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Brooks Ghost 11 Running Shoe Review

by Sportitude
7 Aug 2018

Josh reviews the Brooks Ghost 11 running shoes and highlights how they differ from the previous generations and the Brooks Glycerin 16. 

They're particularly suited to a neutral foot type and offer a secure, irritation free upper fit that accommodates the natural expansion of your foot as you run. 

You get oodles of responsive cushioning and pillowy-soft comfort thanks to Brooks innovative DNA LOFT foam - perfect for runners that love a plusher feel underfoot. 

The durable outsole features both carbon rubber and blown rubber, and has a three flex groove configuration for runners needing increased forefoot stability. 

Check out the full review with transcript below. 

Hi guys, Josh from Sportitude today for shoe review time. We’re going to be doing the Brooks Ghost 11. 

I’ve got women’s in my hands, men’s here as well. There’s a lot of colours on our website so head to the links below to check them all out. 

With all of our shoe reviews we like to go through in quite a bit of detail and talk about the outsole, midsole and upper, as well as what foot type should be running in this specific shoe. Without further ado let's get stuck in. 

Foot Type

First things first let’s talk about what foot type should be running in the Ghost 11. It’s a neutral shoe so we are looking at a foot type with a higher arch and a little bit of a pitched navicular region. 

Technically it’s for the foot type that doesn’t collapse in too much over the midstance or breaking phase in your gait cycle. 

I’m probably contradicting myself in the sense that we’ve had some success fitting a mildly pronated foot type in the Ghost 11 and I’ll get to that in a tick. When we’re talking mildly pronated we’re talking about someone that as they come through that midstance phase has the tendency to load up a little bit on that medial side. 

The reason we would go for a Ghost 11 over a supportive shoe is in some cases where supportive shoes have irritated that runner slightly on that medial side. 

That’s a bit of a delicate area to get discussing about but I’ve certainly had success fitting mildly pronated foot types. There’s a lot of other things I’d need to take into consideration such as injury history and how much knee rotation we’re getting. 

I’ll get touching on that a little later. Let’s talk about the outsole setup first. 

Outsole

We’ve got your carbon rubber on the lateral side on the heel and then we’ve got blown rubber through the forefoot. 

Now with the Brooks rubber system we’ve got a slightly thicker outsole through the forefoot than what they’ve previously had in the Ghost 10. That provides a little bit of cushioning assistance out of the outsole through the forefoot. 

We’ve also got three flex grooves. They’re standard for most neutral running shoes. However the older brother and older sister of this category, the Brooks Glycerin 16, have got six flex grooves through the forefoot in comparison to the Brooks Ghost’s three. 

Now the difference there is the Glycerin is going to be more flexible on toe-off. If we are looking at a runner that needs a little more stability through that forefoot, and doesn’t want to be moving too much through that platform, the Ghost 11 is a great shoe to consider. 

It’s almost one contact zone setup. Traditionally we’ve seen shoes with Trusstic Systems through the middle splitting the heel and forefoot, however we’ve almost got that complete contact zone through that outsole configuration. 

Midsole

Moving along to the midsole. This is where I think Brooks have nailed it this year with the Ghost 11. 

What we’ve got is the DNA LOFT. That’s their new cushioning system. It’s very responsive through the forefoot. However, it’s got a great amount of impact guidance so when your foot hits the ground you get plenty of cushioning, but you don’t want to be sinking the whole way through the gait cycle. 

When you’re going through midstance to toe-off phase the responsive feel in this shoe is fantastic. I’m yet to find a person to put the Ghost 11 on and say they don’t like the feeling underneath the foot. It is that plush.

In my eyes, it’s a little bit plusher on the foot than the Glycerin for example. I don’t know why, that’s subjective to me, however I really like the feeling of the Ghost 11. It’s fantastic underneath. 

Being a neutral shoe, we aren’t talking any assistance on the medial side. There’s no posting, no extra support to cater for an overpronator. However, as I touched on earlier I have had some success with mild pronators. 

The reason being is, as we come through the forefoot the midsole on the medial side of the shoe does kick out or flare out a little bit. If I drilled a hole right through the shoe where that first metatarsal sits, we’ve got a fair bit of play and overlap on the midsole on that medial side. 

