ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 vs. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 review

ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 provides a securely fitting upper and a plush ride. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 delivers tons of stability and support with cushioning that is not too firm or too soft.

NEW! ASICS GEL-Kayano 23 vs. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 and ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 vs. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 and ASICS GEL-Kayano 23 vs. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 are both stability running shoes with the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 falling at the upper end of the stability category.

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The uppers of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 differ quite a bit, since one is almost entirely seamless and the other has a combination of different types of overlays.

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com consists of mainly no-sew overlays that wrap the midfoot well and also line the toe box. There are only a couple of stitches at the back and front of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16.

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, on the other hand, has stitched-on overlays wrapping the midfoot and running on top of the toe box.

Then in between, it has smaller and thinner no-sew overlays throughout the entire upper. This allows the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 to produce a close-to-foot fit.

At the back, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 comes with an external heel counter to lock your heel down onto the platform. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 does not come with an external heel counter.

So while the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 may be regarded as the more stable and supportive running shoe in other areas, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 excels in the amount of support it provides to overpronators through its upper.

Both the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 have midsoles that provide heel-to-toe cushioning.

But while the Brooks Adrenaline GTS is known for its cushioning that is not too soft or too firm, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is known for its plush cushioning.

This is confirmed by running shoe lab tests, which show that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is super cushy in both the heel and the forefoot and for both men and women.

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 displays an average amount of cushioning for women. While the amount of forefoot cushioning is also on the average side for men, the heel of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 might feel a bit firm to men.

So if you are a male heel-striker, you may want to look into the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 more than the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 when it comes to cushioning.

What the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 has that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 does not have is a full-length crash pad that runs from the back of the midsole along the lateral side all the way to the front.

This allows the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 to provide you with smooth transitions from heel-strike to toe-off and also increase the stability of your runs when combined with its somewhat firmer foam.

Speaking of stability, both the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 and the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 are meant to provide stability and support.

They both do this through the implementation of firmer foam on the medial side of the midsole. However, the medial post is much longer in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16, runs higher, and consists of several densities of foam at the back end.

So in terms of the amount of pronation control provided, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 delivers much more than the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21.

Both medial posts are reinforced by midfoot shanks with the midfoot shank of the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 spanning the width under the midfoot and that of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 just one side – the medial side.

The rubber outsoles of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are well segmented for shock absorption. They also contain a good amount of flex grooves.

However, the rubber compartments are much larger under the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 than they are under the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16, which has small but pleniful rubber pods.

This allows the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 to really dissipate shock well to smoothen your ride even more.

It doesn't help much with flexibility, though, because running shoe lab tests show that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 is the more flexible running shoe for both men and women.

The women's version of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 weighs approximately 9.5 oz (269 grams), and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for women also weighs approximately 9.5 oz (269 grams).

The men's version of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 weighs about 11.1 oz (315 grams), and the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 for men weighs 11.3 oz (320 grams).

If you are a moderate overpronator who is looking for a very soft and plush ride from a running shoe that comes with a secure fit, then the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 would be the one to look into.

And if you need a little bit more support than the amount that can be delivered by the ASICS GEL-Kayano 21, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 would be a good running shoe to consider. Men would want to be cautious, though, if they are heel-strikers.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

The two links above will take you to Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


This review falls under: ASICS | Brooks

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