DiscontinuedUpdate: Brooks Ghost 12
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, Standard, Wide, Extra wideWomen: Narrow, Standard, Wide
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91 / 100 based on 16 expert reviews
Brooks Ghost 11- The Pegasus killer?
The Brooks Ghost 11 comes in tons of colorways, so much so that I’m not even going to bother listing all of them. Just know that there is most definitely a colorway of the Ghost 11 that you’re going to like.
The shape of the shoe looks pretty good too. It’s not too sharp looking while also not having a box look. It has that athletic look that I find pleasing. There’s not really much to say, it looks like a running shoe.
DNA – Brook’s adaptive cushioning that reacts to the amount of force placed by the foot to disperse pressure evenly.
DNA Loft – A lightweight and soft cushion made of a blend of EVA, rubber, and air.
BioMoGo DNA – Brook’s combination of the long-lasting cushion of MoGo with DNA that also is more ecologically friendly because it is fifty times more biodegradable than traditional EVA.
Gore-Tex® Upper – A breathable and somewhat waterproof upper.
The Brooks Ghost 11 was one of the more comfortable shoes that I’ve worn. It fit true to size and had nice sock-like fit. The upper gave my foot a snug feel without feeling like my midfoot or toes were being squeezed too much. The level of comfort was comparable to the Mizuno Waveknit R2 which I also found very comfortable.
The upper is made by Gore-Tex®, which is a company that makes fabrics that repel liquids while also allowing water vapor to pass through the fabric. Brooks says that the upper is waterproof but in my experience, the shoe is still going to get soaked if you’re running in the pouring rain.
While running in a drizzle or on wet surfaces I had a better experience with the “waterproof” fabric. While running in those types of conditions barely any moisture made it to my foot. So while not waterproof the fabric is still going to help in wet conditions.
Brooks didn’t mention the tongue of the shoe but it’s a pretty awesome part of the shoe. I frequently tie my shoes too tight causing an uncomfortable feeling while running.
In over a hundred miles I’ve run in this shoe I never had that choking feeling of tying my shoes too tight. I’m pretty sure I didn’t magically stop being an idiot so the only explanation is that the tongue saved me from myself tying the shoes too tight.
My only complaint about the comfort of the Brooks Ghost 11 is that the heel. On longer runs, I start to notice that the heel is rubbing my Achilles which started to cause pain for me.
So far I’ve logged a little over a hundred miles in the Brooks Ghost 11 using it every day for every workout since I first started using it.
The entire outsole is covered in rubber so besides the small little part that isn’t covered on the outsole I haven’t seen any sign of wear. I sprayed the outsole with some water and it pretty much looked brand new.
The upper also hasn’t shown any signs of wear either. Using in shoes with the mesh or knit-like upper there’s a hole that starts to pop up around my toe area. So far nothing has ripped or split on the upper.
I haven’t rotated the shoe either so I’ve been using it nonstop. Despite this, the midsole still feels good.
I’ve been using the Brooks Ghost 11 for everything involved in my track training, so that includes long runs, easy runs, tempos, and intervals. I would say that if you had to choose one pair of shoes to do everything, the Ghost 11 would be it.
On distance runs the DNA cushioning was nice and soft without feeling mushy. I could appreciate the soft feeling without feeling like the shoe was sapping all my energy.
There wasn’t a really a noticeable responsive feeling but when I picked up the pace I could felt a smooth pop off feeling.
I land on my midfoot so I’m not feeling the full effects of the Segmented Crash Pad, but even then I’m still feeling a smooth pop feeling. That feeling is nice but it’s not really noticeable if you’re running slow.
I used Ghost 11 for my track intervals and while it’s not my first choice, it’ll still work. The shoes weigh almost eleven ounces which is heavy but not the worst thing in the world and like mentioned above you’ll still feel fast because of the crash pad.
If you’re doing interval work on the track I would just switch out for a pair of flats or spikes but the Ghost 11 is still perfectly capable of handling track work. Likewise, it’s the same thing for tempo runs.
And to end it off, the traction on the Ghost 11 is stellar. While running on the wet road, grass, and a little bit of mud I didn’t have any extreme slipping issues. Where I did have issues were while running on a wet track.
While I was trying to sprint on the wet track, the shoes started slipping and I basically sprayed everyone behind me. But I’m pretty sure that happens with every shoe so it’s not really a big deal. While the traction is awesome I would still just stick to running on the road and other firm surfaces.
