Exclusive: Brooks' Hyperion Elite Could Beat Nike's Vaporflys

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Update time : 2022-05-31 09:23:41
        As 2020 Tokyo Olympics approaches, 36-year-old marathoner Desiree Linden is capturing hearts and headlines. This February, Linden will toe the line at the US Olympic marathon trials in Atlanta. Two months later, she’s lining up at the storied Boston Marathon, and—if all goes according to plan—she will represent the United States in Tokyo in August.
       This is an ambitious, brutal schedule for any marathoner, especially one nearing the end of her career. But Linden has the chops and the heart. Runners know Linden as much for her unpretentiousness and her dogged work ethic as for her epic win in a freezing monsoon at the 2018 Boston Marathon. It was a show of raw grit that brought this particular writer, and many other people, to tears.
       But unlike many elite runners, Linden didn’t accomplish her feats while wearing a pair of the Nike Vaporfly Next%, the shoe that purportedly makes runners 4 percent faster; it's the same shoe World Athletics, the sport’s governing body, considered banning from competitions. Instead, she wears Brooks’ new Hyperion Elite. This shoe has been in development since August 2017 (Linden was wearing a prototype at Boston in 2018), and it just might be the most-anticipated running shoe launch of the year.
     Seattle-based Brooks isn't a trendy running-shoe company. For the past decade, its designs have been known more for durability, reliability, and comfort rather than for bold colors or flashy new technology. In fact, Nikhil Jain, a senior manager of Brooks’ BlueLine product range, shies away from keeping statistics on whether the Hyperion Elite has made anyone quantifiably faster.
     “Right from the onset, we’re not looking into how much more efficient” the shoe makes you, said Jain in a phone call to WIRED. “Our perspective was to focus on our philosophy of reducing deviation and providing support to the runner … When you’re running a marathon and these longer distances, when fatigue sets in, your form starts breaking down. Our thought process, which is not necessarily revolutionary, is very consistent with keeping a runner in their preferred motion path.”
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