Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet
Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.
Good to know
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.
Good to know
If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.
WeightMen: 10.9ozWomen: 9.5oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 12mmWomen: 12mm
The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.
There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.
Heel heightMen: 29mmWomen: 29mm
Forefoot heightMen: 17mmWomen: 17mm
WidthMen: narrow, normal, wideWomen: narrow, normal, wide
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93 / 100 based on 8 expert reviews
Brooks Ghost 11 – Everyday comfort with a good turn of speed
The Brooks Ghost 11 is a fantastically comfortable neutral running shoe. Improvements to the look of the shoe are combined with tweaks in the midsole to offer even greater cushioning under the heel as well as a smoother transition and greater responsiveness for faster tempo sessions and even for racing.
Leaves your feet feeling as fresh at the end of a run than when you started. I’d have no hesitation in recommending this shoe.
- Extremely comfortable
- Improved Cushioning
- Secure fit and hold
- Breathable Upper
- Roomy Toe Box
- High ride height may not suit everyone
Last year, I reviewed the Brooks Ghost 10 – the first time I’d worn any Brooks shoe, let alone their ever-popular prime cushioned shoe. I was immediately impressed by its comfort and versatility, and went on to describe it as being “Built for Comfort and for Speed”.
Almost a year on, my 10s had over 800 miles on the clock, but still remained my go-to choice for long, easy runs. Needless to say, I eagerly awaited the delivery of my Ghost 11s, which goes some way to explain why this review contains no pictures of shiny new shoes fresh out of the box. The day after they arrived, I laced them up and headed out the door for a 10 mile run at marathon pace.
Eight weeks later, I’ve run approximately 350 miles in these shoes, including most of my longer marathon-training runs, but also a fast trail 5k which resulted in a parkrun PB. Training has also included faster interval sessions, as well as easy recovery runs, and I’m happy to say that the whilst there have been some changes, the Ghost 11 impresses just as much as its older brother.
Throughout this review, I will inevitably make comparisons with the Ghost 10; apologies if you haven’t worn the previous version of the shoe, but I felt it necessary to describe the evolution of the shoe and recognize that many readers will have previously worn the Ghost 10. I have tried however to make sure that the review stands on its own.
The Ghost 11 is available in four of five colourways in both men’s and women’s shoes, including a plain black for the understated look. You can judge for yourself whether my choice of “Black-with-a-hint-of-orange” (not the official colourway name) was the best choice, but I liked it!
Even more than its predecessor, the Ghost 11 feels like a premium, well-designed shoe from the moment that you take it out of the box. Many of the midfoot overlays present on the 10 have been removed, together with the vinyl toe bumper, and plasticky looking trim around the lace holes and the ankle.
The result is a much simpler, fresher looking upper comprised of engineered mesh, with “overlays” reduced to coloured dots which seem to improve structural support around the midfoot as well as the toe bumper. The shoe is also more breathable than its predecessor.
Brooks has increased the reflective detail in the Ghost 11; the small tab on the back of the heel remains reflective and is joined by the larger logo on the sides of the shoe as well as the detail around the eyelets. This is a welcome improvement as we head towards darker mornings and evenings.
The Ghost is not a budget shoe, but with a price point of around £120, and with some savings often to be found, it is cheaper than many premium cushioned shoes on the market. Its feel and appearance, however, are easily comparable to many pricier shoes, with its new style combined with materials and construction of the highest quality.
A slightly lower, external heel cup has replaced the one used in the 10. Despite this, the heel still feels well locked in, as does the midfoot. This provides a good feeling of security without the foot feeling confined, and is especially apparent when running over uneven surfaces, or taking steep downhill sections at speed (when lesser shoes can allow the foot to move sufficiently) for the toes to hit the front of the shoe.
The lower heel cup seems to allow for even more cushioning around the top of the heel and continuing around to the front of the ankle, where it meets the well-padded tongue.
The midsole of the shoe appears substantial, and the knitted mesh provides sufficient stretch to lock in the foot as mentioned above.
