Brooks Launch vs Ghost: Brooks Launch 9 vs Ghost 15 Differences

Last Updated: January 29, 2024 | Author: Jake Thompson

Navigating the sea of running shoes can often feel like charting a course through uncharted waters, with each wave bringing a new contender vying for the spotlight.

As a professional writer with an eye for detail, I've spent countless hours analyzing every stitch and sole of the Brooks Launch vs Ghost. These two models have become stalwarts in the fast growing Brooks lineup, each offering a distinct experience underfoot.

Launch 9 vs Ghost 15 - hero

The Launch 9, with its lean and springy build, beckons the sprinter within, while the Ghost 15 promises a cushioned voyage for those longer treks.

But it's not just about the feel of the shoe; there's a myriad of factors that contribute to the performance and suitability of each model for different types of runners.

Join me as we explore what sets these two apart and perhaps uncover which one might be the missing piece to your running puzzle.

Table of Contents:

  1. Key Takeaways
  2. Table: Brooks Ghost 15 vs Brooks Launch 9 Running Shoes
  3. Pros & Cons
  4. Performance
  5. Stability and Support
  6. Design
  7. Upper Unit
  8. Comfort
  9. Durability
  10. Weight & Size Comparison
  11. Our Recommendations
  12. Final Verdict
  13. Frequently Asked Questions

Key Takeaways

  • - Brooks Ghost 15 is a plush and comfortable daily trainer with stability and cushioning for long distances, while Launch 9 is a lightweight speed-friendly neutral trainer with a firm ride.
  • - Ghost 15 has a heel drop of 12 mm, providing a comfortable experience for heel strikers, while Launch 9 has a heel drop of 10 mm and is suitable for a variety of distances.
  • - The sole unit of Ghost 15 has a medium-soft DNA Loft v2 midsole, offering a smooth ride for medium or long-distance runs. In contrast, Launch 9 has a firmer BioMogo foam midsole which is firmer but cushioned ride suitable for fast-paced runs.

Table: Brooks Ghost 15 vs Brooks Launch 9 Running Shoes

Brooks Launch 9 Brooks Ghost 15
Feature Brooks Launch 9 Brooks Ghost 15
Terrain Road Road
Pace Speed training Daily running
Toebox Medium Medium
Pronation Underpronation Supination
Neutral Pronation
Cushioning Balanced Plush
All-day wear
For beginners
Arch support Neutral Neutral
Heel to toe drop 10mm 12mm
Weight 230g 286g
Widths available Normal Normal
Wide Wide
Orthotic friendly -
Removable insole -
Sockless wear -
Sustainable -
Distance 5K and 10K Long distance
Lightweight -
Strike Pattern Heel strike Forefoot/Midfoot strike
Flexibility Moderate Flexible
Arch Type High arch High arch
Material Reflective Mesh
Season Summer Summer
Forefoot height 26mm 23mm
Heel height 36mm 35mm

Pros & Cons

Brooks Ghost

  • - Highly cushioned for comfort on long runs.
  • - Versatile for various running styles.
  • - Stable and plush upper.
  • - Good traction on different surfaces.
  • - Heavier, affecting speed.
  • - Less responsive for speed training.
  • - Slightly more expensive.

Brooks Launch

  • - Designed for speed and short runs.
  • - Lightweight and agile.
  • - More affordable.
  • - Firm and stable ride.
  • - Less cushioned, less comfortable for long runs.
  • - Narrower fit.
  • - Limited wet surface traction.


When assessing the performance of Brooks Launch vs Ghost, I focus on their stability and support characteristics.

The Ghost 15's additional cushioning and 12 mm heel drop offer superior stability for long-distance runners, which is critical for maintaining form over extended periods.

In contrast, the Launch 9, with its firmer BioMoGo foam and slightly lower heel drop, provides a more responsive platform that supports a faster pace, particularly beneficial during shorter, tempo runs.

Stability & Support

In terms of performance,the Brooks Launch 9 offers a firm midsole, which can contribute to a sense of stability during faster-paced efforts. In contrast, the Ghost 15 is designed with a neutral support philosophy but provides a more supportive ride overall, thanks to its plush DNA Loft v2 midsole.

Feature Brooks Launch 9 Brooks Ghost 15
Midsole Firm BioMoGo DNA Loft v2
Support Type Neutral Neutral
Ride Stable & Firm Supportive
Lockdown Secure Fit Secure & Plush
Best For Speed Work Long Distances

While both shoes offer a secure lockdown, the Ghost 15's additional cushioning makes it better suited for longer distances where extended comfort is key.


