Brooks Ghost 9

9.0
9.0 score
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Brooks Ghost 9Review Facts

The Ghost series is in their neutral line-up and is one of their hallmarks, extremely popular among runners, and well commended in 2016 for the Ghost 9. It is their current release, which hit shelves in the summer of 2016 and improved on several aspects of the 8.

I had the opportunity to test them myself, totaling 60 miles through 10 sessions, and really enjoyed the overall experience. The last Ghosts I owned were the 7’s, which were very good in their own respect, though I definitely find the 9’s a superior shoe, with the same performance made better, reflecting  improvements over the years. As noted, there were similarities of effective features, which is great and also shows loyalty to what the model actually is. I’m not one to enjoy change to already effective characteristics, so I certainly love when updates can reflect on those aspects. Let’s take a closer look and see how the Ghost 9 performed.

Pros
  • Ample cushioning in the upper providing all-around comfort
  • Ample breathability while providing enough overlay support for stability
  • Underfoot cushioning and flexibility via their midsole BioMogo DNA technology and incorporated flex grooves.
  • Great Aesthetic appeal for those who love a running shoe that looks like one
  • Shock absorption via their segmented crash pad
Cons
  • Price is decent but not amazing
  • The midsole offset is a bit higher than it needs to be in my opinion
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The Omega Flex Grooves on the outsole contribute to the flexibility, allowing a sufficient bend at the groove points, rather than being solid and stiff. In test, ground strikes were very easy on the feet, likely due to their full-Length, segmented crash pad, incorporated for the sole purpose of providing an easy landing without hindering flexibility. Then you have the blown rubber on the forefoot which helps in providing traction.

In my experience, the outsole performance was effective and while running on concrete I had solid traction through the duration of that run. As I write this review, it's been pretty wet out, but that didn't hinder the ability to get my run sessions in. In terms of durability, the outsole’s material should help prevent wear and tear to the midsole, as it's the piece that's constantly in impact with the ground's surface. I have not noticed any significant wear and tear, but I definitely should not have with only 60 miles in the bag so far, so I will keep running!
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole of is a bit unique in that it's divided into rectangular pods. It's primary make-up is a construction of carbon and blown rubber, which are durable, flexible materials. This is their BioMoGo DNA technology. The composition of the BioMoGo is formulated to provide the right amount of cushion, contingent to each particular impact and how much force is generated on that impact. This material is different from midsole structures more commonly seen because it is adaptive rather than having a set amount of cushion at the strike, hence the term "DNA". I found the shoes quite comfortable right out of the box, much more so than previous models of the Ghost. The cushioning felt just right. Overall, the midsole is very impressive, particularly this BioMoGo material which I must say, does its job very well.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The Brooks Ghost 9's upper is a composition of engineered mesh, a very common configuration in running shoes unless your're going for something more geared for trails, but that's not what we have here. This mesh inherently allows for appropriate breathability and the ability to stretch due to its woven nature, providing an overall more effective structure. The tongue and interior are well cushioned, making the upper one of the more comfort contributing components of the shoe. My personal rating, the upper offered quite a bit more comfortability than my current Nike that I run in more regularly, so in terms of that I would rate the upper a 4.7/5. It's a very comfortable shoe, period. As for breathability, I didn’t have any issues with foot sweat, though this is to be expected for most quality shoes with as much mesh integration. As a whole, the engineered mesh does it's job quite well, and the upper stood out in regards to it's cushion and flexibility.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Weight is always a significant factor in how a shoe functions for the long run, especially when it comes to a running shoe. Heavier shoes have a tendency to offer a bit more cushioning, but a less minmal and natural feeling stride, while shoes with lighter weights often give a more natural range of motion, but have a bit less capacity for protection. The Brooks Ghost 9 weighs 10.6 ounces. This weight is very average in accordance to conventional running shoes of the same type. The weight is definitely not a negative, but it's not a substantial positive either. Everyday footwear taken into consideration, it's a very lightweight shoe and won't present any limitations to your longer runs.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Breathability is essentially the flow of air, in and out of a shoe and is a very important factor to consider. A shoe lacking in this aspect can leave feet enclosed in sweat and overheating, leading to numerous inconveniences and easily avoidable complications . The Brooks Ghost 9 doesn't have any problems when it comes to it's ability to regulate airflow, predominantly due to the engineered mesh, that is woven in a way that allows adequate air to flow in and out freely, with larger holes in the forefoot area than you would see in most other shoes with the same type of mesh. How was my experience in particular? Well, from indoor treadmill runs in a heated gym, to outdoor miles, I have yet to notice anything to complain about in this aspect. The breathability is definitely up to par with the best.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Everyone should definitely understand how important comfort is when thinking about buying any new shoes. It is essential to consider that a shoe will be worn for large numbers of miles, so if there is discomfort it surely will not bode well in the long term. The Ghost 9 is a very comfortable shoe as mentioned before and holds a much higher emphasis on the soft comfort factor than the previous Ghost model in my opinion. Despite the comfort, the shoes didn’t feel overly cushioned which is something to appreciate. What do I mean by that? Well, have you every stepped into a shoe that was quite comfortable only to find it to be much too restrictive in the long run? You won't get that overly restricted feeling here. The primary components of its provided comfort were the upper's composition of engineered mesh, plush cushioning within the shoe and its special BioMoGo foam midsole keeping the shock of ground strikes to a minimum. With a plush comfort collar you will avoid rashes or irritation in the back of the foot area where the Achilles tendon meets the heel. Combined, you get a very comfortable shoe, period.
Style
Style