The Brooks Ghost 11 is listed at 309g, which is a little heavier than its predecessor (295g), though not significantly (the Ghost 9 was listed at 305g which suggests that the Ghost fluctuates a little around the 300g mark). Once again, the Ghost isn’t trying to be a light racing shoe and compares favourably with premium cushioned shoes from other manufacturers such as the New Balance 1080 v8 which is listed at 314g.
As expected, my UK 13 (14.0 US) shoe weighed in heavier at 369g, compared to the Ghost 10 at 361g and New Balance 1080 v8 at 381g. Most importantly, the Ghost 11 does not feel like a heavy shoe, even towards the end of a long run.
I found the Brooks Ghost 11 to be true to size and not surprisingly, almost identical in fit to the Ghost 10. That is, I wore a UK 13 (US 14) which is what I’d wear in a normal, everyday shoe, and in an ASICS or Inov-8 shoe. For comparison purposes, in shoes from New Balance, Hokas, and Salomon I’d generally need to go for a ½ size larger (UK 13 ½).
The shoe felt very comfortable right out of the box. As mentioned above, my first outing in the shoe was a ten-mile run, with the option to cut it short if the shoe caused any issues; there was no need for the backup plan!
My foot was held securely and comfortably throughout, but with plenty of room in the toe-box. If anything, the toe box feels marginally smaller than the Ghost 10, but there’s still more than sufficient room for movement, which is especially important as I have a tendency for an ongoing Morton’s Neuroma issue to flare up where toe room is limited.
As with the previous Ghost 10, I’d again have no hesitation in recommending the shoe to triathletes and other runners prefer running sock-free with its seam-free, comfortable inner.
As mentioned above, Brooks has ditched the overlays used in the v10, claiming that by “placing stretch and structure where you need it most, the newly engineered mesh upper practically disappears on your foot”.
I’m not sure about the “practically disappears” bit, but I really like the new, simple upper, which does seem to provide all the support needed in a neutral shoe, and I’ve already mentioned above that the foot is held comfortably and securely. Furthermore, the new upper does allow the foot to breathe far more effectively than the Ghost 10.
At the front end of the shoe, is a double layer of mesh. The inside layer is tightly woven, whilst the outer has larger holes, which in this case are a little more open than the 10.
These layers move independently of each other, allowing sufficient movement of the foot during the various components of each stride. The external vinyl toe bumper is replaced with a little internal strengthening, together with the overlaid dots to provide more than sufficient protection, with greater flexibility (and an improved look).
Moving towards the back, the lace loop at the front has been eliminated, which seems to make little difference, and then the mesh becomes more dense, with the overlaid dots, as and the inner layer becomes more cushioned around the midfoot which is held well. Being a neutral shoe, there is little arch support although the shoe liner supplied does provide a little.
The dense mesh and cushioning continues around the ankle and to the back of the shoe where it meets the external heel cup mentioned above. Once again, there is a generous level of cushioning around the ankle, and a well-cushioned tongue (the Ghost 11 opts for a single lace loop at the top of the tongue, but there’s never any danger of the tongue moving).
The laces themselves are flatter than in the Ghost 10. I’m really not too sure of the significance; as previously, you lace them up and they stay tied, which does the job by my book.
Once again then, the latest incarnation of the Ghost has provided a supremely comfortable shoe that I always looked forward to putting on ahead of any run.
The sole of the Brooks Ghost 11 again provides 12mm heel to toe drop, from a heel height of 29 mm. I’m sure I’m not alone in the fact that this is the largest drop of any of my running shoes, but after experiencing the Ghost 10, I had no concerns.
Once again, the shoe feels great to run in; it certainly doesn’t feel like a 12mm drop, and I had no issues switching between these and my Zantes (6mm) or any of my zero-drop fell shoes.
If you have any concern, I do suggest trying out the Ghost 11 at your local running store rather than dismissing them because of the higher-then-usual drop. My own view is that in this shoe in particular, the additional heel-toe drop has little real significance.
Most of the midsole cushioning is provided again by Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA foam to provide what Brooks described as “just-right softness underfoot”.
