Verdict from 6.8 hours of research from the internet

92
Great!
1633 users: 4.5 / 5
15 experts: 87 / 100

6 reasons to buy

  • Comfort: Many users agree that the Brooks Ghost 13 delivers a soft and smooth underfoot feel from heel to toe.
  • Traction: This running shoe offers a firm grip on various surfaces, said some runners. 
  • Fit: Numerous wearers confirm that it provides a snug in-shoe feel. 
  • Forefoot: Several purchasers appreciate the shoe’s roomy toe box. 
  • Stability: It is a supportive neutral running shoe, according to a few testers. 
  • Breathability: Some reviewers mention that the shoe allows for continuous ventilation.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Durability: One buyer observes that the rubber outsole wears out faster than expected. 
  • Style: A consumer mentions that the previous versions are more stylish compared to the 13th edition.

Bottom line

The 13th iteration of the Brooks Ghost shoe is built with up-to-date technologies designed to provide enhanced fit and soft landings. It features a protective outsole, soft midsole, and breathable upper that offer a comfortable and efficient running experience. This shoe is ideal for road running and casual wear.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

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Our reviews

88
/100 by Paul Ronto, posted on .

I'm so excited to try the newly released shoe from Brooks — the Brooks Ghost 13 — that's got a ton of buzz this week. Brooks is calling the Ghost 13 the smoothest Ghost ever. It says it's so smooth you may even forget you're wearing shoes at all.

 

Let's see if the claims are true.

 

 

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First impression

My initial impression of this shoe was it was really comfy out of the box. Nothing really struck me as bad, but for that matter, nothing stood out as great either. It checks all the boxes for a daily trainer.

However, I would have loved to see some more exciting colors. The shoe is pretty drab and utilitarian, but that's it's purpose on this planet, so in that regard, well done, Brooks!

Upper

The Ghost 13 has an engineered air mesh upper that's super breathable and snugs your foot comfortably all around. 

It has a traditional lacing system with extra padding on the tongue. However, I personally prefer a gusseted tongue as it does move around a bit on me.

 

Brooks-Ghost-13-Upper.jpg

 

There's also aplenty of room in the toe box. I did get a 2E wide since I have pretty fat feet. Thanks to a bit less padding in the heel, your foot sits a bit further back compared to the previous version (Ghost 12), opening up a bit more room up front.

This shoe comes in plenty of widths - narrow, normal, wide, x-wide | narrow, normal, and wide.

Midsole

As for the midsole, the Ghost 13 features BioMoGo DNA foam that invites your foot into its soft embrace. It pairs nicely with their DNA LOFT technology EVA midsole to dampen as much road feedback as possible.

 

Brooks-Ghost-13-Lacing.jpg

Outsole

The outsole is a basic rubber outsole with plenty of flex grooves designed for smooth transitions. There's no significant change from the 12 here.

The rubber does feel pretty soft, and I fear that it will wear down quickly on these shoes.

 

Brooks-Ghost-13-Outsole.jpg

Weight

This shoe weighs in at 10.1 oz. It's not light but not crazy heavy either. 

Pros

  • Cushioning
  • Breathability
  • Plenty of colorway & width options

Cons

  • Durability in the outsole
  • Weight

Conclusion

Overall, Brooks Ghost 13 a great buy! It's a great road runner and ultimately a solid choice for any road warrior.

It's a dependable shoe and extremely comfortable daily trainer that's easy to run and makes for a great one-shoe model.

 

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Paul Ronto | Level 3 expert Verified
Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.

93
/100 by Frank DuCett, posted on .

I didn't think that Brooks could have done anything to improve last year's Ghost model 12, and I was actually dreading that they would ruin my favorite and the most near-perfect shoe ever made, by changing it simply for the sake of change.

However, for 2020, Brooks has bravely revamped the entire shoe, from top to bottom, resulting in an entirely new shoe that is amazingly even better in many ways than the previous version.

 

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Specifications

Type                            Neutral road running
Size tested                  12 D
Weight                        10.2 ounces
Heel to toe drop         12 mm
Arch support               Medium
Cost                             130 USD

Perspective

Your preferences and results may vary, and in order to put this review into an appropriate perspective,  I must say that I am a 73-year-old male senior citizen, weighing 137 lbs. and running half marathons as a neutral runner, preferring a running shoe with a high level of midfoot to forefoot cushioning, a fairly wide toe box, and a minimum of 10mm heel to toe offset.

