In this Brooks Ghost 14 review, we'll try to explain why we think these carbon-neutral running shoes are the best Brooks running shoes you can get right now. The Ghost 14 is perfect for everyday training and jogging; if only they came in more exciting colourways...
Brooks has long been known as one of the world’s best running shoe brands, with a footwear legacy stretching as far back as the early 1900s. It wasn’t until the ‘70s, though, that the shoemaker really began to own the running space, launching the Villanova series in 1974 and then the Vantage just three years later, which sported the industry’s first-ever use of EVA.
Brooks has clearly always been on the cutting edge when it comes to running shoe development, and it’s still that way today. The company invests tonnes into research and development to ensure that it can offer the best experience for all types of runners, offering a shoe design for just about any environment.
Its most popular shoe franchise is indeed the Ghost with the Glycerin range coming up as a close second.
(As a matter of fact, there’s not much difference between the two, but to find out more you can always check out our Brooks Glycerin versus Ghost review.)
Brooks Ghost 14 review: Price and availability
The Ghost 14 running shoes were launched in mid-2021 and are available to buy now directly from Brooks US, Brooks UK and Brooks AU for an RRP of $140/£130/AU$229.95.
There are a mind-blowing number of colourways available in this new iteration of the Ghost (24 to be precise). Sadly, though, in true Brooks style, most of them are pretty garish.
Brooks Ghost 14 review: Design
Putting our minimalist colour preferences aside for one moment, Brooks’ Ghost 14 shoe design isn’t all that bad. It’s much sleeker than its predecessor thanks to a new and improved upper, which feels somewhat luxurious. For one, it’s less puffy and more streamlined, stretching to hug your foot as you put it on and giving a slipper-like feel. This is great for fhaving more control during a run when your feet are pounding the pavement.
The only downside here is the lack of a gusseted tongue, which would help keep water and debris from sliding through the laces down into the shoe. This isn’t something we had issues with during testing, but is still worth mentioning as it could prove problematic if your usual run routes have varied terrain.
One of the best design features in the Ghost 14, however, is related to its eco merits. Laying out a plan for net zero carbon emissions by 2040, Brooks is using recycled materials and carbon offsets in more and more of its running shoe lines. The Ghost 14 is the posterboy for this.
In fact, it’s the company’s first carbon-neutral shoe, reconstructed with recycled, bio-based materials that reduces manufacturing waste in the creation process. From dyeing to the tongue’s recycled-mesh material, the Ghost has undergone a climate-conscious transformation and we’re totally here for it.
Brooks Ghost 14 review: Sizing and fit
Since the Ghost 14’s predecessor ran a little short, Brooks has improved the fit to ensure its latest shoe is true to size. The thinner mesh on the upper also makes the forefoot feel a little more spacious. Still, it’s available in a variety of different widths so you can find the right fit for you.
Brooks Ghost 14 review: Performance
The standout feature in the Ghost 14 is that it has Brooks’ 100% DNA LOFT cushioning tech in the midsole. It’s the addition of this that gives the shoe a super soft feel, offering superb comfort for the heel every time your foot strikes the floor.
Despite this high level of cushioning, there’s still plenty of support on offer, mostly thanks to the stretchy and reactive upper, which holds your foot firmly in place during your run for a 360-degree supportive fit. Because of this, we’re super confident that the Ghost 14 is comfortable no matter what foot type you have. We do, however, have reservations about its high arch, which might not offer the best support for those more flat-footed runners out there.
Another niggle we have here is breathability. While the shoe has proven to be warm and cosy during our runs in these colder months, we can imagine this won’t be as pleasant come summertime as the upper doesn’t feel as breathable as those on rival trainers, such as Nike’s Air Zoom Pegasus 38, for example. This is something we’ll have to update you on once the weather warms up.
Overall, the Ghost 14 is a great neutral shoe with a remarkably stable ride. For this reason, it does get a bit of flack from more enthusiast runners, who call it out for being too bland. But if it’s longevity and stability you’re after, this is the shoe for you. It’s also an ideal all-rounder for beginners or those who aren’t quite sure what type of runner they are yet.
Brooks Ghost 14 review: Verdict
There’s no wonder the Ghost 14 is a go-to for runners looking for a reliable, everyday running shoe. Not only is it Brooks’ first carbon-neutral shoe but it offers cushioning like no other, ensuring a comfortable, easy-going ride no matter what running style or foot type you have.
The Ghost 14 is a great, all-round running shoe that’s perfect for anyone looking for comfort and equal levels of support in their runs.
Brooks Ghost 14 review: Also consider
The Brooks Glycerin 19 provides an even plusher running experience than the ghost 14. These running shoes' blend of foam, air and rubber delivers super soft comfort while you're logging those long training miles. Brooks has extended the DNA LOFT to the whole length of the midsole, and you will feel the benefit of this extra cushioning from your first run.
Equally as soft as the Ghost 14 is the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit. The ZoomX proves yet again why it’s one of the best midsole foams on the market today: it's super soft yet provides great energy return. Thanks to the combination of the ‘evolved’ Flyknit upper, padded collar and puffy tongue, comfort is elevated to the next level.
The Brooks Launch 8 is a highly breathable, reliable shoe with improved cushioning that still manages to feel fast and lightweight. It's firmer than the Ghost 14, so those who prefer uber-bouncy trainers might not prefer the Launch 8. that said, it's a solid trainer at a reasonable price for beginners and slower runners who want to feel quicker.