.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS
  • Tremendous Stability
  • Durable
  • Smooth and Soft Transition for Stability Shoe
  • Highly Rated & Reviewed
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Pros

  • Redesigned upper for better fit and lockdown
  • Soft yet supportive midsole
  • Grippy Outsole

Cons

  • Forefoot cushion will feel hard and slappy at times

Essentially replacing the Ravenna line, the Launch GTS 8 still provides a similar lightweight, stripped back, mildly stable ride for those wanting an inexpensive and simpler option.

Brooks Launch GTS 8 Black/Grey/Blue 10.5 D (M)

The BioMoGo DNA is a mouthful of a midsole foam name, but I enjoyed it quite a lot, as it almost felt like it formed to my foot after a couple of runs and I enjoyed that very much.

The upper is super simple, but it is comfortable enough. The Air Mesh upper used here allowed my foot a lot of breathability, but the lockdown did not stand out, as I noticed just a little bit of movement inside the shoe from time to time on my runs.
Our Pick
Brooks Launch

Looking for lightweight speed?

With new, lighter cushioning, the Launch 8 offers a fast, fun ride without sacrificing softness or durability.

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Pros

  • Simple and Effective
  • Snappy Toe-off

Cons

  • Not a lot of stability for a shoe that marketed as stable

Uppers: Adrenaline GTS 21 Vs Brooks Launch GTS 8

The Adrenaline GTS series always seems to make a great first impression. Just one slide into the shoe the 3D Print upper and you will be in awe of the comfort.

For a more standard daily trainer, it might almost set the standard for uppers in its weight class.

The fit is quite nice, and it wraps well around the foot to almost feel like it assists in correcting your overpronation along with the features in the midsole.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 Jet Stream/Black/Atlantis 6 B (M)

As for the Brooks Launch GTS 8, the first thing you’ll notice is the simplicity of the air mesh upper. It is quite breathable and sits on top of your foot nicely. The lacing system is smooth, but not quite as smooth as the Adrenaline GTS.

Brooks Launch GTS 8 Nightlife/Black/White 7 D (M)

The tongue is soft but not plush, the ankle collar is smooth but comfortable, and the toe box is wide but not clumsy. For decreased achilles irritation the heel is lipped, it also adds some excellent extra fare and style to the shoe’s design as well.

For the Adrenaline GTS 21, the tongue is more padded, but also not ultra plush. The lockdown is super solid on this shoe and it really just feels secure at every angle for your foot and ankle. On top of all that, it honestly feels pretty lightweight too, so that was a totally welcome surprise.

Overall I think that the Adrenaline GTS 21 gets the nod in this category, as it really does feel more comfortable.


Sole Unit: Adrenaline GTS 21 Vs Brooks Launch GTS 8

On the Adrenaline GTS 21 the heel counter works in tandem with the guide rails to provide some awesome inherent stability throughout your gait cycle.

Brooks has moved completely away from its traditional dense posting that just obstructs your foot's movement rather that corrects it. Good move.

Furthermore, the level of cushion in the heel area really increased my enjoyment of the shoe. It is not plush, but I thought that when compared to other stability models out there they really put an effort in making sure your landing was comfortable.

Same cannot be said for the forefoot cushioning, which felt pretty flat and underwhelming.

Brooks Launch GTS 8 Men's Supportive Running Shoe (Ravenna) - Blue/Orange/White - 8

The Launch GTS 8 has far less in the way of stability than the Adrenaline GTS 21, but we might also need to grade on a curve for the fact the Launch GTS is $30 cheaper and made to be simple and stripped back.

The BioMoGo DNA midsole is actually quite soft for how minimal the shoe is and although it really does only have mild stability, it still manages to allow for a little extra protection in your gait cycle.

Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 21 Running Shoe - Raspberry/Pink/Sulphur - 6.5

Both shoes have good grip and flexibility in the outsole rubber areas. The Omega Flex Grooves in the Adrenaline allow your foot to flex easily even with the amount of foam they put in.

The Launch GTS 8 is so skinny already that there is some easy flex in there, so you can still flex your foot however you’d like after getting some good motion control in your gait cycle

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 Hushed Violet/Alloy/Copper 5 B (M)

The Verdict: Adrenaline GTS 21 Vs Brooks Launch GTS 8

I think that we might know what is coming here.

The better overall stability shoe is obviously the Adrenaline GTS 21. This is because it offers a harmonious blend of comfort, support, cushioning, and versatility.

It is hard to go wrong or find a reason not to like this shoe beyond some small grievances.

This is not to hate on the Launch GTS 8, which is a great take on an affordable, simple, and performance oriented stability shoe.

Anyone on a budget should grab this in a heartbeat if you just need a simple and affordable lightweight daily trainer to get you through the training grind.

Overall it is about your personal preference. If you like the more traditional and holistic stability feeling, then go with the Adrenaline GTS 21.

If you enjoy a lightweight and simple stability shoe, then you should definitely give the Launch GTS 8 a try!

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Last update on 2021-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API