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We Stand Corrected: The Elite 1 Is No Longer Brooks’s Fastest Shoe

The Hyperion Elite 2—cushier and even more responsive—will launch September 1.

brooks endorphin pro 2
Lakota Gambill

The RW Takeaway: Borrowing the DNA Flash from the Hyperion Tempo, Brooks’s fastest shoe is now softer—and has more rebound.

  • DNA Zero is replaced with DNA Flash, a nitrogen-infused midsole
  • The stack height is 2mm higher
  • New Rapid Roll Technology for faster turnover

    Price: $250
    7.6 oz (unisex, men’s 9)
    September 1

    Buy Now More Images

    Eyebrows were raised when we saw Brooks’s sponsored runners whirr by spectators at the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. The shoes’ upper looked the same as the Hyperion Elite—a silver crackle like a speeding comet on white, with neon yellow accents—but the midsole was noticeably beefier.

    Before the Hyperion Elite’s launch on February 29, rumors were circulating that the brand was already working on the Hyperion Elite 2. Runner’s World spoke with Brooks to set the record straight.

    brooks hyperion elite shown on rw editor, amanda furrer
    Rapid Roll Technology and a carbon-fiber plate encourage smoother and faster turnover.
    Lakota Gambill

    The Rumors Were True

    Following on the heels of producing the Hyperion Elite and the Hyperion Tempo, the next logical step was to combine the best features of each shoe—the HE1’s carbon-fiber plate and Tempo’s DNA Flash midsole—to release the fastest trainer the brand had to offer.

    Development on the Hyperion Elite 2 began September 2019. Scheduled to drop September 1 of this year, the shoe is the fastest product developed in the history of the company, according to senior innovation developer Bryan Bhark. But the fast track to create the fastest shoe was not without obstacles.

    Seeking Validation

    In 2017, Brooks’s team started working on the Elite 1, with the primary focus of forging a very lightweight and responsive racer that could rival competitors’. They started with DNA Zero, a midsole that is 45 percent lighter than the brand’s BioMoGo DNA. Constructing the shoe with DNA Flash would be the next move, but the foam wasn’t scalable at the time. It would take sampling “a couple million pairs” of the Hyperion Tempo, said Bhark over Zoom, to give the team the confidence they needed to calibrate the technology. Once the foam was validated, work on the HE2 began.

    “There was a lot to learn from a manufacturing standpoint of how to utilize DNA Flash,” he said. “We wanted to make sure we weren’t going backwards from a biomechanics standpoint [and] that the shoe was going to remain stable over the marathon distance.”

    More Energy Return

    Marrying the DNA Flash midsole and carbon-fiber plate results in a bouncier, plusher platform with even more rebound. The support and softness the Elite 1 lacked is supplied in the Elite 2. By implementing DNA Flash, runners get the cushioning they craved.

    In addition to the propulsion provided by the carbon-fiber plate, a slight curvature of the heel and toe encourages faster turnover. Similar to Saucony’s SpeedRoll and Hoka’s Meta-Rocker, this new feature is Brooks’s Rapid Roll Technology. It’s that rocking motion you get when you flex your calves while standing, rolling forward into race position.

    brooks endorphin pro 2
    The mechanical stretch woven upper is lightweight and thin.
    Lakota Gambill

    We’ve yet to send the HE2 to the RW Shoe Lab, but according to Brooks’s measurements, the shoe is 14 percent more cushioned than the Elite 1, and has 14 percent more energy return. The foam also compresses 37 percent more than the original shoe. This displacement translates to more give and a softer, springier midsole. The stack height in the forefoot and heel is higher by 2mm.

    Like its predecessor, the shoe still has a wider platform compared to its narrower competitors, i.e., Nike’s Vaporfly Next%. This provides more stability and a more accommodating fit.

    Longer Lasting

    In regards to durability, many of our readers were critical of the 100-mile shelf life of the Hyperion Elite. Depending on how aggressive your gait pattern is (and if you’re willing to save this shoe when you want to set a PR), Brooks estimates the 2 can last from 200 to 400 miles before its retirement.

    brooks hyperion elite shown on rw editor, amanda furrer
    The Elite 2 is more resilient than its predecessor.
    Lakota Gambill

    Because it runs unisex, sizing may fit a little loose for women runners, especially around the heel. Personally, I wished the upper was snugger during test runs. Though the paper-thin heel collar is consistent with the Elite 1, I would have preferred a more traditional collar, like the Hyperion Tempo, with this update—even if it meant the extra weight. The tongue also tended to de-center itself midrun.

    With a few minor adjustments (this can be as simple as tighter lacing on the runner’s part), the Elite 2 is a shoe that will have you speeding out your door like Des Linden out of a race corral. Here’s to hoping we’ll all get that chance soon.

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