Our verdict

The Ghost is a renowned daily trainer from Brooks, and the v15 is a top recommendation from us for its exceptional comfort and durability. Ideal for daily training at varying speeds, it particularly benefits heel strikers with its generous cushioning and enormous heel-to-toe drop. Offering a modern update and up to four widths, we found it remains a versatile option that's reasonably priced.

Pros

  • Supreme comfort
  • Plush, stable ride that's a delight
  • Optimised for heel strikers
  • No heel slippage
  • Great grip in wet conditions
  • Built to endure countless miles
  • Impressive value for £150
  • Great for both running and walking
  • Available in up to four different widths

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than its predecessor
  • Could use some improvements in breathability
  • Not a good one for forefoot strikers

Audience verdict

88
Great!

Who should buy

The Ghost 15 offers fantastic comfort, and it's a great choice for daily workouts, especially when cruising at slow or moderate speeds.

Moreover, this workhorse from Brooks showcases generous heel cushioning and an ultra-durable outsole, so in our view, it's an ideal match for heel strikers that tend to wear out shoes quickly in that area.

Brooks Ghost 15

Who should NOT buy

We don't recommend this shoe if you:

Furthermore, this shoe might not be the best choice for you if you're a forefoot striker. With its CRAZY heel-to-toe drop of 13.2 mm, there's an excess of foam in the heel and insufficient support where you actually hit the ground.

We suggest considering other options such as the Saucony Kinvara 14 or the New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 instead.

Brooks Ghost 15 parts

Breathability

The Brooks Ghost 14 was a great shoe, but the major criticism it got was about its lack of breathability. In fact, we awarded it a 3/5 in our smoke-pumping test, which is a disastrous result for a road running shoe.

Luckily, the Ghost 15 design lead to an improvement in this regard. As evident in the video above, it doesn't quite measure up to the jaw-dropping Saucony Triumph 20 in our lab, but it does surpass its predecessor, earning a commendable 4 out of 5.

Illuminated by our light, we revealed hundreds of well-positioned ventilation holes. And they work great! But what truly captivates us is their distribution—extending beyond the toebox, along the medial part of the shoe.

This feature makes the shoe a top-notch choice for those prone to blisters or similar issues in the arch of the feet. However, you may be thinking right now: if there are hundreds of ventilation holes, why it only achieves a 4 out of 5?

Brooks Ghost 15 microscope

Well, let's uncover the reason. Beneath the ventilation holes lies a thin fabric. This layer enhances comfort but does so at the expense of airflow. Can you see that?

Brooks Ghost 15 zoom

If you're still unsure, there's no better way than dissecting the upper and inspecting it up close. This way, the thin, comfort-enhancing yet airflow-restricting fabric becomes evident.

Test results
Ghost 15 4
Average 3.8
Compared to 210 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Daily trainers often rank low on the durability scale. Yet, even by these standards, when we subjected this shoe to our Dremel test, it's hard for us to recall a shoe that suffered more damage than this one.

So, don't bank on this shoe for hardcore durability. But for those of us who aren't notorious for wearing out shoes with our big toe or pinky toe, that's not a concern. We should be able to run on roads with them for their full lifespan without a problem.

Brooks Ghost 15 Toebox durability

In our lab test with the Dremel, the Nike Alphafly Next% 2 truly surpassed the Ghost 15. Yet, it must be mentioned that it's crafted from a fabric that felt less comfortable to us.

Test results
Ghost 15 1
Average 2.3
Compared to 144 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The heel, constructed from a material akin to the toebox, does a slightly improved job, earning a 2/5.

While it's an improvement, it still falls short of our expectations for a £150 shoe, though it outperforms the upper (1/5). The Metaspeed Sky+ (right) easily outperformed the Ghost.

Brooks Ghost 15 Heel padding durability
Test results
Ghost 15 2
Average 3.1
Compared to 140 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

We clocked the hardness of the outsole at a substantial 84.4 HC in our lab. That's a notable 6% higher than your average shoe, which makes this robust model an exceptional choice for heavier runners who often wear out the outsoles of their running shoes first.