When we’re going through that midstance to toe-off phase, having a little extra through this region gives your foot a wider footbed to toe-off with. 

It will compress at the same rate as it does through the midstance phase, but just know it’s there to give you more stability on toe-off. In conjunction with the three flex grooves through the forefoot, it’s a nice stable base to toe-off with. It’s a really good engineering feature. 

Upper

Let's talk about all things upper now. We’re talking an internal heel counter setup. Looking at the shoe from the back of the foot the internal heel counter is not overly high, however it's really secure. 

When I look at a shoe, I look at the collar around the inside. Brooks over the last couple of years have done a magnificent job in making that comfortable around the back of your heel in your calcaneus. It’s almost like a pillow fit when you put it in. Beautiful security, nice and plush feeling around the back of your foot. 

As you come through to the midstance phase we’re not talking too much restrictions in this shoe. It does come in available widths. Head over to our website to have a look at what widths are available through the men’s and the women’s. 

They can change a platform and change the upper to cater for different foot widths, being narrower or wider. 

Looking at the midsection we don’t want too much restriction through that navicular region for a neutral foot type. More often than not, a neutral foot type has a high arch and if it's quite restrictive through here it's going to cause a little discomfort for the runner, cutting off that blood flow down the forefoot in the back. You don’t want to be too tight however you want to be stable. 

The mesh they use in the Ghost 11 is quite secure on the foot however it does have a little bit of give for when your foot expands on that midstance phase. 

I like the fit of the new forefoot. The Ghost 9 for those of you who might remember had quite a large toe cap and some people like it, some people don’t. I didn’t like it. 

For Ghost 10 however they changed the fit up. They got rid of that toe cap and had a little bit of a synthetic casing around the front almost on that toe box. However, they’ve got rid of that altogether for the Ghost 11. We’re just talking a welded mesh setup through that forefoot.

It’s nice and stable, very strong and there’s no restrictions through the toes. It’s been great I found for runners that might hit some undulating terrain, not necessarily trails, but up and down roads, footpaths or hills. 

Having a little less restriction on that forefoot going down hills has been great and it doesn’t cause any unusual rubbing or irritation through that first toe, second and third. You shouldn’t get any irritation across that toe box at all. 

The shoe is breathable, light with not much restriction at all in the upper so your foot feels very free. In my eyes probably too comfortable. You put it on and it doesn’t feel like it's going to be that supportive. 

However, I’ve taken my pair out for two 10km runs and I found them great. I’ve liked it because I can vary my speeds and being light I can hit the ground a bit harder with more force, but you get plenty of protection from the DNA LOFT. But on my longer runs, which for me nowadays I classify 10K as a long run, I find they hold up really well. 

The shoe does its best work in the last third of a run. Your fatigued, your tired, you want the shoe to hold you in good position and I find the Ghost is fantastic for that. I’ve tried it with an orthotic, without an orthotic and found success both ways. Obviously being a neutral shoe it takes an orthotic really well. 

I do want to jump around a bit. I do want to talk about the width of the heel base. I touched on it at the start of the video talking about the rubber they used in that first point of contact. The other reason I do like the Ghost 11 is it's got considerable amount of real estate underneath the heel. 

That’s great for some heavy heel strikers when you’re coming down quite hard on that heel. Having a lot more shoe through there gives you a wider footbed for your foot to hit the ground. That’s great when we’re talking towards the end of longer runs when you’re going to be a little inconsistent when your foot hits the ground. 

Having more real estate gives you a lot more consistent or cradled footbed when your foot makes point of contact with the ground, which then in effect will minimise any movement off that platform through to midstance. That puts you in a good position to toe-off. 

Great engineering feature, love the amount of real estate in the back half.   


There you have it. There’s another few things I like about the shoes. 

I like the cosmetics. I think they nailed it, they look sharp. But I’m not here to tell you what I like and what you like, I’m here to tell you about the technical features of the shoe. 

The Ghost 11 is a great addition to the Brooks running range in 2018. Like all my reviews if you have any questions or queries about this specific shoe contact our Sportitude shoe experts

Also, if you haven’t subscribed to our YouTube channel please do. We’re here to get out as many running shoe reviews as possible and to connect with all runners across the world.

Thanks for watching. Until next time, happy running.