Hoka Cielo X1 VS Brooks Ghost 15: What Should I Buy?

Looking for your next pair of running shoes? The Hoka Cielo X1 and Brooks Ghost 15 are two of the most popular neutral trainers on the market right now. Both shoes offer responsive cushioning and a comfortable fit, but they have key differences when it comes to weight, technology, and overall ride feel.

This in-depth comparison breaks down the specs, features, and real-world performance of the Cielo X1 and Ghost 15 so you can decide which one is best for your needs. Whether you’re a new runner or a seasoned veteran, keep reading to find out which shoe stands out.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Cielo X1 And Brooks Ghost 15:

FeatureHoka Cielo X1Brooks Ghost 15
Launched In20242022
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingTrue to sizeTrue to size
Weight9.3 oz9.7 oz
CushioningCarbon fiber plate, rockered midsoleDNA Loft V2 foam
OutsoleRubberSegmented rubber
MidsolePROFLY X foamDNA Loft V2 foam
UpperAir meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$275$140

Features Comparison:

Material:

The Cielo X1 uses a thick slab of PROFLY X foam in the midsole, providing a responsive and energetic ride. The foam is paired with a carbon fiber plate that improves propulsion. The outsole is made of high-abrasion rubber in critical areas for durability, while the engineered air mesh upper is breathable yet supportive.

Hoka Cielo X1
CIELO X1

Brooks Ghost 15
GHOST 15

The Ghost 15 has a full-length DNA Loft V2 midsole that gives soft, marshmallow-like cushioning. The segmented rubber outsole is also designed for durability and flexibility. The engineered mesh upper balances a secure fit with breathability.

Durability:

Testers found the Cielo X1 to be quite durable, with the rubber outsole showing minimal wear after several miles. The air mesh upper also retained its structure over time. However, some felt the foam cushioning softened a bit quicker than expected.

The Ghost 15 is known as an incredibly durable shoe that can withstand hundreds of miles. The DNA Loft foam retains its bounce even after heavy use. The rubber outsole also holds up well against abrasion. Overall, the Ghost 15 should keep going and going.

Fit:

The Cielo X1 runs true to size for most, with a snug midfoot wrap and roomy toe box. However, some found the upper to be tricky to get on due to its security around the ankle collar. The laces were also difficult to adjust for some testers.

Hoka Cielo X1 TOP VIEW
CIELO X1 TOP VIEW

Brooks Ghost 15 TOP VIEW
GHOST 15 TOP VIEW

The Ghost 15 has a comfortable, true-to-size fit in the heel, midfoot, and forefoot. The engineered mesh upper is soft against the foot while still providing a dialed-in fit. The Ghost 15 also comes in wider widths to accommodate more foot shapes.

Stability:

As a neutral shoe, the Cielo X1 isn’t designed to correct overpronation. However, testers noted the carbon plate and curved foam shape provide a stable, smooth ride. Those with flat, wider feet found it felt a bit unstable at slower paces.

With its neutral platform, the Ghost 15 also does not actively control overpronation. The DNA Loft foam, padded collar, and structured heel counter give it a very stable feel for neutral runners. Heavy pronators may still want additional medial support.

Cushioning:

The thick PROFLY X foam and carbon plate give the Cielo X1 an exceptionally smooth, cushioned ride. Testers described the responsiveness as “springy” and “energetic.” The rockered shape also encourages a natural foot strike. The high stack height does reduce ground feel.

The Ghost 15 provides very soft, pillowy cushioning in the DNA Loft foam. Most runners found it to be supportive and shock-absorbing without being too mushy or unstable. However, some felt it lacked the responsive snap for faster paces compared to prior Ghost versions.

Value:

With a $275 price tag, the Cielo X1 sits at the higher end of the spectrum. The innovative carbon plate and substantial PROFLY X foam come at a cost. While not inexpensive, runners felt the lively ride, comfort, and durability made them worth the investment.

Priced at $140, the Ghost 15 offers fantastic value for a daily trainer from a well-known brand. The durable cushioning, smooth ride, and consistent fit make this a shoe that can log hundreds of miles. Most agreed it’s an outstanding running shoe at this accessible price point.

Performance Comparison:

For Walking:

The Cielo X1 provides a very comfortable walking experience with its thick, responsive midsole foam. The rockered shape encourages a natural stride from heel to toe. However, the high heel and stack height do take some getting used to when walking in the Cielo X1.

With its DNA Loft cushioning, the Ghost 15 has an ultra-plush feel underfoot during walking. Testers found it supportive and shock-absorbing over long distances. The flexibility of the outsole also promotes a smooth walking gait cycle.

For Running:

Built for speed, the Cielo X1 delivers an energetic, propulsive ride during runs. The carbon plate and PROFLY X foam work together to provide a snappy sensation at faster paces. The rockered shape also encourages an efficient toe-off.

While not the most responsive, the Ghost 15 provides a smooth, consistent feel during daily runs. The DNA Loft foam softens landings and provides a predictable ride mile after mile. It’s a reliable choice for easy and moderate-paced runs.

For Plantar Fasciitis:

The Cielo X1’s soft yet responsive PROFLY X foam cushioning helps reduce pressure on the plantar fascia. The rockered shape also promotes a natural foot motion that minimizes strain. Wearers with plantar fasciitis found it supportive for recovery runs.

The Ghost 15 is a great pick for plantar fasciitis thanks to its soft DNA Loft foam. The plush midsole absorbs shock effectively to prevent jarring impacts that can aggravate pain. The smooth transitions of the outsole are also ideal for sore feet.

For Standing All Day:

The Cielo X1 offers cushioned comfort when worn all day, whether you’re standing or walking. However, some may find the snug upper and higher heel to be less comfortable for extended wear compared to flat shoes designed specifically for standing.

With its Ultraheel design and plush DNA Loft foam, the Ghost 15 helps reduce fatigue from standing and walking all day. The engineered mesh upper provides breathable comfort as well. Many wearers rate it among the best running shoes for standing long hours.

Final Verdict:

For runners seeking an energetic, propulsive ride, the Hoka Cielo X1 is the clear choice between these two shoes. The carbon plate and PROFLY X foam deliver a responsive, smooth feel during faster paces. While not as lightweight or breathable as some race-day shoes, its lively cushioning stands out.


On the other hand, the Brooks Ghost 15 shines as an everyday trainer for moderate miles. What it lacks in snap, it makes up for in soft comfort and reliability. The Ghost 15 can log hundreds of high-quality miles thanks to its durable DNA Loft foam and seamless transitions. It’s an especially excellent pick for plantar fasciitis or standing all day.

So which is better for you? Look at your running needs and preferences. If you want more energy return for speed workouts, go with the Hoka Cielo X1. But if you prioritize cushioned comfort for daily training, the trusty Ghost 15 is a fabulous choice that won’t disappoint.

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