I’m pretty excited today because I’m going to compare the Nike Pegasus vs Brooks Ghost.
I’m excited because I’m going to talk about my favorite area of running shoes, daily trainers. Daily trainers just have a soft spot for the extreme comfort that they give us.
For the sake of this comparison, we are comparing the wildly popular Nike Pegasus 38 against the wildly popular Brooks Ghost 14.
The Pegasus line has been around for 38 years and it is Nike’s workhorse. The Brooks Ghost is the most popular shoe that Brooks makes.
This is how this is going to work. I have been running in both of these shoes for quite a while, I have thought about my feet for the entire runs, I have paid close attention to the good things and the bad things. I have formed my opinions now.
Let’s get into it…
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Nike Pegasus vs Brooks Ghost
Both the Nike Pegasus and the Brooks Ghost are neutral daily trainers and both are available in different widths.
So, if you have an irregular foot shape or a foot shape that just doesn’t fit in with the norm especially if it’s on the narrow side, the Brooks is going to be the way to go for you.
The Brooks Ghost definitely wins this round because it has more options for more people.
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Nike Pegasus in a men’s US size 9 comes in at 10.2 oz or 289 grams while the Ghost checks in at 9.9 oz or 255 grams.
The difference is even more pronounced when we go up in size. I wear a US men’s size 13 or UK men’s size 12. In my size, the Pegasus tips the scale at 12.8 oz or 362 grams, and the Brooks, again, is slightly lighter in my size tipping the scales at 11.9 oz or 337 grams.
When I take both shoes in my hands, there is a clear difference and the Ghost 14 does feel lighter. What’s even more important to know is that the Pegasus has gained some weight over the Pegasus 37 while the Ghost 14 remains the same weight as the Ghost 13.
So, if you’re concerned about the weight of your shoes, if you’re concerned about how much weight you’re carrying when you’re running, the Brooks Ghost wins this round. Good on you Brooks for keeping your men’s size 9 below 10 oz.
Related: Brooks Ghost vs Glycerin – Which One Should You Get?Stack Height
The Pegasus 38 has a stack height of 33mm in the heel and 23mm in the forefoot for a 10-millimeter drop.
The Ghost 14 has a stack height of 36mm in the heel and 24mm in the forefoot for a 12-millimeter drop.
As you can see, these are both some high-drop shoes. While 10mm is pretty normal, 12mm seems very high, but that’s only because we don’t see a lot of 12-millimeter drop shoes.
Even when I ran in these shoes back-to-back like going out for half of my run running in the Pegasus and running the other half in the Brooks Ghost 14, I didn’t notice a difference in the stack height.
So, don’t let those two millimeters put you off if you’re considering the Ghost 14 over the Pegasus 38.
Let’s take a look at the upper…
This is where I first noticed the extreme similarities between these shoes. If you look at the Ghost, you can see the little laser-cut 3D holes running vertical along the toe box whereas, on the Pegasus 38, we can see the laser-cut 3D holes running on the diagonal. That seems to be the only difference.
The similarity continues when you go inside the shoe. Both of these are a dual-layer mesh, and when you put your hand inside, you can feel those two layers. It kind of feels like a neoprene material before we have this engineered mesh on the top.
While some people may complain that the dual-layer mesh keeps their feet hot, and it does, I think what both shoes are going for is resiliency.
So, in the Pegasus and the Ghost, the upper is not going to wear out as quickly as it would if you had a single layer mesh like a lot of the race-day shoes.
Related: Brooks Ghost vs Saucony Ride
The tongues are very similar in the 38th and 14th versions of these shoes. The Pegasus 37 had a very thin almost like a racing tongue, but on the Pegasus 38, and this is probably where Nike put on the extra weight, they have gone for a slightly padded tongue.
However, the tongue on the Pegasus 38 is slightly less padded than the Ghost 14.
Are the tongues gusseted?
The Pegasus 38 does have a gusseted tongue whereas the Ghost 14 does not. Normally, I would say I want a gusseted tongue and I want those gussets to hold the tongue in place when it’s on my foot, but to be honest, I haven’t noticed anything negative from the Ghost 14 not having a gusseted tongue.
But still, if we’re comparing the two, I like a good gusset like the rest of you, I guess.
So, I’m going to give Nike Pegasus the win on this one.
The heel counter on the Nike Pegasus 38 is medium in stiffness. I can still kind of bend it if I press whereas, on the Ghost 14, the heel counter is rock solid. You can almost feel there’s a piece of plastic inside that’s kind of giving the heel counter that rigidity and that support.
When it comes down to it, I want my heel to be locked down especially in a daily trainer when I’m going to be putting so many hours into running in this shoe.
