Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Shoe Review Tuesday #5 (Brooks Ghost 4)

Brooks Ghost 4
Support Category: Neutral
Weight: 11.3 oz
Cost: $100
Available in Widths: Yes
Multiple Colors Available: Yes
Durability: 300-500 miles
Updates from Previous Model:
  • Replaced hydroflow with DNA
  • Introduced Omega Flex Grooves in the heel
Upper: Secure middle-weight upper with few overlays
Arch Height: Medium-High
Heel-Toe Drop: 12 mm

My Take on the Shoe
I ran in the Ghost 3 a bunch and when the Ghost 4 came out, I was kind of indifferent on it. The introduction of the DNA cushioning system didn't hit my foot right like the hydroflow did, so it wasn't that "Oh my gosh this is the best shoe ever" feel for me. Great lightweight shoe for high mileage though. Around an ounce lighter than the competition, the Ghost 4 will last you a good amount of miles. This is a road shoe, so I would not use it on trails, but grass would be just fine. A more detailed look into the fit:
  • Heel- More relaxed than other Brooks shoes I've had in the past, but still a nice firm grip that eliminates any slipping.
  • Midfoot Wrap- Nice and snug, has sewn in eyelets to maximize tightness based on lacing, and also added a loop on the tongue to keep it from sliding down into the shoe.
  • Forefoot- Open and relaxed. People with bunions will have no problems fitting in this toe box.
  • Cushion- About 6 out of 10. Not super firm, not too rigid either. Extends the length of the shoe with the most significant padding being under the ball of the foot.
What is DNA?
DNA is a non-Newtonian liquid (think cornstarch and water) that reacts adversely to forces. If you hit hard, it will become springier and more rigid. If you hit lightly, it will become softer and more forgiving. So DNA makes the Ghost 4 a good shoe for long, slow runs by becoming a soft shoe, and good for hard, fast runs by becoming more resilient and springy.  Brooks has slowly been introducing DNA into their shoes starting with the Glycerin 8, and is now boasting it in the Adrenaline, Trance, Ghost, Glycerin, Beast, Ariel, and Cascadia.
What are Omega Flex Grooves?
Omega Flex Grooves are the little tiny pieces of outsole on the heel that look like the Greek letter Omega, Ω, designed to start guiding gait upon impact. In the past, the bottom heel has been one piece and for lack of a better word, cumbersome. But now that the heel has been given flexibility, the foot can roll more naturally from the beginning, quickly falling into the desired neutral gait.

A Little Personal
My first impression of the shoe was that I wasn't going to like it, but when I took it out for my first run, any doubts went away. The Ghost 4 has a very smooth ride, guiding you through the gait cycle the moment you impact the Omega Flex Grooves. The DNA in the forefoot was significantly higher than any other shoe I had before and almost felt like it had an arch under the ball of my foot. But after the first run, that went away and it felt great. With the Ghost 3, I would do speed workouts, long runs, easy runs, hill workouts, just about anything you could think of, and I will continue this trend with the Ghost 4. Specific reasons I like it:
  • Lighter than other neutral high-mileage shoes
  • Versatility in that it can be used for about any kind of run because of the new DNA
  • Durability, if it is anything like the Ghost 3, it will take a while before you need a new pair.
  • Price, at only $100, you can't really beat this shoe
  • Simplicity, there isn't a whole lot to the shoe besides the technology involved in the midsole and outsole, so in my eyes, less is more
Overall this shoe is a solid 8 out of 10. Great update to the shoe, I have a feeling it is just going to keep getting better and better. For those of you who are looking for a high-mileage lightweight shoe, I would either go with the Ghost 4 or try out the New Balance 890. Both of them are going to be great for whatever your needs may be. That's it for another Shoe Review Tuesday, I hope you enjoyed The Life of a Runner.

1 comment:

  1. What was the width like? I recently bought a pair of Asics Gel Nimbus 13s and I'm regretting it because they feel too narrow. I'm really interested in the Ghost 4s and I'm just wondering if I should go with the EE width.