The Ghost from Brooks has always been one of the easiest shoes to put someone in to have them enjoy the running experience. It is a shoe you will find in almost every running store that consistently sells well and really never has a lot of negative reviews. Sure, you will find little negatives here and there but for the most part, the shoe always performs well and Brooks makes very little changes from version to version. With the Ghost 13 they remain on that trend, but they have made a few larger jumps with this version and before we even go any further, the upper alone makes this a better shoe than its predecessor and it doesn’t stop there.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- New air mesh upper and DNA Loft across the entire midsole for a smoother ride.
- Weighs in at 10.1oz/286g for a US Men’s 9, 8.8oz/250g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features 32mm of cushion and has a 12mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $130.00 USD and comes in 11 colors for Men and Women.
We have run in a number of Ghosts over the years and we are always excited for the release because we’re just not sure how far Brooks is going to take it each time. Sometimes there is a little tweak to the upper, or maybe some changes to the midsole, but for the most part, it is the same shoe. Note, the Ghost sits in their Cushion lineup so you kind of know what you’re going to get from the shoe, and anything incremental after that is just a bonus.
With a Ghost 13, the upper drew us in right away because it is a huge material change from the prior version. The first impression on the foot was just super comfortable. Brooks gives you plenty of room across the entire upper of the foot and the new engineered mesh implementation breathes well and is much better than the prior knit versions. The very minor support overlays act as mid-foot supports and that trails off into a nice solid internal heel counter which cradles you well. The entire shoe is well padded from top to bottom leading to a very comfortable on-foot experience.
Out on the roads that cushioned experience is maintained and that full-length DNA Loft midsole really just means you get a solid cushioned ride from start to finish. What it also means is that you shouldn’t expect a really significant level of performance from the shoe necessarily. While more experienced runners will be able to crank it up, this shoe is perfect for the everyday casual recreational runner who really consistent with their times and mileages and maybe just needed that extra bit of underfoot cushion. Don’t get us wrong, anyone will really enjoy this shoe, but it’ll fit best in that category given the specs. On the distance side, Ghost 13 is something you can wear at every level from the marathon on down. There’s enough cushion to go the distance without a problem, but it’ll be just as functional for those trying to make their first 5k.
The bottom line, our take away after a significant number of runs in the shoe is that it is something you can literally give to anyone and they will have a pleasant experience. They are not going to put up these insane times but for people who have asked you “I want to get into running” or “I haven’t run in a while, what shoe should I buy”, this is a very easy shoe to recommend to them. Nine times out of ten they will have no complaints with the results. If you were looking for performance, then we suggest looking at their Energize line or even better something like the Hyperion Tempo.
As we mentioned earlier, the Ghost 13 features a fully redesigned upper using Brooks’s engineered Air Mesh technology. It is basically a 2 layer system that stretches well yet still allows for maximum airflow and breathability. They have added does simple structural overlays and even the Brooks logo has mid-foot stability given its lack of stretch, but right in that perfect spot. The heel is decently padded and the internal heel counter holds you well so slippage is minimal.
The big change here on the midsole is the move to DNA Loft across the entire midsole so it extends beyond the heel all the way into the forefoot. This translates to more cushion across the entire length of the foot and regardless of where you land on the ground you can expect it to be comfortable. This doesn’t necessarily translate into responsiveness, so expect more of a pillowy feeling and less of a propulsive feeling.
The outsole on the Ghost 13 is a few millimeters of rubber and they have a lot on here to give you maximum traction and control. The majority sits at the front half of the shoe coming back into a U shape on the heel, basically giving you durability and control at those key areas that most frequently touch the ground. Any other area is exposed DNA Loft. Note this much rubber does add weight to the shoe and is an area where they could cut down and shave some. However in terms of durability, this much rubber will give you better traction for longer, the midsole will inevitably break down well before this outsole will, so plenty of life on these.
Style & Aesthetics
Styling on this is an easy one because they moved away from that knit upper to an engineered mesh which gives Brooks a lot of opportunities for more color variations. In this case, you have 11 color options to choose from and all of them are pretty solid. The small overlays give it kind of a futuristic bent, but overall just a nice profile for a simple runner.
The Ghost 13 continues on the success of the Ghost platform and our take away on this is really simple. This is a shoe that works for almost everybody. The majority of runners out there just want something cushioned and comfortable. They aren’t worried about speed or carbon plates or any of that, they just want to have a nice easy ride, and this is what the Ghost does well. The best candidates will be everyday recreational runners who don’t need a lot of extra support, they just want consistency. So well done Brooks on remaining true to the Ghost, but also being willing to make some adjustments to the upper and to that midsole to give us a more improved shoe version to version.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.