Style

In terms of style, Brooks isn’t really as strong as Nike or Adidas in my opinion, but they still do a solid job with the Ghost 9. The overall design is quite clean, and the shoe is available in a wide range of bright or discreet colors for both men and women. Personally, I wouldn’t use the Ghost 9 as an everyday shoe, but for those who might like a sportier look, they definitely are a viable choice. The Ghost 9 is quite solid overall in terms of style and design.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Durability should never be overlooked. Inadequate durability can lead to quickly worn out shoes, leaving the feet exposed and susceptible to injury. Brooks shoes are fairly well known for their attention in this area, and the Ghost 9 does well to further the expectations of a shoe that could already hold up to a beating. The carbon and blown rubber are the main components of this, as they are sturdy materials that are known for being able to endure the test of the road. The midsole does equally well by retaining its springiness and shape without buckling under the pressure of too many run sessions as you may see with shoes made of lower quality midsole rubber. No significant wear and tear was noticed over the course of ten runs and about sixty miles. It will take another 60 miles to give another update, so stay tuned.
Protection
Protection

Protection

In terms of protection, the Ghost 9 is a pretty solid shoe. The outsole contributes a great deal in protection by way of shock absorption, with its incorporated crash pad as mentioned above, which effectively negates hard impact, keeping your feet and knees from feeling the full force of the ground. I have no complaints in this aspect. Not once did I feel exposed to external hazards, but rather quite secure at all times. Although you don't get the most protective, and sturdy shoe here, and it doesn't have a full coverage overlay, you do get a good enough balance, and great performance for the road. Just remember that it's a road shoe and you won't have any issues here, just ample protection.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Responsiveness is the way a shoe gives energy back upon impact, flex, motion and toe off. Really, this is how well a shoe feels for a runner's steps. The responsiveness of the Ghost 9 is satisfactory, primarily stemming from the material used in the midsole, the BioMoGo DNA foam, as mentioned above. This material does a substantial job of returning energy based on the force of impact. This midsole technology is unique to Brooks shoes, as most are made of pure EVA foam which tends to be a staple term in the world of running. Now, from my perspective. They were quite responsive to say the least, and I again noticed an improvement compared to my regular pair of runners, and previous models of the Ghost that I have used, particularly the 7. Every stride was smooth, which is always a good sign that your shoe will perform well when the miles start to add up. Overall, the Ghost 9 is a shoe with sufficient responsiveness. In this aspect I would give it a 7.5 out of 10.
Support
Support

