The Brooks Ghost Max is a brand new shoe from Brooks. The brand has been fairly quiet when it comes to maximum cushioned shoes. Anyone remember the Transcend, or am I dating myself here?
The speed shoes like the Hyperion Max and Hyperion Elite have high stack heights, but Brooks hasn’t had that easy run shoe with a high stack height. The Brooks Ghost Max is the continuation of the Brooks Dyad. More on that later, because Brooks really shot themselves in the foot with that one. Not to say the Ghost Max is a bad shoe (it’s not), but it’s no Brooks Dyad. The Dyad was never the “most popular” running or walking shoe, but it filled a void that is pretty much missing in the industry. It was light, wide, and very comfortable for those with injuries, who were a little bit older or just needed a very wide shoe. The Ghost Max is not 100% that.
Brooks Ghost Max Quick Stats:
Weight: 10 oz
Heel to Toe Drop: 6 mm
The Brooks Ghost Max Fit:
Brooks Running is known for fairly true-to-size-fits, and it’s probably one of the best features of the brand. There are very few models you can say: this does not fit true to size. Like the Brooks Ghost, the Ghost Max fits true to size. The one big difference is that the Brooks Ghost Max is much wider in the midfoot. If you have a wide midfoot, you’ll definitely appreciate this because there are few shoes that do.
The Ghost Max uses a 3D Fit Print Mesh upper that Brooks claims provides breathability and offers a secure fit. It’s built on a straight last, which means it’s much wider in the midfoot, and the unique liner last construction means the Ghost Max can fit a lot of different orthotics.
The best running shoe uppers disappear off your feet, and the Brooks Ghost Max does just that. There are no hot spots, and I appreciate the plush and thick tongue and heel counter. The upper doesn’t breathe as well as I’d like, but luckily, it’s getting cooler in the Mojave Desert, so we have to worry less about that.
I also appreciate that Brooks has committed to sustainability, and the Brooks Ghost Max uses 56.4% recycled materials in the upper. It also diverts 9.39 plastic bottles from landfills.
In running shoes, I wear between a women’s 10-11 wide. I’ve found the Brooks Ghost Max in size 10 to fit the best, although it does feel slightly wide for me in the midfoot.
Brooks Ghost Max Ride:
What is the Brooks Ghost Max designed for? It’s a maximal daily trainer designed for easy runs. You can probably guess that from the amount of cushion and bulk the shoe has. The Ghost Max uses DNA Loft v2 foam, which is soft, SO SOFT! It has a lot more in the forefoot to absorb shock. All of that foam makes it much less responsive than, say, the Brooks Ghost or Glycerin.
With a 6 mm drop, the shoe feels much less rockered than the Brooks Ghost. It makes it difficult to pick up the pace at all. The Ghost Max uses “GlideRoll Rocker technology” that supposedly rolls you forward with each stride. I find the shoe to be one of the less rockered-feeling shoes right now. The 6 mm drop and the massive foam make it much harder to roll from heel to toe.
Durability and Traction:
Brooks has always been ahead of the curve with traction and durability, and the Ghost Max is no different. The blown rubber keeps you grounded. I’ve taken the shoe out in the sand dunes and inclement weather with no issues of sliding around. If I’m looking for an easy-run shoe in slippery conditions, it’s one of my first choices.
As for durability, I’ve put just over 100 miles on the Brooks Ghost Max, and I expect it to last until at least 400. The blown rubber and the amount of cushion make it very durable.
The Ghost Max falls under an easy run shoe in my rotation. It’s hard to pick up the pace, and I found that my body preferred running easier when I did. The Ghost Max is a great walking, running errands, and everyday life shoe. It’s one of my favorites for that.
What is the difference between the Brooks Ghost Max and the Brooks Ghost 15?
The Ghost Max has a lot more cushion, especially in the forefoot. The Brooks Ghost has a 12 mm drop, and the Ghost Max 6, so the Ghost Max feels slightly flatter. Finally, the Ghost Max has a much wider midfoot.
Does the Brooks Ghost Max replace the Brooks Dyad?
UGH. I am sad Brooks is discontinuing the Dyad. While the Ghost Max is the closest option to the Dyad, it does not fully replace it. The Dyad was a great shoe, and we sold so many in run specialty to those who wanted a comfortable walking or standing shoe. While there were a few runners that loved the Dyad, it was mostly a walking shoe, and the Brooks Ghost Max does not 100% capture that crowd.
Brooks Ghost Max Conclusion:
The Ghost Max adds something the Brooks lineup has missed: a super high cushioned trainer. While not a 1-1 replacement for the Dyad, it is the closest and will be the best option. The Ghost Max is a great choice if you are looking for a super easy run shoe. I don’t think it’s the right shoe to replace the Ghost or the Dyad because the Ghost is such a staple in the running world. The Dyad is a staple for many in its own world.
Who should buy the Brooks Ghost Max? If you are looking for an easy run shoe for daily miles or have a wider midfoot. Or, if you are looking for a running shoe that you can fit an orthotic into.
Who should not buy the Brooks Ghost Max? If you have a narrow foot or are looking for any sort of shoe in which you can pick up the pace.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
Long Runs: ASICS Superblast
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.
Questions for you:
What is your favorite easy run shoe?
Are you a Dyad lover?