Brooks Ghost 15 Outsole hardness
Test results
Ghost 15 84.4 HC
Average 80.3 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
55.5 HC
Outsole hardness
92.8 HC

Outsole durability

And the good news just keeps coming. We pulled out the Dremel again to destroy the rubber, and we received a mind-boggling result.

The tool only erased 0.40 mm of rubber, which leads us to believe this shoe has the long-haul durability to exceed 1000 miles for most runners.

Brooks Ghost 15
Test results
Ghost 15 0.4 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 122 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Although the durability displayed by the previous two test was simply amazing, this result falls squarely into the average category. But it's fine!

Brooks Ghost 15 outsole

There's enough rubber covering the midsole, offering extra durability.

We genuinely consider a 3.5 mm thickness ample for just about any everyday trainer—except perhaps when running on highly abrasive surfaces.

Brooks Ghost 15 Outsole thickness
Test results
Ghost 15 3.5 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 280 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

Weighing in at 9.8 oz (279g), the Ghost 15 just slips under the critical 10 oz threshold, and it's in the same range that most daily trainers—except a few outliers.

Shoe Weight (US 9)
Brooks Ghost 15 279g
Nike Pegasus 40 275g
Saucony Triumph 20 282g
ASICS Novablast 3 242g
HOKA Clifton 9 249g
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3 297g
Test results
Ghost 15 9.84 oz (279g)
Average 9.35 oz (265g)
Compared to 281 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Boasting a higher-than-average stack height of 36.3 mm, we're convinced there isn't a heel striker out there who could possibly need more cushioning than this.

Brooks Ghost 15 Heel stack
Test results
Ghost 15 36.3 mm
Average 33.5 mm
Compared to 280 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

Now, forefoot time. We measured it at 23.1 mm, so it's shy of the typical shoe, though we figure it's more than enough for the majority of runs.

That being said, midfoot or forefoot strikers might find this shoe a tad too slim for their longest runs. In those instances, we recommend adding a high-stack shoe like the Hoka Bondi 8 for those 20-milers.

Brooks Ghost 15 Forefoot stack
Test results
Ghost 15 23.1 mm
Average 24.9 mm
Compared to 280 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
35.8 mm

Drop

Naturally, a skyscraper-high heel and a modest forefoot suggest a two-digit heel-to-toe drop. And there it is—we measured in our lab an eye-popping 13.2 mm, which is nearly 5 mm more than the average shoe and 0.8 mm more than the Brooks Ghost 14.

This shoe is a dream-come-true for heel strikers or those wrestling with Achilles or calf troubles. However, for midfoot or forefoot runners who doesn't suffer with lower-leg problems, we think there are better daily trainers in the market like the Hoka Mach 5.

Brooks Ghost 15 Drop
Test results
Ghost 15 13.2 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 280 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

We were anticipating an ordinary insole, and that's exactly what Brooks provided. It's cozy, cushioned, and resilient—everything we need in a daily trainer!

Brooks Ghost 15 Insole thickness
Test results
Ghost 15 4.5 mm
Average 4.4 mm
Compared to 276 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Switching gears to the midsole, it hosts DNA Loft v2, a foam made from plain EVA. It's slightly disappointing considering the Glyceryn 20 boasts DNA Loft v3, a nitrogen-infused foam. But at the same time, at 15.9 HA, it's 29% softer than the DNA Loft v1 of its predecessor. Not bad!

And we genuinely enjoyed its ride—it's a blast and one of the softest shoes we've ever tested in the lab.

If you're interested in a deeper dive into midsoles and how do they work, don't hesitate to check our comprehensive guide, it's full of information!

Brooks Ghost 15 Midsole softness
Test results
Ghost 15 15.9 HA
Average 21.3 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 208 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.
Brooks Ghost 15 Midsole softness in cold

Difference in midsole softness in cold

In chilly weather, the midsole keeps its softness, scoring better than the typical shoe with a 24.5 HA rating.

But that's not a great result after all. The midsole gets 54.4% firmer in chily temperatures, which is a letdown.

Still, it's no surprise to us. After testing hundreds of shoes in the lab, we wrote a guide about how EVA foams are infamous for underperforming in Winter.