I run with a midfoot landing gait, and finish my races midpack or just behind midpack. I am presently training for and confidently looking forward to my ninth half marathon and a personal best.

Performance

This review started out with a pair of much anticipated Asics Nimbus 22, which were promptly exchanged for the Brooks Ghost 13s. The Asics simply took a far greater effort to move down the road, they simply would not allow me to run as smoothly or as effortlessly as the Ghosts.

The new Ghosts 13s arrived the very next day from nearby Kentucky, and after only a few yards from my front door, these latest Brooks Ghost had me smiling broadly.
The use of full-length Loft cushioning on the lateral side of the midsole did not disappoint me, as I had feared it would.

Brooks has molded the soft and bouncy DNA  Loft into the full length of the ghost 13 midsole, on the lateral (outside), while retaining the excellent and slightly firmer DNA BioMoGo on the medial (inside) of the midsole, all going from front to rear.

 

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These two great materials run side by side for the entire length of the shoe, hinting at this being a little more supportive with these two different density foams.
Dual Density foams are a common method of obtaining stability for those that need it.

The result is an amazingly quiet and smooth transition, regardless of how you run. There is a consistency of material from landing to toe-off, with no changes in densities underfoot as you roll along.

The outsole pattern has been slightly updated, and is generously thick, adding to the comfort of your landing on hard surfaces, as well as being well-segmented and with deep flex grooves, allowing the shoe to have superb flexibility while promising excellent durability.

I have been running every day and going further with less effort than ever before, due in part to the more form-fitting upper and overall slightly lower weight of this latest Ghost.
From the first time you step into the Ghosts, you realize that you are entering a comfort zone that is typical of the Brooks luxury lineup.

I am confident that at a meeting of Brooks managers and Engineers, it was announced that they wanted the new Ghost to be even lighter, faster, more comfortable, and I am equally sure that there were skeptics.

I have been running a lot of fairly smooth gravel roads and concrete pathways this year, and I have had less foot discomfort after longer runs than ever before, I think largely due to the DNA Loft midsole.

It is easy to pick up the pace with the new Ghost, due to the lower weight and new midsole, while on the rare occasions when I find myself using a heel strike, the transition still remained pleasantly smooth and quiet.

Today was cold enough, with a hint of autumn at 4 AM, and I was able to test my winter socks in the new Ghost, and I was pleased to find a roomy enough toebox area and simply adjusted the lacing for a very comfortable fit overall.

Outsole

With generously thick segmented blown rubber sections and deep flex grooves for flexibility, I am finding that this is a typical Brooks shoes, having durability and showing very little visible wear at the 50-mile mark.

 

Brooks-Ghost-13-neutral-road-outsole.jpg

Midsole

The combination of BioMoGo DNA and the softer DNA Loft running side by side work well together for an amazingly smooth transition from heel to toe or midfoot to toe-off.

The Loft material is a combination of EVA foam blended with both air and rubber, ingredients making for longevity, cushioning, and a responsive bounce.

 

Brooks-Ghost-13-neutral-road-midsole.jpg

Upper

The uppers are an engineered mesh with stretchy 3d printed overlays, and very few stitches, all being high-quality materials placed with excellent workmanship, however, the one area where the new Ghost falls short is in reflectivity, with last year's version 12 being far superior and safer after dark with a large and very effective rear reflector that can be seen a mile away, while the 13 sadly has somewhat neglected this area of safety.

The engineered mesh is well ventilated, this is a material with a good stretch that forms to the shape of your foot,  and looks great with attention to details that include what appears to be a translucent Brooks logo on each side.

 

Brooks-Ghost-13-tongue.jpg

 

The collar is a bit scaled-down for 2020,  while still providing comfort and also may help to keep one's heel from slipping.

The tongue has a different shape, using beveled top edges, but still remains thick and plush, while some slight sideways shifting of the tongue was experienced, this had no effect on the running experience. 

The toebox is generously wide and tall, leaving plenty of room for my toes to splay,  and an internal toe box reinforcement helps to give shape to the front of this upper.

There is no internal booty, and none is needed, but there is an excellently shaped removable BioMoGo sockliner, and as usual, the Brooks laces stay tied all day.

Pros

  • Smooth
  • Quiet
  • Light
  • Durable
  • High quality
  • Good fit

Con

  • Abandonment of last year's excellent  reflectors 

Summary

The evolution of the ghost series has only one additional step to take, that would be the use of DNA Loft throughout the entire midsole, such as seen in the Brooks Glycerin model, and I think the Transcend, but I don't think they should go there, or raise the price.