- Slightly water repellent
- Tongue prevents tying shoes too tight
- The same price as a Nike Pegasus 35 but has better features!
- Heel cup rubs Achilles
The Brooks Ghost 11 is an awesome pair of trainers that can handle all types of daily training. It only weighs 11 ounces while providing a soft, comfortable ride. The shoes also provide a water repellent upper that helps you run in more adverse conditions.
It’s also priced around the same price as the Pegasus line from Nike and because of that, the Brooks Ghost 11 has replaced the Nike Pegasus 34 as my favorite shoe of all time.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
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 colorways 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 colorway 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 colored 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 favorably 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-than-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 has 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 trainings 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 needs to lighten up!
Did you ever notice runners become loyal to certain name brand shoes? Occasionally, an encounter may encourage a switch. For instance, Brooks Running recently won over many athletes after Desiree Linden won the 2018 Boston Marathon in a pair of Brooks prototype.
Brooks doesn’t make prototypes for us non-elites, but they do examine and try to improve upon their shoes. For example, the Ghost model has the 11th version already! Best of all, however, is the wide assortment of colors Brooks made available to consumers.
Brooks created 13 color variations for women and 11 for men's. Honestly, Brooks Ghost 11 has the best color selection I’ve ever seen! These “White, Grey, and Latigo” is just one of many!
Heel to toe drop
Ghost 11 provides neutral support with a 12mm midsole drop. In other words, “the heel sits 12mm higher off the ground than the forefoot”.
According to Scott Douglas’s Runners World article titled, “Does a shoes heel-to-toe drop matter?” A 12mm drop is recommended for runners with plantar fasciitis, Achilles, or posterior tibial tendonitis. Truthfully, this 12mm is the highest I’ve ever owned and takes some getting used to.
Women = 9.5 oz.
Men = 10.9 oz.
Sound heavy? In my opinion, Ghost 11 does feel bulky and therefore will never be my racing shoe. However, they make an ideal daily trainer and helps to prevent injuries.
Ghost 11 has "medium-high" arch support. The majority of runners require good arch support especially if they pronate or are prone to injury. After recent knee pain, I put my old Ghost 10’s back into my weekly rotation.
Even though they had 400+ miles on them, Ghost still did the trick! I’m confident Ghost 11 will do the same for many other runners.
Ghost made noticeable changes to the upper shoe portion:
- The breathable mesh was replaced with a more dense, durable, pitted fabric
- A wider, more roomy toe box provides room for swelling and foot expansion
- Overlays were scaled down and kept to a minimum
The upper material is great for winters snow and ice. Oftentimes, I felt icy cold water soak in but noticed how quickly it whisked away. Surprisingly, I found good road traction in spite of icy conditions. In fact, I even gained the confidence to run faster.
Long 10 mile runs usually felt good on my knees. Unfortunately, when a 13-mile run was cut short to 11 miles with a blood blister, I knew Ghost 11 were not going with me to the City of Palms Fort Myers Half Marathon. Instead, they will be reserved for 10 miles under homebound training runs.
The upper material never conformed to my upper foot so don’t expect a glove-like fit. I noticed the slight foot movement from side to side probably created the friction on my longer runs. Overall, the upper will protect your feet nicely and provide ample room.
Heel counter & tongue
Ghost 11’s heel counters are made so strong that runners will instantly feel extra foot stability. Truthfully, Brooks does fit like a glove, but it’s in the cupped heels.
Even though these shoes felt like I needed a 1/2 size smaller, there was absolutely no slippage while running. I did learn however, it’s important to try on new versions prior to online shopping.
Extra thick, plush cushioning is also carried throughout the tongues. I appreciate the wider tongue width and how flat and comfortable they lay against my forefoot. I noticed they’re stitched in well too because I roughly yank and pull when in a hurry.
I’d have to say Brooks Ghost shoes are built for a true “comfort,” runners come to depend on. Overall, Ghost 11 displays high-quality manufacturing throughout. Runners will easily get 400 miles out of these shoes not only because they’re made to perform but mainly because they’re built to last and hold up.
Within a month, I became accustomed to their improved heel design and heavier weight. After 100+ miles you can see the heel counter intact with no visible stress or breakdown.
Ghost 11’s outsole is constructed with an enhanced heel to prevent heel striking. Even though I’m a big heel striker, I did not notice the improved outsole while running. However, examine closely after 300-400 miles, and you can visibly see the benefits.
