Brooks Launch vs Ghost: Key Differences [2023 Guide]

Basically, the comparison of Brooks Launch vs Ghost running shoes is the question of speed or comfort. Yes, the differences between the Launch 9 and Ghost 14 are indeed due to their design intent. Here is how it works: Brooks divided their running shoes into three categories depending on the experience type. Those are springy (energized), speed and the cushioned models. Amongst them, the Ghost 14 is a cushioned trainer whereas the Launch 9 is a speed trainer. All the differences between them start here.

Brooks Ghost 14 vs Launch 9: All-Around Daily Trainer vs Short and Speed Workouts
Brooks Launch 9 Score

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Brooks Ghost 14 Score

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Since this is a tradeoff between speed and comfort/cushion, you should ask the right question to pick the correct pair. To ease your decision, we listed the all necessary information of the Ghost vs Launch comparison.

To begin with, the Ghost 14 is highly versatile all-around daily trainer. It is highly cushioned, very comfortable and suitable for slow paced long runs. It is a bit heavy though compared to the Launch 9, but the high cushioning makes it suitable for long distances.

The Launch 9 on the other hand is a speed trainer which means it is best for short and speedwork. It is fairly cushioned and flexible except the forefoot which is firm indeed. When it comes to heel, it softens. It is lighter than the Ghost, and it is one of the best budged speed trainer in the market place. The Launch 9 is lightweight but not as soft and protective as Ghost.

The Ghost 14 is ridiculously flexible yet the Launch 9 is provides firmer and more stable ride, since its midsole is stiffer. However, the Launch 9 does not have the plush feel that Ghost has. If you are seeking a speed trainer, we recommend the Launch 9 for only beginners!

The more experienced runners should look somewhere else, because the Launch is a bit old school speed trainer. However, for the beginning, the Launch 9 is fairly enough with its offerings and low price tag. On the other hand, we recommend the Ghost to anyone who seeks for an all-around daily trainer. It has all the right proportions in it.

Key Points of Launch 9 vs Ghost 14 Comparison

Which of these shoes is the right pair for you? We have put together the following table for Brooks Launch vs Ghost comparison to help you understand their design intention better:

Review of #Ghost 14Launch 9
Our Score92/10088/100
Our Selection forBest for Average RunnerBest Budged Speed Trainer
HighlightsExtremely Flexible
Very Comfortable
Soft & Protective
Slow Paced Long Distance
Firm Forefoot
Moderate Comfort
For Speed Runs
FeelBalanced Cushioning (2/3)Speed 1/3
FlexibilityFlexible (4/5)Flexible (4/5)
Drop-mm (M/W)1210
Weight-gr (M/W)280/255232/201
Width OptionsNarrow/Normal/Wide/XWideNormal/Wide
Camparest Expert ReviewIn-depth ReviewIn-depth Review
Deals & DiscountsRates Men’s / Women’sRates Men’s / Women’s

For choosing an activity-specific (running experience type) running shoe, check out our Best Brooks Running Shoes guide.

Pros & Cons

In here, we have listed the Pros & Cons for Brooks Launch vs Ghost comparison to draw a clear picture for you.

Launch 9 Pros & Cons

What we liked the most
Surprisingly flexible (except the forefoot)
Best budged speed trainer – Great Value
Light weight
Well-fitting upper, hugs the feet
Highly breathable upper
No heel slipping
What we don’t like
A bit narrow and fitting of tongue is not the best
Lacks spring
Not for slick surfaces

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Ghost 14 Pros & Cons

What we liked the most
Exceptionally comfortable
Nice fitting of upper material
Good balance of responsiveness and cushioning
Breathable upper
Good grip on dry and wet surfaces
Smooth transitions of heel to toe
Wide toe box – roomy for natural toe splay
What we don’t like
Some improvements on Stability and Support, yet still less than others
Lacks responsiveness
Too flexible
Non-gusseted tongue
Heavier than the average weight of the running shoes we tested

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You can check out the following links on Amazon to see the latest rates and available color options for Brooks Launch and Ghost running shoes: Don’t worry, if you purchase through these links, it will not cost you any extra!

