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Brooks Ghost 14 vs Brooks Levitate 5: Which is good for you? 

In this post, I’m going to put Brooks Ghost 14 and Levitate 5 to the test. 

So, if you’re looking for a DEEP comparison of these two popular shoes, you’ve come to the right place. 

Because in today’s post I’m going to compare Brooks Ghost 14 vs Brooks Levitate 5 in terms of: 

  • Materials & Aesthetic 
  • Technology 
  • Durability 
  • Unique features 
  • And lots more 

Check out our detailed Article… 

Technical Details

You May Also like – Brooks Revel 6 vs Levitate 6: Choosing the Perfect Running Shoe 

Key Differences between Brooks Ghost and Levitate  

Design-wise both of them are pretty similar, but they are still miles apart. 

The major difference is the Ghost 14 has a mesh upper while the Levitate 5 has a knit upper  

Other key differences are, 

  • Heel to Toe Drop of the ghost 14 is 12mm and the Levitate 5 has an 8mm drop.  
  • Both of them have a wider toe box. 
  • The brooks ghost 14 is slightly more lightweight than Levitate 5 
You May Also Like – Brooks Revel 6 vs Ghost 15:Which Is Best for You? A Comprehensive Comparison 

Brooks Ghost 14 VS brooks Levitate 5 Comparison

First talk about Levitate 5  

The levitate 5 is a shoe that’s built for faster training sessions there may be a moderately thick wedge of DNA and midsole foam.  

But the shoe is a long way from a soft cushioned option, instead offering a firm responsive feel when picking up the pace. 

Design-wise towards more traditional with a well-padded upper and a generous shape.  

Although you can also pick up the levitate 5 stealth which has a leaner snugger fit.  

The levitate 5 also comes in a GTS edition which is the same design but with additional support 

You May Also Like – Brooks Cascadia 16 Vs Ghost 15: Which Running Shoe is Right for You?

So, in terms of fit, this is actually the first, levitate shoe that I run in the series.  

I have spent a lot of running time with the brooks ghost 14 and I think there are similarities in terms of the fit with this shoe and also those kinds of space-age brooks aurora shoes.  

I would say generally it’s been a really comfortable kind of snug-fitting upper I’ve no real complaints actually. 

You’re not getting as much kind of padding as you do in ghost 14 .  

The tongue panning is very similar in terms of that, the lace is a pretty kind of standard fare for me.  

It’s quite a nice generous shoe without being too loose it definitely fits true to size for me, and I found it to be very comfortable.  

It’s got nice stepping comfort it’s quite plush at the top and I have no issues with it at all. 

brooks ghost vs adrenaline

Brooks Ghost vs Brooks Adrenaline GTS which one is best for you?

It’s a very firm midsole there’s not a lot of energy returns or bounce even though brooks do say that quite a lot on the website that said shoe design for energy return.  

I think it is responsive because of that hard midsole. But I didn’t really feel anything when I was wearing it. 

Definitely didn’t feel like I was getting a lot of help in running faster, so I think if you like a shoe that’s hard and you don’t want any bounce or you don’t want any modern technology that adds any sort of energy return or any sort of feeling that gives you that proportion, I think it’s fine.  

It feels like a very traditional hard-training shoe. 

Also Read – Brooks Launch 10 vs Levitate 6: Unveiling the Ultimate Running Shoe Showdown 

Pros And Cons

brooks ghost14  vs levitate 5 pros and cons

Let’s talk about the ghost 14  

The gross 14 is the latest version of brooks’ popular daily shoe lineup, designed to offer comfort and cushioning over daily training miles focused on comfort. 

 It comes from a soft plush upper alongside a thick midsole that’s now made from 100 DNA loft cushioning that’s brooks’ popular foam that’s built to offer a balance between responsiveness durability and comfort.  

The shoe features 3d printing on the soft upper to add structure whilst the outsole incorporates a generous level of rubber to help improve durability and traction on the road in different conditions. 

So, the ghost 14 fits true to size for me. It’s the same size I’ve worn in kind of all brick shoes I’ve ever tested really ranging from Hyperion racing flat all the way to things like glycerin .  

It’s a reasonably roomy toe box around the front, it’s a bit tighter around kind of the side but not in uncomfortable ways it’s a nice stretchy fabric. 

I’ve been using the brooks and ghost 14 over the last few weeks of marathon training, and I took him actually away on holiday as well. 

 I’ve been using kind of lots of quite big fairly big mileage weeks for me and doing kind of a lot of easy and steady running in the kind of the thing that really, they should eat up.  

Overall, I have enjoyed running in them, I think you’ve ended up kind of falling in between a couple of categories from me and not really being all-out comfortable like some shoes are while still being quite as versatile as the better kind of all-rounders on the market. 

The ghost 14 falls in between kind of useful categories, compared to some others it is comfortable but it’s not as comfortable as something like said Nike invincible or brooks glycerin. 

How long do Levitate 5 and Ghost last?

Average lifespan of brooks ghost and levitate 5

Final Thoughts – Should You Buy?  

So, the verdict for me on the brooks levitate 5 is it’s there’s not much really to it that I can talk about really. I just don’t think it’s a strange sort of middling shoe. 

It’s a daily trainer but it doesn’t feel very comfortable to wear for most of your daily miles. 

It’s a temporary trainer, but it doesn’t feel like it’s really designed as well as most of the other sorts of tempo-faster shoes out there at the moment.   

It just makes me feel like I’m just putting in more work in it which I don’t really want I never want an issue. 

So yeah, I think the Brooks Ghost 14 may be slightly softer than this.   

I think it’s designed for a similar thing I think you can use that for faster training miles and it’s a bit more enjoyable. 

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Brooks Levitate vs Ghost – Which Is Best for You?

Shanna Powell

If you’re a fan of Brooks and it’s time to buy a new pair, today we’re looking at the Brooks Levitate vs Ghost.

Which is best for you? What are the biggest differences? What are the problems or concerns?

We’ve compared the two shoes to give you a quick overview and help you choose between these two popular shoes.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Main Differences

These two shoes may look similar at first glance, but they have some stark differences.

First, the Ghost 15 is a neutral shoe and isn’t suitable for those who need support for overpronation.

The Levitate 5 comes in both a neutral shoe option and a motion control/support shoe option, so it covers everyone.

Also, the Levitate comes with a choice of two different uppers, the classic or the Stealth. Casual runners may not be able to pick up on much difference, but those who pore over every detail of their shoes will notice it.

The Ghost, on the other hand, has only the stock standard upper.

Finally, these two shoes have totally different midsoles for a different running feel and level of responsiveness.

Fans of the Levitate 5 can now choose between two different uppers. The more traditional mesh upper or “classic fit”, which is structured but flexible, soft, and breathable.

On this upper, there are extra eyelets that make the shoe highly adjustable for a more personalized fit. The detached tongue is padded and soft, so you don’t have to worry about chafing or irritation. A lightly padded, firm ankle collar provides a snug fit while limiting movement and keeping your feet in place.

On the other hand, the Levitate StealthFit 5 has a Fitknit upper that’s sleek, lightweight, and offers a bit more stretch and compression. This provides you with a closer, more adaptable fit that’s not only low-profile but also moves with your foot.

The breathable, booty-like upper molds to the contours of your feet. Both the tongue and collar are integrated into the upper, which ensures a snug fit that adapts to every move that your foot makes.

The Levitate StealthFit’s lacing system features double eyelet rows that form a zig-zag shape, providing enough pressure for a secure, locked-in fit.

If foot aesthetics matter to you, the Levitate 5 StealthFit may make your feet look more narrow when you put them on!

The upper of the Ghost 15 has smooth, streamlined engineered mesh that feels like it’s thinner than usual. It provides a supportive and comfortable fit. The upper molds to the contours of your feet, but there’s still plenty of wiggle room for your toes.

3D Fit Print technology works with the flat lacing system to give the shoe more structure and allow for a bit more stretch. This facilitates a more personalized and secure midfoot feel.

The tongue is nicely cushioned and there’s plush padding around the collar and heel tab for comfort and support.

The Ghost 15 does have a slightly stiffer heel counter than the previous version, but it provides a comfortable locked-in feel.

To help make you visible in low light, there’s also reflective detailing on the toe box and the sides of the heel counter.

The Levitate “classic” and Stealthfit shoes both have the same midsole cushioning made with DNA AMP foam.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Chances are you’ll either love or hate the DNA AMP midsole cushioning. It gives the shoe an old-school running feel, and you’ll have to focus harder on your running form to get a great run out of them.

While the newest Levitate has 3mm more foam than the previous version, it still gives you a lot of ground feel when running. The midsole cushioning feels dense and firm, while offering a subtle bounce. The Levitate 5 does, however, provide excellent shock absorption.

The DNA AMP foam is wrapped in a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) skin which prevents the foam from expanding laterally, so the foam has no choice but to expand vertically. This puts the “spring” into every step you take.

That being said, some may find that this shoe lacks the type of energy return they were hoping for. Also, because of the responsive, close-ground feeling, it can cause your feet to fatigue on long runs.

If you choose the GTS version of the shoe, you’ll find GuideRails on the inner and outer external heel portion of the shoe. They’re easy to see, featuring a lined pattern that’s a visual representation of the support they offer.

The Ghost 15 has a thick layer of full-length DNA Loft midsole foam, which protects your feet while providing a medium soft, cushioned feel.

Even though the Ghost has a thick layer of foam, it’s not extremely plush. You can pick up the pace easily with these on your feet. It’s also great at absorbing and reducing the shock of impact.

This makes the shoe more flexible and a bit less responsive, with a bit of energy return. But the Ghost 15 is a versatile daily trainer that provides plenty of foot protection.

The Levitate 5 has a generous amount of firm, full-length rubber that extends from the heel to the toe underneath the shoe. With 3.5mm underfoot, there will be little sign of wear after running many miles.

An arrow-point pattern on the sole helps you to transition from heel to toe quickly while allowing your foot to glide easily throughout your gait cycle. Flex grooves are built into the midsole, and they’ll help you pick up the pace while your foot moves naturally through the toe-offs.

The shoe provides excellent grip on the road, even if there’s a bit of gravel. But you may want to be more cautious on wet surfaces, as the outsole can be a touch slippery.

The Ghost 15 has a robust outsole with 5mm of rubber. There’s soft, blown rubber on the forefoot, with a durable carbon rubber on the heel. The outsole is textured and the forefoot grooves are partially filled with rubber.

This helps to make your transitions feel more snappy while providing flexibility and stability. More rubber was added to the medial side of the shoe, which provides a bit more support.

The Ghost 15 features a segmented crash pad that helps to absorb the shock of impact while adding a bit of energy throughout your gait cycle.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

The generous amount of rubber on this shoe provides excellent grip and traction on a variety of surfaces.

Other Features


While the Levitate 5 does offer more ground feel, the combination of the DNA AMP foam and rubber outsole don’t allow for much flexibility.

The shoe is stiff, firm, and doesn’t have a lot of energy return. It does, however, have a subtle bounce and provides great shock absorption.

The Ghost 15 is medium-soft and while it’s firm, it has a touch of responsiveness to it as well.

Thick rubber on the outsole makes the shoe firmer, and the wide platform not only gives you a balanced ride, but more support underfoot.

The DNA loft foam isn’t super springy. But it is on the dense side, and you won’t have to worry about losing the cushioning too soon.

Heel-to-Toe Drop

The Levitate 5 has an 8mm heel-to-toe drop, while the Ghost 15 features a more traditional 12mm heel drop. Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to heel drop. It’s a personal thing.

Typically, the lower heel-to-toe drop reduces pressure on the forefoot and gives a closer-to-the-ground feel. But most runners won’t specifically notice that 4mm difference unless you truly do have a preference.

Although they’re technically the same shoe, there’s a difference in weight between the Levitate 5 “classic” and the Levitate 5 StealthFit, which is a bit lighter.

The Levitate “classic” shoe for men weighs 10.4 ounces, while the women’s shoe comes in at 9.6 ounces.

With the StealthFit upper, the men’s shoe weighs 9.8 ounces and the women’s shoe weighs 8.6 ounces.

Half an ounce to an ounce can make a big difference on the road!

The men’s Ghost 15 weighs 9.9 ounces, and the women’s shoe weighs 9.0 ounces. A touch lighter than the Levitate, but not significant enough to make one shoe stand out over the other!

At the time of writing, there’s a $20 dollar price difference between the Levitate 5 and the Ghost 15.

The Levitate 5 is priced at $150, while the Ghost 15 will set you back $130. Worth it? Well, it truly depends on you and your preferences.

Ultimately, it’s hard to justify a $150 price tag on the Levitate unless you really like the feel of the stiff DNA AMP midsole or the sleek look of the stealth-fit version.

The Ghost 15 seems to be the better buy, thanks to its cushier midsole and springier energy return for a more reasonable price.

In the end, it truly comes down to personal preference. However, we can say upfront that those who require a stability shoe would be better off choosing the Levitate 5 GTS for its GuideRails support.

The Ghost is marketed as a more versatile, all-purpose shoe that can go for a nice-feeling run, walk through the store, hit the road in a training session, and see you through a race effectively.

The Levitate is a speedier shoe, with less cushion and a closer-to-ground feel. It’s better for those who want a faster shoe, or who prefer a lower heel-to-toe drop.

Brooks Ghost 15

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Brooks Levitate 5

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Shanna Powell

Shanna is a writer who runs... And cycles, jumps rope, and lifts weights. She lives in beautiful South Africa and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with other avid athletes.

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Brooks Levitate vs. Brooks Ghost

Brooks running shoes have been widely discussed as one of the tops running shoe brands out there today.

Generally, the debate circles between Asics and Brooks on which shoe brand is better for runners. So, you’re looking to upgrade your Brooks running shoes?

Brooks has a long lineup of great running shoes that would take all day to break down. 

That’s why we’ll be looking at the most popular neutral shoe models from Brooks for runners; the Ghost 13 and the Levitate 4.

Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoe - Grey/Atlantis/Black - 10.5

Brooks Ghost 13 Features

The Brooks Ghost has evolved over the years to become one of the premier reliable neutral daily trainers on the market. 

Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoe - Grey/Atlantis/Black - 10.5

The Ghost proves to be one of the most popular running shoes every year because of its soft landing, smooth transition, and tenacious durability in the midsole and outsole.

Seeking to grow upon the positives of the previous versions, the Ghost 13 builds off of the Ghost 12 but offers an even softer landing with increased amounts of the Brooks DNA LOFT midsole foam.

This contributes to a soft, yet more springy toe-off compared to previous versions.

This midsole design also comes with a Segmented Crash Pad, which offers customizable cushioning stability through the heel-to-toe off cycle.

Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoe - Grey/Atlantis/Black - 10.5

This Crash Pad also pairs with Omega Flex Grooves, which are implemented to offer forefoot flexibility without compromising cushioning in that area.

This will offer greater mobility to complement your springy toe-off.

Continuing to surpass its predecessors, the Ghost 13 implements a Two-Color Knitted Upper to deliver an even softer instep feel that holds your foot into the shoe well without any excessive tightness around the top of the foot.

This revamped upper also comes with a reimagined heel counter to provide a more supportive heel fit.

Let’s take a closer look at the specs of the Ghost 13 (full review) .

Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoe - Grey/Atlantis/Black - 10.5

  • THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: The Ghost 13 is for runners looking for a reliable shoe that's soft and smooth. The Ghost 13 offers improved transitions for zero distractions so you can focus more on what matters most: your run. This Brooks Ghost 13 is a certified PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe and has been granted the APMA Seal of Acceptance.
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: The neutral support type provides high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Ghost 12
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning work together to provide a just-right softness underfoot without losing responsiveness and durability - yet it feels lighter than ever.
  • Smooth Heel-to-Toe Transition
  • Versatile Design
  • Soft, yet Springy DNA LOFT Midsole
  • Some Durability Issues
  • High Heel-to Toe Offset (12mm)

Brooks Levitate 4 Features

Relatively new to the Brooks lineup, The Levitate 4 seeks to be a road-ready daily trainer with a sock-like upper and very springy ride. It is made for those who prefer a more energized ride over a plush/soft ride in a daily trainer.

Brooks Women's Levitate 4 Running Shoe - Antarctica/Atlantis/White - 10

Improving upon its less impressive predecessors, the Brooks Levitate 4 reformulates the cushioning system for a lighter ride that doesn’t hinder performance.

Continuing with its overhaul, the Levitate 4 also features a new upper with the intent to increase softness and breathability, as well as an updated outsole pattern for greater flexibility and a speedier transition.

The Levitate 4 continues to sport its DNA AMP midsole , which is Brooks' most responsive midsole technology that offers strong energy return by encasing a polyurethane-based foam inside a thermoplastic polyurethane skin.

Brooks Women's Levitate 4 Running Shoe - Antarctica/Atlantis/White - 10

This midsole is complemented by an Arrow Point outsole design pattern designed to allow a swift transition from heel-to-toe off.

The updated Fit Knit upper is Brooks’ knit construction, it is specifically designed to move with your foot and provide close to a sock-like fit. This knit upper is paired with Brooks’ Wraparound integrated collar to enhance the sock-like fit.

