Brooks Ghost 11 Women’s Road-Running Shoes Review

A comfortable shoe that accommodates orthotics and a variety of activities

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Brooks Ghost 11 Women’s Road-Running Shoes

Brooks Ghost 11 Women’s Road-Running Shoes

Verywell Fit / Danielle Directo-Meston

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Good support and cushioning for flat feet

  • Accommodate orthotic inserts

  • Ideal for long distances and road running

What We Don't Like
  • Mesh version not waterproof

Bottom Line

The lightweight, cloud-like Brooks Ghost 11 Women’s Road-Running Shoes are perfect for those with flat feet as well as long-distance and road runners.

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Brooks Ghost 11 Women’s Road-Running Shoes

Brooks Ghost 11 Women’s Road-Running Shoes

Verywell Fit / Danielle Directo-Meston

Buying the right walking or running shoes isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience, especially given the range of foot issues (like plantar fasciitis) that can affect one’s stride. The Brooks Ghost 11 sneakers were designed to provide comfort and cushioning, so it’s no surprise that they’re among the most popular everyday walking shoes. As a flat-footed runner, even the shortest jogs require that I use custom orthotic inserts in my shoes to avoid painful shin splints and overpronating. With that said, the Ghost 11s proved to be a comfortable, orthotic-friendly option for daily errands as well as longer excursions.

Brooks Ghost 11 Women’s Road-Running Shoes
Verywell Fit / Danielle Directo-Meston

Performance: Comfort is key


Neutral shoes
typically don’t provide enough support or cushion for my flat feet during all-day excursions or workouts, so it’s a must for any of my sneakers to accommodate my orthotic inserts. Luckily, it was easy to swap the Brooks Ghost 11’s original inserts with my orthotics, and they fit comfortably within the shoe.

Even without my custom inserts, I found that the Ghost 11s were still fairly comfy for walking.

With the insoles, I barely noticed the shoes when I wore them for a full week during regular errands as well as a full morning and afternoon walking around a local zoo (which has a few cardio-boosting hills)—and that’s a testament to their comfortability and light weight. Even without my custom inserts (which I basically need to be pain-free during any kind of athletic activity), I found that the Ghost 11s were still fairly comfy for walking, although I did eventually (and expectedly) run into some fatigue within an hour or so.

Brooks Ghost 11 Women’s Road-Running Shoes
Verywell Fit / Danielle Directo-Meston 

Materials: A winning combo with breathable mesh and lightweight midsole foam

Weighing in at only 9.5 ounces, these shoes feature a 12-millimeter midsole drop and medium to high arch support. According to Brooks, the Ghost 11 shoes boast “the just-right balance of DNA LOFT softness and BioMoGo DNA responsiveness.” Translation? The company’s patented DNA LOFT cushioning, made of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), rubber, and air, coupled with smart midsole technology (including the springy BioMoGo DNA) results in a responsive, light shoe.

Not only does the cushioning provide good midsole comfort for long periods of time, but it also supports feet well during landings. Additionally, Omega Flex Grooves offer plenty of flexibility in the forefoot. (That’s why this model is also ideal for under-pronators.) The flexible mesh uppers conformed well to my narrow feet, and I found that the toe box offered the right amount of wiggle room. (No toe blisters here!) 

Those who absolutely must squeeze a run into their day rain or shine should also know that the mesh uppers aren’t waterproof.

They’re also quite breathable, and I didn’t find my feet getting too hot nor fatigued even during typical (but not scorching) hot Southern California afternoons. Those who absolutely must squeeze a run into their day rain or shine should also know that the mesh uppers aren’t waterproof. However, the brand also makes a waterproof Gore-Tex version for $150.

The outsole features a segmented crash pad, which allows the shoes to absorb shock and provide a cushioned step. I credit that design (which also offers better traction, especially for light offroad walks) combined with the mesh uppers among the reasons why I didn’t mind keeping these cloud-like shoes on for an entire day. (As someone who usually prefers being barefoot, this isn’t a bad thing.)

Brooks Ghost 11 Women’s Road-Running Shoes
Verywell Fit / Danielle Directo-Meston

Fit: A comfortable width for every foot size

For product-testing purposes, I first stepped into the Ghost 11 shoes without socks to get a feel for the interiors, which are soft and cool to the touch. The sneakers are available in three widths: normal, narrow, and wide. I tested the normal version and didn’t experience any discomfort, but I’m somewhat curious about the amount of wiggle room that the narrow option offers. They also fit true to size.

The flexible mesh uppers conformed well to my narrow feet, and I found that the toe box offered the right amount of wiggle room.

The Brooks Women’s Ghost 11 shoes were designed for the road, treadmill, cross-training, and long-distance. During light road running and grassy jogs, at an all-day trek to the zoo, and on longer-distance runs of five miles or more, the sneakers were fairly comfortable, stable, and supported my orthotics well. This might not be the case for everyone, so flat-footed runners may want to have their gait assessed by a podiatrist or other professional to ensure this shoe shape is appropriate for their feet.

Brooks Ghost 11 Women’s Road-Running Shoes
Verywell Fit / Danielle Directo-Meston 

Design: Colors that blend seamlessly with any activity and style

Though I’m generally someone who takes great care in curating a stylish wardrobe, I’m more concerned about function over fashion when it comes to my running and walking shoes. That being said, the black and pink colorway that I tested wasn’t an eyesore, and there are plenty of other solid-colored options for those who are picky about their footwear shades. 

Price: A good investment for comfort 

In a market where a lightweight, super-comfortable luxury athletic running shoe can easily run $200 or more, the Brooks Ghost 11 sneakers deliver the same comfort and performance for a much reasonable price, especially if you plan on using them for walking and running.

Competition: A range of alternatives depending on your needs

Compared to other road-friendly running shoes from Brooks, the Ghost 11s offer a medium amount of soft cushioning and are ideal for the same indoor and outdoor activities. However, there’s also the Brooks Launch 6 ($100 MSRP), a very similar shoe that clocks in at $20 cheaper and about an ounce lighter—though it may not be the most ideal fit for wider feet. 

Flat-footed walkers seeking more knee support might look to the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 ($130 MSRP), which also have a 12-millimeter midsole drop and weigh practically the same as the Ghost 11 but feature the brand’s GuideRails support that’s designed to be easier on the knees.

Final Verdict

Buy this reliable walking shoe.

If you plan on logging a considerable amount of mileage for any activity, comfort should ultimately be the top priority. I’d recommend the Brooks Ghost 11 Women’s Road-Running Shoes for both regular runners as well as those looking for a comfortable, breathable walking shoe, especially if they have flat feet.

Specs

  • Product Name Ghost 11 Women’s Road-Running Shoes
  • Product Brand Brooks
  • SKU 190340382697
  • Price $120.00
  • Weight 9.5 oz.
  • Midsole Drop 12 mm
  • Arch Medium, high
  • What’s Included Running shoes and extra shoelaces
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