Reviews You Can Rely On

Brooks Ghost 15 - Women's Review

This well-cushioned and reliable road runner is great for comfort, so long as the extra-large heel collar fits your anatomy
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Brooks Ghost 15 - Women's Review
Credit: Ally Arcuri
Price:  $140 List
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Manufacturer:   Brooks
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 9, 2023
74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 19
  • Cushioning and Landing Comfort - 25% 8.5
  • Responsiveness - 25% 7.0
  • Stability - 20% 8.0
  • Upper Comfort - 15% 6.5
  • Weight - 15% 6.5

Our Verdict

The Brooks Ghost has been updated, but not necessarily improved. While this traditional, reliable road shoe boasts some strong attributes, its ill-fitting heel cup contributed to its lower-than-usual ranking in our lineup. The Ghost offers strong cushioning and great reliability, but its heel collar is larger than it was previously. Otherwise, it is a comfortable and well-cushioned long-distance sidekick that is perfect for your next marathon. If you have been wanting more space around your ankle, the Ghost 15 may be the answer to your desires. If not, Brooks makes other shoes that offer a more streamlined fit.
REASONS TO BUY
Well-cushioned
Supportive
More affordable
REASONS TO AVOID
Ill-fitting heel collar
Less responsive than some

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Bottom Line This shoe has all of the attributes that make up a great running shoe, but some runners will struggle to find comfort in the fitThis running shoe offers the performance technology and comfort needed to be your go-to shoe, no matter your running goalsThe structure and comfort of this shoe make it a highly recommended option for long distance runners who want a reliable road running steedThe big underfoot stack of this shoe provides great comfort and more responsiveness than expected, though the overall fit will not appeal to allWhile not a race-focused shoe, this affordable and bouncy option will keep your legs turning over quickly and easily
Rating Categories Brooks Ghost 15 - W... Asics Novablast 4 -... Brooks Adrenaline G... Hoka Clifton 9 - Wo... Saucony Kinvara 14...
Cushioning and Landing Comfort (25%)
8.5
9.0
8.0
8.5
7.5
Responsiveness (25%)
7.0
7.5
6.5
7.0
7.5
Stability (20%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Upper Comfort (15%)
6.5
8.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Weight (15%)
6.5
6.9
5.8
7.2
9.3
Specs Brooks Ghost 15 - W... Asics Novablast 4 -... Brooks Adrenaline G... Hoka Clifton 9 - Wo... Saucony Kinvara 14...
Weight (per shoe, size 6.5) 7.69 oz 7.36 oz 8.21 oz 7.16 oz 5.55 oz
Style Neutral Neutral Supportive Neutral/maximum Neutral
Sizes Available 5 - 12 US 5 - 12 US 5 - 13 US 5 - 12 US 5 - 12 US
Measured Heel-to-Toe Drop 11 mm 9 mm 12 mm 6 mm 5 mm
Measured Heel Stack Height 33 mm 40 mm 34 mm 34 mm 30 mm
Measured Forefoot Stack Height 22 mm 31 mm 22 mm 28 mm 25 mm
Claimed Heel-to-Toe Drop 12 mm 8 mm 12 mm 5 mm 4 mm
Claimed Heel Stack Height Not stated 40.5 mm Not stated Not stated 31 mm
Claimed Forefoot Stack Height Not stated 32.5 mm Not stated Not stated 27 mm
Measured Outsole Length 10.25 in 10.65 in 10.50 in 10.44 in 10.13 in
Measured Outsole Width 4.04 in 4.32 in 4.25 in 4.15 in 3.96 in
Upper Engineered mesh Engineered knit mesh Engineered air mesh Engineered mesh Mesh
Midsole DNA Loft v2 FF Blast Plus Eco DNA Loft v2 EVA foam PWRRUN, PWRRUN+
Outsole Rubber AHAR outsole Rubber Durabrasion rubber XT-900 rubber
Measured Outsole Hardness 54 HA at forefoot, 70 HA at inner heel, 77 HA at outer heel 59 HA 47 HA 36 HA at arch, 73 HA rest of shoe 63 HA at inner toe/outer heel, 35 HA rest of shoe
Heel Tab Type None Finger loop None Extended heel pull Finger loop
Width Options Narrow, medium, wide, extra wide Regular Narrow, medium, wide, extra wide Regular, wide Regular, wide
Heel Compression Stiffness 50 lbf 44 lbf 52 lbf 41 lbf 40 lbf
Toe Compression Stiffness 50 lbf 38 lbf 56 lbf 42 lbf 42 lbf
Toe Box Volume 6.1 in^3 6.2 in^3 6.5 in^3 6.5 in^3 6.7 in^3
Rocker Angle 21.0 deg 22.0 deg 26.5 deg 18.5 deg 26.0 deg

Our Analysis and Test Results

The reliable Brooks Ghost is a traditionally shaped running shoe with great underfoot comfort and long-distance responsiveness. The fit of its upper left something to be desired this time around, though.