Brooks Women's Levitate 4 Running Shoe - Antarctica/Atlantis/White - 10

  • THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: The Levitate 4 is perfect for runners who want a shoe that helps them by giving energy back with each step, the Levitate 4's DNA AMP is now 20% lighter so our highest energy return foam is better than ever.
  • ENERGIZED CUSHIONING: Now 20% lighter, our DNA AMP midsole technology lets your foot spring off the ground with each step for speedy, efficient energy return.
  • SECURE, SOCK-LIFE FIT: We updated the Fit Knit Upper to provide a close-to-foot fit that’s lighter, softer, and more breathable than before. The Levitate 4 runs more shallow and provides a slightly more snug fit. If looking for a more roomy fit, Brooks recommends sizing up by 1/2 a size
  • Responsive Ride
  • Durable Midsole
  • Solid Traction
  • Heavy for a responsive daily trainer
  • Upper Knit is still not quite secure
  • May feel narrow in the toe box for those with wider feet

Full Evaluation - Ghost 13 vs Levitate 4:

Uppers: ghost 13 vs levitate 4:.

The uppers on these shoes are pretty different by design, the Ghost is made with a more standard engineered mesh upper known to reliably hold your foot securely and provide a comfortable daily fit.

Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoe - Grey/Atlantis/Black - 10.5

This is in contrast to the Levitates Knit upper, which is made to feel lightweight and sock-like but will often lead to a rather unstable feel going around turns or uneven surfaces.

The lacing system feels good for both of these models, although the biggest difference is that the Ghost 13 has plusher laces and the Levitate 4 has some flatter laces to offer a lighter and sleeker feeling shoe.

The Brooks Ghost 13 offers a more supportive fit through the upper, as the Two-Color Knit engineered upper mesh paired with a solid heel counter will hold your foot securely without sacrificing any breathability.

Brooks Women's Levitate 4 Running Shoe - Antarctica/Atlantis/White - 10

By contrast, the Brooks Levitate 4 will not feel quite as supportive through the upper, this is in part to the upper knit material, which is designed to feel sleeker, but less supportive.

The Levitate 4 is lacking a proper heel counter as well, so that may cause issues with those that require some more support, even as a neutral runner.

All of that being said, the Levitate 4’s Fit Knit upper sure is comfortable and breathable.

Sole Unit: Ghost 13 vs Levitate 4:

The verdict on this sole unit between the Brooks Ghost 13 and Levitate 4 will depend on what sort of ride you are looking for in a daily trainer.

Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoe - Grey/Atlantis/Black - 10.5

The Brooks Ghost 13 will cater to those seeking a soft, plush and, more supportive landing.

The Ghost 13 is designed with the DNA LOFT midsole to offer a reliable and versatile daily trainer for those who are seeking a softer landing without sacrificing too much in the way of heel-to-toe transitioning.

The Brooks Levitate 4 will be best suited for those seeking a more responsive and bouncier daily training ride.

The DNA AMP midsole offers a fun propulsive transition, which still has plenty of cushioning, but it is packaged in a slightly faster design.

Brooks Women's Levitate 4 Running Shoe - Antarctica/Atlantis/White - 10

The outsole designs are comparable in durability and traction, but the slight edge may go to the Levitate 4 in terms of a seamless transition. This is in part due to the Arrow-Point design that comes with this shoe, as it just feels fun to “push-off” in this one.

However, if you are seeking a more standard outsole design without too many frills, then the Brooks Ghost 13 will probably be the better shoe for you.

Brooks Levitate vs. Brooks Ghost Verdict

The Ghost 13 reigns as the more reliable daily trainer by incorporating more tried and true design features that will prove more accessible to the average distance runner.

The DNA LOFT midsole on the Ghost 13 just provides a soft ride that is just responsive enough to pick up the pace when needed, which is compared to the less versatile responsive design of the Levitate 4.

Although the weights are comparable, the Ghost 13 also takes the edge at 8.8 oz. (W8) over the Levitate 4 weight of 9.2 oz. (W8).

For a shoe designed to feel sleeker and faster, it is too bad that the Levitate 4 cannot manage to be lighter than the more standard daily trainer of the Ghost 13.

However, this may mean slightly more durability out of the Levitate 4, which will have a harder midsole design that is known to last longer than softer midsole designs.

Ultimately, it depends on the ride you are looking for. If you are seeking a more standard and reliable daily trainer feel, then go for the Brooks Ghost 13.

If you are seeking a responsive and fun ride, then you will probably find more success opting for the Brooks Levitate 4.


brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

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Shoe Review: Brooks Levitate 5

Side profile of the women's Brooks Levitate 5.

⚠️ The Brooks Levitate 6 has been released!

The bestselling Brooks Levitate has been updated. We carry a full range of colorways and sizes in the new Brooks Levitate 6.

Women's Brooks Levitate 6 | Men's Brooks Levitate 6

Add some pep to your step on your next run with the Brooks Levitate 5.

The newest version of the Brooks Levitate features the same springy cushion runners have come to love. But for the first time, the Levitate is available with a choice of two different uppers for a more adaptable fit: a roomier, more traditional mesh upper or a sleeker fitting knit upper, called StealthFit, that provides additional stretch and compression.

Both versions feature DNA Amp cushioning technology that creates a responsive ride with high energy return that will keep you moving for miles.

Fleet Feet reviewers tested both models over speed workouts, recovery miles and long runs. Here’s everything you need to know about the Brooks Levitate 5 and Brooks Levitate 5 StealthFit.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Women's Brooks Levitate 5 Running Shoes

Original price $150 sale/discounted price $112.50.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Men's Brooks Levitate 5 Running Shoes

A close up shot of the sole of the Brooks Levitate 5.

DNA Amp Delivers High Energy Return

The Brooks Levitate 5 is powered by the same DNA Amp midsole as the previous version, creating an energized ride with each step.

DNA Amp is one of Brooks’ signature midsole materials, designed to provide high energy return as well as cushioning. It’s made from polyurethane (PU) foam encased in a layer of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), creating a springy, responsive feeling as you run.

Reviewers noticed the soft landings and energetic takeoffs in this shoe. “They had a bouncy feel to them that I noticed right away,” one reviewer says.

These shoes are perfect for runners who want a smooth, responsive ride without sacrificing cushion. Plus, an arrow-point pattern on the outsole lets your feet transition quickly from heel to toe, leading to more propulsive toe-offs when you need to pick up the pace.

The Brooks Levitate 5 also features a sturdy rubber outsole with grip and support on slippery, wet roads.

The Brooks Levitate StealthFit 5

Updated Upper Improves Fit

The newest version of the Brooks Levitate allows runners to choose between two different uppers, making it more accommodating for different foot shapes than previous models.

Runners can choose between the Levitate 5 or the Levitate StealthFit 5. Both offer the same DNA Amp midsole and rubber outsole, but the uppers fit very differently.

The Levitate 5 features a flexible yet structured upper, with a detached tongue and extra eyelets that let you lace your shoes for a more personalized fit. Fleet Feet reviewers noted how the extra eyelets made it easier to adjust the fit of the shoe. The new engineered circular knit material provides extra breathability and an adaptable fit.

The Levitate StealthFit 5 features a one-piece knit upper, similar to the Levitate 4 but lighter and more breathable. The refined Fit Knit upper offers a seamless structure with an integrated tongue.

The Levitate StealthFit 5 is lighter than the Levitate 5, with the women’s shoes weighing in at 8.6 oz and the men’s at 9.8 oz.

“The StealthFit is designed for runners who prefer a sleek fit with stretch and compression. The upper is soft and stretchy, as promised,” says one reviewer. “It’s definitely a more snug fit in the toe box.”

Some reviewers noticed that the tapered toe box on the StealthFit model was a bit too snug, so if you have a wide foot you may prefer the original Levitate 5.

“Overall this is a well-constructed shoe, but I’d highly recommend trying the shoe on first before purchasing to ensure the fit and shape accommodates your foot,” one reviewer says.

Brooks Levitate 5 vs Levitate 4

A side by side comparison shot of the Brooks Levitate 4 and the Brooks Levitate 5.

The Brooks Levitate 5 offers the same springy ride as the previous version, with an updated upper to improve comfortability.

The newest version of the Levitate features an engineered circular knit upper, which is more breathable and more supportive than the previous model. Plus, you now have the option to choose between a more structured upper with the engineered mesh upper, or a sleeker fit with the StealthFit.

The Levitate 5 is slightly heavier than the Levitate 4, but not enough for any of our reviewers to notice a difference. The Levitate StealthFit 5 is lighter than both the Levitate 5 and the Levitate 4.

“It’s light, flexible and easy to slip on and off—three features that make it a perfect fit in my opinion,” says one reviewer.

Final Thoughts

The Brooks Levitate 5 offers the same springy cushion runners have come to know and love. DNA Amp midsole technology creates a bouncy ride with high energy return.

Two different upper styles allow runners to choose between a more traditional and structured upper or a flexible upper with compression and stretch.

Overall, the newest version of the Brooks Levitate is a solid everyday trainer for runners seeking a smooth, responsive shoe.

“I like its firm, responsive feel for my regular training and recovery days, as well as my long runs. It’s also a really comfortable walking shoe,” one reviewer says.

Keep Reading

The Brooks Ghost 14 rests on the ground

Shoe Review: Brooks Ghost 14

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Shoe Review: Brooks Cascadia 16

The Brooks Aurora running shoes

Shoe Review: Brooks Aurora

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Brooks Ghost Vs Levitate – Which One Is Best For You In [2022]

by Madhusree Basu | Jul 7, 2020 | Comparisons , Reviews , Running

Last Updated: June 28th, 2022

Brooks Ghost Vs Levitate. These two running shoes are very similar in terms of weight, price and other things.

Then how are they different and when you should use each of them?

If you are confused about picking the right one for you, then the information provided below will definitely help you to make a more informed decision.

We have gathered as much information as possible so that you can choose the one that is suitable for your needs.

So, without further ado, let’s jump into the detailed comparison of Brooks Ghost vs Levitate .

Brooks Levitate Vs Ghost-min

This is our winner

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Brooks Ghost 12

Why it is better.

  • More forgiving cushioning.
  • Excellent protection.
  • Truly customized fit.
  • Good for both long and short distance running.
  • Comes in more number of widths.
  • Doesn’t rub your Achilles
  • ✅ Brooks Ghost Vs Levitate
  • 1. An Overview
  • 2. This is our winner
  • 3. Brooks Ghost Vs Levitate – Features at a glance
  • 4. The main difference between Brooks Ghost Vs Brooks Levitate
  • 5. Meet Brooks Ghost and Levitate
  • 6.1. Brooks Levitate Specifications
  • 6.2. What is DNA AMP?
  • 6.3. Brooks Ghost Specifications
  • 6.4. 3D Fit Print
  • 6.5. DNA LOFT
  • 6.6. BioMoGo DNA
  • 6.7. Segmented Crash Pad
  • 7.1. Outsole
  • 7.2. Midsole
  • 7.4. Weight
  • 8.1. Running Shoes Similar to Brooks Levitate 3
  • 8.2. Running Shoes Similar to Brooks Ghost 12
  • 9. Conclusion

Brooks Ghost Vs Levitate – An Overview

Both Books Levitate and Brooks Ghost  is both neutral running shoes and provide you with an ample amount of cushioning.

Then how are these two running shoes different?

The simple answer is their sole.

Brooks Levitate  is more focused on providing you with a higher energy return whereas,  Brooks Ghost ,  will provide you with more cushy comfort.

Although this is one of the main differences, there are many. We will look into all these differences in great detail so that you have an easier time while doing your own research. 

So, without further ado, let’s begin…

Brooks Ghost Vs Levitate – Features at a glance

The main differences between brooks levitate vs brooks ghost.

  • Brooks Levitate  is a neutral running shoe meant for runners more focused on energy-return. Brooks Ghost, on the other hand, is also a neutral running shoe but is more focused on cushioning.
  • Along with other types of running, Brooks Levitate can also be used on tracks whereas Brooks Ghost is not at all suitable for tracks.
  • The latest generation of Brooks Levitate is 3 wheres the current version of Ghost is 12.
  • Brooks Levitate comes only in one width whereas Brooks Ghost comes in a lot of fits ensuring more comfort for its users.
  • Brooks Levitate  uses energize level 3 cushioning.  Brooks Ghost  on the other hand has cushion level 2 cushioning.
  • Brooks Levitate 3 has a flexible, arrow-point pattern on the outsole to move quickly from heel to toe without losing energy. Brooks Ghost 12, has the segmented crash pad at the forefoot of the outsole to serve as a cushioning for any kind of foot landing.

Meet Brooks Ghost and Levitate

Now we know more about the differences between Brooks Ghost and Levitate.

However, before we go into a more detailed comparison of Brooks Ghost Vs Brooks Levitate, we should understand Brooks Ghost and Levitate in more detail.

This will give you more clarity of what exactly these products are and whether it will suit your needs.

Brooks Ghost 12 Running Shoes

Last update on 2023-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Technically, the cushioning of Brooks Levitate is much more than Brooks Ghost as Brooks Ghost’s cushioning is at 2, and Brooks Levitate is at 3.

However, Brooks Levitate’s cushioning feels more firm due to the type of cushioning it uses.

Brooks Ghost’s cushioning for the same reason feels more flexible and the heel to toe transition feels more natural.

On the other hand, Brooks Levitate provides you with more energy return and helps you to move faster.

Size-wise, Brooks Levitate supports sizes 7.0 to 15.0 for men and with only one width (Normal). For women, Levitate’s size starts at 5.0 and goes up to 12.0 and also with only one width choice of normal.

For Brooks Ghost, the sizes run from 7.0 to 15.0 and in widths normal, narrow B, wide 2E, and extra-wide 4E. For women, the size runs from 5.0 to 12.0. Available widths are normal, narrow 2A, and wide D.

Both of these running shoes come with the upgraded look and feel of Brooks with a lot of color choices to suit your taste.

Brooks Levitate has the flat-knit upper with breathable zones, providing it with a more premium look.

Also, Levitate has DNA AMP in the midsole while Ghost has BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT in their midsole, both of which are adaptable to your stride.

You can use both of these shoes for your daily running.

That’s it for the basic introduction of Brooks Ghost and Brooks Levitate. Now let’s look at them for more detailed differences and similarities.

Core Specifications: Brooks Ghost Vs Levitate

In this section of Brooks Levitate vs Ghost, we will take a look at the technologies that are being used to build these shoes.

First we will look at Brooks Levitate and then we will look into Brooks Ghost in more detail.

Brooks Levitate Specifications

The Brooks Levitate 3  is a running shoe that can be used for your daily runs. It will help you to run faster by providing you with ample amount of energy return.

This is the 3rd generation of Levitate and it has been adapted to have a more premium look by having a stitched pseudo tongue and a flat-knit upper.

The main component that Brooks Levitate that differentiates it from Brooks Ghost is its midsole.

Brooks Levitate’s midsole is made from DNA AMP which is what we will discuss in this section.

What is DNA AMP?

The main midsole material of Brooks Levitate’s midsole is DNA AMP.

DNA AMP provides you with the best-in-class energy return. The energy return standard of running shoes is somewhere between 50-60% whereas, for DNA AMP, it is close to 70%.

To achieve this, Brooks coated the already responsive polyurethane material in a skin.

This resists horizontal expansion and harnesses more energy.

Here is how it works:

Brooks Ghost Specifications

  Brooks Ghost 12  differs a lot from  Brooks Levitate 3  in terms of technology.

Brooks Ghost has a much softer sole and provides you with a lot of cushioning.

The flip-side to that is, it’s energy return is less.

While Levitate uses the cushioning of type ‘Energize’, Ghost uses cushioning type ‘Cushion’.

For long distances,  Ghost  is always a preferred choice as it provides you with a much plush comfort.

Here are the technologies that are being used by Brooks Ghost 12 to provide you with a more premium running experience:

3D Fit Print

Segmented crash pad, biomogo dna.

As you can see, there is not much of a similarity between Brooks Ghost and Levitate in terms of technologies.

So, we will take a closer look at  Books Ghost 12 ‘s 3D Fit Print, Segmented Crash Pad, BioMoGo DNA, and DNA LOFT technologies and how it will keep you comfortable.

Brooks Ghost’s upper is made with screen printing technology.

This technology creates the 3D Fit Print engineered mesh that provides you with a more customized fit.

This printing technology provides you with seamless, irritation-free construction.

With this type of mesh, you will remain comfortable and breathable throughout your entire run.

To make running shoes shock absorbing and well-cushioned, most of their midsoles are made with EVA foam.

However, this foam although shock-absorbing, doesn’t provide you with a soft and plush feel.

So, Brooks came up with a new technology called DNA LOFT.

This is the upgraded version of Super DNA and is plusher in feel.

Why DNA LOFT provides you with such softness?

DNA LOFT is a blend of EVA foam, rubber, and air.

The usage of rubber in the blend makes it durable whereas the other two components make this midsole very soft.

This makes this sole withstand your weight and it doesn’t pack out and makes it more durable.

You will only find this in  Brooks Ghost  and not in Revel.

BioMoGo DNA is an adaptive material that blends BioMoGo and DNA material from Brooks to create a more dynamic cushioning.

