Verdict: While it is an affordable carbon-plated shoe, the Brooks Hyperion Elite is not for those who only run occasionally. While the Hyperion Elite has some cushioning, it is not for those who want a soft feeling run when they hit the pavement or track.
This is my first carbon-plated shoe and I really like the Hyperion Elite. Even though it has a short life span, that just means that I will be selective of which races or work-outs I use them for.
The Brooks Hyperion Elite is built for speed. It’s molded around Brooks’ first carbon fiber plate in an effort to compete with the other running shoe brands. That being said, the Brooks Hyperion Elite is for those who haven’t owned a carbon plated shoe before and want a good competitive racing shoe at a decent price.
Since I usually run in On running shoes, I can easily say that the Brooks Hyperion Elite is akin to running or walking in the On Cloud shoes, and not as cushioned as the Cloudstratus or Cloudflyer shoes.
Who should buy it
The Brooks Hyperion Elite is recommended for experienced runners who are looking for a carbon-plated race shoe that offers a firm ride.
Who should NOT buy it
Look away if you:
want some stability (the Brooks Asteria is a race-day shoe for mild overpronators)
need a responsive shoe for long-distance runs (the Brooks Ghost 12 is praised for its responsiveness)
are looking for a shoe that is durable (in this case, the Launch 8 is worth checking out)
It is true to size
The Brooks Hyperion Elite runs true to size. I had no issues putting on, wearing, or taking off the shoes; however, I did notice a tight feeling around my ankle at the heel collar during the first few runs. My toes had room to flex, but still not move all over the place.
I greatly appreciate the fit
The upper of the Hyperion Elite stayed in place along the sides of my feet but did not hug them or constrict movement. The back of the upper has a layer of cushioning foam under the heel collar and that creates a snug fit on the heel and ankle area, which is something I greatly appreciate.
Not for half and full marathons
I took them on 5k runs, but no races, due to COVID wreaking havoc on the race schedule. They also did a couple of speed workouts with me. Brooks advertises the Hyperion Elite for half-marathons and marathons, but if you are like me and do not want to do those distances, a good 5k or 10k is an excellent choice for wearing these performance shoes.
Running in the Hyperion Elite was a cushioned yet firm ride
I could feel spring to my step during the first half mile from the carbon plate. It is a stronger spring than what I have experienced with my variety of On running shoes to include the Cloudultra and the Cloudflow. Amazingly, I did not need to adjust my usual running stance with these shoes, even with the stiffer carbon plate.
Maybe it’s because I know there is a carbon plate there, maybe it is actual engineering, but I did feel faster when running in the Hyperion Elite.
The Hyperion Elite is very breathable
The upper and this includes the tongue is also one of the breathable uppers I have seen and experienced firsthand in quite a while. I did not feel any heat build-up when used in the heat and humidity of a southern United States summer.
The Hyperion Elite has superb comfort
The midsole offers quite a bit of cushioning without reducing responsiveness. This means that I can still feel the road while running but also allows me to reduce stress to my knees and shins with my heel striking, something I have been working on transitioning away from for a while now since I want to get into a full-time midfoot striking form.
Made to last 50 to 100 miles
Even though the Hyperion Elite is very lightweight, that does not mean that the designers and engineers took shortcuts or used flimsy materials. On the contrary, the upper, as thin as it is, is strong, durable, and resilient.
The upper is flexible, but will not easily tear. The midsole holds up and the outsole with the rubber addition works as a powerhouse and stays together.
Brooks stated that these shoes are made to last 50 to 100 miles, but if I feel that if you save them for your most important races or use them for speed work-outs, they will last past that.
Reliable traction for dry surfaces
The outsole is reinforced with rubber and that greatly aids with gripping the road. I took these shoes on paved roads, concrete sidewalks, curated trails, and wooden bridges. While I only ran on dry surfaces, I do question how well the shoes would perform on wet surfaces when there is no rubber, since Brooks did not design and implement grooves, treads, or water channels for the non-rubberized parts of the shoe.
Interesting, stretchy laces
The Hyperion Elite does not have any special tying techniques such as heel locks to keep the shoes in place; the Brooks engineers did an outstanding job spacing out the lacing holes and selecting the right length for the shoelaces.
The shoelaces themselves are very interesting since they stretch and when they are in their natural resting state, you can see evenly spaced “jaggies” on the laces that disappear as you stretch the laces to tie your shoes.
I've been running consistently for over 25 years since I first joined the Army. The military gave me a renewed appreciation for running and I have taken to heart lessons I learned about running to include form and care for my legs. While I may have retired from the Army last year, I am still active out in my local community with running, be it 5k and 10k up to the half marathon distance.