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Brooks Ghost 6 Review

   
Editors' Choice Award

Running Shoes - Men's

  • Currently 5.0/5
Overall avg rating 5.0 of 5 based on 1 review. Most recent review: March 8, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $72 - $140 | Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  The most balanced shoe we tested, extremely comfortable and efficient ride
Cons:  Low stability, cushioning can feel too soft for some
Best Uses:  Road running, light trail running
User Rating:       (0.0 of 5) based on 0 reviews
Manufacturer:   Brooks
Review by: Jimmy Elam ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ March 8, 2014  
Overview
The Brooks Ghost 6 is the one road shoe to rule them all, and earns our Editors’ Choice Award. Isn’t balance something we all need? Brooks created the perfect balance of comfort, weight, durability, flexibility, and responsiveness in the Ghost 6 to make it an unrivaled shoe. Brooks revamped the Ghost 6 from the previous award winning Ghost 5 by making a few refined changes to the structure of the midsole and the upper. Brooks decided to nix the old midfoot trusstic completely, which now creates full contact with the ground during landing, a more natural heel to toe transition, and an even smoother ride. This might sound like a drastic change to faithful Ghost users, but trust us, don’t fear this updated model. After researching feedback from users who logged miles in both the Ghost 5 and 6, they frequently stated this change is only slightly noticeable and is only for the better. If you’re an over-pronator and need more support than the Ghost 6 offers, but have good luck using Brooks, take a look at our review of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14 which now features a comfy Caterpillar Crash Pad like the Ghost 6.

Now, let’s go back to how remarkably smooth the ride is in the Ghost 6. Brooks uses an innovative Caterpillar Crash Pad for the midsole. This segmented landing pad is unique in the way that it distributes the weight and landing pattern of each person independently. The perfectly cushy crash pad is polished off by nubs on the outsole that offer plenty of traction in all road conditions. Also, we think the Ghost 6 is a great starter shoe for over-pronators who want to make the transition towards a more minimal shoe. We just recommend you start slowly and alternate between your current shoe and the neutral Ghost 6.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Our favorite feature in the neutral Brooks Ghost 6 is the Caterpillar Crash Pad. This “full ground contact” design creates a shockingly smooth landing from the moment your heel touches the ground through toe-off.

Performance Comparison

Click to enlarge
We love how the Brooks Ghost 6 allows for full ground contact during the landing phase. This gives us a feeling of more control on the road.
Credit: Cristina Stavro

Responsiveness
For how flexible the Ghost 6 is, we are surprised at the amount of responsiveness it has. In most cases we find that firmness has a direct positive correlation with responsiveness. Though, we still feel the ride of the Ghost 6 has a nice balance of responsiveness and flexibility. This could be due in part by the Omega Flex Grooves Brooks designed into the forefoot of the midsole. These grooves provide the perfect amount of forefoot flexion during the heel to toe transition in your gait cycle. Coupled with the stability of the horseshoe shaped heel pad, Brooks created a neutral, flexible shoe with decent responsiveness. If high responsiveness is the most important factor in your shoe buying process, give the propulsive Mizuno Wave Prophecy 3 a look.

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The Brooks Ghost 6 are quite flexible and soft yet still provide sufficient responsiveness for more up-tempo runs or workouts.
Credit: Cristina Stavro

Landing Comfort
The Ghost 6 receives our highest score in comfort. Our favorite feature of the Ghost 6 is how Brooks designed the midsole system with Anatomical Brooks DNA and the Caterpillar Crash Pad. The Brooks DNA cushioning responds to each person individually, depending on their size and landing pattern. When pressure is placed on the DNA cushion, it instantly reacts by dispersing the cushion throughout the midsole, creating the perfect amount of comfort specific to each runner. Below this DNA cushion Brooks forged in the Caterpillar Crash Pad. This divided landing pad gives you more mobility and just the right amount of cushion a neutral shoe needs. Now that the midfoot shank is removed from this new version of the Ghost, you can expect complete contact with the ground during your gait cycle. Combined, we feel these features create a continuous and fluid ride unlike any other shoe we tested. So fluid in fact, we suggest you take caution running up behind people on the roads. The Ghost 6 is so silent they’ll likely see you before they hear you.

