Brooke Ghost 5
The ghost is spooky good. For the third straight Fall Guide, it has garnered our top honor. We like that little has changed from the fourth version of this shoe. The Ghost remains fairly lightweight with a soft heel and relatively firm forefoot, which gives wearers a fast feel.
"I didn't have that 'squishy' feeling I sometimes experience with cushioned shoes," says Chris Garges, 37, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, who has a 2:47 marathon PR.
To adapt to more footstrike patterns, the segmented heel has been extended forward along the outer edge of the foot. It also helps smooth the heel-to-toe transition.
- A versatile shoe that can handle whatever workouts you throw at it.
- Height: 34.7 mm (heel); 23.8 mm (forefoot)
- Weight: 11.3 oz (M); 9.3 oz (W)
- Forefoot remains flexible, thanks to grooves in the midsole.
- Segmented crash pad ensures a smooth landing.
- Stretchy eyelets help give a better midfoot fit.
Nike Pegasus+ 29
$100The Pegasus remains a go-to choice for a marshmallowy-soft ride. A breathable mesh upper provides structure to hold the foot in place with few overlays. Underneath the foot, Nike removed the independent crash pad at the heel, opting instead for cutouts in the sidewall that compress upon heel-strike to slow excessive inward roll of the foot. Wear-testers say the high heel tab can irritate the Achilles.
- A sound choice for recovery runs and long miles.
- Height: 38.7 mm (heel); 25.5 mm (forefoot)
- Weight: 9.9 oz (M); 8.4 oz (W)
Ascis Gel-Blur 33 2.0
$100The Blur looks like a minimal model, but offers cushioning and a heel-to-toe drop consistent with traditional shoes. RW Shoe Lab tests found the forefoot to be firm and stiff, which was confirmed by wear-testers who say they'd prefer a softer ride. The flat sole keeps the foot in contact with the ground to provide some stability.
- Best suited for quick runners with normal to high arches.
- Height: 32.5 mm (heel); 21.9 mm (forefoot)
- Weight: 10.5 oz (M); 8.6 oz (W)
- The heel-to-toe drop was lowered from 13.8 mm to 9.6 mm.