Brooks Ghost 15 Review: A Familiar Haunt
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Weighs 9.6 oz. (272 g.) for a US M9 / 8.4 oz. (238 g.) for a US W8
A thick slab of DNA Loft V2
35 mm heel / 23 mm toe (12 mm drop)
Gone is DNA Loft v1, hello, Loft v2
Smooth, natural, comfortable — classic Ghost
LINDSAY: Something most new runners have in common, aside from a generally conservative pace, is a pair of Brooks running shoes. Well-known for its high-quality, reliable gear, Brooks has been in every runner’s rotation at least once. Whether it stays there or not is another question entirely — unless you’re my friend and fellow Believe Run Club member, Grace Duffy, who should probably own stock in the Brooks Ghost line. (Seriously, Brooks, if you’re listening, she’s a US W10.5 and needs a pair. Help me, help her).
I was always curious about what kept her, and many others, going back to the Brooks Ghost time and time again, but now, after trying out the Brooks Ghost 15, I get it. The Ghost is a simple simple, classic shoe that shines in the daily trainer category. Its whopping 12mm drop is well-known among Brooks shoes, but it doesn’t keep this from being a smooth ride. With a few minor changes to the upper mesh and midsole cushioning, it’s safe to say all changes were positive and the Ghost 15 is sure to be another fan favorite.
And who doesn’t love a good pun? Much like a real ghost, the Brooks Ghost 15 is fairly inconspicuous. Brooks describes it as a “blissful, distraction-free run,” and I would have to agree. It’s not distracting, which just leaves plenty of room for other thoughts, but that, my friends, is a topic we will not cover here today. Let’s get to the review!
RENALDO: Halloween is long over, but Brooks is still bustin’ with its newest iteration of the long-lasting cruiser, the Ghost 15. Brooks has carved out a nice spot for themselves in the running shoe biz as a reliable and comfortable choice for runners of all sorts. And it knows that some runners are always in the market for a reliable shoe to take on their endlessly enjoyable running experiences. With a major emphasis on the word “Enjoyable.” Let’s take a deep dive and see if the Ghost 15 really delivers.
LINDSAY: I’m going to hit up the ghost pun one more time here and say that while not as light as a ghost, this shoe is pretty darn light. The Ghost 14 weighed about 9 oz. and the 15 comes in around 8.8oz for a US W7.5. Not a life-changing experience, but definitely appreciate the update. More on that later.
The moment I stepped into the Brooks Ghost 15, I was met with immediate comfort. There’s plenty of padding around the heel and tongue that team up with the mesh upper for a very comfortable ride. The toe box was goldilocks just-right, as well, with lots of flexibility. When I say true to size, I mean True. To. Size. The mesh upper is also somewhere around 25% recycled material but you would never know it.
One of the changes to the Ghost 15 is an upgraded midsole with DNA Loft v2 cushioning — a lighter version of a classic, cushioned formula. Ironically, it now extends throughout the foot, so despite additional foam, the lower density means less weight. I’d still say other Brooks shoes, like the Adrenaline or Glycerin, provide softer cushioning when compared to the Ghost 15, but that’s also intentional, just worth noting. The Ghost 15 is also a bit more slimmed down compared to the more cushioned shoes I mentioned.
Not much is different about the outsole. There’s still tons of rubber, great traction, and it feels like durability is intact. The colorway options are also my style: fairly solid and on the darker side. So if you like flashy, bright colors, the Ghost 15 may not be for you.
RENALDO: My own personal introduction with Brooks was my review of the Brooks Glycerin 20. A high cushion, high stack shoe that was a joy to run in, stand in, and just wear overall. I can confidently say the same thing about the Ghost. It has a nice breathable upper with an all-new iteration of Brooks 3D Fit Print for added structure, and the brand new DNA Loft v2 cushioning in the midsole gives the shoe that “five-star” comfort that fans of Brooks will instantly recognize.
Running in the Ghost 15 feels smooth and natural. Pretty lightweight, coming in at 9.8 oz. for a US M9, once you get going with the Ghost, everything just feels second-nature.
A real “No Muss, No Fuss” ride, and I am here for it.Shop The Shoe - Men Shop The Shoe - Women
LINDSAY: I’d have to be super critical to say anything truly bad about the Brooks Ghost 15. For the purposes of a full review, though, I will point out a couple of things that the people should know.
