Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Brooks Running : Ghost 14 Unboxing and Review

"Ee-Van, if you are coming to the Sports Paragon Warehouse Sale, let me know. I will pass you your entitlement as part of the sponsorship", said the Athlete liaison which is also the Paragon Vests Marketing manager. I intended to go to grab a few shoes for the family, and looked like I don't need to get any for myself. Long story short, i received a Brooks Running shoe, a Zoot sleeved Triathlon top, a set of Prime Sports wear and a Brooks retro cap. Thank you Sports Paragon!

Woohoo! See below for discount codes

The Brooks shoe I first received was a YET TO BE LAUNCHED limited edition Ghost 14 colorway (I took a pic but has promised not to share...) which will remain a mystery for you my dearest readers here. A quick communication the same day, I realized that Ghost14 was given wrongly. Not launched yet. Can't be seen outside. So, i get a replacement Ghost14 in Nightlife colorway. A brighter than bright yellow neon floro-blast Ghost14.

A quick round up. Details, below.

The Brooks Launch8 has been my mainstay and as I write this, covered close to 700km since November 2021 - pretty decent mileage taking into consideration that I have been rotating the Launch8 with this Ghost14, covering about 150KM in the past 20days of ownership. 

Which makes this write up possible and to provide a fair view of the shoe. 

First off, let me reshare the "Decision Tree" below, which I find it useful and accurate to help some of you dear readers decide and finetune your choices with shoes.

Based on my running gait, I know I am neutral footed and do not need any support. I would had love to get SPEED but the shoe provided to review is a CUSHIONED. And it isn't bad as the Launch8 is already (technically) a "speed" shoe, just not "super fast" like the Hyperion range. Ghost14 lands nicely in the Neutral-Cushioned-Balanced box. Which is expected based on my past experiences running in Ghost3 and Ghost5 - that was a good 9 to 11 years ago! It would be interesting to see what has changed. In another word, this is a step change in my experience.

US11 in D-width. Gambled with this sizing as it's same for my Launch8 which was a good fit. 

Official weight as per Brooks for a US9 male sizing is 280grams and my pair of US11 runs into 309grams. Not the lightest but expected of a cushioned shoe. Compared to the lighter Launch8, it is about  40grams heavier only - not a biggie for the extra comfort on longer runs.
Decent for a cushioned shoe

Brooks Ghost14 continue with the BioMoGo foams which will break down faster in anaerobic condition in landfill. Upgrade from all the Ghost I knew of is the DNA LOFT. Brooks DNA is presence of the cushioning gel in the midsole. This DNA gel is adaptive to the force applied. A higher force will make it firmer. This meant the cushioning is able to adapt to be firmer for a heavier user, and yet become more responsive when the pace picks up. 
DNA Loft yo!

The Ghost14 comes with DNA Loft and BioMoGo DNA. DNA Loft is the softest, plushiest midsole produced by Brooks. A mixture of EVA foam, Rubber and Air. Yes, Air gets injected into the full midsole to provide that cushioning effect while provided with durability of rubber. The DNA loft offers a very stable, lasting ride for as long as the shoe is in service for you. Having only experience DNA (most basic) in Launch8, I dare to say the differences is felt in terms of cushioning while still feeling that snappy transition at take off in faster paced workout.
Convincing Plushness

A full outsole was seen in Ghost14. This meant that it is covered from front to back. Blown rubber at the front and harder carbon black material at the heel ensure durability and mileage. The softer blown rubber outsole helps provide extra cushioning - not that Ghost14 needed it due to the higher stack present.
Designed in Seattle - the Brooks HQ

Ghost14 has a high drop of 12mm. I felt "tall" wearing it and a check showed it is a 31-19 (Heel-Toe) stack. This must be the highest drop shoe I have experienced in the past 7 years. Strangely, it sort of settled in after a run or two and I did not felt clumsy after. 

The socksliner is made from EVA foam and it adds extra plushness to the overall ride. Another feature that wasn't really made known is that the shoe upper is 3D printed and stretches to suit your movement. 
3D printed upper, flexs and stretch for a more accommodating fit

The heel cup is well placed and i had no heel slip when running in wet weather or in speedwork. It secure the heel rather nicely. The heel cup is well lined, with intend to prevent blisters. I have however, one formed, which is by my own fault as I did not secure the laces down correctly/firmly. Small blisters that doesn't bother me after a day.

3D printed as well

Continuing on, the tongue is not gusseted or in layman term, secured at all sides. It is a floater. Personal preferences as I noticed most Brooks are not gusseted. Actually, many of my shoes aren't as well. The Ghost14 tongue is padded and offer a lot of comfort if you are the type that likes them snug on the upper feet. I had to adjust the tension of my lace a few times to get that right feel - I guess a transition to using stretch lacing/speed lacing aka using rubber garter is in the plan.

The laces are flat, and it doesn't come with an spare lace of a different color. Black on Yellow Nightlife, flat laces is basic. It works. On a padded shoe, you have to find the right tension. 

The upper mesh provides good ventilation. I do not felt hot wearing them while running under the hot sun with hot tarred road. It doesn't felt "airier" than Launch8, which is already pretty well ventilated. So, I take that Brooks has pretty much dialled in on their material on the upper. As I run sockless, there wasn't any issues so far with hotspot. 
Sockless for the win!