Performance Comparison


brooks ghost 15 for women - the ghost has long been known for its reliability as a traditional...
The Ghost has long been known for its reliability as a traditional shoe. All of the elements are there for version 15, but the fit feels off.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Cushioning and Landing Comfort


The underfoot cushioning of the Ghost 15 is exactly what you'd expect from a reliable, beloved road shoe. It has a comfortable underfoot stack without being a plush or maximalist-style road shoe. It doesn't have the propensity to pack out, making it a solid shoe for your long-distance days. Its landing comfort scores in the upper echelon in a lineup of comfortable shoes, so if underfoot cushion, protection, and comfort are what you're after, the Ghost is a really good choice.

brooks ghost 15 for women - the landing comfort and cushioning of the ghost 15 are exactly what...
The landing comfort and cushioning of the Ghost 15 are exactly what we have grown to expect from Brooks. It is comfortable without being overly plush and responsive without being exceptionally speedy.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Responsiveness


The responsiveness of the Ghost 15 is slightly above average, though not impressively so. The underfoot cushion and DNA loft midsole combine to create a peppy and cohesive ride, but this isn't the shoe we recommend for runners looking to blow past their previously-set PRs. It is easy to get moving in the redesigned Ghost, but its outsole doesn't provide the energetic pop, pop, pop of shoes that are built for speed. For this reason, we recommend the Ghost for those who want to see how far they can push their bodies, not necessarily for runners who are looking to run at top speeds.

brooks ghost 15 for women - while not the most energetic shoe on the market, the ghost holds its...
While not the most energetic shoe on the market, the Ghost holds its own when it comes to combining landing comfort and responsiveness.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Stability


This shoe has no additional supports built in for stability but is stable based on the nature of its upper. The Ghost has never shied away from being a bit heavy, and when it comes to this iteration, the same theme holds true. The breathable upper is bound tightly enough to provide gentle corrections for overpronators without being overbearing. If you want a shoe that provides strong stability without feeling like a stability shoe, this is the one we recommend.

brooks ghost 15 for women - the ghost is a great shoe for runners who want some stability in a...
The Ghost is a great shoe for runners who want some stability in a traditionally shaped shoe. It doesn't have built-in structures but provides support if your ankles feel weak toward the end of long runs.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Upper Comfort


This is where the Ghost 15 lost major points, though the entirety of its design is not a loss. The forefoot is super comfortable and provides just enough space for toes to splay in comfort without being a shoe with a “wide toe box.” The upper mesh is breathable but durable, and the lace bed and tongue are comfortable and plush. The main issue with the Ghost is that its heel collar is huge — like, huge. Even with the laces threaded through the heel-lock eyelet, the heel cup slipped, slid, and rubbed hot spots on our testers' ankles. If you want this kind of space in the heel, then you'll love the Ghost because everything else about it is well above average. But if your ankles run on the thinner side and you are prone to heel blisters due to slippage, think twice before purchasing the Ghost 15.

brooks ghost 15 for women - the excess heel space, which remained even after we used the extra...
The excess heel space, which remained even after we used the extra lace eyelet, was a dealbreaker for our testers.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Weight


At 7.69 ounces per women's size 6.5 shoe, the Ghost is not the lightest shoe in our lineup. It certainly isn't the heaviest, though. As previously mentioned, this might not be the shoe for you if chasing speedy PRs is on the docket. But for runners looking for a stable, reliable shoe that will stick with them through the depths of distance training, the Ghost's weight is perfectly comfortable.

brooks ghost 15 for women - though not the lightest shoe, the ghost isn't the heaviest. it...
Though not the lightest shoe, the Ghost isn't the heaviest. It weighs in well for the amount of cushion it offers.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Should You Buy the Brooks Ghost 15?


Many qualities make the Ghost 15 an awesome choice to add to your running shoe arsenal. Unfortunately, the updated fit turned our testers off from outright recommending it. If this shoe and its extra large heel collar sound like a match for you, we encourage you to check it out. If it fits you, the Ghost is a reliable shoe that will get you where you need to go.

brooks ghost 15 for women - if you want a long distance shoe and the ghost fits your feet, we do...
If you want a long distance shoe and the Ghost fits your feet, we do not hesitate to recommend it. But if the fit is off, we have other options that will be better for you.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

What Other Running Shoes Should You Consider?


One of the struggles our testers have with recommending the Ghost is that Brooks makes a superior option that's more supportive — the Adrenaline GTS 23. The Hoka Clifton 9 and Asics Gel Kayano 30 are also great options for runners looking for underfoot cushioning and a more predictable fit.

Ally Arcuri