Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Brooks Ghost 9

- published August 2016

92

2016

RATINGS

Comfort
9
Fit
9
Responsiveness
8
Speed
7
Ride Quality
9
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
92

SHOP

MSRP
LOW PRICE
$120.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Fantastic value
  • Updated upper drastically improves comfort
  • Durable
  • Improved flexibility for better toe off

THE BAD

  • Increased weight from Ghost 8
  • Steep (12mm) heel drop may cause issues for forefoot strikers

THE VERDICT

One tester nailed the essence of the Brooks Ghost 9, “My foot just feels good in the shoe.” That’s the magic of the Ghost 9—it’s not overly sexy, it’s just a great running shoe. A workhorse shoe, the Ghost 9 was the leader among comfort shoes tested with its soft new upper with removal of overlays, smooth heel-to-toe transition and at a reasonable price point. The only downside we found for the Ghost 9 was that the steep heel drop of 12mm may be too much for forefoot strikers. 

FULL REVIEW

Classified as a neutral running shoe, the Brook’s Ghost 9 is a cushioned high mileage trainer suitable for a runner with a medium to high arch. A 12mm drop makes the Ghost 9 suitable for those who favor a heel strike but still appropriate for runners who don’t. In its 9th version, the Ghost 9 introduces a new articulated sidewall for extra lateral support, deeper Omega Flex Grooves for greater flexibility during toe-off and a new seamless mesh upper for added comfort.  

Comfort
The Brooks Ghost 9 provides out of the box comfort that most shoes won’t.  From the moment your feet slide into the newly seamless engineered mesh upper to that last stride to your doorstep, the Ghost 9 provides unmatched comfort.  Ample padding around the heel collar and tongue protects without feeling overly bulky.

Fit 
All of our testers found the Ghost 9 to have a good fit with a medium toe box accommodating narrow and wide footed runners. The newly designed upper with removal of outer overlays and articulated sidewalls provides plenty of support during lateral movements. A well designed lacing system and plenty of padding made it easy to find that secure yet comfortable feeling.

Responsiveness 
Brooks did an excellent job with updates to the Ghost 9, making it a much more responsive and smooth running shoe over last year’s model. Underfoot you’ll welcome a more flexible platform, making it easier to toe-off when needed. Brooks continues with its soft yet springy BioMoGo DNA foam underfoot for comfortable protection from each foot strike without feeling too soft and mushy. Compared to the Glycerin 14, the Ghost 9 felt much firmer, which contributed to a higher responsive rating.

Speed
Designed as an everyday trainer and built for comfort but not necessarily speed, the Ghost 9 felt surprisingly quick for shoes weighing 10.6oz for men and 9.1oz for women. The DNA midsole is firm and bouncy making running fast, easy, and fun. Oddly enough, Brooks advertises the Ghost 9 as slightly heavier than last year’s model despite the removal of overlays on the upper.

Ride Quality
Expect the Ghost 9 to produce a smoother ride over the Ghost 8. Brooks did an excellent job updating the ride quality of its 9th iteration of the Ghost, by deepening the Omega Flex Grooves that run the length of the shoe, helping with flexibility during toe-off. 

How We Tested It

The shoes in this test were used by multiple testers over varied terrain including concrete, dirt, grass and track and ranging from 4 to 12 miles. Testers covered a wide range of paces to determine performance. All testers enjoyed the comfort and durability from Darn Tough Socks for consistent fit and feeling. Nothing beats merino wool.

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.

About the Author

Cory Smith

Cory Smith

A former NCAA Divison 1 National Qualifier, Cory Smith holds a personal best of 4:03 in the mile and was ranked the 6th fastest high school 2 miler in country. Today, Cory still competes competitively, operates Run Your Personal Best, a running coaching business and is a contributing writer for Philadelphia Magazine. He lives in Santa Barbara, CA and when he's not running you'll find him rock climbing, surfing, or skiing.

Shop for the Brooks Ghost 9

MSRP
LOW PRICE

$120.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$120.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Comfort
9
Fit
9
Responsiveness
8
Speed
7
Ride Quality
9
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
92

Specs

  • Heel Height: 29mm
  • Forefoot Height: 17mm
  • Heel Drop: 12mm

Weight

10.6 oz

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