In assessing the design of both running shoes, I'll focus on the intricacies of their upper units, midsoles, and outsoles.

The Launch 9's upper is streamlined with less padding, which impacts the shoe's overall weight and fit, while the Ghost 15's engineered mesh provides a more plush and secure experience.

Analyzing the midsole, the Launch 9's BioMoGo foam is firmer, offering a more responsive ride, whereas the Ghost 15's DNA Loft v2 midsole caters to a softer, cushioned run, indicative of the shoe's intention for longer distances.

Upper Unit

The upper unit's design plays a crucial role in the overall performance and comfort of a running shoe, with both shoes showcasing distinct approaches to accommodate different runners' needs. The Ghost 15 features an upper constructed from engineered mesh that offers ample padding, especially around the tongue, enhancing the fit and overall plushness. This design choice prioritizes breathability and a secure, comfortable lockdown during long runs.

Feature Brooks Ghost 15 Brooks Launch 9
Mesh Engineered, plush Single-piece, smooth
Tongue Padded, stays put Sleeved, less plush
Breathability/Fit High breathability, roomy fit Good breathability, snug fit

In contrast, the Launch 9's upper is designed with a more streamlined, single-piece mesh, which lacks the plushness of the Ghost 15 but offers a smoother, irritation-free fit. The sleeved tongue in the Launch 9 prevents sliding, maintaining a consistent fit throughout a run.

Midsole & Outsole Features

Shifting focus from the upper unit's contribution to comfort and fit, let's examine the midsole and outsole designs that underpin the performance dynamics.

  • - The Brooks Ghost 15 midsole is equipped with DNA Loft, providing a supremely soft cushion that cradles the foot during impact and transitions smoothly throughout the gait cycle.
  • - Launch 9 features the Biomogo midsole, known for its environmental friendliness and a firmer, more responsive ride that appeals to those seeking speed.
  • - DNA Loft ensures a plushness in the Ghost 15 that resonates with the promise of comfort during prolonged runs.
  • - The responsiveness of the Biomogo in the Launch 9 translates to a feeling of propulsion, a boon for tempo runs.
  • - Both midsoles are designed with durability in mind, but it's the Ghost 15's cushion that shines for daily mileage.


When evaluating comfort, it's essential to consider the specific design elements that contribute to the overall feel of the Brooks Ghost vs Launch on the runner's foot.

The Ghost 15, as a neutral running shoe, offers a notably comfortable experience with its plush feel, particularly in the heel region. This is due in large part to the DNA Loft v2 foam in the midsole, which provides a soft yet responsive cushioning that adapts to various strides and surfaces.

On the other hand, the Launch 9, while still comfortable, presents a different approach to underfoot comfort. Its BioMoGo foam in the midsole is firmer, offering a stable ride without the plushness found in the Ghost 15. This makes the Launch 9 more suitable for runners with a firmer, more connected ground feel.


In assessing the durability, one must consider the long-term wear of materials such as the outsole rubber and midsole foam integrity.

  • - The outsoles of both shoes employ high-quality rubber, offering great traction and resistance to abrasion.
  • - Durability is further underpinned by the hard-wearing nature of the outsole patterns, designed to mitigate quick wear-down.
  • - BioMoGo foam, known for its longevity, sustains the midsole structure of the Launch 9, ensuring persistent performance.
  • - The Ghost 15's cushioning remains dependable run after run, thanks to its robust midsole compounds.

Both models show remarkable resilience against the relentless pounding of long-distance runs, underlining the brand's commitment to lasting quality.

Brooks has invested in materials that hold up over time, reflecting both models' durability.

Weight & Size Comparison

Brooks Ghost15 vs launch 9 - hero

As we delve into the weight and size comparison, it's notable that the Ghost 15 registers at a slightly heavier 286g compared to Launch 9's leaner 230g, reflecting their respective design intentions for comfort and speed.

The Ghost 15's weight supports its purpose as a cushioned daily trainer, providing a plush ride with ample comfort for longer runs.

In contrast, the Launch 9's lightweight profile is the right choice for runners seeking a speedier, more agile experience. This version of the Launch series maintains a firm, responsive midsole that complements its reduced mass, catering to those who prioritize a nimble and fast feel over the softer, luxurious underfoot sensation offered by the Ghost 15.