I did deduct 5 points for disregarding safety and somewhat minimizing this year's reflector effectiveness. We need all the help in regards to safety that we can get, and reflectors save lives.

I will certainly be buying another pair of the Ghost 13, as a buffer to prepare for the day when the design changes and doesn't suit me any longer, I bought 2 extra pairs of the Ghost 12s at year's end on sale.

Postscript

I recently lost my loving wife of 42 years, where we held hands every day,  I have been running throughout that difficult time, and running has enabled me to survive.
We are true participants in a great sport.

 

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Run well, my brothers and sisters.

Frank DuCett | Level 5 expert Verified
My name is Frank DuCett, living and running in the Heartland of America. My love is the long lonesome road half marathons of Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. My training of 20 - 30 miles weekly is dedicated to staying under 2 1/2 hours for the 13.1 mile distance into my 70s and beyond. I run alone and without earbuds, enjoying the solitude and true sensations of the act.

96
/100 by Robert Kondrat, posted on .

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In 30 years of running, I don’t believe I have ever owned a pair of Brooks. While I have been a huge fan of the running jackets made by Brooks (which are perfect for the Pacific Northwest), I have never owned a pair of their shoes or even tried on a pair.

A few years ago, I began seeking out neutral shoes, and rightly or wrongly, I wrote off Brooks as a brand that was built primarily on stability shoes.

My road to Brooks started after I finished a grueling 15-mile run in my Skechers GOrun Razor 3 Hyper. Those speed demons are a delight, but I realized that they were simply not designed for that kind of distance. I knew I had to get some new shoes that could handle my long summer runs.

After finishing my run, I drove to a running store and began trying on shoes. I started with the Hoka One One Rincon and Clifton 6, both of which had received very favorable reviews. I was expecting a fair amount of cushioning. After my long run, however, they both seemed very firm and stiff, which was unpleasant to my now-aching feet.

On a whim, I decided to try on a pair of Ghost 13. One of the main reasons I tried them was that my teenage daughter really liked the Ghost 10, and she got an extraordinary number of miles out of them.

I was expecting the Ghost 13 to be a heavy, clunky daily trainer, but what I experienced in that first test run was a very smooth, well-cushioned ride. Unlike the Rincon, my feet immediately loved them. While the Ghost 13 is listed at 10.1 ounces (nothing to brag about in terms of weight), they felt surprisingly lightweight and fast on my feet.

I decided to wait before buying them. A few days later (with my feet fully recovered), I went to a different running store. After trying on a few more brands, the Ghost 13 stood out again. That was the moment I realized: “Wow - I think I need to finally give Brooks a try.”

Upper

In short, the upper on the Ghost 13 is nothing fancy but works well. It is breathable, yet strong and durable. What I appreciate about Brooks is that they seem to understand the concept of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 

The Ghost 13 has a pretty traditional upper. In recent years, I have tried several shoes with new, innovative stretchy knit uppers, such as the Altra Escalante and Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit. I finally realized that while this type of knit uppers often feels great when I first try them on in the store, they do not offer the amount of midfoot lockdown that I need out there on the roads. Too often, shoes with these types of uppers tend to put a great deal more strain on my calf muscles.

While shoe companies get rewarded and praised for the innovations they make to their lineup of running shoes, I want to recognize Brooks for being a company that doesn’t discard good features in their shoes when they update them.   

I did notice that the tongue on the shoes moves a bit compared to other shoes. I wonder if a gusseted tongue would help improve this minor issue. 

The tongue on the Ghost is plush and the laces are fairly thick. When I tried using ankle-lock lacing, I found that the laces were a little too short for me.

 

 

brooks-ghost-13-mesh-upper.jpg

 

However, when I laced them normally, they worked fine. 

Recently, I have enjoyed the thinner, stretchier laces used in the Skechers GOrun Razor 3 Hyper and the Nike Free RN 2018. The laces used in the Ghost 13 are nothing fancy, but they get the job done. This seems to be a common feature in the Ghost 13—not fancy, but it just works.  

Outsole & durability 

I believe that the Ghost 13 may be the most durable shoe I have ever owned. I am amazed at how the outsole rubber has shown almost no sign of wear, in spite many miles on the road. These shoes are absolute workhorses.

I have taken my Ghost 13’s on several long runs on the road and on trails.

The only visible sign of wear is the small patch of exposed foam on the inside curve of the shoe. 

