Brooks running shoes have been widely discussed as one of the tops running shoe brands out there today.
Generally, the debate circles between Asics and Brooks on which shoe brand is better for runners. So, you’re looking to upgrade your Brooks running shoes?
Brooks has a long lineup of great running shoes that would take all day to break down.
That’s why we’ll be looking at the most popular neutral shoe models from Brooks for runners; the Ghost 13 and the Levitate 4.This article gives information on these two shoes, pros/cons, and compare and contrast between the two - Brooks Ghost vs Levitate.
The Brooks Ghost has evolved over the years to become one of the premier reliable neutral daily trainers on the market.
The Ghost proves to be one of the most popular running shoes every year because of its soft landing, smooth transition, and tenacious durability in the midsole and outsole.
Seeking to grow upon the positives of the previous versions, the Ghost 13 builds off of the Ghost 12 but offers an even softer landing with increased amounts of the Brooks DNA LOFT midsole foam.
This contributes to a soft, yet more springy toe-off compared to previous versions.
This midsole design also comes with a Segmented Crash Pad, which offers customizable cushioning stability through the heel-to-toe off cycle.
This Crash Pad also pairs with Omega Flex Grooves, which are implemented to offer forefoot flexibility without compromising cushioning in that area.
This will offer greater mobility to complement your springy toe-off.
Continuing to surpass its predecessors, the Ghost 13 implements a Two-Color Knitted Upper to deliver an even softer instep feel that holds your foot into the shoe well without any excessive tightness around the top of the foot.
This revamped upper also comes with a reimagined heel counter to provide a more supportive heel fit.
Let’s take a closer look at the specs of the Ghost 13.
- THIS SHOE IS FOR: The Ghost 13 is for runners looking for a reliable shoe that's soft and smooth. The Ghost 13 offers improved transitions for zero distractions so you can focus more on what matters most: your run.
- SUPPORT AND CUSHION: The neutral support type provideds high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Ghost 12
- BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning work together to provide a just-right softness underfoot without losing responsiveness and durability - yet it feels lighter than ever.
Relatively new to the Brooks lineup, The Levitate 4 seeks to be a road-ready daily trainer with a sock-like upper and very springy ride. It is made for those who prefer a more energized ride over a plush/soft ride in a daily trainer.
Improving upon its less impressive predecessors, the Brooks Levitate 4 reformulates the cushioning system for a lighter ride that doesn’t hinder performance.
Continuing with its overhaul, the Levitate 4 also features a new upper with the intent to increase softness and breathability, as well as an updated outsole pattern for greater flexibility and a speedier transition.
The Levitate 4 continues to sport its DNA AMP midsole, which is Brooks' most responsive midsole technology that offers strong energy return by encasing a polyurethane-based foam inside a thermoplastic polyurethane skin.
This midsole is complemented by an Arrow Point outsole design pattern designed to allow a swift transition from heel-to-toe off.
The updated Fit Knit upper is Brooks’ knit construction, it is specifically designed to move with your foot and provide close to a sock-like fit. This knit upper is paired with Brooks’ Wraparound integrated collar to enhance the sock-like fit.
- THIS SHOE IS FOR: The Levitate 4 is perfect for runners who want a shoe that helps them by giving energy back with each step, the Levitate 4's DNA AMP is now 20% lighter so our highest energy return foam is better than ever.
- ENERGIZED CUSHIONING: Now 20% lighter, our DNA AMP midsole technology lets your foot spring off the ground with each step for speedy, efficient energy return.
- SECURE, SOCK-LIFE FIT: We updated the Fit Knit Upper to provide a close-to-foot fit that’s lighter, softer, and more breathable than before.
Full Evaluation - Ghost 13 vs Levitate 4:
Uppers: Ghost 13 vs Levitate 4:
The uppers on these shoes are pretty different by design, the Ghost is made with a more standard engineered mesh upper known to reliably hold your foot securely and provide a comfortable daily fit.
This is in contrast to the Levitates Knit upper, which is made to feel lightweight and sock-like but will often lead to a rather unstable feel going around turns or uneven surfaces.
The lacing system feels good for both of these models, although the biggest difference is that the Ghost 13 has plusher laces and the Levitate 4 has some flatter laces to offer a lighter and sleeker feeling shoe.
The Brooks Ghost 13 offers a more supportive fit through the upper, as the Two-Color Knit engineered upper mesh paired with a solid heel counter will hold your foot securely without sacrificing any breathability.
By contrast, the Brooks Levitate 4 will not feel quite as supportive through the upper, this is in part to the upper knit material, which is designed to feel sleeker, but less supportive.
The Levitate 4 is lacking a proper heel counter as well, so that may cause issues with those that require some more support, even as a neutral runner.
All of that being said, the Levitate 4’s Fit Knit upper sure is comfortable and breathable.
Sole Unit: Ghost 13 vs Levitate 4:
The verdict on this sole unit between the Brooks Ghost 13 and Levitate 4 will depend on what sort of ride you are looking for in a daily trainer.
The Brooks Ghost 13 will cater to those seeking a soft, plush and, more supportive landing.
The Ghost 13 is designed with the DNA LOFT midsole to offer a reliable and versatile daily trainer for those who are seeking a softer landing without sacrificing too much in the way of heel-to-toe transitioning.
The Brooks Levitate 4 will be best suited for those seeking a more responsive and bouncier daily training ride.
The DNA AMP midsole offers a fun propulsive transition, which still has plenty of cushioning, but it is packaged in a slightly faster design.
The outsole designs are comparable in durability and traction, but the slight edge may go to the Levitate 4 in terms of a seamless transition. This is in part due to the Arrow-Point design that comes with this shoe, as it just feels fun to “push-off” in this one.
However, if you are seeking a more standard outsole design without too many frills, then the Brooks Ghost 13 will probably be the better shoe for you.
The Ghost 13 reigns as the more reliable daily trainer by incorporating more tried and true design features that will prove more accessible to the average distance runner.
The DNA LOFT midsole on the Ghost 13 just provides a soft ride that is just responsive enough to pick up the pace when needed, which is compared to the less versatile responsive design of the Levitate 4.
Although the weights are comparable, the Ghost 13 also takes the edge at 8.8 oz. (W8) over the Levitate 4 weight of 9.2 oz. (W8).
For a shoe designed to feel sleeker and faster, it is too bad that the Levitate 4 cannot manage to be lighter than the more standard daily trainer of the Ghost 13.
Priced at $130, the Brooks Ghost 13 is also the more economical option compared to the Brooks Levitate 4’s hefty $150 price point.
However, this may mean slightly more durability out of the Levitate 4, which will have a harder midsole design that is known to last longer than softer midsole designs.
Ultimately, it depends on the ride you are looking for. If you are seeking a more standard and reliable daily trainer feel, then go for the Brooks Ghost 13.
If you are seeking a responsive and fun ride, then you will probably find more success opting for the Brooks Levitate 4.
Last update on 2020-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API