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Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 Review (2022): Good Super Shoes?

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 review

Published on: 09/20/2022

The new Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 is a versatile carbon-plated running shoe that trades performance for accessibility.

The Consensus

8.9Overall Score

Versatile and comfortable running shoe for training runs and race days

Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.

Brooks is the top brand when it comes to selling running shoes. Fairly or unfairly, being on top comes with certain expectations. When designing the next version of a well-liked shoe, Brooks had the choice between sticking with what made the Hyperion Elite line popular or taking a huge step forward and innovating the next wave in super shoes.

The brand decided to stick with the proven design of the previous version of the Hyperion Elite while improving one area of concern: the upper. There are plenty of opinions on whether Brooks should have done more with this update to the Hyperion Elite 3, but ultimately Brooks succeeded in doing what they set out to do.

The Hyperion Elite 3 is a comfortable shoe with improved lockdown that appeals to a wide range of runners. This shoe has potentially lost a step as a race day shoe for top runners. The qualities that appeal to more runners make this an outstanding shoe for training runs and race day for more moderate runners. Top leaderboard runners may find these shoes heavier and lacking the explosive power of other carbon plate super shoes.

Please read our full review of the Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 for more information.

Comfort
9
Responsiveness
9.5
Foot lockdown and protection
9
Stability
9
Durability
9
Value
8
Design
9

PROS

  • Versatile
  • Comfortable with adequate cushion
  • Durable
  • Highly breathable
  • Good for wide feet and narrow feet
  • Updated upper – including tongue and laces
  • Attractive design

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Heavy compared to other race-day shoes
  • Dense foam
  • Harsh ride
  • Not ideal in wet conditions

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 Complete Review Analysis

Introduction

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 reviews

The Brooks Hyperion Elite has been in the zeitgeist since Desiree Linden won the 2018 Boston Marathon wearing a Hyperion Elite prototype. Running fans weren’t amazed that Desiree won but that she won in a pair of Brooks shoes and not another shoe with lots of experimental bells and whistles.

It’s been over four years since that feat, and Hyperion Elite devotees have been anxiously awaiting the release of the Brooks Hyperion Elite 3. The American brand made its name by producing solid, stable, dependable, yet high-performing shoes. This third iteration of the Brooks Hyperion Elite is a good running shoe and certainly meets the standards Brooks has set for itself.

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3

Some marathon racers, however, are discouraged that the latest update consists of a new upper but no other changes. Is being a quality shoe enough when other direct competitors are producing other super shoes that push innovation forward (especially at $250)?

Cushioning

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 midsole cushioning foam

The Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 is a supremely cushioned shoe, and the midsole is a carbon copy design of the Elite 2. The Elite 3 has an impressive hunk of DNA flash foam. The DNA flash compound has a comfortable feel but is also dense.

As a super shoe, it has a full-length carbon fiber plate. The Hyperion Elite 3 combines carbon plate technology with the Running Rapid Roll to enhance forward propulsion.

This super shoe has a high stack (35 mm at the heel, 27 mm at the forefoot) and an 8 mm high heel-to-toe drop of 8 mm.

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 on feet

How do the various midsole technologies paired with the high stack and high drop add up for the Elite 3? Reviewers had many positive things to say. The DNA flash foam is light and stable. The ride is easy, comfortable, and cushioned. In tandem with Rapid Roll, the carbon plate has a fair amount of snap and energy return, especially at toe off.

That being said, there are some complaints. Though comfortable, the foam is dense and not as responsive as desired. This was extra disappointing since Brooks used a different improved midsole, including new foam on one of its other shoes — Aurora-BL. Even though some reviewers enjoyed the snap of the plate, others didn’t feel the effects as much.

Foot lockdown

Hyperion Elite 3 engineered mesh

The redesigned upper is where Brooks put its development budget for the Elite 3. Brooks totally renovated both the materials and the design. The most observable change to the upper is the update to QuicKnit fabric. QuicKnit is a flexible knit fabric that replaces the woven mesh used in the Hyperion Elite 2. This material is more substantial but also more breathable with some stretch.

In addition to just the material, the construction changes include an updated heel and flared collar with more padding, a semi-gusseted tongue, and new serrated laces. The combination of these changes adds up to a secure lockdown, better breathability, no rubbing or blisters, and laces that stay tied without a double knot and don’t negatively affect performance.

The Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 has a wider platform that works for a narrow or wider foot. Reviewers recommend going down a half size.

tying shoelaces on the Hyperion Elite 3

The Hyperion Elite 3 is attractive and considerably less showy than others in the super shoe game. It’s a clean look and is only available in one color — Blue Surf.

The only real drawback to the redesigned upper is the additional weight (8.8 oz (252g) for Men’s 10.5, 6.98 oz (197g) for Women’s 7.5). This shoe is almost an ounce heavier than the mesh used in the Elite 2. Most would agree that the redesigned upper was a positive move and a big step further, but it would have been nice to offset the extra weight elsewhere in the shoe.

Grip and durability

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 exterior part of the sole

There’s good news if you enjoyed the outsole of the Hyperion Elite 2. The outsole on the Hyperion Elite 3 is the same design as the Elite 2.

The rubber outsole is cleaved down the center with a fair amount of exposed foam. There is good rubber coverage around the heel and forefoot. The extra heel coverage is well placed to prevent premature foam deterioration.

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 running shoe heel counter

The grip is acceptable on dry road surfaces but is less dependable once water comes into the mix. Running on wet surfaces is not fun due to the negligible tread and thin rubber.

The outsole durability is impressive even with the exposed foam. Runners didn’t experience excessive wear even through 250 miles and beyond. The revamped upper also impressed with its durability.

The ride

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 unisex (men and women) road running shoes

The ride reception for these running shoes is mixed based on the intended function. Runners who wanted to use the Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 as a daily trainer, even on long runs, fell on the positive side of the spectrum. Athletes that want a more traditional super shoe capable of pushing them across the finish line weren’t as enthusiastic.

Reviewers’ descriptions of the ride ranged from smooth to harsh. Those who thought the ride was smooth also enjoyed the stability of the cushioning at different paces and see the Hyperion Elite 3 as a capable marathon trainer — a possible option for race day.

runner wearing Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: forgiving ride with an easy feeling

Those who weren’t as impressed found the ride too firm, nonresponsive, lacking energy return, and felt a sudden heel-to-toe transition. The shoe simply makes the runner work harder when wearing the Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 compared to other models in the category. The ride was rated better at high speeds but felt closer to the ride of a much cheaper shoe.

Conclusion

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 on the ground

The Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 has a lot to like. The midsole is comfortable and stable, even if a bit dense. The durability is top-notch on all fronts. The upper is vastly improved in terms of its breathability, lockdown, and spacious toe box.

All of this would be enough in a vacuum, and for some Brooks running diehards, it is enough. The issue is that Brooks could have done more to advance this shoe, but they opted not to.

The Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 has drifted from a first-class super shoe to a good shoe in a lower category. By declining to update the midsole, the Elite 3 falls into the training shoe zone as opposed to a high-speed racing shoe category — which is significant due to the high price.

Facts

Hyperion Elite 3 Brooks

Technical Specs

TerrainRoad
Pronation typeNeutral
Drop8 mm
Heel height35 mm
Forefoot height27 mm
Weight (men)252 g/8.9 oz
Weight (women)197 g/6.9 oz
FeaturesCarbon-fiber plate, Unisex
Athletes
Release year2022
PriceCheck prices

Cushioning

SoftnessFirm
ResponsivenessHigh

Technologies

OutsoleStrategic Rubber
MidsoleDNA Flash Foam, Carbon-Fiber Propulsion Plate, Rapid Roll Technology
UpperQuicKnit Fabric

Use

SpeedModerate, Fast
DistanceHalf marathon, Long, Marathon
WorkoutDaily running, Racing

Reference: Brooks's official site

Comparisons – Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 vs.:

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 side view

Elite 2

The Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 and Elite 2 have a lot in common. They have the same cushioning, full-length carbon fiber plate, and outsole. The only real difference between the two is the redesigned upper of the Elite 3.

That enhanced upper impresses with its superior lockdown and excellent breathability. This should be a slam-dunk victory for the newer Hyperion Elite model at face value. The only downside to the latest upper design is the additional heft — almost an extra ounce.

The choice between the Elite 2 and Elite 3 comes down to whether you want to prioritize better lockdown or lower weight.

Jeff Knese

Jeff Knese

Jeff is a freelance writer, runner, hiker, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. He has completed two half marathons and has recently been making annual trips to Colorado to summit new 14,000-foot peaks. Jeff is a big believer in consistency which keeps him running year-round even in the cold winters in the city of Chicago, Illinois.

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