Why You Should Reach for Brooks’s Hyperion Tempo for Speed Days

The lightweight and responsive trainer reminded me what it felt like to race again.

The RW Takeaway: Don’t dismiss this shoe solely for training; the Hyperion Tempo belongs on a racecourse, as well.

  • Responsive DNA Flash midsole
  • Breathable woven mesh upper with a secure lacing closure
  • Padded collar translates to blister-free heels

Price: $299.95
 Training, Competition
207g (M), 189g (W)



The training shoe to the Hyperion Elite 2, the Hyperion Tempo is the workhorse that helps get you to the start line. But this shoe doesn’t have to stay benched come race day. It may not have the revered carbon-fiber plate, but its nitrogen-infused foam midsole, DNA Flash, provides plenty of responsive oomph to give you that competitive kick.

Hyperion Tempo




– Responsive nitrogen-infused midsole

-Breathable upper with a padded heel collar


-Less cushioned forefoot

Lightweight and fairly flexible, the shoe is similar in feel to Brooks’s Launch 7, a shoe with high energy return, according to the RW Shoe Lab, and moderate flexibility so you have just enough snap during turnover. I received a Strava email reminder telling me the Launch was miles from retirement (a rare message for a test editor who cycles through x-amount of shoes on the job). I predict I’ll get a similar email asking me to shelve the Tempo in the not-so-distant future.

Saucony vs. Brooks

Since the RW staff began working remotely, my vestibule has become a battleground of testing shoes vying for my attention. But out of the toppling piles, I find myself gravitating towards two pairs for hard tempos when I sometimes want to forget the state of everything or face those thoughts head-on during my run. Those shoes are Saucony’s Endorphin Pro and Brooks’s Hyperion Tempo.

It’s puzzling—at least for me—because both of these shoes have a companion. But each of these trainers has gained more mileage than the Endorphin Speed or Hyperion Elite 2 combined in my training journal.

Brooks has always been my racing shoe of choice (exception: a short fling with the Vaporfly 4%). And yet, I caught myself fantasizing about returning to road racing wearing the Saucony shoe. Fortunately, the Hyperion Tempo cemented the reason why I’ll always have a soft spot for Brooks.

Nitrogen-Infused Midsole

The Tempo’s nitrogen-infused DNA Flash midsole provides the cushioning the first Hyperion Elite lacked. In a Zoom interview with the Brooks team, it was revealed that the Tempo served as a prototype, with the Hyperion Elite 2 as its offshoot.

“A shoe like the Hyperion Tempo provides the perfect platform from a manufacturing and volume standpoint for us to feel confident that this technology can scale as we start increasing volume and then look to potentially apply those sorts of innovation-related processes across the line,” said Brooks senior innovation developer Bryan Bhark.

The Tempo validated the nitrogen-infused midsole, giving Bhark and his team the confidence that the foam was scaleable. Eventually, the foam was incorporated into the second iteration of the Elite, which will be launched September 1.

The shoe’s light weight makes it primed for PRs, from 5Ks to marathons. Though the midsole is more cushioned than the original Elite’s DNA Zero, some testers, such as runner-in-chief Jeff Dengate, desired more support, especially in the forefoot. In this case, you may prefer Saucony’s Endorphin Speed. Even I, a heel striker, occasionally had to switch to plusher trainers to give my metatarsals a break.

True-to-Size Fit

The Space Mountain tunnel-styled upper (the design represents a comet’s galactic journey) is made of stretch woven mesh and hugs your foot in place without creating any hot spots. It’s a breathable upper that has served well during these summer months in a sweltering hot, hilly valley. The closure erases any fears of coming untied. In fact, the laces are so effective, I’ve had a few episodes struggling to unknot them as I hopped on one foot. Hot tip: Sit down before proceeding.

The Tempo’s sizing is another reason not to relegate it as second best to the Elite. Because the latter is unisex, the sizing is based on a men’s foot. This can result in a slightly looser fit for women accustomed to a narrower heel. Because the Tempo is available in men’s and women’s sizing, its fit is more tailored to a women’s foot.

One more thought to mull over when deciding between the Tempo and Elite is the lower price. A fast shoe and a slightly thicker wallet? Now that’s a winner.

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