Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 review: Not quite an elite level racing shoe

Brooks’ carbon racer feels more like an uptempo daily trainer

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3
(Image: © Mike Sawh)

TechRadar Verdict

The Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 promises to help you excel on race day. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t match up to carbon-plated shoes from the likes of Nike, Adidas, Asics and Saucony when it comes to providing the high-performance feeling you want as you approach the start line.


  • +

    Provides a good lockdown

  • +

    Stable for a speed shoe

  • +

    Outsole grip feels solid


  • -

    Lacks that super shoe feeling

  • -

    Overall firm feel

  • -

    Feels like a better uptempo trainer

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Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: One minute review

Brooks wants the Hyperion Elite 3 to be the best running shoe for race day, the one shoe you lace up when you’re ready for peak performance. 

Like the Elite 2, Brooks says this shoe is the perfect choice for those who run marathons and half marathons, and it sticks largely to the same formula as its predecessor. There have been some small tweaks, which Brooks hopes will make the Hyperion Elite 3 the shoe of choice if you’re stepping up to that start line.

It’s up against a host of carbon race shoes, such as the Nike Vaporfly 3, Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 and Asics Metaspeed Sky+ among others, which have graced most the feet of some of the fastest runners on the planet such as Eliud Kipchoge. It also faces competition from new brands of race shoe in the market, such as the Hoka Rocket X 2 and On Running Cloudboom Echo 3.

Competition appears to be pretty fierce, then, and the feeling is that maybe the Elite 3 isn’t quite the shoe of choice for chasing a PB.

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Specifications

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3

(Image credit: Mike Sawh)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
ComponentBrooks Hyperion Elite 3
Weight246g (men's size 8)
MidsoleDNA Flash
Heel-to-toe drop8mm

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Price and availability

  • $250 in the US
  • £200 in the UK
  • AU$399.95 in Australia

The Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 launched in the US in 2022, and in the UK in early 2023. You can pick up a pair for £200 / $250 / AU$399.95, which makes this shoe cheaper than the Nike Vaporfly 3, Asics Metaspeed Sky+, Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 and Saucony Endorphin Pro 3.

  • Value score: 4/5

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Design

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3

(Image credit: Mike Sawh)
  • Quickknit upper
  • 8mm heel-to-toe drop
  • Weighs 246g in UK size 8

The Elite 3’s design doesn’t see too much of a shift away from the Elite 2. The main change is a move to Brooks’ knitted style of upper, rather than the mesh kind used for the Elite 2. Brooks has also updated the design of the heel and the collar, to address some of the rubbing issues associated with the Elite 2.

An 8mm drop remains, but it’s picked up some weight over its predecessor. My UK size 8 weighed in at 246g, which makes it heavier than the Nike Vaporfly 3 and the Asics Metaspeed Sky+.

Sticking with its DNA Flash midsole foam, which is an EVA-based setup that’s nitrogen-infused to deliver a lightweight and fast ride, Brooks partners this with a full-length carbon plate to promise some pop when you hit your top speeds. The rubber outsole looks identical to the one used on the Elite 2, with a similar pattern and exposed areas of foam. 

Overall, I found the fit pretty decent. The ridged laces and slightly gusseted tongue offer a strong foot-ground connection, keeping you secure inside the shoe with no sliding around, and I didn’t experience any rubbing at the heel, either. The stretchy nature of the upper creates some welcome space up front in the toe box, so I’d say that opting for your regular size should work for most. 

  • Design score: 3.5/5

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Performance

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3

(Image credit: Mike Sawh)
  • Feels more speedy daily trainer than race shoe
  • Same DNA Flash as Hyperion Elite 2
  • Outsole grip performed well on dry and wet roads

 Brooks pitches the Hyperion Elite 3 as a racing shoe, and while I’ve yet to use them in that capacity, I’ve aimed to replicate that race pace in my runs with the shoes on my feet. What I’d say about that time is that the Elite 3 shoe doesn’t feel quite that Elite.

In fact, I’d say the Elite 3 would be more suitable for uptempo training sessions of the type you’d do before actually starting to race. Brooks’ DNA Flash delivers an EVA-type midsole as opposed to the more popular Pebax-based type used to such great effect by the likes of Nike, Hoka and On Running. As such, the Elite 3 feels more firm and, along with the carbon plate, really requires you to engage with that midsole to get the best out of it.

Run quicker in the Elite 3 and you’ll experience a more rockered feeling at the forefoot, a more stable feeling than most top-tier carbon racing shoes. If you’re hoping this is a shoe you can ease off in, this simply isn’t the case here. You’ll feel a firmness and stiffness at slower speeds; but that’s hardly surprising given it’s a shoe pitched at giving you that speedy feeling. 

The Elite 3 definitely wouldn’t be my shoe of choice for going particularly long; other super shoes feel a bit more forgiving over distance by comparison. It screams tempo running and speed sessions, and will reward you in such use. However, it doesn’t deliver that “wow”, even against speedier training shoes that are available for a lot less.

Elsewhere, the outsole has generally been fine in terms of grip. I’ve run the pavements in the Elite 3 on both dry and wet days, and while it’s held up surprisingly well on the latter, I’m still of the opinion that the Elite 3 feels more at home in drier running conditions.

  • Performance score: 3.5/5

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3

(Image credit: Mike Sawh)

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Scorecard

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ValueCheaper than many competitors.4/5
DesignFits true to size, but heavier than it needs to be.3.5/5
PerformanceFirm and stiff, not one for long distances. 3.5/5
TotalA solid shoe, but there are better elite race-day options out there.3.5/5

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

You a prefer a firm feeling running shoe

The DNA Flash midsole in the Elite 3 prioritises stiffness over a bouncy ride to keep you speedy.

You want a running shoe for speed sessions

The Elite 3 isn’t for easing off in; it rewards when you up the pace.

You want a stable running shoe

If you like the idea of a shoe that keeps you well grounded at faster paces, the Hyperion Elite 3 definitely delivers.

Don't buy it if...

You want the best carbon racing shoe

The Hyperion Elite 3 doesn’t deliver that same feeling of “wow” you’ll get from rival carbon plate racing shoes.

You’re hoping for a big update from Hyperion Elite 2

The changes from the Elite 2 to Elite 3 largely concern the upper, so performance remains pretty similar overall

You like a soft, cushioned feeling 

The Hyperion Elite 3 is a firmer-feeling shoe compared to carbon shoes from Nike, Saucony and Asics.

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Also consider

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ComponentBrooks Hyperion Elite 3ASICS Metaspeed Sky +Hoka One One Bondi X
Weight246g (men's size 8)205g (men's size 8)300g (men's size 9)
UpperQuickknitMotion Wrap3D Hotmelt mesh upper
MidsoleDNA FlashFF Blast TurboEVA
OutsoleRubberAsicsGrip outsole rubberMeta-Rocker
Heel-to-toe drop8mm5mm5mm

ASICS Metaspeed Sky Plus

One of the best race-day super-shoes.

Read our full review


Hoka One One Bondi X

The best running shoe for long distances

Read our full review