Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
At last-- a real Gore-Tex running shoe!
on January 1, 2013
I run 30-40 miles a week, and Brooks shoes have been my mainstay for years. When winter comes, I keep running, rain or shine. I've run in Brooks Adrenaline ASR's for several winters but have never been impressed with their water-proofness. In fact, they're barely even water-repellant. That being said, they're still better than a regular summer running shoe, so I just sucked up their inadequacy.
A couple of years ago I tried a pair of Gore-Tex trail runners made by a hiking boot manufacturer. Sure, those were waterproof... but they also felt like hiking boots, not running shoes. They were incredibly heavy, and so stiff that they actually hurt my feet. So back to the less-than-water-proof Adrenaline ASR's I went. At least Brooks knows running!
Then I discovered this year that Brooks had come out with a Gore-Tex version of the Adrenaline--- Yay! At last, a REAL running shoe made with Gore-Tex! And not just any running shoe, but the Adrenaline, a shoe I know and love. Sure, they were pricey (what Gore-Tex product isn't?), but I didn't hesitate. I've run far too many miles with soaked feet; I earned these!
So with that set of expectations, how did they turn out?
These days in dry conditions my normal running shoe is the near-minimalist Brooks Pure Grit, an extremely light and flexible shoe. When I pulled the Adrenaline GTX's out of the box I was a little concerned; these puppies are decidedly heavy, and the sole is considerably stiffer than even the regular summer/road Adrenalines. With my feet now used to a really light, flexible shoe, would these be just too much?
I've now put in nearly 100 miles on the Adrenaline GTX's, running in pouring rain or its aftermath on mucky, puddle-riddled trails. The shoes are indeed a bit stiff and heavy, but wow!! Can they handle the wet and the mud! They are utterly waterproof. Pair them with a good set of trail gaiters and your feet are in a virtual Fort Knox. Utterly awesome! They are perfectly suited to their purpose. Would I like them to be lighter and more flexible? Absolutely. But they aren't so stiff that they hurt my feet, and if a bit of weight is the price I pay for keeping my feet dry and comfortable, so be it.
My fantasy now is that Brooks comes out with a Gore-Tex version of the Pure Grit--- THAT would be absolutely fabulous! But in the meantime, the Adrenaline GTX's do an admirable job for winter running. Their weight and relative inflexibility are made up for by their true water-proofness. They're still far more comfortable running shoes than anything a hiking boot manufacturer will come up with. So if your overriding goal is for water-proofness in a decent pair of true running shoes, definitely give these a try. They won't be your racing shoes, and they're far from minimalist; but if you figure you'll only be running in them for training perhaps 4 or 5 months out of the year, who cares? They will keep you out on the road or trail when you otherwise might look outside and say, "Forget it!"