Shoe review: Brooks Hyperion Tempo. So this is my first ever shoe review! I’ve been a Brooks fan for years, although I also have a lot of good experiences in other brands too, especially Asics. But I have never bought a race shoe before, until now, I’ve always just run in the standard Books Ghosts, which I love.
I decided to buy the Hyperion Tempo because I had a half marathon coming up, and because I had the vague notion of giving it a bit of a ‘push’ and doing well. Maybe even setting a PB. I was doing this in the context of a year-long plan in which I was using this half to train for a full, and the full to train for a milestone ultra. More about that in another post.
But I’m also a big fan of the The Running Channel and specifically @Anna the Runner and my girl crush extends to emulating the gear she chooses. (Hey, don’t judge. I also obsessed over Manolo Blahnik for years thanks to Carrie Bradshaw and I once bought the same pink track suit pants as Jennifer Garner …) Anyway, Anna said these shoes were fantastic so I picked them up at Shoe Guru and laced them up for a couple of trial speed runs before half marathon race day.
They feel … light. Is probably my first impression. The upper is so flimsy, almost transparent, that at first it feels like there’s nothing there. I had to lace my shoes quite tightly and wiggle my toes repeatedly to reassure myself that I was, in fact, wearing them. For me, they have quite a high stack height, which is a good thing, and they feel quite stable, compared to other race shoes which purposely keep you off-kilter to keep you driving forward. Lacing on a fit-for-purpose racing shoes definitely does gives you a mental thrill; shoring up my determination and my motivation and my sense of excitement from the very outset of the run.
But overall, after 21.1kms of fairly hard running in them, I was left feeling … a little disappointed. I didn’t have an amazing run after all and I know it’s not fair to blame my shoes for my lack of training. But they weren’t that comfortable, and with hindsight I think they should probably be reserved for the shorter runs; a parkrun PB or a 10km road race etc. Over the half marathon distance they felt a little ‘rubby’ and I started to notice the lack of support. Hey, with hips this size the legs and the feet do a little bit ‘extra’ in the balance and impact department, you know what I mean? I also got a couple of blisters in them which normally never happens to me.
But at the end of the day, I don’t think the problem was with the shoes. I think the problem was with the runner who makes a living and a reputation out of running slowly, and then who makes an impulse decision to buy ‘fast’ running shoes and then wonders why they didn’t work. So if Brooks ever bring out a new product in the form of a brain that makes better decisions, I’ll be the first in line to buy it. Until then, for the back of the packers like me I’d say, these shoes are amazing but not necessary. Save your money and invest in the Ghosts or Adrenalines and enjoy the amazing view of the early morning road and the more comfortable time on your feet!