By Noel Paine
Today we stack up two neutral running shoe styles from Brooks, the Ghost 15 against the Glycerin 21 and provide you with the necessary data to decide, which one is best suited for your feet.
Brooks Ghost 15 Vs Glycerin 21 - Comparison Chart
DNA Loft V2
DNA Loft V3
35 mm heel/
23 mm forefoot
36 mm heel/
26 mm forefoot
Softness of Cushioning
Super Soft Cushioning
Level of Support
Available in Widths
Suggested Retail Price
Brooks Ghost 15
Your feet will be happiest when you find a shoe they like. Brooks running shoes offer a number of cushioned options including the Brooks Ghost. This running shoe has been around for quite a while in the Brooks line-up but not as long as the Brooks Glycerin we will be comparing to it.
This shoe has been designed to have a soft feel, smooth ride, and trusted fit (Classic fit) and is classified as a shoe you can use for regular training. The upper that wraps around your foot is made up of air mesh, which is supposed to make your foot comfortable, allow the foot to breathe and uses a 3D Fit Print for added structure and support to the foot while running.
The Ghost comes in A LOT of colors including my favorite is the orange, blue and yellow. You can find many color choices online but remember each store may only order one or two colors.
Other New Ghost Versions?
Brooks Ghost Max: Yep, the name says it all. A version of the Ghost called the Ghost Max that is $10 more ($190), is slightly lighter at just 10 ounces and has significantly less drop with 6mm. Its described as having more cushioning, being super stable and a good rocker to it – plus Brooks mentions it being good for walkers and runners. It is different enough that you would want to put your foot in this shoe before ordering.
Brooks Ghost 15 GTX: The Brooks Ghost 15 GTX is just a waterproof version of the regular Ghost model for wet, wintery or trails. It retains the 12mm drop but the cushioning may be a bit firmer.
All three versions of the Ghost use over 50% recycled materials in the upper.
Brooks Ghost 14 Vs 15
From going online and doing some research, runners who have tested and reviewed the shoe say that the new Ghost 15 feels a bit heavier than the Ghost 14 and the foam (DNA Loft 2) feels a bit firmer. In general, it seems the updates from the last model were pretty mild and people seem to like this as a choice for a good training shoe.
Who Should try the Ghost 15?
I think this Brooks shoe is for someone who needs a width option and wants a well-cushioned shoe that feels soft but still stable, this is the one. It has been in the lineup for quite a while and is a reliable cushioned running shoe. You should have a neutral foot (no foot issues) and be looking for a shoe for everyday training.
If you are a really heavier runner, you may be better trying the Addiction or Adrenaline for added support, but feel free to test out the Ghost.
I have tried many Brooks shoes over the years and love their RunHappy campaign and gear!
Brooks Glycerin 21
What’s New in the Update?
The shoe is lighter than the last model, going from 10.1 ounces to 9.8 with the same drop. Brooks say they have made the midsole DNA LOFT v3 cushioning softer plus streamlined the upper. It does not look like a significant update but with a change in upper, sometimes the width and length may feel different for some feet.
Other New Glycerin Versions
Brooks Glycering 21 GTS: Yes, this shoe comes in a slightly more stable version (Glycerin GTS 21) that uses the Brooks GuideRails support system that does not really make in into a stability shoe but helps keep the foot a bit more stable during running. The GTS version has the same drop but with a bit more weight at 10.5 ounces. This might be for someone that likes the feel of the regular Glycerin but feels they could use something that is a bit more stable. Cost: $160
Brooks Glycerin Stealthfit 21: If you want a lighter, a softer, streamlined version of the Glycerin, than Brooks offers the Glycerin Stealthfit 21. It has the same cushioning but weighs on 9.3 ounces. This is really just a slightly stripped down version of the regular Glycerin with an added cost. Cost: $200
The Glycerin is another neutral cushioned shoe in the Brooks running shoe arsenal and the number 21 at the end means it has been around for quite a while. I have tried on a number of versions of this shoe. So, looking at a wall of shoes, you may not be able to tell how soft or cushioned they are, you will need to try it on.
Softness is also relative. The Glycerin uses a new version of the Brooks Loft cushioning and should be a softer feeling than models using Loft 2. It is described as being super soft. It has a soft upper and has a wide option for people who need more room in the forefoot. It is a very well-cushioned running shoe for people with no foot issues.
Do your research but always feel free to ask your specialty running store staff (if not buying online) about how the shoe has been fitting and what other customers have thought of the shoe. More information is better than not enough.
Brooks Glycerin 21 - What's Missing
From going online, it seems some seem to think the newest Glycerin has not changed a lot but may be a bit wider. These changes may not be felt by everyone but each person and foot is different.
Who Should Try the Glycerin 20?
You should throw this shoe on your foot if looking for a neutral cushioned running shoe that has a bit more cushion (soft cushion) for everyday training. The price is getting up there, so its not a budget trainer but one that advertises super soft cushioning with Brooks's newest version of their Loft cushion. You may want to avoid this shoe if you a heavier runner or like something firm.
I think this shoe is a good training shoe with a good cushion but if looking for something a bit speedy for faster running, I would try other models on and compare.
The story of the Glycerin begins in the late 1990s — the name was actually inspired by the song “Glycerine” by the English band Bush. The shoe also uses recycled materials in the upper (32%).
Really these two shoes are very similar with the new Glycerin 21 dropping a bit of weight and going from the same weight as the Ghost to just s bit lighter now. They have a similar shape and use the same type of cushioning. For those who want a wider number of width options, the Ghost wins.
For those who want a softer cushion, the Glycerin should have that. If a drop of 12mm seems a bit much, you get 2mm less with the Glycerin. I think anyone looking for a neutral, cushion Brooks running shoe for regular training runs, you should try both and let your feet decide.
The other thing to consider is if you are doing a lot of long and slow runs or doing a fair amount of speed work in your training. The Glycerin may have more cushion but may or may not feel speedier.
Width: Both shoes have width options, but if you need to go beyond just wide, the Ghost has 4-widths to choose from!
Ghost Vs Glycerin Price
The other factor is price; you have to decide if the $20 difference (Glycerin being more expensive) is worth it or $20 may not be a showstopper for you. The other thing to consider is that may “super shoes” cost $200, and is the $200 Brooks regular training shoe giving you the bang for the buck it should? Things to evaluate.