The big difference with the Ghost 11 is that it incorporates an improved crash pad made of DNA Loft Foam to the lateral side of each heel.
The location of this crash pad is indicated by the pattern of pentagons on the side wall (the remainder of the midsole is standard BioMoGo DNA Foam). The DNA Loft Foam used in the crash pad was introduced earlier this year in the more expensive Glycerin 16. It is designed to provide even greater cushioning for a smoother landing, and improved transitions, but crucially to do so without any increase in weight, utilizing a butilizingVA, rubber, and air.
So what does that mean?
In a nutshell, the Ghost 11 offers even better cushioning than the 10 for heel-strikers such as myself. This will become more important on longer reruns as research suggests a tendency for a greater proportion of runners to heel strike as they become fatigued on longer runs.
The Loft Foam in the crash pad will protect the legs and feet from repeated landings and helps to ensure that the foot feels just as comfortable, and the stride as smooth at the end of a long run as at the beginning (if only the legs did), while also helping with faster transitions during when it’s time to increase the pace.
The outsole of the Ghost 11 is very similar to the Ghost 10, although there are some minor changes. The outsole is broken up into fewer segments which increases the contact between the sole and the ground (it may be difficult to see in the picture as Brooks used black foam beneath the crash pad in the 10 shown). Other than that, there appears to be very little change.
Whilst the Ghost 11 is essentially a road shoe, the structure and design of the outsole do lend itself to an element of trail running (and in one case for me, even a short trot up a mountain partway through a long run).
It’s obviously not going to be suitable for technical stuff, but it’ll easily handle those part-road/part-trail runs and races.
The outsole is again formed of blown rubber below the forefoot, and a harder carbon rubber under the heel.
This is a very durable combination, and whilst the Ghost 11 is to be showing some heel wear at the 350 miles mark, this was fairly similar to the wear pattern experienced with the 10s. I’m confident that I’ll be wearing the shoes well beyond the 600 mile mark, and if the 10s are anything to go by, they’ll retain the cushioning as the miles tick over.
Lighter runners, and those without such a pronounced heel strike should see the shoes last even longer than mine.
My experience of shoe performance should always be balanced against my own characteristics, so I should mention at this stage that I don’t fit the stereotypical image of a lithe, sleek runner.
Just for the record, I’m 47, about 6’2”, approx. 87kg (190lbs), running 50-60 miles pw.
I’ve been using the Ghost 11s in training for my next marathon where I’m chasing a 3:10 goal and the parkrun described below was completed sub 19’. In light of this, I can’t really comment on the performance of these shoes for the elite but hopefully, this can be of use to most runners.
I’ll put my cards on the table at the beginning: I loved the Ghost 10. I described it as being able to run in your most comfortable pair of shoes or slippers. What’s more, they’re a go-to shoe for almost any training run. So unless Brooks had completely redesigned the Ghost, it was pretty well a sure thing that I’d love the Ghost 11s too.
I wasn’t disappointed. The shoe has the comfort I’d appreciated in the 10, as well as the opportunity to turn up the pace during an interval session. The improvements that Brooks have brought to the Ghost have further enhanced the experience. The DNA Loft Foam provides a welcome extra little bit of cushioning to the heel. As you transition forward the front of the shoe feels marginally firmer contributing to a slightly more responsive take-off.
For marathon training, the shoe has been fantastic. I’ve used it for pounding out the miles on a long slow run, stepping up to marathon pace, and for all of the faster interval sessions with which anyone training for a marathon will be familiar. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll wear them for the race itself but would have no qualms about doing so.
The only “race” I’ve done in them to date was a local Parkrun (okay, it’s not a race, but you know…). It was a new Parkrun, so all I knew was that it was on a mix of hard-packed trail, sand and forest tracks. I figured that the Ghost 11 would cope with the terrain and off I went. I was amazed to finish with a new 5k PB despite the terrain and really pleased with the feel and responsiveness of the Ghost 11s throughout the run.
The Brooks Ghost 11 compares exceptionally well with other neutral cushioned shoe such as the New Balance 1080 v8 (pictured), or the Hoka Clifton which have a similar ride height and will appeal to the same market.
