Brooks Ghost 11 Review

The new Brooks Ghost 11! Despite some significant midsole changes, The ride hasn’t changed much from the Ghost 10, which for Brooks’ best selling model is a great thing.

Brooks has refined the Ghost for the 11th version, updating the midsole and upper while leaving the overall feel and fit of the shoe very similar to the Ghost 9 and 10. The fit and feel of the shoe is similar, but there are some slight changes:

Ghost 10 vs Ghost 11:

  • Brooks has updated the midsole material to their new DNA Loft foam, which is a little softer and more flexible than their old DNA foam
  • The more flexible foam gives you a little better transition and you feel a little lower to the ground
  • The upper is softer and a little more luxurious feeling than the old Ghost 10
  • Stability remains unchanged
  • The new ghost is a little wider, and maybe a little more flexible in the upper

Fit

The new Ghost 11 remains a pretty standard fit, with the more flexible mesh upper possibly providing a little more room for wider feet. It seems a little wider than the previous Ghost, but not enough that it would change sizing or appropriateness for anyone. While the toe box might be a little more tapered, the mesh upper with no significant overlays gives you a significant about of flexibility.

Feel

Brooks seems to have recognized that the feel of the Ghost 9&10 was something that resonated with a lot of runners. Despite changing the midsole material to their new DNA Loft foam, the General feel of the shoe is remarkably similar to the 10. The Ghost 11 has just the right balance of responsiveness/lightness and cushion/softness to recently dominate specialty running sales. That balance remains unchanged in the Ghost 11, although you do feel barely lower to the ground and a little more flex in the transition.

 Function

Even with the complete midsole change, the Ghost remains a pure neutral trainer with no guidance built in. It’s an appropriate choice for neutral runners.

Comparisons:

Brooks Ghost vs Nike Pegasus

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 is softer then the Ghost 11, but both feel appropriate for faster runs. The Ghost feels a little lower overall, but the under-foot experience in both shoes is remarkably similar.  The upper, however, is different. While the Ghost provides a pretty standard upper fit and feel, the new Pegasus is very cradling. The Pegasus has a much narrower and shallow toebox, and is a little on the short side. The drop is 10mm on the Pegasus 35 vs 12mm on the Ghost, but on your foot the experience is similar. In terms of weight, the Pegasus is slightly lighter than the Ghost and combined with the smooth transition and flexible upper actually feels a little lighter on foot. Both have minimal inherent stability and function as pure neutral shoes.

Brooks Ghost vs Mizuno WaveKnit R1

The Mizuno WaveKnit R1 features a much firmer, more responsive ride than the Ghost 11. While the outgoing Wave Rider 21 has a similar plushness to the Ghost 11 in terms of the ride, the redesign in the WaveKnit R1 makes it much firmer. The new Ghost is wider overall and has more room in toebox, but the knit upper of the WaveKnit does allow for a decent amount of stretchyness to accommodate slightly wide feet. The weight of each shoe is very similar, and you really can’t tell a difference on-foot. Neither provides any significant amount of stability.

Brooks Ghost vs ASICS Cumulus

The Brooks Ghost has become one of the best selling running shoes in specialty running recently – a position that the ASICS GEL-Cumulus has often held over the years. In their current versions, the shoes have a very different feel. The Ghost has an overall softer feel, both in the upper and in terms of midsole/ride. It also feels more flexible and has a much more smooth transition than the Cumulus. The GEL-Cumulus is more structured in the upper and feels like a more solid platform. Each runner might have their own opinions on which feel calls to them. With its intrusive heel counter, though, the Cumulus feels pretty restrictive. Weight is almost identical for each shoe, but thanks to the Ghost’s smooth transition it feels lighter on-foot. The Ghost is a little wider than the Cumulus, with a much more flexible upper with fewer overlays. The flexible upper allows even more room for both shoe width and toebox volume.

Brooks Ghost vs Saucony Ride ISO

In their current versions, the shoes have a very different feel. The Ghost has an overall softer feel, both in the upper and in terms of midsole/ride . It also feels higher and has a little more smooth transition than the Ride. The Ride has more room in the toebox and is a little wider overall – to the extent that it feels a little sloppy on narrower feet compared to the Ghost. The Ghost is lighter than the Ride, but because of the softness of the Ghost it’s unlikely that you’d be able to tell that it’s lighter. The Ride is much softer in-step, but also is much more accommodating with the new ISO upper.

Brooks Glycerin vs Brooks Ghost:

In their newest versions (Glycerin 16 vs Ghost 11), both shoes use Brooks’ new DNA Loft foam and mesh upper. The experience of the two shoes is considerably different, with the Glycerin feeling much more luxurious. The upper and midsole are simply much softer than the Ghost. You also ride a little higher in the Glycerin. Neither shoe provides significant guidance for runners with more flexible foot strikes.

Brooks Ghost 11

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