 

 

brooks-ghost-13-outsole.jpg

 

I’m not sure why there is this small patch of exposed foam, but it seems to contribute to the shoe’s overall flexibility. While the Ghost 13 is considered a neutral shoe, I found that it does offer a small dose of stability. It seems to “smooth out” my stride and create a nice consistent midfoot landing. 

Design 

My first pair of Ghost 13 was very plain—gray and black. While the color scheme did not excite my senses, I actually think gray is much more practical and functional than white, which stains easily when running on trails. I took the Ghost 13 on many trail runs, and I found that the dust and dirt easily wiped off. 

 

 

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I later received a new black and capri pair for testing, which were much more stylish and eye-catching.

The Ghost 13 had a number of nice design touches. The number 13 is prominently displayed on the tongue, which helps identify which version of the shoe you are wearing (I anticipate buying the 14 when it comes out!). 

My favorite design feature was the very subtle “Designed in Seattle” that was imprinted on bottom of the shoe’s outsole.

Being born and raised in the great state of Washington, I loved the shout out to “Sea-Town” (as the hometown rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot called it).

Fit/comfort

The Ghost 13 had no sizing issues and fit true to size. There was just enough room for my toes to splay, but not too big of a toe box, which can cause my foot to “slosh” around (something I found in some Altras).

Breathability 

Many of my runs in the Ghost 13 were on warm summer days. I did not experience any breathability issues, even when I wore my standard pair of thick white socks.

Flexibility

Brooks uses flex grooves in the Ghost 13, which give the shoe just the right amount of flexibility. This is exactly what I want to see in a running shoe. 

Midsole

The Ghost 13 uses DNA LOFT and BioMoGo DNA in its midsole. I often hear about how a shoe hits the “sweet spot” and is balanced between being responsive and cushioned. In my view, many shoes fail to actually achieve this.  I think the Ghost 13 actually lives up to that terminology, and really offers you the best of both.

Since I was looking for a road shoe that I could take on long runs, I wanted a fair amount of cushioning, and the Ghost 13 delivered. It was the first shoe I have owned in the past few years where I did not think the shoe could benefit from a bit more cushioning. Even on runs of 12 and 13 miles, my feet never experienced the achiness they typically felt in other shoes that I tried. 

 

 

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Responsiveness

The best surprise of the Ghost 13 was its springy and lively ride. I have been consistently and pleasantly surprised at the energy return that I experience when I wear this shoe. I loved the very smooth toe-off and kick it seems to give you during tempo runs. On some of my longest runs, I actually felt my speed increasing, as my cadence seemed to get in sync with what the shoe was made to do. 

Traction

I have been extremely pleased with the traction in the Ghost 13, both on the road and on trails.

I envisioned Ghost 13 as a long run shoe to only use on the road. Indeed, the high-quality rubber grips the road very well.

The only time I faced any real traction issues was when I was running hills in the middle of a wet asphalt road. When I moved to the side of the road, where there was a little more rocks and debris, I had plenty of traction to get up the hill.

But the Ghost 13 has also been very fun when I am running on trails. It really is much more versatile than I had expected. 

Conclusion 

 

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In so many ways, the Ghost 13 is the shoe I have been looking for these past few years. My feet and calf muscles both love it, and it has considerably more speed than I had expected. Over the years, I have enjoyed trying and experimenting with several shoe brands and models, but this is as close to the complete package as I have seen. My only regret is that I didn’t try it earlier.

Robert Kondrat | Level 3 expert Verified
Hi, I’m Robert! I’ve run marathons and several half marathons — 10K’s, 12K’s, and 5K’s — to cross country races. I coach track and cross country and have seen how poor shoes can lead to someone getting hurt. I also don’t think you need to break the bank to find a good affordable shoe.

90
/100 by Chris Dixon, posted on .

The Ghost has been a consistent player in the daily trainer category and looks to continue that legacy with the 13th iteration.  With only minor upgrades over the 12, the Ghost 13 appears to be yet another solid shoe in the Ghost line.

 

Brooks-Ghost-13.jpg

 

While the Ghost 13 may not have any mind-blowing features or be especially well known for one aspect, where the shoe really shines is its ability to be good at all things.  Brooks describes the Ghost line as the Goldilocks of running shoes for its ability to be just right.  The Ghost 13 fits squarely in that category.

Specs

The Ghost 13 is a neutral, cushioned road shoe.  The midsole drop is 11.5mm and it weighs in at 10.1 ounces. 

