9

Brooks Ghost 14 Review Analysis

(1 user review)

$129.95

The Brooks Ghost 14 is a comfortable and versatile shoe that offers soft cushioning and a flexible foot lockdown.

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9Overall score
Very good running shoes for daily training: versatile and sturdy with a touch of responsiveness
Don't have time to read the full review? Here's what you need to know.

After a somewhat disappointing version 13, the Brooks Ghost 14 returns with a configuration that offers a more responsive ride.

The Ghost comes with high-stack cushioning (31 mm under the heel, 19 mm under the forefoot), focusing on comfortable daily runs. It now uses DNA Loft foam (no more BioMoGo DNA, then) on the entire length of the midsole. The underfoot feel remains soft but delivers a slight bounce for a more lively ride.

The upper is softer and thinner with a good amount of stretch. The foot lockdown is relatively ample and unstructured. It will delight runners with wide feet but may not suit those who prefer a snugger fit.

Finally, the outsole is as sturdy as ever, with a thick rubber layer to protect the platform from abrasion. Also, the flexibility remains top-notch thanks to the Omega Flex Grooves and the segmented crash pad. The grip is also flawless.

In summary, the Brooks Ghost 14 is a real improvement over the 13 with a more responsive design that remains versatile and accessible to all. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced runner, the Ghost 14 is a sure choice. Just be careful if you need good stability and a very snug lockdown.

Please read our full review analysis of the Brooks Ghost 14 for more information.
Comfort
9.5
Ride
8.5
Foot Lockdown
8.5
Stability
8
Durability
9.5
Value for Money
9
Design
9
PROS
  • Great overall comfort
  • Pleasant and more responsive cushioning than on the previous version
  • Versatile and forgiving shoe
  • Durable, carbon-neutral, and 100% vegan
CONS
  • May lack stability
  • Foot lockdown is a little loose

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Brooks Ghost 14 Complete Review Analysis

review Brooks Ghost 14

Introduction

After version 13 received a mixed reception, Brooks returned to the drawing board to deliver the Brooks Ghost 14 with an updated configuration, including new cushioning.

In 2021, Brooks’ challenge is to maintain its bestselling shoe by modernizing it without losing the magic formula that earned the shoe its reputation throughout the years. It’s a running some that aims to be universal (in every sense of the word) to suit both beginners and experienced athletes for daily workouts.

As a result, the American brand’s approach is to soften the shoe and make it more responsive without jeopardizing the traditional configuration of the Ghost that fans of the series rely on.

The evolution is also at the sustainability and ethical level: it’s one of the first carbon-neutral shoes globally!

All in all, quite a challenge in this new carbon-fiber plated era! Let’s see if Brooks has managed to pull it off.

Cushioning (midsole)

Brooks Ghost 14 DNA Loft cushioning

 

DNA Loft Foam

The main criticism of the Ghost 13 was that its midsole was too soft. Indeed, while historically, the previous versions were relatively firm and rigid with a good structure, the G13 made a bet to break with tradition and offer a much softer ride. Some runners liked it but not all. The consensus was that this softness was too mushy and significantly limited the responsiveness, especially under the forefoot.

The Brooks Ghost 14 retains this soft approach with a hint of firmness. Runners note that the shoe is still among the softest available in its category.

The real improvement is the bounce: the shoe uses a single DNA Loft midsole cushioning unit (instead of a dual-density blend with BioMoGo DNA before). Testers agree that the road running shoe offers a slight energy return for a more lively ride. The result is not extraordinary, but the shoe has the merit of being versatile: the comfort is there for easy runs and more vigorous sessions.

Finally, it’s important to note that one of the testers’ main criticisms concerns the high drop of the shoe: 12 mm. It’s funny because this drop was standard a few years ago, but things have changed, and the average is now closer to 8 mm. Only a few “traditional” models like the Ghost, the Mizuno Wave Rider, or the Asics Gel Nimbus continue to cling to this “high” drop.

Lastly, the shoe comes with a stack height of 31 mm under the heel and 19 mm under the toes, which runners say gives quite a contrast. Indeed, while the heel offers a well-cushioned feel, the forefoot appears barer in comparison.

Foot lockdown (upper)

engineered mesh upper Brooks Ghost 14 run shoes

 

Engineered mesh upper

We told you in the introduction that Brooks wanted to modernize its flagship shoe. It translates into a more flexible and thinner (and therefore more breathable) engineered mesh at the upper level. However, the weight remains the same, with 10 oz for men and 8.8 oz for women, which is reasonable.

Testers found the upper very comfortable! The fit is soft and pleasant with a relaxed foot lockdown. The heel collar is thick but padded to lock in the foot gently.

In terms of volume, the toe box is ample, maybe even too spacious, according to some users.

In short, Brooks chose comfort over performance. The mesh offers a good foot lockdown but risks feeling unstructured if you like a snugger fit.

