By Brian Metzler
Since the advent of marathon racing shoes with carbon-fiber plates, Brooks hasn’t gotten nearly as much hype for its shoes as Nike, HOKA, Adidas or Saucony. It’s partially because Brooks hasn't had a lot of high-profile runners finishing on the podium at major marathons, although, c’mon, Desi Linden is still an elite athlete worth watching and she swears by the Hyperion Elite 3. She clocked a 2:28:47 (5:41 per mile) in a pair of them at this year’s Boston Marathon and also wore a similar pair en route to setting a new 50K world record of 2:59:54 (5:47 per mile) in 2021. But the reason Brooks hasn’t gotten the same attention for its Hyperion line of shoes is also partially that they have never been known for the bouncy pop as some of its marathon racing contemporaries. That much hasn’t changed, but the third edition is vastly improved and, if you haven’t run in any of the Brooks Hyperion models since 2020, you’ll likely be impressed as I have been with this model for its speed, consistency, stability and versatility. It’s a unique shoe among the high-end racing shoes, but it’s definitely worth a look.
What’s New: Several significant updates to the Hyperion Elite 3 can all be found above the modestly energetic midsole platform and each one is a welcome improvement to the predecessor version of this shoe. There’s a new stretchy, breathable knit upper material, new and improved serrated laces. Brooks also added a more breathable and less obtrusive, semi-gusseted tongue, along with a new overall aesthetic with a seafoam green color motif. Even with the same midsole-outsole chassis, those updates make the third edition of this shoe a vastly improved model. The upper provides a more comfortable and supportive feeling and the heel and heel collar feel more secure and comfy, but the new upper design has also made the toe box feel considerably more spacious. (The biggest improvement is that it is much easier to put on your feet and lace up than the first two versions.)
Why It’s Great: The Hyperion Elite 3 is great for the same reason the second edition was great, namely the combination of the light and lively nitrogen-infused DNA Flash midsole cushioning enhanced with a carbon-fiber plate. It retains the same rocker geometry with a quick transition point just after the midfoot (known as Rapid Roll Technology) that feels uninhibited and provides a smooth and consistent rolling transition from heel to toe-off.
Fit-Feel-Ride: The Hyperion Elite 3 generally fits true to size, but some runners might want to consider going down a half size from what they typically wear because of the long and spacious feeling in the toe box. The step-in feel is soft, comfortable and secure without any issues, thanks largely to accommodating stretchy knit upper. The ride is similar to the Hyperion Elite 2 in that it’s infinitely smooth and lively. It’s important to point out, however, that the midsole platform feels notably firmer than other marathon racing shoes — and decidedly more stable — even though it lacks the pop that many shoes with carbon-fiber plates provide. It’s capable of running every pace pretty well — recovery pace, long run pace, marathon race pace, tempo pace and even fast interval pace — with the same consistent vibe despite not having the bouncy sensation of many of its contemporaries.
Why You’ll Love It: You’ll love it because it’s consistent, versatile and not exceedingly soft. I actually like the Hyperion Elite 3 as much or more as a training shoe than a shoe for running a new marathon PR. While it can definitely be your race-day shoe of choice for 10K to marathon distances, you might love it even more as an everyday trainer or as an “almost everyday” trainer. Even without a bouncy sensation, it is light and lively enough to make you feel better on every type of run you do. Is $250 a bit pricey for an everyday trainer? Perhaps, but the Hyperion Elite 3 is also more durable than most other shoes with carbon-fiber plates.
Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 Specs
Weights: 7.0 oz. women’s 8; 8.1 oz. men’s 9
Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm (35mm in the heel, 27mm in the forefoot)
Pro: If you want a do-everything shoe that feels fast, light and inspiring for every day of the week, the Hyperion Elite 3 is a shoe you should consider. You might appreciate the consistency and stability as much as the zesty, effortless feeling in every stride.
Con: If you’re looking for a shoe that will provide a bouncy, energetic sensation in every stride, this isn’t the shoe for you. While it’s a capable racing shoe, it’s not going to remotely feel like the Nike Vaporfly Next% 2, Saucony’s Endorphin Pro 3 or Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3.