Our review: The Brooks Hyperion Tempo is a speedy new model that delivers a smooth, responsive, and comfortable ride.
Built to maximize energy return and minimize weight, the Brooks Hyperion Tempo holds up the hype. It excels with acceleration, even over long miles. Unlike today’s super shoes — including its sibling, the Hyperion Elite — it does so without a carbon plate or massive cushion.
This brand new model from Brooks is one of two in a speed-oriented lineup designed with input from the brand’s roster of pro athletes. The other style is the carbon-plated, race-ready Hyperion Elite 2. The Hyperion Tempo may be less aggressive, but it’s more versatile, and still very well-suited for faster work—including tempos and speedwork and road races (virtual or not).
6.7 oz women’s / 7.2 oz men’s
25 mm heel / 17 mm forefoot
DNA Flash Midsole
100 Miles In: The Review
Out of the box, the Hyperion Tempo popped. Comfortable upon my initial step-in, they felt firm but not stiff, compliant but not squishy, and light but purposeful.
Full disclosure, I had high expectations for this model. (Plus, I love baby blue.) Not only have I enjoyed Brooks lighter models in the past, but a buddy had been raving about them. (And I highly respect her opinion even if she is sponsored by Brooks.)
The upper is breathable, pliable, and featherlight. Overall, it is unobtrusive, yet snug and strong enough to keep my feet secure and protected. The so-called stretch woven upper doesn’t have — or need — much give. It’s perforated, which kept foot swampiness at bay even on the hottest summer days. A firm but subtle internal toe bumper protects the toes without squishing. The tongue is thin and nearly seamless, and it lies flat and stays put. Stretchy laces stay tied, even when a tad dangly, and they held up to my tugging and tweaking.
There’s no visible heel counter, but the back of the shoe stands up well on its own and hugs the heel. A low ankle collar and soft, padded interior contribute to the comfortable, no-fuss step-in and running experience.
Overall, this pair fit my feet like gloves. The shape, resembling a slim keyhole, boasts a wide-enough forefoot and narrow heel, but allows for a high-volume instep. I don’t feel any gaps or slipping, even with a variety of socks, and I avoided any blisters.
Much of this shoe’s mojo, though, resides in its midsole. Designed with the lofty goal of reducing deviation and saving energy while adapting to your stride, Brooks calls the midsole material DNA flash. To make it, Brooks infuses a proprietary cushion material with nitrogen through a fluid foaming process — a thermodynamic experience similar to brewing coffee. This nitrogen-infusion, found in other running shoes as well, can be adjusted with temperature and pressure to alter the resulting responsiveness and weight.
In the Hyperion Tempo, the science experiment works to create a light cushion that’s efficient and fun underfoot. It feels natural and nearly snappy, especially when increasing turnover and speed. The flexible foam extends from under the heel and wider under the forefoot, which provides a surprisingly stable landing base without noticeably altering my stride.
Under that, the outsole consists of minimal carbon rubber strategically cut out and placed on the heel, forefoot, and even up and in front of the toes. A cut-out groove curves up to the ball of the foot. All of this helps cut weight while allowing for flexibility and protecting the midsole. While my testing mileage didn’t include too many rainy days or super wet conditions, the traction held up on damp and non-road surfaces. It stuck well on sharp paved turns and down hills, both at higher speeds, and shows minimal signs of wear.
While the heel-to-toe drop on this shoe (the offset between the heel and forefoot height) is higher than what I gravitate towards these days, it wasn’t noticeable — and may have alleviated some stress in my testy Achilles tendon.
I tested the Hyperion Tempo on a range of terrain, from road and sidewalk to light to moderate trails and soft surfaces, including pea gravel, chunky gravel, dirt, and grass on both hilly and flat routes. I also tested it at a range of significantly-slower-than-elite speeds, from shakeouts and strides to hill works and faster bouts. It certainly excelled during acceleration on harder surfaces, but handled the slower paces and softer surfaces just fine.
One hundred miles in, this pair shows few signs of wear beyond dirt and some light wrinkles on the midsole from pounding the pavement.
There’s The Rub
Quite remarkably for this picky shoe tester, I have no complaints about this shoe. Well, maybe one. The long, stretchy laces are a slight inconvenience, but remedied by tucking the protected tips into the criss-crosses on top of the forefoot, or tying them in a dog-ear formation.
The Brooks Hyperion Tempo is a lightweight, speed-ready shoe ideal for workouts and longer races.