Friday, March 01, 2024

Hylo Athletics Impact Review: Running Performance meets Sustainability

Article by Sam Winebaum

Hylo Impact ($165, £150, €170)


The Hylo Impact is a road running shoe that focuses on both performance and “as much” sustainable content as possible today, without compromising that performance or adding to weight and cost.  

At $165 with a bio based nitrogen infused EVA midsole, a soft castor bean derived knit upper with the shoe overall by weight 40% bio based content at a very decent weight of 9.65 oz /  273g US(9)  Impact checks a lot of boxes for a road trainer, and even one without the strong focus on bio based materials as we have here. It even includes an NFC chip to help recycle it when needed.  So after initial runs does it perform as well as it specs out? Let’s find out.


Soft, energetic ride.

Soft supportive and comfortable upper

Sustainability focus: 40% Bio based content by weight, including 100% of the upper and 60% of the outsole as natural rubber. Recyclable via Hylo


Firmer rubber and more rubber? Could use a bit more forefoot underfoot structure and snap and heel response. 


Approx. Weight: men's 9.65 oz  / 273g (US9)  /  women's oz / g (US8)

  Samples: men’s  9.4 oz / 266g US ,  oz / g US

Stack Height: men’s 33 mm heel / 25 mm forefoot ( 8mm drop spec) 

Platform Width (measured): 90 mm heel / 70 mm midfoot / 115 mm forefoot (US9)

Available March 2024 including at Running Warehouse US HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

My almost but not quite totally monochromic sand and darker sand colorway is classy and not “all white” as so many 2024 shoes seem to be.  The Impact will also be available in Undyed White, all Black, and Black and White

Made from 100% castor bean derived Rilsan knit, the upper is super soft to the touch, very pliable and incredibly comfortable on the foot. To provide some structure to such a soft knit the toe box has an extended quite firm toe bumper.  

The foot is very well held but as a result, despite plenty of vertical volume and width, very wide feet may feel the extended side pieces. 

I was true to size no question with my first run in thin socks and second in thicker ones just fine.

The gusset tongue and lace up is near perfect in hold and comfort. The tongue is moderately but not excessively padded.  The lace up is once and done, a bit surprising as the materials are so soft and pliable but they clearly wrap the foot very well. 

The lace holder at the center of the tongue ingeniously includes a Hyoop NFC chip that can be scanned with a phone to access recycling info. 

The NFC tabs doubles as a touch of padding/lace support. 

The midfoot volume in terms of height is on the low side but I think due to the soft somewhat stretchy knit and effective lace up will adapt to a variety of foot volumes. The midfoot hold is good but not high speed locked down.

To better control all that soft comfort at the front of the shoe to the mid foot, the ankle and achilles  collars are quite high and firmly padded with the last laces overlay quite stiff.  Those with ankle bones that don’t get along with high collars take note although I had no issues. 

Finally,  the heel counter is progressively more rigid the lower down you go.. 

Midsole & Platform

The Hyperbolt midsole is made of a supercritical nitrogen infused bio-EVA with some sugarcane in the mix. Other nitrogen infused EVA foams include Brooks DNA Loft and some of the Puma Nitro foams. The Impact’s foam is softer than those and actually closer in feel to the ZoomX in the Invincible Run 1 and 2 from Nike (not quite as springy but more stable here and less rigid in feel than the Invincible 3). 

Compared to PWRRUN+ from Saucony or DNA Loft from Brooks the Hyperbolt foam is a bit softer yet. It actually reminds me most of the softer PWRRUN Bio + foam in the Triumph RFG (RTR Review), also a shoe with a very high sustainability focus.


Bottom line the foam is definitely on the soft side and energetic yet not mushy and energy sapping. 

The feel is of course helped by the platform. Relatively wide at 90 mm heel / 70 mm midfoot / 115 mm forefoot, Hylo wisely did not go too high as we have a 33mm heel and 25mm forefoot stack height. 

To stabilize the soft foam (and soft outsole) Hylo bumps out the medial side geometry with a mid foot with a pod and flares out at the medial forefoot (below) for a big and quite stable toe push off platform despite the soft foam.

No question it is a neutral shoe given the narrow midfoot and soft foam but the medial pod is clearly felt not as some kind of firm stabilizing element but as a softly supportive rebounding platform. 

I will discuss further in Ride but the net effect of this midsole is a soft light platform with just enough support and an easy toe off for melllow miles and plenty of energy to pick up the pace without the softness getting in the way of moving along.


The outsole is made of 60% natural rubber and is on the soft side to pressing and in feel on the road matching the softness of the midsole well. It is a very "silent" shoe. The strip pattern is meant to mimic a race car tire. 

Grip on dry has been good with wet conditions testing to come. 

The shoe has a long, even easier flex, something I like. I do think firmer rubber might improve snap and response. Outsole durability remains to be determined.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

The ride is soft and energetic yet also not mushy or energy sapping. I was able to do a solid progression at altitude on my healing broken knee cap with plenty of stability and with get up and go during the later miles.

Hylo kept the stack height at a reasonable 33mm heel with an 8mm drop. It then added the  effective medial support “rebound” outrigger, flared forefoot geometry, and flexibility. By doing this, the energetic soft foam is “tamed” and well controlled so that slow paces are equally as pleasant as faster ones with minimal instability, although for sure, it is a more neutral than support category shoe.

The ride reminds me most of a Nike Invincible Run 1 or 2 (RTR Review) with better more practical “manners” for daily training or a Saucony Triumph (RTR Review), Triumph RFG (RTR Review) or a Brooks Glycerin 21 (RTR Review) with a bit more taut if softer rebound and bounce and a more conventional more flexible less ponderous geometry.  It is clearly less blocky and more agile in feel if somewhat less cushioned and almost an ounce lighter than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus (RTR Review).

I would like to see firmer outsole rubber for a bit more snap upfront and a touch less soft more responsive heel landing, also maybe helped by firmer rubber or a slightly firmer foam. 

The upper fit is soft, comfortable and true to size.  The overall soft comfort top to bottom also can make them a fine walking and more casual shoe.

Hylo is to be commended for sincerely and effectively creating a super pleasant riding and fitting road trainer at a quite reasonable price of $165 and low weight of  9.65 oz  / 273g (US9) where, in summary, performance meets an all out effort to make running shoes more sustainable, not an easy thing to do 

Our full multi tester review with more comparisons is coming soon.

The Hylo Impact available now

Hylo Athletics HERE

Running Warehouse US HERE

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 66 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2023 was Sam’s 51th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he gets very very lucky. Sam trains 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah be it on the run, hiking or on nordic skis. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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