Launch 9

Best Speed Trainer
Brooks Launch 9 Score

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Ghost 14

Best for Slow Paced Long Distance
Brooks Ghost 14 Score

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Sole unit: Ghost 14 vs Launch 9

The prior generation of the Ghost was including BioMoGo Foam in the midsole. It has been removed in the new generation. the Brooks focused on the comfort more than the responsiveness in the new Ghost line. 

The midsole of the Ghost 14 is medium-soft and best suited to medium or long-distance runs. But it is so versatile that it can handle shorter tempo runs as well.

The Launch 9 has BioMoGo foam in the midsole which is a firmer. Therefore, it requires a break-in period. Also, because of this, it is more rigid compared to the Ghost. The forefoot of Launch is so rigid that there is no responsiveness but a tad bit of responsiveness in the heel due to exposed foam under the heel.

Stability is fairly enough for both shoes. Indeed, the Launch, is a bit more stable due to stiffer underfoot. Moreover, there is a GTS version (Go-to-support) of the Launch, which provides more stable and supportive ride.

The outsoles of both shoes are made of soft blown-rubber which has great traction. The Ghost has good traction on both dry and wet surfaces. Yet, the Launch is a bit slick on the wet surfaces.

Upper unit: Ghost 14 vs Launch 9

Both of them are made of Engineered Air Mesh, which is incredibly flexible and breathable upper. It does feel soft and plush. So there is no difference between them considering the upper mesh performance.

However, we think that the Launch has less padding in the ankle and the tongue due to performance considerations. About the tongue, it is thin and it tends to slip off to the lateral side. But it is not a deal breaker at all.

Short Review Launch 9

Not for an experienced runner, but for a beginner the Launch 9 is the best bang for the buck with its offerings. This speed trainer is highly durable and fairly cushioned and lightweight. The forefoot is rigid to speed up; the rest of the shoe including the upper is surprisingly flexible.

Here is a useful video of Brooks Running that highlights the key points on the Launch series:

Related Article: Brooks Launch 9 Review

Short Review Ghost 14

The Brooks Ghost 14 is all about comfort! This highly versatile shoe has well-padded upper material, snug fit, and great breathability. The Ghost 14 is a neutral running shoe which pleases everyone who experiences it. Since it has all the right proportions, yes, the Brooks Ghost 14 is good for everyday running.

The Ghost 14 has DNA Loft foam which provides well cushioning and comfort level. We liked the smooth transition; the DNA Loft extends from heel to the forefoot. The outsole has a smoot transition as well; it has a hard wearing rubber in the heel, whereas the forefoot is soft blown rubber.

Its traction did not disappoint us. The full-coverage thread provides good traction on both wet and dry surfaces.

The Ghost 14 is so flexible that you may find it boring. The flexibility has been established by the grooves of the Brooks Ghost 14 which allows for natural bend of foot. If your usual preference is a stiff shoe, the flexibility of Brooks Ghost 14 may not please you.

The new Ghost 14 lags behind considering the responsiveness. It is fully cushioned; a maximalist model with a great comfort, but definitely it is not designed for speed. But, it is an unrivalled running shoe for small paced running.

Here is a useful video of Brooks Running that shows the key points of the Ghost series:

Related Article: Brooks Ghost 14 Review

Bottom-line for Brooks Launch vs Ghost

So, what is the takeaway of Brooks Launch vs Ghost comparison? Which one do we recommend, Launch 9 or Ghost 14? As we mentioned before, it is totally based on your purpose of use. It depends on whether you are planning a speed workout for short distance, or long distance slow paced but highly comfortable ride.

Once again, the Ghost 14 is luxurious, plush, and protective all around daily trainer. It is versatile and even can handle shorter tempo runs.  We prefer Ghost 14 for the recovery runs as well as the long distance slow paced trainings.

On the other hand, the Launch 9 is very noticeable for speedwork. It is lightweight as well and best bang for the buck for a speed trainer.

You can checkout our ”Best Running Shoes for Men & Women” to get a bigger picture of the greatest pairs in the market place.