Our Recommendations

When it comes to selecting the perfect running shoe, the choice largely depends on your running style, goals, and preferences. The Brooks Launch and Ghost are both exceptional in their own right, but they cater to different needs and types of runners. Here’s how you can decide which one is best suited for you

Brooks Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis: Ghost 15

The Brooks Ghost 15 is ideal for plantar fasciitis, offering stable, comfortable cushioning suitable for long distances. Its DNA Loft v2 midsole provides a firm yet adaptable ride, particularly effective for heel strikers. The plush upper and high drop contribute to consistent comfort, making it a reliable choice for daily training and support

Brooks Shoe for Walking: Launch 9

Launch 9 is a suitable choice for walking, especially for those who prefer a lightweight, responsive shoe. It features a BioMogo DNA midsole offering a firm but cushioned ride, ideal for brisk walking. The shoe's single-layer mesh upper ensures breathability and comfort. Its design caters to both speed and daily training, providing versatility for different walking paces

Brooks Shoe for Overpronation: Ghost 15

The Brooks Ghost 15 is designed for overpronators, offering balanced cushioning and support. It features DNA LOFT cushioning for a soft, smooth ride and a Segmented Crash Pad for smooth transitions. The shoe's engineered mesh upper provides breathability and comfort, while the 3D Fit Print technology ensures a secure fit. Ideal for road running, it's a popular choice for stability and comfort.

The Ghost 15, known for its cushioning and stability, also shares some features with its siblings. Discover how it compares with other variants in the series, like in our Brooks Ghost vs Adrenaline comparisons

Brooks Shoe for Flat Feet: Launch 9

The Brooks Launch 9, tailored for flat-footed runners, emphasizes efficiency with its Rapid Roll Technology, promoting a swift, fluid stride. It's notably lightweight, enhancing agility. The shoe's upper is a breathable mesh, paired with an internal bootie for a snug, comfortable fit. Additionally, its Green Rubber outsole ensures durability and reliable traction, making it a solid choice for road running and regular workouts.

For runners with specific foot conditions like accessory navicular syndrome, choosing the right shoe is crucial. Explore options in our guide on the Best Shoes for Accessory Navicular Syndrome for tailored support and comfort.

Final Verdict

In the world of running shoes, the Brooks Ghost 15 emerges as the jack-of-all-trades, offering unparalleled comfort and support, perfect for long runs, tackling plantar fasciitis, and overpronation. It's a bit heavier, but it's a small trade-off for its luxurious, all-day comfort. On the flip side, the Brooks Launch 9 is the speed enthusiast's dream, boasting a lightweight design for those quick, energetic runs.

It's less about cushioning and more about feeling connected and responsive to the ground, making it ideal for short sprints and flat-footed runners. Whether you seek comfort for the long haul with the Ghost 15 or the nimble agility of the Launch 9, both shoes stand ready to elevate your running experience to new heights.

While exploring the distinct characteristics of brooks running shoes, it's interesting to see how they stack up against other models in the Brooks lineup, such as the Brooks Levitate vs Adrenaline.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the main differences between Brooks Launch and Ghost?

The Brooks Launch is a lighter, more responsive shoe ideal for speedwork and shorter distances. In contrast, the Ghost offers a medium-soft midsole, best suited to medium or long-distance running. The Ghost is a highly versatile daily trainer, providing extra protection and a tad bit of responsiveness in the heel due to its design.

2. How does the midsole of the Ghost compare to the Launch?

The Ghost features a medium-soft midsole that feels soft and is protective, making it well-suited for longer runs. The Launch, on the other hand, has a firmer midsole which is a tad bit more responsive, especially suited for shorter, faster runs.

3. Which shoe is more suitable for speedwork, the Launch or the Ghost?

The Brooks Launch is the right choice for speedwork. It's lighter and has a firmer midsole with a tad bit of responsiveness, especially in the heel, making it more suitable for faster paces and shorter distances.

4. Are the Brooks Launch and Ghost suitable for different types of runners?

Yes, both shoes cater to different needs. The Launch is a neutral shoe, lighter and more suited for runners who handle shorter distances and prefer a bit of speed. The Ghost, being a versatile daily trainer, is protective, medium-soft, and best suited to medium or long-distance runners who appreciate a bit more cushioning.

5. Do the Brooks Launch and Ghost have different break-in periods?

The Ghost, with its medium-soft midsole, might feel softer initially and may require a minimal break-in period. The Launch, being a bit stiffer and lighter, might require a slightly longer break-in period to achieve the optimal level of comfort and responsiveness.

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Jake Thompson

Jake Thompson

I am Jake, a sports enthusiast, love eveything about sports, particularly basketball and volleyball. I've played both sports at a local level. Here to share my passion for sports and sports gear experiences with you.