Our verdict

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it seems to be the ethos behind Brooks’ update to the Hyperion Tempo, which was simplistically redubbed as the Hyperion. Apart from the name, we discovered that not much has really changed as the shoe keeps all the features that made its predecessor a simple yet exceptional tempo trainer, with only some minor (sometimes barely noticeable) tweaks here and there. We love how this speedy shoe isn’t dependent on newfangled technology in order to pick up the pace. It also delivers a traditional ride that feels fast, responsive, and comfortable underfoot.

Pros

  • Great for uptempo runs
  • Fast and responsive ride
  • Well cushioned for impact
  • Flexible and forgiving underfoot
  • Lightweight
  • Stable cornering
  • Grippy outsole
  • Accommodating toebox
  • Secure lockdown
  • Great value

Cons

  • Much higher heel drop than expected
  • Average at best breathability
  • Upper lacks durability
  • Feels different depending on weather

Audience verdict

89
Great!

Who should buy

We recommend the Brooks Hyperion to runners who: 

  • Want a lightweight shoe with plenty of pep in its step for uptempo days
  • Prefer flexible shoes that are capable of speed without relying on a stiff plate
  • Are fans the previous model; the Brooks Hyperion Tempo

Brooks Hyperion outdoor

Who should NOT buy

While the Hyperion can adequately serve as a casual or intermediate runner’s first pair of racing flats, more advanced runners will benefit from more advanced features to give them an edge on the starting line. We recommend the ASICS Magic Speed 2 or the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 as more state of the art, if slightly more expensive, alternatives.

Distance runners who prefer more cushioning underfoot will find the Hyperion’s midsole to be lacking for those long haul efforts. Instead, we recommend checking out the Brooks Launch 10 or the Adidas Adizero Boston 12 as alternatives that can go fast and far. 

We found large discrepancies in the shoe’s stack measurements, leaving the Hyperion with a steep drop height of 12.8 mm compared to the 8 mm stated by Brooks. For runners in the market for a speedy shoe that actually does boast a medium heel drop, we suggest having a look at the ASICS Novablast 3 instead.

Brooks Hyperion cut up

Breathability

We pumped the Hyperion full of smoke to see how easily heat is able to escape the shoe. Despite a slow start, the Hyperion does eventually allow most of the smoke to escape pretty evenly throughout the shoe. This average performance leads us to give the shoe a breathability score of 3 out of 5. 

For an example of a shoe that traps in heat like a foot sauna, have a look at how the Adidas Runfalcon fared in the same test. 

Looking at closeup shots of the upper through our microscope reveals that while the top mesh layer is woven rather loosely with lots of gaps between braids, the lower layer is rather dense with only the evenly spaced perforations as good venting points. This explains the stuttering flow of smoke in our first test as that lower layer initially hinders heat from escaping before it reaches the airy upper layer.

Brooks Hyperion cu1

Brooks Hyperion cu2

Test results
Hyperion 4
Average 3.8
Compared to 234 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

To test the durability of the Hyperion; we whipped out our trusty dremel, fired it to 10K RPM and applied it to the shoe’s toebox with a force of 3.2N for four seconds. Once the test was over and the shreds of fabric had settled, we were left with a yawing hole in the upper material big enough to pop at least one of our toes out. This lacklustre performance leads us to give the Hyperion’s toebox a durability score of 1 out of 5. 

Brooks Hyperion dremel toe compare

For context, look at how the On Cloudswift 3’s toebox looks like it was merely scuffed after facing off against our relentless dremel; thus earning it a perfect score. 

Test results
Hyperion 1
Average 2.4
Compared to 168 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

We similarly tested the durability of the heel padding by firing up our dremel to the same parameter as the previous test and unleashed it against the shoe’s heel collar. Unlike with the toebox, our tool took a moment before it was able to bite into the material and send scraps of material flying all over our workbench. The aftermath of the four second test isn’t as devastating as it was on the toebox, with only a small section being worn all the way down. This leads us to give the shoe a sub-par score of 2 out of 5 for heel padding durability. 

Brooks Hyperion dremel heel compare

For an example of a shoe with a much more durable heel counter, have a look at the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 which our dremel couldn’t even penetrate the lining of.

Test results
Hyperion 2
Average 3.2
Compared to 164 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Using our durometer, we measured the outsole hardness to be 79.1 HC, which is ever so slightly softer than our current lab average but still within range. This level of hardness lies in that sweet spot between hard and durable versus soft and grippy. 