This material adapts to yourself and provides you with a plush ride.

You will find this material only in  Brooks Ghost  and not in Levitate.

For more information, you may read:  Brooks Launch Vs Ghost – Which one is best for you?

This is present in the forefoot area of Brooks Ghost 12. Here there is a layer of segmented blown rubber under the segmented midsole.

This makes these shoes bend and stretch when needed.

Forefoot flexibility of Brooks Ghost comes from this area and also this helps in your heel to toe transition.

If you take a look at Brooks Levitate, this area has an arrow-point pattern. This makes it quicker for the heel to toe transition.

Now that you understand better the core technological differences between these two shoes, let’s understand the subtle difference between them.

Let’s proceed to the complete showdown of these two running shoes.

Brooks Ghost Vs. Levitate – A head to head comparison

We have covered all the broad differences between Brooks Ghost and Brooks Levitate.

These are more subtler differences and you will get to know a lot more information about Brooks Ghost 12 vs Brooks Levitate 3.

There will be a lot of information in the following sections. If you don’t want to read, then refer then above image.

If not, let’s read on…

Both Brooks Ghost 12  and Brooks Levitate 3 have HPR Plus and blown rubber. Brooks Ghost has it at the high impact zones and Brooks Levitate has it on almost the entire outsole.

You can find this rubber on the edge of the heels and the crash pad of Brooks Ghost 12.

However, for Brooks Levitate 3, this rubber is present on almost the entire sole and has the arrow-point shape on the forefoot.

This helps you to have a quick heel-to-toe transition in Levitate.

Also, this HPR plus and blown rubber of the forefoot in both the shoes are segmented, providing you with a good amount of firmness and flexibility.

However, some of the runners mentioned that Levitate’s sole doesn’t have as much traction.

Both Brooks Ghost and  Brooks Levitate  are road running shoes and can work on treadmill and concrete. Brooks Levitate can also work on tracks.

However, they will not work on rough terrains and trails and may get eroded very fast if you try to. This will also decrease their overall life span.

The midsole of these two running shoes is completely different. It could be because of how these two running shoes are intended to be used.

The midsole of Brooks Ghost 12 is made from BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT. This makes this running shoe soft and cushy.

Whereas, Brooks Levitate 3 has DNA AMP as the midsole. This helps this running shoe to provide a higher energy return. Brooks claims that the energy return of this running shoe is close to 70%.

However, surprisingly, these two running shoes are very similar in weight and you cannot feel the difference (weight-wise) despite being made completely different.

One major difference in the midsole is the drop in these shoes. Brooks Levitate 3 has a drop of 8 mm and Brooks Ghost 12 has a drop of 12 mm.

The difference is significant and you will be able to feel it. However, this is important to know, if you are trying to make a transition from a high drop shoe to low drop shoe.

In that case, Levitate can serve you as a transition shoe and can make this switch go much easier on you.

One more key difference between Brooks Ghost and Brooks Levitate is that Brooks Ghost is less responsive compared to Brooks Levitate.

The amount of cushion present in these two are also different. 

Brooks Levitate has a cushion-level of 3 which is the highest in any category of cushioning. Whereas, Brooks Ghost has a 2 which is a mid-level cushioning.

This may be difficult to believe as Ghost’s overall feel is plushier than Levitate, which is on the firmer side.

Durability wise also, these two running shoes are almost at par and follows the standard as laid out by Brooks.

According to Brooks, any of its running shoes last for around 300 to 500 miles or for 3 to 6 months.

However, this depends on the amount of usage of these shoes.

The upper of  Brooks Ghost  uses 3D fit print and that of  Brooks Levitate  is engineered flat-knit mesh.

Both of them will provide you with a comfortable fit and will not make you uncomfortable in any way.

Levitate has special breathable zones in the upper and this will keep your feet comfortable during the entire run.

Brooks Ghost has traditional collar and tongue whereas, Brooks Levitate comes with pseudo-tongue which is stitched to the upper. Also, the upper has a socklike fit.

Also, since these running shoes come with a traditional lacing system, it provides a very secured fit at the mid-foot.

However, none of these shoes are waterproof and is completely different to look-at. Brooks Ghost has a premium look but more traditional. Whereas, Brooks Levitate has a more modern look which somewhat falls in-line with Bedlam.

One of the big differences in the upper of these two shoes are the number of widths that are available. Brooks Ghost 12 has more widths in both men’s and women’s categories.

This makes it more comfortable for a much wider range of runners.

However, arch-support wise, both of these shoes are the same. They support medium to high arches. Any less than that, you will have to deal with severe pain during running.

Look-wise, both of these shoes are very pleasant with Levitate having a refreshing appearance. Brooks Ghost flaunts a more elegant look and is more traditional in apprearence.

The breathability of these shoes is also very good. However, I found here also, Brooks Ghost is a bit better than Brooks Levitate. It is much airier and you will not feel hot inside this shoe at all.

Some of the runners mentioned that their Achilles rub against Brooks Levitate’s collar and you may develop a boil initially. However, after a couple of uses you will not have this issue.

However, Brooks Ghost will not cause any kind of irritation to your skin and you will be comfortable in it, right from the start.

In terms of weight, both Brooks Leviate and Brooks Ghost are very similar.

Brooks Leviate weighs around 10.3oz/292.0g whereas Brooks Ghost weighs 10.4oz/294g.

Brooks Ghost weighs around 10.4oz/294g and Brooks Launch weighs around 8oz/226.8g.

So, while using either of them, you will not be held down by excessive weight and in both, your performance will not suffer due to weight of the shoe.

Price-wise also, there is no difference between Brooks Ghost Vs Levitate.

Eash of them is priced around $130, when they were initially launched.

However, currently, both,  Brooks Ghost 12 and Brooks Levitate 3 selling at a heavy discount.

If you want to sweeten the deal, go for the earlier version of these two running shoes.

Since the launch of both of these shoes, prices of the earlier versions, that is, Brooks Ghost 11  and  Brooks Leviate 2 has come down significantly. You should be able to get an additional 10% discount if not more.

That’s all with the differences and similarities between Brooks Ghost 12 and Brooks Levitate 3 .

If you want to look at some alternatives to both the shoes, then read on…

Similar Shoes

Running shoes similar to brooks levitate 3.

A lot of running shoes can serve as a good alternative to Levitate.

We are still working on the list of similar shoes to Brooks Levitate. Once done we will update this section and will inform you of the same.

Running Shoes Similar to Brooks Ghost 12

Brooks Ghost 12 also have some very good alternatives. Some are cheaper but have at par quality of Brooks Ghost 12.

You can find all the running shoes similar to Brooks Ghost 12 in this list.

We have tried to provide you all the required details in this comprehensive “Brooks Ghost Vs Levitate review”.

You will get all the required information to make the correct decision for yourself.

However, we found that, due to certain characteristics like a probable initial Achilles rub by Brooks Levitate, Brooks Ghost steals the show.

This is the reason we liked  Brooks Ghost   better than Brooks Levitate.

Let us know if you have any further questions.

Madhusree Basu

Madhusree Basu

Author, Admin

Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.

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brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Run the Shoes

Buying guides and reviews to help you find the best running shoes.

Brooks Levitate 5 Review

Brooks Levitate 5 Review (2022): A Springy Shoe That Isn’t for Everyone

Buy the brooks levitate 5 if….

  • You’re looking for a neutral running shoe with a springy energy return
  • You want a shoe that will force you to focus on your form

$150 at Zappos

$150 at Amazon

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The Brooks Levitate 5 was recommended to me directly by the Brooks Running website. Prior to the Levitate, the only Brooks shoe I had worn was the Ghost, and I was curious to try other lines from the brand. Unsure of which shoe to start with, I took Brooks’ “shoe finder” quiz (multiple times, I may add) and consistently got the Levitate 5 as my recommended shoe. The TL;DR is that I like this shoe very much, perhaps more than the Brooks Ghost, but it’s not for everyone and I don’t really need a trainer like this taking up space in my closet.

Keep reading for the full Run the Shoes Brooks Levitate 5 review.

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Offset: 8mm

Weight: 9.6 oz (women) // 10.4 oz (men), price: $150, notable features.

There are actually four variations of the Brooks Levitate 5; there are two types of fit to choose from, classic or StealthFit, and two support styles, neutral or GTS. The fit refers to the upper—the classic fit has a traditional padded ankle collar and a slightly fit upper that hugs your feet, while the StealthFit has more of a snug, sock-like upper that emphasizes stretch and compression. In terms of support, the neutral fit is for runners who neither overpronate nor supinate, while the GTS (“Go-To Support”) style is for runners that do. According to Brooks’ website, if you feel place your hand between your knees and feel the pressure on it increase or decrease when you squat with your feet together, you should choose the GTS style. I’m a neutral runner who prefers a traditional upper, so I bought the standard Levitate 5 (classic fit, neutral support).

DNA AMP Midsole

One of Brooks’ four proprietary midsole cushioning materials, DNA AMP is all about energy return. It’s designed to absorb the force of your stride and return that energy back into your next step, yielding a super springy ride. This is a stark difference to the Brooks Ghost , which is designed with the super-soft DNA LOFT midsole.

Fit Knit Upper

No matter if you opt for the sock-like Stealthfit or the more classic upper, all models of the Levitate 5 have a breathable, mesh upper.

How I tested

I wore these shoes for about a total of 50 miles to test their efficacy. Most of those miles were run on the road, though about 25% were run on the treadmill and on the track. I paid attention to how the shoe handled transitions while running and how it felt when running both easy and tempo paces.

What to love about the Brooks Levitate 5

I found the energy return and quick transitions of the Levitate 5 to be quite remarkable when compared to the two other Brooks shoes I was testing around the same time, the Ghost and Glycerin. Another thing to like is the super durable outsole—this shoe could easily last 400 miles. Overall, I found that it was a good shoe to wear on easy-to-medium effort runs at an aerobic pace. I can see it being a viable choice for casual hobby joggers looking for a single pair of shoes that can handle a variety of terrains and paces.

What not to love about the Brooks Levitate 5

Though I liked the Levitate 5 and found it to be quite comfortable, there are some obvious downsides. One, it’s surprisingly heavy for a shoe that isn’t a plush recovery trainer. I found it to be quite narrow too, so it’s not a great option for runners with wide feet. (I have a medium-width feet and they fit just right.) If you’re the type of runner who owns multiple training shoes, it’s not entirely clear where this one would fall in your weekly rotation—it’s too springy for recovery runs and too heavy for speed workouts. It could be a good-enough tempo shoe but there are better options out there, even from Brooks.

The bottom line

The Brooks Levitate 5 is a comfortable and durable shoe that yields a springy ride. It’s a great option for casual runners with narrow to medium-sized feet who are looking for a daily trainer that can handle both easy runs and faster paces. If you’re a serious runner who tends to split their weekly running between recovery runs and workouts, the Levitate 5 doesn’t have a place in your rotation.

What other reviewers are saying

“The Brooks Levitate is a tempo shoe that feels like a speed shoe from 5 years ago complete with stiff foam, low stack heights, and a ride that pushes you to focus on your form rather than letting the shoe do the work for you. ” – RunRepeat

“Honestly, I figured the Levitate 5 would feel eerily similar to the Levitate 4. Yep. About the same. Aside from the upper changes, [we] still disliked the ride…[we] wouldn’t call the ride harsh, but the firmness made the first mile, at minimum, feel clunky in every run.” – Believe In The Run

“These shoes are perfect for runners who want a smooth, responsive ride without sacrificing cushion.” – Fleet Feet

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The 12 Best Brooks Running Shoes of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

After thorough research and one month of testing, we recommend these shoes for fit, comfort, value, and more

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Michele Stanten is a walking coach, certified group fitness instructor, and running coach. She is the author of Walk Off Weight and The Walking Solution.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Rich Scherr is a seasoned journalist who has covered technology, finance, sports, and lifestyle.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Verywell Fit / Marcus Millan

A long-time favorite brand for runners, Brooks shoes are known for their plush comfort, reliable support, and quality materials. With an extensive line-up of products, Brooks has options for all types of foot arches and running gaits, with the right amount of support and cushioning for those needs. Their shoes also come in different widths, which is crucial for getting a precise fit and helping runners avoid issues like foot blisters , bunions, and hammer toes.

We chose the best Brooks running shoes by researching dozens of pairs from the brand and speaking with foot experts for their advice on what to look for when selecting running shoes. Additionally, we tested some of the top pairs for walking and running in the Verywell Testing Lab using expert guidance from our on-site expert Dr. Diana Levin Valencia, DPM.

In our real-world tests, we asked testers to run in these running shoes three to five times every week over the course of one month. We continue to test each shoe for fit, cushioning, stability, comfort, responsiveness, and overall value. We will keep updaiting this roundup as we gather more insights from our experience with each shoe. Whether you prefer road racing, treadmill running , or hitting the trails, Brooks has a pair for you. 

We Also Tested

  • How We Selected and Tested
  • What to Look For

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Best women’s overall, brooks glycerin 20.

  • Comfort 5 /5
  • Stability 4.5 /5
  • Value 4.6 /5

Excellent cushioning

Breathable, lightweight design

Versatile for short or long distances

Limited color options in wide sizes

A long-time favorite in the Brooks line-up, the Glycerin 20 earns our top overall pick for women thanks to its exceptional comfort, performance, and versatility. As one of Brooks’ most cushioned running shoes, we agree after testing that it offers cloud-like comfort and a plush transition zone, so each stride feels soft and smooth. 

As we moved around in them, it was clear to us that these were the sumptuous, buttery,  most supportive running shoes we have ever worn, comparable to some of the most popular running brands on the market. The cushioning on these running shoes was so thick that we didn’t feel our feet hit the ground when we ran like we usually do in other shoes.

This latest version of the Glycerin features an innovative nitrogen infusion process, which helps optimize softness and energy return (or how springy the shoe feels) without sacrificing durability.  

With a thick, cushioned heel, it provides good shock absorption and protection for neutral runners who are pounding the pavement during long runs. They were perfect in our cardio classes where we found ourselves jumping around a lot. However, even with its generous cushioning, the shoe feels responsive and lightweight, so it’s springy and nimble enough for short-track workouts, too.  When they got wet in a downpour, they still didn’t feel any heavier. They didn’t weigh us down at all, or even squish when our feet made impact when drenched. 

The smooth, breathable engineered air mesh delivers a secure, comfortable fit, holding the foot in place and helping to prevent blisters. We felt they were snug and true to size with a lot of room in the toe box. We didn’t feel any irritation or pain at all when wearing these running shoes.

The Glycerin is one of the most expensive options on our list, but we think it’s well worth the investment. Versatile and durable, it works for runners and fitness walkers, as well as for exercisers looking for a comfy gym shoe or a supportive option for all-day wear. We tried these shoes on multiple terrains—concrete, sand, cement, gravel, cushioned gym floor—you name it. On all of these terrains, these running shoes maintained a high level of stability, especially in the ankle area.

This running shoe is an especially great option if you have flat or narrow feet, or prefer to run indoors on a treadmill versus outside on uneven surfaces. When selecting your size, keep in mind that this shoe is a bit more narrow in the back and wider in the front.

Verywell Fit / Tamara Staples

Materials: Engineered mesh upper | Cushioning: High | Weight: 9.1 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Drop : 10 millimeters  

Best Men's Overall

Brooks ghost 15.

  • Cushioning/Knee Protection 5 /5
  • Comfort 4.5 /5
  • Stability 5 /5

Very versatile

Good arch support

Padding absorbs sweat

A bit heavier than previous version

We tested and loved this all-around fantastic shoe for both serious and casual runners. Brooks’ Ghost 15 delivers exceptional comfort, fit, and support, which is why we chose it as our best overall pick for men. 

The shoe’s ample cushioning provides a soft underfoot but with lots of energy return for a responsive ride. We noticed that the plush feel of the shoe also helped in not further aggravating any pre-existing knee injuries. Typical mild pain and discomfort were minimized and soothed and our knees felt completely supported.

Speaking of, it felt like we were running on a pair of clouds. We found ourselves exercising longer in these shoes on concrete and pavement because of how pleasant they felt. While other Brooks shoes may offer a little more stability, the extra padding here is what really sold us and made these running shoes stand out.

The Ghost 15 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to fit either. They feature a spacious toe box that accommodated our larger bunions perfectly and an engineered air mesh upper that hugs the foot. These running shoes are snug around our Achilles heel without being overly tight. 

The internal heel counter provides excellent heel lockdown, while a generously padded tab, collar, and tongue enhance the overall comfort around the ankle. Of course, all the padding tends to absorb sweat, so the shoe may not be the best option for hot-weather running .

We tested this running shoe for a few weeks to see how the construction would hold up as well, and after weeks of use, we didn’t see any fraying or stretching. There were some slight stains (granted, we chose white shoes), but that’s to be expected with lighter color running shoes. We didn’t smell any odors over time either.

Meanwhile, the outsole’s thick rubber layer provides plenty of protection from abrasion and a flawless grip. The mesh on the sides of the running shoes add extra breathability. We didn’t experience any blisters or irritation even with long wear.