Finally, note that the Brooks Ghost 14 is 100% vegan (like all Brooks shoes) with a neutral carbon footprint. Brooks is at the forefront of ecology and animal welfare, and we hope that many brands will follow in the same direction (the brand plans to be fully carbon-neutral by 2040, see here for more information).

Grip and durability

Brooks Ghost 14 rubber outsole with flex grooves

 

Rubber, Omega Flex Grooves, segmented crash pad

Now, the Ghost 14 being a Brooks, you almost want to skip this part as it’s so obvious: the outsole is super sturdy with an ingenious design to complement the cushioning effectiveness. It’s standard on all of the brand’s shoes (except maybe the Brooks Hyperion Elite…).

Testers confirm that this new Ghost is durable: they found no signs of wear even after several long runs. In other words, you can expect to put many miles on these shoes.

There’s durable and firm rubber on the lateral side and a softer rubber on the rest of the sole. Flex grooves partition the whole thing to maximize the shoe’s flexibility.  You can expect smooth transitions from heel to toe at any pace and effective traction, even on wet pavement.

The Ride

Brooks Ghost 14 reviews

 

The 14th edition of the Ghost is still a daily trainer with a classic design. It’s good to see that, no matter how much the shoe has evolved over the years, it has remained true to its DNA.

Testers note that this running shoe feels great over any distance and at all paces. The underfoot feel is soft, with a slight bounce that was missing from the previous version. The cushioning offers a good level of shock absorption for a cushioned experience, even on long runs. Of course, without a carbon plate or rocker, the shoe may seem bland if you’ve succumbed to the trend and become addicted to this type of “kick.” However, this new iteration serves its purpose well and is perfect for everyday use. If you are looking for a fast shoe for speed work, another model seems more suitable.

There’s one thing to watch out for: in the past, the Ghost offered more structure (both in the sole and upper), giving good stability. The new Brooks Ghost 14 may be less suitable for runners with overpronation than in the past by providing more softness, flexibility, and less structure, hence less support.

Conclusion

After a version 13 marked by too soft cushioning and lacking responsiveness, the Brooks Ghost 14 seduces with a new, more responsive conception, especially under the forefoot for a more peppy toe-off.

The daily trainer remains versatile and accessible to everyone with its outstanding comfort and traditional design, ideal for everyday runs. It’s a flexible shoe recommended for all levels of experience unless you are an overpronator and need more stability or if you’re looking for a more secure fit in general.

In line with the brand’s reputation, the shoe offers premium quality for optimal durability. Finally, it’s great to see a carbon-neutral shoe made with 100% vegan materials!

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Where to buy it?

Besides your local running store, here are some trusted online retailers where you can find the Brooks Ghost 14:

Model: Brooks Ghost 14

Facts
Terrain

Road

Heel to toe drop

12 mm

Heel stack height

31 mm

Forefoot stack height

19 mm

Pronation

Features

,

Weight (men)

283 g/10 oz

Weight (women)

249 g/8.8 oz

Fit

Release year

2021

Technologies
Midsole

DNA Loft

Outsole

Omega Flex Grooves, Rubber, Segmented crash pad

Upper

3D Fit Print, Engineered Mesh

Cushioning
Bounce (1-5)

3 – Moderate

Softness (1-5)

4 – Soft

Use
Distance

10K, Half marathon, Mid distance, Marathon, Long distance

Speed

Slow, Moderate

Workout

Daily running, Recovery

Comparisons – Brooks Ghost 14 vs.:

Brooks Ghost 13

What is the difference between the Brooks Ghost 13 and the 14? The Ghost 14 was released in July 2021 and offers more responsive cushioning. Indeed, the consensus is that the G13 was too soft to provide a lively ride. The Ghost 14 corrects this by adding a slight firmness to facilitate more responsiveness. Also, Brooks now uses only DNA Loft foam (first generation, not v2 as on the Cascadia or v3 as on the Aurora).

For the rest, the weight is similar; the stack height and drop of the sole are the same. The quality is also excellent both shoes are expected to last hundreds of miles.

However, the Ghost 14 fits a bit looser which may be disconcerting if used to a tight lockdown. If you have narrow feet, you may have to go down a size or two.

So Brooks Ghost 13 or 14? If you don’t have stability issues, the 14 is a better choice for its responsiveness.

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FAQs

How does the Brooks Ghost 14 fit?

Answer: The shoe fits true to size, but the foot lockdown is a bit loose. In some cases, it may be better to go a half size down.

Are these shoes suitable for overpronation?

Answer: This version is less stable than the previous ones because the foot lockdown is flexible with little structure, and the cushioning is soft. It is not the best configuration if your foot tends to deviate while running.

1 review for Brooks Ghost 14

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  1. Runner’s Lab

    Very good running shoes for daily training: versatile and sturdy with a touch of responsiveness.

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