Brooks Hyperion Outsole hardness
Test results
Hyperion 79.1 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 285 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

We again turned to our dreaded dremel to test the durability of the Hyperion’s outsole. At first our tool’s grinding element doesn’t seem to have much of an effect on the shoe’s outsole, but soon enough the rubber starts to fly with 0.69 mm of material shorn away by the end of the twenty second test.

This result makes the Hyperion’s outsole much more durable than the average shoe which allows us to safely predict that the shoe should last around 500 miles before significant signs of wear and tear affect the shoe’s performance. 

Test results
Hyperion 0.7 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 146 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

According to our caliper, the Hyperion’s outsole measures 3.0 mm thick. While this is slightly thinner than our current lab average, the result of our durability test demonstates that not much rubber is needed at the bottom of the shoe, with any skimped rubber serving to keep weight off this lightweight shoe. 

Brooks Hyperion Outsole thickness
Test results
Hyperion 3.0 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

The Hyperion tips the scale at a lean 7.45 Oz (211g). This makes it significantly lighter than our current lab average and means that pushing the pace in the Hyperion is an unburdensome breeze. 

Brooks Hyperion Weight
Test results
Hyperion 7.44 oz (211g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

We had to make sure our caliper was calibrated correctly when measuring the Hyperion’s heel stack. We found it to be 30 mm tall which makes the 22 mm officially stated by Brooks highly inaccurate. This is still a little shorter than the average of shoes we’ve tested in the lab so far, but provides more than enough foam for heel striking runners to appreciate the shoe’s cushioning,  

Brooks Hyperion Heel stack
Test results
Hyperion 30.0 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

The Hyperion’s advertised forefoot stack measurement is also inaccurate, but not as dramatically as at the heel. We found it to be 17.7 mm tall versus the 14 mm according to the shoe’s specs. This provides runners with a good level of impact protection while also allowing for a certain level of ground-feel underfoot that is more natural and comfortable for some runners.

Brooks Hyperion Forefoot stack
Test results
Hyperion 17.7 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
36.9 mm

Drop

While the official 8 mm drop height classifies the Hyperion as a mid-drop shoe, the difference in our accurate stack measurements leaves us with a drop of 12.3 mm which makes it a high-drop shoe. This steep drop tends to benefit heel strikers over their forefoot striking counterparts as it provides more rearfoot cushioning and promotes smoother heel-to-toe transitions. For those looking for a speedy shoe that actually falls in the category of mid-drop shoes, we recommend the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 (7.4 mm) or the ASICS Novablast 3 (6.8 mm).

Brooks Hyperion Drop

For an in-depth look at the disparity in brand stated drop heights vs reality, check out our article on the matter written by the very knowledgeable Carlos Sánchez using data we’ve compiled from the shoes we’ve tested in the lab so far.

Test results
Hyperion 12.3 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

At 2.8 mm according to our caliper, the Hyperion’s midsole isn’t as thick as that of the average shoe. Despite this, however, it still provided us with a soft landing surface within the shoe that works with the midsole to protect us from impact. 

Brooks Hyperion Insole thickness
Test results
Hyperion 2.8 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

We measured the toebox to be 97.9 mm at its widest point which makes it just about as wide as our current lab average. This combined with the Hyperion’s delicate upper mesh means that the shoe will accommodate most foot shapes. 

Test results
Hyperion 20.6 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 232 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

We left the Hyperion in the freezer for twenty minutes to simulate exposure to cold weather then pressed our durometer against the midsole once again; this time getting a reading of 30.6 HA. This is about as firm as the average shoe becomes when tested under similar conditions, and means that the Hyperion will definitely feel much less cushioned during winter runs. 

Becoming 48.5% firmer in the cold means that the Hyperion is much more inconsistent depending on the temperature compared to the average shoe, which doesn’t stiffen up as drastically. As such, the Hyperion will feel like a tale of two shoes between summer and winter. 

Brooks Hyperion Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Hyperion 48.5%
Average 25.5%
Compared to 231 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

While we felt pretty well-planted while standing in the Hyperion, shifting our weight from side to side reveals that the shoe does have a tendency to roll laterally. This might be fine for runners with a neutral stride, but pronating runners will be better served with a shoe that boasts stability features that prevent unnecessary foot movement. We suggest having a look at the Brooks Launch GTS 10 or the ASICS GT 2000 11

Torsional rigidity

The Hyperion put up a nominal amount of resistance as we bent and twisted it on our hands, leading us to give the shoe a score of 2 out of 5 on our subjective scale for torsional rigidity. This level of flexibility gives the shoe a natural underfoot sensation as the Hyperion adapts and contorts with the shape of our foot with relative ease. 