Another benefit is Brooks redesigned the outsole tread. Today I ran a snowy, icy trail and found Ghost 11’s grabbed the pavement well and never once did I slip or fall. Now that is impressive!
I can confidently report, Brooks Ghost shoes definitely have longevity! If you don’t like to spend money and want long lasting running shoes like most of my friends, Ghost is the model for you!
Take a look at my former Ghost 10 after 400+ miles compared to Ghost 11 at 100+ miles. The blue Ghost 11’s outsole still looks brand. On the other hand, the pink Ghost 10 heels are finally showing some wear and tear.
Actually, this is minimal compared to my former Newton Distance 7's outsole heels barely survived 300 miles. Companies can be sure I’ll give their outsoles a run for their money.
The cushy layer between the upper and outer is the midsole. Brooks claims a BioMoGo DNA plus DNA Loft Cushioning. Does this mean running shoes now have DNA? Ha-Ha!
Obviously, running companies create their own lingo to sound sophisticated and truthfully, midsole layers are complicated because they do most of the shock absorption.
Every foot strike creates an impact against the ground. If continuous pounding is not redistributed nicely, then I’m prone to injury. Whatever is in Ghost DNA, works because I run smoothly with an even stride. Most important, my back doesn't feel jolted around afterward.
The midsole materials are firm, yet supportive of discouraging foot pronation. Despite their heavier weight, I still felt good energy return for faster foot turnover.
Ghost became my first choice for long runs between eight to ten miles because my knees felt great afterward. However, I’d never wear my Ghost 11 for racing, but maybe they’ll lighten up their next version, who knows?
Ghost 11 shoelaces have a cool design. The first thing I noticed, however, was the switch to flat laces instead of Ghost 10’s former round.
The length is the same standard which I feel is barely long enough to double knot. Sometimes, I had the tendency to skip double knotting because of time and effort, but all runners know that’s not an option. Bottom line, there’s not a lot of excess shoelace leftover, but it’s adequate.
Perhaps Brooks spent a lot of money constructing with a little left over for shoelaces. Personally, I prefer round, longer and stretchy, but then again, shoelaces are not my first priority to make or break a sale, and it shouldn’t be yours either!
In conclusion, when shoe shopping this year, definitely pull Ghost 11 off the shelf. It won’t hurt to try on and compare to other training shoes. While a runner may not race in Ghost 11, they will still get their money’s worth through longevity.
Remember, picking the perfect running shoe brings three questions to mind:
- Do I remain loyal to my favorite brand?
- Do I try today’s most popular brand seen at road races?
- Do I gamble and try a new name brand on the market?
Whichever you choose, definitely do your research beforehand. I can tell you this: Brooks Ghost recently received its seventh Runner's World Editor's Choice Award. Brooks also has a “True Blue Guarantee” which allows a 90-day trial period.
If still not completely satisfied, consumers may return free of charge. Now ask yourself, “What do I have to lose?”
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Ghost 11 review: DNA feels supernatural
This shoe comes out of the box looking every bit an athletic shoe, Brooks made no attempt to make it look casual or fashionable so that you can throw it on with your jeans and still look cool. Instead, they’ve made a shoe that looks like it means business! From the second I put it on, I felt like it means business too.
Each component of the shoe works in the complete symphony, its true strength, however, is the midsole, Brooks DNA + BioMoGo with DNA Loft heel crash pad. This midsole combination makes the aptly named Ghost feel supernatural.
Engineered air mesh warp knit upper. This multi-layered upper hugs my foot and feels secure throughout with absolutely no pressure spots that feel uncomfortable. My longest run to date in these shoes was 10km through the Adelaide Hills on a warm sunny day, the mesh was breathable and snug from start to finish.
The cool looking snakeskin scales around the toe cap, the seam where the mesh joins the midsole and around the ankle area reinforcing material that toughens the upper in key areas of stress.
The upper of this shoe delivers width and depth, enough depth in fact for a good thickness orthotic even with a reasonably high instep. They have a nice deep toe box and are a generous D fit, not so much that they feel too wide but wide enough that if the foot is a little wider they will not be constricting. I also love the quality of the laces Brooks uses in these shoes.
Brooks DNA + BioMoGo with DNA Loft heel crash pad certainly is a mouthful but each component is relevant and worth a mention. The base being the iconic Brooks DNA claims to be improved cushion but still responsive and it delivers in spades.
