Brooks Ghost 8 Running Shoe Review
Brooks just launched their latest upgrade to one of their most popular shoes, the Ghost. With the Ghost 9 coming out, it’s the perfect time to stock up on some Ghost 8s. Thanks to an online sale and an American Express deal, I nabbed two pairs for just over $100. Though each generation gets better with advances in running shoe material technology, the previous generation continues to hold up well. For half the price, the 8s are a great deal still. But how do they stack up to other shoes?
I’ve had each generation of the Brooks Ghosts since the 6. The 6s were actually my first set of running shoes, bought due to their fairly average stability and cushioning and not just a little bit because of the style. I alternate between the Ghosts and Saucony Rides as my favorite shoes. The Ghosts are among the best sellers from Brooks for good reason and often garner awards and accolades from reviewers and runners alike. They are the perfect average shoe, good enough for nearly every day and every one. They fall very close to the middle of the range for both stability and cushioning, so tend to work well for almost everyone. Brooks excels with material design and technology as well, so each refresh feels like a good improvement.
The shoes are fairly light for an average shoe. Though not light enough to be considered minimal, they balance cushion and a springiness that make them feel lighter. The shoes just feel like they want to go fast. In long runs, I often feel them pushing me to keep up the pace late on. Due to a strong construction along the mid-arch, they almost feel spring loaded as you land and begin to roll off, driving you forward. I have noticed an occurrence of plantar fasciitis flare ups more often in these, perhaps because of this springiness, or perhaps I like these shoes so much I run most often in them.
The interior of the shoe is comfortable, but I don’t find it as plush or cushiony as the Mizuno Waves. You’ll feel the foot strike more in the Ghosts. There is enough cushion to prevent foot fatigue, and enough stability to feel firmly planted to the ground. I found no pronation or extra rotation during any of my runs in the Ghosts. The only downside of the interior is that the toes are a bit more cramped than comparable shoes. I didn’t find it too distracting or problematic, just enough to be noticeable.
The uppers of the Ghosts are a nice mesh that allows breathing among the best of any running shoes I’ve worn. My feet never seem to get hot in these. However, this comes with the downside that any water tends to easily find its way in. Whether rain, drops from above, or even just a light splash from a puddle, it’s all going inside and directly onto your toes. The material along the back of the heel is fine, but not as anti-abrasive as the Mizunos, and I’ve found socks get worn and I get more blisters in these than others.
Trumping all of these qualities is the actual style of the shoes. I find them really nice looking, like all of the Ghost line has been. They’re shoes you want to take out of the closet and wear not only for runs but every day. The arch is maybe a tad aggressive, but I still think they look great.
The whole Ghost line has been fantastic from Brooks over the years, and definitely continues with the 8s. These are shoes you’ll fall in love with and become lifelong fans of. They are the standard with which to measure all running shoes and the perfect choice for anyone getting into running or training more heavily for a big race.