I’m going to give the heel counter round to the Brooks Ghost.
The heel collar is slightly different. The Brooks Ghost is much thicker than the Pegasus 38. It’s rather deceptive because of the weight difference.
We already know that the Ghost is lighter than the Pegasus, but looking at it, you wouldn’t think that’s the case because there is so much padding around the heel collar of the Ghost compared to the Pegasus.
This is a tough one to score. To me, they feel very similar and I didn’t notice that there was less padding on the Pegasus than on the Ghost.
Because I’m often out there sweating a lot, I’m going to give this round to the Pegasus for the heel collar just because less material means less material to soak up sweat. However, there is something just beautifully plush about this Ghost heel collar.
Let’s briefly talk about flexibility…
Doing the bend test, both the Ghost 14 and the Pegasus 38 are very flexible. I don’t know when you would ever have to do that to one of your running shoes, but if you do, know that the Pegasus and the Ghost tie in that ridiculous test of flexibility.
Now let’s talk about the bread and butter of both these shoes…
The midsole is what it all comes down to. We can talk about everything else, but the midsole is what matters the most.
Nike is featuring their full-length React foam which Nike’s had pretty good results with. Then, you’ve also got a forefoot Zoom unit which is a little airbag right in the forefoot of this shoe.
That Zoom unit just gives the shoe a little pop and it makes it seem a little more responsive on the toe-off.
The Ghost has made a change in the 14th iteration. The Ghost 13 had a blend of foams in their midsole. They had the DNA Loft mixed with their BioMogo. Now they’ve changed it and they have gone to a full-length DNA Loft.
Again, I think this is the main difference and this is what it comes down to if you’re going to be choosing between the Ghost or the Pegasus.
The Ghost is a lovely plush ride, and while it does pick up the pace well, it does kind of do everything in between.
I put the Pegasus in the same boat, but I would say that the Pegasus feels a little better when you pick up the pace.
Perhaps that’s down to that forefoot Air Zoom unit and perhaps it’s down to just the foam feeling a little firmer than the DNA Loft v3.
If I’m going to be picking up the pace, I’m probably going to be reaching for the Pegasus. However, if I’m just going out for a fairly easy run or a recovery run, I’m choosing the Ghost 14 over the Pegasus.
So, as far as responsiveness goes, I’m going to give this round to the Nike Pegasus.
Now the outsole…
Again, both shoes have very similar outsole setups. We’ve got full-length rubber on each shoe with little cutouts with the exposed foam just to save weight.
This rubber compound is what makes the Ghost and the Pegasus last for a long time. I’m going to say that you could easily put 600 miles in each of these shoes. That’s a lot of miles.
If you’re a beginner runner and you only want one pair of shoes, both of these shoes are going to fit the bill. You’re going to be comfortable and they’re going to last a long time.
If you’ve been running for a while and you’ve got a little more experience, both of these shoes are excellent additions for the daily trainer category for those bread-and-butter miles that make up the most of your week.
Which One For Me?
If I had to choose one of these shoes, the Pegasus 38 or the Ghost 14, I am going to go with a Ghost 14 and I’ll tell you why.
The Brooks Ghost does what it does and it does it excellent. The Pegasus 38 also does what it does and does it excellent and you can pick up the pace. However, there are other shoes out there that pick up the pace better.
We all know that we all need a quiver of shoes in our running shoe rotation and there’s a shoe for every type of run. If you’re going out for a tempo run, if you’re running intervals, if you’re racing, you can do that in both these shoes, but there are other shoes that do it better.
Comparing these running shoes solely on the basis of what they were designed to do, get out there and log a lot of miles. They’re going to keep you comfortable, safe, and injury-free. Again, I think that Brooks Ghost 14 takes it.
Price is a very important thing to consider because there are a lot of runners that won’t buy shoes because of the cost.
Of course, if super shoes cost just a little less, maybe we’d see more of them on race day although it does seem that every runner out there is wearing super shoes when it comes to race day. But, maybe more of us would wear them for training runs.
As you know, prices change on a regular basis and so I can’t give you today’s price. You can check the prices here:
Both the Nike Pegasus and the Brooks Ghost are a good price and they’re worth every penny. However, the Pegasus is a little cheaper than the Ghost.
I know both of these companies are out there doing their market research and they know what people are willing to pay for certain kinds of shoes. But it just seems a little funny that the Brooks Ghost 14 is a bit more expensive than the Nike Pegasus 38.
That’s it for this Nike Pegasus vs Brooks Ghost side-by-side comparison. I hope you’ve learned something new today.