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Shoe Review | Brooks Trace vs. Ghost

Runners are creatures of habit in many ways. One of which includes shoe choice. Many runners choose the same shoe model year after year, and with each iteration, fingers are crossed that the "improvements" are actually that: improvements.


So when a notable brand comes out with a new model line, it's easy for the long-time runners to dismiss its release, continuing to gravitate toward what's familiar. As a former running store employee and long-time distance runner, I have to provide the disclaimer that there is nothing wrong with that.


However, the neutral Brooks Trace is worth the try-on, at the very least, especially for those who were a fan of the Ghost 13's (last year's Ghost model). I would describe the cushioning and overall fit and feel to be a Ghost Lite. A Diet Ghost, if you will. Similar in weight to the Launch, but softer. If the Ghost and the Launch were combined.


The fit in the toebox is more similar to the Ghost compared to the Launch, and the cushioning is similar to the Ghost, as well, but there's just less of it. It's certainly not lacking, but there's just simply not as much of it.


Comparing the two shoes in regard to usage, the Ghost would still be my preferred long-run and recovery day shoe because of that extra cushioning, where the Trace is good for shorter runs and some speed intervals.


It remains to be seen, for me, personally, how much mileage will be able to go on the Trace compared to its Ghost counterpart, but it's a solid choice to add into a shoe rotation for shorter runs. With the lower cushioning, I would think the Trace isn't as durable for the higher mileage but sometimes it's nice to have another shoe to add-in for those shorter, easier days.


Working in running retail, the Ghost was always a good starting point since it was so versatile, but some people didn't like the amount of cushioning underfoot or it felt heavy. The Trace provides a compromise for that.


The Trace also has a lower price point than the Ghost, at $100 plus tax as opposed to $130 plus tax. For the new runners who have a lower budget or are unsure about what will work best, the Trace is a good starting point for that reason, as well.


Try it on, try it out! Available now at South Sound Running!


Written by Aubree Reichel



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