Brooks Ghost versus Glycerin

The Ghost and the Glycerin are two of the most popular shoes in the Brooks line-up. They are both neutral road running shoes that have roughly the same stack height and the same weight. So which one should you get?

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Left: Brooks Ghost 12. Right: Brooks Glycerin 17.

The Brooks Ghost 12 has a forefoot stack of 19 mm and a heel stack of 31 mm, giving it a 12 mm drop, while the Glycerin 17 has a height of 22 mm in the forefoot and 32 mm in the heel which makes for a 10 mm drop. They both weigh in at around 260 grams for the women’s model. Both have a rubber outsole that provides good traction and are durable.

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I like the simple and quite sleek design of the Brooks Ghost 12, no weirdly looking overlays, a straightforward lacing system and a nicely padded tongue and heel collar. I’m sure there will be people out there that find this shoe too boring, but I like that it could double as a sneaker if need be. The platform is a bit wider than on the Glycerin and provides a stable ride and a roomy toe box. The Ghost has a dual material midsole with DNA LOFT in the heel and BioMoGo everywhere else in the midsole. It’s a combination of soft in the heel and responsive everywhere else. I did have to get used to the dual density midsole in the beginning, but that didn’t take long.

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Top: Brooks Ghost 12. Bottom: Brooks Glycerin 17.

The Glycerin 17 has some more obvious overlays on the upper, but it is still seamless. I had a bit of trouble getting them to fit properly and eventually replaced the sock liner to give me a better fit. I also had some trouble getting the right lockdown of my foot without my foot sliding around on top of the platform, but once I managed that, I found it a comfortable and plush shoe. I even ran the Chicago Marathon in them without getting any blisters and I’ve kept all my toenails.

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The Ghost is a great everyday running shoe, while the Glycerin is better for medium to longer runs. Neither of them gave me any hotspots, but I found that the upper of the Ghost adapted better to my foot than the fit of the Glycerin. I also found the Ghost to be a bit better for heel strikers. The Glycerin is nicely cushioned, but I had some trouble with the shock absorption on longer runs, probably because I’m a heel striker.

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Both shoes work for several types of gaits and speeds, which explains why both shoes are so populair, it mostly comes down to personal preference. The Ghost has a wider and bit more stable ride, but is also firmer, while the Glycerin is a bit narrower and has more of a plush feel. Personally, I like the fit of the Ghost better but I’m a fan of a plush midsole. So maybe, one day the Ghost and the Glycerin can get together and create some offspring with the fit of the Ghost and the midsole of the Glycerin?

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