Adaptive dimensional search (ADS) algorithm is a recently proposed metaheuristic optimization technique for discrete structural optimization problems. In this study, discrete sizing optimization problem of steel frames is tackled using the ADS algorithm. An important feature of the algorithm is that it does not use any metaphor as an underlying principle for its implementation. Instead, the algorithm employs an efficient performance-oriented methodology at each iteration for convergence to the optimum or a near optimum solution. The performance of the ADS is investigated through optimum design of five real-size steel frame structures and the results are compared versus several contemporary metaheuristic techniques. The comparison of the obtained numerical results with those of available designs in the literature reveals the reliability and efficiency of the ADS in optimum design of steel frames.