Brooks Ghost 14 vs. Levitate 5 (2021)
The Brooks Ghost is the flagship shoe of the American brand. It’s a model that has evolved over the years. And even if some versions have been better than others, its popularity has never wavered. As for the Levitate, it’s an underdog with some notable qualities.
First of all, it’s important to know that the Ghost is a neutral shoe and that version 14 has some stability issues because its cushioning is soft and can lack structure. In contrast, the Levitate 5 is available in two versions: neutral and GTS (Go-To-Support, for overpronation). Overall, it offers better stability, even in its standard version.
Regarding the cushioning, it’s still night and day: the Ghost has a soft cushioning while the Levitate is firmer, even if the former has a slightly thicker sole (31 mm heel stack height compared to 29 mm for the Levitate).
Durability is equivalent: both shoes have a durable rubber outsole and can last a while.
In terms of lockdown, the Brooks Ghost 14 is rather loose (with a mesh upper), while the Levitate’s fit is tighter (with knit).
Last but not least, the Ghost is much lighter, with nearly 30 g/1.1 oz less on each foot.
Ghost or Levitate: which one to choose?
Unless you prefer firm cushioning and need impeccable stability, we recommend the Ghost, which is more versatile and performs better overall.
The extra weight is not insignificant for the same comfort and cushioning.
Pleasant and more responsive cushioning than the previous version
Versatile and accessible shoe
Durable, carbon-neutral, and 100% vegan
Foot lockdown is a little loose
Perfectly fitting upper
Elegant, almost lifestyle look
Rigid and uninspiring platform
A little expensive
Brooks Glycerin 19
Brooks Levitate 5
|Drop||12 mm||8 mm|
|Heel stack height||31 mm||29 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||19 mm||21 mm|
|Weight (men)||283 g/10 oz||310 g/10.9 oz|
|Weight (women)||249 g/8.8 oz||265 g/9.3 oz|
|Outsole||Rubber, Omega Flex Grooves, Segmented Crashpad||Rubber|
|Midsole||DNA Loft||DNA AMP|
|Upper||3D Fit Print, Engineered Mesh||Engineered Mesh, StealthFit|
|Softness (1-5)||4 – Soft||2 – Firm|
|Bounce (1-5)||3 – Moderate||3 – Moderate|
|Speed||Slow, moderate||Slow, moderate|
|Distance||Mid, long, 10 km, half marathon, marathon||Short, mid, 5k, 10k, half marathon|
|Workout||Daily runs, recovery||Daily runs, recovery|
Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner’s Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He’s also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.