|Weight:||Men: 10.4oz | Women: 9.3oz|
|Heel to toe drop:||Men: 12mm | Women: 12mm|
|Fit:||Medium forefoot, Medium heel, Medium toe box|
|Arch type:||High arch|
|Use:||All-day wear | Jogging|
|Material:||Mesh upper, Rubber sole|
|Strike Pattern:||Heel strike|
|Foot Condition:||Arthritis pain, Back-pain, Bunions, Hip pain, Morton's-neuroma, Plantar fasciitis, Sesamoiditis, Shin splints|
|Distance:||Daily running | Long distance | Marathon|
|Heel height:||Men: 31mm | Women: 31mm|
|Forefoot height:||Men: 19mm | Women: 19mm|
|Release date:||Jul 2019|
|Width:||Men: Narrow, Normal, Wide, X-Wide | Women: Narrow, Normal, Wide|
|Colorways:||Beige, Black, Blue, Gold, Green, Grey, Multi, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow|
|Special editions:||1 special editions|
Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.
Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.
88 / 100 based on 39 expert reviews
Glide smoothly and effortlessly with Brooks Ghost 12More photos
After time off for surgery, followed by a menacing bout of plantar fasciitis, I was able to spend 3 weeks recouping in rural Tanzania, East Africa, watching the local runners, effortlessly running while making it so look easy.
I am now happy to be resuming my own training routine with a renewed vigor and visions of a Half Marathon "personal best” in this new year.
This review takes a close look at the latest Brooks Ghost, the 12th iteration, of what is a very popular and highly cushioned road running shoe.
Brooks Sports, Inc. was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1914 by an immigrant from Russia, one Mr. Morris Goldenberg. The name Brooks was derived as an Anglicized substitute for his wife's maiden name of Bruchs.
Brooks first produced bathing shoes. Later on, the company added baseball and football shoes. Today, Brooks Sports is known around the world for its quality sports shoes and apparel, with its headquarters located near Washington State.
Size 12 D (US), 11 (UK) Weight 312 (g), 11.4 (oz) Heel to toe offset 12 mm Arch medium to high Pronation neutral Orthotic friendly yes My weight 149 lbs
Best suited for
The Brooks Ghost 12 is best suited for neutral road runners with medium to high arches, which are not in need of any sort of motion control. Ghost owners value cushioning and comfort over setting records.
Changes from last year's model
This new version is just 5 grams lighter than the previous version. Less variation than there is between my two pairs of ghost 12s.
The flex grooves in the outsole are a bit wider and deeper this year, but I cannot detect any difference in over-all flexibility. Reflectivity on the Ghost 12 has improved this year and still is not very effective.
The collar on this model appears to be a bit more padded, joining many of the other annual changes that appear to be mostly cosmetic.
The upper on this Brooks model is what we have come to expect in a modern running shoe. The engineered mesh is breathable yet, not too cold in wintery temperatures.
It also wraps snugly over my feet and is nearly stitch-free. Strength and support are provided by the engineered mesh material which is woven more tightly across the mid-foot than it is elsewhere.
There's also a 3D printed pattern that adds to the shoe's overall support structure.
The internal heel counter provides some structure in the rear, while the inner toe box stiffener provides structure and shape up front.
This upper also has a newly redesigned collar, which is plusher than last year’s model and a tongue that is long, thick, and comfortable. There are also two lace keepers on each tongue, which helps keep the tongue from slipping.
Personally, I almost always remove the smaller offset lace keeper on my Brooks shoes and almost always find it necessary to shorten the laces.
However, the laces are very elastic, allowing them to conform to the shape of your upper foot and they do cinch down reassuringly, they also stayed firmly tied during my runs.
The midsole is the heart of any good running shoe. Majority of the Ghost midsole is made up of the well-known and well-proven BioMoGo DNA, a non-Newtonian material that adapts to the runner's weight and gait.
This newer "DNA Loft" is used in the heel area on the lateral side only. This softer foam is made up of EVA with rubber, and air added, making this material very soft, perhaps too soft for some runners.
The combination of BioMoGo DNA in the forefoot, and the added Loft DNA under the heel, work very well together. It provided me with very effective cushioning and a smooth transition.
Blown rubber is used in the forefoot, offering fairly good durability and very secure traction, while adding to the outstanding forefoot cushioning.
The blown rubber also helps dampens the sound of your footfalls. The carbon rubber material is used under the heel area for added durability with plenty of rubber under your feet to ensure you that this Ghost variant will endure many miles.
First day out, and it is 17 degrees F (-8 C) with no wind. At such low temperatures, I found out quickly that they are not “too” well ventilated for this blustery season.
