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Road • February 1, 2020

Brooks Hyperion Tempo Performance Review

brooks hyperion tempo hero

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 7.7 oz./220g for a US M10.5
  • Features all-new DNA FLASH nitrogen-infused midsole
  • Sleek and streamlined silhouette, like Bugs Bunny dressed as a girl
  • Seriously the best shoe Brooks has put out in years

ROBBE: In case you’ve forgotten, it’s 2020, and the running game is the realest it’s been in some time. The Tokyo Olympics are on the way, U.S. Olympic Trials are perched at the other end of this month, and with Nike wreaking havoc on the rules game, the other major players are coming up quick to put their chips on the table.

Brooks ain’t no stranger to the run shoe game, and they’re looking to get a piece of that hype. In doing so, they’ve legit put the hype into their Hyperion line, both with the Hyperion Elite (their carbon plate racer) and the Hyperion Tempo (this shoe). If you’re hype-o-allergenic, stay away. And if you think that was a bad dad joke, well… you’re right.

The Hyperion line is fairly new; as the go-to racing shoe for Brooks, the original Hyperion replaced the T series in 2019. While that was the entry shoe for the line, there’s no doubt Brooks knew the direction they were going in with Hyperion, as Des Linden won Boston 2018 in a Hyperion Elite prototype.

What became of that prototype is now a very firm (that’s being generous) racing shoe with significant stack height and a carbon plated DNA Zero midsole (our review will be up shortly). On the other hand, the Hyperion Tempo is meant as a complementary training piece, a lightweight trainer with good cushion and a responsive DNA Flash midsole. Log the miles in the Tempo, take the goal race with the Elite.

Sounds like a one-two punch for Brooks, but you better make sure they both land on their targets, otherwise your “A” goal may be lying on its back seeing cuckoo birds come race day.

Let’s dive deeper and get Thomas, Meaghan, and my thoughts on the Brooks Hyperion Tempo.

brooks hyperion tempo side1

The Good

ROBBE: Look, I know Brooks has a reputation as the general runner’s shoe. Walk into any local running store as a new runner and there’s a good chance you’re walking out in a pair of Brooks. I’m okay with it; I drive a 2003 Toyota Corolla for chrissakes.

Nevertheless, we’ve all wanted to see them move on from BioMoGo DNA cushioning, and here we are.

But first, let’s start with the woven upper. It’s light, it’s stretchy, it’s very breathable. I love it. For those of us with a narrow foot, this silhouette is a dream. Like a sleek shark in the water, but not at all, because it’s a shoe and it’s on land.

Whatever, it’s sleek and streamlined, with good lockdown throughout. The padding around the collar is just enough to keep it comfortable without adding bulk, and the tongue is thin but comfortable and stayed in place throughout my runs.

Let’s get back to the midsole. The Hyperion Tempo features Brooks’ all-new DNA FLASH, a nitrogen-infused foam that is quite similar to Skechers HYPER BURST. That’s certainly a compliment, as the HYPER BURST is one of the best midsoles out there. What’s not a compliment is the all-caps midsole spellings. My boss yells at me enough, I don’t need foam shouting at me too.

A thin layer of rubber in the forefoot and heel provides surprisingly solid traction on the outsole without adding significant weight.

The result is a light and enjoyable daily trainer that scales up in speed, while providing enough cushion to transition into a racing shoe up to a marathon.

This is my favorite Brooks shoe of any I’ve run in over the last three years. It reminds me of the feeling I used to get out of the Nike Epic React, but slightly more firm. I didn’t get the exact pop I get in new React foam, or even HYPER BURST, but it does provide good energy return, especially when picking up the pace.

In colder weather (like under freezing), this foam definitely firms up. I got a couple runs in when it got back into the 50’s and it felt much better.

Also, it’s a great-looking shoe. It looks fast, and it is.

brooks hyperion tempo heel

THOMAS: From the first moment I laid eyes on the Hyperion Tempo at The Running Event last December I knew I would like it. How did I know? It looked very similar to one of my all-time favorite shoes, the Skechers Razor 3.

The upper on the Tempo fits well and the lacing system helps dial in the fit over a thin tongue. The new style of laces like to curl up like a pig’s tail, but stay tied. The mesh over the vamp breathes well, at least well enough for me to feel the 30ºF air on my toes as I went through my stride.

The heel collar has a less pronounced elf lip off the back and holds the foot in securely without irritation. I was very pleased with the fit. I will note in thicker socks my toes started feeling the end of the shoe. You may want to size up if you are on the cusp. But really, as long as you don’t screw up the upper, the story about the Hyperion Tempo is in the midsole.

There are at least five brands using the nitrogen-infused midsoles right now. Skechers HYPER BURST, Reebok FloatRide, Salomon, and New Balance FuelCell. Of these, Brooks DNA FLASH is closest to the Skechers and Reebok foams. The DNA FLASH is light and bouncy and feels great underfoot. The foam is firm enough to provide a fast feel, but comfortable enough for higher mileage.

While it’s true that every person needs a plate while they’re in line at a Golden Corral buffet, not every runner needs a plate in their shoe to run a marathon. While its sibling in the Hyperion Elite has one, the Tempo is good as is, with a midsole that is a great option for any distance. Traction was no issue with plenty of sticky rubber on the outsole.

MEAGHAN: Rarely do I get excited about a Brooks shoe (sorry, local running stores) but it was basically love at first sight with the Hyperion Tempo. As Thomas said, we first got to hold these beauties at The Running Event back in December. A neutral, light shoe with a super bouncy midsole and minimal upper… it’s everything you’ve ever wanted for your feet.

