Brooks Hyperion Max Review

We have a large contingent of Brooks customers at Northern Runner that will be happy to see this it’s our Brooks Hyperion Max review. The Brooks Hyperion range is all about helping the runner go faster. The range consists of the Hyperion (which was Hyperion Tempo), Hyperion Max and the Hyperion Elite. They all use Brooks’ DNA Flash midsole, which is a nitrogen infused foam midsole. These are designed to offer a firm and responsive ride. They also all have a curved rocker type midsole which Brooks calls Rapid Roll Technology.

Hyperion vs. Hyperion Max vs. Hyperion Elite

Hyperion: Firm responsive fast feeling shoe. Designed for quicker running like Tempo’s, steady runs, hill repetitions and intervals.

Hyperion Max: These will do everything that the Hyperion will do but, an extra layer of midsole makes the shoes feel a little softer. This extends the distance that most runners will be able to use the shoes for so as well as faster workouts they can also be used for long runs and specific marathon sessions. The slightly softer feel to the midsole means that they will also function as an easy run shoe too.

Hyperion Elite: These are the racing version of the Hyperion and have carbon fibre plate in the midsole of the shoes to give some extra forward propulsion. These are best kept for race days and some faster training sessions.

The latest shoe, the Brooks Hyperion Max, is a lightweight go-fast training shoe that could also be used for racing. Like all the Hyperion styles, it is neutral i.e. offers no action anti pronation support.

The first thing you notice when picking up the Hyperion Max is the weight.. or lack of it! The men’s weighs 221g and the women’s 190g. As you would expect in a well-cushioned shoe that weighs this little, the upper is a very light construction. It is made from a stretch weave. Very similar to the upper of the Hyperion (Tempo). The upper is very breathable with light padding around the heel cup and in the tongue. The one piece construction means that there are no seam lines to rub. It is so light that when you put it on you aren’t aware of it at all. The Hyperion Max is a snug fit through the midfoot. A little narrower than the Hyperion (Tempo) in my experience. Although the toe box isn’t wide, it doesn’t feel cramped and has a straight big toe line, which allows the other toes to move freely. This makes the toe box feel more roomy. The whole Hyperion range is only available in ‘standard’ width. In our experience they are a little narrow through the midfoot.


As mentioned previously, the Hyperion Max midsole is made from Brooks DNA Flash midsole and has the curved shape of a shoe with a rocker. Many brands use rockers now. They reduce heel strike as the heel is cut away or curved upwards. This promotes more of a midfoot landing and reduces over striding so your foot lands under your centre of gravity. This reduces impact force. The curve at the toe keeps the foot moving and encourages you to use your hamstrings and glutes to lift your leg backwards. This increases cadence, gives you a more upright posture and makes you lighter on your feet. All these added together means that the impact on your body is less and you run faster.

In effect the Rapid Rocker Technology is designed to ‘turn the shoe into a wheel’. Keeping your legs turning over at a quick cadence. The rocker is very noticeable when you stand up in the shoes but once you start to run at a pace above a jog it feels very natural.

When standing up in the shoes the midsole feels firm. I am a fan of firmer midsoles and like the responsive feel they give. If you are used to running in shoes with a very soft midsole then they will feel hard. However, once running in the shoes for more than a few minutes the midsole loosens up and the increased forces gives the midsole a softer more bouncy feel.

The increased stack height in the midsole compared with the Hyperion (Tempo) isn’t really noticeable. The base of the Hyperion Max is a little bit wider to give a bit more stability over long runs and counteract any instability that the increased stack height might create.

The outsole is made from Brooks Green rubber. This is designed to be durable but offer good grip in the wet. This is something that I have been able to test a lot in the last few weeks, as it’s ben very wet in the North East of England. The grip is good. Much better than the grip on the Brooks Adrenaline GTS and Brooks Ghost, which are both a little slippery on smooth wet tarmac or smooth paving slabs.