Today's run was totally enjoyable, and the Ghosts 12s were comfortable. Personally, I think the Ghost 12 is the smoothest running shoe I have ever experienced.
You can run very quietly in the Brooks Ghosts 12 without even trying. There also appears to be enough room for a slightly heavier winter sock, if needed.
Initially, this new Ghost seems to confidently isolate the runner's feet from the harsh road surfaces, promising fewer injuries with a pleasantly compliant cushioning.
Traction on wet surfaces is excellent; even those painted roadway markings are no obstacle for my Brooks Ghosts. I enjoy running the hilly roads, and the Brooks Ghost makes those hills more enjoyable. They have a springy and lively feel when running uphill.
The combination of my weight, the forefoot cushioning, and flexibility/stiffness of the Ghost come alive on the hills with a lively spring, a resonance that worked well for me.
Someone watching me run along a flat road could easily fall asleep, while in the hills, they might say "look at that guy go, he's having fun." Repeated short hill efforts are an enjoyable way for me to do a sort of interval training.
Today was another cold day, allowing me to run in heavier socks, and the Ghosts passed yet another test in comfort. Overall, the shoe is wearing very well, as I had expected, with almost no wear showing after nearly 100 km.
The Ghost trades a little speed for a lot of comfort. For many runners, the Ghost is a go-to-shoe for the longer training runs and racing distances.
On a side note, this version of the Ghost may not be the best choice for heavier runners. Perhaps over 200 lbs/ 91 kg, as the Loft foam cushioning may simply be too soft to protect a heavy heel striker.
Personally, other than the DNA Loft being a bit too “cushy,” there is absolutely nothing in this shoe that does not fail to please or suit me. The overall quality of the materials and excellent workmanship will assure the owner that both durability and reliability.
Here is a brief break-down of the Brooks Ghost’s Midsole Technologies.
A special environmentally-friendly E.V.A. (ethyl vinyl chloride) foam, manufactured with a natural, non-toxic additive which allows discarded shoes to degrade 50 times faster than regular E.V.A.
Once in the landfill, these shoes will biodegrade quickly and are not harmful to the environment. They will not biodegrade while in use, no worries there!
This is the gel-like material used in the midsole of many of Brooks’ models. DNA cushioning material becomes firmer, and more responsive for runners during sprinting or a hard effort, and softer and more complaint when running easily.
This adaptive nature is referred to as being non-Newtonian.
The loft is another variation of E.V.A foam, with added rubber and air, to produce a softer, and likely longer lasting cushioning.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Brooks Ghost 12 – One shoe to run them all?More photos
The latest in the ever-popular Ghost line from Brooks, the Ghost 12 sees a few minor improvements from the 11. Ultimately, this remains an incredibly versatile and extremely comfortable daily running shoe.
The Ghost 12 offers a well-cushioned neutral ride and a smooth transition. For runners seeking a single shoe “for every occasion,” the Ghost may well be the ideal shoe.
This shoe could take you from a fast 5k through to a marathon. Those who prefer to mix shoes depending upon the type of run may find that the Ghost 12 is the perfect partner for easy runs and long runs.
The Ghost 12 has a slightly more aggressive outsole than its predecessor, which further increases its versatility. The sole will easily cope with a range of non-technical trails, while the upper continues to hold the midfoot effectively.
With relatively few differences in this latest model, runners should also consider the Ghost 11, which is still widely available and heavily discounted.
- Comfortable upper
- Excellent cushioning
- Breathable upper
- Roomy toe box
- Secure fit
- 12mm drop may put off some
A couple of years ago, the Ghost 10 was the first Brooks shoe I’d worn. I was immediately impressed by its comfort and versatility. I went on to describe it as being “Built for comfort and for speed.”
A year later, the Ghost 11 provided a similar experience through a marathon training cycle, and my review was similarly titled “Everyday comfort with a good turn of speed.”
I was looking forward to trying out the Brooks Ghost 12. It had a lot to live up to.
In the last few weeks, I’ve run around 60 miles in this shoe and had intended to wear it for the Snowdonia Marathon a couple of weeks ago.
Unfortunately, an injury meant I couldn’t compete. I have still had the opportunity to wear the shoe for a variety of runs in order to be able to review it.
Throughout this review, I will inevitably make comparisons with its predecessors. I hope that the review will also stand alone for anyone who hasn’t worn any previous Ghost models.
Appearance & first impressions
At the time of writing the Brooks, the website has a choice of 16 colourways for the Ghost 12. I’m pretty sure that every runner should be able to find at least one they like!
