Brooks Adrenaline vs Ghost – Two Great Workhorse Shoes for Different Runners


In this 2023 update, we’re going to be comparing two very popular running shoes, the Brooks Adrenaline vs Ghost.

When it comes to everyday running shoes, these two shoes have earned their stripes among us runners.

In this comparison, we’re going full throttle, dissecting the freshest releases – the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 and the Brooks Ghost 15.

We’re here to guide you through the ultimate decision-making process, helping you find the perfect match for your running style, preferences, and goals.

So whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a casual jogger, read on to discover the perfect companion for your running journey.

No more pre-race chit-chat – let’s dive right into the good stuff!


Brooks Adrenaline vs Ghost

In the world of running, the best running shoes aren’t always the ones with the most buzz, but there’s a reason the Adrenaline and the Ghost are stealing the spotlight – popularity often speaks to their credibility.

Personally, I believe these shoes are earning their dedicated following because they’re the no-nonsense, dependable workhorses of the running world.

Don’t miss our two comparisons of the Brooks Ghost 15 vs 14 and Brooks Ghost 14 vs 13.

Quick Comparison

So, what is the difference between the Brooks Adrenaline and the Ghost? I hear you ask.

The Adrenaline GTS 23 is your trusted friend when it comes to moderate to high-stability daily trainers. Need a bit of cushioning and some guidance on those tricky overpronation or underpronation issues? This one’s got your back, whether you roll to the inside or the outside.

And if you’re wondering what the GTS stands for, it’s basically Brooks’ way of saying “Go To Support” or “Go To Stability.” A little tag to let you know it’s a stability running shoe.

The Ghost 15 is your go-to mid-cushion neutral shoe. If you’re into the Adrenaline vibe but prefer to keep it neutral, the Ghost is your jam.

But here’s the kicker: The Ghost is all about that neutral cushioning, so if you’ve got tendencies to overpronate or underpronate or you’re dealing with hip, knee, or Plantar Fasciitis issues, the Adrenaline steps up to the plate.

While talking about foot issues, the Brooks Adrenaline is one of these super comfortable running shoes for Hallux Rigidus

Here’s the bottom line:

“The Adrenaline GTS 23 is the stability version of the Brooks Ghost 15. Strip away the frills, and you’ll see they’re like cousins. The main difference? Those GuideRails in the Adrenaline and a few minor tweaks in the upper.”

At the end of the day, they’re cut from the same cloth, so don’t be surprised if they look pretty darn similar – because they are. The Adrenaline is like a Ghost with a few extra tricks up its sleeve.

Again, don’t miss our in-depth comparison of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 vs 21.

Quick Specs

In the earlier versions, these shoes were pretty much twins when it came to stack height and heel-to-toe drop. But Brooks decided to give the Adrenaline a smidge more cushioning than the Ghost.

Now, in the Ghost 15, you’ve got 35mm of stack height in the heel and 24mm up front, keeping that classic 12mm drop. On the other side, the Adrenaline GTS 23 boasts a 36mm heel stack and 25mm in the forefoot, maintaining that trusty 12mm drop.

Other similar 12mm-drop running shoes include the Mizuno Wave Rider, and here’s our comparison of the Brooks Ghost vs Mizuno Wave Rider.


In terms of weight, the Adrenaline 23 tips the scales at 10.4 oz for men’s size 9 and 9.2 oz for women’s size 8. The Ghost 15 clocks in at 9.6 oz for men’s size 9 and 8.4 oz for women’s size 8.

Now, it’s no surprise that the Ghost 15 is the lighter sibling in this duo. That’s because the Adrenaline 23 packs a bit more punch with those GuideRails, plus some extra cushioning and padding.

Keep in mind, these are daily trainers we’re talking about, not sprinters. They’re not going to win any “lightest shoe” awards, but they won’t weigh you down like bricks either.


Where do the Adrenaline & Ghost sit in Brooks’ lineup?

The Adrenaline 23 and the Ghost 15 are your everyday running shoes in the Brooks lineup. They sit between the plush, cushioned beasts like the Glycerin and the Aurora BL and the lighter more speed-oriented shoes like the Launch and Hyperion Elite.

What I love about Brooks is they’ve set it up so runners can easily pivot within the family. Say you like the Adrenaline and Ghost vibe but crave extra cushioning for those epic long runs or race days – well, you can level up to the Brooks Glycerin, the neutral option, or the Glycerin GTS with GuideRails for some added stability.

