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Road Running Shoes • March 19, 2024

Hylo Athletics Hylo Impact Review: Shift Into Eco Mode

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What You Need To Know


9.8 oz. (280 g) for a US M9

Stack Height / Drop

33 mm in heel, 25 mm in forefoot (8 mm drop)

Best For

Daily miles with a green thumb

Key Features

Supercritical Hyperbolt midsole, PureGlide geometry, DWR-coated knit upper, Hyloop recycling platform

On The Run
Great sustainability practices Clean, simple style Upper is a bit too warm
Price / Availability

Available now for $165

Introduction to the Hylo Athletics Hylo Impact

THOMAS: The most difficult shoes to review are those that aren’t bad but aren’t exceptional, either. You know, the shoes in the “yeah, this one is alright” zone. They just don’t leave much room for creativity one way or the other. For example, the Hylo Athletics Hylo Impact is like the coffee house music of running shoes — it gets the job done but doesn’t thrill or offend you. What does elevate the Hylo Impact, however, is the company’s commitment to sustainability.

In the words of ex-footballer and Hylo Athletics co-founder Michael Doughty, “We are a community of runners. On a mission to protect the thing we love most. And the planet we do it on.” There’s not really a better way to put it if you ask me, though there are other ways to approach sustainability. Norda, for example, goes at it by making a nearly indestructible shoe so you buy fewer products over time.

Here’s how Hylo Athletics looks at sustainability:

First, the midsole foam. Hylo uses a supercritical formula called Hyperbolt in the midsole of the Hylo Impact. It’s a gas-injected, bio-based compound that reduces density, saves weight, and somehow manages to bump up the rebound with each stride. Hylo Athletics also relies on its Hyloop process to keep the materials in its shoes circling the Earth long after their first use. Once you finish tallying up the miles, you can send your pair of Hylo Impact back to the factory, where it’ll be recycled for another chance at life.

All of that sounds pretty good, but I won’t pretend that I’m a sustainability expert. We separate our trash and recyclable materials and only have one car, but that’s the extent of our green activity. Further, I’m not sure that sustainability has quite the grip on runners that Hylo might expect.

We did an informal poll on what was more important to runners, performance or sustainability, and performance came out on top with 69% of the vote. That apathy might change as eco-friendly shoes close the performance gap on the top-tier trainers we’re used to, but we’re not quite there yet. For now, though, let’s take a longer look at the Hylo Impact.

MEAGHAN: The Hylo Impact showed up before I’d ever even heard of the brand. Thomas already talked about the sustainability details, but nearly every aspect of this shoe is built with eco-friendly materials. It sounds great on paper, but it always makes me a little wary of its actual performance, so how did it go out on the roads? Let’s get into it.

What we like about the Hylo Athletics Hylo Impact

THOMAS: Up first, the Hylo Impact has a clean design that easily floats in the space between dedicated running shoes and casual wear. It fits true to size, and the mesh is soft with just a few welded overlays. I had no problems achieving a secure fit with the laces and heel counter, either.

The real difference maker for the Impact is Hylo’s midsole. In the past, we’ve complained about daily trainers feeling like bricks underfoot, but the supercritical Hyperbolt foam is much spongier. It sounds weird, but I’d almost call it gooey — in a good(?) way. I also like Hylo’s outsole setup, which is made of individual strips of rubber and reminds me of the Continental compound that Adidas uses.

MEAGHAN: It took me a few days to actually lace up the Hylo Impact. As I noted earlier, I just didn’t have many (or any) expectations for this shoe, which made it hard to get excited about, especially with tired legs in the middle of marathon training. That said, I was pretty happy with the step-in feel.

The Hylo Impact fits true to size, and the upper is comfortable. While the foam mostly just feels like a slab under the foot, it’s a really comfortable, somewhat responsive slab. It reminded me a little of Brook’s DNA Flash from the Hyperion Tempo or even the Puma Velocity Nitro 3. It’s a dense foam but also pretty squishy. I stuck with easy running in this shoe, and the miles clicked by pretty easily.

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What we don’t like about the Hylo Athletics Hylo Impact

THOMAS: Hylo’s midsole is on the pliable side, which means it sometimes feels uneven upon landing. It transitions nicely from heel to midfoot, but I noticed the forefoot felt kind of thin by comparison. Ultimately, the simple way to put all of that is that the Hylo Impact can feel a little slappy at times.

Moving on, if I were to compare the upper to a pair of jeans, Hylo is rockin’ a loose fit. There’s excess material around the arch and on the lateral side, which takes away from the sleek running shoe aesthetic. Also, Meg and I both noticed that the upper holds heat. We ran in temps that rarely crossed 50 degrees, but the dogs were cooking a bit. If Hylo Athletics wants to make its shoes even greener, it could probably open up that mesh and use even less material — bam, savings for the planet.

MEAGHAN: As Thomas mentioned, the upper is a bit warm. The upper material is comfortable, but there’s just a lot of it. I think a more open knit would go a long way here. There’s also just nothing really exciting about this shoe. It feels pretty boring in both its design and its feeling out on the roads — basically, it’s lacking a “fun” factor.

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Final thoughts on the Hylo Athletics Hylo Impact

THOMAS: While the Hylo Impact is probably one of the best examples of an eco-friendly running shoe, it still performs like a standard daily trainer. I wouldn’t say there was one characteristic that really stood out, but maybe that’s a good thing. How you feel about it probably comes back to the company’s mission. If you believe in Hylo Athletics’ goals and approach to problem-solving, this is the shoe for you.

Our own mission at Believe in the Run is to find products that make your run more enjoyable. The better your run is, the more likely you are to stick with it, so if lacing up a shoe with a lighter carbon footprint keeps you feeling good about running, here you go.

MEAGHAN: Thomas and I very much agree on this shoe. It’s a great eco-friendly option, but it’s just an OK daily trainer option. With so many shoes on the market, this wouldn’t be my first pick unless I felt very strongly about sustainability. For me, performance comes before sustainability when I lace up a shoe, so the Hylo Impact isn’t quite there yet. Still, it’s exciting to see brands make strides to close the gap between the two.

You can pick up the Hylo Athletics Hylo Impact for $165 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) using the buttons below.

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Thomas Neuberger
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As the founder of Believe in the Run, Thomas’s goal is to help runners pick the shoes and gear that will make their running experience the best that it can be. 

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Fav. Distance


  • 10:28

    50 Mile
  • 5:43

  • 3:20

  • 1:36

    Half Marathon
meaghan nyc marathon
Meaghan Murray
Boss Lady
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Meaghan signed up for her first marathon three weeks before the race, because it was $10 more than the half she planned to run. She learned everything in running the hard way. Now a USATF & UESCA certified run coach, she loves encouraging friends to go for big goals as she continues to chase faster times. She enjoys a hot cup of coffee, a cold martini, and making bagels for friends and family.

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Fav. Distance


  • 2:45

  • 1:21

    Half Marathon
  • 18:51

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