Nike React Infinity Run 2 vs Brooks Hyperion Tempo: which running shoes should you choose if you’re after a soft, well-cushioned ride? Majority of runners are still considered ‘recreational’, meaning they run for pleasure and not for performance. These runners don’t much care about high performance shoes such as the otherwise excellent Asics Metaracer or Hoka One One Carbon X.
No, recreational runners 'just want to fun', as the song goes, and go out for a jog after work or in the morning in the weekends. They prefer running shoes that don’t need ‘breaking in’, have ample amount of padding and sometimes even have a bit of arch-support. These runners need shoes that will last longer and won’t fall apart after 100-150 miles.
For these runners, both the Nike React Infinity Run 2 and the Brooks Hyperion Tempo are a good choice. But which one of these are the best running shoes for recreational runners?
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Nike React Infinity Run 2 vs Brooks Hyperion Tempo: the tech
The Nike React Infinity Run 2 is a dual purpose running trainer, merging the benefits of supportive running shoes with the dynamism of high performing racing shoes. The former is achieved thanks to the extra-wide landing platform at the front, the upgraded Flyknit upper and the padded collar for support around the ankles, while the latter is realised by the Vaporfly-like rocker geometry, helping you move forward at every stride.
The Brooks Hyperion Tempo uses the ‘nitrogen-infused’ DNA flash midsole that not only makes the sole softer but also reduces deviation from the ideal stride, resulting in better energy return (plus conservation) and less fatigue. The stretch woven upper has a nice stretch to it and provides excellent fit as well as being highly comfortable.
Nike React Infinity Run 2 vs Brooks Hyperion Tempo: the design
Nike has updated the design of the React Infinity Run since the first iteration. The main difference is the padded collar which previously was more of a sock-like construction and caused chafing when not worn with at least mid-socks. The Nike React Infinity Run 2 has nearly – err – infinite customisation options, down to the colour of the swoosh, but this also means it can take up to four weeks for the sneaker to be delivered as they are made to order.
The Brooks is not as customisable as the Nike: the Hyperion Tempo only has four predetermined colourways, none of which are too exciting, to be fair. The Hyperion Tempo is certainly not an eyesore but it is not as attention-grabbing as the Nike, despite the colourful midsole. The contour of the shoes are not too bad and the Black/Iced Aqua/Blue colourway looks sleek enough.
Nike React Infinity Run 2 vs Brooks Hyperion Tempo: running in the shoes
Running in the Nike React Infinity Run 2 feels like cycling with the training wheels on: it feels secure but also a bit restricting. The Flyknit upper cradles and holds the foot firmly and the wide midsole ensures stable landings and take-offs. The shoes are not light and although you won’t drag your feet in them, the React Infinity Run 2 is definitely not as light as the Hyperion Tempo. The Vaporfly-like rocker geometry helps in moving forward effectively, though.
Running in the Brooks Hyperion Elite feels light and responsive. The DNA Flash midsole is springy and provides a 'supportive bounce' that reduces some of the impact force from the heels and creates a smoother transition from heel-to-toe. The stretch-woven upper is a great fit too: not race tight but not too loose either. The slits at the front of the upper allow air to enter the shoes, perfect to keep the feet cool during longer runs.
Nike React Infinity Run 2 vs Brooks Hyperion Tempo: price and availability
The Nike React Infinity Run 2 is available at Nike and selected third party retailers for a recommended retail price of £139.95 / $160 / AUD $230.
The Brooks Hyperion Tempo is available at Brooks and selected third party retailers for a recommended retail price of £140 / $150 / AUD $299.95.