Hoka Clifton 9 VS Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a runner searching for your next pair of shoes, you may be trying to decide between the Hoka One One Clifton 9 and the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23.

Both are popular neutral cushioned trainers, but they have key differences that can help guide your decision.

This in-depth comparison highlights the critical specs, features, and performance of each shoe to reveal which is better for your needs. Keep reading to learn which of these high-quality running shoes is the right choice for you.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Clifton 9 and Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23:

FeatureHoka Clifton 9Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23
Launched In20232023
StabilityNeutralGuideRails technology for stability
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingNarrow fitTrue to size
Weight8.9 oz (M), 7.4 oz (W)10.2 oz (M), 9.1 oz (W)
CushioningHigh CMEVA foamModerate DNA LOFT v3 foam
OutsoleDurable rubberDurable rubber
MidsoleCMEVA foamDNA LOFT v3 foam
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$145$140

Features Comparison:

In thios segment we will see some of the most important features of both the Adrenaline GTS 23 and Clifton 9 to see which is worth investing.

Materials

The Clifton 9 uses a breathable engineered mesh for the upper to provide a secure and comfortable fit. The CMEVA foam midsole is very responsive while giving high energy return, and the durable rubber outsole ensures flexibility and traction.

Clifton 9
CLIFTON 9

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23
Adrenaline GTS 23

In contrast, the Adrenaline GTS 23 has an engineered mesh upper for breathability and structure. The standout feature is the GuideRails technology built into the DNA LOFT v3 foam midsole to prevent excessive pronation and provide a stable ride. It also has a durable rubber outsole.

The Clifton 9’s high-cushioning CMEVA foam midsole offers a softer feel than the firmer and more responsive DNA LOFT foam in the Adrenaline GTS 23.

Durability

The Clifton 9 has exceptional durability thanks to the rubber outsole which protects against wear and tear. The durable CMEVA foam retains its cushioning and bounce even over many miles. Runners report the Clifton 9 lasts well over 300+ miles.

Comparatively, the Adrenaline GTS 23 also has a very durable rubber outsole and the DNA LOFT foam maintains its support and responsiveness for many miles of use. The GuideRails support system is built to remain effective for a long duration.

While both shoes are extremely durable, the Clifton 9’s high-cushioning foam has a slight edge for retaining its plush and responsive feel mile after mile. The Adrenaline GTS 23’s firmer foam may compact over time.

Fit

The Clifton 9 fits snug in the heel and midfoot with a tighter toebox. The upper wraps the foot securely but some may find it too narrow, especially in the forefoot.

Clifton 9 Top View
CLIFTON 9

Brooks Adrenaline GTS Top View
ADRENALINE GTS 23

In contrast, the Adrenaline GTS 23 has a true-to-size fit through the heel, midfoot, and toebox for a comfortable and accommodating experience. The engineered mesh upper adapts well while the structured GuideRails technology locks the foot in place.

For runners with wider feet or who prefer more room to splay their toes, the Adrenaline GTS 23’s roomier forefoot is the better choice. However, runners who desire a compressive fit will appreciate the Clifton 9’s tailored feel. It comes down to personal fit preferences – the Adrenaline GTS 23 accommodates more foot shapes while the Clifton 9 works for narrower feet.

Stability

The Clifton 9 is a neutral shoe with no added stability features, allowing for natural foot motion through the gait cycle. The curved shape encourages smooth transitions. In contrast, the Adrenaline GTS 23 is a stability shoe designed to provide guidance and limit excessive inward rolling.

The GuideRails support system integrates into the midsole to keep the foot stable and aligned in the neutral position. This makes the Adrenaline GTS 23 an excellent choice for runners who overpronate while needing cushioning for longer distances and daily use.

For severe overpronators, however, an even more controlling motion-control shoe may be required. The Clifton 9 has no pronation-correcting elements so it can suit neutral runners best. Pick the Adrenaline GTS 23 if you need pronation support or the Clifton 9 for a natural ride.

Cushioning

The Clifton 9 offers ultra-plush cushioning from the full-compression CMEVA midsole foam. It provides soft impact absorption and rebounding energy return that maintains comfort over any distance.