The major upgrade from the Ghost 13 is that DNA LOFT cushioning now extends throughout the midsole for an even smoother transition from heel to toe.

 

Brooks-Ghost-13-road-shoe.jpeg

First impressions

Upon opening the box, I was awed by the color scheme and design of the shoe.  The red Brooks wording, streaks, and blue highlights in the overlay give the shoe an eye-popping and sleek look. 

Upon slipping them on, I immediately noticed how comfortable they were as my foot sunk into the soft, cushioned sockliner.  The fit was perfect and was exactly what I would expect for my size.  After taking them out for a spin, the blend of cushion with a smooth ride really stuck out to me.

Use

The Ghost 13 falls into the daily trainer category and truly holds its own against the competition.  The plush midsole allows for sufficient cushioning to support your foot day in and day out for many miles.  For me personally, the Ghost 13 is a great easy pace long run shoe. 

I never noticed the weight of the shoe on these long runs and felt appropriately protected from injury.  I tried a few uptempo runs as well in the Ghost 13. Although the shoe wasn’t too much of a hindrance, compared to others in the category, such as the Pegasus, I felt that speedwork was not a strong point for the Ghost 13.

Upper

The upper is one of the many highlights of the Ghost 13 and plays a part of the overall theme of cushion and comfort.  The upper is constructed of what Brooks calls its Engineered Air Mesh. 

 

Brooks-Ghost-13-tongue.jpg

 

The mesh is very breathable, which is great during the summer months.  At the same time, the Air Mesh provides sufficient support to keep your foot from unnecessarily moving around.

The tongue of the shoe is super-cushioned and helps to keep your foot locked into place.  The toe box is roomy and allows for ample space for your toes to splay.  The heel area is extra firm to lock your foot into place.

 

Brooks-Ghost-13-heel-cushioning.jpg

The midsole

The midsole of the Ghost 13 features Brooks’ DNA Loft foam which now runs throughout the whole midsole as well as a sockliner featuring Brooks’ BioMogo foam.  The midsole provides a plush cushion for your foot. 

At the same time, the midsole has some pop to it and allows for an efficient turnover. The ride is smooth and even though the shoe isn’t light by any means, it is hardly noticeable in practice.  The midsole drop is 11.5mm which is a little high for my liking personally but does help with the smooth transition in tandem with the cushion.

Compared to some of the other competitors in the daily trainer line, the Ghost 13 does not stand out to me as the most responsive of the bunch.  If I am wanting to pick up the tempo a bit, I would give the nod to the Pegasus over the Ghost.  However, the Ghost is still a worthy competitor and would be the better choice for those wanting more support.

Outsole

The bottom of the Ghost 13 has a generous amount of rubber to make the shoe durable and protective.  There is a slight trade-off here as the rubber seems to add some weight to the shoe. 

 

Brooks-Ghost-13-the-outsole.jpeg

 

Fortunately, the bottom is pretty flexible which somewhat counterbalances the weight and allows for an easy push off.  Additionally, the outer is grippy and holds up well against wet and slick surfaces.

Summary

My overall thoughts are that the Ghost 13 is a great all-around shoe but has few specific award-winning features.  This would be a great shoe for beginners or could easily find a place in the rotation for advanced runners.

  • Breathable but secure upper
  • Plenty of comfort and cushion, but still a smooth transition

 

Brooks-Ghost-13-road-neutral-shoe.jpg

Chris Dixon | Level 3 expert Verified
Hi, I'm Chris and I’ve been running now for about 6 years. My mileage varies quite a bit, but during marathon training, I tend to hit around 70 miles per week. I've completed 5 marathons and am currently training for number 6. I’m also an avid traveler and use running as a way to explore new cities that I visit.

97
/100 by Kristin Smith, posted on .

Is it possible to forget you’re wearing shoes? Apparently the marketing team at Brooks thinks you just might while you’re out running in the newest version of their popular cushioned line, the Ghost 13. I set out to see if the Ghost 13s were just as smooth of a ride as I’ve been led to believe. 

I am on a constant quest for daily trainers with the right balance of cushion, bounce, lightness, and support without being supportive. A bit of a tall order, it seems, when it comes to a highly cushioned running shoe. Below, I will outline just how well the Ghost 13 checks these boxes (and more) for me. 

