I received a pair of the Ghost 9s from the great folks at Brooks; they asked me to write an upfront and honest post about this shoe. Well, here goes!
I had the opportunity last year to wear test the Ghost 9 when it first came off the production line. It was like the Launch and the Ghost 7 went away on a long weekend and nine months later, a delightfully mutant shoe was born. During the wear test, I put well over 600 miles on the shoes on every type of surface and in every type of weather. This shoe was quite literally like a Launch with better cushioning. Even when these shoes turned into "taco" shoes, I still wanted to run in them; grip a shoe in your hand by the outsole and squeeze - you have a taco shoe if the two sides of the shoe bend easily into each other.
Now, lets fast forward to the released model. This model was just as delightful. Plenty of cushion and lightweight responsiveness. The fit was marvelous - snug in the heel, snug through the arch (with a bit of arch feel), and plenty of room in the toe box. I felt that the Ghost 8 lost the toe box of the Ghost 7; the 8 felt a bit snug. This is the type of shoe that you intend to rotate with other shoes and then end up wanting to wear it for every run. It also makes you want to get a second pair so you can rotate two pairs and enjoy double the fun.
Yes, I sound a bit over the top. I will not hide my love of the Brooks product; I have been running solely in Brooks shoes for the past 15 years. I have been a Brooks ID member since 2005. Yet, this shoe seems to be the shoe that so many people dream about - plenty of cushion, smooth ride (no matter the drop), lightweight feel (no matter the weight), and a long running life. After reading the Glycerin 14 post, I was intrigued by the drop test. I took my super worn out pair of wear test Ghost 9s and the new Ghost 9s and dropped them to the ground, side by side. The new pair rebounded just a touch higher.
***Team Brooks - attempt 2 to post this, your 'create an account' function did not save my prior post - making me remember and repost the whole thing. Time to QA that functionality.***
Dear Team Brooks,
My own review of the recent changes to the Brooks Ghost is not as positive - and sadly, I've just ordered a pair of Mizuno Wave Runner 20s because your redesign means I can't run in your shoes.
I transitioned to the Brooks Ghost about 2.5 years ago after suffering from achilles tendonitis/tendonosis. My podiatrist recommended your shoe due to the high lift in the heel and I made the change after 7 years of Asics running. I found that I liked the Ghost a lot and kept religiously buying a new pair every 4-6 months. Until this spring. I was thrilled with my Ghost 7s in a cool aqua/leopard print (loved that color) but was running through the tread really fast. Without a thought, I ordered the next model - Ghost 8s in fuscia.
During my first run, in a hot, humid climate, I found my toes heating up after just 1-2 miles. By mile 3 I had blisters between two toes and struggled to finish a short 4 miler. My first assumption was climate / wet feet / bad socks. Two to three more runs with the same issues ... and I tried with foot powder but then went back to my 7s to realize that there was no issue with them. Place the shoes sole to sole only to find that the toe box of the new model was 3-4 millimeters narrower - leading to my great discomfort.
Since then, I've been running in the old (now nearly treadless) shoes and relegated the new to crossfit and walking. I had hoped that the next model out would be back to the generous toe box - but I've found that they too are narrow. And sadly, off I go to try a new shoe.
Hopefully this feedback makes it to your designers ... because I was ready to be loyal to your shoe - but my feet just can't bare it
I am also struggling with my Ghost 9's. I have been a long-time Ghost customer since I started running in 2012. I just switched to a Ghost 9 from a Ghost 8 and just don't get the same support. They don't fit my feet as snugly and I am having more knee and shin problems and actually am afraid I may have a stress fracture on my right foot. I switched and ran in my Ghost 8 (which have about 350 miles on them) last night and no issues. Ran in them again this morning and everything felt a lot better. What changed in the Ghost 9? I am afraid I may have to change. I actually did a test for Brooks through an email last night and it recommended the Ravinna. I may try a pair on and see how they feel. I really like my Ghost shoes and don't want to change brands.