Brooks Ghost vs Mizuno Wave Rider – Cushioning, Upper, Outsole, Ride …

brooks-ghost-vs-mizuno-wave-rider

Today, we’re going to compare the Brooks Ghost vs Mizuno Wave Rider 25. For the sake of this comparison, we’re going to be comparing the Brooks Ghost 14 vs Mizuno Wave Rider 25.

But why compare these shoes in the first place?

The Ghost and Wave Rider have identical stack heights, identical heel-to-toe drop, they almost weigh exactly the same, and they are priced almost identically.

As always, we’re going to talk about the midsole, the outsole, the upper, and the performance of these shoes. 

Sounds good? Let’s dive right in…

Brooks Ghost vs Mizuno Wave Rider

brooks-ghost-14

The Brooks Ghost and the Mizuno Wave Rider are soft neutral shoes that are not overly mushy. They hit the right balance of a supportive midsole without being intrusive at all.

Brooks and Mizuno always seem to change enough to innovate and improve while maintaining the key things that make their shoes great. If you have not tried a Mizuno or a Brooks shoe before, I would definitely suggest you try the Ghost 14 or the Wave Rider 25. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

mizuno-wave-rider-25-midsoles

In a hurry, these are the main similarities and differences between the Brooks Ghost vs Mizuno Wave Rider…

Differences:

  • Wave Rider is lighter than the Ghost.
  • Ghost has a softer DNA Loft midsole.
  • Wave Rider is faster, snappier, more flexible, and has more energy return.
  • Wave Rider has a more structured upper than the Ghost.
  • Ghost is available in engineered mesh.
  • Wave Rider is available in two versions (engineered mesh and Waveknit).
  • Ghost is more breathable.
  • Wave Rider has a gusseted tongue and the Ghost doesn’t.
  • Wave Rider has a better heel hold.
  • Ghost has a wider toe box and landing zone.
  • Ghost is a bit more stable. 
  • XT10 outsole on the Wave Rider is more durable.
  • Ghost has more width options than the Wave Rider.

Similarities:

  • Neutral daily training workhorses.
  • 36mm/24mm stack heights.
  • 12mm drop.
  • True to size.
  • Full-ground contact outsole.

Weight, Stack, Drop

brooks-ghost-13-vs-14-heel-to-toe-drop

Both shoes weigh almost exactly the same. While the Ghost 14 has gained 0.2 oz compared to the Ghost 13, the Wave Rider 25 shed about 0.2 oz from the Wave Rider 24.

While both midsoles have seen a significant improvement, the stack height and drop have remained unchanged. Both shoes have 36mm of stack in the heel and 24mm in the forefoot for a total of 12mm heel-to-toe drop if we did the math correctly.

brooks-ghost-vs-mizuno-wave-rider-stack-drop

So, in terms of weight, the Wave Rider 25 wins. 

Ghost 14 Ghost 13
Men (size 9)
→ 10 oz (283 g)
Men (size 9)
→ 9.8 oz (277 g)
Women (size 8)
8.8 oz (249 g)
Women (size 8)
8.6 oz (243 g)
Heel: 36mm
Forefoot: 24mm
Heel: 36mm
Forefoot: 24mm
12mm drop 12mm drop
Wave Rider 25 Wave Rider 24
Men (size 9)
9.4 oz (266 g)
Men (size 9)
9.6 oz (272 g)
Women (size 8)
7.9 oz (223 g)
Women (size 8)
8.3 oz (235 g)
Heel: 36mm
Forefoot: 24mm
Heel: 36mm
Forefoot: 24mm
12mm drop 12mm drop

Midsole

mizuno-wave-rider-25-midsole

Both shoes now have their midsole compound run the full length of the shoe, which has made the shoes noticeably softer than their previous versions.

