Founded in 1914, Brooks is one of the most trusted brands in running. And today we’ll be comparing two of the brand’s popular models, the Brooks Adrenaline vs Levitate. One is a holistic support shoe offering just a touch guidance to your stride. While the other is a neutral runner with the most “spring” a Brooks shoe has to offer. Below we’ll be breaking down the difference and helping you decide the right road running shoe for you.
Brooks Adrenaline vs Levitate
- The Brooks Adrenaline is a “light” Stability running shoe. Featuring guide rails on the sides of the shoes to help prevent loss in form due to fatigue.
- While the Brooks Levitate is a neutral style running shoe. A neutral running shoe is a great choice for most runners. Especially new runners.
- The Levitate is a slightly heavier shoe at 10.4oz. With the Adrenalines weighing 10.2oz.
- The Adrenaline’s have a large 12mm drop. Compared to an 8mm drop on the Levitate.
- Brooks classifies the Adrenaline as a “more cushioned” runner. This is the second highest rating of cushioning the brand offers.
- The Levitate is considered an “energized” shoe. With Brooks saying there is “max spring in the Levitate”. The highest level in any shoe they make.
Founded in 1914 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Brooks has been making quality running shoes for over 100 years. And there are a lot of reasons to look at these two models of shoes in particular. Each offers a unique feature to the brands line. So let’s take a closer look at each model and compare images.
The Brooks Adrenaline is an incredibly popular model of road running shoe. And has been in production for over 20 years. Considered a stability shoe, I wouldn’t consider them “corrective” stability shoes. More like stability runners for neutral runners that break down long into races. This can also make them a great choice for the beginners while building leg strength.
When trying them on, the Adrenaline’s feel like they fit pretty true to size. If you have a wide foot or are getting them for an ultra over 50 miles I’d probably even half size up. The arch support is fairly low. So they should be a great choice for low arches or flat feet.
Running in the Brooks Adrenaline feels fast. You can really notice that 12mm drop. And they want to push. Especially on any type of downhill grade. Personally I like a lower drop for my longer and slower training runs. The Adrenalines also started to show wear faster then I would have expected. And I’m not sure they would make 300 miles of wear.
Based on reviews of the Brooks Levitate I ordered two pairs. One in my size and one a half size up. And I’m glad I did. They definitely run a bit narrow and if you’re even questioning if you should half size up. With the Levitates you really should. If you have really wide feet you may even need a full size up.
Once you get the right size on your feet, the Levitate feels great on the feet. With plenty of arch support if you have a mid to high arch. The 8mm drop feels comfortable yet quick. And you can really feel the added spring (or rebound) the shoes offer. It may even take a little to get used to the feel of spring.
I really enjoyed running in the Levitate and found the cushioning to be a great pairing with the added spring of the shoes. Making for a comfortable yet energized feeling when running. Overall I really just wish the sizing of the shoes was better. I usually run in 10s and had to switch to 10.5 in the Levitate. Even then the feel just wasn’t as natural on my feet as other brands that run true to size. Hopefully Brooks will fix this issue in future models (after the 5s).
Below is an image comparison of the Brooks Adrenaline vs Levitate. From the profile pic you can see the black striped “guide rails” located on the inside and outside of the Adrenalines.
Brooks Adrenaline Profile
Brooks Levitate Profile
The overall shape of the two shoes look very similar. But you can notice the how narrow the Levitate is in the mid and heal sections of the shoe.
Adrenaline Top View
Levitate Top View
Here it’s even more clear how narrow the Levitate is compared to the Adrenaline in the center of the shoe.
Brooks Adrenaline Soles
Brooks Levitate Soles
Conclusion – Brooks Adrenaline vs Levitate
The Adrenaline has been in production for over 20 years and is a staple in the Brooks running shoe lineup. Then there is the newer Levitate. A model that still feels as though it’s growing into the shoe we all hope it one day can be. But which road runner is right for you?
Which road running shoe to buy?
When comparing a lot of shoes, I find that in many cases the two models are designed for different purposes. Suited better for certain terrains or types of runners. But when comparing the Brooks Adrenaline vs Levitate this wasn’t the case. And I found there to be a clear winner.
Even though it’s listed as a support running shoe. For either a neutral runner or someone in need of support, I feel the Brooks Adrenaline is clearly the better shoes of the two. The overall design and comfort is just spot on. You can tell they have spent years getting the design right.
The Levitate on the other hand just needs some polishing. And the sizing (running small) is something the brand need to work out in future models. Especially since most of the reviews echo the same displeasure.
So if you you’re looking to decide between the two, go with the Brooks Adrenaline and thank me later!