Brooks Ghost 15 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Ghost 15 54.4%
Average 25.8%
Compared to 207 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

Given how soft the foam is in this shoe, we knew this wasn't going to be the most stable option. But to our surprise, it holds up pretty well!

It provided us sufficient stability for the majority of runs, much more than we initially expected.

Torsional rigidity

This stability is because Brooks intentionally designed this shoe to minimize lateral motion. 

In our torsional rigidity test, it earned a 3 out of 5 rating—somewhat less than the average shoe but far better than many daily trainers. Take the Nike Pegasus 40 for example, it only managed to score 2 out of 5.

Test results
Ghost 15 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 259 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The Ghost 15 scored 5/5 on our heel counter stiffness test, meaning it's incredibly rigid in this area. Such a stiff heel counter benefits us by:

  • Maintaining our foot alignment and minimizing unnecessary sideways motion.
  • Enhancing lockdown and boosting our confidence during quick, tight turns.

However, this advantage doesn't come without trade-offs. The stiffness can lead to discomfort, particularly during runs lasting longer than an hour. This felt for us like too high a price for the stability it provides in those long runs. However, it worked great for us during short easy and aerobic runs.

Indeed, kudos to Brooks for this move, straying from the conventional path rather than following the crowd.

Test results
Ghost 15 5
Average 2.8
Compared to 243 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The Ghost 15 it's your run-of-the-mill shoe when it comes to the width of the forefoot, nothing fancy to report. It just does its job, and it does it well.

Brooks Ghost 15 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Ghost 15 112.9 mm
Average 113.5 mm
Compared to 281 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

Brooks had one more stability-enhancing feature up their sleeve. The Ghost 15 sports an impressively wide heel that we measured in the lab at 95.8 mm.

This further convinced us that the shoe designers in Seattle had heel-striking runners firmly in their thoughts when designing this one.

Brooks Ghost 15 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Ghost 15 95.8 mm
Average 90.3 mm
Compared to 281 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

The Ghost series has always been renowned for being one of the more flexible daily trainers on the market. So, for the 15th edition, our stiffness lab test clocked it at just 18.2N.

This measurement is significantly lower compared to the majority of other shoes we've tried.

Test results
Ghost 15 18.2N
Average 29.4N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 263 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

This running shoe maintains significant flexibility even in colder temperatures. In fact, it's nearly half as stiff as the average shoe.

Test results
Ghost 15 40.5%
Average 37%
Compared to 263 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Brooks clearly understands that this shoe must accommodate a variety of feet. For our medium-to-wide feet, the fit was amazing.

However, the truly exceptional aspect of the guys from Seattle is its renowned tradition of crafting the Ghost in... (drumroll, please...) four sizes!

Brooks Ghost 15 up

From narrow and medium to wide and extra-wide, their approach makes this one as the "universal" shoe. In fact, only a select few models in the market boast such a range of width options.

Brooks Ghost 15 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Ghost 15 96.8 mm
Average 98.3 mm
Compared to 281 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

We've noticed that the area for the big toe is somewhat wider compared to other shoes, which, in our view, is a positive aspect.

Brooks Ghost 15 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Ghost 15 77.7 mm
Average 78.0 mm
Compared to 155 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

Regrettably, there's one tradition they persist with that doesn't quite meet our expectations—the absence of gusset.

It would be great to see the Ghost equipped with a semi-gusseted tongue for enhanced lockdown, but it looks like we'll be keeping our fingers crossed until at least the 16th iteration.

Brooks Ghost 15 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Ghost 15 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

Sure, we're missing out on a gusseted tongue, but the heavenly cushioned padding more than makes up for it. This is one of the thickest tongues we've ever measured!

At 11.4 mm, it's a whopping 41% thicker than its predecessor and an impressive, plus 2x the average shoe.

In fact, they've used two separate pieces of plush foam in the tongue, a rare approach to attain this level of thickness.

Brooks Ghost 15 Tongue padding
Test results
Ghost 15 11.4 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 278 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Removable insole

We successfully managed to remove the insole and insert our own from various other models.

Brooks Ghost 15 Removable insole
Test results
Ghost 15 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

While the Ghost 15 does sport some reflective elements, we find them to be insufficient.

Brooks Ghost 15 Reflective elements
Test results
Ghost 15 Yes