Let’s be real, Brooks first attempt at their carbon plated speed shoe the Hyperion Elite, kind of fell on its face. So much so that at the Olympic trials, their racers were wearing something different. What they actually had on their feet is more like what we now see as the Hyperion Elite 2. The first edition wasn’t really all that bad, but given the target and what they were attempting it was just too firm. It also couldn’t compete with the other shoes that offered that blend of cushion and speed, like the Alpafly, so they rethought that midsole and now we have the all improved Brooks Hyperion Elite 2.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Fully redesigned the midsole from the original using their DNA FLASH technology mixed with a carbon plate.
- Made little to no changes to the upper, even the aesthetics remain the same.
- Weighs in at 7.4oz or 210g for a US Men’s 9 (gains 1oz from original).
- Features 37mm of cushion and has an 8mm heel/toe drop (gets 2mm more cushion).
- Retails at $250.00 USD and comes in 1 color for Men and Women.
Running in the original Hyperion Elite wasn’t a bad experience by any means, the midsole was frankly just too firm. You could even feel it if you were to push into the sidewalls. Sure it made you go fast, but your legs would need to do a lot of work to carry it through a full marathon and even a half marathon for some. The upper was soft and breathable with an almost skin-like quality so we were excited to see they kept it.
Lately, Brooks has had a couple of huge successes with their uppers and in particular, we can point to the Hyperion Tempo and the Ghost 13. The initial out of the box experience is fantastic so you can lean in and run right away in the shoes without any break-in time. In fact, our love for the Hyperion Tempo was so high that we were begging Brooks to just add a plate to those. The Hyperion Elite 2 is exactly that shoe. Out of the box, they are good to go out on the road right away with no problems. The other bonus is that the width of the forefoot on the Elite 2 is larger than even the Tempo which gives the shoe a little width which is nice.
Performance-wise they feel a lot like a Vaporfly or Alpafly, lots of cushion, and then a ton of bounce or rebound. The difference here is the Elite 2 has a bit more room in the upper which is welcome because your foot has a bit of wiggle room, especially the toes. This is going to be really welcoming for some who just feel the Nike offerings are too narrow. They can really deliver on the times as well, almost instant performance improvements for even the newest runners.
A note on all these shoes as the question comes up a lot. First, these are made for the road and really that only. A cement or asphalt track will work as well, but an alternate material track or even a trail will actually be counter-productive in many ways. These shoes rely on the firmness of the road to function properly and straightaways as well. So plan accordingly and don’t expect too much as they may not deliver.
The upper, just as before, uses a single layer of stretch woven mesh and is ultra-light. The tongue is also un-padded and the only elements of a structure at all come in that thing ring of padding around the collar. The lacing column is reinforced but seamless and the laces themselves have these tiny barbs which are supposed to prevent the fit from backing off during your run and should untie less.
The midsole is really really where the magic happens. They got rid of DNA Zero in favor of DNA Flash which they put on the Hyperion Tempo (and the Catamount) which was just a massive success. This nitrogen-infused EVA seems to have better responsiveness to cushion ratio and when mixed with the carbon plate, just performs better. DNA Flash is really, in our opinion, the best cushion material Brooks is putting out right now across the entire line. They have also broadened the midsole just a bit and also added 2mm of additional cushion so you get broader ground contact and more plushness in one. Lastly, they re-sculpted the heel with a design they call Rapid Roll and the idea is to help you go from heel to toe faster, moving through the gait cycle quicker, thus encouraging more speed.
The outsole uses strategically placed rubber pieces on the forefoot and then a few small pieces on the heel as well. The amount of rubber has been reduced from the original, but the traction is still there so no complaints here.
Style & Aesthetics
Not much to say here, they look almost exactly the same as the original and still come in only one colorway. Good for a launch shoe, but definitely need to get some more colors going here. The silver patterns on the upper shine when the light hits it properly which is a nice effect especially as a speed shoe.
The Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 is really the shoe Brooks should have released on day one, but kudos to them for learning from their mistake and producing an infinitely better shoe. What they have now is something that can truly stand side by side next to the other big players in the game and really put down some solid numbers while also keeping the legs cushioned throughout. The original version was also meant for race day only and was designed to almost be disposable after 50-100 miles, the Elite 2 is designed for 200 to 400 miles of use before moving on. If you were looking for an alternative to the Alphafly and want to see what another solid performance shoe looks like, then definitely have a look at these.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we have gathered together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.