The Ghost 14 GTX is the all-around workhorse for the grab-a-shoe-and-go type of runner. True to its Ghost lineage, it delivers exceptional comfort, solid traction, and a stable ride. If you’re all about hitting mileage goals come (light) rain or shine, this is a shoe that takes the “daily” in daily trainer seriously.
- Fantastic comfort
- Not-scrunched-up fit
- Provides stability even on uneven terrain
- Good to go from day one
- Smooth ride
- Simple yet stylish design and colorways
- Awesome grip, even on wet surfaces
- Ample padding and cushioning
- Questionable durability and waterproofing
- Annoyingly short laces that come undone easily
- Not for narrow feet
Who should buy the Brooks Ghost 14 GTX
Get the Ghost 14 GTX if you:
- are looking for a road-running shoe that can take on light trails, moderate paces, and heavy rains.
- need a pair you can comfortably use when working in mucky, muddy, snowy, or damp conditions.
- loved your Ghost 13 GTX and want to upgrade.
Who should not buy it
Durability isn’t one of the Ghost 14 GTX’s strong suits. For waterproof running shoes that won’t have you worrying too much on the road, check out the Nike Pegasus 38 Shield and its great lockdown, or the narrower-fitting ASICS Gel Cumulus 23 GTX.
All-day, all-season, all-purpose comfort
Ghost 14 GTX owners evidently loved the copious amounts of padding and cushioning incorporated into the shoe, as so many of them gushed about how great it feels on their feet no matter what they’re doing or where they are.
One 69-year-old user praised Brooks for making “excellent running shoes… so that I can walk,” and wished that he had them 50 years ago. Another reviewer mentioned that even after running several wintertime 21Ks, he has had “very few joint issues.”
Experts also recommend this shoe for people “who tend to run a bit heavier than most” as it provides the necessary cushioning.
Surpassed by its non-GTX brother, width-wise
Unlike the Ghost 14, the Gore-Tex version doesn’t have a variety of widths buyers can choose from. Several runners reported the shoe to fit quite nicely and roomy in the midfoot and toe box, but those with narrow feet may encounter some heel slippage and find the overall experience not as pleasant.
Ready from the get-go
Ghosts have proven to be the shoes a lot of runners slip on for those no-brainer 5Ks around the neighborhood. Without the need for a break-in period, the 14 GTX allows owners to do just that right from day one. Several users report that it fits “almost perfectly right out of the box.”
Smooth ride for smooth runs
The Ghost 14 GTX doesn’t like it when you go fast or go long (although it can if you need it to). Its DNA Loft midsole provides middle-of-the-pack firmness and responsiveness that’s best for base runs and mid-distances.
No love for the Ghost 14 GTX’s laces
Many reviewers were not happy at all with the shoelaces that came with the 14 GTX:
- “Very poor shoe laces... Too short to double knot”
- “It bugs me to spend so much for a shoe and then need to purchase laces.”
- “The laces will NOT STAY TIED!”
One even claimed that hated the laces so much that he was forced to write a review about it just to air out his frustration.
Worry-free in wicked conditions
As a shoe built for wet conditions, the Ghost 14 GTX definitely holds its ground on slippery terrains. Testers liked the “good-to-great” grip of its rubber outsole, although one added that it can be “rather annoying on smooth flooring (screech-screech-screech).”
While its robust platform gives the impression of sturdiness, a lot of owners have been disappointed by how the Ghost 14 GTX can’t seem to hold itself together. Negative reviews about its durability range from early signs of wear and fabric tears:
- “Some clear wear starting from around 70-100 kilometers”
- “Didn't even last through one winter season without the inner heel wearing through”
to water seeping through and even total unusability:
- “Toe piece cracked and both shoes leaked terribly in damp grass”
- “Delaminated in the first month of only using at the gym.”
This quality control issue has led some Brooks fans to declare that they are turning their backs on the entire Ghost series, even after owning several pairs in the past.
Reviews are 50/50 on the Ghost 14 GTX’s waterproofing
The difference in user experience has been night and day in terms of the shoe’s Gore-Tex lining.
Some lauded its ability to put up with the harshest weather:
- “I came in soaked to the bone, and my feet were dry!”
- “In wet grass and on muddy trails---my feet are always dry!”
- “Solidly waterproof, and submersible below the lace.”
While others find it sketchy at best:
- “I've had to cut my runs short because of how soaked my feet have been”
- “Almost as if it comes with a spray on repellent coating. Once it wears off your feet are all wet.”
- “Wouldn't have thought they had Gore-Tex in them.”
Additionally, because of its waterproofing qualities, the GTX version is somewhat warmer and less breathable than the Ghost 14—not really an issue during frigid winter days, but for runners whose feet tend to sweat profusely, they may soon realize that the moisture has nowhere to go, and feel like they are “running inside a bucket of water.”
Can’t go wrong with black
You shouldn’t choose running shoes based on looks alone, but several reviewers seem to have gotten the best of both worlds with the Ghost 14 GTX’s style and colorways—all of which are black with different accents:
- “I do appreciate when I can look at my own shoes without needing sunglasses”
- “Best and most stylish running shoe I've had”
- “Super comfortable without making me look like an 80-year-old.”
Other bits you should know
- It has a wide and stable base, which according to one commenter made her “feel safe over the eclectic street quality of SE Portland”
- As with most Gore-Tex versions of running shoes, the Ghost 14 GTX comes in 11 grams heavier (292g for a US size 9) than its non-soakable counterpart.
- The heel drop on this shoe is huge at 12mm.