For decades, stability running shoes have been largely associated with stability posts. A stability post is an extra-dense piece of material used in the inside (or medial) part of the shoe, usually in the part of the midsole right under the arch of the foot. Stability shoes have varying sizes and densities of these posts — some made to correct slight overprontation, others made to correct severe overpronation. Sometimes, when we do gait analyses, we see the medial part of neutral shoes crushed down a little more during the gait cycle of a runner who overpronates — the structural reinforcement that a stability post provides helps prevent excessive motion in the ankle from throwing the whole leg out of alignment. Nice thought, but it might be on its way to being forgotten — shoe companies are starting to find new, lighter ways to provide stability in their shoes, and the Brooks Adrenaline 19 is the boldest example yet.
The Brooks Adrenaline 19 isn’t bold because it’s introducing a new technology — Brooks has used their GuideRails stability system in the Transcend line for five years now, and this year, we saw those GuideRails included in the new Brooks Bedlam. What’s bold is that Brooks is now introducing those GuideRails on the Adrenaline, their best-selling stability shoe for what feels like forever. Brooks plans to use GuideRails in all of their stability shoes within the next two years, so now’s a pretty good time to explore what the future of Brooks stability shoes looks like.
Instead of using a brick of dense foam, Brooks runs extra foam around the frame of the footbed. Those foam rails allow the foot to nestle into the shoe — while running, they help nudge the ankle back into alignment if it starts moving too far in or out, keeping the ankle and knee in alignment. That misalignment is at the heart of shin splints and all other kinds of runners’ maladies, and it’s what stability posts were also designed to prevent — GuideRails are a lighter, more comfortable way of achieving that same goal.
One big implication of GuideRails is that they open up stability shoes to neutral runners. The extra structure provided by stability posts is activated with every step — it made for an uncomfortable ride for neutral runners at best, and pushed those runners’ ankles out at worst. Because they’re only lining the edges of the footbed, GuideRails are only activated if the runner starts to overpronate or supinate, so neutral runners won’t be at risk of overcorrection. Neutral runners probably still won’t want the extra weight of GuideRails, but if you’re a neutral runner looking to increase your mileage in the near future, shoes with GuideRails like the Brooks Adrenaline 19 might be worth considering — you might end up activating those GuideRails as you fatigue later on in long runs.
Believe it or not, GuideRails aren’t the only big change to the Adrenaline this year. Brooks is adding a layer of DNA Loft foam, the softest and most comfortable foam that Brooks has developed yet, in addition to the more responsive BioMoGo DNA from last year’s model. The new DNA Loft gives the Adrenaline a more cushy ride, similar to this year’s Ghost 11. That’s no mistake — the Brooks Adrenaline 19 is intended to look and feel very similar to the neutral Ghost, with the main difference being the use of GuideRails.
So, what hasn’t changed? Well, it’s still a 12 mm drop shoe, so if you’re a runner who overpronates and heel strikes, the Brooks Adrenaline 19 is still going to go nice and easy on your feet and calves. The engineered mesh upper is airy and still has plenty of give to it, making for a comfortable and accommodating fit up top.
So, there it is — one of the most popular stability shoes ever has just gotten a total overhaul. But, it’s an overhaul that will give runners a more comfortable ride while using a stability system accommodating to more runners. Anyone from neutral to high stability can use the Brooks Adrenaline 19 — if you’re just a runner who loves a ton of cushion underfoot, it’s a shoe to consider!
Is the Brooks Adrenaline 19 right for you? Use the Fitted Running shoe consultant to go through our gait analysis process and find out!