Saucony Zealot ISO vs. Brooks Ghost 8 review

Saucony Zealot ISO provides a smooth ride with a very cushy forefoot to neutral runners. Brooks Ghost 8 provides a comfortable and smooth ride with a touch of stability...

NEW! Saucony Zealot ISO 2 vs. Brooks Ghost 9

The Saucony Zealot ISO and the Brooks Ghost 8 are both neutral cushioning running shoes that are geared toward runners who do not need any kind of stability and support.

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The uppers of the Saucony Zealot ISO and the Brooks Ghost 8 differ quite a bit. This is due to the broad ISOFIT overlays that wrap the midfoot in the Saucony Zealot ISO.

The Brooks Ghost 8 just has a couple of no-sew overlays wrapping the midfoot. These overlays deliver somewhat less support than the broad overlays in the Saucony Zealot ISO.

In addition, the ISOFIT overlays are connected to the back of the shoe, where the Saucony Zealot ISO has a Support Frame to provide additional support behind the heel.

While the Brooks Ghost 8 has stitched-on overlays at the back, they don't cup the heel and cover it as well as the Support Frame in the Saucony Zealot ISO.

The Brooks Ghost 8 provides structure and lightweight support through its mesh and keeps its forefoot pretty open and free compared to the Saucony Zealot ISO.

So in this respect, the Brooks Ghost 8 might feel more comfortable than the Saucony Zealot ISO in the front part of the shoe. However, the Saucony Zealot ISO is the one that provides a more secure fit around the midfoot.

Both the Brooks Ghost 8 and the Saucony Zealot ISO provide heel-to-toe cushioning through their midsoles.

They are similar in that they both provide a good amount of ground contact under the arch and have a crash pad under the heel.

However, the crash pad of the Brooks Ghost 8 runs from the back of the heel around the lateral side all the way to the front, whereas the crash pad of the Saucony Zealot ISO runs till the midfoot.

This allows the Brooks Ghost 8 to provide smoother heel-to-toe transitions than the Saucony Zealot ISO.

Another difference between the midsoles is the fact that the Brooks Ghost 8 has a larger heel-to-toe drop than the Saucony Zealot ISO with the Saucony Zealot ISO bringing you closer to a neutral plane.

The midsole of Brooks Ghost 8 has a thicker heel but a thinner forefoot than the Saucony Zealot ISO, and may therefore be more likely to feel like a performance running shoe than the Saucony Zealot ISO.

This difference in midsole thickness impacts the cushiness of the running shoes. Running shoe lab tests show that the Saucony Zealot ISO has a very cushy forefoot for both men and women.

The amount of forefoot cushioning in the Brooks Ghost 8 is above average but not as much as that in the Saucony Zealot ISO.

On the other hand, the Brooks Ghost 8 has a more cushy heel than the Saucony Zealot ISO for both men and women but the difference between the two running shoes is bigger for women than it is for men.

The Saucony Zealot ISO has above average heel cushioning but is not as cushy as the Brooks Ghost 8. So heel-strikers would be better off running in the Brooks Ghost 8 rather than in the Saucony Zealot ISO.

The amount of forefoot cushioning can affect the flexibility of a running shoe and because the Saucony Zealot ISO has a lot of it, it may turn out to be a stiff running shoe.

This is confirmed by running shoe lab tests, which show that the Saucony Zealot ISO is stiff for both men and women. However, the Brooks Ghost 8 is also on the stiff side even if it is just a tiny bit more flexible than the Saucony Zealot ISO.

Stiffness may also be caused by the way an outsole is laid out. While the Saucony Zealot ISO has a lot of flex grooves in its outsole, they do not run as effectively to benefit flexibility. The good amount of separation and full ground contact should help smoothen your ride, though.

The Brooks Ghost 8 displays a larger degree of separation in its outsole than the Saucony Zealot ISO and the flex grooves run more effectively, which is perhaps why it turns out to be a little bit more flexible than the Saucony Zealot ISO.

The women's version of the Saucony Zealot ISO weighs approximately 7.2 oz (204 grams), while the Brooks Ghost 8 for women weighs approximately 8.5 oz (241 grams).

The men's version of the Saucony Zealot ISO weighs about 8.5 oz (241 grams), and the Brooks Ghost 8 for men weighs about 10.9 oz (309 grams).

If you are looking for a relatively lightweight running shoe that provides a secure fit, has a cushy forefoot, and brings you closer to a neutral plane, you may want to look into the Saucony Zealot ISO.

And if you are looking for a running shoe that provides a well-balanced amount of cushioning, a smooth ride, and a touch a stability, then the Brooks Ghost 8 might be the one for you.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

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This review falls under: Brooks | Saucony

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