The Ghost 11 would be my first choice over each of these shoes, as I found it more comfortable and responsive than either of the other shoes, leading to the improved performance at all paces.
In Ghost 11, Brooks has again managed to make an everyday running shoe that you’ll look forward to wearing for almost any training run. The shoe will look after your feet for you and leave you to concentrate on pace, form, traffic or simply to enjoy the view.
I would recommend this shoe to any runner looking for a neutral, cushioned shoe, for both daily training and for racing anything from 5k to marathons and beyond.
In my own opinion, it is especially suited to higher mileage runners, and its superior cushioning makes it ideal for the heavier runner too.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Brooks Ghost 11 - Your next shoe?
My first thoughts in the shop were that they looked amazing. The black and orange colorway catches your eye and makes the shoe look as fast as it is! When I picked them up, I was pleased with how light they felt considering the amount of cushioning they are said to provide.
Upper & Cushioning
After taking them for a quick spin on the treadmill, I was eager to get home and test them out. The first thing that I noticed when I put the shoe on was how well it fit my feet.
The toe box is roomy yet still fits snug once laced up. I have struggled in previous shoes with blisters on the inside of the balls of my feet. However, the Ghosts have not given me a single blister during the 400 miles that I have run in them.
Another thing I noticed was how fast they felt. Even though I was only doing a slower run, the shoes felt light and responsive while still providing ample amounts of cushioning to protect your legs from the impact of the road.
The transition through the stride provided by the Ghosts suits both heel strikers and forefoot runners. The transition is smooth, and I have found it to be beneficial in both recovery runs, and when running at a tempo pace.
After running 100 miles in the Ghosts, I loved them even more.
During the first 100 miles, I put them through a range of different tests. In the long runs (mainly on-road) the shoes absorbed the road impact, and I was able to complete the races with very minimal amounts of fatigue in my legs.
The transition through the stride also helped with this as the shoes encourage you to keep a good cadence, meaning your contact time with the ground is minimized, thus improving both form and recovery.
The outsole of the Ghosts provided excellent grip on wet roads and showed no signs of wear after 100 miles. I also used this shoe for a tempo run, 20 minutes at around 5:30 per mile, and found that the shoe excelled at these faster speeds.
Despite having far more cushioning than I would usually use for any faster runs, I found this shoe performed just as well as a racing flat due to its weight and the responsiveness that Brooks has managed to keep even with the cushioning. I found that by doing a tempo in this shoe, my legs felt much fresher afterward.
I now do over half of my tempo runs in the Ghosts as a result. I also know a few runners who use this shoe for speed sessions due to its responsiveness, weight and the cushioning that it offers.
Another key feature that I enjoyed was the support and stability that the shoe offers.
Your feet feel well secured in the shoe, and the stability that the shoe offers further helps with running form. The heel is well padded around the lower ankle, and this helps to secure your foot as well as helping to prevent blisters in this area.
I also tested the Brooks on some local grass trails. On these, I found that the shoe was slightly sluggish due to the soft cushioning as well as the soft ground. However, I experienced no problems with the traction provided by the outsole of the Ghosts.
Impressions after 400 Miles
After running 400 miles in the Ghosts, I still struggle to find any significant flaws in them.
Having purchased the shoes in August, I have run in a variety of heats and conditions in them and have not experienced any significant issues. The well ventilated upper ensures that even on the warmest runs my feet don’t overheat.
In addition to this, the upper shows no signs of wear, not even the usual holes at the side that most shoes experience. Despite running roughly 90% of the 400 miles on the road, the cushioning remains just as plush when I first ran in the shoe.
The only minor sign of wear is on the outsole where the tread has started to wear away. However, this does not impact the shoe’s performance.
Since I started using the shoe, I have been able to increase both my mileage and intensity. Despite this, I have not felt any niggles at all. Obviously, this is not purely down to the shoe; however, I believe that the Ghosts played an essential role in helping with this.
The Brooks Ghost 11 is a fantastic shoe. I have run in several different cushioned shoes. However, none have been as versatile as this. It has 'cushioning' support to rival any shoe, combined this with a weight that allows the runner to perform any kind of training in them.
