Brooks Ghost 13 Review

The new Brooks Ghost 13! Brooks has slightly tweaked a couple aspects of the shoe, including a refreshed midsole and outsole – but the overall character of the shoe remains the same. For Brooks’ best selling model, that is a great thing.

Brooks has refined the Ghost for the 13th version, updating the upper and midsole, while leaving the overall feel and fit of the shoe very similar to the past few generations. The fit and feel of the shoe is similar, but there are some slight changes:

Ghost 13 vs Ghost 12:

  • While Brooks has changed the midsole and outsole, the overall feel of the 13 is remarkably similar to the 12
  • The 13 may be just a little more plush – but you’d be hard-pressed to tell a difference, even when running in the two back-to-back
  • Stability remains unchanged
  • Fit remains unchanged
  • The design of the upper has slightly changed, but it really doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of the fit and feel

Brooks Ghost 13 Review

Fit

The new Ghost 13 remains a pretty standard fit. With a great step-in feel and supportive yet flexible knit upper, the Ghost has set the standard for traditional-weight trainers. With a structured upper that surrounds your foot, the Ghost also provides widths for those looking for a wider or narrower fit.

Feel

Building on the success of the past few generations, Brooks seems to have recognized that the feel of the recent Ghosts was something that resonated with a lot of runners. The initial step-in feel is still nice and plush, although it might feel slightly less luxurious than some of the more cushioned offerings from Brooks and others. The Ghost 13 sticks with the same balance of responsiveness/lightness and cushion/softness that has allowed it to recently dominate specialty running sales. That balance remains unchanged in the Ghost 13, although you do feel like there’s a little more to the shoe.

Function

It doesn’t look like the midsole and outsole tweaks have changed the stability of the shoe. We are still evaluating the changes, but overall it remains a neutral trainer with no real guidance built in. It’s an appropriate choice for neutral runners.

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Brooks Ghost 13 Review

Comparisons:

Brooks Ghost vs Glycerin:

In their newest versions (Glycerin 18 vs Ghost 13), both shoes use Brooks’ DNA Loft foam and mesh upper. The experience of the two shoes is actually pretty similar, with the Glycerin feeling not feeling much more “luxurious”. The upper and midsole are a little softer than the Ghost, but not by much. You do get a little more volume in the shoe the Glycerin, and the upper seems to be a little more stretchy. Neither shoe provides significant guidance for runners with more flexible foot strikes, but we’ve seen that both have a little bit of inherent stability.

Brooks Ghost vs Adrenaline:

The Adrenaline and Ghost are designed with different foot functions in mind. While based on a very similar midsole and outsole, the Adrenaline features Brooks’ new GuideRails technology, designed to provide stability to those who need it, which does change the overall nature of the shoe. While the overall experience of the two shoes is not drastically different, Ghost is softer and much more luxurious. Ride height is about the same, but the GuideRails do appear to firm up the ride a little and make the shoe a little less flexible. The GuideRails also add a noticeable amount of weight to the shoe. The biggest difference between the two is that the GuideRails in the Adrenaline are designed to align the foot, shin, and knee closer to the body’s natural mechanics.

Brooks Ghost vs Nike Pegasus

In their current versions (Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 vs Brooks Ghost 13), the Pegasus now feels lighter and lower. Not only that, the Pegasus is now a little plusher as well. The Ghost does feel like more of a traditional trainer in its fit and structured feel. The upper of each shoe also provides a different experience. While the Ghost provides a pretty standard upper fit and feel, the Pegasus continues to be very cradling upon step-in. That dramatically changes upon the first step, when the flexible nature of the Pegasus is revealed. The Pegasus has a much narrower and shallow toebox, and is a little on the short side.  In terms of weight, on the scale they are nearly identical, but the smooth transition and flexible upper of the Pegasus make it feel a little lighter on foot. Early analysis is showing that the slight changes that Brooks has made to the Ghost might give it a little bit of inherent stability, whereas the Pegasus function as a pure neutral shoe.

Brooks Ghost vs Mizuno WaveKnit/Wave Rider

The Mizuno Rider 24 features a firmer lower, and more responsive ride than the Ghost 13. While the some precious Wave Riders had a similar plushness to the Ghost in terms of the ride, the evolution of the WaveKnit/Rider and Ghost have resulted in the Rider being much firmer once again. The Ghost is also much more consistent in its cushion, with the Rider having a noticeable dropoff at the end of the wave plate. Fit is pretty similar between the shoes, with the less plush upper of the Rider maybe giving it a little more room. 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 Launch

The Brooks Ghost and Launch have considerably different design goals, but the recent changes in the Ghost have led to the two competing more frequently. The Launch is designed to be a faster, more responsive shoe than the Ghost. Putting them on side-by-side reveals those differences and really shows how much more of a fast/firm feel the Launch has. The Ghost has trimmed its weight down to be nearly identical to the Launch, and it might actually feel lower in the heel. The Ghost has a much better transition, and any weight differences between the two are negligible on-foot. You have a little more room in the Launch, with the interior of the shoe feeling less plush but more forgiving. The Launch has a little bit of inherent stability, and we’re still evaluating, but the Ghost seems to have added some as well. Runners who need any significant amount of guidance should look elsewhere, however.

Brooks Ghost 13 Review

 

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