 

 

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First Impressions

Out of the box, I was initially a little disappointed to see what I had interpreted as a white shoe with a white sole… blah. However, as I inspected the shoe, I quickly changed my mind as I noticed it was a sleek grey with black laces, mint green accents, and a touch of burgundy. 

The shoe looks sharp with some cool 3D-style gradient graphics that made me think of something that Flynn might have worn in TRON (this is a plus for me). Most of the colorways for men & women on the Brooks site seem subtle and classic with a couple of options for people like me who enjoy screaming loud colors.

 

 

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Once I had evolved my superficial opinions, I slipped on the shoe to assess the things that really matter. The shoe fits like a glove. I am usually between a 7.5-8 in most street shoes, and the 8 in this shoe fit me perfectly.

Moving around, I could immediately feel the promised cushioning, focused in the heel, and extending through the midsole to the forefoot. At 8.8 oz (on the women’s version), the weight felt reasonable for a shoe that I expect to last for 400-500 miles. I was excited to take these on a ride. 

Fit/Comfort

I was really surprised to feel just how nicely the Ghost 13 fit my foot right out of the box. The heel pocket is deep and has a nicely cushioned collar without creating any friction. My foot felt secure and comfortable and my heel was locked in place.

The heel and tongue are generously padded but at no point did either feel suffocating. The padding on the collar is heaviest at the achilles and thins out as it draws towards the lacing system.

The BioMoGo DNA sockliner contributes an additional cushion layer and allows your foot to sink nicely into the sole, providing additional structure but without actually offering stride guidance. The tongue stays in place with a simple and solid lacing system. Nothing fancy, no tricks. 

 

 

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The toe box felt appropriately roomy without feeling like my foot would be slipping around. In fact, the softness in the midsole and forefoot was striking and I instantly noticed how the shoe accommodated my foot’s natural motion as I took my first few steps in the shoe. 

I was stoked to head out the door for my first jaunt in these. As usual, I was ready to take mental notes for my first impressions. However, I found myself heading back to my home 7 miles later, daydreaming about what I was going to make for breakfast… I had paid almost no attention to the running shoes on my feet. Was Brooks right? Had I forgotten I was wearing shoes?

 

 

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For the next few runs in these, I found myself realizing that it really WAS possible that you might think about anything else besides the shoes on your feet simply because they don’t require any attention, they just carry you. As you can already tell, I dig these shoes but continue on and I’ll explain more about why. 

Upper

 

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The engineered mesh upper provides excellent ventilation and security. I started putting miles on these shoes in early August when the hottest days of summer were kicking in and I never felt overheated. The air mesh design allows for maximum airflow while keeping your foot supported with a structured design that also adds to the visual appeal of the shoe. 

Even the padded collar and heel are designed to support just the heel cup, beyond which is only the engineered mesh, to help avoid overheating your feet with anything extra. 

I don’t have a wide foot, but I do have a bunion and the upper allowed for plenty of room without hot spots or feeling constricted. With my heel tucked nicely into the heel cup, I felt like my forefoot had plenty of room for comfortable toe-off and my midfoot was supported to ensure there would be no sliding around inside the shoe. Even with tight, speedy turns, the upper feels surprisingly secure.

Midsole & Cushioning

 

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I have a moderate arch and typically run with an insole. For my first 50 miles, I went without my normal Easyfeet insoles, and, as I mentioned earlier, I forgot I was wearing shoes. In fact, I am again (this happened with my Revel 3’s) hesitant to remove the BioMoGo sockliner to add in my insoles.

It’s clear that the entire designed system is meant to work in tandem and to make any changes means you’ll compromise some of the best features of these shoes. This may seem obvious, but was a lightbulb moment for me. On the product page for the Ghost 13s, they describe the arch as medium/high, so I’ll put my faith in the notion that my foot feels good in the shoe as-is. 

Brooks’ proprietary DNA Loft technology uses a blend of rubber and air to create a midsole that offers both soft cushioning and moderate support and will withstand the test of endurance. The technology also capitalizes on this fusion to keep the weight of the shoe down. At 8.8 oz, it’s not exactly the shoe you’ll want to wear for speed training, but it’s an excellent compromise for the amount of cushioning provided. 

 

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The cushioning can be felt concentrated in the heel and extends throughout the length of the shoe. This provides excellent flexibility in the toe-off, but not so much that there is no responsive energy feedback. While not exactly a snappy response, I found that the forefoot still has some structure, which comes from their BioMoGo DNA foam blend—the pep added to your step. 

