Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Product Review: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 Running Shoes

Being overweight for the first 37 years of my life, I was always very hard on shoes. Most shoes would last me 6 months...tops. And trying to find anything wide enough for my feet was nearly impossible.  Eventually, I settled on 4E wide New Balance shoes and I wore those for probably 20 years.

But, now that I have lost 370 pounds, I can wear whatever shoes I want.  Or can I?

The Feet Transformation
With all that weight being lost, I have discovered my feet have changed dramatically. It's hard to describe, but they are very sensitive. A shoe that rubs my toes or doesn't have a wide enough toe box might be a minor inconvenience for some, but it means excruciating pain for me.  I have tried on at least 100 pairs of shoes in the last year or so and have finally settled on one pair.

My quest led me to my local running store to try out proper running shoes. I had heard these were the best of the best. I also was warned I would pay a lot for a good pair...over $100. But I was prepared to shell out the bucks.  You get what you pay for, right?

The salesman at the store had me run on a treadmill and made a video of the way I ran. It was discovered that I overpronated when I ran, meaning my foot rolls inward. This is also because I am knock-kneed, meaning my legs bend outwards from the knee. It was decided I needed a stability shoe.

Enter the Brooks.

All I can say about these shoes is this: where have you been all my life?  From the moment I put them on, I felt a level of comfort and support I have not felt in a shoe in years.  Comfort is important because I walk 10-15 miles per week and bike about 15 miles on the weekends.

I could go on and on about what I like about these shoes, but I will hit the high points.

Pros:

The support has a lot of cushion, but is a little firm in its support. I love this. The shoe doesn't feel too "mushy," like a lot of the gel or air type shoes. It's just right.

The toe box on the Brooks is really superior to any others I have tried on. It is a wide toe box, so a 12 D fit me perfectly. In some other more narrow brands, I would need a 12 EE.

Lastly, the construction of the shoe. One problem I really have since I walk so many miles in my shoes is seams on the inside of the shoe rubbing my toes raw. This has happened in so many other shoes, including other $100 running shoes. It's a problem...the shoes rub your feet, so you get wider shoes, right? But then...they're too wide, and your foot slides around inside. Not so with the Brooks. The fabric of the webbing is very soft and comfortable.

Any impartial review would also show the cons. There aren't many.

It would be nice if there were more color choices. The Andrenaline GTS 13 in a 12D comes in either blue or red. Also, the style is typical running shoe style...really bright and eye-catching. It would be nice if there were some additional styles.


Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 Running Shoes
Cost: $110 
www.BrooksRunning.com

Rating: 4 1/2 stars out of 5