Almost difficult to describe but as I stride I can feel the slight give followed by the springy return feel, it’s not so soft that it feels like my energy is being drained by the shoe but not so hard that it jars my knees, it’s literally just right.
The BioMoGo element is an addition to the composite that allows the midsole to degrade swiftly in an active landfill, just like its namesake the Ghost fades into the night without a trace!
The Loft Crash-pad gives us heel strikers a blissful landing, giving just enough but still explosively driving that heel off the ground ready for the next stride. Running downhill in these shoes is incredible, even downhill and off-road. This midsole acts like a firm suspension system that absorbs shock and drives me forward.
It’s firm enough to facilitate the body’s own suspension system through the joints (which evidence has found midsoles that are too soft don’t allow due to how unstable they can be) and soft enough to absorb any unpleasant shock keeping the sole of my feet feeling relaxed and protected. This shoe is a neutral base meaning they’re still a fantastic choice if you wear orthotics.
The heel counter is a firm cup helping to keep that heel locked squarely over the midsole, it provides me with great support on the medial and lateral side (inside and outside of the foot).
It is comprised of an internal rigid C shape brace with an external component around the top edge for additional support. The Brooks heel collar that sits between the Achilles tendon and the heel counter is my favourite of all brands; it is plush, thick and beautifully hugs the foot just above the ankle.
The Ghost 11 sports a segmented blown rubber crash pad with Omega grooves around the lateral heel and a plush transition zone through the mid to forefoot.
The blown rubber durability is unquestionable, I’ve run 120km in these so far and I’m over 90kg, there is no sign of wear on the outsole or anywhere on the shoe for that matter.
Heel striking and midfoot striking running is blissful, I’m not an adept toe striker so I cannot say regarding that but I’m confident they’d be great for those of you capable of such a feat.
The ground-feel is sensational, I get a good sense of what is going on without feeling every stone and crack, I’ve run on road, mud, light gravel and medium gravel up to 20mm rocks and the grip holds beautifully, any larger and I’d be suggesting a dedicated trail shoe anyway.
Even running down steep hills on gravel feels great between the midsole and the outsole I feel stable and comfortable with enough energy return to drive forward and really pick up the pace. The outsole transitions smoothly from heel strike to toe off and the segmented crash pads are a generous thickness comprised of a rubber that is dense and durable.
The inner lining is seamless and smooth even on bare feet. My foot feels snug, secure and supported throughout, the lining of the upper around the hindfoot is lightly padded giving lightweight comfort without excessive weight.
The tongue is nicely padded and protects the foot from inclement conditions and from the laces, it is not a gusset style which means that if you have a high instep it doesn’t constrict the midfoot.
It is nice and broad and wraps around the top of the foot thus having the same advantages as a gusset, unlike some of the more traditional style tongues it does not collapse around the side of the foot.
The first feel of this modern athletic running shoe is smooth, crisp and supportive, it delivers seamless comfort and propulsion throughout my run on every surface wet or dry.
Weighing in at 309g and with a comfortable 12mm drop, I highly recommend this shoe for running any distance and for a runner of any size or weight.
The upper offers generous depth for a high instep or a thick orthotic, neither of which I have but I have sold many of these to customers who have. The Brooks Ghost like its’ namesake needs to be seen to be believed.
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. This midsole foam has also been used in other Brooks road running shoes like the Ravenna 10.
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.
History of the Brooks Ghost running shoe series
Despite the spooky connotation of the name behind this running shoe series, the inception of the Brooks Ghost comes after a pleasant history. A Brooks executive was well-known for his stellar record as a collegiate and professional runner. Nobody has ever seen him training, which made people wonder how he has managed to stay in good shape. As it turns out, this person did his workouts and running practices at night. This nocturnal activity has earned him the “Ghost” nickname, which later inspired a running shoe.
The Brooks Ghost series would eventually go on to produce running shoes that claim to “defy gravity.” In the Ghost 11, the brand presents a running shoe that gives the smoothest ride ever. Previous versions of the Ghost were also successful in providing technologies that contribute to faster, longer, and more enjoyable runs. With each new release of the Ghost shoe, Brooks strives to deliver a perfect combination of technology and art.
Comparison between Brooks Ghost 11 and Brooks Ghost 10
One would think that after many iterations of a running shoe series there is no more room for improvement. The Brooks Ghost series disproves this idea. In the Ghost 11, the brand has managed to make the already soft DNA Loft foam even better, providing a more comfortable and more flexible ride. The improved DNA Loft Technology also brings a leveled-up transition and more ground feel.