The last feature i tested before going for the run was how flexible and pliable the shoe is. Because of the bulk, the shoe has expectedly takes a bit more effort to bend it. Wearing them on a run doesn't makes me felt any different as compared to Launch8 because my feet doesnt bend 90degree at the toes relative to the metatarsal. What I look out for was if there are any indication of "bite" at where the feet bend on a normal running transition. None. So that is good news. 

Orange laces? Yes? No?

First Feel 
The lacing need a bit of adjustment due to the thicker tongue padding. When dialed in right, it was good and it secured my feet very nicely. I have normal arch and a mid-to-heel over pronation. 

The shoe really shines!
The Medium width (D) felt great on my feet. My toes can splay out comfortably without having the  small toes pressing out the side. However, At one point during the run, I was wondering if i should had taken half size bigger. Its just some niggling feeling if half bigger could be better? Not sure, maybe in the next entitlement I may ask for a size change from Paragon Vests.

...and The Story So Far, 150km in...
The Ghost14 performed as it should. Providing good cushioning and yet sufficient "feel" for those fast workout. The weight doesn't bother me once I get the legs moving. If any, I treat the extra as part of training. As I am hardly a podium or record breaker, the shoe suits my easier workout day. Those days where runs are easy and help to build the base. It is truly a mileage eater as I could run in this whole day long. OK. Not that I ran further than 42km in the past 3 years anyway. You get my drift. 
Almost no sign of wear on the forefoot

You will notice that the outsole has no significant wear shown despite running the past 150km I did. The only thing is that I lost the bright yellow color of the sole due to tarmac stain. Perhaps, another 500km may show some sort of significant wear, and that would take perhaps another 2-months plus for another reporting.

Brand newish otherwise dirty due to tarmac stain

The shoe upper after 150km still looked new. The color did not fade, or doesn't appear to be despite me sunning it every run. UV rays may had lessen it a bit in terms of brightness, but it doesn't appear to be so.

  • Cushioned and responsive. Forefoot felt sure and has snap in the take off.
  • You feel grounded despite the 12mm drop. Strange feeling for me.
  • Fit is nice. Just need to find the sweet spot with the lacing pressure
  • No blisters despite running sockless. Only one time because I was finding the lacing sweetspot.
  • No heel slips despite all drenched in rain and sweat on two occasions.
  • Similar to Launch8, not wet weather grip friendly. Two experiences in rain showed a lot of slips even on tar/asphalt road. It impacted power transfer slightly due to split second grip-slips.
  • Heavier than all the other shoes I have. OK. Maybe I should stop being a gram-granny
The Ghost14 lives up to it's promises and looked promising that it will have a lifespan of no less than 1,000km or about 5-months of wear for me. Based on the 700km Launch8 which has thinner midsole and outsole, I won't be surprised this will last beyond 1,000km as a useful trainer. This pair will rotate with my Launch8, and hopefully, a faster Hyperion Tempo or Elite2 (lets manifest this Carbon shoe together gether with me) will replace the Launch8, and this Ghost14 will be a full on easy-day shoe.

A YES for me

And... A Carbon Neutral Shoe?
The Ghost 14 is Brooks Running first carbon neutral shoe. Through Brooks ‘Climate Action’ program, they are committed to first reducing emissions and then offsetting the rest. It’s one more stride toward net zero carbon emissions by 2040. 

Sustainability agenda in Seattle HQ

Brooks achieve this with usage of more recycled materials. The Brooks Ghost14 shoe lace, as an example is made from 100% recycled polyster. Much of the upper is also from recycled polyster with minimum content of 33% and most parts are 100%. Then there is the Carbon Offset program that Brooks subscribed to, as part of their sustainability agenda. I say this is truly a pair of Run Happy and Run To Love Mother Earth effort. If you are interested, read more here as Brooks share their initiatives.


This pair of Brooks Ghost14 in Nightlife Colorway is courtesy of Brooks Malaysia and Sports Paragon. Retail price is RM530.00. There is no carbon plate in this pair, and user should not compare this against performance shoes specifically designed for speed. Ghost14 is your mileage eater and it sits nicely as your daily easy trainer and your go-to speed shoe on rotation. 

Discount??? You Want Cheap?
As part of my sponsorship with Paragon Vests under the Team Sports Paragon, I have a few discount codes you can use to purchase your next Brooks shoes if you want. Older models at higher discount is available in www.sportsparagon.com website. Sizing can be a challenge, which explained the better discount. If you want newer and better sizing, head over to www.brooksrunning.com.my and score a few newer models.

Fancy this at 25% off?

More details at this announcement page where I have the full discount codes and brands that support me in 2022. But if you are lazy to click, here they are...

Promo Code: SPEV02
Footwear: 55%
Apparels: 50%
Sandals: 40%
Accessories: 50%

Promo Code: EEVANOFF25
25% OFF of all items ( exclude sale items )

Promo Code: ZOOTEEVAN20
20% OFF Zoot website Non promo items
10% OFF Zoot website Promotion items

I will be using these hashtags a lot in my social media postings, so that will allow for easier references with like-minded individual that contribute to the community. 

#sportsparagon #Swim #Bike #Run #triathlon #zootsportsmy #brooksrunningmy #primesportsmy #sportsparagonmy #keepshowingup #runhappymy #AllWeatherRunner #keepshowingup #runhappymy #AllWeatherRunner #getfitwithsportsparagon #GarminMalaysia #BeatYesterdayMY #StrydMalaysia #RunningWithPowerMY

I will continue my sharing in my social media spaces here in Instagram, Facebook Page, YouTube channel Twitter and Garmin as I engage all of you as the Key Opinion Leader (KOL).

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