Brooks Hyperion Review

   Editor's Note:  This review comes from my good friend and colleague Dr. Nathaniel S Kollias DVM, MPH.  Nathaniel is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, fellow distance runner and shoe geek and has graciously offered to provide his thoughts on some of the footwear out on the market today.  He and I are very similar individuals, just in different careers in the medical field.  Expect to see more from him in the future on this blog.  Here is his first one, the Brooks Hyperion.  I posted an initial review (HERE) but was unable to run fully in the shoes and had to return them due to financial reasons (I am a recent graduate and Doctor of Physical Therapy... so funds tight as I study to take my Boards in October).  Anyway... read on for an excellent review.

Intro:

     I remember not too long ago when Brooks running came out with their Pure Line series of shoes.  This was during the minimalist fad, barefoot running, running “natural” (opposed to unnatural?), and chai late running or whatever it is called.  The point I am precluding to is that this marks when the first Pure Connect shoe (lightest model in that series line) was released as well as the Brooks Green Silence racing flat.  These two shoes were in my honest opinion the best shoes Brooks has ever created. Any of you reading this who had the pleasure of wearing either of those shoes and loved them understand where I am coming from.  The Pure Connect v1 was snug fitting, low to the ground, and the last matched my narrow feet beautifully.  Similarly, the Green Silence was a low slung, speedster, with excellent construction and unique ride. So what does this have anything to do with the review I am suppose to be typing about?  Well to put it bluntly, I think the Green silence and the original Pure Connect hooked up and had a child…. and their child is the Hyperion… so let’s get to the review of the Brooks Hyperion!


Looks:

     So this doesn’t have much if any influence on the shoes function, but honestly who doesn’t factor this in?  But let me tell you this; Brooks nailed it in the looks department!  These shoes scream FAST which is attributed by their streamlined silhouette and bold colorway.  You will stand out at a race and I feel if shoes look fast - they make you feel like you are running faster (even if it’s all in your head who cares!). I will admit I am jealous of the women’s colorway…. I’m tempted to just size up in the women’s and grab a pair for myself  (Editor's note: This does work in some shoes for unisex sizing.  However if a shoe has specific men's and women's last or shoe shape I would generally suggest avoiding that due to different foot structures between genders.  There are always exceptions however and I have seen many people of both genders that have success in the opposite gender's shape of athletic footwear.  That's human biomechanical variance for you). 

Stats:


(thanks to Running Warehouse®)

Heel to Toe Drop – 27mm heel 17mm forefoot
Weight – 6.6oz men’s size 9, 5.6oz women’s size 8 (VERY LIGHT!)
Price – $130
Colorways – Black/White/Night life MEN, Imperial Purple WOMEN (there is also a limited edition Olympics colorway released designed for my favorite distance runner Desiree Linder)

(Picture from www.Running.Competitor.com)

Fit and Upper:

     This shoe runs NARROW so if you have really wide feet and/or like a loose/cavernous toe box this shoe may not be for you…but then again this is a racing flat and it is supposed to fit snug.  Honestly when you slip these on, it feels like wearing a pair of the most comfortable slippers ever.  No overlays, no seams, no bumps, no hotspots, no weird rubbing. Apparently from what I found snooping around on line is that the material is similar to what clothing manufacturers make the tags on clothes out of.  This makes sense as the shoe’s lining is smooth against the skin (I haven’t worn these sockless, but if you run this way you should have no issues). The material of the upper is a one piece stretched woven fabric and has laser etched holes in the toe box for ventilation.  I have read some complaints on breathability, but I personally have had no issues. As I mentioned earlier, this shoe runs narrow, but it forms to the foot beautifully and the foot is firmly locked down to the sole unit.  The last of the shoe is semi-curved and the sock liner is made of high quality material – I appreciate this as it drives me nuts when a company makes a high quality shoe and then places a cheap flimsy sock liner in the shoe (Hoka One One and New Balance I’m looking at you!).
Side note – for you wider foot runners and/or people who need a little more support in a racing flat check out the Brooks Asteria.  It has a very similar ride and design from what I have read and heard.  (Editors Note:  I have tried the Asteria and is a wider fitting Hyperion in a lightweight trainer/protective Marathon racer form.  Very good forefoot fit and mild stability only in the posterior heel similar to some racing flat designs I have seen in the past from Japan).  The Asteria is marketed as a stability racer; which seems to compete against the ASCIS Gel DS Racer, Saucony Fastwitch, and New Balance 1500.


Midsole and Ride:

    The magic of this shoe lies in the midsole material as described by Brooks Running… “BioMoGo DNA fuses BioMoGo midsole and DNA cushioning technology for a fully custom responsive ride that adapts to the needs of each and every runner.”  Yes, I know it may sound a bit gimmicky, but in all honesty it works. Basically what this foam consists of is gel and EVA that is blended together.  At slower paces you can appreciate a nice level of protection (gel component) from the road (not pillow soft, but protective), but when the pace is increased the material firms up (EVA) and you really appreciate the explosiveness of the BioMoGo DNA foam.  There is a slight podular feel in the forefoot, but not intrusive like a Newton running shoe, that gives a nice spring like sensation during the push off phase of one’s gait cycle.  The flexibility is moderate in the forefoot with a stable/stiffer midfoot allowing a nice peppy sensation during toe off.  This makes sense as the arch should not be flexing like your forefoot does and adds a level of stability to the midfoot.  This is definitely a racing flat that would give you plenty of protection and responsiveness for races ranging from a 5K potentially to a full marathon for the speedsters out there.


Durability:

    This is a racing flat, so I do not expect to get more than 300 miles or so out of these; but after 100 miles on mine so far the sole seems to be holding up well (See pic below).  Then again I have a very efficient gait and tend to have my shoes last longer than the average runner.  But with that said, I would reserve these for track work outs, speed days, and races.


Areas for Improvement:

    The tongue could use some work.  I can’t figure out if it is too cushioned, or just too much material, or just needs a stay loop.  That’s honestly the only thing I have.

Overall Impression:

    I feel that Brooks nailed it with this shoe and is an excellent replacement of the T7 racer.  This shoe blends the best attributes of the Brooks Pure Connect v1 (snug fit, low to the ground, anatomical last) and Green Silence (FAST, cool looks, fantastic ride).  I don’t think you will be disappointed in this shoe and HIGHLY recommended it if you are in the market for a dedicated racing flat.  I would try them on just as I would recommend for any shoe as the fit will not be for everyone. I have tried other Brooks in the past between owning the Connect and Green Silence in the past, but these shoes make me excited for the future direction of Books Running.

These opinions are my own, these were a personal purchase, and I received no monetary compensation for this review.

-Nathaniel S Kolias, DVM, MPH

   Nathaniel S Kollias DVM, MPH is originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Il.  He has been a running addict for approximately 15 years and competes in races from 5K to marathon road and trail races.  When not running you can find him saving human and animal kind as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine training in a Residency program in Laboratory Animal Medicine.   He shares his home with his beloved 4-year-old border collie Sugar.  Also if you want any suggestions on good beer or wine he will point you in the right direction.

Editors Note:  As always, the views presented on this blog belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts).  My blog should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking professional medical care.  If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist or medical professional.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to tack on!

-Dr. Klein, DPT and Dr. Kolias, DVM, MPH