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Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: A Stride Behind
By Matthew Klein

     In a continually changing industry, there is something to be said for consistency. While many companies are aggressively changing a variety of their models, Brooks for the most part has stayed fairly consistent recently. This is particularly true of their carbon-plated racing shoe, the Hyperion Elite 3. The most recent version is mostly an upper update, with a sole design almost exactly the same in the last version. So those wanting a little more flexibility in the upper may be happy. Those wanting a massive update to finally bring this series to super shoe status will have to wait, but it continues on as a stiff, semi-stable workout shoe and racing shoe for those who do not do well with super foams. 

Price: $249.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 8.1 oz, 230 g (men's size 9/women's size 10.5)
Stack Height: Not Provided
Drop: 8 mm
Classification: Carbon Plated Distance Racing / Workout Shoe


The Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 is a stiffer carbon-plated workout shoe / less aggressive racing shoe for those who do not do well with true super shoes. The ride is highly stiff with a moderately tall stack height. The DNA flash provides a traditional EVA-type midsole feel that stiffens that faster you run. The upper is snug although it provides some stretch that also makes the shoe fit slightly long. This makes for a fit that will do well for those that need a little flexibility but still want something slightly snug. These factors make this shoe best for those who want a firmer, stiff, moderately stable and rockered ride for uptempo daily training and workouts.

: Hoka Carbon X3, 361 Flame


The Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 fits me slightly long in my normal men's US size 10. It is not enough to warrant going down a half size, but the flexible Quickknit upper allows plenty of extra stretch and motion. The width is snug throughout the length of the shoe for a training/workout shoe, but fits wider for a racing shoe. The forefoot does taper, though the stretchy mesh allows for some room. The midfoot fits normal in width with a gusseted thin tongue. The gusset does help provide some security for the midfoot. The laces stay securely locked, but tightening them too much for security puts extra pressure on the top of my foot. The heel fits normal-to-slightly snug with a small flexible heel counter in the rear most portion of the rearfoot. The heel collar cushioning is on the thinner side and despite the slightly snug fit, I experienced some heel slippage at faster efforts. This was mostly fixed by lace locking the shoe, but the thin tongue did not protect the top of my feet from the laces. I opted to really tighten the laces at the midfoot and this mostly fixed the problem.

This is not a shoe I would wear sockless unless you have tons of experience doing so. The breathability is excellent with great airflow, especially up front. However, the inner liner is a bit scratchy, so I would suggest using socks, especially with the flexible fit (thicker socks worked best for me with this upper).


The Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 is a carbon-plated, stiff, rolling workout/training shoe with a moderate stack height. The DNA Flash Midsole is cushioned but is on the firmer end. This is not a bouncy shoe, but a stiff rolling one that works better the faster you turn over your legs. The heel is sharply rockered, which makes this shoe feel a little clunky at easy paces but smoother at uptempo/tempo efforts. The forefoot is also rockered, but the plate was so stiff initially that it was difficult to transition over it. This broke in after a few runs somewhat, but the slightly longer makes it feel like I am not hitting the plate correctly, so the stiffness up front has continued. The heel drop is listed at 8mm, but it felt lower due to the aggressive rocker and stiffer ride.

The weight is higher than the predecessor at 8.1 oz (men's size 9) which makes it feel more like a carbon-plated workout/lightweight trainer than a racing shoe. In conjunction with the cushioned but firmer feel compared to other shoes on the market, the Hyperion Elite 3 works best as an uptempo/tempo workout shoe, particularly on longer efforts. The overly stiff ride and aggressive rocker makes extremely fast efforts feel awkward, but things that require getting into a moderate rhythm feels best. This keeps this from being a race shoe for me, but makes it a nice adjunct over longer efforts. For many people, this will either be a workout shoe to save your super shoes or will be a 10k to half marathon shoe for those who need something inherently stable.

Surface-wise, the Hyperion Elite 3 works best on dry roads. I had the opportunity to test this on the wet streets of Seattle and was slipping everywhere. The outsole has some reinforcements in small patches but is mostly exposed DNA Flash. Despite only 20 on my miles (at a variety of paces), I am already seeing some wear at my normal spots (posterior lateral heel). With the exposed DNA Flash, I would keep this to road as rocks and trails may rip up the outsole and shorten the life of this shoe. 


The Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 is a neutral racing shoe that is almost stable neutral. The shape of the sole is excellent as it is wider throughout. The midfoot is also fairly wide, which creates an inherently more stable transition through that area. The shoe is aggressively rockered and the heel bevel is actually slightly posterior lateral. The wider forefoot and sharp forefoot rocker do transition the foot quickly. The only detraction is that the slightly long fit makes the shoe a bit overly stiff front to back and I end up compensating in other planes of motion as a fatigue. For those whose mechanics line up better with the plate, this shoe has some inherently stable elements without the use of sidewalls or posting that should do well for those that are sensitive to those elements.