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A closer look at how the Brooks Ghost 6 outsole flexes to provide full ground contact.
Credit: Cristina Stavro

Upper Comfort
The other small change Brooks made is to the upper. Instead of stitching the overlays in the forefoot, they are now welded. This trims just a little weight while adding some seamless durability to the forefoot upper. Less stitching also means less places where chafing can occur. The Ghost 6 has a secure heel fit and plenty of wiggle room for toes in forefoot. Runners with average to slightly wide feet will fit nicely in this shoe.

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A nice upgrade from the Brooks Ghost 5 to the 6 is welded seams instead of stitched seams in the forefoot upper.
Credit: Cristina Stavro

For those of you who have issues with the tongue sliding into the shoe, Brooks also made a nice addition to the tongue with a small eyelet to string one of your laces through. The laces are generic and lightweight, but we have no issues with them coming untied.

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A lace eyelet is a nice simple feature found on the tongue of the Brooks Ghost 6 which prevents it from slipping to one side or the other.
Credit: Cristina Stavro

Stability
This is the only category where the Ghost 6 fell to the back of the pack, and it earned the second lowest score in stability. The new Ghost 6 lost the little support provided by the Ghost 5 due to the removal of the plastic mid-foot support shank. We don’t think this plastic piece in the Ghost 5 provides much support to begin with, though. If you’re a neutral runner, then this is obviously good news for you.

Breathability
We found the Ghost 6 to have good breathability compared to the rest of the shoes in our test group. Lighter shoes tend to have more minimal uppers which is nice to cut some weight, but also means less protection from the elements. On the wet and cold days we noticed the Ghost 6 didn’t keep our feet as warm as some of the other shoes we tested, such as the New Balance 990. If you’re sold on the Ghost 6 but want the weather protection, be happy to know Brooks teamed up with Gore-Tex and made a waterproof version just for you.

Weight
At 10.7 ounces in a size 9, the Ghost 6 is the lightest shoe we tested if you remove the outlier in the group, the feather-weight Saucony Kinvara 4, which is a whole three ounces lighter at 7.7oz. Every time we take the Ghost 6 for a run we notice it feels much lighter than shoes only a few tenths of an ounce heavier. The Ghost 6 runs fast! Often times a shoe will sacrifice comfort and support to reach a light weight, but that is not the case with the Ghost 6. Though it runs lighter than most of the shoes we tested, we believe the Ghost 6 still has the best overall comfort.

Durability
With an abrasion resistant rubber outsole and blown rubber forefoot, the Ghost 6 proves to be resilient through our stringent testing of miles. We noticed that the smooth and efficient roll the Ghost 6 gives you from the heel to toe prevents premature wear in the outsole. After logging over 60 miles in the Ghost 6, we noticed almost no degradation. When you have finally logged all the miles your Ghost 6 can take, happily retire your shoe knowing that Brooks implemented an eco-friendly biodegradable sole in the shoe.

Best Application
The Brooks Ghost 6 is a perfectly balanced road shoe for neutral runners that feels extremely comfortable and responsive mile after mile.

Value
At $90-$110 the Ghost 6 is the average cost for a new road running shoe. It’s well worth it and your feet will thank you.

Conclusion
Everyone knows how shoe companies drastically change things in your favorite shoe, and Brooks is guilty of that from the changes in the Ghost 5 to 6. The thing is, Brooks might have created perfection with the Ghost 6. After this model we can’t image them doing much to make it any better for neutral runners wanting the perfect balance of comfort and responsiveness. We absolutely love this shoe.

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We believe the Brooks Ghost 6 can be a great starter shoe for over-pronators who want to make a transition towards neutral shoes. Though, take your time and do it at your own discretion.
Credit: Cristina Stavro

Other Versions
Brooks Ghost 6 - Women's, $110.
Brooks Ghost 7 - Women's, $120.
Brooks Ghost 7 - Wide 2E, $120.
Brooks Ghost 7 GTX - Men's, $150.
Brooks Ghost 7 GTX - Women's, $150.

Jimmy Elam

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 8, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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Brooks Ghost 6
Credit: Brooks
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