Although a daily running shoe may not be the most exciting part of your collection it is, for most people, the most important. That's because it should cover a lot of miles over a range of different training formats.
The Ghost lineup is Brooks' hugely popular all-rounder, offering comfort, cushioning and heaps of others features that make it a great choice for consistently taking out when you're training.
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In the latest version, updates have been kept to a minimum, with the most significant features being the extension of DNA LOFT cushioning throughout the midsole and a new air mesh upper.
We've spent the past few weeks putting the Brooks Ghost 13 through its paces over 60 miles of running. Is it worth investing in as your next daily trainer? Let's take a look.
Price: $130 | Weight: 286.3g/10.1oz (men) 249.5g/8.8oz (women) | Type: Road | Stability: Neutral | Heel to toe drop: 12mm | Sizing: Fits to size but is very roomy | Alternatives: Saucony Ride 13, Nike Pegasus Turbo 2, Hoka One One Rincon 2
The Brooks Ghost 13, like its predecessors, is a traditional style shoe that looks and feels like it has changed very little over the years. That's in no way a bad thing, especially when it comes to a reliable and comfortable daily trainer that does exactly what it says on the tin.
The engineered Air Mesh upper offers a soft relaxed fit that is an extremely welcoming experience as soon as you put your foot in. Light, forgiving and devoid of any feeling of tightness or discomfort, it's a design focused on those runners that want training sessions to feel relaxed and enjoyable. In contrast, however, the relaxed fit may lack the support or tight fit that many people expect from a shoe.
Brooks has also updated the DNA LOFT midsole to extend all the way from the heel to the forefoot on the lateral side of the shoe. This, combined with BioMogo foam on the medial side, is designed to offer a soft yet responsive feel, aiming to hit long slow runs as well as those where you want to pick up the pace.
The outsole is covered with a generous helping of rubber to protect the midsole and there's a surprisingly high drop of 12mm, which means the heel has a thick level of cushioning.
Running in the Ghost 13 is a bit like driving in a plush family station wagon; it's comfortable, roomy and it will get you from A to B, but it doesn't do anything particularly exciting. When it comes to daily running trainers, that's by no means a bad thing and the Ghost 13 is very good at what it does.
The updated midsole design offers a very comfortable ride. It's hard enough to give it a bit of responsiveness when you need it and soft enough to feel like it's taking the brunt of the impact over any distance. In comparison to the pricer Glycerin 18, the Ghost 13 is very similar in terms of feel and cushioning, although the Glycerin does feel like it delivers more in terms of performance and energy return.
The main thing we noticed when comparing to Glycerin 18 is that the Ghost 13 is a subtle ride. Yes, there's a nice balance between cushioning and responsiveness but you don't really notice it. Whether it's a 5k or a half marathon session, the Ghost 13 just does the job without causing any problems or making you feel like there are any obvious performance benefits. It's comfortable, reliable and does everything you would expect from a daily shoe.
One thing we did notice about the Ghost 13 is the genorous width combined with how soft and flexibly the shoe feels, to the point where it can feel like it isn't secure on the foot. For this reason, it may be worth looking at the narrow version of the shoe to ensure I nice locked down fit.
That said, we didn't particularly have any issue with the shoe once it was on, it just wasn't as firm or secure as most shoes that we test. For some that may be a big bonus in terms of comfort and fit, but if you want a locked down feel, it may be problem.
We recently tested the Saucony Ride 13 and found the experience was very similar, however, the main noticeable difference was the level of responsiveness from the midsole. With the Ride 13 there's a clear difference in energy return with the Ghost 13 lacking the same level of hardness and responsiveness.
The Brooks Ghost 13 is a competent all-round daily trainer that delivers a consistent level of comfort over any distance. Every element of the shoe is focused on covering mileage with as little fuss as possible, from the relaxed upper fit to the thick heel stack to absorb impact.
If you're looking for a shoe that can tackle faster training sessions, the Brooks 13 may struggle. However, if you want a reliable and consistent ride for ticking off your weekly miles, it's a great option.