The colorways on offer are certainly eye-catching and look as fast as the shoes feel. The upper and tongue are both well ventilated and are very durable.
The outsole is grippy and well-wearing while the cushioning provided in the DNA Loft midsole absorbs all impact. The heel-to-toe drop helps to maintain a good cadence without forcing runners onto their toes and offers a crisp transition through the stride.
The Ghosts are a versatile shoe for both competitive and recreational runners alike and are probably the best shoe that I have had the pleasure of running in. Get yourself a pair!!
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Besides that, it's just a great all-around shoe. It's one of the reasons why it's Brooks probably best selling shoe year after year.
They're comfortable. I probably done 20 to 30 miles in them and it feels like you're just running on pillows.
Updates to Brooks Ghost 11
- The latest iteration of the Brooks Ghost is a much softer and lighter shoe that promises a smoother ride than ever before. This neutral road-running shoe allows for an optimized foot flexibility beneath an exterior that is breathable and irritation-free.
- The updated engineered mesh upper provides a lightweight feel that is like a second skin. Now with improved components, the mesh is more structured and stretchable, which allows for a delicate and almost-invisible sensation.
- The sole unit is comprised of BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft cushioning technologies that work together to deliver the sufficient level of softness, but not at the expense of responsiveness and durability. The DNA Loft is a new feature introduced in the Ghost 11; it is a crash pad that promotes softer landings. The midsole sits on a newly-designed outsole that presents a new lug pattern and an improved flexibility.
Brooks Ghost 11 size and fit
The Brooks Ghost 11 guarantees a fit that is true-to-size, in terms of length and width. The shoe also comes in a number of size options. Runners of varying foot volumes are sure to find their perfect fit as the Ghost 11 is available in several width profiles: narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide for the men, and narrow, medium, and wide for the women.
Two types of rubber make up the outsole of the Brooks Ghost 11. The forefoot area has blown rubber, which offers responsiveness, durability, and flexibility, all useful qualities during the toe-off phase. Meanwhile, the heel area has a carbon rubber, which is known for its strong and robust characteristics. The carbon rubber gives that particular section the resilience it needs for a longer lifespan and a long-lasting performance.
The BioMoGo DNA from Brooks is a tried-and-tested midsole material that effectively produces a customized ride that is fully-responsive. It promises the runner an adaptable running experience with the Ghost 11, as it adjusts accordingly, which is achieved thanks to the components of the technology.
The DNA cushioning is made from a gel base, which allows it to quickly form and mold according to the force it receives. For instance, a greater force will result in a base that is stiffer. This means that runners on the heavier side would yield a firmer cushioning, and faster paces would produce more energy return.
On the other hand, the BioMoGo compound complements the DNA midsole by giving it an adaptive and environment-friendly quality.
There are three flex grooves along either side of the forefoot, called the Omega Flex Grooves. They give the Ghost 11 just the right amount of litheness for a smooth transition.
Two separate units of crash pads are present within the sole unit of the Ghost 11. First is the all-new DNA Loft. This material is a piece of firm foam placed in the heel. It delivers a plush and luxurious coverage that enables a soft landing, favoring the underfoot. The DNA Loft has a unique construction that allows it to be responsive and durable, yet ultra-lightweight.
The second unit is the classic segmented crash pad, which gives the midsole independent impact-reception points. This design evenly disperses the impact of foot strike and guides the foot towards a more efficient toe-off.
The engineered mesh upper of the Brooks Ghost 11 equips the shoe with a lightweight and breathable top-foot coverage. Compared to its predecessor, the mesh of this shoe’s version is smoother, softer, and more stretchable, which permits it to wrap around the foot with zero-irritation and zero-hassle.
The mesh has a sleek finish that supplies the Ghost 11 with not only a contemporary aesthetic, but also a precise fit, no matter the shape of the foot.
At the heel area is an external counter made from synthetic material. It is stitched on the shoe like an overlay, as it holds the foot in place and avoids unnecessary movements.