The shoe comes in four different widths, so you can get a custom-like fit and feel. It’s a bit heavier than its predecessor, so long-time fans of the Ghost may notice a difference. However, neutral runners who want a versatile, durable shoe that can go the distance will undoubtedly be impressed. 

VeryWell Fit / Sara Michael

Materials: Engineered mesh upper, rubber sole | Cushioning: Medium | Weight: 10.1 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Drop : 12 millimeters

Best Budget

Brooks revel 5 running shoes.

Excellent traction

Soft forefoot cushioning

A bit snug in the toe box

No wide sizes

With exceptional performance and durability, Brooks’ shoes often come with a big price tag. However, some options we found, like the Revel 5, are more budget-friendly, without sacrificing quality or comfort.

An all-around workhorse, we think the Revel is ideal for both pavement and treadmill runs of all distances. The lightweight cushioning, combined with the sustainable rubber outsole, delivers a springy, energized ride and smooth transitions. Plus, we like that the breathable knit upper provides a comfortable and secure fit, with a sleek, streamlined style that looks great even for everyday wear.

We did note that the Revel only comes in regular width and the toe box is a bit narrow, so it may not be a good choice for wide feet. But it’s a solid performer and versatile option that’s a great value for the money and one of the best budget running shoes on the market.

Materials: Knit upper, Rubber outsole | Cushioning: Medium |  Weight: 8 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Drop : 8 millimeters

Best for Overpronation

Brooks adrenaline gts 22.

  • Cushioning 5 /5

Supportive and stable

Good cushioning and shock absorption

Breathable upper

Short laces

We tested Brooks’ Adrenaline GTS 22 in search of the best running shoe for overpronation. If you overpronate , or roll your feet inward when you run, Brooks’ Adrenaline GTS 22 offers the comfort and support you need when you hit the pavement or treadmill. 

These shoes felt sturdy enough that not only did they help with overpronation, but they also helped relieve everyday pain that we were experiencing when walking.

The Adrenaline GTS is built with Brooks’ GuideRails technology, a light and unobtrusive support system that doesn’t rely on a stiff medial post to keep excess movement in check. For those looking for running shoes for bad knees , these are a great pick because the GuideRails allow your hips, knees, and joints to follow their natural movement, while still limiting side-to-side motion.

Unlike some other stability shoes, the Adrenaline GTS is soft and flexible, meaning our feet bend comfortably inside of them when in motion. They offer a smooth ride and easy transitions. These running shoes felt so lightweight, that we actually felt as if our speed on our daily runs was increased in addition to knee pain being relieved. Our ankles and joints responded well when in motion in these running shoes. 

The shoe’s full-length DNA Loft cushioning feels plush, but not overly squishy, and provides good shock absorption to protect your joints. This feature actually aided us in following proper form during workouts like squats. We also felt steady when wearing these while doing cardio that required a lot of jumping. 

Something that really stood out to us about this shoe when testing is that when running uphill, our feet didn’t slip or slide inside the running shoe at all. If you’re a runner who finds themselves going up or down hills or even mountains, this running shoe is a solid option.

Additionally, the engineered air mesh upper provides a secure, comfortable fit and breathes well to prevent your feet from overheating. We had ample space in our tox box, while the rest of the shoe felt snug around our ankles. We didn’t experience any irritation around our soles or toes.

Some users find the laces to be a bit short, but we appreciate the design. They’re flat shoe laces, which we find easy to tie.  The shoe is also deep enough to accommodate inserts or custom orthotics and comes in several widths for an accurate fit. They’re also stylish and work well as a casual shoe.

Verywell Fit / Michael Navarro

Materials: Engineered mesh upper, Rubber outsole | Cushioning: Medium | Weight: 10.2 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Drop : 12 millimeters

Best for Flat Feet

Brooks addiction gts 15 running shoe.

Good support and motion control

Very breathable

Limited color options

If you have flat feet and need a running shoe with excellent support, Brooks’ Addiction GTS 15 has got you covered. We found that this shoe strikes the perfect balance between support and cushioning, making it a comfortable option for short or long runs.

A tried-and-true favorite for stability running shoes , the Addiction features Brooks’ GuideRails technology, which helps to minimize excess movement. We like the brand’s DNA cushioning system that adapts to a runner’s stride, weight, and speed, providing shock absorption to reduce the impact on joints.

We love that the breathable upper adjusts to your foot’s unique shape, so you get an accurate, comfortable fit. Plus, the Addiction comes in a variety of width sizes, and it’s deep enough to fit inserts like insoles for flat feet or custom orthotics.

Those who like shoes that come in bright and fun colors may be disappointed with this pair’s lack of color options. We also noted that some runners might find the Addiction to be a bit heavier than other options due to its generous cushioning and support. However, it still offers the right structure and comfort for running or all-day wear.

Materials: Engineered mesh upper, Rubber sole | Cushioning: Medium | Weight:

11.1 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Drop : 12 millimeters

Best for Plantar Fasciitis

Brooks women’s ariel '20 running shoes.

  • Value 4.5 /5

Max support

Roomy toe box

When testing Brooks’ Ariel ‘20 running shoe, we found that it provides consistent support and cushioning to help prevent plantar fasciitis and keep symptoms at bay. Designed for runners who need extra cushioning, the shoe has a thick sole and generous padding in the heel area, delivering protection right where it’s needed. 

The Ariel features Brooks’ GuideRails technology, which offers full-length support, helping to prevent excess side-to-side movement. It also comes equipped with an external heel counter and a grippy rubber outsole that add extra stability. We did notice that these running shoes felt heavier compared to other options we tested. While that may not be best for long-distance runners or sprinters, we feel that it would be great if you need extra support when walking or running on uneven surfaces, sidewalks, and park trails—a must-have feature in running shoes for plantar fasciitis .

The ample cushioning and support make it a bit heavier and pricier than other options, but fans of the shoe think it’s worth it for its reliable stability. We highly suggest wearing thicker socks with these shoes to help prevent irritation.

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

Verywell Fit / Jennifer Juliao

Materials: Synthetic and mesh upper, Rubber sole | Cushioning: High | Weight: 10.7 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Drop : 12 millimeters

Best Cushioned

Brooks levitate 6 running shoe.

Made with environmentally-friendly materials

Responsive cushioning

Shoe laces may feel uncomfortable to some

Brooks’ Levitate 6 is our pick for the best cushioned running shoe. We tested these running shoes and found they offer great support that helps soften impact and protect feet from irritation. These shoes keep our feet comfortable, even when we run multiple times a week for long distances. They’re super springy, stretchy, and a great option if you need a shoe that's ready to cradle your feet comfortably as you workout.

Much like other Brooks’ shoes, the Levitate 6’s cushion adapts to your individual stride and foot, offering a personalized experience. On top of the DNA AMP v2 foam, which tends to be lighter than other types of foam typically used for running sneakers, there’s an additional 2 millimeters of foam that enhances the bouncy stride and keeps your feet energized.

The shoes feel like actual pillows on our feet. Their plush feel was the first thing we noticed when we put them on. The cushioning absorbs a lot on impact, especially when running on pavement. They're highly responsive, helping propel us into the next stride.

Even with the substantial amount of cushion in the shoe, they at no point felt cumbersome or heavy. They actually feel lighter than we expected. The shoes also offer great temperature regulation and we found the cushion and fabric held up well after repeated use.

The support in these shoes was one of our favorite features. We do sometimes experience pain when running for a while, but we noticed these running shoes didn’t exacerbate the pain or irritate us in any way.

The engineered stretch upper knit gave this running shoe an incredibly snug fit. The toe box was very roomy, and our feet didn’t slip or slide around during wear. Our heels stayed securely in place with no blisters, hot spots, or tingling/numbness in the toes.

The running shoes are very true-to-size, but the shoe laces did irritate us a little. When they were laced up tightly, they felt like they were bruising the top of our feet, so we decided to wear them a little looser to stop that. If you decide to move forward with this option, it may help to purchase different shoe laces to have a more comfortable experience.

Materials: Recycled knit | Cushioning: High | Weight: 9.5 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Drop : 8 millimeters

Best for Trail Running

Brooks cascadia 16.

Great traction

Stable and supportive

A bit too stiff for some

With exceptional grip and stability, we think the Brooks’ Cascadia 16 trail running shoes are a perfect choice for tackling uneven terrain and unpredictable weather conditions on the trails. The shoe’s lightweight, energizing cushioning adapts to your feet with every stride, ensuring a smooth, comfortable ride.

We really liked that there is a protective rock plate in the sole that helps shield you from rocks, roots, and debris underfoot, and the thick, sticky rubber outsole provides exceptional traction on a variety of surfaces. If you’re used to Brooks’ regular running shoes, the Cacadia 16 may feel a bit stiff at first, but the shoe’s innovative design is actually quite flexible without sacrificing support.

Additionally, the shoe’s engineered mesh and 3D fit print upper provide a secure fit and good breathability to keep your feet cool and dry. We think adventure lovers will undoubtedly find the Cascadia 16 to be a dependable asset for conquering the trails and one of the best trail running shoes on the market.

Materials: Mesh upper, Rubber outsole | Cushioning: Medium |  Weight: 10.5 | Closure: Lace-up | Drop : 8 millimeters

Best for Wide Feet

Brooks dyad 11.

Three width options

High-energizing cushioning

Reliable traction

Heavier than other options

With three different width options, we picked the Brooks’ Dyad 11 as an excellent option for those looking for a precise fit for their wide feet. The shoe’s exceptional comfort, support, and generous fit cater to a variety of foot shapes and make them perfect for both short and long-distance running on different surfaces.

We like that the Dyad’s high-energizing cushioning provides responsive bounce back and reliable shock absorption with each stride. A durable rubber outsole adds to the underfoot comfort and support while delivering reliable traction. For arch support, the shoe’s wide platform offers sure-footed stability for a neutral stride. The perforated mesh upper ensures breathability and helps with moisture management.

The Dyad is slightly heavier than many of Brooks’ other shoes, but it’s ideal for those looking for a roomier fit.

Materials: Mesh upper, Rubber outsole | Cushioning: High | Weight: 11.6 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Drop :10 millimeters

Best Lightweight

Brooks hyperion max running shoes.

Durable; great for long distance runners

Great for fast transitions

Not very stable

When you’re running, the last thing you want is to feel weighed down by a heavy shoe. We tested Brooks’ Hyperion Max shoe, and were extremely pleased with how secure and lightweight it felt, which is why we selected it as Brooks' best lightweight running shoe .

The Brooks Hyperion Max running shoes were specifically created for racers, and racers need a lightweight shoe that helps them stride forward confidently without exerting extra energy. This shoe was constructed to allow for fast transitions and impact protection—two things you need when you’re trying to improve your speed. They have a nice “spring” that helped us accelerate and decelerate at different tempos. The curved heel and toe help propel you forward for easy running transitions. We recovered well and felt refreshed after working out in these shoes, and that carried into our next few workouts. 

The cushioning in this shoe added to the comfort immensely. It felt like we were wearing socks versus running shoes. They felt fine in low weather conditions (40 degrees). Our feet could breathe easily without feeling cold. 

You get what you give in this highly reactive running shoe, which we love. The midsole is composed of nitrogen-infused, lightweight DNA FLASH cushioning, which makes it incredibly reactive and bouncy. The energy you expend while running in this shoe is returned to you as the running shoe adapts to your individual stride. The green rubber outsole is durable and lightweight for long-lasting traction and after a few runs, we noticed that the shoe retained its bounce.

The stretch woven technology allows immense breathability and the shoes have a very snug fit that prevents slipping and sliding. Even during sessions where we ran up to 10 miles, we didn’t experience any blisters or irritation. We felt supported and secure, especially around the heel while having ample space in the toe box.

The midsole is designed to absorb impact when your feet strike the ground, which we noticed immediately. Living with different health conditions (such as plantar fasciitis), we’re used to pain when we’re running. While we can’t say the shoe alleviated any pre-existing pain, we can speak to the fact that we didn’t feel any more pain, nor was it exacerbated during or after physical activity when wearing these shoes.

That being said, these shoes are more responsive than they are stable, which is to be expected in this type of running shoe. If you’re looking for a more stable shoe, these may not be the best option for you.

Materials: Rubber sole | Cushioning: High | Weight: 6.7 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Drop : 8 millimeters   

Best for Everyday Running

Brooks launch 9.

Lightweight, responsive cushioning


A bit narrow for some

Limited options for wide sizes

We know how frustrating it is to choose between a streamlined, fast racing shoe and a comfortable, supportive one for everyday running. We are happy to say that after testing, you can get all of that—and more—with Brooks’ Launch 9. 

The shoe offers responsive cushioning and neutral support, as well as the comfort and durability you want in a daily trainer, whether you're running outdoors or on a treadmill desk in the office. Yet the Launch’s lightweight feel, flexibility, and grippy outsole also make it ideal for racing and fast-paced workouts.

A redesigned, flexible midsole allows for easy transitions, helping your feet to move smoothly and quickly from heel to toe. The shoe’s outsole is constructed with sturdy Green Rubber, which is made of silica—a sustainable material—instead of petroleum. Again, we did feel the sole was a little stiff, which did impact the shock absorption negatively.

This latest version of the Launch features an engineered mesh upper that’s breathable and lightweight, making the shoe a nice choice for warm-weather running where you feel closer to the ground when running.

Some users find the regular fit to be a bit narrow, but the shoe does come in wide sizes (although color options are limited).

Materials: Mesh upper, Rubber outsole | Cushioning: Medium |  Weight: 7.1 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Drop : 10 millimeters

Best for Speed

Brooks hyperion tempo.

Very lightweight

Not protective enough for very cold weather

If you need a running shoe that’s lightweight and springy for speed workouts, we recommend Brooks’ Hyperion Tempo. The shoe’s foam midsole provides comfortable support and excellent energy return without feeling bulky or heavy.

With a soft, stretch-woven upper that conforms to the shape of the foot, we like that the Hyperion Tempo moves with your foot for maximum comfort. The lightweight and breathable material keeps your feet cool on hot days, although it may actually be too thin for extremely cold conditions.

The outsole has strategically-placed rubber to add to the shoe’s support and durability. While the shoe is designed for faster training runs and tempo runs , we think the Hyperion Tempo still offers the shock absorption and support you need for distance running.

Materials: Synthetic upper, Rubber sole | Cushioning: Medium | Weight: 7.3 ounces | Closure: Lace-up | Drop : 8 millimeters

When we tested Brooks' Revel 6 running shoe , we loved that it was comfortable and very responsive. Created for long distance runners, the Brooks Revel 6 is an environmentally-friendly shoe composed of 59.7% recycled material. They’re versatile—which makes it easy to switch up and transition between strides— lightweight, and springy. We decided not to include this running shoe on our list of final recommendations because they left us with blisters, which is a insurmountable con when it comes to running shoes.

How We Selected and Tested the Best Brooks Running Shoes

To choose the best Brooks running shoes, we first asked Angelo Sutera, DPM , a board-certified podiatric surgeon, podiatrists Diana Levin Valencia, DPM , and Pamela Mehta, MD , an orthopedic surgeon, about the benefits of wearing Brooks running shoes. Additionally, we sought their expert advice on what to look for when choosing a pair from Brooks’ line-up.

We researched dozens of Brooks shoes and evaluated them for fit, comfort, cushioning, support, features, breathability, price, and more. For the shoes we tested, we wanted to make sure they felt stable, sturdy, and comfortable. 

First we analyzed the running shoes to see how cushioned they were and how easy it was for them to bend at the toe and heel. We did this to judge the stiffness of the shoe.

Next we tried on the shoe making sure that we had proper space (about a thumb’s width) between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. We walked back and forth, making sure our feet weren't slipping and sliding in the shoe.

We made sure to test the shoes on different terrains, including a treadmill, to see how they responded. We ran for 5-7 minutes, before jogging for 20 studying how our feet felt the entire time. We made note of any irritation or blistering. We also paid close attention to our joints and body (knees, back, ankles) checking to see if we felt any pre-existing or worsening pain. 

Finally we recorded how our feet felt post-run, noting if our feet felt dry or slick with sweat, fatigued, or if our joints were experiencing any exacerbated pain.

We are continually testing Brooks’ running shoes and updating this list with new insights as we collect them.

What to Look For in Brooks Running Shoes

Runners need a shoe with enough cushioning to absorb shock and reduce impact with each stride, providing protection against injury and fatigue. A well-cushioned shoe, such as Brooks’ Dyad 11 , provides reliable support in addition to plush comfort.

If you overpronate or need some extra support in the ankle area, choose one of the Brooks’ shoes that’s designed to provide reliable stability, such as Brooks’ Adrenaline GTS 22 .

Many Brooks’ shoes also have a firm heel counter, a plastic insert used to reinforce the heel cup of a shoe and increase support. “A good firm heel counter helps lock the foot into the shoe and anchors it to the midsole,” Dr. Sutera says.

Getting the right fit is crucial to staying comfortable and injury-free on the run. “The right shoes are the pair that fits well,” Dr. Mehta says. “The toe box should be large enough to wiggle your toes.” Check to make sure there’s a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoes.

Brooks shoes come in different widths to accommodate a variety of foot shapes and sizes. If you have wide or narrow feet, you can choose a model that offers those widths to get a more accurate fit.

