Brooks Ghost 12 Running Shoe Review

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First Thoughts Of The Brooks Ghost 12

I’ve run in Brooks’ Pure Grit, Pure Flow, Cascadia, Ricochet, Launch, and probably others I can’t remember right now. I even had some Ghosts a good 10 years ago, and I am fairly certain that those Brooks Ghosts may have been my introduction to ‘all things’ Brooks. I have never dabbled in the super cushion-y shoes that have been making some serious in-roads the past 7-8 years. That said, I have affectionately named my Brooks Ghost 12; “Fluffy”. Probably not something you’d think of when trying to crush a P.R. at your local 5k, but I’m running with it. With that in mind, these are certainly one of the more comfortable shoes I’ve taken for a spin lately.

I feel like I understand Brooks’ construction and how they work with my feet and running style. I believe Brooks has stayed the course with their design and target audience. We’ve seen the barefoot / minimal shoe phase, and we’ve seen the over sized sole phase. Both have their qualities and paved the way for runners to explore and find their shoe and groove. Brooks provides some of those features in their various shoe offerings with solid designs and technical advancements which have kept Brooks a favorite in the running community.

Fresh out of the box and I have to say that I really like the look and that midsole is showing it’s support.

Technical Aspect Of The Brooks Ghost 12

  • Support:                                        Neutral
  • Midsole Drop:                              12 mm
  • Weight:                                         10.4 oz / 294.8 g
  • Arch:                                               Medium/High
  • Experience Type:                         Cushion
  • Technology:                                  3D fit print, segmented Crash Pad, DNA LOFT, BioMoGo DNA

Fit of the Brooks Ghost 12

They didn’t really drastically change anything from the previous version, so if this is “your” shoe, then you will be fine. They played around with the look which features an updated 3D Fit Print. With that does come an improved fit that literally wraps around the upper of your foot. In essence, the shoe forms to your unique foot shape, instead of the other way around. It is interesting! I feel like most of the attention is usually spent on the sole and bottoms to provide support, responsiveness, and traction. In this case, it is about the unique manner in which the upper is literally a one piece fit.

Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA rolls is a clever technical marketing term, and kind of rolls off the tongue funny. It has been combined with their DNA LOFT cushioning technology to provide a soft underfoot without losing control, reaction, and stability. I suppose that’s where I’ve derived my fluff factor from. As the upper molds to the foot, I feel like the sole and midsole functions in a similar manner. With each running step, I am comforted by that BioMoGo to absorb my weight, and carry me to the next cycle.

Midsole

The Brooks Ghost 12 midsole drop is 12mm. That speaks to a very comfortable angle, and if you’ve never strayed to a flatter heel to toe drop, than this is perfect for you. I usually run in a 4mm drop, and this feels like I’m settling in for a longer more supportive run. Maybe, it’s in my mind, but I feel the angle does help propel me forward instead of me working to keep my cadence up.

With the BioMoGo and DNA LOFT blend, the Ghost fits the neutral runner perfectly. They can certainly reach a wide range of runners with various running styles, distances, and speeds. Brooks does broadcast this as a structured shoe with support and plenty of cushioning to cater to a wide range of runners.

Outsole

A quick profile view of the sole provides a glimpse of something that should be able to handle more than the perfect smooth roads. There’s a bit of aggression there that can tackle adverse conditions as well as trails of various technical make up. The snow has been flying around here – wet and mushy to dry and fluffy has not been a problem. “Segmented crash pads” sounds like quite a serious endeavor. In reality, the bottom has numerous stand-alone pads that act independently to help absorb the road as well as any inconsistencies. This supports my fluffy comfort theory as well with the ability to tackle a multitude of surfaces.

Upper

Building on a long line of comfortable the Brooks Ghost 12 continues that tradition. The engineered stretch mesh and structure encases the foot. The result being, a sock-like comfort with support in all the right places. The 3D Fit Print is smooth and seamless as it wraps around my foot.

Taking The Brooks Ghost 12 Out On The Open Road

The minimal movement brought us shoes that were lacking much support of any kind. That may or may not have worked for you. The one thing I did like to see is the options to run on shoes with lesser Heel to Toe drops from the 12mm down to zero. I have dabbled with the various drops, and worked my way down to 4mm for most of my races.

solid point of contact and transfer to the push off. That’s my boy, Duke, standing by!

I have enjoyed the comfortable upper on the Brooks Ghost 12. The sock like fit has worked with my aging feet to provide the freedom and not feel too tight while keeping them in place. The toes have enough room to splay without creating hot spots which could lead to blisters. No one likes those. I have been in a period of what I’d like to call “fun” running.  Basically, no serious races on the books while giving my body a chance to recover without stressing the joints, muscles, mind and body. These Brooks Ghost 12 have worked well for that purpose in that I am still able to go for a middle distance run without putting my body into the red. Plenty of support for sure.

As mentioned before, the individual segmented crash pads or sole pods as I like to call them give plenty of shock absorption as I tend to take the paths less traveled. The first few miles out my door are usually on concrete and asphalt, and I quickly turn to the dirt, gravel, and single track to mix things up. They didn’t like the mud I exposed them to, but I don’t know of too many shoes that feel at home in thick sticky muck.

At 10.4 oz., the Brooks Ghost 12’s are certainly not the lightest shoe on the market, or that I’ve tested. That said, I have enjoyed the nimble airy feeling they’ve given me as I pound the pavement and mixed use paths. They are truly able to absorb any inconsistencies I may stumble upon.

Final Thoughts On The Brooks Ghost 12

Creative design and in depth science and technology has provided the basis for the Brooks Ghost 12. These runners will certainly provide a solid performance for most runners. Support is good, cushioning is great. Comfort, at least for me, has provided a truly great way to cruise my local trails. Brooks is a main stay on the shelf at my local running store. They’ve done so as a result of solid technology and ingenuity that has kept Brooks top of the mind in the running world. These Brooks Ghost 12’s are a great trainer for me as I can go the distance. For others, they can surely be a perfect racer as well. Definitely worth a look as these Ghosts are meant to work for a variety of running styles, bodies, and distances.

MSRP: $130

For more detail and purchase please visit www.BrooksRunning.com

 

Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.
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