We’ve always been a big fan of Brooks shoes, and they have become a huge mainstay in running retailers as of late, but for the last year or two things have gotten a bit status quo and while shoes like the Hyperion are a great step forward, there wasn’t a lot of change happening in their standard lineup. So when Brooks launched the Ghost Max, we were totally surprised because it’s kind of an unexpected for them, although in light of the number of shoes in this category, it makes total sense and we are here for it.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Weight – 10oz or 284g for a US Men’s 9, 9oz or 255g for a US Women’s 7
- Cushion – 39mm of cushion and a 6mm heel/toe drop
- Pricing – $150 USD
- Colors – 5 colors
We love the word uncomplicated, because it describes something simple, but also that is more than what it seems. The Ghost Max is a perfect example of this for us. The shoe is very basic looking, but it does deliver a much better run experience than we have seen lately across the Brooks lineup. The setup is very simple though and this is totally fine.
The upper fits well and is decently padded giving you both collar and heel comfort, as well as a tongue and lacing system that stays in place well and again, is well padded. This is a very standard Brooks upper, seeking comfort, and plushness over performance and there is nothing wrong with that. The Ghost 15 is softer even up top but this gives you better control.
As we look at the midsole and talk about performance, most people will be shocked to know that the stack height of the Max isn’t all that much different than the 15 (39mm vs 35mm). They are remarkably close, but they run very differently. We find the Ghost Max to be a little firmer, with a little more pop. The DNA Loft V2 has been implemented in a way that just delivers a bit more up-tempo experience and that combined with the new GlideRoll and the decreased drop (6mm here vs 12mm on the Ghost 15). So while you think maximum height might convert to a more pillowy experience, but that is simply not the case here. The Ghost 15 is actually softer than the Ghost Max is despite being lower. In our opinion, that firmness leads to better performance and this means better times.
As we get down to the outsole, it is very standard Brooks fare, using a solid amount of rubber for durability, longevity, and grip. They are based in the Pacific Northwest after all, so plenty of time to run their shoes in Seattle, and test them out in all weather.
As for who this is for, well to us, this is what the Ghost probably should have been all along. The other Ghost iterations are getting much too soft for our liking, and while they offer a well cushioned experience, it dampens the run a bit. The Ghost Max brings that fun of running back, and this seemingly basic shoe becomes a very capable daily trainer and distance training, partner for all skill levels, definitely skewing more mid to high pace runners.
Construction and Materials
The Brooks Ghost Max’s engineered mesh upper provides a breathable and supportive fit, with targeted zones for flexibility and durability. It also features a well padded collar, heel, tongue, and even laces for a comfortable up top experience.
The Brooks Ghost Max’s high-stack DNA LOFT v2 cushioning and GlideRoll Rocker work together to reduce underfoot pressure, while its broad base provides inherent stability for a neutral stride. Also good for wider feet and orthotics, this shoe’s cushioning, rocker, and lower offset can benefit people with foot issues sometimes exacerbated by higher offset shoes.
The Brooks Ghost Max’s GlideRoll Rocker actively promotes smooth heel-toe transitions, reducing fatigue and making for a more effortless ride. An almost full rubber outsole provides optimal traction and durability.
Bottom line, we are pumped for the Brooks Ghost Max because this is the Ghost we have been waiting to see. The standard iteration is great, and does its job, but this is something better, and really could define its own category for Brooks. It is a solid high stack distance trainer or daily runner, that will feel approachable for quite a large audience. It is not as mushy as other Brooks shoes have felt lately, and it is definitely something to consider if you’re a Brooks fan but have been feeling a little lackluster.
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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.