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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?