The heel-to-toe drop refers to the height difference between the forefoot of the shoe and the rear. It's usually measured in millimeters, and it can help you determine how well a shoe will support your foot. A lower drop can reduce the impact on your joints while you run. But shoes with a lower drop may also have less arch support—so keep your feet in mind while you shop.

When choosing running shoes, you should think about how you’ll be using them. While all Brooks shoes are designed for running, some of them are lightweight and springy for fast workouts, while others are more supportive and shock-absorbing for long-distance running. Additionally, Brooks makes trail running-specific shoes, which are ideal for off-road running or hiking.

Frequently Asked Questions

There’s no agreement among runners, running coaches, or shoe experts about which company makes the best running shoes. However, Brooks is definitely a favorite go-to brand for runners, with dozens of high-quality, durable shoes that are comfortable, supportive, and specifically designed with runners’ needs in mind.

“Brooks shoes feature a stable yet flexible construction and Brooks' DNA LOFT cushioning,” Dr. Mehta says. “The shoes provide a smoother stride, and keep you comfortable on long runs.”

Podiatrists recommend Brooks, especially for running, because they’re a trusted brand whose high-quality, durable shoes are designed with runners’ specific needs in mind. “I prefer Brooks because they are well-cushioned and supportive, with a very strong heel counter,” Dr. Sutera says.

Podiatrists also like that Brooks shoes come in a variety of widths, so their patients can get a proper fit and use orthotics in them, if necessary.

Brooks running shoes come in a wide range of prices, so there’s something for most budgets. Generally, you can expect to pay about $80-$160 for a pair of Brooks shoes. Less expensive shoes may not have as many high-tech features or be as durable as pricier options. Keep in mind that older models of a shoe may have many of the same features as the latest version, but at a discounted price.

The cheapest option on our list, Brooks’ Revel 5, is often available for $100 or less, while our top picks, Brooks’ Glycerin 20 and Brooks Ghost 15, were $158 and $140 respectively when we published this list.

In general, running shoes can be used for walking, but there are some key differences between running and walking shoes that are important to understand. Running shoes are usually lightweight to allow for quick movement while walking shoes are heavier for more stability.

You’ll get more cushioning in the heel and forefoot with running shoes, for good shock absorption, which makes them less flexible than some walking shoes. Running shoes are also usually more breathable than walking shoes, so they’re an excellent option for fitness walking. “I recommend wearing running shoes to my patients who walk casually and are power walkers,” Dr. Sutera says.

As a running coach, certified personal trainer, marathon runner, and fitness writer, Christine Luff, ACE-CPT has spent years researching and recommending running and walking shoes. Her favorite Brooks shoes are the Glycerin, which she wears for road and treadmill running, as well as long walks with her dog.

American Podiatric Medical Association. Which running shoe is right for you?

American Podiatric Medical Association. Heel pain.

American Podiatric Medical Association. Choosing shoes for sports .

Malisoux L, Chambon N, Delattre N, Gueguen N, Urhausen A, Theisen D. Injury risk in runners using standard or motion control shoes: a randomised controlled trial with participant and assessor blinding . Br J Sports Med . 2016;50(8):481-7. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-095031

Cleveland Clinic. How to pick a running shoe .

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Brooks Levitate 5 review

Paul Ronto

Our verdict

  • Good lockdown
  • Laces stay tight
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Classic racer feel
  • Plenty of ground feel
  • Best for short distances
  • On the narrow side
  • Slick on wet surfaces
  • Tiring at longer distances

Audience verdict

  • Top 29% most popular running shoes

The most similar running shoes compared

Brooks Levitate 5 review and lab test

Ground feel and pure athleticism are back!

The Brooks Levitate is a tempo shoe that feels like a speed shoe from 5 years ago complete with stiff foam, low stack heights, and a ride that pushes you to focus on your form rather than letting the shoe do the work for you. 

This is an interesting shoe from Brooks who has a widely varied product lineup to choose from in 2021. It’s simple, sleek, and, quick. 


We’ll walk you through it all, from comfort and fit, to ride and performance. Read on to see what we think of the new Levitate 5. 

Who should buy the Brooks Levitate 5

Buy the Brooks Levitate 5 if you are looking for a shoe to improve your form. This shoe pushes you to focus on how you run rather than letting the shoe take up the slack. 

It’s built for tempo training and those with narrower feet. 

It’s got a steep drop, so it’s also more apt for heel strikers even though the midsole is not all that forgiving. 

Ultimately, if you want to refine your stride or race in a Thursday Throwback run, these may be perfect for you.

Who should not buy it 

Don’t buy the Levitate 5 if: 

  • You want a modern, lower stack tempo shoe. There are lighter, quicker shoes with very similar designs that we have tested before like the Brooks Hyperion Tempo . 
  • You are looking for a plush, recovery-day or long-day running shoe. Check out the Brooks Glycerin 19 instead. 
  • You live in wet environments. The midsole struggles on wet surfaces. We think it's best to check out the Brooks Ghost 14 . 

Ultimately this shoe feels a bit harsh underfoot and there are more modern competitors out there at similar or lower price points. 

Levitate 5 runs narrow

The Levitate 5 fits true to size but runs a touch narrow in the toebox. Those with medium to wider feet may want to consider another model from Brooks. 


It has a fully-gusseted tongue and simple lacing pattern giving it adequate lockdown that can work for just about anyone. There’s nothing fancy here. 


The laces feel cheap, but what we’ve learned lately, mostly from the ASICS Metaspeed Edge and Sky , is that cheap feeling laces stay tight. These are no exception and score high on our lace slip test. At 35.6N, these laces are way above the average force (23.3N) needed to untie a lace. 

Comfortable but not plush

The shoe feels nice on your foot. The fully gusseted tongue is like a soft internal liner for the front of the shoe.

They have a thick 9.1mm tongue (5.5mm is average) which feels good over the top of your foot. 


The ankle collar is nicely padded and not too stiff as well. This is where most of the comfort ends though.


Brooks tries to add some padding underfoot with a thick, 6.4mm insole (average insoles are 4.3mm), but adding the cushioning to the midsole itself would have been a better route. 


Feels like how shoes used to feel, harsh...

To the ride. 

It has a subtle, stiff bounce to it. This shoe is not plush, it’s not energetic, but it’s not totally dull either. It’s this odd middle ground. 

The best way to describe it is it feels crisp underfoot, like fast shoes from 5 years ago. We kinda like that, it’s like a throwback to what shoes used to be before carbon plates and hydrogen-infused midsoles. But the feeling wore off quickly after 3-4 miles…

The shoes have fairly low stack heights by modern standards at 31.4mm in the heel and 22.3mm in the forefoot.


The 9.1mm drop is a bit steep in our opinion, putting you on your heels and with the stiff midsole, there’s a lot of pounding to absorb through your legs in this shoe. 

There’s quite a bit of ground feel in this shoe too, and without any rocker, plates, or bouncy foams it’s all about the runner not the shoe with the Levitate 5. It flexes with your foot instead of propelling you forward with its below average flex of 32.6N (37.5N is average)

The shoe really pushes you to get back to your basics, focus on your stride and form and remember what it’s like to use your legs to run!

In days with better, lighter, more responsive, and more cushioned foams, it’s a bit of a beating running in a shoe like this again. There’s a lot of impact reverberating up our legs with every step so we’d be hard-pressed to want to take these out for a long spin (ie anything over 5 miles).

Heavy, needs a diet

At 10.7 ounces (304g) is a heavyweight for a daily trainer this low to the ground and with this little cushioning. 


We’d be more receptive to this shoe and how it feels if it was 6-7 ounces, but at nearly 11 ounces it needs to come with more benefits. 

More durable than your legs

The shoe is stiff and dense. It should be durable as hell. The midsole and outsole are both going to last a long time without much fear of wearing out. 


Our guess is your legs will wear out first. 

Stick to dry surfaces

The shoe has a 3.5mm outsole that’s dense and hard at 84HC (average is 80HC). 


We found that these were a pair of banana peels under your feet once things get wet, so be careful and stick to dry runs in these shoes. 

Brooks-Levitate-5-Outsole (2).jpg

Breathability could be better

The upper is fully mesh and fairly breathable, where this shoe goes wrong is the fully-gusseted tongue.


That extra layer of material inside traps more heat than it’s worth. The shoe still breathes well, but it could breathe better if Brooks would have designed this with a semi-gusseted tongue instead. 


Night running and finger loops

We like the simple lightweight heel loop. It’s a nice feature most shoes are missing these days. 

Unfortunately, it’s missing any reflective elements. As you can see we compare this side by side with a highly reflective shoe, the Hoka Mach 4 , and the Levitate is dull and lacking in low light. Even though the white midsole lights up a bit, it’s not highly reflective at longer distances.  



At $150, we don’t know how to recommend this shoe. For the same price, you can get the Hyperion Tempo which is better in every way or the Revel 5 , which is very similar in design and looks for $50 less. 

We're sorry Brooks but the Levitate 5 is more of a gym, CrossFit, lifting option than a real running shoe in our opinion.

Complete lab-specs overview 

Lab test results, specs (official), compare popularity interactive, recently viewed.

Paul Ronto

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Brooks levitate 5, levitate gts 5 stealthfit and levitate 5 stealthfit multi tester reviews. 13 comparisons.

Article by Bryan Lim, Joost de Raeymaeker, Sally Reiley, Derek Li, and Sam Winebaum

Brooks Running Leviate 5 and Levitate GTS 5 ($150)

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5


Sam:  The Levitate sits in the Brooks Energize collection described by Brooks as “shoes that absorb energy and return it back for a springy feel”. I have run in several versions of the Levitate and all shared a dense pneumatic return and knit uppers. I have generally found the uppers supportive and dense, never quite delivering on Brooks famous step in and run comfort. All versions were quite ponderous at slow paces and came alive as the pace picked up and all but the Levitate 4 were quite weighty on the scale. 

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Women’s circular knit, non GTS

The Levitate will now come in 4 flavors all with the same DNA AMP midsole foam and outsole rubber and in  a first for the model in two types of knit uppers, soft circular (right below) and StealthFit (left below). 

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Each upper type will be available in underfoot platforms of “regular/neutral” and GTS (Go-To-Support) light stability. 

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

GTS is created through a Guide Rails of the same foam as the midsole that rises on the lateral side with a co-molded slightly firmer foam rail on the medial side. 

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

GTS is more about stabilizing the knee earlier in the landing and guiding the gait than under foot pronation control via a firmer post or plates. The idea is that the support should be more on demand than prescriptive. As with the recent Launch and Glycerin, which also get the GTS option, models such as the Ravenna and the Transcend which were essentially support versions of the preceding  go away. In the case of the Levitate GTS 5, it replaces the Bedlam.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

DNA AMP is a PU based midsole foam wrapped in an outer skin( I assume TPU)  that is dense, quite heavy compared to other modern foams and has a deliberate pneumatic kind of rebound with very strong vibration and  shock attenuation, especially at the heel. The DNA AMP foam is unchanged from the Levitate 4 ( RTR Review ) where it became 20% lighter than in prior versions.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

The new StealthFit upper, while just as smashing looking as the Levitate 4's, clearly resolves the rough and very low and stiff over the center toe fit of the Levitate 4 ( RTR Review ) with a softer, thinner, more stretchable knit. The upper now includes an integral knit tongue instead of the 4’s more conventional one and softer rear collars. 

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

The regular Levitate 5 now has a very soft, thick circular knit upper that has some but less stretch than StealthFit with plush padded collars. It clearly has a high comfort soft cruiser fit and vibe. 

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

In the picture above, with both shoes the same size,  one can clearly see the difference in upper and fit approach. Note that my right foot is narrower than my left.

The circular knit upper (non GTS blue above) adds weight as we tip the scales at 10.97 oz / 311g while Bryan’s StealthFit version (without GTS)  checks in at 9.81 oz / 278g in a US9 so decently lighter than the Levitate 4. The Levitate 4 checked in at men's 10.2 oz / 290g  (US9) with  women's 9 oz / 254 g (US8) with its upper and particularly its very firm over the toes knit proving to be, while fantastic looking, one of the most upper painful uppers I ran last year.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

I was not optimistic seeing this as I felt the lack of decoupling and more dynamic flex grooves of the Levitate 4 contributed to a very consistent stable feel (front to back and through the entire stack) but a somewhat ponderous one lacking in character and  that only improved when pushing the pace hard and were a step back from the prior chevron pattern outsole. 

I have always noted in the Levitate (all versions) that my slow pace runs in them were slower than I expected and my faster ones faster so a dual personality for the ride indicating to me that the DNA AMP’s return is proportional to the energy (or runner weight) on the way down!

I tested the Leviate GTS 5 Stealthfit and Leviate 5 (circular knit) All versions are $150 and come in August.

Bryan: This is my first foray into Brooks in a while, only having previously and briefly worn the Glycerin several years back, so my take on the Levitate StealthFit 5 will be without any comparison to prior versions. Reading into our reviews of previous versions, it is evident that the Levitate series brought what Sam calls a  “pneumatic feel” as you ran in them due to the polyurethane midsole known as DNA AMP. In the Levitate 4, Brooks offered just one variant with its Fit Knit Upper. Now, the Levitate 5 comes in two different uppers, with my part of the review focussing on the StealthFit variant that very excitingly comes in at 0.5oz (14g) lighter than the Levitate 4.  Out of the box, the StealthFit is one of the sleekest shoes around. Read on to find out if it works.

Joost: My third pair of Brooks for testing in just over half a year. I enjoyed running in the Launch 8 at the bottom of the cushion category and the new Trace 1, at the bottom of the speed category. Both fit my wide feet well and were very comfortable. The Levitate sits in the Energyze category, which has shoes that have good energy return, or springiness. It has the most spring of the lot. I got the standard Levitate 5, meaning the normal circular knitted upper and no GTS, or Go-To-Support via side Guide Rails. If you’ve done your math, it should be obvious that there are 4 different ones available. Which, if any, should you pick? Read on. 

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Sally : I received the Women’s Levitate 5 in the standard version (non Stealthfit, non GTS) and have been putting it through the paces as I begin to ramp up marathon training for Boston 2021. I tested the Levitate 4 last year, and as much as I like the concept of an energy-returning “energyze” ride, the upper of the Levitate 4 did not work for me (the low and stiff front of the toe box was problematic). The upper of the 5 looks to be a different animal, so let’s see how it runs. I have previously run in the ever-popular Brooks Ghost and the lighter Brooks Launch, as well as their marathon super shoe, the Hyperion Elite 2.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Sam/Joost/Sally: Highly durable construction, copious outsole, deep heel cushion

Joost/Sam/Sally/Derek: Firm, rubbery feeling, springy rebound

Joost/Sam/Sally: Stable ride with ample dampening

Sam: Dramatically improved upper comfort (both uppers), particularly toe box front in Stealth Fit.

Sam/Sally: Uppers now flexes with the foot notably improving ride up front

Sam/Derek: Very consistent feel, pneumatic and measured rebound at all paces that increases in return feel at faster paces.

Sam: GTS version does not overdo the support and puts a noted mid foot pop in the ride.

Sam: Below 10 oz for Stealth Fit non GTS puts Levitate in the magic sub 10 oz daily trainer club.

Sam: Good single shoe for a heavier, beginner runner

Bryan: StealthFit - Great design; aesthetically pleasing 

Bryan/Sally: Ideal for slower or recovery runs

Bryan: Bootie construct of the upper in the StealthFit means no immediate fit issues i.e. tongue slippage

Bryan: Snappy toe off and responsive ride

Joost/Sally/Sam: Regular upper is heavy for what’s offered in terms of rebound and fit (and for a name like the Levitate)

Joost/Sam/Sally: Regular upper is quite hot, probably a better option for the fall/winter

Joost/Sam: $150 might be too much for this shoe

Sam/Sally: Ride lacks character and snap and is overly consistent in feel.  

Sam: New, non StealthFit upper increases comfort but also weight..gains 0.6 oz. 

Sam: Unchanged outsole is overbuilt, needs more decoupling and likely also add to weight

Sam: DNA AMP PU while heavier than most other modern foams (other than maybe Boost..) leads to a shoe at the upper limits of practicality for daily training for the circular knit version (10.97 oz) while Stealth Fit is fine at sub 10 oz.

Sam: DNA AMP requires either heavier runner weight or faster paces to activate, ponderous if pleasant otherwise

Bryan: StealthFit knit upper is very soft and unstructured which limits the versatility of the shoe; detracts what would otherwise be a pleasant ride offered by the DNA AMP midsole

Bryan: Not enough underfoot for the weight.

Derek: StealthFit upper is warm

Derek: StealthFit upper a little too stretchy for a performance shoe

      men’s  Leviate 5: 10.97 oz /311g US 9, 318g/11,22 oz US9.5

                Levitate 5 StealthFit: 9.81 oz / 278g US 9 10.0oz / 283g US9.5 

                 Levitate GTS 5 StealthFit: 10.26 oz / 291g US 9

      women’s  Levitate 5: 9.40 oz /266 g US W8

Men’s Levitate 4: men's 9.89 oz / 280g  (US8.5)  Estimated  US9 10.2 oz / 290g  (US9)

Stack Height: 29mm heel / 21mm forefoot, 8 mm drop

Available now. See shopping links below $150  

Tester Profiles

Bryan is a road and trail runner living in Melbourne, Australia. He is a consistent sub 1:25 half marathoner and is presently chasing a sub 3-hour marathon. He is 176cm/ 5'9" tall and weighs about 63kg / 140lbs. 