On the flip side, if you’re all about these shoes but want something lighter and faster to crush those workouts and races, the Launch and Launch GTS have your back. It’s like having a family reunion with options for every kind of run.

Talking about the Glycerin, make sure you check out our comparison of the Brooks Glycerin vs Glycerin GTS.


Where do the Adrenaline & Ghost shine?

The Ghost and the Adrenaline are the heavy hitters in Brooks’ shoe lineup, the dependable versatile daily trainers that can tackle just about any kind of run.

Picture them as your Swiss army knife of running shoes, always ready for action. They’re perfect shoes for those easy and long runs, and they won’t hold you back if you decide to pick up the pace a little bit.

Now, let’s be clear – these shoes might not be the absolute best for each type of run individually. They’re more like your trusty all-arounders, the go-to choices when you want one shoe that can handle the whole shebang.

But here’s the deal: I would not race in these shoes if you’re looking for a serious race-day shoe for 5ks, 10ks, or half marathons for example.

If speed is your game and you’re sticking with the Brooks fam, I would consider the Brooks Launch or the Hyperion.

Oh, and don’t forget about that heel-to-toe drop – it matters…


Both the Adrenaline and the Ghost rock a classic 12mm heel-to-toe drop, putting them in the high-drop category. This makes them ace for runners who prefer a nice, smooth heel strike.

But if you’re more of a midfoot or forefoot striker, be ready for a little adjustment period – these shoes might not hit the sweet spot right away.


One of the standout features of the Adrenaline 23 and the Ghost 15, and part of why they’ve gained such a following, is their wide range of sizing options.

Not all of Brooks’ shoes come in the full spectrum of widths. But these two? They come in a variety of widths.

For the gents, you can snag a pair in narrow all the way to a roomy 4E width. And for the ladies, they’ve got everything from a narrow fit to a comfy 2E. This makes these shoes great for runners with narrow feet who are always struggling to find some shoes to give them proper lockdown.

So, it doesn’t matter if your foot is a little quirky in shape – there’s bound to be a Ghost or Adrenaline that’s just right for you.

By the way, if you’re curious about whether Brooks running shoes run on the larger or smaller side, we’ve got a nifty article that breaks it down for you.



Both of these shoes share a strikingly similar midsole setup, and in 2023, Brooks has treated them to an update with DNA Loft v2.

Now, DNA Loft is this carefully crafted blend of EVA foam, rubber, and air – and these new midsoles seem to be softer and lighter than ever before.

Back in the day, on the Ghost 12 and Adrenaline GTS 20, DNA Loft was hanging out in the heel. On the Ghost 13 and Adrenaline GTS 21, it had spread to the heel and the lateral side. But now, with the Ghost 14 and 15 and the Adrenaline GTS 22 and 23, DNA Loft v2 has moved in and taken over the entire midsole.



So, with that full-length DNA Loft v2 in the midsole, these shoes have got a little extra softness underfoot, but they’re still true to the Ghost and Adrenaline legacy.

The way they’ve set up the DNA Loft now, it’s smooth, a tad on the lighter side, and it cushions your whole foot. Plus, it’s a real MVP when it comes to those transitions from heel to toe.

Now, I’d say these midsoles have a pretty traditional vibe going on. They’re not about providing a whole lot of energy return, like the Brooks Glycerin with its nitrogen-infused foam. And compared to some of those super-high stack heights we’re seeing nowadays, the cushioning here feels pretty middle-of-the-road.

But here’s a tidbit: Brooks is cooking up some shoes like the Brooks Ghost Max, and I wouldn’t be surprised if an Adrenaline GTS Max makes an appearance too. Seems like the stack heights are on the rise, which kind of places the Ghost 15 and Adrenaline 23 in the moderately cushioned category.

All in all, you’re in for a treat with the Adrenaline GTS 23 and the Brooks Ghost 15, especially with that full-length DNA Loft v2 action. It’s a recipe for more comfort, smoother runs, and an all-around better experience.

However, unlike the Ghost 15, the Adrenaline 23 comes packing GuideRails, your personal navigational system to keep you on the right track…

Brooks GuideRails


Here’s the real game-changer that sets the Adrenaline and the Ghost apart – it’s all about those GuideRails. You can spot these nifty sidewalls on both the inside (medial) and outside (lateral) of the shoes.

Obviously, the medial GuideRail is a bit more substantial compared to the one on the lateral side – it keeps your foot from going overboard, so you’re not rolling in too much (overpronation).

