The Brooks Ghost 12 vs. Ghost 10
Brooks has updated the Ghost twice since we last slid our dogs into them, but fear not, because we've got the scoop on the changes. The mesh upper was redesigned using 3D Fit Print and targeted stretch zones for added flexibility, and the heel now utilizes DNA Loft foam, which is designed to help soften your landing. In order below, compare the Ghost 12, 11, and 10 (which we tested).
The Ghost 12, which we're linking to above, retails for $130, which is a $10 increase on the previous versions. However, as we haven't tested the latest model yet, the review that follows only refers to our account of the Ghost 10.
Hands-On Review of the Ghost 10
Brooks uses an innovative segmented crash pad, elsewhere referred to as a 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 offers plenty of traction in all road conditions.
The Ghost 10 makes an excellent trainer and racer in any running condition.
These are responsive, especially for how flexible they are (generally flexible shoes feel mushy).
The Ghost 10 offers enough flex to adapt to terrain without compromising cushion and responsiveness.
Coupled with the firmness of the horseshoe-shaped heel pad, they created a neutral, flexible shoe with a reasonable amount of responsiveness that is similar to the super light and fast On Cloud, which won our Top Pick for Lightweight Racing Flat Award. If high responsiveness is the most important factor in your shoe buying process, give the propulsive HOKA ONE ONE Elevon, which won our Top Pick for Stability, a look.
These smooth landers receive one of the top scores in landing comfort next to the best performers in our group, like the On Cloud and Brooks PureFlow. Now we come to the best feature of this shoe: the midsole. The DNA cushioning responded to each tester individually based on their size and landing pattern. Apply pressure to the DNA cushion and it immediately disperses cushion throughout the midsole. Ahh the comfort!
The 10 keeps the super popular segmented crashpad and outsole design.
These trainers are easily our most comfortable shoe, right ahead of our two top scoring shoes, the PureFlow 6 and the Nike Pegasus 34. Instead of stitching the overlays in the forefoot, more areas are welded. This trims just a little weight while adding some seamless durability to the forefoot upper, which has the added benefit of better looks. Less stitching also means fewer places where chafing can occur, creating a secure heel fit. The Ghost gives a reasonable amount of wiggle room for the toes in the forefoot. Runners with average to slightly wide feet should have no trouble fitting nicely in this shoe.
The Ghost 10 keeps its super comfy collar and tongue padding, pushing it up near the top of our comfort category.
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 flat laces are generic and lightweight, but we had no issues with them coming loose.
We found these to have slightly better than average breathability compared to the rest of the shoes in our test group. The lighter shoes tend to have more minimal uppers, which is nice to cut some weight but also means less protection from the elements. Brooks claims to use a newly engineered mesh in its upper, which adds flexibility to the upper while also keeping the weight down.
On the wet days, we noticed it didn't keep our feet as protected as some of the other shoes we tested. If you're sold on this shoe but want the weather protection, you'll be happy to know, as with previous versions, Brooks made a tougher waterproof Gore-Tex version just for you.
At 23.4 ounces per pair of size 11, these comfy kicks receive an average score for our group, though they're still light so far as the market goes. Despite being much heavier than the lightweight racing flats like the 17.3-ounce On Cloud and 17.2-ounce New Balance Minimus 10v1, this contender runs fast. Every time we take it for a run we immediately notice it feels almost as fast as the much lighter shoes. Often times a shoe will sacrifice comfort and durability to reach a low weight, but that is not the case here. Though it runs lighter than some of the more fortified shoes we tested, we believe it still maintains the best overall comfort. That said, the only thing that would be nice to improve upon is the weight; we would love to see how it could perform at the 20.3 ounces its cousin, the Brooks PureFlow 6 weighs.
With an abrasion-resistant rubber on the heel and a blown rubber forefoot, they prove to be resilient through our relentless testing. Numerous shoes in our group only use rubber on small points of the outsole, but the Ghost 10 uses it through the most of the outsole, which gives it that added durability. We also notice that the smooth and efficient roll it provides from the heel to toe prevents premature wear in the outsole. After logging over 15 miles in this shoe, we noticed almost no degradation, whereas other shoes in our cohort had clear wear. And, when you have finally logged all the miles this shoe can take, happily retire your shoe knowing that Brooks implemented a more eco-friendly biodegradable sole in the shoe.
The Ghost 10 maintains all of the best features from previous versions, including its durable 3D Printed overlays and thick mesh to preserve durability.
We also aren't scared to mix up our runs and take this road shoe on the trails now and then. Not only is the outsole rubber quite durable, the design of the segmented crash pad improves traction because of the separate individually placed nubs.
The Ghost 10 is a perfectly balanced road shoe for neutral runners that feels extremely comfortable and responsive mile after mile. It's great for the road, light trails, and does fine at the gym and tooling around town.
This contender costs about the average cost for a new road running shoe, but it's not an average shoe. It is much more comfortable than your run-of-the-mill kick whether walking, jogging, or sprinting and it is stable through each of those motions. Beyond that, it is very durable, and will therefore be a better investment than many of the other shoes that break down after a single season. It's well worth it, and your feet will thank you.
Brooks has succeeded in creating perhaps our favorite fortified, or support shoe, in the lineup. For those looking for that traditional, well-heeled running shoe, the Ghost 10's 12mm heel-to-toe discrepancy gives that extra padding needed to comfortably cushion your landing and roll you forward to your toes, which is one of the reasons we feel this model is so fast — it practically forces you into the next stride with its easy roll. We highly recommend this shoe for the traditionalist runners.
The Ghost 10s do extremely well off road.