This shoe is not very versatile. I tried it at the track, and it just didn’t give me that pop or responsiveness one looks for in a speedy workout shoe. There is no crazy energy return, but I also don’t think it’s meant to be so. The tongue is not gusseted, either. Again, not a big deal for me, and I felt like the fit was still snug, but if that’s a dealbreaker, this may not be the shoe for you.
Ok, that’s all. This shoe just isn’t trying to be anything that it’s not, so I’m not going to be too critical. It’s a well-balanced, smooth ride, and I will die on that hill (with Grace Duffy).
RENALDO: Now, with all that being said, when you really get down to brass tacks, the Brooks Ghost 15 can be a little on the unremarkable side. With all that’s packed into the shoe, during my time with it, it really just felt like any other daily trainer.
When viewed in that light, the subtleties of the shoe can be seen as small marks against it. Marketed as the midrange of Brooks cushioned shoes, the shoe can feel a bit clunky, almost “clog-y” at times. This is something that I also noticed with the Glycerin 20 but forgave due to its marketed intention as a cushioned, long-distance trainer and just how “manufactured for comfort” it was. The heel pad feels a little big on some strides (12mm of drop will do that), as well as on the outer pads of the midfoot to toe. It can lead to the occasional “odd” landing every couple of strides.
Not a deal-breaker by any means, and I’d say a lover of Brooks won’t even notice. But it’s certainly something I was aware of with my miles in the shoe.
Also, the colorway selection for this shoe isn’t really anything to write home about. My review pair was a pretty basic Black/Blackened Pearl/ White look that hardly got a “meh” out of me. The rest of the men’s selection plays it pretty safe and “tame,” too. I’d definitely say the women’s colorways have a bit more flair (they have the color “Aruba”), but they aren’t moving the meter by much, either.
Function over fashion here, and I’m NOT here for it.Shop The Shoe - Men Shop The Shoe - Women
LINDSAY: The Brooks Ghost 15 is exactly what you would expect from a daily trainer. While I likely won’t be wearing it for speed workouts anytime soon, it’s good to know that it’s in my closet, ready for a nice, chill jaunt for a few miles or maybe even more than a few. After some very technical and in-depth research, it seems the general consensus is that the Ghost 15 is softer and less responsive than its predecessor, while the Ghost 14 is more rigid and snappier.
Nonetheless, a great starter shoe for new runners while also a good addition to the rotation for more experienced runners. This shoe is available in a huge range of sizes and widths, so shout out to Brooks for the inclusivity. Coming in at $140, this neutral daily trainer would definitely be on my buy list.
RENALDO: The Brooks Ghost 15 does what it says on the box. It’s a decently light, comfortable daily trainer that anyone can run in. No real faults to speak of unless you’re being critical (hey, it’s our job), but if you’re that type of runner, this shoe is probably not on your radar anyway.
At $140, this is a great shoe to give to a would-be-runner as a nice stocking stuffer or a decently low-risk buy for someone wanting to get into running in a plush, comfortable way.
You can pick up the Brooks Ghost 15 for $140 from Running Warehouse (with 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.
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Renaldo is a running enthusiast that’s enthusiastic about pretty much everything. Born and raised Baltimore, Renaldo still resides in his home city and has shared miles with a good chunk of the Baltimore running community. A captain in A Tribe Called Run run group, Renaldo can easily be spotted running with Faster Bastards, Believe Run Club, or doing a solo long run through Baltimore’s midtown. If you spot him, be sure to give him a big “REEENOOO!” or challenge him to a game of pool 🎱
All-time favorite shoes: Hoka Mach 4, Skechers Razor Excess 2, Asics Noosa Tri 13More from Renaldo
Lindsay is an optometrist by day and runner by… all other hours. Originally from south Florida, Lindsay started running with Believe Run Club when she moved to Baltimore and the rest is history. When she’s not running or fixing eyeballs, you can find her exploring with her dog, Iris, or grabbing a beer with friends.
All-time favorite shoes: Asics Novablast, Saucony Endorphin line, Nike Vaporfly NEXT%More from Lindsay