Brooks Ghost 15 VS Glycerin 21: What Should I Buy?

If you’re a runner looking for a comfortable daily training shoe from Brooks, you may be trying to decide between two of their popular neutral cushioned models – the Ghost 15 and the Glycerin 21.

Both shoes provide soft cushioning and a smooth ride, but they have some key differences that may make one better suited for your needs. Read on for a detailed comparison of these two great shoes!

Similarities And Differences Between Brooks Ghost 15 And Glycerin 21:

FeatureGhost 15Glycerin 21
Launched In20222024
StabilityNeutralSupportive and stable
FlexibilityModerateModerately flexible
SizingMen’s 7-15, Women’s 5-12Men’s 7-15, 17, Women’s 5-12
Weight10.9 oz (men’s 9), 9.2 oz (women’s 8)9.30-10.50 oz
CushionPlush, soft, responsivePlush and comfortable
OutsoleSegmented rubberDurable rubber
MidsoleDNA Loft v3DNA Loft
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$140$160

Features Comparison:

Materials:

The Ghost 15 features a segmented rubber outsole for durability and traction. The midsole uses DNA Loft v3 foam, which is softer than previous versions for more responsive cushioning. The engineered mesh upper provides a secure fit while maintaining breathability.

Brooks Ghost 15
GHOST 15

GLYCERIN 21
GLYCERIN 21

The Glycerin 21 also has a durable rubber outsole and a DNA Loft midsole, but it’s unclear if this is the latest version. Both shoes use an engineered mesh upper for a dialed-in fit.

The Glycerin 21’s upper is described as plush and comfortable. Overall, these shoes have similar materials, with the Ghost 15 appearing to use the newest midsole foam technology.

Durability:

Reviewers found the outsole rubber on the Ghost 15 to be quite durable, lasting for over 300 miles of running without excessive wear. The DNA Loft v3 midsole is also long-lasting and maintains its cushioning properties even at higher mileage.

The engineered mesh upper holds up well over time. There are fewer reviews available currently for the Glycerin 21, but testers did note that the outsole rubber has excellent durability, showing minimal wear after 150+ miles.

The DNA Loft midsole is also known for its longevity, though it’s unclear if this version has the same lifespan as the newest Loft in the Ghost 15.

However, the upper may be less durable, with some finding the laces fraying easily. Overall, both shoes should have high durability, but the Ghost 15 may edge out the Glycerin due to the newest midsole foam.

Fit:

The Ghost 15 has a wider fit than previous versions, which accommodates wider feet comfortably. It runs true to size for most. The engineered mesh upper material is relatively breathable and flexible, conforming to the foot.

Brooks Ghost 15 TOP VIEW
GHOST 15 TOP VIEW

GLYCERIN 21 TOP VIEW
GLYCERIN 21 TOP VIEW

The Glycerin 21 also seems to run true to size for many testers. They found the engineered mesh upper to be plush and comfortable against the foot. Both shoes offer a secure midfoot lockdown while allowing some forefoot wiggle room.

The Ghost 15 may work better for those needing more interior space due to its wider fit. Those with narrower feet may prefer the Glycerin 21’s foot-hugging upper. Overall, both models should accommodate a variety of foot shapes, with the Ghost 15 better for wide feet and the Glycerin 21 potentially suiting narrow feet better.

Stability:

The Ghost 15 provides a relatively stable neutral ride. The midsole uses a 12mm drop, which gives moderate heel cushioning to help control overpronation. Though not specifically a stability shoe, testers noted the Ghost 15 keeps the foot secure when fatigued and prevents excessive inward rolling.

The Glycerin 21 is also a neutral shoe but offers a bit more inherent stability due to its 10mm drop. The midsole provides a supportive, stable platform that prevents collapse inward.

Heavier runners in particular found the Glycerin 21 kept their feet steadier over long distances. For those needing stability within a neutral shoe, the Glycerin 21 seems to provide a bit more than the Ghost 15. However, both are sufficient for mild to moderate overpronators not requiring correction shoes.