Thoughts as a DPT: Not Rolling Forward as Quick as it Should
By Matthew Klein

I have repeatedly discussed the requirements for something to be a super shoe as evident by my reviews of super shoe research HERE and HERE. I also went into this during my thoughts as a DPT section for the Hyperion Elite 2 (HERE) so I figure there is no point to repeat that the Hyperion Elite 3 is not a super shoe. It is certainly an uptempo carbon-plated workout shoe that will do well for those who cannot tolerate the softness from other up-to-date foams on the market. Additionally, those who want a wider, stiff platform will do extremely well here as the midfoot width is quite good and the firmer foam and stiffer ride create a high state of rigidity. 

The challenge with the Hyperion Elite 3 for me is that it runs slightly long. Carbon plates do NOT return energy but facilitate forward motion and stabilize the platform (Agresta et al., 2022). For them to facilitate forward motion and get to the (maximum) 1% improvement in running economy, the plate itself (especially the forefoot curve) needs to line up with the mechanics of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (Agresta et al., 2022; Hébert-Losier & Pamment, 2002; Ortega et al., 2021). This is one of the reasons that individual responses to plates may vary, in addition to the fact that different people will benefit most from different levels of stiffness (Ortega et al., 2021). So for me, the long fit makes the shoe feel extra stiff and explains why I have to fight it more. That is because the plate isn't lining up with my body. For that reason, I would race, workout and train in the Brooks Hyperion Max over the Hyperion Elite 3. The Hyperion Max is much lighter, the lack of a carbon plate allows for a bit more flexibility and the foam compresses far better (likely due to the lack of a stiff carbon plate). Weight, softness, and comfort are all important factors in running shoe performance.

This is an important point to highlight as the Hyperion Elite 3 should on paper be a faster shoe. However, when all the parts come together, the Hyperion Max will likely be a better racing shoe for many people - certainly at a far great price. For those that want a stiffer racing shoe, the Elite 3 may be better for them, but looking at the needs of the individual is far more important than how the shoe is marketed.


Agresta, C., Giacomazzi, C., Harrast, M., & Zendler, J. (2022). Running Injury Paradigms and Their Influence on Footwear Design Features and Runner Assessment Methods: A Focused Review to Advance Evidence-Based Practice for Running Medicine Clinicians. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living4, 815675.

Hébert-Losier, K., & Pamment, M. (2022). Advancements in running shoe technology and their effects on running economy and performance–a current concepts overview. Sports Biomechanics, 1-16.

Ortega, J. A., Healey, L. A., Swinnen, W., & Hoogkamer, W. (2021). Energetics and biomechanics of running footwear with increased longitudinal bending stiffness: a narrative review. 
Sports Medicine51(5), 873-894.


I have previously been lenient on Brooks regarding calling this series a super shoe, but now that they are on to version 3, this is unacceptable. This is the only major running company that does not have a true super shoe and they have had plenty of time to develop one. My major recommendation is to completely scrap the use of DNA Flash and actually use a PEBA-based foam. Every other company on the market is doing this now (including the slow-to-adapt Hoka, although New Balance is using a nitrogen-infused TPU foam), so Brooks is officially behind. It is understandable to keep training models similar year to year as many runners want their tried and true daily workhouse. However, to charge current-day super shoe prices when you have not updated the shoe or even brought it close to where the standard for that category is should be is not acceptable. 

The other issues with this shoe include the fit and price. The fit is now long, which not only causes some slippage in the upper, but also is making me hit the plate in the wrong place. This now reduces the smooth transition of the prior version and makes this shoe stiff and uncomfortable. So the overall fit needs to be adjusted as plates are only good if they line up with the person's mechanics. Based on these issues, the cost of the shoe is also far too high. It is a "budget" racing shoe and workout shoe at most, so I would suggest $160 at max like the 361 Flame until they transition into a PEBA-based foam or at least TPU.


The Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 is a moderately high stack height, rockered and stiff shoe for workouts. Those that want a non-super foam shoe that is inherently stable due to a wide base and relatively firm ride should check this shoe out. However, the similarities in the midsole design between versions 2 and 3 make it not worth upgrading unless you want a little more flexibility and length in the upper. I highly suggest if you are interested in this shoe, get version 2 on sale. So I would head to eBay (which I am actually seeing tons of pairs of version 3 already at highly discounted rates there) or the sale section of your local run store.


Fit: (Slightly long fit with flexible upper. Not the most secure but has additional room for those who want it)
B- (Firmer, stiff and moderate rocker. Best as a shoe for workouts but not for racing. Does better during longer efforts. Heavier than the last version by almost an ounce)
Stability: B+/A- (Almost stable neutral. Wider shape, wider midfoot)
DPT/Footwear Science: C (Not a super shoe despite being marketed as one. EVA-based foam at a higher weight makes this a workout shoe at most. The Hyperion Max is more of a racing shoe than this)
Personal: C- (Decent workout shoe, but not something I would ever choose for race day, even if that is how they are advertised. The ride has not broken in with more miles, it is heavier than the last version this is a shoe that now too stiff and continues to not be anywhere as responsive as the other true super shoes on the market)
Overall: C+/B-


Shop Here: $249.95 at Running Warehouse

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge as part of a recent trip to Brooks HQ in Seattle, WA.  We thank the people at Brooks for providing us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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