The Brooks Ghost 13 is meant to be the evolution of classic Brooks styles, coming with a lot of the same details while tweaking the design and materials slightly. The changes from older Brooks shoes have all been positive adjustments and new features, so it is great for people who need a new pair.
This has made it a fairly popular style of shoe for a wide range of situations – but how well does it actually hold up as multi-purpose footwear?
This Brooks Ghost 13 review will show the new features of the Brooks Ghost 13s, covering both the good and bad points to give you an objective idea of what they are like.
What is the Brooks Ghost 13?
The Brooks Ghost 13 is another entry into the Brooks line of shoes. Compared to their previous shoe, Brooks has changed around some of the internal materials and adjusted the design to give the Ghost 13 some better results in multiple situations or uses.
The shoe is a neutral trainer, meaning that it does not have a particular bias towards overpronation or underpronation. This neutral design means that most runners should be able to use the shoe just fine.
As a whole, the shoes are still meant to be multi-purpose and reliable: they offer cushioning and protection suitable for training, running, walking, and any other kind of serious or casual use. Even so, the Brooks Ghost 13 shoes are considered running shoes since they are based on that general design.
Changes from the Brooks Ghost 12
The Brooks Ghost design has not changed much, but new materials have replaced some of the older ones. Some of these are direct upgrades, others are not.
The traction pattern on the rubber is different, which can slightly alter the way that your feet grip to certain surfaces, but things like the engineered mesh upper are essentially the same as the previous version.
The key change is the extended DNA Loft foam that has been used in the midsole. The Ghost 12 had this DNA Loft too, but on a much smaller scale: the Brooks Ghost 13 uses this DNA Loft across much more of the forefoot. This results in better transitions and smoother movement as a whole.
It might be worth mentioning that the average Brooks Ghost 13 weighs less than the Ghost 12 and Ghost 11, but only slightly. This should not make much of a practical difference during exercise routines.
What is DNA Loft?
DNA Loft is a custom set of cushioning materials used in the Brooks Ghost line, combining EVA foam, air, and rubber. This makes DNA Loft stronger and softer than the materials you have come to expect from running shoes. The Brooks Ghost 13 makes extensive use of this material.
The full-length DNA Loft used in the Ghost 13 is technically a replacement for Glycerin, a much more expensive material. This allowed Brooks to give the Ghost 13 more padding overall.
Should I Upgrade from The Brooks Ghost 12?
If you are familiar with the Ghost line and want to try the Ghost 13 , Brooks has kept the basics without just re-building the exact same shoe all over again. You will find it familiar, but it is not so familiar that upgrading from the Ghost 12 would be a waste.
The Sole Section
The Brooks Ghost 13 is officially classed as a running shoe, which means that a good sole is vital for proper support. The sole used here is designed to offer a smooth ride and improve your running experience, even on long runs.
The Midsole of the Brooks Ghost 13 uses a dual-foam design, combining DNA Loft and BioMoGo in a way that gives them a similar density. This means that you get the benefits of two different foams at once, as well as better balance and stability.
This DNA Loft foam is full-length and runs all the way down the forefoot, using a co-molded design to remove the seams between the pieces of foam. In most conditions, this will give you a softer ride that also wears out a lot slower, meaning that you do not have to maintain your running shoes as often.
The midsole is a very key part of the shoe and provides a lot of the extra padding that you will want. Remember that the midsole is built into the outsole, so the two are almost always working together to properly protect your feet.
Like the midsole, the outsole of the Brooks Ghost 13 uses two different types of rubber. The forefoot gets the softer blown rubber that improves comfort and flexibility, while the rear of your foot uses hard and supportive rubber instead.
All of this Brooks rubber has a softer and spongy feel that is perfect for keeping yourself comfortable and cushioned. Compared to a lot of brands, Brooks often uses thicker rubber soles, and that is true with the Brooks Ghost 13 too. The outsole is also a full-contact design, making transitions a little easier.
Finally, there is the wide flex grooves, three on each foot. These span all the way to the forefoot and provide a massive boost to flexibility without reducing durability.
The EVA materials in the midsole can wear out faster than expected if you are not careful, which is the only real weakness of the Ghost 13’s sole design. Unlike most other shoe designs, it sacrifices some strength to give you better comfort and performance.
However, this is still easily within acceptable ranges for running shoes since a runner needs to expect faster wear and tear if they have been running more often than normal. It might wear out faster on more difficult ground or in bad weather, but only slightly, and that is not enough to make it a proper concern for most people.
Nothing about the Ghost 13 implies a lower lifespan compared to standard running shoes, and the better heel could actually improve it slightly. This depends on how you run and the kind of trails or paths that you stick to.
Arch support is not one of the key selling points of the Brooks Ghost 13, but it is not lacking in that area either. The standard arch height goes well with the neutral design and balanced weight distribution, so it has a very practical design that does not rely on any gimmicks to feel comfortable.
The midsole might contribute to this slightly, but the insole is the bulk of the support.
Alongside this is plenty of foam padding in areas where your foot will need it most, like the heel. This heel cushioning is backed up with a solid internal heel counter, great for keeping yourself balanced and focused. This improved heel counter also stiffens the back of each running shoe, making the upper fit slightly better.
Unlike some other shoes with very cushioned heels, there is not a dual-density design. Instead, the Brooks Ghost 13 removes the original heel crash pad, which can make it more effective for runners on hard surfaces or difficult terrain.
The Upper Section
The upper area of the Brooks Ghost 13 is the main focus here and the area where the most changes have been made. The most notable improvement is the change in the mesh, with the old material being swapped out for a custom “air mesh” that offers better breathability and natural cooling.
Engineered Mesh Upper
The engineered mesh is the most important part of the upper for a runner, and in the Brooks Ghost 13, it has been handled very well.