Having said that, Brooks is not exactly at the front of the line when it comes to innovation in design. Let’s assume, however, as you’re reading this review that you’re planning on running in the shoe rather than wearing it to the pub.
You’ll be happy to know that the Ghost 12 looks and feels like the premium, cushioned shoe that it's designed to be.
It’s in the upper that most of the improvements from the Ghost 11 can be found. In the Ghost 12, dots have given way to lines in the 3D printed overlays around the saddle and rear of the foot.
Similarly, the lace holes are cut from larger strips of overlay rather than individual eyelets being reinforced. To my eye, the Ghost 12 is an improvement on the 11, though it remains very traditional in appearance.
I was pleased to see that Brooks continue to provide reflective detail, a large tab on the back of the shoe, as well as a reflective overlay at the front of the shoe. I often run in the dark on early mornings, and always welcome reflective detail on a shoe.
The Brooks Ghost 12 is listed at 10.4oz/295g, which is a little lighter than its predecessor (309g).
As an everyday cushioned shoe, this is comparable to similar shoes from other manufacturers and in fact, matches the New Balance 1080 v9, which is listed at an identical 295g.
As expected, my UK 13 (14.0 US) shoe weighed in heavier at 362g, compared to the Ghost 11 at 369g. I don’t have a picture of the shoe sitting on a weighing scale, so please take my word for it
I’ve come to expect a premium cushioned shoe to come in somewhere around the 300g/10.5oz mark in terms of weight. I’m looking for a shoe that provides comfort, and as long as it doesn’t feel heavy while running, I’m happy with that kind of weight. The Ghost 12 fits the bill.
For me, the Ghost 12 is true to size. It’s comfortable and holds the foot well without being restrictive. If anything, the Ghost 12 feels slightly more generous than the Ghost 11 in the toe box and the saddle.
I wore a UK 13 (which is what I’d wear in a normal), everyday shoe, and in an ASICS, Under Armour, and 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). In all cases, my shoes tend to be a US 14, so I believe that the variation in UK sizes is likely to be down to conversion.
As with my previous Ghost shoes, the 12 felt great right out of the box. No need for breaking the shoe in (and no time for pictures of the shoe before running).
The foot feels secure yet comfortable. There’s no need to tie laces tightly as the shoe will hold the foot.
In all honesty, I laced up the shoe on my first run and have slipped the shoe on and off ever since with no need to adjust the laces, other than to take the photos for this review.
I was pleased to find a slightly roomier toe box as I have a tendency for an ongoing Morton’s Neuroma issue to flare up where toe room is limited.
As I’ve come to expect with the Ghost line of shoes, the tongue and the heel cup are both extremely well-cushioned, making this shoe exceptionally comfortable.
This is where most differences are made between the Ghost 11 and the 12, and even here, the changes are not huge. The upper is constructed from “engineered mesh and 3D Fit Print.”
The front of the shoe has two layers of mesh, with large holes in the outer layer providing efficient ventilation. The toe bumper is created from a denser, more rigid mesh, and is marginally more flexible than the Ghost 11.
Around the midfoot, the mesh is more tightly woven, and the 3D print overlays offer an element of stability to this neutral shoe. This also contributes to the fantastic lock-down and fit of the shoe. The lace holes are formed from the engineered mesh detail that runs around the opening.
The rear of the shoe is a well-built heel section with a plastic inner cup. This feels more substantial than the Ghost 11, though it does not extend as far forward. As expected, it is well-cushioned and holds the foot well.
The tongue is well-cushioned and works well with the newly printed mesh, which forms the lace eyelets. This closes the shoe with pressure evenly spread across the top of the foot.
So, the upper has been tweaked, but I was really pleased to find that it is, in essence, the same shoe. The Ghost is such a fantastically comfortable shoes to run in, and I guess Brooks has held on to the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The sole of the Brooks Ghost 12 delivers a heel stack height of 31mm with a forefoot height of 19mm and consequently, a drop of 12mm.
I’m aware that this high drop will put off some runners, but if you have the opportunity, I’d recommend trying out this shoe. I run in shoes with a drop ranging from zero to 12mm and have never found the ride in the Ghost to feel markedly different from similar shoes offering a 6-8mm drop.
The midsole of the Ghost 12 is almost identical to that of its predecessor. DNA Loft Foam provides a soft landing-zone on the outer side of the heel.
This will appeal particularly to heel strikers and makes the shoe a good choice for higher mileage runners. The DNA Loft foam is marked by pentagon-shaped indentations in the sidewall, which contribute to the cushioning.
