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: 10.4ozWomen: 9.3oz
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: 31mmWomen: 31mm
Forefoot heightMen: 19mmWomen: 19mm
WidthMen: Narrow, Normal, Wide, X-WideWomen: Narrow, Normal, Wide
Release dateJul 2019
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87 / 100 based on 13 expert reviews
Brooks Ghost 12: Ghost with the most!More photos
The Ghost series is a widely popular neutral running shoe from Brooks. This edition, the 12, proves why this shoe is the one to beat for many competitors.
The cushioned heel area provides impact absorption without stealing momentum, thanks to the tread design, and the front tread holds well on any surface even in wet conditions. The shoe overall is very comfortable and will work well for most runners, walkers, or anybody looking for a comfortable all-around shoe.
Both shoes - love the colors!
The review - from the ground up…
The tread is actually different in the heel area as opposed to the front of the foot. The heel area is slightly harder, which will help to return some of the wearer’s energy on heel strikes.
With some thickly cushioned running shoes, there is a tradeoff between the cushioning and energy. However, the Ghost 12 manages to eliminate that issue by using that harder tread on the back of the shoe to help the shoe rebound after contact.
Different color treads for different purposes.
The front area of the shoe has a softer rubber more akin to Brooks’ other types of shoes and as with those, it works very well.
Brooks’ design creates a good grip for any type of surface, whether it is pavement, brick, indoor track material, or even on grass. I ran through a small rainstorm and never once felt my feet begin to slip (much appreciated).
The white area is the DNA midsole.
As is mostly standard for Brooks, the Ghost 12 utilized the DNA midsole. This is perhaps why I am such a big fan of this shoe company.
Though most shoes will adapt to the wearer’s feet over time, the DNA midsole from Brooks’ seems to do it faster and make it feel more natural. Within about 5 miles, these shoes already felt adapted to my feet.
Wearing them a bit around the house really helped to strengthen that. Especially for longer runs where form can begin to suffer, a shoe that allows for a natural running form while providing support is greatly desired.
Between the comfortable midsole and the tread, I used these shoes for everything from walking, to running, to my regular gym workout routine and never once regretted that choice.
Especially for HIIT and body weight exercises where I needed to be explosive (think burpees here), the Ghost 12 was right there to not only provide support but also to help soften some of the landings.
Toe box & upper
The toe box area was not too loose, nor was it too tight. There was just enough room to allow my toes to splay normally, but not so much that they could move around. As with the latest version of the Brooks Launch (Launch 5) the toe box felt like it was sized just perfectly.
Great sizing on the toe box! Also, notice the reflective patch.
The upper area did well to wick moisture away from the foot area. This is important to help keep the wearer’s feet dry, whether it is for a short distance or a longer one. Even during that light rainstorm, I mentioned my feet never really got wet.
However, the extra cushioning did seem to eliminate some of the breathability in the shoe. Again, this is just a tradeoff found with most thicker cushioned shoes. Mostly I notice it because my feet get hot easily.
Side view of the upper area. Still diggin’ the colors!
While they got a bit warm on one run, they never actually got hot – so I am happy with this particular area, though I think they could have allowed it to breathe a little better.
I also noticed I had to tighten down the laces a little more than normal or my foot felt a bit lose. This is not an issue so much as something to get used to and expect.
Note the use of the lace loop on the tongue.
The tongue is a thicker one, but that does not cause any issues. Brooks used a lace-hole on the tongue to help keep it in place, and as someone who has had a shoe tongue slip during a run, I really do like that. The last thing anyone wants to have to do is stop their routine just to adjust the shoe tongue over and over.
Previously, I had tried a pair of Brooks Ghost 10 but did not like them because my heel kept slipping. Whatever issue caused that with them was taken care because that never once even remotely happened on the 12s.
From jumping around to running stairs, I did everything I could to really push the Ghost 12, but the heel stayed in place the whole time. Even fresh out of the box on a 5-mile run, these shoes did not create any problems with rubbing or blisters.
The thicker cushion holds moisture, but it feels fantastic.
Heel to toe drop
Because this is a slightly thicker cushioned shoe, there is a slightly higher weight (10.4 ounces by my scale) and a slightly higher heel to toe drop which is at 12mm. This all comes down to preference and use.
Some want a smaller drop to encourage more fore-foot running, while others like the cushioned heel to help absorb impact. Similarly, if the focus is to do sprints, heavy trail running, or heavy weighted squats, then one would want a different type of shoe made more specifically for that purpose.
For an all-around, ready to do anything type of shoe, the Brooks Ghost 12 is tough to beat. The Ghost 12 can provide speed when desired, and yet feel natural and smooth during longer runs.
By combining the cushioned with two different types of tread, Brooks has created a shoe that almost anyone will be happy to use. Me personally, though I do wish they breathed just a little better, these will likely be my new go-to running shoes for both interval running, long runs, walks, and just about everything else!
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.
Will I continue to run the Ghost 12 after this review? Yes as for me it is about the ideal recovery run shoe: stable, comfortable, well cushioned, and forgiving of my poor form.
The Ghost 12 was a change for me as I’ve run in footwear with much lower drops as of late, but it’s nice to see an old friend time and again.
- 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.