Cushioning:

The Ghost 15 provides plush, soft cushioning that is very responsive. The DNA Loft v3 midsole foam feels slightly softer than prior versions for a smooth, comfortable ride. Many testers found it provides the “perfect amount” of softness underfoot without being too mushy.

The Glycerin 21 is also known for its plush cushioning. The DNA Loft midsole gives it a cloud-like feel, though some testers found it feels slightly firmer than they expected. While still soft, it may not provide that super-soft sensation some seek.

However, its firmness does provide support and responsiveness. Overall, if you want a very soft, pillowy ride, the Ghost 15 is likely the winner for pure cushioning softness. But if you prefer balanced, supportive cushioning, the Glycerin 21 still provides a comfortable underfoot experience.

Value:

The Ghost 15 has a retail price of $140, while the Glycerin 21 costs $160. Considering its versatile performance, durable materials, and comfortable fit, most testers found the Ghost 15 well worth the lower $140 price point. The updates to the midsole and upper make it a high-quality daily trainer at this cost.

The Glycerin 21 provides plush cushioning and a durable ride that justifies the slightly higher $160 price tag for many runners, though some were disappointed it was not as soft as expected. Overall, the Ghost 15 may provide better value for those wanting the latest midsole technology and a wider fit at a lower price point.

The Glycerin 21 still gives you quality materials and performance for the price, but you are paying an extra $20 more than the Ghost 15. For shoppers looking for excellent value, the Ghost 15 delivers robust performance and features at a very reasonable $140 price.

Performance Comparision:

Walking:

For walking, the Ghost 15 provides a very comfortable experience. Reviewers found the soft DNA Loft cushioning absorbs impact very well, reducing foot fatigue on longer walks. The roomy fit allows the foot to swell when walking for hours without irritation.

Similarly, Glycerin 21 gives walkers responsive cushioning that helps prevent foot pain and discomfort during long periods on feet. The plush upper also keeps the foot secure while remaining breathable and irritation-free over many miles of walking. For walking comfort, both models are excellent options.

Running:

When running, testers found the Ghost 15 provides responsive, smooth cushioning at a variety of paces from easy jogs to faster tempo runs. The soft DNA Loft midsole gives enough bounce to provide energy return with each footstrike.

For the Glycerin 21, reviewers felt the DNA Loft foam gave it a stable, steady feel at slower paces but didn’t provide as much bounce or energy return during faster running.

Though still responsive, the Glycerin 21 leans more towards slower paces rather than speedwork. For versatile running performance, the Ghost 15 may have a slight advantage.

Plantar Fasciitis:

For plantar fasciitis sufferers, the Ghost 15’s soft cushioning absorbs impact well to reduce pain and inflammation. The roomy toe box also allows space to splay the toes and stretch the plantar fascia. Reviewers with PF found the Ghost 15 relieved symptoms.

The Glycerin 21 also helps PF due to its plush cushioning. However, some testers felt the midsole was firmer than expected, so it may not relieve PF pain quite as well as the softer Ghost 15. For this condition, the Ghost 15 seems preferable.

Standing All Day:

Reviewers found the Ghost 15 performs well for all-day standing due to its responsive cushioning that doesn’t pack down or flatten out. It maintains comfort even when standing for long shifts. The Glycerin 21 also provides long-lasting cushioning for extended periods on your feet.

However, a few wearers did notice some midsole compression and loss of bounce in this shoe over time when worn for prolonged standing. The Ghost 15 may maintain its cushioning properties slightly better for this use case.

Final Verdict:

For neutral cushioned trainers from Brooks, both the Ghost 15 and Glycerin 21 are excellent options. The Ghost 15 wins out slightly when you desire very soft cushioning, wider sizing, the latest midsole technology, versatility in speed, and relief from foot pain issues like plantar fasciitis.


However, if you prefer balanced cushioning with inherent stability, don’t need a super plush ride, and have narrower feet, the Glycerin 21 is also a great choice.

Ultimately, choosing between these two quality shoes comes down to your specific fit and performance preferences.

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