Um, how about for the company not to change it? Last summer, I ordered my regular pair of Pegs in a size 8, the same size I've been wearing since 2002, and they didn't fit me. Weird. I did a lace lock to prevent my foot from sliding around so much, but predictably, ended up with extensor tendinitis a week later. I also noticed the ride felt like it changed slightly, and less than two weeks and 150 miles after picking up the new Pegasus, I strained my hip flexor (I had never had a hip flexor problem before).
Back at the National Running Center, my friend Rob told me that yes, the Pegasus has changed, but that most people loved it. Well, that didn't bode well for me, since that gives Nike even less of a reason to change it. After trying on nearly every shoe in the store (including a different size Pegasus), I had it narrowed down to two shoes: the Brooks Ghost 3 and Saucony ProGrid Ride 3 (the only two that fit me). I really love Brooks' T Racer, so I went with the Ghost.
As I understand it, the Ghost 3 is a completely different shoe than the Ghost 2. While the Ghost 2 (and the original Ghost) were performance trainers, the Ghost 3 is more of a high mileage neutral trainer, leaving the Launch as Brooks' sole performance trainer and joining the Defyance and Glycerin as choices for runners with neutral biomechanics seeking workhorse shoes.
The first thing I noticed about the Ghost is that the thing is soft. The Ghost uses Hydroflow for cushioning, a technology Brooks describes as "dynamic viscous fluid units for heel and forefoot [that] enhance midsole cushioning." The Pegasus starts out soft too, but firms up considerably after 50 miles or so, and then stays that way until you run it into the ground (which for me, was often 800 or more miles later). The Ghost stayed pillowy for a good 150 miles before firming up. However, after firming up, the Ghost's ride becomes more responsive and really, really nice.
|DRB Accel for stability and Hydroflow window in heel for cushion. Sorry, didn't clean my shoes for you.|
The Ghost also has a nice fit and feel to it. The upper is comfortable without being too narrow (this shoe cleared up my extensor tendinitis in a week), and the traditional mesh is welcome at a time when everyone seems to be putting weird materials in their uppers, from Nike Flywire to whatever is on the Saucony Kinvara. The Ghost is built on Brooks' universal platform, which means that the last is slightly curved, but not as much as a shoe like the T Racer. Like many trainers, it is built on a strobel last. Additionally, the Ghost is supposedly made for people with high arches, but I don't have high arches and it fits me fine.
If I have one complaint about the Ghost, it's its durability. As I stated earlier, I usually put huge miles on my shoes. It's not out of the ordinary for me to put four digit numbers of a pair of trainers before retiring them (that's in miles, not kilometers). However, the forefoot of the Ghost began to break down after only around 300 miles. Forefoot breakdown? Really? I'm not even a true forefoot striker...I graze the ground lightly with my heel first, though I'm non-weight-bearing with that leg until my entire foot is on the ground. While 300 miles is a pretty normal lifespan for running shoes, consider this: 115lb girl who heel strikes and usually gets 800+ miles on a pair of trainers starts to get forefoot breakdown in 300 miles. What is a 180lb midfoot striker going to do? Now, the shoe isn't actually dead yet, but pressing a finger into the outsole's midfoot will reveal that there's already a significant amount of give. Hopefully Brooks will address this for the Ghost 4.
The Ghost 3 comes in at 11.1oz for a men's size 9 and 9.2oz for a women's size 8. It has a heel height of 24mm and forefoot height of 12mm for a 12mm heel-toe differential. It seems to run true to size (I wear an 8 in the Ghost, the same size as I wore in the Pegasus, and 1.5 sizes larger than I wear in the T6, which is the normal men's to women's conversion). The Ghost retails for $100 and can be found on Brooks' website and at many running stores, including the National Running Center.
Full disclosure: I got this shoe from the National Running Center at cost. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and based on my own experience, and they do not reflect the opinions of NRC or Brooks.