The Adrenaline GTS 23 has moderate cushioning from the DNA LOFT foam that responsively dampens impact while providing a firm, stable base. The Clifton 9 clearly wins for providing the most pillowy soft ride which is felt immediately underfoot.

The Adrenaline GTS 23 has enough cushioning for comfort through long mileage but has firmer responsiveness better for tempo runs or strides versus the Clifton 9’s forgiving plushness.

For runners seeking the most cushioned option of the two or wanting cloud-like comfort even during slow paces, the Clifton 9 is the winner. But the Adrenaline GTS 23 offers cushioning that energetically returns energy spent.

Value

At $145, the Clifton 9 sits at a little higher end of the premium-price spectrum which is reasonable for the quality and impressive cushioning built to last over 300+ miles. Comparatively, the Adrenaline GTS 23 retails at $140 which is slightly less expensive but still appropriate value considering the supportive stability features like the GuideRails technology.

Value-seeking runners who don’t need pronation support may lean towards the Clifton 9 for providing exceptional cushioning and comfort at a more affordable price point versus the feature-loaded Adrenaline GTS 23.

Performance Comparison:

Now we will compare the performance of Adrenaline GTS 23 and Clifton 9 to see who excels.

Walking

The Clifton 9 provides a comfortable walking shoe with its well-cushioned midsole absorbing impact effectively to reduce foot fatigue. The rockered sole encourages a natural stride.

However, the Adrenaline GTS 23 better stabilizes the foot when walking due to the GuideRails support system. The firmer DNA LOFT cushioning also doesn’t compress as much, giving needed structure during walking gait.

For walking short everyday distances, the plush Clifton 9 works well. But for long treks, travel, or standing all day, the Adrenaline GTS 23’s stability helps maintain foot alignment and stamina.

Running

For running, the Clifton 9 shines with its ultra-soft CMEVA foam cushioning that provides both comfort and energy return mile after mile. The rockered shape creates smooth transitions for an enjoyable run at any pace.

While the Adrenaline GTS 23 can handle runs of any distance, the firmer DNA LOFT foam doesn’t isolate impact as well as the Clifton 9’s pillowy cushioning, particularly on longer runs or easy days.

However, the Adrenaline GTS 23 offers a stable base and snappy toe-off for tempos or speedwork that the plush Clifton 9 can’t match. Go with the Clifton 9 for daily training runs and long miles. Pick the Adrenaline GTS 23 for swifter strides.

Plantar Fasciitis

The Clifton 9 excels in relieving plantar fasciitis pain thanks to its well-cushioned construction absorbing shock effectively with each step. The rocker profile also reduces strain on the plantar fascia ligament by promoting a smooth heel-to-toe transition.

While the Adrenaline GTS 23 has adequate cushioning, the firmer DNA LOFT foam is not as soft underfoot compared to the plush Clifton 9. Thus runners with plantar fasciitis would benefit more from the ultra-forgiving softness of the Clifton 9’s midsole to reduce pressure on the aggravated plantar fascia tissue.

All Day Standing

For extended periods of standing, the Adrenaline GTS 23 provides greater support and stamina. The stability GuideRails technology keeps the foot in proper alignment to avoid aches, while the responsive DNA LOFT cushioning maintains its lively bounce for hours on your feet.

While the Clifton 9 feels soft initially, the compressed CMEVA foam can flatten out over time when standing which reduces shock absorption. The Adrenaline GTS 23’s firmer cushioning and structure sustains comfort and energy return longer when on your feet all day, making it the better choice for extended wear.

Final Verdict:

In summary, the plushly cushioned Hoka One One Clifton 9 is best suited for neutral runners seeking soft comfort for daily mileage and long runs.


The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 provides pronation support and a lively ride that can handle tempo runs or all-day wear better than the Clifton 9. Choose the Clifton 9 if you want cushioned comfort without stability features, and pick the Adrenaline GTS 23 if you need help controlling overpronation in a durable package built to go the distance.

Both are quality shoes, but cater to different needs among runners. Decide which strengths match your running goals and foot type to choose the best option for you.

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