Brooks Hyperion Elite 4: The Swiss Army Super Shoe

A snappy, slick, and reasonably priced supershoe? Yes, please.

Brooks Hyperion Elite 4: The Swiss Army Super Shoe 1

On Feb. 1, Brooks unveiled its most advanced super-shoe yet, the Hyperion Elite 4: a lightweight, road running sneaker designed to propel runners to faster times in the mile, the marathon, and every distance in between. 

Despite being overshadowed by Nike’s exclusive and high-profile release of the Alphafly 3 the month prior, the Hyperion Elite 4 has quietly gained credibility as a top product on elite start lines all over the world.

They were what UK Olympian Josh Kerr wore to win the 2023 Fifth Avenue Mile in a blistering time of 3:47.90, and what underdog Zach Panning donned as he shocked the field at U.S. Olympic Marathon trials and led much of the first 20 miles. Even American legend and Brooks athlete Des Linden has raved about them. 

I took the Hyperion Elite 4 for some test runs, and here I break down why this shoe appears popular with a wide variety of runners, how it compares to other road racers like the Nike Alphafly 3 and the On Cloudrunner 3, and whether or not it’s worth the buy.

The TL;DR – What You Need To Know:

7.2

MH RATING

Great value. Quality performer for workouts or a race.

  • The Brooks Hyperion Elite 4 feels compact and stable compared to some top-heavy supershoes.
  • Reasonably priced – or downright cheap – compared to similar shoes like the Alphafly 3.
  • Less cushioning than other carbon plated racing shoes, which is a pro and a con.
  • They feel much more like training shoes than blown-up racers (and I mean that in a good way).
Brooks Hyperion Elite 4 Review
  • All of our shoe testers are died-in-the-wool, experienced runners with a broad experience of the sport. They’re typically running 30+ miles per week.
  • We put each pair of shoes through a battery of tests: a typical review will involve several test runs on a variety of distances and terrains, designed to identify any snags or issues.
  • We talk to experts in the shoe industry and gather advice and insights from other runners, to best understand the shoe and how it suits the end user: you, the runner.

The Deets: Tech Specs For The Hyperion Elite 4

  • MSRP: $250
  • Release date: Feb 1
  • Stack height: 40mm 
  • Weight: 7.8 oz (men’s size 9) or 7.2 oz (women’s size 7)
  • Heel to toe drop: 8mm 

The Pros: 

Affordable: The Hyperion Elite 4 goes for $250 USD, which is reasonable by supershoe standards, if not cheap.

Versatile: Despite its 40mm stack height, it has a close-to-the-ground feel that makes sprinting feel natural. Yet, it packs enough energy-return technology to support you for half and full marathons.

Lightweight: The Hyperion Elite 4 weighs slightly less than its predecessor; the men’s Hyperion Elite 3 weighed in at 8.1 oz.

The Cons: 

Less cushioning: Runners may feel less bounce than with other supershoes in the late stages of a race.

Little rock-forward feel: The Hyperion Elite 4 does not propel its users onto their toes, as does the Alphafly 3 and other competitors.

Lack of heel and midfoot grip: The grip below the toes is excellent, but does not extend through the underside of the midfoot and heel.


Brooks Hyperion Elite 4: The Swiss Army Super Shoe 2

Brooks Hyperion Elite 4: First Impressions

When I looked at the Hyperion’s specs, I figured it would feel a lot like the Alphafly 3: both shoes are roughly the same weight, have an identical stack height and heel to toe drop.

But somehow, they almost feel like their opposite.

The Hyperion Elite 4 is not nearly as cushioned as the Alphafly 3 – or the New Balance Fuel Elite V4, or the Adidas Adios Pro 3, for that matter.

They are firm with minimal sink, and offer a strong connection to the ground. I find makes sprinting in them a bit less awkward. You may find the Hyperion similar to a more rigid supershoe, like the On Cloundmonster 3.

The Hyperion Elite 4s also lack a bit of that rock-forward mechanism that we see in most Nike supershoes, which somewhat forces you onto your toes.

So, if you are a heel striker who likes to feel the ground under them, the Hyperion Elite 4 might be for you.



Here are the Hyperion Elite 4’s key specs:

Speed Vault: The shoe comes anchored by a SpeedVault Race+ Carbon Propulsion Plate: a black web of carbon fibers that splays out from front to back. The concept, developed by technology firm Arris, is similar to Adidas’ metatarsal phalanges, and uses sustainable materials. 

DNA Flash V2 Foam: That carbon is embedded inside of two superimposed pieces of nitrogen-infused foam, which Brooks calls its DNA FLASH V2 foam. That material is specific to the Hyperion Elite 4, and allows better energy return and is 10 percent lighter than the previous foam used in the Hyperion 3. 

RapidRoll Rocker: The slight curve in the midsole is part of the RapidRoll Rocker technology, which is meant to propel runners forward. At best, it prevents runners from feeling flat-footed on landing. 

Grip: A tire-like network of grip covers the shoe’s bottom, protecting against abrasion and providing some traction – it comes in handy on wet or snowy runs.

Performance Fit QuicKnit Upper: The upper, meanwhile, is knitted to contain many ventilation holes for maximum breathability (cold-weather runners: wear thick socks). Despite the upper’s flimsiness, the fabric fits snugly and securely around the foot, and feels like a nearly-weightless second layer of skin.

Fit: The shoes fit true to size. I usually wear a size 11D, and detected no abnormalities in length or weight. 

Difference from the Hyperion 3: Because of the revamped upper, the Hyperion Elite 4 fits more like a glove on the foot than its previous model. The most detectable difference, however, is weight. Granted, the updated foam sliced only three ounces from the shoe, but in this era of super competition between brands, every bit counts. 


Brooks Hyperion Elite 4: The Swiss Army Super Shoe 3

Road Testing The Brooks Hyperion Elite 4

The Hyperion Elite 4 does the trick for race efforts, but their most underrated perk is how they respond in workouts.

Many of Hyperion’s competitors are so aggressive and cushioned that anything slower than race pace feels awkward.

When I break out an Alphafly or Adios Pro for a tempo run, I end up butchering my workout because the rockets on my feet force me towards race pace.

The Hyperion Elite 4, conversely, offers a smooth ride at sub-optimal speeds, while also having enough bounce to accommodate race efforts.



I mentioned earlier that the Hyperion Elite 4 does not thrust you onto your toes as do Nike supershoes.

While some people may consider that a weakness, I, a midfoot striker, consider it a strength in longer-distance workouts and races.

The Hyperion Elite 4 encourages me to land on my midfoot, which makes me feel like I am running truer to my style; while I cannot confirm whether or not that is biomechanically better for me, it certainly makes my strides feel more natural. 


Brooks Hyperion Elite 4: The Swiss Army Super Shoe 4

Brooks Hyperion Elite 4 Review Takeaways

If you’ve previously felt unstable atop marshmallow-style shoes that make it difficult to feel the ground, the more compact, traditionally-shaped Hyperion Elite 4 may be for you.

They feel much more like training shoes than blown-up racers, and I mean that in a good way.

Their classic shape and feel makes it easy to transition into them from your everyday kicks.

Plus, the Brooks Hyperion Elite 4 is an especially fine choice if you are a midfoot or heel striker who wants a good bang for your buck.

The same thing goes if you are interested in racing various distances in a season – be it a mile or a marathon – and want to invest in just one pair of racing shoes for challenges long and short.

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Alex is a Toronto-based journalist who writes mostly about health, sports, culture and people.

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