Support

This is a neutral shoe, so you won't get any special arch support but they do offer ample support in regards to keeping your foot fit and secure. Once again, the BioMoGo DNA material is a strong factor in this, which does a good job of supporting your natural stride and through articulate motions as you strike, through every step. The upper is a big factor as well, and is probably the most substantial by enabling a very secure and snug fit while not being overly tight, as mentioned before. This gives a nice balanced feel to the shoe.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Some say the Ghost 9 is able to be utilized effectively on any normally run-able terrain. Although, I will have to contest that somewhat. I don't believe any shoe should be used other than in accordance to what it is specifically designed for. This is a road, or similarly paved terrain running shoe and it does very well on that. I ran these up and down, all over the road and found no issues with them performing just as needed. They're light weight, stable, plus have great traction and protection for effective performance on road, so stick to the script and you will find these to be an amazing shoe. For the sake of the test, I even had a few sessions complimented by rain and had no issues with traction or gripping. Just don't go taking these out on any hard trail expecting the same performance.
Price
Price

Price

To some, price is one of the most important factors in selecting a shoe, if not the most. To me, it is on the lower end of priority, although it is a factor. The price for the Ghost series has remained consistent over the years with them always retailing in the same area, which is definitely nice in a market where shoes are getting more and more expensive every year. The Ghost 9 isn’t the cheapest by any stretch of the imagination, but it does offer a lot for its price, and it's not expensive either. You can grab this highly commended shoe now, retailing at $120. Not bad.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The traction on the Ghost 9 is up to par with the best of its type. I don't say this lightly, but most quality running shoes will have great traction and there are no substantial technological advancements to properly compare any major differential in other road running shoes of similar outsole profiles. In short, you get the effective traction that you've known from their previous models and similarly built models. Like all other road shoes, its traction fares best on road and concrete rather than trails where you won't be getting effectiveness of use as the outsole is not aggressive, but effective, if utilized properly. Overall, the traction is solid and enables the shoe to perform really well on road.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

This is an extremely important aspect of a shoe as it can help guide the foot through twists or protect from potential strains, and helps emphasize effective movement if well balanced, all depending on the degree of flexibility provided. With the Ghost 9, you get flexibility via the outsoles Omega flex grooves but the upper plays a substantial part in this as well. The midsole with its BioMoGo DNA foam allows for a flexible stride as opposed to being stiff due to the nature of the material. The outsole further contributes to the flexibility through its design, being divided into pods which allows the portion to flex a bit more. Furthermore, the upper’s mesh allows for flexibility due to its stretch fabrics inherent nature. From my personal perspective, it was a very flexible for a shoe of its size and weight. Though it's definitely a bit less flexible than some other, more minimalistically styled shoes I have on my shelf, it does what you would need for its purpose in this regard and gives a good balance.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The Ghost 9 is a fairly neutral shoe primarily because of the upper and the midsole. The material of the midsole, due to its springiness and adaptation to force, make for a very smooth and stable ride overall. The upper adds to this with its snug fit around the top of the foot, securing it very well. No problems with stability here.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The drop on the Ghost 9 is 12 millimeters. This is arguably a bit high, as most shoes of this type tend to fall in the 9-10 mm range. As you can tell though, it is not much higher than the common range, and really won't present any issues or substantial differences than the average offset. I hardly noticed the difference from the 10+ pairs of shoes I have and wear regularly which are mostly in the 10mm range.
Key Features of the Brooks Ghost 9
Key Features of the Brooks Ghost 9

Key Features of the Brooks Ghost 9

•Breathable engineered stretch mesh upper for ample airflow

•BioMoGo DNA midsole for an adaptive stride

•Crash pad for effective shock absorption and smooth transitions

•Omega Flex grooves to allow for a better range of flexibility
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Overall, the Brooks Ghost 9 is a very solid, well rounded road runner that I would recommend to anyone looking for a very comfortable, stable shoe. It offers a lot for its price, which is fair. It's midsole, upper, and outsole all offer solid, up to date technology with great quality and attention to detail. I personally enjoyed running in the Ghost 9, and found them easy to just slip into and go, without even really needing to break them in. Which is nice when you hardly have time for breakfast, although I always recommend breaking in a shoe before getting into any serious sessions with them. I've been a fan of the Ghost series as a whole and could see them being a great fit for many others as they continue to give us top on the line, highly commended, well performing shoes. The Ghost 10's will be coming out soon, so keep an eye out!