On the flip side, the lateral GuideRail plays referee if your feet tend to roll to the outside too much (hello, underpronation/supination).

Not long ago, shoes were all about preventing one or the other – either overpronation or underpronation. But Brooks took a different route with GuideRails.

The Adrenaline 23 is able to guide and keep you right smack in the middle, giving your hips, heels, and knees a break by keeping you on the straight and narrow.

But here’s the kicker – can you run in the Adrenaline if you’re a neutral runner? Absolutely.

If you’re Mr. or Ms. Neutral, but there are those days when your form breaks down a little bit during those long runs, the GuideRail system has your back. It’s like a reliable safety net, there when you need it but chillin’ when you don’t.

Medial Postings vs OG GuideRails vs GTS 23 GuideRails

Up until the 19th version, the Adrenaline was all about that medial posting, meaning it offered support mainly on the inside. Essentially, no matter what you were doing, the previous Adrenalines would always try to force you out.

But the GTS 23 has got this nifty independent suspension system on both sides. It’s like a bouncer at the party, only stepping in if your feet decide they need a little correction.

Now, the GuideRails in the GTS 23 have dialed down the stiffness quite a bit. In the past, those GuideRails were so rigid on both sides that they didn’t let your feet do their natural pronation thing.

You see, your feet need a bit of that pronation action to soak up the shocks with your ankles. Take that away, and guess who has to do all the shock-absorbing? Yep, your knees, and that can spell trouble.

The GuideRail system makes the Adrenaline a really nice option for runners with flat feet. Give it a read!

Let’s talk about the outsoles…



Both of these shoes sport a ton of rubber coverage. The tread pattern hasn’t gone through a major facelift compared to earlier versions, but it seems like they’ve tweaked the rubber blend a bit.

The only key difference I can see on the Adrenaline is they added this small bit of rubber wedged between the flex grooves to try to stiffen things up and make the shoe a little bit more snappy.

In the forefoot of both shoes, you’ve got a softer, grippier rubber – perfect for when you need that extra traction. Towards the rear, it’s all about durability with a tougher rubber, designed to go the distance. The heel area gets special attention with extra rubber, acting as a cushion for those of us who land on our heels.

Sure, they’ve gone a bit softer with the blown rubber and shaved off about a millimeter on the outsole rubber, which might affect durability a smidge. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of rubber muscle to keep these shoes standing tough.

Let’s dive into the upper – and you’ll notice, these shoes are practically twins in that department…



Brooks decided to tweak the fit of both uppers to make them more accommodating. They’ve gone with this engineered Air mesh material, which is pretty nifty. Traditional engineered mesh sometimes tends to crank up the heat, but I didn’t find that to be an issue with these babies.

Now, the toebox is where the magic happens. It’s got this stretchy construction, which means whether your feet are wide or narrow, the upper molds around them like a glove. Personally, I felt like my toes had room to breathe, and there was no crowding in the midfoot or toe box area.


The heel counter – it’s like a gentle hug for your foot and heel, nothing too rigid or overdone. It’s got some nice padding to keep things comfy around the Achilles area.


Now, the Adrenaline’s got a little extra padding in the back – it’s plush and premium. The heel counter there is super sturdy, which is exactly what you’d expect from a stability running shoe.

The cool part? Your heels kind of nestle deep inside the shoe, giving you that locked-in feel you want for a snug ride.

Speaking of lockdown…


On the Adrenaline GTS 23, they’ve gone the extra mile with a gusseted setup. They’ve got these fabric strips on both sides, holding that tongue right where it should be.

Now, the Ghost 15 doesn’t follow suit in this department – it skips the gusseted tongue. It might seem like a minor detail, but it’s a distinguishing factor between the two.

I’ve heard a few folks wishing that the Ghost had that gusseted tongue too, which could’ve been a sweet addition to an already fantastic shoe.


When it comes to breathability, I’d think twice about these uppers in hot, humid conditions. They give off more of a winter or spring vibe, better suited for cooler temps.

Now, if you’re in a place that sees its fair share of rain, the Brooks Ghost 15 GTX might be your jam. This bad boy packs Gore-Tex magic, making it waterproof and mud-resistant – perfect for those wet adventures.

But here’s the bummer for overpronators – the Adrenaline GTS doesn’t come in a GTX version, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for waterproof goodness.



Over the past couple of years, Brooks has been playing a little name game with their shoes, and you might have noticed the “GTS” tag popping up a lot.

