Brooks Ghost 16 VS Hoka Challenger 7: What Should I Buy?

Running shoes are the backbone of any runner’s journey, providing the necessary support, cushioning, and traction to help you conquer the miles. This article delves into the nitty-gritty details of two highly acclaimed models: the Brooks Ghost 16 and the Hoka Challenger 7.

We’ll explore their features, performance, and suitability for various activities, ultimately helping you decide which one aligns better with your needs and preferences.

Similarities And Differences Between Brooks Ghost 16 And Hoka Challenger 7:

FeatureBrooks Ghost 16Hoka Challenger 7
Launched In20242024
StabilityNeutralSome Stability
Weight9.5 oz / 269.3g8.9 oz
CushionMore CushioningBalanced Cushioning
OutSoleRubberDurabrasion rubber, 4mm lugs
MidSoleDNA Loft v3Compression-molded EVA foam
UpperEnhanced upperEngineered mesh
Retail Price$140$145

Features Comparison:

Materials: Outsole, Insole, Upper

The Brooks Ghost 16 features an enhanced upper designed for a secure fit and breathability. Its outsole is rubber, while the midsole utilizes the DNA Loft v3 cushioning technology for a soft, plush ride. Details on the insole material are not provided.



On the other hand, the Hoka Challenger 7 boasts an engineered mesh upper for breathable comfort. Its outsole is made of Durabrasion rubber with 4mm lugs for traction on varying terrain. The midsole utilizes compression-molded EVA foam for a plush feel underfoot.


Both the Brooks Ghost 16 and Hoka Challenger 7 prioritize durability, though they take different approaches. The Ghost 16 is constructed with reliable cushioning and good flexibility, indicating it should withstand the rigors of road running well.

The Challenger 7 opts for a durable Durabrasion rubber outsole designed to adapt to any terrain, providing longevity for trail use. However, without full details on the Ghost 16’s upper materials, it’s difficult to definitively compare overall durability between the two models. Trying them on and assessing the build quality can give further insights.


Achieving the right fit is crucial for both shoes. The Brooks Ghost 16 promises a secure fit thanks to its enhanced upper design that hugs the foot. On the other hand, the Hoka Challenger 7 offers breathable comfort with its engineered mesh upper, allowing for ventilation.



However, sizing information is not provided for either model, so it’s essential to try them on in-store to ensure a proper fit. Pay close attention to any potential hotspots or areas of excessive pressure, as a dialed-in fit can make a significant difference in overall comfort and performance.


The Brooks Ghost 16 is designed as a neutral shoe, providing a stable platform without additional stability features. This makes it suitable for runners with a neutral gait pattern.

On the other hand, the Hoka Challenger 7 offers some stability features, though details on the specific technologies are not provided. This could make it a good option for runners who need a bit of extra support and stability, particularly on uneven terrain.


The Brooks Ghost 16 delivers maximum cushioning with its DNA Loft v3 midsole, providing a soft, plush, and floaty feel designed for smooth, luxurious comfort on the roads.

In contrast, the Hoka Challenger 7 offers balanced cushioning through its compression-molded EVA foam midsole. While protective, it still maintains a responsive toe-off for those seeking a bit more energy return when picking up the pace.

Value for Money:

At $140, the Brooks Ghost 16 is a well-priced option for a max-cushioned road running shoe. The Hoka Challenger 7, with its trail-ready features and similar price point of $145, could be a valuable investment for those seeking an all-terrain running experience.

Performance Comparision:

For Walking:

The Brooks Ghost 16, with its soft cushioning and smooth transitions, is an excellent choice for walking. Its plush ride can help reduce fatigue during extended periods on your feet.

The Hoka Challenger 7, while designed for trails, can also be a suitable option for walking, particularly on varied surfaces, thanks to its traction and balanced cushioning.

For Running:

The Brooks Ghost 16 shines as a dedicated road running shoe, providing a cushioned and responsive ride for your daily jogs or long-distance training. Conversely, the Hoka Challenger 7 is built for trail running and all-terrain adventures, with its aggressive lugs and durable outsole offering superior traction on uneven surfaces.

For Plantar Fasciitis:

Both shoes offer features that could potentially help alleviate plantar fasciitis discomfort. The Ghost 16’s soft cushioning can reduce the strain on the plantar fascia, while the Challenger 7’s balanced cushioning and stability could also provide relief. However, it’s essential to consult with a medical professional for personalized advice.

For Standing All Day:

For those who spend long hours on their feet, the Brooks Ghost 16 emerges as a capable choice with its maximum cushioning and smooth transitions. The soft, plush ride can help reduce fatigue and discomfort associated with extended periods of standing.

While designed for trails, the Hoka Challenger 7 could also be a viable option thanks to its balanced cushioning and durable outsole. The midsole provides impact protection, while the grippy outsole offers surefooted traction on various surfaces encountered throughout the day.

Final Verdict:

The choice between the Brooks Ghost 16 and the Hoka Challenger 7 ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you’re primarily a road runner seeking a plush, cushioned ride, the Ghost 16 is an excellent option. However, if you frequently venture onto trails or varied terrain, the Challenger 7’s all-terrain capabilities and traction make it a more suitable pick.

For those seeking a versatile shoe that can handle both road and light trail conditions, the Hoka Challenger 7 could be the way to go. Its balanced cushioning and durable outsole provide the best of both worlds.

Ultimately, trying on both shoes and assessing the fit, cushioning, and overall feel will help you make the most informed decision. Consider your running style, terrain preferences, and any specific needs or concerns to determine which shoe will be your perfect companion on the roads or trails ahead.

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