Brooks Ghost Max 2 Release Date & Info

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The Brooks Ghost Max has undergone some significant changes that align with what many of us runners have been hoping for in the regular Ghost model: increased stack height, enhanced cushioning, and a reduced drop.

Now, with the Ghost Max 2 hitting the shelves in 2024, the burning question is: do these new updates live up to the hype, or are we looking at a running shoe that’s turned into the equivalent of Homer Simpson’s car?

Right after talking about the release date details of the Brooks Ghost Max 2, I’ll be discussing all the insights I gathered about the shoe straight from the Running Event.

And to wrap things up, I’ll be sharing my firsthand experience of running in the original Ghost Max.

Sounds interesting? Let’s jump right into it…   

Brooks Ghost Max 2 Release Date

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Just a heads up – the original Brooks Ghost hit the shelves back in September 2023, and now, mark your calendars because the Brooks Ghost Max 2 is set to make its grand entrance on December 1st, 2024, priced at $150.

Curious about what this new iteration has in store? Well, you’re in luck because I’ve got the inside scoop straight from Brooks, courtesy of the latest Running Event…

Ideal User of the Brooks Ghost Max 2

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I think that the ideal user for the Brooks Ghost Max 2 is going to be two different runners and here they are:

I think the first type of person who’s going to love the Brooks Ghost Max is a person who wanted a Ghost that was a little bit more agreeable and a little bit softer of an experience. I think that the Brooks Ghost Max definitely delivers on that.

Secondly, the Brooks Ghost Max 2 will also appeal to taller and larger runners who put more weight into the foam at those easy-paced runs.

I think you’re going to get a little bit more of that softness and squishiness compared to what I’m unlocking at those analogous efforts.

Related:

The new Adrenaline will release in 2024 as well. Here’s the release date of the Adrenaline GTS 24 and some insider info you need to know.

Brooks Ghost Max 2 – Better Midsole

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Man, let me tell you about the Brooks Max original. It was hands down one of my top picks for running shoes back in 2023. I mean, I really got into my stride with those shoes.

The Ghost Max 2 is stepping up its game, taking a page out of the Ghost 16‘s playbook by infusing some supercritical nitrogen-injected DNA Loft v3 magic. Brooks is really tuning in to what us runners dig – that perfect balance of softness and bounce-back.

Sure, the Ghost Max 2 might feel a tad softer than last year’s model, but fear not, they’ve kept that same killer rocker and roll geometry. What you’re getting is even more of that sweet, sweet responsive feedback.

Brooks Ghost Max 2 – Upper & Weight

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Looking at the upper on the Ghost Max 2, it’s not straying too far from its predecessor. I mean, I’m not spotting any major design overhauls, except for a touch of rubberization around the toe area.

brooks-ghost-max-2-heel-collar

In terms of weight, the Ghost Max has beefed up just a tad in that department. Why? Well, they’ve added a bit more sidewall height and beefed up the rubber on the outsole, all in the name of boosting the durability of the Ghost Max 2.

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Now, let’s get personal. My experience with the Brooks Ghost Max…

My Running Experience in the Brooks Ghost Max

Before we dive into that, let’s break down some specs…

Stack Height

The Brooks Ghost Max earns its “max” title with increased stack height, providing more cushioning in both the heel and forefoot compared to the regular Ghost.

Specifically, we’re talking 28mm of stack height in the heel and 22mm in the forefoot. Compared to the regular Ghost’s aggressive 12mm drop, the Ghost Max is a more modest 6mm drop.

What does this mean for your run? Well, it translates to a smoother heel-to-toe transition, akin to cruising down the highway in a sports car rather than navigating in a clunky old sedan.

Related:

Here’s the release date of the Hyperion Tempo 2 (now Hyperion 2). 

Midsole & Rocker

The Ghost Max 1 is using Brooks’ DNA Loft v2 foam, while its successor, the Ghost Max 2, boasts the upgraded DNA Loft v3, now infused with nitrogen for that extra oomph. DNA Loft v2 is a mixture of EVA foam, rubber, and air.

