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Brooks Ghost 12 - Women's Review

A high scoring choice for runners who want a supportive, reliable ride
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Price:  $130 List | $130.00 at REI
Pros:  Durable, supportive, lots of color choices
Cons:  Stiff, shallow
Manufacturer:   Brooks
By Ally Meller ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 22, 2020
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 15
  • Responsiveness - 25% 8
  • Landing Comfort - 25% 7
  • Weight - 20% 5
  • Durability - 10% 9
  • Upper Comfort - 10% 9
  • Breathability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

Runners around the world devotedly purchase the Ghost for their long-distance needs, and we can see why. The Brooks Ghost 12 is a minorly tweaked version of the prior model with a very stable ride. Our reviewers love the way the brilliantly constructed mesh reinforces the natural anatomy of the feet while providing the responsiveness that Brooks devotees know and love. The stretchy laces stay taut as miles add up, and these shoes just never lose their gusto! Highly durable and the perfect amount of shoe for a roadrunner, only those desiring a nontraditional feel should avoid this model. The Ghost remains a solid choice for long-distance days as well as everyday footwear needs.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Ghost 12 is the latest expression of a forever favorite. Runners who love a supportive and stable shoe should look no further because this one is top shelf. We feel that with this shoe, it truly comes down to personal preference. Brooks continuously delivers durable runners, so you can't go wrong by purchasing this one.

Performance Comparison


Fast or slow?? The choice is yours in the versatile Ghost.
Fast or slow?? The choice is yours in the versatile Ghost.

Responsiveness


The heel to toe transition on the Ghost 12 is really great. The amount of energy you put into this shoe is met with an equal response, which makes this a perfect race day propeller. Brooks constructed the Ghost 12 to be comfortable while also responsive, and on that front, they nailed it. This high scoring pair of shoes provides responsiveness across hundreds of miles and truly earned its high score in our test.

The Ghost has always been one of our favorite  and fastest  pair of shoes.
The Ghost has always been one of our favorite, and fastest, pair of shoes.

Landing Comfort


We put our little piggies through hell (and a lot of miles), but with the DNA BioMoGo midsole to absorb the impact, we were able to spare our joints some wear and tear. The Ghost 12 is a classic, 12mm drop sidekick that is responsive and suitable for any running needs. The midfoot base is comprised of an absorbent crash pad material that holds up over the long term (marathons, ultras, daily runs, whatever). Though not as comfy-cozy as its close relatives, the crash pad offers a protected landing. Additionally, the sole of this shoe ever quits. The lugs are deeper than those of other Brooks models, and that contributes greatly to their insane durability. The 3D FitPrint molds to fit the natural curvature of its wearer's feet without losing its cushion prematurely.

We had to get the CrashPad protected landing out to the beach to help us lay down a few sprints and we weren't disappointed in the slightest.
We had to get the CrashPad protected landing out to the beach to help us lay down a few sprints and we weren't disappointed in the slightest.

Weight


The Ghost 12 is yet another Brooks model weighing in in the middle of the pack. We unanimously agree, however, that the comfort and responsiveness of this shoe are much more noticeable. Honestly, it's difficult to tell the difference between an ounce or two when you're focused on running. And, at the end of the day, we respect what Brooks is doing. A supportive shoe that doesn't weigh us down as our legs fatigue? Yes, please! With high scores in all other areas, this particular shoe's weight is par for the course. We never felt weighed down by these, that's for sure.

The weight of these bad boys definitely doesn't hold us back.
The weight of these bad boys definitely doesn't hold us back.

Durability


We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Brooks delivers the best of the best as far as durability is concerned. Our team of runners were really impressed with this latest iteration of the Ghost. We do not know how, but these shoes never lost their luster. The cushioning stays plush from training to race day and beyond. The aggressive lugs also wear down more slowly than the lugs of typical pavement pounders, which earns these puppies a solid A+ in this category. That said, the excellent durability and stability seem to come at the cost of some cushion. This is unfortunate for some, and a non-issue for others.

The Ghost will be with you through thick and thin.
The Ghost will be with you through thick and thin.

Upper Comfort


The engineers at Brooks understand that runners' feet swell as they warm up. They continuously design toe boxes that accommodate expanding feet without feeling like clown shoes. The toe boxes are not quite as wide as other offerings, but they are spacious and don't sacrifice function. The collar and tongue of the Ghost 12 are generously cushioned as well, which keeps them snug and comfortable on long-distance days. We subtracted only one point in this metric because the heel collar is slightly shallow. Depending on each individual's ankle anatomy, this might not fit quite right. We do, however, love the lower profile!

Somehow structured in the most forgiving way possible  these shoe remains comfortable mile after mile.
Somehow structured in the most forgiving way possible, these shoe remains comfortable mile after mile.

Breathability


This rendition of the Ghost isn't as breathable as other shoes we tested, but it's decent. The durable structure takes away from a bit of airflow, but we still rated them far above average. When worn with moisture-wicking socks, we were surprised by how comfortable our tootsies felt running in the scorching California sun. The more breathable shoes we tested tended to score lower in other metrics, so be sure to consider what climate you will be running in and what aspects are most important to you personally.

It's nothing short of a miracle that the Ghost can be this breathable and not let any sand or dirt in.
It's nothing short of a miracle that the Ghost can be this breathable and not let any sand or dirt in.

Value


For a long-lasting pair of Brooks, the price point of the Ghost 12 is spot on. The pricing and performance are both super competitive, so we feel these represent an excellent value, especially for a durable, and likely beloved, pair of shoes.

Another one of our long lasting faves... The durability of the Ghost makes its price point worth it.
Another one of our long lasting faves... The durability of the Ghost makes its price point worth it.

Conclusion


The women's Ghost 12 is a neutral runner's dream and a responsive powerhouse of a sidekick to boot (pun totally intended)! This is an immaculately cushioned pair of kicks that is perfectly shaped and super comfortable. Despite the high mileage and abuse we put these shoes through, they held up with no issues. Our testers adore the seamless feel and the sole-to-ground contact; both features aid in the responsive comfort of this tried-and-true model. This time around, a few other shoes outperformed the Ghost, but overall, it's a truly a reliable choice. If a stable, long-distance running sidekick is what your heart desires, look no further than this iteration of the Ghost.

Brooks typically makes neutral runners that have some structure but with an emphasis on comfort as well.
Brooks typically makes neutral runners that have some structure but with an emphasis on comfort as well.

Ally Meller