Joost is a Belgian in his 50s living in Luanda, Angola, Africa, where he faces the heat, humidity and general chaos to run anything between 60-100 miles per week. He’s on a mission to win in his age group in the 6 marathon majors and has completed half of his project, with a 2:26:10 PB in Berlin in 2019 at 51. He ran in primary school, but then thought it would be a lot cooler to be a guitar player in a hard rock band, only picking up running again in 2012, gradually improving his results.

Sally is a lifelong runner and mother of five who ran her first marathon at age 54, and has now run the past seven Boston Marathons and one Chicago, with a 2017 Boston PR of 3:29, good for 8th in her age group. Along the way she has raised over $240,000 for Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital running with Team Eye and Ear . A relative newbie to road racing, she has achieved All-American status in the 10K (44:04) and 5K. To commemorate her 60th birthday she ran the NYC Marathon in November finishing 2nd in her age group with a PR time of 3:28:39.  Sally is a compact (petite) runner at 5’2’’ and 105 pounds.

Derek is in his 30’s and trains 70-80 miles per week at 7 to 8 minute pace in mostly tropical conditions in Singapore. He has a 2:41 marathon PR.

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 64 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 48 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA.

First Impressions and Fit

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Sam: I have both the circular knit Levitate 5 and the Leviate GTS 5 Stealthfit knit. Both are half size up from my normal. The Stealth Fit version fits close to true to size as its knit is stretchy and softly compressive while the circular knit fits OK but only with a heavier Darn Tough sock. 

The circular knit version has a roomy comfort oriented fit and plush upper while the Stealthfit is more performance oriented but fortunately not as aggressively and painfully so as the Leviate 4 with its less stretchy, rougher and especially very dense, stiff,  low extended center toe bumper. All of those issues are fixed in the 5.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

The regular upper is quite thick, soft and notably roomy. It includes a gusset tongue, a rarity for Brooks and it is needed as even with a gusset tongue I find near the foot bed width a touch too roomy and loose, not supported enough or maybe it’s just too broad there. 

The toe box is broad, easy on the toes and surprisingly well held, credit to its thickness and an extensive knit toe bumper that doesn’t overdo stiffness. All of this cush adds weight though as the Levitate 5 circular knit weighs 1 oz more plus than the Stealth Fit upper version. 

For any kind of faster running, the Stealth Fit has a more secure hold despite being a stretch knit but still as with all knits is a bit on the loose side. And it delivers a weight below 10 oz without GTS and in my GTS version is 0.6 oz less than the circular knit version without GTS’s extra midsole pieces.  

The heel and achilles collars are less rigid and have more substantial internal padding which not only were less padded but had a rigid rear clip.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

The former stand alone tongue is replaced with an integral to the upper knit affair which while not padded and thin gave me no lace bite.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Most importantly for me, the very stiff extended center of the toe bumper along with stiff side wings that extended over the toes of the Levitate 4 is dramatically and correctly toned down. Not quite the hold up front but no longer nearly unbearable as before. Overall the knit upper of the StealthFit is far softer and stretchier with less of the unpleasant rigid feel of the similar appearing Levitate 4’s.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

In terms of looks the circular knit version screams comfort cruiser even lounging around while the Stealth Fit upper all in grays and blacks has a dark purposeful and really, as the more ill fitting Leviate 4 had, stunning visual design that can slide well into any sporting or other “occasion”.  

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Bryan: Don’t they look brilliant!? The two-tone grey knit upper combined with a glossy, sculpted coated midsole foam creates a sublimely sleek shoe. So aesthetically pleasing is the SteathFit I actually wore them in the office and was even paid compliments! Fit wise, I found there to be no immediate issues although the midfoot was perhaps on the narrower side. I would imagine folks with wider feet will have issues with fit. The knit upper is very pliable and soft, and I quickly realised that you would need to tie up the laces snugly to prevent your feet from possibly sliding around. No apparent issues with this when walking. This is a very stable shoe that makes you feel low to the ground, and you immediately are able to feel that “pneumatic” response, an almost hydraulic sensation. True to size length-wise.

Joost: The standard model Levitate 5 I got was also a standard blue with grey laces and a shiny midsole. That DNA AMP has an actual fluorescent shine to it. The regular circular knit hugs the foot nicely without creating any hotspots and fits true to size for me. Like the other Brooks shoes I’ve reviewed, there is enough space in the forefoot for my wide feet, probably due to the fact there’s some give in the upper, which gives my little toe the little extra space it needs. The Levitate feels very stable, and I can feel just a little bit of arch support upon walking around in them. The midsole has relatively little “give” to it when walking, and has a nice toe roll-off. They do feel quite heavy.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Sally : The women’s version of the standard model is likewise a standard grey color accented with violet midsole/outsole and laces. With its soft thick circular knit upper and plushly padded collars, it screams comfortable cruiser, leaning toward a lifestyle shoe. The fit was true to size for me (W8) with a roomy toebox and comfort all around. I honestly admit to adding bonus miles walking my dog in this comfortable shoe… It did benefit from some breaking in for me to soften the flex. It is definitely not a lightweight racer, and the weight is noticeable.

Derek: Being one of the few people who enjoyed the Levitate 4 last year in our multi-tester review, i was looking forward to seeing how the Levitate 5 was different. We already knew coming into the review that this year's Levitate was primarily an upper update so the focus was always going to be on fit. While the original Levitate was marketed more as a high cushioning trainer, over the years i think people have come to recognize that the Levitate is more of a daily trainer with the cushioning tending to be on the firmer side. 

My first impression on opening the box was that this shoe is a very dark shade of grey! The upper is quite different now, and while the Levitate now comes in more than one upper option, the one i opted to test was billed "StealthFit" and is simply put, more of a pure knit type of upper. Step is feel is fairly comfortable. The knit seems to be quite elastic and gives that typical sock-like fit and feel. Fit is definitely true to size, though as the platform is essentially the same as on the Levitate 4, buyers should expect the shoe to have more of a long and narrow fit, and... this one may not be solved so easily by sizing up. 

Walking and jogging around, the underfoot feel doesn't seem very different from the Levitate 4; it is a stable traditional feel without a whole lot of dynamism shining through from the midsole. Let's see how the new upper compares!

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Bryan: Upon perusing our previous review of the Levitate 4, it appears that StealthFit has been redesigned from the previous FitKnit which was generally found to provide good lockdown. This appears to have disappeared.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

As in the image above, the upper can be divided into three parts; the darker grey knit (including the spot patterned side panel where the Brooks logo sits on) that wraps the toe box and hugs the midfoot on the medial and lateral sides, the lighter grey material that runs from the top of the toebox and serves as the bootie ‘tongue’ beneath the lacing, and the heel cup.

To start, the dark grey part of the upper is thicker and far firmer than the very soft and stretchable lighter grey part, which makes sense in creating some structure in the toe box. The mentioned spot patterned side panel utilises a mixture of the dark and light grey knit to accommodate different feet shapes whilst providing some form of rigidity and structure. The Brooks logo overlay helps to achieve this. 

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

The lighter grey material is very soft and stretchable, and is even more so below the lacing. Again, this is done to provide almost a plush sort of feeling, and again I suspect to accommodate different foot shapes. 

Lastly, we have the reinforced heel cup with its overlays, which features sufficient volume and cushioning. No issues here, and I found this to be my favourite part of the upper.

Performance wise, the Stealth Fit knit upper did not work for me despite not experiencing any pressure or pain points. There was a lack of lockdown due to its softness and pliability. At slower paces, it was alright, but the upper is not capable of handling change in pace as well as quicker paces where I felt my feet ‘swimming’ and struggling to hold on to the insole and midsole. The main positive for me is the overall snugness created by a one piece bootie upper. Functionally, the upper does not work for me.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Joost: For those who have run in the Trace 1, this upper will feel fairly familiar, although there are technically some differences. This one is a traditional circular knit, half bootie type construction with a gusseted tongue and a double layer in the forefoot that is fused together from the midfoot to the heel. There is some extra internal and external padding added in that area. It feels soft on the foot, but also quite warm, making it more suitable for fall and winter running.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

A nice toe bumper is made of more tightly knit material. Similar tighter areas are present around the eyelets (reinforced with a grid of plastic overlays) and at the ball of the foot. A Brooks logo on both sides provide some extra hold and stability.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

The tongue is quite puffy and the laces are flat and short, probably too short for heel lock lacing. The laces go through a special eyelet on the tongue to help with any possible slip (not that that would be an issue to start off with). The heel area is reinforced up until half the height of the shoe, and generously padded above that and below the ankles. There are some plastic overlays (small rhombuses and 2 triangles), probably more for aesthetic reasons than for anything else. Although they are slightly reflective, the fluorescent reflection from the midsole seems to bounce off more light.

The heel also has a nice pull tab that helps you get into the shoe more easily. All in all, a nice upper with good heel hold, but it probably adds quite a bit to the weight of the shoe.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Variations on a theme: The uppers of the Trace 1, Levitate 5 and Launch 8

Sam: Bryan and Joost describe the uppers well. Understanding that knits rarely if ever have the hold of more conventional mesh and that is same here, with some moving around of the foot on the run. The Stealthfit upper here is just fine for me and at most paces with sufficient if more easy going compressive hold while the circular knit may have less stretch but is more baggy, thicker, softer, heavier and is yet more comfort cruise and wider foot oriented. I guess my key question here is why Brooks persists in using knit uppers in DNA AMP trainers. Generally knit is heavier, breathes less well, and its hold is not what engineered meshes can provide at less weight. To say they have knits in the line? To provide a look that has been popular and can also fit for more casual/lifestyle uses? 

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Sally : The others describe the uppers well. Suffice it to say that the circular knit is classic in appearance, accommodating in its soft stretch, but also not sufficiently breathable and noticeably hot for summer running. I did not have any problematic hot spots anywhere in this shoe, so I experimented with very thin socks and tighter lacing in an attempt to alleviate the over-heating.

Derek: Knit uppers are always tricky to pull off. More than that, they are often incredibly polarising. One group will love it to bits and call it the best thing since sliced bread, and the other will absolutely hate it and reminisce about the days when you had to slice your own loaves. Ok i think that's as far as the metaphor can run. A prime example is the Nike Vaporfly 4% flymesh vs flyknit (or the Zoom Streak 6 mesh vs knit if you want to go farther back). 

I think if a particular knit upper works for you, it is a combination of having the right stretch in the right places and added reinforced stitching where it is needed, PLUS having the right volume for your foot shape such that it really does fit like a compression sock. If any one of those elements is off, things can feel out of whack in a hurry. My theory is that knit uppers tend to work better for narrow but high volume feet. So you don't just need a narrow last, but also higher arches to sort of fill out the shoe if you will. 

Compared to the Levitate 4 upper, the new StealthFit upper in the Levitate 5 is a thicker but more stretchy sort of mesh. It is quite difficult to tell visually, when but you squeeze and rub the upper material between your fingers, you can distinctly tell that the knit is thicker and spongier in Levitate 5 StealthFit versus that in the Levitate 4, it is also more stretchy and this is most obvious at the toe box where you don't have the laces to help you resist the stretch. 

Much like the Levitate 4, there is an internal layer of material running the entire circumference of the shoe to help limit sideways movement of the foot in the shoe. For some reason the laminate runs a lot higher in the Levitate 5. I think the designers also recognized that StealthFit is a little less structured and so you need a bit more support around the circumference. The internal heel cup is also a little more rigid in the Levitate 5 than in v4, though this is not something that is altogether noticeable when running.  

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

One big noticeable change is the tongue. Instead of a separate more traditionally constructed tongue, the new upper uses an integrated tongue, sort of like what you had on the Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit or Zoom Fly 2, or Epic React v1. You either love it or you hate it. I personally feel that this design of tongue does not afford enough padding in the event that you want to have high lace tension at the knot. You end up with a lot of pressure in a line across the front of the ankle. Of course, this is a non-issue if the knitted upper fits you well and you don't need to do too much with the lacing. In this shoe, however, I felt the need to use quite high tension across all the eyelets to minimize foot movement. I'll explain why below. 

It is deceptively warm! It doesn't feel like it would be warm when you first start running in the shoe, but after a couple of miles, the heat will start to build up. I didn't get hotspots consistently in any particular spot during testing, though it was most noticeable under the ball of my right foot. There was just a general warm feeling under the whole foot. 

After experimenting with socks of varying thickness, I quickly realized that the heat build up was not due to the thickness of the knit upper alone, but also partly attributed to the movement of the foot within the shoe, and is exacerbated by the increased stretch of this knit upper vs Levitate 4.  In this respect, one faces a dilemma. Thicker socks eat up more shoe volume and reduce the amount of foot movement in the shoe, but they won't breathe as well; thinner socks breathe better but then your foot will slide sideways more, creating friction and heat build-up. 

Ultimately, I settled on thin socks and really cinching down the laces as much as possible to reduce foot movement. The resulting fit is ok, but takes a lot of effort to get right. The last is already on the longer and narrower side, though it is ameliorated somewhat in Leviatate 5 because the upper stretches to give a semblance of a wider fit. I think this shoe will fit people with narrow and high arches but a relatively wide forefoot best. That's a pretty rare combination I think, and therein lies the quandary. Is the shoe going to fit enough of the public to make a splash? Is it too much hassle for a $150 shoe? That's the big question.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Bryan: Where does DNA Amp sit in the Brooks hierarchy? DNA Loft (as in the latest Glycerin and Ghost)  and BioMoGo DNA ( such as in the Trace)  are the standard offerings, with the latter possibly in run-off. DNA Flash is Brooks’ nitrogen-infused lightweight race midsole (Hyperion Tempo) and DNA Zero is their top tier superfoam (Hyperion Elite). Their newest foams DNA Loft v3, a supercritical foam can be found in their Aurora-B a max cushion model far lighter than the Levitate and DNA Loft v2 in the trail Cascadia is a firmer Loft with some noted rebound.  DNA AMP seems to sit in mid-range and is a polyurethane midsole encased in a TPU skin. It can be found in the Levitate, and older to be discontinued Ricochet and Bedlam( replaced by Levitate GTS 5. It is marketed to be their energy return, bounce back to move forward midsole. Kind of like Boost, but not quite.

DNA AMP is dense, which unfortunately makes it heavy. It is soft to pressing but somehow this does not translate to its ride, which may be affected by the outsole which we will touch on more later on.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Unlike many other shoes on the market, the Levitate 5 uses the single density midsole throughout. No bells and whistles. The end result is a uniform ride. As was mentioned, the pneumatic feel is evident, and the midsole is on the firmer side. Whilst firm, the DNA AMP surprisingly has a surprising amount of give and vibration dampening which is a pleasant surprise. Overall, the DNA Amp midsole is not flexible (again possibly restricted by the outsole) like you would expect in traditional everyday trainers, nor is it bouncy or responsive, but yet isn’t what I would call dull being a fan of firmer and lower riding shoes.

Joost: Bryan has gone into the technical details. I can definitely confirm that it’s a very firm, heavy feeling midsole. I do find it’s quite responsive when I pick up the pace a little, all the while feeling the nice vibration dampening effect as well. That last thing reminded me a bit of the Salomon Sonic 3 Accelerate, which also has that vibration dampening effect and sports a quite firm but responsive ride. The weight of the Levitate works a little bit against it, though and is always noticeable.

Sam: I agree with Bryan and Joost. The midsole is dense, very vibration dampening especially at the heel, uniform in feel, and more pneumatic in a gradual way than springy. Essentially I sense that the more pressure , weight, and flex forces you put into the platform the more it returns. This loading could be via the runner’s weight or the forces of faster paces. As such I found easier pace runs slower than I expected while pleasant in feel while quicker paces were faster than expected. 

While not a rigid shoe I think the overall character of the midsole (and ride) is hampered or tempered by the full coverage outsole and its relative lack of decoupling. While very well cushioned at the heel, the forefoot feels firm and thinner and I guess with a 21mm stack there and the full coverage outsole upfront with no substantial flex grooves into the midsole this not surprising. 

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

The midfoot of the non GTS version feels flat and slow to transition in part due to the decoupling but also for me maybe the breadth of the upper and its less than totally secure hold down low. 

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Yet the picture is somewhat different with the GTS version with its higher  lateral sidewall of DNA AMP and co molded medial insert.. 

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

I run neutral shoes and yes the Guide Rails are noticed here too but unlike the Launch 8 GTS far less so as there seems to be a better match between their firmness and the main midsole. The GTS here provides me more of a platform for initiating transitions and a bounce effect forward that is noticeable and effective. This extra “support” goes a long way to making the shoe flow more decisively through my gait cycle even at slower paces. 

