Brooks Ghost 11 review
The Brooks Ghost 11 is a favorite amongst the running community and for good reason.
I was extremely impressed with the Brooks Ravenna 9. (The Ravenna has a touch more stability and slightly less cushion than the Ghost.)
In fact, many of the characteristics that I liked about the Ravenna 9 are prevalent with Ghost 11: do-it-all capabilities, responsive cushioning, and a smooth transition between strides.
Apart from a few minor faults—minor heel slippage, 12mm heel-toe offset, and long length—the Ghost 11 is a shoe that should work well for nearly any runner, from beginner to professional. After 55+ miles, I highly recommend it.
Fit of the Brooks Ghost 11
I felt a little concerned when I first put the Ghost 11 on. The heel collar sits relatively low and has a very rounded, soft shape that did not quite grip my heel.
I had to use the top eyelets and lace the shoe tightly in order to lessen the heel slip. As someone that has narrow heels, this likely will not be the case for everyone, and I did not notice the slippage on the runs.
The Ghost 11 in a D width had plenty of room for my average-width feet up front.
I never felt constrained or bothered before, during, or after the runs. The top of my toes did not hit against the upper. The shoe did not irritate my feet whatsoever.
Sizing of te Ghost 11
The shoes fit true-to-size but felt slightly long compared to other shoes. I had about one full thumb-width (a little more than 0.5”) between my longest toe and the end of the shoe. I usually prefer the width of a thumbnail (Right at 0.5”).
I would not recommend that someone size down, but it’s something to keep in mind. Apart from this and the minor heel slippage, the shoe fits well with no major concerns.
How the shoe feel
The new DNA Loft foam in the heel felt fantastic. I typically land with a very-slight heel strike and this foam felt nice, soft, and then springy.
The foam allowed for a seamless transition into the rest of my stride. It felt like I could quickly rebound stride after stride, and it still feels this way after a few weeks of use (55+ miles).
With regard to the heel, I prefer a 6-10mm heel-toe offset. The 12 mm drop occasionally felt like it would get in the way of my stride when my legs were fatigued, but overall, I did not notice it too much. It did not bother me as much as the rigid heel and 12mm drop on the Mizuno Waveknit R2.
Brooks Ghost 11 ride
The forefoot, comprised of Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA midsole foam, Omega Flex Grooves, and a Segmented Crashpad, offers a stable and responsive ride.
The technologies that Brooks markets do not feel exciting like BOOST from Adidas or EVERUN from Saucony.
However, Ghost 11 has an outsole and midsole that work very well together.
Each time I laced the Ghosts up, the shoe quickly disappeared on my foot and let me focus on the miles ahead. The balance creates a feeling of stability and reliability that other shoes may not be able to offer. Ghost 11 is a balanced shoe that all runners can count on.
The engineered mesh upper is sleek and made of high-quality materials. The mesh feels soft and flexible.
It holds its shape well. Thus far, I have not noticed any areas of breakdown. Apart from the heel counter (that has some small reflective details), and logo, the upper is left clean and simple.
The outsole is made of blown rubber that has shown minimal to no signs of wear. The laces are elastic and a perfect length. The quality is exactly what you would expect in the $120 range.
Personally, I like when a shoe looks somewhat creative. For example, I loved the look of the Ravenna 9s in the yellow and blue colorway.
The Ghost 11—in the black/graystone colorway that I received—is somewhat dull, but I think that matches its consistent, get-the-job-done characteristics.
(As a side note, after a short run that I did on the treadmill at the gym during a winter storm, I stopped by the basketball courts for a few games of a pickup, and two strangers said that they really liked my shoes and asked where I got them. Usually, I’m the only one without NBA signature kicks on the court; therefore, it was a nice surprise to get some compliments on a pair of running shoes!
Tip: see the best running shoes.