Nitrogen infused midsoles like Brooks DNA Flash in the Hyperion Max are firmer than compressed or injected EVA midsoles used in other shoes. This firmness is more marked as there is a trend towards marsh mallow, pillow like feeling midsoles. The draw back with really soft midsoles is that they don’t activate the feel to function. The midsole is so soft that your foot doesn’t know that it has touched the floor, so it doesn’t spread on impact. If they are used too frequently your feet will get weaker. Really soft midsoles also wear out faster and when used for a long time get softer. A soft midsole is more difficult to run fast in. If it gets softer during a long run then it can make it difficult to maintain or increase the pace in the latter stages of the run. It’s why a lot of shoes that have really soft midsoles and are designed to run quickly in have a plate made from carbon fibre or Pebax in the shoe. This provides the stiffness and responsiveness, particularly towards the end of a long run. The disadvantage of plates in shoes is that they do a lot of the work of your foot. This can lead to weak calves and feet if used too frequently. The Brooks Hyperion Max doesn’t need a plate, as the midsole doesn’t get softer during a long run. My longest run in the shoes was two and a half hours. I was able to increase the pace in the last half hour. The Hyperion Max felt as fast and snappy as it did when I started.


Nitrogen infused midsoles are also durable enough to cope with continuous wear. I have done over 150 miles in the Hyperion Max I have and there is no sign of fatigue in the midsole. The outsole rubber is also untouched. I have a pair of Brooks Catamount which is the trail version of the Hyperion Tempo. These have done over 600 miles and the midsole still feels the same. They have been used for a mixture of road and trail. The trails being disused railway lines and hard packed bridleways. Although the midsole of the Hyperion Max is slightly softer and they will be used mainly on the road I expect them top last as long.

The heel to forefoot drop is 8mm. Although I am used to shoes with lower drops than this I didn’t find it an issue. The curve of the rocker drops you onto your midfoot in a very natural way. With other shoes with rockers, especially carbon plated shoes I feel like the shoes is in control of what my foot is doing. This wasn’t the case with the Hyperion Max. I found them very comfortable and easy to run in.

Shoes that are designed to be used at lots of different paces are always better at some than others. Although I found the Hyperion Max to be great at all fast paces where it started to not feel perfect was when running on the track. Running around in circles was the first time that I noticed the stack height. It was definitely more noticeable when running around the bend at speed.

The slightly softer midsole than the Hyperion (Tempo) made the Hyperion Max feel more flexible. The outsole isn’t really flexible so this might be because you’re compressing the midsole a bit more but it makes the shoes feel more natural. The slightly softer midsole also made the shoes better on roads where the tarmac was a bit more broken, as the midsole was able to absorb small stones or allow for a camber better than the firmer Hyperion.

Although the Hyperion Max is a very light shoe, they feel even lighter on your feet. The rocker in the shoe definitely increases cadence and makes you lighter on your feet. You feel like you haven’t got a shoe on!

The Hyperion Max sizes the same as other Brooks shoes. Brooks are in my experience a bit more generous in size than some other brands. I use a UK 11.5 in Hoka, New Balance and Topo to get a similar length shoe to my UK11 Hyperion Max.

In summary, the Brooks Hyperion Max is a very versatile fast shoe. Better suited to distances of 5km up to marathon pace but enjoyable at fast and slower paces. As will all shoes designed to run quickly they are likely to encourage you to run quicker than ideal on your easy/recovery runs. So, although they will be comfortable for these types of runs other shoes would be better.

Other Considerations

Hoka Mach 5: A softer ride. Not quite as fast and snappy as the Hyperion Max. Available in two width Men’s and Women’s. For more information here is a link to our review:

Topo Specter: A broad rounded toe box makes these a broad fit with enough space to encourage good foot function. For more information here is a link to our review:

Altra Vanish Tempo: A rounded toe box is designed to allow foot function. Zero drop encourages a more natural midfoot strike. With a responsive, well cushioned midsole:

New Balance Fuelcell Super Comp Trainer: A maximal cushioned training shoe with a carbon plate to help with propulsion. The 47 mm stack height offers a soft maximally cushioned ride:

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