While the Wave Rider 24 had the Enerzy foam in the heel, the Wave Rider 25 features the Enerzy foam throughout the entire midsole, which generates an even smoother ride and more rebound and energy return while providing you an even softer underfoot feel. Also, the Mizuno gets a redesigned Wave Plate with a more aggressive geometry on the lateral side.

brooks-ghost-14-midsole

The Ghost has a DNA Loft, which is basically Brooks’ softest cushioning to date.

While the Ghost 13 had the DNA Loft only on the lateral side and then Brooks’ BioMogo DNA on the medial side, the Ghost 14 is entirely DNA Loft on both sides. Also, on the Ghost 13, the midsole had different densities to it, but the Ghost 14 has a single-density layer of DNA Loft from heel to toe.

What that means for you is that the ride is going to be a smoother more cushioned ride. The Ghost 14 is now going to give you a much more consistent feel as you go through your stride.

Outsole

Both shoes have a very similar outsole configuration.

mizuno-wave-rider-25-outsole

The outsole in the Wave Rider 25 is the X10 rubber that runs from heel to toe giving you that full ground contact. There are flex grooves that run from the lateral side to about two-thirds of the way towards that medial side giving you that flex and responsiveness as you toe-off.

brooks-ghost-14-outsole

The Ghost 14 uses two different types of rubber on the outsole for that full-ground contact setup. There’s soft rubber on the forefoot and harder, more durable carbon rubber on the heel section.

Brooks filled the second flex groove filled with more rubber to protect the DNA Loft in the forefoot a little bit better. This results in less flexibility but more snappy transitions than the Ghost 13.

I found the XT10 rubber outsole on the Wave Rider 25 to be a little bit more durable than the Ghost 14.

So, in terms of the outsole, the Wave Rider wins just because it’s a little more durable.   

Now, let’s talk about the ride of these two…

Ride

The Ghost and Wave Rider are very close in ride, but there are some differences.

Ghost

While the upper on the Ghost is quite unstructured, it is a very comfortable easy-going upper and it really doesn’t have issues per se. But if you really start to crank on it and pick up the pace, you’ll find the front of the foot lifting a bit more than I would like to see.

In terms of its actual ride, I remember the Ghost 13 was a very soft mushy ride especially up in the forefront of the shoe and I really didn’t enjoy it much. But on the Ghost 14, the full-length DNA Loft midsole on both sides is now a touch firmer yet giving us a soft forgiving ride.

On the outsole, Brooks considerably filled the ball of foot area with softer rubber than the Ghost 13, which eliminated all that kind of mushiness and made for a softer easy-going ride.

In terms of the new geometry, the Ghost 14 has a broader heel and a very nice stable landing than the 13. This isn’t a stability shoe, but your far rear heel is very stable.

Related: Brooks Ghost vs Saucony Ride

Wave Rider

On the Wave Rider 25, we have a little bit narrower feeling landing and a bigger decoupling at the heel than the Ghost. Because of this, while the Wave Rider is still stable, I think the Ghost is a little bit more stable.

As you get towards the front, the Wave Rider 25 is not quite as soft and thickly cushioned at the ball of the foot/midfoot area as the Ghost. However, the Wave Rider is snappier in feel. The combination of the Wave Plate plus the firmer outsole rubber gives it a bit more snap if a touch less forefoot cushion.

To wrap this section up:

  • The Ghost is has a more stable and softer underfoot ride than the Wave Rider.
  • The Rider has a firmer, snappier, a little bit more aggressive, and faster ride than the Ghost.
  • The Ghost is more stable than the Wave Rider.
  • The Ghost is relaxed and less structured.
  • The Wave Rider is more structured and secure.

So, The Enerzy foam has a touch more kind of distinctive rebound, whereas the DNA Loft is a little bit softer and doesn’t bounce back quite as fast. Although they’re very close in feel, the Wave Rider is a bit more energetic underfoot.