In the Brooks Glycerin, the DNA Loft foam is used throughout the midsole of the shoe. The Glycerin consequently offers greater cushioning that the Ghost 12 (which retains the BioMoGo DNA foam in the midsole).
This firmer foam in the Ghost 12 is designed to provide a better toe-off and responsiveness (though I can’t make a comparison as I haven’t run in the Glycerin).
This mix of cushioning and responsiveness is part of what makes the Ghost such a versatile shoe.
There is a deeper groove separating the lateral crash-pad and the medial section of the shoe than in the Ghost 11. I can only imagine that this is designed to give greater cushioning in the landing phase of the stride.
At the front of the foot, the Ghost 12 has larger, deeper grooves between the segmented outsole, which makes the shoe more flexible than previously.
The BioMoGo foam also feels a little softer than in the Ghost 11.
The outsole of the Ghost 12 is probably the most aggressive I’ve seen from a Ghost shoe. The depth of the “lugs,” combined with the deeper grooves in the midsole, reminds me of the construction of the Inov-8 Terraultra.
Whilst the Ghost 12 is obviously a road shoe; this outsole means that the shoe is not restricted to the tarmac.
It will handle hard-packed trails with ease, and I’m happy to wear it for a range of off-road running. Once it gets technical or muddy, however, leave the Ghost at home and take the trail shoes!
On the road, the Ghost 12 offers excellent traction in both wet and dry.
Brooks uses a durable carbon rubber under the rear landing zone and their standard blown rubber for the rest of the outsole.
Based on experience, both the Ghost 10 & 11 were the most durable road shoes I have ever worn. I ran in each for over 700 miles before they took semi-retirement into the role of decorating shoe and gardening shoes, respectively.
I have no reason to doubt that the Brooks Ghost 12 will last me just as long, and for someone of my size, that’s a really durable shoe.
My assessment of a shoe’s performance will always reflect my own characteristics. So, just for the record, I’m 48, about 6’2”, approx. 89kg (195lbs), running 50-60 miles per week.
If the training has gone well, I’ll run a road marathon in under 3:15 and a 5k under 19.’ Of course, at my age, these are all injury-dependant!
I loved running in the Ghost 10 and Ghost 11, and so unless Brooks had made some significant changes, I expected to like the Ghost 12 too.
I’ll apologise in advance for the cliché, but the Brooks Ghost 12 is like putting on a favourite slipper at the end of the day. The foot is comfortably held, with enough room for movement where necessary. I’ve never had the hint of a blister or hotspot on any part of the foot.
That’s where the slipper analogy ends, though. The Ghost 12 will accompany you on pretty well any road run you choose (and a few off-road trails too, as mentioned above).
The ride in this shoe is fluid and comfortable. The foot is well cushioned through the landing phase and quickly transitions through to the take-off. There’s no feeling of sinking and wallowing in foam during the transition, but just an easy, fluid movement with each stride.
There is sufficient ground feel with each footfall, but without the pounding feeling that you may get with a firmer or thinner midsole. What’s really important to me is that I have the same feeling towards the end of a long run as I do at the beginning.
I used this shoe for long runs, easy runs, tempo runs, and even a track session, and have really enjoyed wearing it. Admittedly, I have shoes in my rotation that are better for the faster sessions in terms of performance, but none that will look after my feet as well as the Ghost 12.
So who is the Brooks Ghost for?
For those looking for a single shoe to encompass all of your road running, then I’d be hard pushed to recommend a better one (based on my own experience). The Ghost will provide a balance between cushioning responsiveness and last you longer than the average shoe.
There are those seasoned runners that look down their nose at the Ghost as a “beginners’ shoe.” I’d completely disagree with that.
Even for runners with a choice of shoe for each type of run, there’s a place for the Ghost 12. I often hear it stated that 80% of our runs should be “easy,” and even if you choose the Ghost for just these sessions, I’m sure you won’t regret it.
I should just state for the record that I am not paid by Brooks, nor did they provide me with this pair of shoes.
I am simply offering my own opinion that I have not yet found a shoe that I look forward to putting on to run as much as the Brooks Ghost. I’m really pleased that they haven’t made too many changes for the Ghost 12 and am looking forward to the next 600+ miles in them.
The latest Ghost shoe is just as impressive as the last, providing a well-cushioned neutral ride and a smooth transition.
There are a huge number of runners for whom the Brooks Ghost 12 will be their only road shoe.
The more aggressive outsole of this shoe means that it is also versatile enough to take onto more trails than the average road shoe. Add this to Ghost’s track-record of exceptional durability; it offers great value for money too.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
I'm really pleased that I got this and I really recommend you checking them out.
