Lately, the morning runs have gotten a little tougher. As Fall rolls into the Pacific Northwest, mornings come in a little colder and wetter and every time you stomp through a puddle or feel the rain penetrate into your socks, you may find yourself shaking her head. Thankfully, most major shoe manufacturers offer weatherized versions of their most popular to help keep your feet dry and comfortable. In today’s installment, we take a look at the Brooks Ghost 9 GTX.
This GTX model is based on the super popular Ghost 9 platform from Brooks. It’s a consumer friendly, all-around neutral runner with a traditional design, but the GTX takes it up a notch and tries to deliver something that’s practically impenetrable in our weather. We did review the ghost 8 GTX model last year and I’ll start off by saying, the platform itself was a massive improvement so we already felt pretty positively about it.
Construction: The Upper
The GTX in the name refers to Gore-Tex which is basically the go to material for most manufacturers out there. It does come with a small weight increase of 1 to 1.5 ounces, but it obviously has a specific purpose. It remains breathable during use, but also repels water and keeps the weather out. Visually, you get a nice engineered mesh membrane on top of the waterproofing. Its seamless as well using molded overlays to provide stability and cover the seaming.
This mid on the Ghost 9 GTX is a combination of their patented Biomogo DNA midsole which is supposed to dynamically adapt to your stride and a full segmented crash pad which aids in transition. Its not super flexy at all and if anything I would say just the opposite. The shoe is very formulaic, so if you are expecting it to “break in” or change much over use think again.
The sole on the Ghost 9 run general totally threw me, it looks more like a trail shoe than a road shoe. However, that is perfect on the GTX because during inclement weather you are also usually dealing with debris and this powers right through it. It uses what they call Omega Flex Grooves which sounds flexible, but its still stiff and holds its line well.
Style and Aesthetics
As with most GTX models, the Brooks 9 only has a single colorway and I always feel like these colorways are always meant to look tough. In this case it’s an all-black upper with lime green accents for men and hot pink accents for women, but it really looks more like the sidewall of a tire than a running shoe. This doesn’t mean it’s bad looking because the profile itself is solid, it honestly just looks tough. Some people don’t dig on the exterior of these shoes, but remember what they’re designed for.
Running in the Ghost 9 GTX is basically identical to the Ghost 9. There is a slight weight gain of course, but performance-wise they are similar. I found them to always be a little on the stiff side both in the mid and the sole, which was great for some days but definitely a little bulky for others (again, purpose driven)… I did run through some terrible days with both very high winds and heavy rains. The shoes of course can only do so much, but I was amazed to find that on 5 to 6 mile runs I could get back with dry socks. It really does do a good job of keeping the water from coming in on the upper which means you never get that sloshy feeling when you hit a wet spot that you live with for the next several miles. I definitely slowed down a bit in these as well, but I think this was also due as much to the weather/climate as to the shoe itself.
If you are someone who loves a weatherproof shoe, are a Brooks fan, or you have run in the Ghost 9 (or similar) then the GTX is definitely something to consider. They aren’t going to be a game changer for you from a running perspective, but they definitely make getting out the door a little easier during the fall and winter months. Their minor weight gain and stiffness won’t be for everyone, but it’s quite the feeling to just be able to power through the puddles after or during a big rain.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 11.7oz (size 9)
- Drop: 12mm heel/toe
- MSRP: $150.00
- Available: Now