Upper, Fit, Widths

Both shoes have breathable seamless engineered mesh uppers. However, the Wave Rider 25 is also available in a Wavknit upper.

brooks-ghost-14-upper

The Ghost 14 has some 3D printing on the collar and the Wave Rider features a brand-new minimal PU print overlay design. Also on the Ghost, we do have a wider platform and kind of a bulbous heel which really stabilizes things.

mizuno-wave-rider-25-upper

The Mizuno has a gusseted tongue whereas the Ghost doesn’t. However, Brooks seems to have dialed in the upper, collar, and laces to provide the lockdown needed.

brooks-ghost-14-lacing-system

So, the gusseted tongue on the Wave Rider and the shoe’s construction locks your foot in very nicely giving you a secure form-fitting feel from the very first run.

mizuno-wave-rider-25-tongue

In terms of fit, the Ghost is a bit more relaxed and a bit more pliable than the somewhat better-held Wave Rider. The Mizuno has a better heel hold and a somewhat snugger toe box but in no way overly snug whereas, again, the Ghost 14 has a more relaxed fit and kind of more unstructured upper.mizuno-wave-rider-25-midsoles

The Wave Rider fits just about perfectly and maybe a touch long whereas the Ghost fits a little loose. That tells me the Ghost will be a very kind of comfortable easy fitting true to size. I think if you don’t have a super wide foot, you’ll be fine at true to size in the Wave Rider as well, which wasn’t always the case with the Waver Rider 24 that had a little bit of heel slippage.

Related: Do Brooks Run Small, Big, or True To Size (Ghost, Adrenaline, Glycerin…)

So, both shoes fit true to size with no slipping or hot spots and feel good right out of the box.

In terms of widths, both come in many widths with the Ghost offering even more width options. What’s new with the Ghost 14 is it comes in a B (narrow), which is great for runners with narrow feet.

To wrap up this section,

  • Both have engineered mesh uppers.
  • The Rider is more structured and has a better heel hold.
  • The Ghost has a wider toe box.
  • The Rider has a gusseted tongue and the Ghost doesn’t.
  • Both are true to size.
  • The Ghost offers more width options.

So, in terms of the upper fit and feel, I think the Mizuno Wave Rider wins here.

Verdict

In terms of recommendations, you really can’t go wrong with either shoe.

I think the Ghost doesn’t really lean towards the faster side of daily trainer. However, if you just need a shoe that’s super comfortable, very well-cushioned, stable at the heel, stable at the forefoot, roomier in the toebox, you go with the Ghost 14.

brooks-ghost-14-heel-counter

If you want really a similar ride but a bit more snap, a little more aggressiveness, a more secure upper, you go with the Wave Rider 25. Compared to the Wave Rider 24, the 25 has less arch pressure, a softer kind of rebound, and a much more comfortable upper.

Again, both the Ghost and Wave Rider are really top contenders if you want a more traditional comfort-oriented daily trainer with a 12-millimeter drop. Quite frankly, they are 12-millimeter drop shoes, the drop really isn’t super noticeable either because Brooks and Mizuno have done a great job with the geometry.

So, which shoe I would pick personally?

We don’t have a clear winner here because you can’t go wrong in either shoe. However, if I were to choose again, I would get the Mizuno Wave Rider 25 over the Brooks Ghost 14.

What’s great about the Wave Rider is:

  • It’s celebrating its 25th anniversary
  • It has been redesigned from the ground up.
  • The all-new full-length Enerzy midsole along with a newly designed parallel-shaped Wave Plate give the most propulsive and smoothest ride yet.

Compared to the Wave Horizon, the Wave Sky, and the Wave Inspire, I find that the Wave Rider 25 to be the softest lightest-feeling Mizuno shoe to date. It’s a very welcome improvement to an already fantastic line of shoes.

The Wave Rider 25 was designed for running and maximizing your performance over different distances while maintaining the same supportive and responsiveness elements that were in the Wave Rider 24.

So, there you have it. This was our Brooks Ghost vs Mizuno Wave Rider. If we’ve missed anything important, please let us know down below in the comments.

Until then, stay safe and happy running 🙂

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