Test results
Hyperion 2
Average 3.2
Compared to 283 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The Hyperion’s heel counter put up a little more resistance against our manipulations, giving it a score of 3 out of 5 for stiffness. This allows the heel cup to secure the rearfoot without using a vice-like grip on the Achilles to keep it in place, instead comfortably squeezing it while allowing for some natural movement. 

Test results
Hyperion 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 267 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

At 113.5 mm wide at the forefoot based on our caliper measurement, the Hyperion’s midsole is ever-so slightly wider than the average shoe we’ve tested in the lab so far. As such, forefoot strikers will have more than enough platform to ensure steady landings, while the tapering towards the toes helps to avoid any blockiness when cornering. 

Brooks Hyperion Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Hyperion 113.5 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The Hyperion’s midsole does taper quite significantly towards the heel where it measures 83.3 mm wide according to our caliper. This is a lot narrower than our current lab average and while this lends the shoe an aerodynamic silhouette, it also means that heel striking runners will feel more unstable during landings in this shoe than their forefoot/midfoot striking counterparts. 

Brooks Hyperion Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Hyperion 83.3 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

To test the stiffness of the Hyperion, we secured it to our workbench and measured how much force is required to bend the shoe 90-degrees. With a result of only 13.6N, the Hyperion is extremely flexible compared to our current lab average. This means that the shoe has no problem bending with the natural movement of the foot which made it very comfortable and forgiving during and even after our test runs.

While responsiveness is often conflated with stiffness; the Hyperion is an exception that disproves the rule as it still manages to feel quite swift and reactive underfoot .

Test results
Hyperion 13.6N
Average 29.2N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

After leaving the shoe in the freezer for twenty minutes, we found that only 25N of force is required to perform the same stiffness test. This is way more flexible than the average shoe and means that the Hyperion will remain remarkably flexible no matter how frigid running conditions are. 

While the Hyperion is still undoubtedly flexible in the cold, an 83.5% difference in flexibility means that the shoe’s inconsistency isn’t limited to the midsole as the shoe’s flexibility takes a much more dramatic dive than the average shoe. This makes the Hyperion a bit of a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde as it will feel very different from summer to winter. 

Test results
Hyperion 83.5%
Average 35.9%
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Grip / Traction

Despite its subtle outsole pattern, the Hyperion provided us with great traction during our test runs; with its decisive bite giving us no hesitation even when tearing over multiple surfaces in one stretch at high speed.

Brooks Hyperion grip

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

We measured the toebox to be 97.9 mm at its widest point which makes it just about as wide as our current lab average. This combined with the Hyperion’s delicate upper mesh means that the shoe will accommodate most foot shapes. 

Brooks Hyperion Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Hyperion 97.9 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

Moving up to the area around the big toe, we measured the toebox to be 80.3 mm wide which is quite a bit roomier than the average shoe. This means that hotspots and blisters aren’t a concern when running in the Hyperion affords us much more space to splay out naturally, especially when it comes to tempo-trainers that typically constrict the toes to achieve an aerodynamic shape. 

Brooks Hyperion Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Hyperion 80.3 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 179 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Heel feel

The shoe’s flared heel cup is shaped in a way that provides us with a snug rearfoot lockdown without putting too much pressure on the Achilles tendon. This makes the Hyperion a good choice for runners suffering from Achilles tendinitis or who are prone to similar injuries. 

Brooks Hyperion Heel feel

Tongue: gusset type

The Hyperion’s tongue is semi-gusseted on both sides which helps to mitigate slippage from side to side. 

Brooks Hyperion Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Hyperion One side (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

We measured the Hyperion’s tongue to be 3.8 mm thick. While this is a little leaner than our current lab average, this is more padding than we typically see from speed-oriented shoes. This means that the Hyperion feels comfortable around the instep with no perceptible sensation of lace bite once we were locked in, which is an improvement from the shoe’s previous iteration.   

Brooks Hyperion Tongue padding
Test results
Hyperion 3.7 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 302 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Removable insole

The Hyperion’s insole is fully removable, so runners in need of custom orthotics should be able to use them with this shoe. 

Test results
Hyperion Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

For nocturnal runners, the Hyperion features a reflective streak near the ankle that provides a minimal level of visibility in the dark. Still, we recommend staying in well lit areas or investing in reflective clothing when running at night. 

Brooks Hyperion Reflective elements
Test results
Hyperion Yes