|Weight:||Men: 10.4oz | Women: 9.3oz|
|Heel to toe drop:||Men: 12mm | Women: 12mm|
|Fit:||Medium heel, Medium toe box, Medium forefoot|
|Arch type:||High arch|
|Use:||All-day wear | Jogging|
|Material:||Mesh upper, Rubber sole|
|Strike Pattern:||Heel strike|
|Foot Condition:||Bunions, Plantar fasciitis, Shin splints, Hip pain, Arthritis pain, Sesamoiditis, Morton's-neuroma, Back-pain|
|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:||Black, Blue, Red, White, Grey, Purple, Beige, Yellow, Multi|
|Special editions:||1 special editions|
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88 / 100 based on 32 expert reviews
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.
Brooks Ghost 12 - A very versatile rideMore photos
My first running shoes from Brooks were the Levitate 2 and I was very impressed by that shoe and its midsole material, which made me wonder. Because I know so many runners that are so happy with their Brooks running shoes, why is that?
When I put the Ghost 12 on they were comfortable right out of the box and I thought to myself “I think I’m starting to understand why people love Brooks”.
The Ghost is their most popular shoe. It’s a neutral road running shoe which has a 19 mm forefoot stack and 31 mm in the heel, giving it a 12 mm drop.
The upper is made from an engineered mesh. It’s a pretty simple and quite a sleek look, which I actually like. There are some simple overlays on the lateral and medial side, but nothing too obvious or weird looking.
It has a wide and roomy toe box. And the upper has a bit of stretch to it so it will form to your foot, but at the same time, I had no issues with locking my foot down correctly in this shoe.
In that sense, I find this shoe quite effortless. It was comfortable straight out of the box and I didn’t need to do a lot of adjustments to get the right fit. It has a detached tongue, but it does have an extra loop on the tongue to put the laces through to hold the tongue in place.
The fabric of the heel collar spills over onto the outer layer of the upper. There are two seams, one on either side of this fabric.
This seems to be mainly for esthetic reasons since the lining of the Glycerin 17 didn’t have any seams and the middle piece of fabric on the Ghost 12 has a different color than the rest of the collar.
Although it didn’t create any hotspots for me, I think it would have been better if Brooks made the collar of the Ghost out of one piece like in the Glycerin 17, just to make sure it would not create a hotspot.
The Ghost 12 has a dual material midsole.
Part of the heel and the lateral side of the midsole are made with Brooks DNA LOFT material which is a blend of EVA foam with rubber and air. This is the same midsole material as they use in the Glycerin, while the faster Brooks shoes like the Levitate use DNA AMP material.
The rest of the midsole of the Ghost is made up out of BioMoGo DNA which is a bit more of a responsive material.
I had to get used to the dual-material midsole in the beginning and personally, I probably would have made the DNA LOFT part a bit bigger and have extended it further on the medial side of the heel to get a smoother heel to toe transition, but I did get used to the dual-density after a while.
The outsole of the Ghost 12 is made from blown rubber and pretty durable. After about 50 miles in the shoe, there is still hardly any wear on the outsole.
The flex grooves together with the upper help to maintain pretty good flexibility in this shoe.
The Ghost 12 has a bit of a wider platform than for example the Glycerin 17, which gives you a bit more stability while still maintaining that neutral running shoe feeling.
The dual-density midsole makes for a quite snappy ride, while still providing some cushioning in the heel. It does give you enough cushion for those medium runs but is also snappy enough for some faster runs.
Whether you can use the Ghost 12 as a long-distance running shoe depends on your own preferences, for me this shoe is a bit too firm. It’s not a max cushioned shoe which is what I prefer for longer runs.
But if you like a bit firmer and a bit more responsive ride you could use the Ghost 12 for longer runs, as well as some shorter and a bit faster, runs. It is a versatile shoe when it comes to the fit and ride of this shoe.
I can see why so many runners like the Ghost series. It’s a very versatile shoe with a wide platform that gives you a stable base.
It’s pretty simple yet pretty elegant in design and has a roomy toe box, while still nicely locking in your heel with some nice padding which prevents hotspots.
It’s a great everyday training shoe that can accommodate lots of different runners. The platform can accommodate a lot of different feet and the dual-density midsole makes for a quite versatile ride.
It’s a good shoe to have in your rotation, but it is also a good shoe to have if you are a beginner, since it is so versatile and durable.
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.