Here’s the scoop: Brooks is saying goodbye to some of their old shoes and replacing them with the “GTS” versions of other tried-and-true shoes. Take the Brooks Bedlam, for instance – it’s out, and in comes the Levitate GTS.

They’re also cloning some regular neutral shoes and creating similar stability champs by slapping GuideRails on both sides. So, you’ve got shoes like the Launch GTS and the Glycerin GTS. But in reality, the Adrenaline is basically the GTS edition of the Ghost. It’s all about that extra stability.


Now, let’s chat about a potential downside that could actually be a perk for some runners, which is probably a positive for some other runners,  – these shoes sit firmly in the high-drop category.

So, if you’re not a fan of high-drop shoes or you tend to get a bit twitchy around higher drops, these models might not be your ideal match.

But, if you’re no stranger to high-drop shoes, you’re in for a treat with the Brooks Adrenaline and the Ghost.

Keep in mind, though, that a high drop isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. It’s all about what jives with your running style and preferences. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.

Final Thoughts

Brooks hasn’t completely reinvented the wheel with these shoes, but they’ve made some worthwhile improvements that deserve your attention.

The Brooks Adrenaline and the Ghost are still those reliable, no-nonsense daily trainers that can handle a wide range of running scenarios. Heck, you might even sport them with jeans to a casual barbecue – they’re that versatile.

For orthotic users, here’s a bonus: the insole is removable and the shoes can easily accommodate most orthotics.

Now, many folks adore the Ghost, and that love story carries over beautifully to the Adrenaline because, well, they’re basically siblings. Same midsoles and nearly identical uppers.

But the real game-changer? You’ll find a gusseted tongue on the Adrenaline and GuideRails for keeping overpronation in check.

In terms of performance, don’t expect fireworks or jaw-dropping excitement. These shoes are your dependable, run-of-the-mill running shoes that just get the job done.

Looking ahead, I’m crossing my fingers for some intriguing changes down the road. I’ve got a hunch we might see a dash of nitrogen-infused foam in the mix.

It’s nice to see the competition heating up, but for now, these two are solid choices – the Adrenaline for stability and the Ghost for neutrality.

And hey, if you’re exploring similar road running shoes, consider giving the Nike Pegasus 40, Hoka Clifton 9, Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 3, or Mizuno Wave Rider 26 a spin.

Where to buy Ghost (not affiliate)
BrooksDicks Sporting Goods
Where to buy Adrenaline (not affiliate)
BrooksRoad Runner Sports

Brooks Adrenaline vs Ghost – FAQs

Which has more cushion the Ghost or the Adrenaline?

With 36mm in the heel and 24mm in the forefoot, the Adrenaline GTS 23 is more cushioned than the Brooks Ghost 15.

Who is Brooks Adrenaline best for?

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS is best for runners who need stability and support, particularly those with mild to moderate overpronation. With its GuideRail stability system, the Adrenaline is designed to provide a balanced and comfortable ride for those looking to control their foot motion during runs.

Can I wear Brooks Ghost for walking?

Yes, you can wear the Brooks Ghost for walking. While it’s primarily designed as a running shoe, its cushioning and comfort make it suitable for walking and everyday activities as well.

Are Brooks Adrenaline shoes good for walking?

Yes, Brooks Adrenaline shoes can be used for walking, especially if you need stability and support. They provide good cushioning and are suitable for both running and walking, making them versatile for various activities.

What type of foot is Brooks Ghost for?

The Brooks Ghost is designed for neutral runners, meaning it’s best suited for individuals with a normal or neutral foot strike and gait pattern. It offers cushioning and support without excessive stability features.

Are Brooks Adrenaline good for flat feet?

Brooks Adrenaline shoes are often recommended for individuals with flat feet because they provide stability and support to help control overpronation, which is common in people with flat arches.

Is the Brooks Adrenaline a stability shoe?

Yes, the Brooks Adrenaline is indeed a stability shoe. Engineered to cater to the needs of runners who overpronate, it’s crafted with features that promote stability and control during the running stride.

Its design includes technologies like GuideRails, which help keep excessive motion in check, especially for those with a tendency to roll their feet inward.

This targeted support not only enhances the comfort of the run but also reduces the risk of injuries associated with overpronation, making the Brooks Adrenaline a trusted choice for runners seeking stability in their footwear.

That about wraps up our Brooks Adrenaline vs. Ghost showdown. If you’ve had the pleasure of running in either of these shoes, please share your experiences in the comments.

Until next time, stay safe out there, and catch you on the flip side! 🙂

About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

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