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The Exclusive Brooks x Fleet Feet Turkey Trot Shoe is Perfect for Your Thanksgiving Race

The Brooks Ghost 12 Gobbler on a serving platter

For runners all across the country, Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without first logging miles at a local turkey trot.

Whether you’re in it to win it or you're running to burn extra calories before the big feast, the Thanksgiving morning race is a right of passage in the running world. More than one million people participated in more than 1,000 turkey trot races around the country in 2017, according to Vox. The races range in length from local one mile fun runs to massive 8K events, like the YMCA Turkey Trot in Buffalo, New York.

This year, in collaboration with Fleet Feet, Brooks delivers a special shoe for your turkey trot, too.

“We wanted to give life to one of the biggest running days in the country,” says Fleet Feet Production Designer Caleb Wilkie.

The Brooks Ghost 12 Gobbler edition is the Thanksgiving-themed running shoe to complete your race-day kit. Painted to mimic fall colors, the Gobbler delivers holiday spirit in a proven package.

The Thanksgiving Edition Brooks Ghost 12

A runner holds a pair of the Brooks Ghost 12 Gobbler
Two runners wearing the Thanksgiving-themed Brooks Ghost 12 Gobbler while sitting on stairs

From the St. Patrick’s Day-themed Shamrock Launch 6 to the Ugly Sweater Levitate 2, Brooks does holidays right. And the Gobbler is no exception.

The idea for the Gobbler began in the summer of 2018 when Brooks Sales Manager Dave Patterson asked Fleet Feet's Marketing Director for new shoe ideas. Patterson, who works with Fleet Feet, and Fleet Feet Senior Director of Marketing Ellen Donahue realized there was a turkey-shaped hole around one of the largest single running days of the year.

Patterson pitched the turkey trot shoe idea to Brooks, and they gave the greenlight to start development. But it couldn’t just look good—it had to feel good, too.

“What we want to do is make sure the shoe is runnable,” says Nick Hemmer, senior merchandising manager for Brooks North America. “It’s the same tried-and-true Ghost 12 that runners have come to expect.”

Hemmer helped bring the Gobbler to life after Fleet Feet designers approached the Brooks team in the summer of 2018 with an idea for a turkey trot shoe.

With inspiration from the colors and shapes of fall foliage and the University of Oregon’s duck mascot, Wilkie developed the original turkey logo that now feathers the Gobbler’s upper.

“We focused on the geometric patterns of designers Ikko Tanaka and Paul Rand,” says Fleet Feet Art Director Tremayne Cryer. “And Caleb was influenced by the University of Oregon’s combination of powerful colors and bold design when he developed the original turkey trot assets that led to the shoe.”

A person holds a dinner platter with a pair of the Brook Ghost 12 Gobbler on top

Hemmer took the patterns, colors and tone that Fleet Feet presented, and he and the Brooks team turned it into a real-life shoe.

The finished Gobbler features a sublimated turkey-feather pattern on the upper, a reflective turkey logo on the heel and another feathered pattern on the sockliner. The red and orange upper give the shoe a fall feel, but designers wanted to make it work beyond Thanksgiving, too.

“The objective was to create a set of colors that invoke the changing of the leaves and the oranges you usually see around Thanksgiving time,” Wilkie says. “The red and the navy were two additional accent colors that helped keep this shoe from becoming a purely fall and Thanksgiving piece.”

Hemmer says the shoe represents a unique level of coordination between Brooks and a retail brand. But, he says, the collaboration with an outside team makes the shoe one of a kind.

“In the time that I’ve been (at Brooks), this is definitely a unique experience and collaboration,” Hemmer says. “Partnering with a key retailer is always an exciting venture.”

Brooks Ghost 12 Review

A runner holds a platter to serve up the Brooks Ghost 12 Gobbler running shoe

When you lace up The Gobbler, you'll quickly realize it's meant to run.

The Gobbler is built on the iconic Brooks Ghost 12, which means it's cushioned and comfortable for as many miles as you can handle.

Brooks made minor tweaks to the Ghost when they updated it from the previous edition, but none of the changes affected the shoe's easy ride and accommodating fit. An engineered mesh upper wraps your foot in stretchy comfort, and the soft DNA Loft foam lends an easy landing and smooth transition to your stride.

Fleet Feet testers have long been fans of the Brooks Ghost, and The Gobbler is no exception. Read the full Brooks Ghost 12 shoe review here.


Still not convinced? Don’t sweat it. Fleet Feet's return policy means you can test drive your shoes and gear without risk. If you’re not happy with the way your gear performs, looks or fits, we’ll take it back within 60 days. Plus, you’ll get free return shipping on all fleetfeet.com orders. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.

By Evan Matsumoto. Evan played many sports growing up but didn’t go pro in any of them. Now, he’s the digital copywriter for fleetfeet.com and editor for the Fleet Feet blog where he writes about different foam densities and engineered mesh uppers.

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