My biggest issue with the shoe is in the 12mm heel-to-toe offset. I have grown used to 8-10mm with most of my other trainers, so this higher drop took a little getting used to. As a midfoot-striking runner, I value the extension of the foam across the midsole to cushion my landing. As soon as I try to add some speed with a toe landing, I find the shoe to be a little clunky. Heel strikers will find this running shoe to be ideal from landing through the transition. 

Outsole

The midsole and outsole work together to provide a nice wide base for that stability I keep mentioning. The segmented crash pad offers the icing on this birthday cake of a shoe. It keeps the stride fluid and responsive. 

 

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Just looking at the grooves on the bottom of the shoe, you can see the flow of movement from heel to toe. Three major segments at the forefoot contribute to a smooth transition and the firm rubber in the middle of the sole provides extra stability. The rubber of the crash pad is fairly thick and absorbs shock.

I’ve taken these shoes on runs of pavement, gravel, and dirt, with everything handled effortlessly. No rainy summer runs just yet, so the jury is still out on wet traction. At over 50 miles on this shoe, there is almost no sign of wear aside from a dusty midsole and upper. 

Performance

I’ve been putting in 20-30 miles/week on this shoe and the smooth feeling hasn’t changed from mile 1. I’m finding myself opting to wear this shoe on consecutive days rather than my regular rotation and the cushioning keeps showing up strong for me. I have actually felt less foot and knee pain lately and I’d like to attribute it, in part, to the Ghost 13s. 

The amount of room provided in the toe box plus the security of my foot within the shoe has been critical for me. I feel like there’s a fine line between comfort and clunky and sometimes I misjudge that line. I have lost multiple toenails from constant banging against the front of my sneakers, so it’s quite nice to be in a shoe where I don’t feel like my toes are being stressed. 

Though not the lightest, I do not feel bogged down by the shoe on my runs. Though I’m not training for anything at the moment, I am confident this shoe could handle everything from long training runs to smooth recovery days and (almost) everything in between. Running at pace has been easy in these, but, as I mentioned earlier, I struggled with toe striking at faster speeds. 

Cost and Value

Don’t tell the folks at Brooks, but I’d likely pay more for this $130 shoe. This shoe feels like a higher-value model set to last a solid 400-500 miles. It has all the components I seek from a shoe on my daily runs and the technology and research that Brooks seems to put into their shoes feels very evident in this platform. 

Summary

Brooks states that the Ghost 13 “offers super smooth transitions plus soft cushioning so your run is the only thing on your mind.” So far in my experience, this is absolutely true. I’ve felt support and cushion in this shoe that I’ve sought in a daily trainer for quite some time.

I spent my first 3 runs in this shoe literally thinking of almost anything else besides the shoe, which is not good when you’re trying to write a review for a runner. 

Joking aside, I have to give this shoe a score of 97. I cannot imagine what a perfect 100 would look like, but I feel like I have to leave room for some improvement. 

The 12mm offset is my biggest outstanding issue and the responsiveness could be a bit more responsive. Aside from this, my requisite “boxes” feel mostly checked: cushion, bounce, lightness, and support. Highly recommend this one!

Kristin Smith | Level 2 expert Verified
I’m a health-supportive chef and wellness coach with a road running addiction. I’ve been running consistently for about 15 years now. I am also part of the New York Road Runners and have run countless races and relays, with just one official 26.2—The NYC Marathon.

90
/100 by Taylor Fortnam, posted on .

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First seeing these shoes, a major feature that stood out was the very thick sole. The amount of cushioning is visible, but they don’t look disproportional.

The colors are nice, and overall, they are a good-looking shoe. Slipping them on, I noticed that they fit well. These shoes run true to size; however, the laces are oddly long. The heel felt wider than the rest of the shoe, which was a little strange, and I adjusted the lacing so my heel wouldn’t slip around.

First Run

 

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My first activity in these neutral shoes was a short walk followed by an easy-paced 5-mile run. Already, they felt very comfortable; my feet didn’t move around in them and the sole was flexible, and they didn’t really need breaking-in. The size of the sole did feel rather clunky for a while, and I wasn’t sure I liked it at first, but the amount of cushioning made running feel easier on the legs. 

Ride

This shoe is excellent for easy-paced runs and for long runs, but I did not enjoy it for faster efforts as the sole continued to feel a little clunky when I tried to run faster. I also took it for a couple of easy trail runs on packed-dirt trails, and it held up well there too. The sole is not as aggressive as that of most trail shoes though. I am a long-time wearer of the Nike Pegasus, and the Brooks had noticeably more cushioning. 

