Brooks is introducing a new marathon shoe, Hyperion Elite, that offers runners a carbon fiber midsole for lightweight endurance and propulsion.

The designers at Brooks started working on a project in mid-2017, aiming to create a new racing platform that provided more support and energy return to runners, especially in the latter portions of a marathon. In collaboration with some of the world’s top runners, the team created the new Hyperion Elite marathon shoe, introducing a carbon fiber plate sandwiched between the midsole compound, providing the runners the energy return and stability they need to succeed.

The Hyperion Elite, weighing in at less than 7 ounces, is designed for the immediate lead up to a marathon and race day.  The new DNA Zero midsole contains an EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) compound with additional air in the mix to boost the heel height from 20mm to 28mm while weighing 25 percent less than the foam used in the past. According to Nikhil Jain, senior manager of Blue Line products at Brooks, the carbon fiber plate was inserted and sandwiched between the midsole compound to provide more “pop for the runner” in the form of energy return but also work as a supportive stabilizer through the end of the race.

The carbon fiber plate and the shoe’s spine construction work together to speed the transition from heel to the forefoot in each step and provide a toe-off propulsion effect. “If the shoe can work with the runner and give back the energy that the runner themselves are actually exerting,” Mr. Jain says, “it is a win-win for us.”  The new design also includes an upper built of mechanical stretch woven material, both lightweight and supportive.

Brooks plans to roll out the new Hyperion Elite during the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta on Feb. 29, making the shoes available to consumers on the brand’s website and in select retailers just days before the event. Wider distribution will follow in June.

World Athletics recently further opened the possibility of carbon fiber uses in racing shoes, and Brooks is already prototyping its Hyperion 2.0.