Meanwhile, the upper has also made some changes since the Ghost 10. With the aim of providing a softer and more luxurious feel, the Brooks Ghost 11 utilizes new materials that give a stretchable structure. The shoe, however, retains the level of breathability and the seamless, true-to-size fit that has been present in the previous version.
Reviews of the Ghost 11 included observations regarding the similarities of the fit and feel with the Ghost 10. The Ghost series has always managed to deliver a balance between a cushy, responsive ride and a soft, lightweight structure. The only difference between the two iterations is that the Ghost 11 gives the runner a closer-to-ground feel and more flexibility during the transition phase.
Another notable improvement in the eleventh version of the Ghost is the crash pad. In the Ghost 11, a new platform design helps in dispersing impact for a smooth roll into the next stride. This update is particularly appealing to heel-strikers, as they gain more speed while transitioning from heel to toe.
Brooks Ghost 11 versus other neutral running shoes
Because of the structure and technologies of the Brooks Ghost 11, it is only natural for potential users to compare the shoe to similar running shoes. The Ghost 11 is a neutral running shoe that is comparable to the following models:
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus. This running shoe is one of Nike’s most popular running shoes and is their flagship model that delivers both agility and comfort. The Brooks Ghost 11 has a firmer underfoot structure when compared to the Air Zoom Pegasus 35, which is the latest iteration of the model. The Ghost 11 is more suitable for runners who are after more ground feel, which is provided by this shoe because of its firmer sole.
Asics Nimbus. Named after the thick cloud that projects a dark and soft appearance, the Asics Nimbus is known for its maximum cushioning and comfortable bounce. The Brooks Ghost 11 offers the same but on the softer side of things. The Asics Gel Nimbus 21 features a Heel Clutching System that some runners might find restrictive, which the Ghost 11 does not have. The Ghost 11 also has fewer overlays, which makes the upper more flexible.
Nike Revolution. The Revolution series from Nike is well-known for its flexible and responsive ride, as well as its uniquely designed upper that delivers maximum breathability. Compared to the Ghost 11, the Nike Revolution 4 has fewer shoe technologies. Therefore, it is less expensive compared to the Brooks Ghost 11. Both shoes, however, feature a versatile yet contoured cushioning that provides the least restricted underfoot experience.
Saucony Ride ISO. The Brooks Ghost 11 has been reviewed by users to be softer when compared to the Saucony Ride ISO. Further, the Ghost 11 presents a luxurious feel both in the upper and midsole, which translates to a comfortable ride. In terms of weight, the Ghost 11 has been reported to be lighter than the Ride ISO, but the latter has proved to supply more toe room, which was appealing to runners with larger foot volumes.
Brooks Glycerin 16. Both hailing from the same brand, the Brooks Glycerin 16 and Brooks Ghost 11 both utilize the DNA Loft Technology to provide a midsole structure that is soft and comfortable, yet also bouncy and durable. The Brooks Glycerin 16 packs more technology and more midsole material, which means a higher stack height. All these factors make the Glycerin 16 more expensive than the Ghost 11. Runners who are budget-conscious might find the Ghost 11 to be the more practical buy.
Cost and value of the Brooks Ghost 11
As of this writing, the Brooks Ghost 11 retails for $120. Although it might seem expensive because it is above the 100-dollar mark, the price is not that bad, especially considering that there are a lot of higher-priced running shoes from the brand. Many reviewers have felt that $120 price tag is just right as it effectively combines high-quality design and performance.
To a majority of users, the Brooks Ghost 11 is a smart investment because it is durable enough to withstand daily wear. The shoe also provides a decent amount of arch support while also ensuring flexibility.
Another proof of the shoe’s value is the award it had received. The Runner’s World Editor’s Choice Award has recognized the Brooks Ghost 11 for its exceptional appeal and comfortable cushioning. Aside from that, veteran runners have continually praised the shoe for its ability to endure high-mileage runs while providing a smooth and quick ride.
As if that is not enough to convince potential users, the Brooks Ghost series is actually a record-holder of getting seven Editor’s Choice awards. The Brooks Ghost does not disappoint when it comes to offering an above-average level of cushion, comfort, and protection. This eleventh version further cements the fact that the series is a consistent provider of both appeal and quality. The Brooks Ghost 11 just shows that the shoe series is here to stay, and it only gets better each time.