A light design of only 10.1 oz means that you will not suffer as much foot fatigue, which is backed up by the fairly wide forefoot area. This plush upper design is ideal for any runner, using the soft custom ‘air mesh’ to provide the soft cushioning and protection you need.
The plush upper section improves on the standard designs seen in an average trainer by using better materials but does not change the general shape.
Like any trainer, the Brooks Ghost 13 is still ventilated, flexible, and uses a normal lace-up closure, so it can easily replace any pair of shoes that you already own.
Despite being non-gusseted, the tongue will not slide, using wide wings to stay locked in place with the rest of the upper. This is fairly useful since a slipping tongue removes some of the soft cushioning and makes your perfect fit less perfect.
Some people may still prefer the gusseted tongue, but this new redesign still works well without it. If you absolutely can’t manage without one, it might be possible to replace it yourself if you want to take that risk.
At the front of the Brooks Ghost 13 is the toe box, which has plenty of room for your feet to stretch and your toes to bend. An internal toe stiffener helps boost the structure of each shoe but does not add more weight.
As an added benefit, the toe box has reflective strips on both sides, making you more visible during low-light runs. A better ‘toe bumper’ also gives the shoe a more defined shape without actually getting in the way of your foot.
The forefoot is another key part of the upper, and in this case, it uses a true-to-size design to give you the best ride possible. Rather than being too narrow, the Brooks Ghost 13 is designed to be roomier than normal, meaning that people with larger feet can still use the shoe properly.
Overall, the forefoot is just an improved version of a standard trainer design, which is not a bad thing. The surrounding foam and durable materials mean that it acts as a solid base to cradle your feet while you are running.
The heel-to-toe offset of the Brooks Ghost 13 sits at 12 mm in total. 12 mm is high enough to improve stability and cushioning without over-complicating your running style, so it should generally improve your ride.
The improvements to the forefoot allow the Ghost 13 to properly accommodate runners with wider feet, and there are specific narrow models for runners that want something more suited to their needs. Extra-wide versions are also available if you need the opposite.
Remember to get the right size measurements before you buy any shoe pairs since this can alter the way that they feel on your feet. If you choose the wrong one, they can even cause you pain, and padding will not be able to help much with that.
Wearing the Brooks Ghost 13
The Brooks Ghost 13 has received a lot of positive reviews for the comfort features, like the plush cushioning. However, the ride of the shoe itself is just as important since you want to stay comfortable while wearing a neutral daily trainer.
The DNA Loft foam and other cushioning materials used in the Ghost 13 are fairly dense and comfortable but are not too thick. The removal of the crash pad near the heel and the added support mean that you are able to get a smooth ride on most surfaces, even if it takes a while to adjust.
As a neutral shoe, the Ghost 13 is suitable for most users, and that also helps add comfort while you move. The softer DNA Loft foam and other plush materials help a lot, as does the smooth heel-to-toe gradient.
Since the Ghost 13 is good for a wide range of ground types and weather conditions, it can be used nearly anywhere and still provide a softer, smooth ride whether you are walking or running. It works well as a multi-purpose shoe.
Wearing the Ghost 13 running shoe allows you to handle most situations fairly well, and the soft padding can keep you much more comfortable wherever you are.
Thanks to the BioMoGo DNA foam used in parts of the Ghost 13, the shoe has far better responsiveness on both the insole (against your feet) and the outsole (against the surface you are running on). This BioMoGo DNA foam is also used in the upper alongside the DNA Loft materials, keeping the customer a lot more comfortable.
The whole design of the Ghost 13, as well as the inclusion of BioMoGo DNA foam and other similar materials, is to push your running ride as high as possible. Some reviews mention that the shoe seems more responsive as you start going faster.
Instead of speeding you up, the Ghost 13 makes you a lot less likely to slow down, which is good for both tempo runs and long-distance runs at any speed.
The cushioning across the Brooks Ghost 13’s interior is actually extremely well-designed, creating a softer inner layer that is not too soft to run with. Since the shoes are already neutral, this adds to their general versatility since they can keep you comfortable across most types of terrain and in most weather conditions.
The Ghost 13 is the next step for the Brooks Ghost line, and it is already starting to improve on things that the previous Ghost running shoe designs missed. As a daily trainer, it offers a good outsole design, upper section, heel area, and even a reliable midsole.
Soft cushioning makes each pair comfortable, and they are durable enough to not wear down after only a few miles.
Even better, since they are based on straightforward shoes, a pair of Ghost daily trainers can serve you well at any point in the year, whether it is August breezes or September snow.
Combine this with a reduced weight of only 10.1 oz and a simple heel-to-toe design, and you can get a soft, smooth ride that lasts for miles upon miles of running time.
Should I Buy the Ghost 13?
If you want something that can combine a solid outsole and midsole with soft interior padding, then you should definitely purchase the Ghost 13 running shoe.
As you have seen in this review, the entire shoe design offers a great range of ride improvements, from a better midsole to simple things like cutting down on the unnecessary weight. If you want something lighter and easier to use while you are on runs, then this is a good choice.
If you are not sure where to look, check around for a Ghost online. The shopping experience might be different compared to a physical store, but you can search for exactly what you need, right down the color of the Ghost you buy.
The Ghost 13 is a solid shoe that manages to blend a lot of elements together without making itself too limited or gimmick-focused, and that cements the Ghost line as something worth using. This also means that they can work well in a variety of different roles and situations and could replace your standard casual trainers entirely.
Just make sure that you have the sizes right and understand the shape of your foot since these can really impact the way a shoe feels. As a neutral type of shoe, the Brooks Ghost 13 should support most people very well no matter how they walk or run, but you should check before making a purchase just to be safe.