Sally : I have always been labelled petite (5’2” 106 lbs), and logically gravitate to light, quick shoes. As Sam points out, the Levitate 5 is ideal for a heavier runner who pounds the pavement with his/her stride. A lightweight runner such as myself can not compress the midsole sufficiently to activate the rebounding energy return potential of this midsole. I found it overall firm and stiff, though fun on the downhills with the dampening heel cushioning (and downhills are just fun in general!)

Derek: The Levitate 5 neutral purportedly has the same midsole as the Levitate 4. This, I confirmed through a comparison of the stack heights, sans sockliner in the 2 shoes. I even compared the sock liners to ensure they were of the same material (Ortholite) and thickness. I say all this because Levitate 5 feels a little bit harsher than Levitate 4. I still haven't quite figured it out, because everything seems to be the same. Eventually I put it down to a little bit more disconnect between the foot and the midsole due to the more relaxed fit of the Levitate 5. Vibration Dampening is still decent, but the shoe isn't going to compress a lot, especially at slower paces. At faster paces, the foam becomes a little more lively and springy especially through the forefoot, which is quite nice. At 30/20 as I measured the stack including the sockliner, the midsole is on the thinner side by 2021 standards, so don't expect a premium trainer sort of underfoot feel, but rather a more snappy and responsive ride.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Sam: As with the Levitate 4 the outsole is a full coverage firm rubber with not much decoupling or flex elements integrating into the midsole with the outsole serving it seems, at least partially, as a “protective” layer for the DNA AMP midsole and its sheath of outer coating. There is continuous rubber on the medial forefoot, some small slots on the lateral and a shallow rear crash pad and cavity. This design should prove very durable, delivers on a uniform feel from front to back and very stable but is in my view is in the way of moving the shoe along as it is overly rigid and continuous.

The Levitate 1 and 2 (shown below) had a chevron pattern of crystal rubber. 

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Earlier Levitate weighed close to 2 oz more (heavier DNA AMP, upper, and I think thicker outsole), yet the outsole midsole combination once wound up was considerably more dynamic in ride with the outsole  providing plenty of rebound in the mix at faster paces. 

Bryan: Coverage is extensive, especially on the medial part of the shoe which has full outsole coverage. What we have here is a uniform usage of some form of carbon injected rubber that detracts from the midsole’s potential responsiveness. The lateral part of the fore- and midfoot, and the heel feature cut outs to promote some flexibility, but the result is that it remains rigid and very stable, especially given the structure/outsole pattern and volume of rubber used. No issues with durability and traction. The heavy utilisation of outsole rubber adds to the weight and density of the DNA Amp midsole, making it an overall bottom heavy shoe.

Joost: There’s a lot of outsole rubber here, in all sorts of patterns. The main one is a fishbone like pattern with just a couple of cutouts in the heel, providing some decoupling for heel strikers and on the lateral side of the forefoot, adding some lateral lengthwise flexibility for forefoot strikers. There is very little flexibility across the midsole. As Bryan stated: no issues with durability and traction and the copious usage of outsole rubber definitely adds to the weight of an already heavy shoe.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Sally : Lots and lots of outsole rubber here! On the plus side, the durability will most likely be awesome. But it adds so much weight! The rubber was fairly quiet on the roads, an important consideration for me, and the traction is great even on wet pavement.  I did experience some minor gravel collecting in the rubber treads, however, but most likely due to the ocean sand on the coastal roads I run. Overall, a bottom heavy feeling shoe.

brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

Bryan: Mixed-feelings is the first thought and word that comes to mind when trying to distill the result of the interesting mix of componentry to the StealthFit variant of the Levitate 5. Notwithstanding suffering from sore feet mid-runs, which is very rare for me but I suspect it's from the rigidity of the shoe and the generally unstructured upper, I actually found the overall ride to be decent; not dead, not lively, not harsh, but that firm pneumatic feel which seems unique to the DNA AMP midsole. With the uniform single foam utilisation, I liked the predictability and stability that the shoe offers. Upper aside, I found no issues in hitting sprint paces of under 2:00 minutes/km (5:12 min/mile, 18.65 mph, 30 km/h). I suspect many runners will not appreciate what would be considered to be a thin forefoot and dull-ish ride compared to other bouncy offerings out there, but I can imagine enjoying the ride offered by the DNA AMP midsole in another package.

Joost: I wouldn’t go as far as calling the ride pneumatic. The sensation to me was that of a firm rubber, with added dampening, but still quite responsive and bouncy when picking up the pace. But then again, it’s the weight that subtracts from that feeling. The standard issue Levitate 5 I reviewed (with the normal upper and non-GTS midsole) didn’t have any issues with the upper being too unstructured for the firm and relatively rigid midsole/outsole combination Bryan mentioned. The ride is stable, predictable and controlled. Unlike some superfoam and plated options out there, there’s no need to adjust your stride or do anything special. The Levitate will take you where you want to go in an unpretentious way.

Sam : As Joost says “stable, predictable, and controlled” and Bryan says a “thin forefoot and dull-sh” ride. I agree. The Levitate comes to life when pushing the pace, not something the weight of the normal upper non GTS version is that much fun to do in, but which becomes a far better experience in the lighter GTS with Stealth Fit. 

Many including me seek “fast” shoes for everything or nearly, yet 80% of our miles should be easier rather than harder I say. My last run in the non GTS regular upper was super easy, slower than expected and just what I needed that day. The controlled, consistent ride was soft enough, the vibration dampening fantastic, the upper as comfy as could be, the weight and quite ponderous transitions evident so.. I forgot about trying to move them along and enjoyed the sights along the way. 

All of this said, the ride here pales and is dated in comparison to the far lighter, far more energetic DNA Loft v3 supercritical foam and geometry of  the “concept” Aurora-BL max cushion trainer ( RTR Review ) and even while camouflaged by the outsole the DNA Loft v2 in the Cascadia 16 which has an energetic and stable dense feel.  I think Brooks needs to rapidly move on from DNA AMP.

Sally : Stable, predictable, controlled… Joost summarizes the ride well. And yes, it responds to pushing the pace, not like a plated shoe or a max cushioned shoe would, but as a traditional old school shoe might. The impact dampening under the heel is clearly felt on the downhills and much welcomed. I found myself running on my toes often in this shoe, especially on the uphills. Somehow the ride is stiff and not fluid for me, perhaps because I do not weigh enough to activate the DNA AMP midsole? But this is a very comfortable shoe, and it is always a pleasure to  have your feet feeling happy at the conclusion of a run.

Derek: The bottom line for me is that the ride is somewhat inferior to the Levitate 4. The new upper is not as supportive, and there is a less connected feel between the foot and the midsole-outsole as a consequence. The ride is still smooth and responsive and even springy at faster paces, but it is not altogether very comfortable at the faster paces, because the deficiencies of the upper become magnified as you go faster. 

I fear that the StealthFit Levitate 5 has ventured more into the realm of the athleisure category than a true performance shoe. My struggles with the upper have made it difficult to really test the shoe over longer distances, and i've maxed out at 8 miles in this shoe. In terms of ride, I see it being a more durable trainer version of the Hyperion Tempo, going solely on ride quality, so people who like the Hyperion Tempo should have a hard look at this shoe to see if the fit works. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Bryan: From opening the box to taking the Levitate StealthFit 5 on runs, the experience was one that went downhill. The two positives are the looks, and that I somewhat managed to enjoy the ride offered by the DNA Amp midsole through a disappointing package. The shoe does not work on multiple levels. On a personal level, the shoe does not fit into my rotation; it is like a heavy racing flat that doesn’t offer sufficient lockdown or an everyday training shoe that isn’t flexible and versatile enough to handle variation in paces. 

From a marketplace point of view, the shoe does not fit in well performance wise, but could perhaps be seen as a fashion trainer for the runner who is seeking a pair for everyday casual usage with low volume and slower paced training. Again, it is a shame the DNA AMP midsole is muted for me by the poor performing upper and outsole. At $150 or AUD$250, the StealthFit does not present good value for money, and for the utility that it offers.

Bryan’s Score: 6.25/10 

Ride: 7 (50%) Fit: 6 (30%) Value: 3 (15%) Style: 10 (5%)

Joost: As an exercise, I tried to imagine who of my running friends and group would be a good match for the Levitate 5. Personally I think I’m too light and tread too lightly to make the best of this shoe. After a little thinking I came up with Chivela, a local runner I sometimes train with in group settings for normal easy days, hilly long slow runs and some fartleks. He’s built like a tank and has a very powerful stride. He would be the one to overcome some of the issues I had with the rigid and firm midsole/outsole combination and I think that with his powerful stride, the DNA AMP midsole would offer more of its bounce than it does to me. The relatively high weight of the shoe wouldn’t be an issue. That being said, at $150, the Levitate 5 sits at too high a price point for what it offers.

Joost’s Score: 7.95/10 

Ride: 7.5 (50%) Fit: 9 (30%) Value: 7 (15%) Style: 9 (5%)

Sam: I puzzled mightly over the two Levitate 5 versions I tested taking them for multiple runs including A/B test runs GTS vs non GTS. The  GTS Stealth Fit version comes in at a very commendable 10.26 oz while Bryan’s without GTS is decently under the magic 10 oz barrier. The circular knit upper version without GTS checks in close to 11 oz, up there for its relatively low stack. DNA AMP even lightened by 20% in the prior version and here is a relatively dense and heavy midsole foam and knit is almost never light and Brooks has worked around the upper and outsole the last two versions with mixed success to lighten things up. 

Here the uppers are very clearly improved and now differentiated through two types: comfort for the “regular” and more performance oriented and certainly performance looking with the lighter Stealth Fit which now is a super fine “knit” upper that isn’t the painful experience of the Levitate 4’s.

My conclusion is that the Levitate (uppers) in non GTS flavors are essentially the premium hybrid run to some workout/gym/lifestyle shoes of the Brooks line and the Stealth Fit upper is spectacular looking in that context. From that standpoint, the Levitate 5 may be a good value when compared to say adidas Ultraboost or some of the Nike at $180 and above.

The GTS versions delivered a more compelling dedicated run experience for me and especially if you need some light support or even if you don’t as I don’t.  The GTS Guide Rails go quite a long way to move things along more decisively than without them, acting as a dynamic mid foot platform and this even with the commonly shared continuous and not particularly well decoupled or flexible outsole, the model’s continued weak link in my view. 

All models are good choices for heavier weight runners, especially slower beginner runners who tend to heel strike due to the excellent rear vibration dampening and stability (in either version). DNA AMP is a midsole foam that comes alive and delivers when  greater or increasing forces/weights are applied. That became apparent in my testing as while ambling along at slower paces just fine, always slower than I expected, at faster paces I ended up faster than expected  if not always with much character to the ride beyond the noted deliberate and dense pneumatic rebound with the GTS clearly having more pop. And as said in Ride it’s time for Brooks to move on from DNA AMP to DNA Loft v3 and even the trail focused DNA Loft v2 and I expect they will.   

Levitate GTS 5 Stealth Fit: 8.65 /10

Levitate 5: 8:33 /10 

Sally: The standard Levitate 5 is a truly comfortable and classic looking shoe that many will find enjoyable for mellow runs. Heavier runners will benefit from the fine energy-returning performance of the midsole. It is a relatively heavy shoe with a firm feel and not enough pop for my liking. Yes, we all need the slower recovery run shoes, but I would gravitate to one with more cushioning for those days. As a lightweight runner, I personally struggled to get the shoe to work well for me, but I did find it a delightfully comfortable shoe for walking the dog!

Sally’s score: 7.75 /10

RIde: 7.4  (50%)  Fit: 9  (30%)  Value:  7 (15%)  Style:  6 (5%)

Derek:  I foresee this shoe to be very polarizing at the end of the day, and a lot of it will come down to the fit. If it fits well, i can see it being a pretty good all-rounded daily trainer that caters to people who enjoy a more stable and responsive sort of ride. Otherwise, it will be quite difficult to get to the point where you can forget the fit and focus on the ride of the shoe. I'm not sure the move from crystal rubber to the new rubber outsole was a great decision. It is very durable and grippy, but it takes away a bit of spring from the ride of the earlier Levitates, as Sam has already alluded to. For me personally, i prefer the upper of the Levitate 4, and the more fuss-free fit experience.

Derek's Score 7.75/10

Ride 8 (50%) Fit 7.5 (30%) Value 7 (15%) Style 9 (5%)

13 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Brooks Levitate 4 ( RTR Review )

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. I actually prefer Levitate 4! Levitate 4 has the more breathable and more supportive upper and complements the firm ride a little better than the StealthFit upper on the Levitate 5. 

Sam: Sorry Derek not me. The single thing in the Levitate 4 that has me for sure leaning to the Levitate 5 Stealthfit was the 4’s terribly firm front of toe bumper which did not agree with my big toes at all, a rarity. 

Brooks Ghost 14 ( RTR Review )

Sam: if you seek a softer ride in a Brooks the now all soft and decently bouncy DNA Loft midsole Ghost or for that matter Glycerin with DNA Loft ( but I have not tested) are clear alternatives to the Levitate. It does not have the pneumatic rebound of the Levitate but it is comfortable, soft, and versatile at more paces for me than Levitate. If you are a heavier runner you might lean towards the Levitate over the Ghost in this match up.

Sally: TTS W8 in both. As a lighter runner, I prefer the versatile and classic looking (and running) Ghost over the bouncier Levitate. The Ghost is more of a do-it-all-at-all-paces one shoe quiver shoe.

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. Both shoes have rather sloppy fit in the forefoot, but I prefer the Ghost 14 overall for having a more secure lockdown in the midfoot and heel. It is also more cushioned and versatile as a daily trainer, though it is and does feel heavier on the run.

Brooks Aurora-BL ( RTR Review )

Sam: Where Brooks needs to go and I expect they will! More cushioned, dramatically lighter by 2 oz yet more cushioned and for sure more exciting to run as it is powered by a nitrogen infused super critical foam. It has a superb upper that holds, breathes, and via its light materials including mono mesh and an integral heel cup that extends for some mid foot stability leads to a weight of 8.5 oz for this max cushioned wonder. While $50 more no contest and the future of Brooks.

Brooks Trace 1 ( RTR Review )

Joost: M9.5 in both. The Trace is a new entry in Brooks’ lineup and it’s meant as a starting runner’s everyday shoe or an easy day shoe for most runners. It’s less bouncy than the Levitate, but also a fair bit lighter and especially a lot cheaper. For easy days, the Trace would be my pick and if I’d have to choose, I would go with the Levitate for uptempo work, in spite of the weight.

Brooks Launch 8 ( RTR Review )

Joost: M9.5 in both. The Launch is still a tad firmer, but due to its lower weight better suited to picking up the pace. It’s the kind of traditional feeling shoe lots of people still like for any kind of run. I’m also a sucker for elf-shaped heel counters, so my vote goes to the Launch. If you’re a heavier, harder striking runner, the Levitate is probably better suited.

Sam: I tested both the regular and GTS versions of the Launch 8 and preferred the GTS, especially for faster paced runs as it provided a similar propulsive midfoot kick as the Levitate GTS does. Both the lower weight of the Launch and its firmness are felt and if a more plush modern feel up top and underfoot are what you are seeking for easier running the Levitate despite costing $50 more is a better choice as would be the Ghost which sits between the other two.

Sally: TTS W8 in both. The Launch is definitely lighter and firmer and encourages a quicker traditional ride. The Levitate is more plush and comfortable, but didn’t work as well for me as a lighter runner. The Launch is also $50 less….

Saucony Triumph 19 ( RTR Review )

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The Triumph has a more performance oriented fit and an overall bouncier and more forgiving ride. It is not as responsive as the Levitate for faster paces, but it is better at just about everything else. I prefer the Triumph for better fit and versatility. 

Saucony Endorphin Shift ( RTR Review )

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The Shift has a much higher stack and more prominent rocker feel to the ride. It is much more versatile and cushioned, but the outsole is definitely weaker both in durability and grip, versus the Levitate. Shift also fits more foot shapes better. 

Adidas Ultraboost 21 ( RTR Review )

Sam: Heavier yet with a complex construction and knit upper these two compete in the near lifestyle category. Looks are in the eye of the beholder but I prefer the “Stealth” look of the Levitate to the loud cartoon show at adidas although the design of the UB 21 is stunning, just not my cup of tea. On the run the adidas is firmer with clearly more dynamic propulsion from its extensive underfoot plastic but heavier in feel. 

Adidas Ultraboost PB ( RTR Review )

Bryan: Very different shoes that perhaps would serve similar functions i.e. slower and lower volume training. Both are bottom heavy shoes but the Ultraboost PB definitely offers a more pleasant experience, with the Celermesh-like upper proving far superior in functionality and breathability to the StealthFit knit. Whilst I would almost say that the firmer DNA AMP is capable of faster paces, the upper in the StealthFit knit would prevent the Levitate from being the faster running shoe of the two. I would imagine that the general runner would prefer the soft yet responsive, although outdated Boost over DNA AMP.

Adidas Solar Boost 

Bryan: The Solar Boost is a shoe that I have a love-hate relationship with, mostly due to its chunky looks and neoprene upper which I truly am not a fan of. That aside, it was my staple mileage trainer of choice. The lockdown offered, ample stack and overall smooth ride made it a versatile shoe that I could take out on recovery runs and up-tempo sessions alike. Conversely, the Levitate StealthFit is a sleek and low profile shoe that does not come close to the Solar Boost’s functionality.

