Brooks Hyperion Elite Review
We have been long waiting for the Brooks answer to the craziness surrounding Nike’s Vaporfly and Alphalfy Carbon plate technology, so we were excited, to say the least when the Hyperion Elite showed up. We have seen blacked-out versions of their shoes on many of their athletes including Des Linden, but at TRE back in 2019 we got our first really look at them. When it was time to actually put the rubber to the road and test them out we went in with high hopes, but don’t get too excited… yet.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Brooks answer to the carbon plated speed craze
- Only designed to last 50 to 100 miles so these are only race day shoes
- Weigh in at 6.9oz or 196g for a US Men’s 9 with an 8mm heel/toe drop
- Retails at $250.00 USD and only comes in a single color
- Almost impossible to find and the Elite 2 is scheduled for September
Run and Feel Commentary
Our excitement around the Hyperion Elite was palpable after The Running Event back in December. We realized Brooks might actually have an answer to the carbon plate craziness we are surrounded with, but when the trials came around we were a little shocked to see the shoe on the feet of those Brooks’s runners looked a bit different. Specifically, the midsole is fully redesigned from what we have here and what we are testing. Next up, the Elite is only slated for 50 to 100 miles, so our expectation for this was a bit limited.
The upper on the Elite is soft and breathable but lacks any sort of real stretch. It fits loosely in the toe box but tightens up through the mid-foot to hold you snugly. One wouldn’t describe it as comfortable, but just like Nike and Skechers speed shoes, it feels like a second skin. The inner heel has the same padding near the Achilles, it gives you just enough structure to hold you fairly well.
As we move further down the shoe and really get into the run experience, things get problematic. No question the shoe has real speed potential and you can dial it up. The carbon plate does what it is supposed to do, but it comes with a huge caveat. That midsole lacks cushion and this is EXACTLY what we were noticing during the trials. The newer version of the Elite boasts a taller stack height and a new midsole material, more like the material used in the Tempo. It is just too firm in the run and hammers your legs and for these types of shoes to be successful, manufacturers need to be better balance cushion and responsiveness. The midsole frankly just isn’t great.
We would pass on these and given Brooks already announced the Elite 2 for a September release, our guess is they fully agree. The Brooks Hyperion Tempo, however, is another story and we would use those every day of the week if possible, just a bummer that tech didn’t find its way into the first version of the Elite.
The upper is well designed and feels like a new fabric we haven’t seen before. Silky smooth to the touch yet weirdly resilient and with minimal stretch. The whole thing is designed to be super breathable and it pays off. It features a minimal amount of internal collar padding for a bit of comfort and support, but we emphasize minimal. The laces are stretchy but are barbed to prevent them from backing off.
The midsole is what we were the most jazzed about as this is where all the innovation is really happening. The Hyperion Elite makes use of their new DNA ZERO technology mixed with their carbon plate much like what all other manufacturers are doing. Brooks, however, has built the carbon into a spine given you a full experience heel to toe whereas others have only focused on the mid and forefoot. The challenge we find here though is that it is very very firm, there simply is no bounce or sustained rebound which is really what we were hoping for here.
The outsole has a thin layer of rubber for traction and control placed at the forefoot and heel, but nothing to write home about here. It does its job and given its thickness adds very little weight.
Style & Aesthetics
The Hyperion Elite has a nice speedy profile, but the color choice will definitely be in the eye of the beholder. We do wish that yellow had a bit more pop, even a bit more neon kind of like what Nike does with their green volt colorway. It will be really interesting to see what shows up in the Elite 2 and we also hope they keep that all-black version and make it available as well.
The Brooks Hyperion Elite is their carbon plated performance designed answer to what everyone else is doing and for us, it was a bit of a miss. Brooks also seemed to agree with this and to that end, the Elite 2 should be a whole lot better. It releases publicly in September, but we will start seeing shoes as early as May. Your money is honestly better spent on the new Brooks Hyperion Tempo and you will see a lot of the same gains from that model as you would have hoped for here.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.