Brooks Ghost vs. Glycerin – What are the Main Differences?

Brooks shoes have a strong reputation in the running community. The general consensus is that you can’t go wrong with any Brooks running shoe.

The cushioning in the Glycerin is DNA Loft is softer than BioMogo found in the Ghost making your runs more comfortable. The added cushioning and mesh support offered with the Glycerin offer better flexibility for runners on longer runs. The Brooks Ghost has a stiffer midsole making it the better choice for short runs and an all-around running shoe. 

They are well-known for their level of cushioning and feature 3D Fit Print and Knit Overlays to provide structure to the shoe uppers. 

Looking deeper into these qualities and the pros and cons of the Brooks Ghost vs. Brooks Glycerin will help you decide which of these shoes you may be interested in.

Who Glycerin & Brooks are NOT For:

These two well-cushioned neutral running shoes provide little to no pronation support however there is a stark difference between the two.

If you find that your shoes are wearing unevenly on the outside or inside edges of the soles, you may want to visit a running store to see if you need some support for pronation.

If this uneven wearing-out pattern isn’t a problem for your shoes as you wear them, then Glycerin or the Ghost would be great picks for you. 

A little pronation is a natural way that your body disperses force when striking the ground, but too much can often lead to biomechanical inefficiencies and ultimately injuries. If the overpronation is an issue for you and you are still interested in Brooks running shoes, then check out the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21, as it is a premier support shoe on the market today.


Cushioning:

Brooks Women's Ghost 11 Black/Pink/Aqua 9 B US

It's no secret that cushioning is often held on a pedestal when it comes to conversations about good running footwear.

If you are training and racing on hard surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt, cushioning is of notable importance to preserve your legs over the miles and miles of work.

Brooks DNA midsole foam specializes in making shoes that are specially cushioned. This foam offers some plush and luxurious cushioning while maintaining responsiveness and durability for lasting premium quality.

Bottom line is that the Ghost and Glycerin shoes have outstanding levels of cushioning.

Conversely, if you are someone who has ankle or joint instability, foot pronation, or numbness when running, cushioned shoes may not be the best option for you. Opt for something a little more firm so you can get some more feedback from the ground.

This is consistent with previous pairs which we have compared, Ghost 10, Ghost 11, 12, and the Glycerin 14 & 15


Price Comparison:

New runners are often shocked at the price of running shoes and are tempted to buy shoes strictly based on price.

This can be a mistake.

Brooks Men's Ghost 13, Primer Grey/Pearl/Black, 10 Medium

As with anything, the cost of the shoe is relative to the technology and quality of the shoe.

Price alone cannot be the only determining factor in your Brooks Ghost vs. Glycerin decision because both shoes have different qualities for runners of different running styles, running environments, and body structures. 

The Brooks Ghost carries a lower price point than the Brooks Glycerin, but in both instances, you are getting a high-quality shoe.

Price-wise the Glycerin tends to be the higher of the most popular Brooks shoes including over the Ghost.                                                                                                     

Be sure to check around on Brooks.com to find the cheapest version of each shoe. 

Ghost AND Adrenaline

Pros

  • Super Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Well-Cushioned

Cons

  • Unsecured Lacing
  • Heavy
Sale
Brooks Glycerin 18 Black/Rose Gold/Grey 5 B (M)
4,213 Reviews
Brooks Glycerin 18 Black/Rose Gold/Grey 5 B (M)
  • THIS SHOE IS FOR: The Glycerin 18 is perfect for runners who think there's no such thing as too much cushioning. The upper enhances comfort by perfectly balancing stretch and structure.
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: Provides neutral support while offering the maximum amount of cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Glycerin 17.
  • SUPER-SOFT CUSHIONING: Increased DNA LOFT super-soft cushioning allows for even more extreme softness, without losing responsiveness or durability, while the OrthoLite sockliner provides premium step-in comfort.

Design:

The Two-color knitted upper in the Ghost delivers softness and breathability while also offering a fresh new look for those familiar with previous models. This is simpler than the upper of the Brooks Glycerin, which is built with a Double Jacquard

Mesh to be breathable and offer adaptable flexibility, but with some added support compared to the Ghost.

Brooks Women's Ghost 10 Navy/Pink/Teal Green 6 B US

If you find yourself running in dry, hot weather, this feature is especially luxurious.

