Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Product Review: Brooks Ghost 7

Ever since I have run, I have always worn Brooks running shoes.  Once you find a pair, its often best to stick to them.  I discovered Brooks Glycerin about 4 years ago now and I've not run in anything else.

Given my usual mileage, a pair normally lasts 3-4 months on average and I would comfortably get around 350-400 miles out of them before needing to change them.

This was pretty much the norm and I had no issues at all.

However, after going through 4-5 pairs of Glycerin 11s, I finally got around to buying the updated Glycerin 12s.  If I could have found a pair of 11s I would have had them again but having searched and searched, I relented and got the 12s instead and thats when I started having issues.

I ran twice in them before the Brighton Marathon.  After my second run in my taper, I was comfortable but I felt a niggle in my left achilles. It went after a few days and I ran Brighton but I felt the achilles as soon as the 1st mile in Brighton.  This niggle has stayed with me on and off since April.

When I went back to my old 11s, I cant feel it.  The 12s, I'm conscious of it.  So I made the decision of trying a different make.

A few of the guys at Plumstead Runners have been raving about the Brooks Ghost 7.  Another neutral shoe, apparently lighter than the Glycerin and considerably cheaper.  So I took the plunge and picked a pair up.

Left:  Brooks Glycerin 12s  Right: Brooks Ghost 7s

First impression was good.  The Ghosts do feel significant lighter than the Glycerins.  However, one thing concerned me.  The mid-foot.  To explain, the area below the ball of my foot where the shoe narrows from the toe box.  (See the 'Anatomy of a Running Shoe' diagram below, area highlighted in red!)  The shoe felt too close.  I've been prone to blisters in this area in the past from other shoes but this felt like it could give me an issue.

With this in mind, I applied a liberal amount of vaseline to my feet in that area and I wore twin-skin running socks before I ran in them.

I ran twice in the Ghost 7s, 10k first and then 7.5 miles second time and without doubt, I could feel an issue in the mid-foot area within the first 2 miles of each run.  Towards the end of the second run, my right foot felt sore.  I was in danger of blistering.

As it happens, once I got home and looked at my foot, it wasnt good...

After only 15 miles in 2 runs, I was left blistered.  Not a great photograph but there is definitely a blister there.  Really not what I expected from a manufacturer like Brooks.  After so many years of buying their products, I'm not struggling to find a shoe that works for me.  The Glycerins have changed beyond recognition, going from the most comfortable running shoe in the world to something not even close and now the Ghost 7s have caused another issue.

Looking at the positives, the Ghost had more than sufficient cushioning for those that need it, resulting in a very springy-like feel to your cadence.  There was plenty of room in the toe box for a standard size 10 with broad feet like myself but what the hell is that mid-foot area all about?  It feels far too narrow.

I'm so disappointed.  Pay out a large wedge of cash for a shoe that I now cant wear.  Its not even as if I can send them back to the shop as they just wont accept them (and rightly so!)

Back to the drawing board.  I may have to go and try the Glycerin 13s.

Sadly I cant recommend the Brooks Ghost 7s from my experience.

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