Brooks Ghost 14 VS Hoka Mach 4: What Should I Buy?

Finding the perfect running shoe can be a challenging task. With so many options on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? Two popular neutral cushioned trainers are the Brooks Ghost 14 and the Hoka One One Mach 4.

Both shoes provide soft cushioning and responsive rides, but they differ in weight, construction, and intended uses.

This in-depth comparison examines all the nitty-gritty details to help you decide whether the Ghost 14 or Mach 4 is the better choice for your running needs.

After analyzing the key features, performance, and value of each shoe, you’ll have the information you need to confidently pick the ideal pair. Let’s get started!

Similarities And Differences Between Brooks Ghost 14 And Hoka Mach 4:

SpecsBrooks Ghost 14Hoka Mach 4
Launched In20212021
SizingMen’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11Men’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11
Weight10.2 oz (M), 9.2 oz (W)8.7 oz (M), 7.7 oz (W)
CushionDNA Loft FoamPROFLY Foam
OutsoleDurable RubberDurable Rubber
MidsoleDNA Loft FoamPROFLY Foam
UpperEngineered MeshEngineered Mesh
Retail Price$120$353

Features Comparison:

We are now going to compare features of the Ghost 14 against the famous Mach 4 from Hoka.


The Ghost 14 uses a DNA Loft foam midsole which provides soft, durable cushioning.

The outsole uses durable rubber in a segmented crash pad design for smoother transitions. The engineered mesh upper enhances breathability.

Brooks Ghost 14

Hoka Mach 4

The Mach 4 utilizes PROFLY foam in the midsole, giving responsive cushioning that is softer than previous Mach models.

The durable rubber outsole uses Meta-Rocker technology for a smooth ride. The engineered mesh upper improves ventilation.


The Ghost 14 is known for its durable construction that can withstand hundreds of miles of usage. Elements like the DNA Loft foam, rubber outsole, and engineered mesh enhance longevity.

Similarly, the Mach 4 has proven to be a sturdy shoe thanks to features like the PROFLY foam, rubber outsole, and engineered mesh upper. It holds up well over high mileage.


The Ghost 14 runs true to size for most runners.

The engineered mesh upper provides a secure midfoot wrap while allowing room for natural toe splay. The fit caters to medium to wide foot shapes.

Brooks Ghost 14 Top View


The Mach 4 also runs true to size for many wearers. The engineered mesh upper adaptive stretch around the midfoot while permitting toe wiggle room. It best suits medium to narrow foot shapes.


As a neutral shoe, the Ghost 14 provides inherent stability without being overly controlling. Technologies like the midfoot transition zone ensure a stable ride.

The Mach 4 is also a neutral shoe that gives just the right amount of stability for most runners.

Elements like the early stage Meta-Rocker help guide the foot through the gait cycle stably.


The Ghost 14 offers plush cushioning that provides soft impact absorption and rebound. The DNA Loft foam gives durable, marshmallow-like comfort.

The Mach 4 has responsive cushioning that is softer than prior Mach models. The PROFLY foam delivers energetic rebound while maintaining comfort.


With a $120 price tag, the Ghost 14 offers excellent value for a durable daily trainer from a leading brand. The mileage provided by the cushioning and traction makes them a worthwhile investment.

The Mach 4 costs slightly more at $353, but still gives great value by combining innovative Hoka cushioning technologies in a long-lasting package suitable for fast training or racing.

Performance Comparison:

Ghost 14 and Mach 4 are ideal shoes with solid features. But now we will see how these two stack up when we compare them in our performance comparison segment.


The Ghost 14’s plush DNA Loft cushioning and segmented crash pad outsole make it an excellent choice for extended walking sessions.

The soft foam keeps feet comfortable even at high step counts.

The Mach 4 also performs well for walking thanks to technologies like the PROFLY foam and Meta-Rocker sole.

However, some may find it slightly less cushioned than ideal for ultra-long distances on foot.


The Ghost 14 provides the soft, stable cushioning most runners need for daily mileage.

The DNA Loft foam gives that “just right” blend of responsiveness and shock absorption.

As a fast, lightweight trainer, the Mach 4 excels at quicker-paced running.

The PROFLY foam delivers a propulsive toe-off while the Meta-Rocker encourages a smooth transition.

Plantar Fasciitis

The Ghost 14’s substantial cushioning provides the plush underfoot comfort needed to relieve plantar fasciitis pain.

The segmented crash pad also allows for a more gradual heel to toe transition.

The Mach 4 may not provide the ultra-soft experience some with severe plantar fasciitis require. However, the softer PROFLY foam absorbs shock reasonably well.

Standing All Day

The Ghost 14 shines when worn for extended periods of standing or walking. The DNA Loft cushioning stays resilient even after hours on your feet, reducing fatigue.

While the Mach 4 can hold up to periods of standing thanks to the durable foam, some may desire a touch more cushioning for all-day wear. The Meta-Rocker sole does provide stability though.

final Verdict

In the end, the Brooks Ghost 14 and Hoka One One Mach 4 each have their strengths. The Ghost 14 offers supremely soft cushioning in a durable package perfect for daily mileage, walking, plantar fasciitis, or standing all day.

Meanwhile, the Mach 4 provides a responsive and lightweight feel ideal for faster-paced running. So consider whether plush comfort or speed is your top priority before choosing between these two excellent neutral trainers.

With the help of this comprehensive comparison, deciding between the Ghost and the Mach is now much easier. Just pick the model that best aligns with your running needs and preferences.

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