Also, if you find that your toenails bruise or blacken or that your toes swell or blister, the increased toe room can be beneficial in keeping these problems at bay

The Glycerin has a similar type of engineered mesh that is one piece across the entire shoe.

Brooks Men's Glycerin 15 Black/Electric Brooks Blue/Green Gecko 8 D US

As mentioned above, the Brooks Glycerin has a very strong Double Jacquard Mesh Upper, that is also paired with a 3D Fit Print saddle that applies strategic overlays to provide a seamless and secure fit.

Some runners have reported that they can comfortably run in both styles of these shoes without socks. This has a lot to do with some plush interior lining that surrounds your foot and moves and expands with your stride, as well as the OrthoLite sock liner, which offers premium “step-in” comfort.

We would not recommend it

A good pair of running socks is essential to keeping your running shoes in good condition.

Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoe - Black/Ebony/Coral - 6
9,350 Reviews
Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoe - Black/Ebony/Coral - 6
  • 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 provides 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.

Pros

  • Smooth Heel-to-Toe Transition
  • Versatile Design
  • Soft, yet Springy DNA LOFT Midsole

Cons

  • Some Durability Issues
  • Heavy
  • High Heel-to Toe Offset (12mm)

Weight:

Some runners, especially those with hip and knee problems, can be concerned with the weight of their running shoes

All Brooks running shoes are considered lightweight, particularly when you observe all the thoughtful features they manage to pack into each shoe.

In the case of the Ghost vs. Glycerin, the Ghost is actually the lighter of the two shoes.

This, however, requires a sacrifice in the Brooks Ghost.  The Glycerin has 20% more cushion to make up for the slightly heavier weight.

Brooks Women's Glycerin 16 Ebony/Green/Black 8.5 B US

Again, this is a matter of discovering which feature is more important to you – the increased cushion of the Brooks Glycerin vs. the decreased weight of the Brooks Ghost.

If you are looking for a lot more cushion, check out the Brooks Revel.

Here is the review with photos of the enormous amount of cushioning in the shoe.

Breathability:

There are a few seemingly minor improvements that the Glycerin has over the Ghost.

Even though these appear to be small differences, they make the Brooks Glycerin a much more desirable shoe for most dedicated runners who aren’t as concerned about price.

For example, the broader 3D Fit Print Overlays provide added support throughout the single mesh upper on the shoe.

Brooks Women's Ghost 11 Black/Pink/Aqua 8.5 B US

Although you wouldn’t notice this at first, it is a hidden gem of engineering that sets the Brooks Glycerin apart from the Brooks Ghost.

This 3D Fit Print Overlay is engineered to provide support and has relatively little impact on the breathability of the mesh upper on the shoe. It’s definitely worth a try for those unconcerned about price.

Some runners experience a more secure fit as a result of this technology.

When comparing Brooks to other popular running shoes, including Asics, you will find that Brooks focuses on cushioning and breathability above all else.

Sole:

Another primary difference that sets the Glycerin ahead of the Ghost is the sole.

Featuring deeper grooves and more ground contact, the Glycerin soles are designed to reduce impact while simultaneously improving comfort, flexibility, and traction.

Brooks Men's Glycerin 15 Black/Electric Brooks Blue/Green Gecko 9.5 D US

Although these features contribute to the slightly heavier weight of the shoe, many runners agree that it is worth it.

Brooks Women's Glycerin 16 Ebony/Green/Black 8.5 B US

The Ghost is one of the most popular of the Brooks line. We compare it against all of the lines including the Ravenna (which has been steadily gaining popularity for its lightweight versatility).


Conclusion:

You can’t really go wrong when you’re deciding between the Glycerin and Ghost running shoes.

Remember, there is no need to make sacrifices when you have advanced engineering and years of experience on your side, which is exactly what Brooks offers the running world.

Based on our simple pros and cons list, the Brooks Glycerin comes out slightly ahead of the Brooks Ghost.

A good running store will have both shoes available for you to try on.

Some people notice an immediate difference, while others will only notice the difference if they have been training in one for a long time and then switch to the other.

Just beware – once you move to the more expensive shoe, you’ll have a hard time adjusting back to the lower cost ones.

Although how much you’re willing to spend on shoes is a personal decision, we think the slightly higher price of the Brooks Glycerin is worth it when you consider the benefits you’ll receive.


Last update on 2021-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API