Brooks Hyperion Tempo review TL;DR: near-perfect lightweight running trainers for tempo sessions/and everyday training.
This review is long overdue. I happened to attend the European launch of the Brooks Hyperion Tempo in January 2020 where I got to test the shoes as well as their racing counterpart, the Hyperion Elite.
And although the Elite is already on its second iteration, it speaks volumes about the qualities of the Hyperion Tempo that apart from the occasional colour changes, the shoes were left unchanged for two years, a long time in running shoe years.
What makes the Brooks Hyperion Tempo one of the best running shoes on the market today? Read on to find out.
Brooks Hyperion Tempo review: Price and availability
The Brooks Hyperion Tempo was released in early 2020 and is available to buy now at Brooks US, Brooks UK, Brooks AUS at selected third-party retailers for a recommended retail price of $150/£140/AU$299.95.
Brooks Hyperion Tempo review: Tech
If it’s speed you’re after, you’ll enjoy running in the Hyperion Tempo. This neutral running trainer weighs only 235 grams (men's UK 10), perfect for increasing tempo during your training sessions. In theory, the Tempo falls under the same category as the Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% but the Nike is not only a bit more performance-oriented, it's also much heavier than the Hyperion Tempo.
What makes the Hyperion Tempo so light is the DNA FLASH midsole, a responsive foam compound which was created by infusing Brooks’ adaptive DNA material with nitrogen. To emphasise the nitrogen content, Brooks originally coloured the sole of the Tempo blue but in recent iterations, such as the tested Run Visible model, this was altered.
As well as being lightweight and responsive, another appeal of the DNA Flash midsole is that it keeps the foot stable as you run. Deviation from the optimal stride was identified as the main reason for injuries by researchers at Brooks and the DNA Flash was designed to address this. And address it did!
Brooks Hyperion Tempo review: Ergonomics
The woven upper of the Hyperion Tempo makes it one of the most comfortable running shoes I ever tried. There, I said it! Although it’s not advertised as a wide fit model, I found the upper very accommodating of my rather wide feet. The laces pull the fabric together in just the right places.
To visualise how the Tempo fits, just picture one of those 5-minute craft videos where they take in jeans by stitching them up a bit. They go back and forth with the sewing pin and at the end, the fabric pulls together with one smooth motion. That’s how it feels fastening the laces on the Hyperion Tempo.
The step-in comfort is perfect and I experienced zero chafing while wearing the shoes. The upper behind the heels go a bit higher than usual but it curves out and is also soft and well-padded so it won't be in the way, ever.
As I was testing the new limited edition White/Nightlife/Black colourway, I was happy to note that although I tried on many, many more running shoes since January 2020, the Tempo was still as comfortable as I remembered it.
As for running dynamics, the Hyperion Tempo hasn’t got an integrated carbon plate so don’t expect that firm, snappy toe-off you might experience while wearing the best Nike running shoes. But for that exact reason, running in the Hyperion Tempo is super fun and responsive. It’s a bit on the soft side but not as much as the ASICS Novablast or the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run. Perfect firmness for tempo sessions.
Brooks Hyperion Tempo review: Aesthetics
Unlike the Brooks Aurora-BL, the Hyperion Tempo is not trying to steal the show by being too flashy. It doesn’t look as colourful as some Hoka One One shoes and although it’s definitely not as sneaker-like as the Adidas Ultraboost 21 or the Adidas 4DFWD, it’s not an eyesore either.
It looks like a Brooks running shoe, for better or worse. Brooks has the reputation of being America’s No.1 ‘Dad shoe’ brand but I think that’s a bit harsh. The Hyperion Tempo is not remarkable looking but it’s handsome enough in my opinion. The Run Visible version is also more – err – visible in the dark, perfect for winter training.
Brooks Hyperion Tempo review: Verdict
There is very little to criticise about the Brooks Hyperion Tempo. It’s one of my personal favourite training shoes ever and now that I tested it for the second time around, I was happy to realise that it’s still as good running in them, as it was two years ago.
It’s fast, light and agile so you can run and not worry about tiring out your feet. The Hyperion Tempo is one of those shoes that make me wish I didn’t have to test different shoes all the time so I could just wear the Tempo all the time. Alas, that’s not the case, but I will make sure I add the Hyperion Tempo back in the rotation so I can keep on enjoying it.
Brooks Hyperion Tempo review: Also consider
The Hoka One One Mach 4 running shoes have a luxurious feel with lots of padding and ventilation holes, similarly to the Hyperion Tempo. The Profly midsole feels both soft and springy, so you get a double whammy of cushioning and a firm toe-off, making the Mach 4 one of the most adaptable shoes around.
The Saucony Kinvara 12 is very similar to the Hyperion Tempo in both purpose and execution. It's responsive, snappy and offers sublime ground contact without sacrificing comfort or cushioning. The Kinvara 12 is also a tad bit cheaper than the Brooks.
The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 lives up to its reputation and provides premium, super-soft cushioning underfoot. At first glance, it might look like that the stack height is astronomical, but it's actually only 30mm under the heel, which is 25% less foam than what you find in top-tier running shoes. There is still a lot of bounce in the Fresh Foam 1080v11, regardless of the modest stack height.