The somewhat-stretchy woven upper has minimal overlays, paired with a lightly padded heel and collar provides all the comfort you need without all the weight. The nitrogen-infused foam is bouncy, responsive and light. As noted, it’s very similar to Skechers HYPER BURST. (I’ve actually been wear-testing the Skechers Razor Flow and I have to say, the similarities to this shoe are…uncanny). Even with all the rubber coverage, my W7.5 came in at 6.1 oz. Pretty, pretty good.

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brooks hyperion tempo toe

The Bad

ROBBE: The laces on this shoe are straight-up weird. I’m guessing it’s to save some weight, but they’re very thin and stretchy; as a result, the laces could double as limp spaghetti noodles dyed in squid ink. They’re just as annoying to tie as cooked pasta.

I’ve had this problem in other Brooks recently, but I felt they ran a little long in the toe (although Thomas seems to think the exact opposite). Take this with a grain of salt, as I’m wearing the women’s equivalent in my size since my M7.5 was not available for early release. I may have just needed to go down a half size.

THOMAS: I mentioned this above, the sizing could run a little short. Regular thickness socks a-okay, Balega Hidden Comfort made the shoe feel tight. Funny that Robbe and I had opposing experiences in the shoe fit. Moral of the story, try before you buy.

MEAGHAN: My second run in the Hyperion Tempo was a 20-miler. The shoes felt great, until they didn’t. What’s really to blame here? I don’t know, but the shoes seemed less bouncy and much more firm after mile 16 (I should also note it was 28ish degrees F). I was eager to take them off as soon as I got home. I’ve had zero issues on my 6-10 mile runs, but I figured it was worth noting. Maybe.

Shop Brooks brooks shoe

Brooks Hyperion Tempo Conclusion

ROBBE: I had a lot of high hopes for this shoe and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a simple, lightweight shoe that I’ll definitely be going back to quite often in my training, from daily runs to tempo runs.

At $150, the price point is high for Brooks, but it’s not totally insane. If you’re a Brooks loyalist looking for something fresh, you won’t be disappointed.

THOMAS: This is my favorite Brooks shoe ever. It is fun to run in, it’s light at 7.75 oz./220 gram, It has pop! If you don’t know what pop is, it is energy return popping your foot off the ground. It is like having Tigger in your midsole. Overall, I like this shoe a lot. If we didn’t have more shoes lined up for review, I’d be reaching for these for nearly every run. Compare the Hyperion Tempo to Skechers Razor 3 and Reebok FloatRide Energy, Nike React Infinity, New Balance FuelCell Rebel.

MEAGHAN: Not to sound like a broken record here, but… this my favorite shoe from Brooks to-date. From the simple design to the lightweight build and overall comfort, this shoe hits all the big marks for me. If you’re looking for a lightweight daily trainer that can easily pick up the pace, give these guys a shot.

You still gotta wait a while– the Brooks Hyperion Tempo is currently set for a 6/1 release. We can assure you that you’ll be able to pick it up at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and free 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

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Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Mark says:

    Interesting, I’ve never had a Brooks shoe I enjoyed running in. Love them for walking and casual wear, but not for running. Midsole are too dead and firm for my taste.

  2. Craig says:

    question for me! are these significantly different from the original Hyperion? When Desi won Boston in prototype Hyperion Elites…I knew I needed to have her shoe…but I’ve run in original Hyperions and they didn’t suit me…far too stiff for me…felt like running on a 2×4 often.

    I’m not going to call myself a Brooks loyalist because well New Balance has given me Zante/Fuelcell and they’ve been great…but Launch series has been my go to for a couple of years now and if the new Hyperion line can give me speed with the comfort of Launch then I’ll find myself hard-pressed to waste my time with anything else

    1. Tim says:

      They share the name Hyperion and there the similarity ends. Totally different shoe, as it falls under the Hyperion collection, but is not the Hyperion of a few years ago.

  3. Jesse Owens says:

    So the carbon fiber Elite will be out this month. Any chance the Tempo will be out prior to the expected June date?

    1. Robbe Reddinger says:

      We’ve heard it’s now the same time as the Elite.

  4. Kyle says:

    For someone who is unwilling to drop $250 on a shoe with a carbon plate, is the Hyperion Tempo a race-friendly alternative?

    1. Robbe Reddinger says:

      It definitely is. That or the Skechers Razor 3, both are very similar and very race-able.

  5. Steve Coleman says:

    How many miles should a typical runner expect to get out of these shoes? Are these a trainer that I could wear for 300-400 miles?

    1. Robbe Reddinger says:

      I have about 100 on mine and no real issues, but I see the outsole wearing down or coming off before 300. It’s a very thin layer. Cushion-wise, you should still be able to get 300 out of them. I love the shoe.

  6. Matt says:

    I’m a Brooks Ghost loyalist but was looking for something with a little more pop and my friendly local running store had these in stock during a recent venture out when trying to stave off quaratinitus.
    I run a 12.5 Ghost and am definitely glad I went with the 13 in this model. Feels spot on. Can’t wait to use these for some speedier training runs and, hopefully, a November marathon.
    Also it felt a lot better dropping $150 on these than the $250 I dropped on the Vaporfly Next% last year leading up to that marathon training cycle and ended up putting less than 100 miles on. I think these are more suited to helping this elite hobby jogger knock that PR down from 3:53 to 3:40.

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