Hands-on Gear Review

Brooks Ghost 10 - Women's Review

The Ghost 10 strikes an awesome balance between comfort and responsiveness.
By: Brittney Ahrens and Lauren DeLaunay  ⋅  Jan 30, 2018
Price:  $120 List  |  $83.83 at REI - 30% Off
Pros:  Supportive, protective, comfortable
Cons:  Less breathable, less responsive
Manufacturer:   Brooks
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 12
  • Landing Comfort - 25% 8
  • Responsiveness - 20% 7
  • Upper Comfort - 25% 9
  • Stability - 20% 7
  • Weight - 10% 6
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Our Verdict

While the Brooks Ghost series took home our Editors' Choice Award year after year, it was barely edged out of the top spot this year. Still a highly versatile, user-friendly, and extremely comfortable shoe, we love to recommend this model for anyone looking for serious comfort and a neutral stride. We thought it was slightly less responsive and a bit heavier than the Brooks Adrenaline GTS which ultimately won our top award, but if you've fallen in love with previous iterations of the Ghost, you won't be disappointed in this newest rendition.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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Brooks crafted another exceptional shoe in this newer version, staying true to the positives that were found in older models. The Ghost 10 secures high scores in overall comfort when we averaged landing and upper comfort with breathability. It combines the DNA midsole with the new plush heel zone, and these features work together to create a highly adaptive ride that functions for individual stride variations as well as different runners.

Performance Comparison


Seeing how the Ghost 10 stacked up against the competition, it is clear to see why it remains one of our all-time favorite products.

Getting ready to explore Yosemite with the Brooks Ghost 10
Getting ready to explore Yosemite with the Brooks Ghost 10

Landing Comfort


With a heavy amount of underfoot padding, the Ghost was only out-performed by the HOKA ONE ONE Bondi, whose maximum cushioning design is unique in this review. Scoring a hefty 9/10, this shoe was tied with the HOKA ONE ONE Clifton, Brooks Adrenaline, and Brooks Glycerin.

We put our feet through a lot of miles, but with the DNA BioMoGo midsole, the cushion helped absorb the impact and save us some wear and tear. Brooks kept the updated cushioning of the previous version, which saw a change from gel inserts in the heel and forefoot to a blended DNA technology throughout the midsole. With cushioning throughout our entire landing platform, the Ghost 10 helped balance varying impact due to pace and terrain.

The Ghost 10 is perfect for fall days on Yosemite's paved paths.
The Ghost 10 is perfect for fall days on Yosemite's paved paths.

New to this version, the Ghost 10 includes a "plush transition" zone in the heel. Designed to aid in landing comfort, we felt the bonus of this every transition from heel to toe. The Glycerin, another in the Brooks family, also had superior landing comfort; Brooks seems to have a handle on what makes an excellent soft landing during a gait cycle.

Responsiveness


The Ghost is highly responsive throughout its midsole, which features grooves that help to break up the cushioning and allow our feet to flex naturally. Brooks also designed their blown rubber lugs to be larger in the midfoot. This added the desired boost in responsiveness by increasing ground feel strategically while maintaining the flexibility that we love so much in the Ghost.

Speeding up in the Sierras with the Ghost 10
Speeding up in the Sierras with the Ghost 10

This model was slightly out-performed by the Adrenaline which was one of the main reasons it was bumped out of our Editors' Choice spot. It was, however, more responsive than the Altra Escalante and ASICS GEL-Cumulus, as well as both HOKA models. It performed similarly to the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante, our Best Buy Award winner.

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Upper Comfort


We rated the Ghost 10 another near-perfect 9/10 for the highly comfortable upper. Outfitted with a comfort fit, the stretchy top laces helped to minimize pressure. From the first moment we slipped on these kicks, it was as if they had been made specially for our foot. The tongue felt locked against the bridge of our foot, and this award winner had a supremely plush tongue and collar. The grade in tongue cushion helped to create a snug and secure fit around the collar, while our toes and forefoot had plenty of room to splay out with the ample toe box.

Uncomparable comfort with the Ghost
Uncomparable comfort with the Ghost

The collar is designed with an extra layer of soft cushion. The Ghost 10's upper has a lot of the same plush feel as the Adrenaline and Glycerin. These classic shoes offer narrow and wide widths, meaning there are sufficient options to fully customize your fit. If you are in the market for a shoe that you can splay your toes out in, the Altra Escalante feature a wide toe box that looks more like a foot and isn't as shaped in the same way as the Ghost, though it has considerably less padding.

Stability


Brooks doesn't claim to offer stability support in the Ghost, so it's not surprising that they were outperformed by other contenders, such as the Adrenaline and ASICS GEL-Cumulus, or comparable to the Brooks Glycerin or HOKA Bondi. For runners who supinate or maintain a neutral gait, this is a positive. It is not recommended to buy a running shoe with more stability features than you need. That being the case, it's worth noting that the midsole and plush transition heel zone do provide just the kind of cushioned support a neutral or supinated runner might want to look for.

Styling in the California sun with the Ghost
Styling in the California sun with the Ghost

Weight


As we've mentioned before, we usually suggest that weight be evaluated as a secondary metric. It's difficult to tell the difference between a few ounces, and we find that comfort and responsiveness are much more noticeable. That being said, we always enjoy shaving ounces, and the Ghost comes in near the middle of the pack.

The Ghost weighs in at 8.6 ounces per shoe, putting it on the heavier side of all the shoes we tested. We noticed the weight when compared to lightweight models like the Altra Escalante and New Balance Zante. This was also one of the reasons we chose the Adrenaline GTS for our Editors' Choice Award instead. While only a few ounces, we couldn't help but award the Adrenaline bonus points for being on the lighter end of our spectrum.

Best Applications


This competitor is a wonderful, highly cushioned neutral trainer for everyday use on the roads. The balanced cushioned ride enables neutral runners to get after it without feeling it the next day, and we recommend this shoe to anyone looking for great comfort, decent responsiveness, and no stability features.

The Ghost is extremely comfortable and supportive  making it one of our favorite shoes.
The Ghost is extremely comfortable and supportive, making it one of our favorite shoes.

Value


The price of this shoe is extremely fair; at $120, it rings in right in the middle of our lineup. Similarly priced to the Editors' Choice Award-winning Adrenaline and cheaper than our Top Pick for Distance (the HOKA Bondi), our testers believe you get what you pay for with this shoe.

Conclusion


With just the right amount of cushioning, the women's Ghost 10 has a neutral support system that is well balanced and comfortable. It will continue to perform exceptionally well and will not weigh you down, even after logging plenty of miles. We loved the smooth transition from foot strike to toe-off (thanks in part to the new plush transition zone in the heel), the full ground contact, and the environmentally conscious material. Overall, this pair of running shoes one of the more balanced shoes we tested, earning it the second-highest overall score in our review.

The Ghost 10 is perfect for fall days on Yosemite's paved paths.
The Ghost 10 is perfect for fall days on Yosemite's paved paths.

Brittney Ahrens and Lauren DeLaunay

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Most recent review: January 30, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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