 

 

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The Brooks Ghost were not quite as versatile as the Pegasus in regards to adapting to speed work versus easy pace, but they handled the trails better since the sole was more aggressive than the recent versions of the Pegasus. Although I have been running for many years, I often don’t plan specific speed days and end up doing a workout when I feel like it. Because of this, I often do workouts in whatever model my regular training shoes are at the time rather than a specific pair of speed shoes even when I race. These shoes definitely don’t have that fast feel that encourages me to get a little workout in. 

Upper

 

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The upper is made of soft, breathable “Air Mesh” and a material called 3D Fit Print by Brooks and intended to be slightly stretchy while still providing structure. It hugs the foot while still being comfortable and stylish. The tongue is thick and made of the same mesh, protecting the foot from being rubbed the wrong way by the laces. The mesh is continuous around the whole upper.

Sole

 

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The generously-cushioned midsole is made of what Brooks calls DNA LOFT. The outsole is black which makes a nice-looking contrast to the white-foam midsole. It wears well and even after 60 miles on the shoes, there were no visible signs of wear. I am a heel striker and tend to wear out the outsole starting really early on, but that did not happen with these shoes. The arch feels firm and is medium to high, of course probably not as high as would be found in a stability shoe.

Heel

The mesh continues around the heel counter, while the inside of the heel collar is made of a silkier material. On the outside of the heel, lining the start of the heel collar, there are raised pieces on both sides. The purpose of these is unclear but possibly is for more stability. These pieces do not seem to cause a noticeable difference in the way the shoe feels.

Summary

This shoe is definitely worth a try for people looking for an everyday, cushioned, neutral shoe. It is not great for faster efforts, but great for long runs and easy efforts, and stands up to some easy trails. The shoe fits well, runs true to size, has a comfortable feel, and I would say looks more stylish than the previous iteration of the Brooks Ghost. There is a lot of material in the sole, but it is not heavy for a shoe with that amount of cushioning.

Taylor Fortnam | Level 2 expert Verified
Hi! My name is Taylor, and I started running track and cross country in high school and continued to run both sports competitively in college. Now out of college, I run anywhere from 30-50 miles per week and train for races from the 5k to the marathon (I have run three marathons, including Boston). Trail runs and adventure runs are my favorite because I love visiting new places.

Brooks Ghost 13: Reformed for a smoother and comfier ride

A tried-and-tested model, the Brooks Ghost is among the best-selling running shoe lines from Brooks. In its 13th edition, the Brooks Ghost features several upgrades to deliver a more comfortable and energetic ride than its previous versions. 

Who is it for? This neutral-cushioned shoe is suitable for runners with a normal running pattern or those who do not overpronate (when the foot rolls inward). It can also work for those athletes who supinate (when the outside of the foot carries the majority of the bodyweight).

What is it for? The Brooks Ghost 13 is designed for running on roads and paved surfaces. It is ideal for daily runs, all-day wear, and regular training sessions. 

Brooks Ghost 13 vs 12 

To address all the issues regarding comfort and performance, Brooks upgraded the Ghost 13 to provide an even healthier environment for the foot compared to the Ghost 12. Here are some of the major differences between each model: 

  • The DNA Loft cushioning in Ghost 13 now extends throughout the midsole for a softer underfoot feel and smoother transitions than the earlier model. 
  • The new engineered mesh top wraps the foot for a secure fit while enhancing breathability. 

Overall, the refined features of the Brooks Ghost 13 aim to deliver lasting comfort and protection, while maintaining the classic feel of the previous models.  

GTX version of the Brooks Ghost 13 

In addition to improving the performance of the Brooks Ghost shoe line, the brand also introduced a waterproof version. Featuring the Invisible Fit Gore-Tex layer, the Brooks Ghost 13 GTX is designed to keep the foot dry and warm during wet and cold conditions.

Size and fit

True to size based on 115 user votes
Small (9%)
True to size (83%)
Large (7%)
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Same sizing as Brooks Ghost 12.

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Fit
Tight Loose
Forefoot fit
Narrow Wide
Heel fit
Narrow Wide
Toebox
Tight Roomy

How Ghost 13 compares

This shoe: 92
All shoes average: 86
54 98
This shoe: $130
All shoes average: $119
$40 $350
This shoe: 10.1oz
All shoes average: 9.5oz
3.5oz 16.2oz
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com