Mizuno Wave Sky 5 ( RTR Review )

Sam: The Wave Sky 5 ditches knit for a stretch woven upper that is not quite the plush roomy comfort of the Leviate 5 or the easy but effective compression of the Stealth Fit but ends up more run suitable overall than either. The ride is more conventional and slightly more cushioned and stable, and is more effective at varied paces with a mix of two types of Enerzy and EVA and a better designed outsole than the Levitate.

361 Meraki 4 (RTR Review soon)

Sam: A sharp contrast in shoes weighing about the same. The Meraki has a very supportive engineered mesh upper, a more conventional riding midsole that is firmer but tempered by a top layer of rubberized foam that gives it measured response and a more effective if still overbuilt outsole that in combination with a small mid foot linear fiberglass plate gives it a touch of guidance support (less noticed than GTS) and some propulsion as well.  

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 ( RTR Review )

Sam: Somewhat softer especially upfront the Cumulus 23 has a more effective geometry and moves along equally as well as slow as fast making it a more versatile daily trainer than the Levitate.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 ( RTR Review )

Sam: Weighing 0.25 oz less the Kayano competes with the GTS versions here. Its support elements include a somewhat extended heel counter in the area of the Levitate’s medial Guide Rail and a slightly firmer midsole sidewall on the medial side. Its support is lower in feel and more pronation control oriented than the Levitate’s higher GTS approach but still adaptive and fine for neutral runners. Its outsole is more effectively matched to its platform and midsole. I prefer the GTS approach but overall the Kayano, if you need some support in the mix or if you are a lighter runner, is a better choice.

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 23 ( RTR Review )

Bryan: Looks wise, the Levitate StealthFit wins hands down over the clunky Nimbus 23. The Nimbus is probably as traditional that a modern trainer can achieve looks wise, but it offers a very plush and protective ride - perfect for slower paces but capable of going the distance. The ride is smooth and feels natural with a bit of ground feel. From a performance and functionality point of view, the Nimbus wins hands down.

Sally: TTS W8 in both. The NImbus 23 has a loyal following for a reason: a traditional looking shoe that can do it all for the everyday runner. I would actually choose the Nimbus over the Levitate for the smoother and easier on the legs ride.

Salomon Sonic 3 Accelerate   ( RTR Review )  

Joost: M9.5 in both. The first time I felt the dampening effect of the Levitate, it reminded me of reviewing the Sonic 3 Accelerate, especially on downhills. The firmer ride and dampening is probably where the comparison ends. The Salomon is lighter and easier to pick up the pace in, and it’s cheaper, so my vote goes to the Salomon.

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We had them both and would like to share our thoughts in Brooks Revel vs Ghost post. Based on the categorization of Brooks Running Shoes, the Brooks Revel is a energized trainer which has been designed to offer energy return (springy) in each step, whereas, the Ghost is a cushioned trainer which is soft and protective. Both running shoes are highly versatile and very suitable for daily runs, gym workouts, crossfit day and on the treadmill. However, there are some distinguishing factors needs to be highlighted. We will be touching on the differences between Brooks Revel 5 and Ghost 14 and compare them side by side. Before going any further, the winner of Brooks Revel 5 vs Ghost 14 is the Ghost !

Brooks Revel vs Ghost: Complete List of Comparison

Here is the table, we have put together to help you better understand their design intents:

For choosing an activity-specific (running experience type) running shoe, check out our Best Brooks Running Shoes guide.

Our Highlights for Brooks Revel 5 vs Ghost 14:

Based on our test runs, the winner of Brooks Revel vs Ghost comparison is the Brooks Ghost and here is why:

  • The main difference between the Brooks Ghost 14 and the Revel 5 is the material of midsole. The Revel 5 uses BioMoGo which is soft enough, but responsive and it creates springy feel. However, it is not as soft as DNA LOFT which Ghost has in its midsole. Frankly, the DNA LOFT offers cloudlike feel which is extremely soft. Because of this, the Ghost 14 lacks behind considering the responsiveness, but it is way better considering the softness and comfort.
  • The Ghost is smoother in its gait and it also offers softer landing compared to the Brooks Revel.
  • The Revel 5 has more ground feel compared to the Ghost 14.
  • The Revel 5 is more nimble than the Ghost 14. We liked the peppy toe-off Revel more than the Ghost.
  • The Ghost 14 has more arch support ; it can last longer as well.
  • Revel 5 is springy and better for short distance whereas Ghost 14 is a great choice for slow paced long distance runs.
  • Ghost is more protective and cushy compared to the Revel.
  • One point goes to Brooks Revel 5. The Revel 5 has a heel loop and a gusseted tongue whereas, Ghost 14 lacks them both.
  • 3D Fit Print Upper of Brooks Ghost works better than the Fit Knit Upper of Brooks Revel in terms of breathability. We are not saying Revel 5 fails on this. But, Ghost 14 does better. We did not experience any clamminess during summer run with the Ghost.

Although, the Revel 5 is more budged ; we would recommend the Brooks Ghost 14, since it has all the right proportions in it. We do not state that Revel 5 is worthless. The Revel 5 is a good running shoe as well and it is also springy, but except for the responsiveness that Revel 5 will offer, the Ghost 14 covers rest of the items. Plus, we liked the cushioning and the comfort that Ghost 14 offers a lot. Also, Ghost 14 works way better than the Revel 5 considering long distance runs.

Short Review for Brooks Revel 5

The Revel 5 is a springy neutral running shoe in the Brooks family. It has been designed to provide energy return and propel you forward, but somehow it turns out to be a do-it-all running shoe.

The Brooks Revel 5 running shoe can do a bit of everything and a perfect pair for a beginner level runner .

Related Article: Brooks Revel 5 Review

Short Review for Brook Ghost 14

The Brooks  Ghost 14  is a maximalist daily trainer which provides great comfort and modest flexibility. It is a neutral runner and very suitable for slow-paced long runs. Frankly, this pair is the one that we recommend everybody as it has the all right proportions.

Related Article: Brooks Ghost 14 Review

Bottom-line for Brooks Revel 5 vs Ghost 14 Comparison

Our verdict for Brooks Revel 5 vs Ghost 14 comparison; Although both of them are highly versatile we would recommend Ghost 14 over Revel 5.

The Ghost 14 is more cushy and protective. It is a great choice for long distance recovery runs where Revel 5 fails on it.

Except the responsiveness that you will gain from the Brooks Revel 5 , Brooks Ghost 14 covers all necessary items & design fundamentals for a do-it-all running shoe.

Here is the links that you can check the latest rates for Brooks Ghost 14 and Brooks Revel 5:

Brooks Revel 5

Brooks Revel 5 vs Ghost 14

Check the Latest Rates

Brooks Ghost 14

Brooks Ghost 14 vs Revel 5

We would recommend checking out our “ Best Running Shoes for Men & Women ” article to get a clear picture of the other great running shoes.

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brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

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brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

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Product Description

Smoother and softer, this runner favorite just keeps getting better. For runners looking for a shoe that provides a smooth ride, the Ghost 14 now features DNA LOFT throughout the midsole for a smoother experience from heel-to-toe. The result is a zero-distraction run so you can focus more on what matters most: your run. The Ghost 14 is our first Carbon Neutral shoe. Learn more .

  • DNA LOFT now makes up the entire midsole.
  • Simplified midsole construction creates more seamless transitions.
  • More strategic use of 3D Fit Print technology provides structure that moves with the foot.

Smoother feel

Updated midsole is now 100% DNA LOFT cushioning for an even softer, smoother ride.

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Better transitions

The new softer midsole and Segmented Crash Pad team up for easier flow from landing to toe-off.

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Improved fit

Our 3D Fit Print balances stretch and structure so the shoe adjusts comfortably to your foot.

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3D Fit Print in the heel and saddle offers a secure fit.

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The information provided here is intended as a guide only. Please consider your individual circumstances when selecting shoe style and size and ensure you are happy with the fit before using the shoes outdoors.

We recommend ordering Brooks running shoes 1/2 size to one size larger than normal dress shoes

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For women's footwear, B is the standard width. 2A is narrow, D is wide, and 2E is extra wide. For men's footwear, D is standard, B is narrow, 2E is wide, and 4E is extra wide.

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brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

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Running shoes are not created equal - we're the first to agree with that! But if you've been running in shoes from another brand, and want to try Brooks, it's helpful to know where to start. Check out our Shoe Finder, where you can either tell us what brand of shoe you wear and we'll show you something better – or you can answer five simple questions and we'll introduce you to your sole mate.

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brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

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  1. Brooks Ghost 14 vs. Levitate 5: Which One? (2022 Comparison)

    brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

  2. Brooks Ghost 14 vs Brooks Levitate 5 (Which is best for you)

    brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

  3. Brooks Ghost 14 vs Brooks Levitate 5 (Which is best for you)

    brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

  4. Brooks Levitate vs Ghost

    brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

  5. Brooks Ghost 14 vs. Levitate 5: Which One? (2022 Comparison)

    brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5

  6. Brooks Ghost 14 vs. Levitate 5: Which One? (2022 Comparison)

    brooks ghost 14 vs levitate 5


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  1. Brooks Ghost 14 vs. Levitate 5: Which One? (2022 Comparison)

    Side-by-side comparison Bottom Line Pros Cons Brooks Ghost 14 See full analysis Check Prices A comfortable and versatile shoe that offers soft cushioning and a flexible foot lockdown Great comfort Pleasant and more responsive cushioning than the previous version Versatile and accessible shoe Durable, carbon-neutral, and 100% vegan

  2. Brooks Ghost 14 vs Brooks Levitate 5 (Which is best for you)

    The major difference is the Ghost 14 has a mesh upper while the Levitate 5 has a knit upper Other key differences are, Heel to Toe Drop of the ghost 14 is 12mm and the Levitate 5 has an 8mm drop. Both of them have a wider toe box. The brooks ghost 14 is slightly more lightweight than Levitate 5

  3. Brooks Levitate vs Ghost

    Brooks Levitate vs Ghost - Which Is Best for You? - The Wired Runner Brooks fans, this one's for you! Brooks Levitate vs Ghost - which is best for you? They're quite different, so we've compared them in detail. Home Shoes + Gear Best of 2024 Shoes Gear Apparel GPS Watches Training Beginners Workouts Race Cross-Training Strength Motivation

  4. Brooks Levitate vs Ghost: Key Points [2023 Guide]

    Basically, the key difference between the Brooks Levitate 5 and Ghost 14 is their design intent. Indeed, the difference between them is the trade-off between cushioning and energy-return (springy & bouncy feel). Long story short, the Brooks Ghost is a cushioned trainer, which is soft and protective.

  5. The 9 Best Brooks Running Shoes for 2024

    While Brooks has branched out into premium racing shoes like the Hyperion Elite, the brand's core shoe lineup revolves around daily trainers. Shoes like the Ghost, Glycerin, and Adrenaline...

  6. The Ultimate Running Shoe Comparisons

    Compare to Make the Right Choice Check out our side-by-side shoe comparisons and spot the important differences like overall score, weight, stack height of the sole, drop, type of cushioning, and more. Don't have specific shoes in mind? Take a look at our popular comparisons below or check out our guides to the best 2023 road and trail shoes.

  7. Brooks Levitate Vs. Brooks Ghost

    Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoe - Grey/Atlantis/Black - 10.5. THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: The Ghost 13 is for runners looking for a reliable shoe that's soft and smooth. The Ghost 13 offers improved transitions for zero distractions so you can focus more on what matters most: your run.

  8. Shoe Review: Brooks Levitate 5

    The Levitate 5 features a flexible yet structured upper, with a detached tongue and extra eyelets that let you lace your shoes for a more personalized fit. Fleet Feet reviewers noted how the extra eyelets made it easier to adjust the fit of the shoe. The new engineered circular knit material provides extra breathability and an adaptable fit.

  9. Brooks Levitate 5 Review Analysis (2021): Should You Get It?

    Introduction Cushioning Foot lockdown (upper) Grip and durability The Ride Conclusion Facts Technical Specs Cushioning Technologies Use Comparisons - Brooks Levitate 5 vs.: Brooks Glycerin 19 Brooks Ghost 14 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) The Consensus 9 Overall score Good running shoe with firm cushioning and a bit of weight

  10. Brooks Ghost 14

    Brooks Ghost 14. Brooks Ghost 14. $190 at Amazon $110 ... Footstrike: Heel Previously tested: Saucony Ride 14, Hoka One One Arahi 5, New Balance 860v10 "The Brooks Ghost 14 is a fantastic ...

  11. Brooks Ghost Vs Levitate

    Brooks Leviate weighs around 10.3oz/292.0g whereas Brooks Ghost weighs 10.4oz/294g. Brooks Ghost weighs around 10.4oz/294g and Brooks Launch weighs around 8oz/226.8g. So, while using either of them, you will not be held down by excessive weight and in both, your performance will not suffer due to weight of the shoe.

  12. Brooks Levitate 5 Review (2022)

    There are actually four variations of the Brooks Levitate 5; there are two types of fit to choose from, classic or StealthFit, and two support styles, neutral or GTS.

  13. The 12 Best Brooks Running Shoes of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

    Best Budget: Brooks Revel 5 Running Shoes at Amazon ($100) Jump to Review Best for Overpronation: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 at Amazon ($90) Jump to Review Best for Flat Feet: Brooks Addiction GTS 15 Running Shoe at Amazon ($140) Jump to Review Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Brooks Women's Ariel '20 Running Shoes at Amazon ($98)

  14. Brooks Ghost 14 Review

    Compared to our test lineup of top-notch running shoes, the Ghost 14 provides the great stability and support that Brooks is known for in a reasonably lightweight design. This shoe has a 12-millimeter heel-to-toe drop, which we think is a bit high given that it weighs under 10 ounces (men's size 9.5). There is good cushioning and responsiveness ...

  15. Shoe Comparison: Best Cushioned Shoe For You

    Research Innovation Gear and Technology Brooks shoe comparison: is the Ghost right for you? October 31, 2022 | 4 min. read From dehydration to the dreaded bonk, running is full of challenges. But discomfort shouldn't be one of them. A little background before you hit the ground Your gear should always enhance your miles.

  16. Cut in half: Brooks Levitate 5 Review (2024)

    Road Brooks Brooks Levitate 5 Brooks Levitate 5 review Paul Ronto on Aug 11, 2021 - updated Apr 21, 2022 | Reviewed using methodology 1.6 New version: Levitate 6 Our verdict The classic speedster feel of the Brooks Levitate 5 will bring you back to the glory days of stiff shoes equaling quicker paces.

  17. Road Trail Run: Brooks Levitate 5, Levitate GTS 5 StealthFit and

    The regular Levitate 5 now has a very soft, thick circular knit upper that has some but less stretch than StealthFit with plush padded collars. It clearly has a high comfort soft cruiser fit and vibe. In the picture above, with both shoes the same size, one can clearly see the difference in upper and fit approach.

  18. Brooks Levitate Vs Ghost: Know The Differences

    The Levitate 5 is fiery and bouncy, and the Ghost 14 is watery and plush. Advertisements They have different uppers, outsoles, midsoles, and drops as well. The Levitate 5 has a GTS version which is its advantage. These shoes appear in many colors and styles and cost around $150 each. Who Should Buy?

  19. Best Brooks running shoes

    1. Factors to consider 2. Daily neutral trainer: Brooks Ghost 15 3. Supportive daily trainer: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 4. Long-distance neutral trainer: Brooks Glycerin 20 5. Supportive daily neutral trainer: Brooks Ricochet 3 6. Lightweight neutral trainer: Brooks Launch 9 7. Lightweight speed trainer: Brooks Hyperion Tempo 8.

  20. Brooks Glycerin vs. Levitate: Which One? (2022 Comparison)

    These two Brooks shoes are available in neutral (for all types of pronation) and GTS (Go-To-Support for overpronation) versions.. The Glycerin is more cushioned under the heel with a 31 mm heel stack height versus 29 mm for the Levitate 5. However, the drop of the Glycerin is higher (10 mm) than the Levitate's (8 mm), resulting in the same forefoot height.

  21. Brooks Revel vs Ghost: Key Differences [2023 Guide]

    However, there are some distinguishing factors needs to be highlighted. We will be touching on the differences between Brooks Revel 5 and Ghost 14 and compare them side by side. Before going any further, the winner of Brooks Revel 5 vs Ghost 14 is the Ghost! Here is the table, we have put together to help you better understand their design intents:

  22. Brooks Levitate 5 Men's Running Shoes

    Sleek upper. Fit Knit upper provides a close-to-foot fit that's lighter, softer, and more breathable than previous versions. The Brooks Levitate 5 men's road-running shoe is designed with cushioning that returns your energy to help fuel your run every step of the way. Shop now.

  23. Ghost 14: Men's Neutral Running Shoe

    Product Description. Smoother and softer, this runner favorite just keeps getting better. For runners looking for a shoe that provides a smooth ride, the Ghost 14 now features DNA LOFT throughout the midsole for a smoother experience from heel-to-toe. The result is a zero-distraction run so you can focus more on what matters most: your run.