To keep that precious foam protected, the outsole is generously covered in rubber, with grooves strategically cut to enhance flexibility. 

It seems Brooks is adding more rubber to the outsole of the Ghost Max 2 to amp up the durability.

In addition to that, there is a Glide Roll rocker, or what they’re calling their front-of-the-foot geometry. So, as your foot hits the ground and starts to move into that next stride, it rolls a little bit easier and it picks up that back of the heel.

Upper & Fit

You’ll find a decent amount of padding on the tongue and around the back of the heel cup in the Ghost Max. This padding adds some structure, especially with the rigid heel cup, which is further reinforced by the foam wrapping around the bottom of your heel. This design ensures a snug, secure fit, keeping your foot comfortably locked in place.

There is a moderate amount of padding on the tongue and a moderate amount of padding that goes around the back of the heel cup which covers up some structure in that heel cup which is pretty rigid and is also enhanced by the fact that the foam kind of curls up around the bottom of your heel so your foot is going to sit inside, making sure everything stays locked in nice and tight.

The other thing to know about the Max Ghost is that there is a very wide footprint that you’re landing on. It doesn’t pinch at the middle of the foot like a lot of other shoes do so you’re getting a lot more stable of a platform to land on as your foot hits the ground.

Another way that the Max Ghost differs from the regular Brooks Ghost is that they’re using a different last for the shoe. The last is kind of the shape of the upper that the shoe is built on. In the Max Ghost, I think there’s a little bit more room.

Overall, the Ghost Max is on the heavy side of the spectrum at 10.0 oz. or 283 grams, but technically, that is a little bit lighter than the regular Brooks Ghost. However, we’ve heard from Brooks at the Running event that the Brooks Ghost Max 2 is going to be a smidge heavier than the previous Ghost Max.

Sustainability

Brooks is trying to be a little bit more eco-conscious in terms of the production of the shoe because they’re using a dope dyeing technology which uses a lot less water when it comes to creating the colors for the shoe. According to Brooks, this dope dyeing process reduces water waste by 94% and cuts greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 92%.

Now that we’ve talked about some of the specs on the shoe, let’s talk about it when the rubber hits the road…

How the Brooks Ghost Feels Like

I’ll say that the original Brooks Max was a pleasant surprise. It feels like what I wished all Brooks Ghost shoes should feel.

I know a lot of you guys are running in the Brooks Ghost and absolutely loving it, but for me, I always find that it’s a little bit too firm of a shoe and a little bit more harsh than I would like it.

I think a lot of that has to do with the foam that they’re using combined with that aggressive 12mm heel-to-toe drop, but the new Ghost Max is definitely the Brooks Ghost that I’ve been looking for. It’s as soft as I’ve wanted the Brooks Ghost to be, it’s as comfy as I’ve wanted the Brooks Ghost to be, and it moves like I think the Brooks Ghost should move.

While the Ghost Max has the word max in the title, you might think of it more as a max cushion shoe, but for me, it just feels like a really great modern daily trainer; a shoe that I could take out for the vast majority of my runs as I get through any training week.

I still do feel like the foam is overall a little bit more firm than I would ideally prefer, but the shoe does have a little bit of squish and roll to it especially when you compare it to the Brooks Ghost or last year’s Brooks Glycerin.

However, from what we’ve heard in the Running Event, the Ghost Max 2, with that nitrogen-infused DNA Loft v3 midsole, is going to be a bit softer in 2024 than the Brooks Max of 2023.

I will say that the wider platform that’s in the Ghost Max compared to most other daily trainers that are out there does make it for a very stable ride without having to add extra firmness in other places to prevent the shoe from tipping over, but I will say though when you’re trying to pick up the pace, I did find that it started to feel a little bit clunky.

Now, the Ghost Max isn’t a shoe that I think people will gravitate to for workouts, but if you’re using it as a shoe that is kind of in that max cushion category for your daily training and maybe for your recovery runs, then I think that the Brooks Ghost Max is going to be a really nice choice.