This shoe should have neutral runners coming back for more and more miles.
- The Brooks Ghost 12 is a running shoe that’s designed for those who have neutral foot pronation. The midsole unit primarily consists of two proprietary technologies to bring smooth and well-energized steps. But this update puts more emphasis on a plush and decoupled heel platform to move away from the one-piece structure of the previous iteration, the Ghost 11. Such a design permits smooth and well-attenuated steps.
- The cover system of this product is composed of engineered mesh which is the same as that of the predecessor. But unlike version 11, the Ghost 12 is graced with a helping of printed overlays to put more oomph to the quality of the fit and the robustness of the upper unit’s structural integrity.
Brooks used the standard sizing scheme when they made the Ghost 12. Such a distinction allows the potential purchaser to get a pair with their usual sizing choices in mind. However, it is worth noting that there have been online user reviews that emphasize the smaller-than-usual size options. Testing the shoe first can mitigate any concerns with the size.
When it comes to the width, the available options are B - Narrow, D - Medium, 2E - Wide and 4E - Extra Wide for men. The variants for the women’s version are 2A - Narrow, B - Medium, and D - Wide. A whole slew of foot dimensions and volumes are welcome to test this product and enjoy the in-shoe feel.
The outsole unit of the Brooks Ghost 12 is made of blown rubber. This compound is meant to protect the midsole unit from the abrasive nature of the asphalt. It has a generous thickness to make sure that it won’t wear off quickly. Furthermore, it is capable of providing grip, a trait that is essential for all running shoes.
Flex grooves line the forefoot section of the external pad. These deep trenches are designed to make the platform as flexible as possible. The toe-off is the part of the gait that benefits the most from this feature because it is the action that involves the bending of the foot-muscles and toe joints.
The heel part has been decoupled from the midfoot and the forefoot. This configuration is a means of isolating the landing pad from the transition points of the sole unit, thereby ensuring that the impact forces are segregated to the points of contact, particularly the most prominent striking area.
Underfoot cushioning is the responsibility of two technologies, one of which is the DNA Loft. This full-length foam is meant to be the base of the midsole, getting the brunt of the landing forces that are generated by the landing phase of the step. Brooks touts this tech to be lightweight, flexible and long-lasting. Two crucial ingredients make up the DNA Loft: ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and rubber.
BioMoGo DNA is a compound that serves as the topsole of the Brooks Ghost 12. This proprietary foam also runs the entire length of the shoe, accommodating the foot at all times. It is made of recycled materials. It cushions the foot and keeps it energized and comfortable at all times. Its malleable construction allows it to mimic the curved structure of the underfoot, thereby permitting a customized step-in comfort that caters to the particular foot that is resting on it. Many of the brand’s shoes utilize the BioMoGo DNA, including the constantly revered Adrenaline GTS roster.
The Segmented Crash Pad is a midsole design that is primarily divided into sections. This branched structure allows the foot to move naturally through the gait cycle while also ensuring smooth landings and transitions. Energy displacement and transfer can be heightened because of this movement-centered design.
An insole is placed right on top of the primary cushioning system. This add-on offers a soft surface for the foot. It also adds a bit more oomph to the volume of the midsole. It can be removed or replaced with a new one or a custom orthotic insert if the runner wishes to do so.
The outer side of the Brooks Ghost 12’s upper unit is primarily made of engineered mesh. This material has a cloth-like construction which allows it to mimic the feel of woven cloth. It has a seamless nature to stave off hot spots and encourage the feeling of being wrapped by a sock. It has both visible and minute breathing holes to maintain a cool and dry interior.
The 3D Fit Print is a set of overlays that pockmark the sides and the instep. These add-ons are all made of synthetic prints. They don’t add significant weight to the shoe and they don’t turn the facade into a bulky mess. The purpose of these overlays is to bolster the structure of the upper unit and ensure a snug and secure fit.
The inner lining of the silhouette is made of a soft fabric. The runner is welcome to wear this shoe without socks because the inner walls that touch the skin don’t have unnecessary seams or unwanted crevices.
A traditional lacing system is used for this product. Semi-round shoelaces snake through print-reinforced eyelets on the bridge, covering the roof of the foot. The mixing of these elements results in a fit adjustment method that is familiar and easy to manipulate.
The padded tongue and collar are parts of the upper unit that are meant to cushion the Achilles tendon, the ankles and the bridge of the foot. These features are also designed to prevent in-shoe quivering and unintentional shoe removals.
A lace anchor is stitched on the tongue unit. This fabric loop prevents the tongue unit from deviating from its centered position by basically being an extra eyelet through which the laces go.