For years I've been reserving my oldest, crappiest running shoes for foul-weather runs. Even so, nobody wants to run with cold, sopping wet feet. I wanted a pair of waterproof shoes to be used in rainy, slushy, or snowy weather conditions. I had heard of Gore-Tex shoes, which are designed for this very purpose. So I went shopping.
ENTER: the Brooks Ghost GTX
I took these shoes out for an inaugural 5-miler last Saturday. It was snowing that day, there were a number of sidewalks/streets that hadn't been shoveled/plowed, and there was plenty of disgusting brown slush all around, e.g.:
In short, it was the PERFECT day to test these shoes out.
The verdict? The waterproof feature is amazing. I ran through puddles of wet slush and ankle-deep snow with reckless abandon, and my feet stayed dry the whole time. It was great!
Notice, though, that I said my feet stayed DRY. Not warm. When pools of slush water ran over my feet, I could still feel the coldness of the water. The first few times it happened, I thought for sure that the shoes were leaking. In actuality, it was really just the coldness which I initially took for wetness. But a few moments later, all would be good again.
My other observation is that while my feet did stay dry inside the shoes, my ankles still got a little wet just above the shoe collar. This happened when I ran in snow that was deeper than the height of the shoe collar. Therefore, I think for true waterproofedness, you would want to wear a pair of gaiters with these shoes, something along these lines:
On that note, I did take a quick look at the prices of running shoe gaiters. The ones I saw started at about $25 and went up from there. I don't think I would get enough use out of them to justify the cost, so I am probably not going to invest in a pair. Instead, I would probably just try to wear compression socks or other socks that offer good ankle/shin coverage, plus running tights that cover my ankles well.
Getting back to the shoes, this time beyond the waterproof feature. My workhorse running shoe is the Asics Gel Cumulus, but I enjoy experimenting with different shoe brands or types. The Brooks Ghost is supposed to be a comparable shoe to the Asics Gel Cumulus. This is why I chose the Gore-Tex version of the Ghost. Might as well try out a new shoe while also getting something waterproof to my shoe arsenal, right?
As much as I love the Gore-Tex's ability to withstand moisture, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with the Ghost shoes themselves. They feel like they have such a thick sole, but at the same time they are not supportive enough for me. Quite frankly, I was surprised that the Ghosts are considered comparable to the Gel Cumulus. To me, the two feel very different.
This is actually the second time that I've been less than thrilled with Brooks shoes. I previously tried the Brooks Glycerin, and also felt that it wasn't supportive enough for me. Coincidence? Not sure.
I wanted to like the Ghosts. I really did. And I have so many runner friends who absolutely RAVE over Brooks shoes in general. But sadly I don't understand the hype. To each their own, though, right? We all find what works best for each of ourselves individually.
Though I don't intend to wear the Brooks Ghost GTX shoes for my everyday runs, I will definitely still make very good use of them. There will be plenty of days when I want to go for a run in nasty wet weather - and on those days these shoes will serve exactly their purpose. Can't argue with that!
|Bring it on!!!|