Now, that we’ve talked about what the shoe is like to run in, let’s go into how you would put the Ghost Max 2 into a shoe rotation…

Shoes to Pair With the Ghost Max

If you’re using the Brooks Ghost Max as your daily trainer, you’re probably going to need to supplement and round out that rotation with a workout shoe and a race day shoe.

For your workout shoe, I think you could keep it in the Brooks family and go with the shoe that I have been really enjoying, the Hyperion Max 2.

The Hyperion Max is a shoe that uses nitro-based foam so it’s a slightly different technology and a different kind of foam. I feel like it’s even firmer at easy paces, but the shoe loosens up in the right way when it comes to moving quickly, and it’s nice and responsive while giving you the right amount of cushion as you’re doing those speedier workouts.

And then as you’re going to race day, I think that we’re going to leave Brooks for a moment and head over to Saucony. I think that the Endorphin Pro 3 is going to be a really great choice.

The Pro 3 is using a beaded Peba midsole foam, a carbon fiber plate, and a super lightweight and minimalist upper which is really well-ventilated and ideal for racing.

The Endorphin Pro 3 originally released back in the middle of 2022 but still in 2023 and going into 2024 is a fantastic option.

I think that those three shoes together are going to make a really fun rotation.

Alternatives to the Ghost Max

The Brooks Ghost Max 2 comes in at $150, which is a lot of money for what you’re getting in this daily trainer. Because I’m coming from the perspective where that the Ghost Max is just what the Brooks Ghost should be, I feel like it should be priced more along the lines of what the regular Brooks Ghost is priced, which is a lot less than $150.

But let’s see where that $150 price stacks up against the competition…

I think for me the shoe that comes to mind first when I ran in the Ghost Max was another shoe that was a little bit firmer than I liked and a little bit taller than what looks like a regular daily trainer but fit really well as a daily trainer and that is the Solomon Aero Glide

Ghost Max vs. Solomon Aero glide

This is a new shoe that came out in 2023. I feel like this has a lot of similarities in terms of gaps that they’re filling in their respective brands’ lineups and in terms of their execution.

I think both of these shoes check a lot of the same boxes.

The full retail price of the Solomon Aero Glide is $160, which is $10 more than the Brooks Ghost Max, but it is currently on sale for $120.

The other shoe that I think is worth comparing the Brooks Ghost Max against is not a shoe that immediately comes to mind when I’m looking at these two shoes, but it’s one that you guys have asked me to compare it to and that is the Saucony Triumph.

Ghost Max vs. Saucony Triumph

The Brooks Ghost Max uses that dope dyeing technology and is carbon neutral and the Saucony Triumph RFG is an eco-friendly shoe as well.

The midsole foam that they’re using on the Triumph RFG is 55% corn-based and they are also using water-saving techniques in terms of dyes that they’re using to color the upper.

I feel like the experiences that you’re getting are not similar but analogous. The Triumph is a taller shoe than a typical daily trainer shoe would be, but a lot of people are going to be using it for their daily training miles.

I think when you compare these two shoes, I do feel like the Triumph RFG suits my set of preferences just a little bit better at easy paces.

It’s a little bit softer of an experience, and then what’s really nice and a surprise in the Triumph RFG is when you pick up the pace, the shoe kind of firms up in terms of responsiveness just a little bit so it’s still comfortable every time your foot hits the ground, but it snaps back in a really bouncy and lively way where I would prefer if I did have to have some pace changes in my run, maybe I’m running a fartlek out there, then I think I would gravitate towards the Triumph RFG over the Brooks Ghost Max.

The Triumph RFG comes in at $160, which is again $10 more than the Brooks Ghost Max. So, if we’re looking at the two shoes that I’ve compared the Brooks Ghost Max against, I do feel like the Ghost Max is expensive, but it’s actually cheaper than the alternatives that are comparable in the market.

So maybe the pricing is just right on the Ghost Max.

About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

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