Hylo Athletics IMPACT Review: The World Needs More Sustainability Driven Brands Like This

Sharing my take on the Hylo Athletics IMPACT running shoes; from a sustainably driven brand encouraging us to "run like the world depends on it".


All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links, we may earn a commission.

Hylo Athletics is a fairly new running brand, established in 2020, promising innovative features like a Formula 1 inspired outsole and an NFC activated recycling program, and ultimately encouraging us all to “run like the world depends on it”; is there any other way to run? 😉

The Hylo IMPACT is our first of their running shoes to be reviewed here on Trail & Kale – so, I’m excited to share my experience on how they perform in the real world.

Hylo Athletics IMPACT Review | Trail & Kale
Hylo Athletics IMPACT Review | Trail & Kale

The $165 price tag is certainly premium for a running shoe from a brand that’s new on the scene, but behind this cost, you do get product made with premium, sustainable materials and a B-CORP carbon neutral brand committed to protecting the future of running, and this beautiful planet Earth, we call our home.

I’m excited to see this company grow, and I’m so glad I can help be a part of this sustainably conscious future – but for now, let’s get stuck into this Hylo Impact review.

The Key Specifications

  • Price: $165
  • Sizing and fit: True to size with a medium width fit.
  • Weight: 9.5oz (269g) for a size US(M)9 (my pair).
  • Drop: 8mm.
  • Toe box width: Medium.
  • Stability: Medium support, via a medial side wall build into the midsole.
  • Midsole Cushioning: Supercritical nitrogen-injected foam with added bio-EVA.
  • Best for: Daily training runs, or as a versatile do-it-all running, workout, lifestyle shoe.

LEARN: As this is a fairly new brand, let me quickly explain some of their key technology buzzwords/trademarked names to give better context when I mention them in this review:

  • HYPERBOLT: A bio-based midsole foam that delivers on performance. Its gas-injected, supercritical formulation offers a lighter weight, reduced density, and enhanced rebound.
  • PUREGLIDE: Hylo Athletic’s unique design approach, optimized through extensive data analysis to enhance the smoothness of transition and stability across the midfoot during a run.
  • HYLOOP: A sustainability initiative that employs NFC technology to monitor the lifecycle of each shoe, encouraging users to return their worn Hylos for recycling. This process helps reduce waste and the reliance on single-use products by repurposing them into new items.
  • CLEANTECH: Represents Hylo Athletic’s shift from synthetic, fossil fuel-based materials to renewable, bio-based alternatives, such as castor beans.

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The features of the Hylo IMPACT that I really like

Alright, now for the fun part of this review where I go into the specifics of what I admire about the Hylo Athletics IMPACT, as well as some areas where I see room for improvement.

Hylo IMPACT review running shoes 3

First off, the upper deserves some praise; It features a stretch knit fabric that’s not only visually appealing as you can see my feet flexing and stretching it, but also incredibly soft and smooth against the skin.

However, this asset comes with its own set of challenges, which I’ll touch on when discussing the potential enhancements for the next version.

Another highlight is the cushioning, powered by what Hylo Athletics term PUREGLIDE technology. Explained in more detail above, this basically refers to the shoe’s geometry design.

The unique geometry (shape and composition) of both the midsole and outsole, which optimizes how your foot interacts with the ground during your running stride. The midsole’s shape and layered foam construction, especially its subtle rocker at the heel (less pronounced at the front), aids in making each step and stride feel more efficient and responsive.

It’s a design approach that quickens cadence and enhances running efficiency over distance.

Hylo IMPACT Formula 1 tire inspired outsole

The outsole has an unusual yet functional design that extends around the front of the shoe (see the gallery below for an image of that, and more), offering a unique aesthetic and top grip, especially on wet surfaces.

Drawing inspiration from the design of Formula 1 tires, renowned for their water displacement capabilities and enhanced grip, the spaces between the rubber sections on the shoe not only lighten the overall weight but also improve contact with the ground in wet conditions.

Constructed with 60% natural rubber and featuring a thickness of 2.5mm, these design choices underscore a commitment to performance and environmental consideration. Although it’s been dry and hot here in Northern California, where I’ve been doing my test runs in these shoes, the concept behind this design is fascinating and shows promise for wet conditions.

Hylo IMPACT review running shoes 7

Lastly, the incorporation of an NFC-activated recycling program is a standout feature for me. By simply holding your phone near the middle of the right shoe, an NFC tag is activated, leading me directly to the Hylo Athletics’ recycling program.

This thoughtful addition simplifies the recycling process, encouraging users to participate and extending the life cycle of the shoes beyond their running days.

➡ If you’re enjoying this review do me a favor, drop a comment down below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more running shoe reviews just like this one. If you’re familiar with these running shoes, share your thoughts on them in the comments.

The features that could be improved for the next version

This the segment where I discuss areas ripe for improvement in the next iteration of this shoe. Now, I want to preface this by saying that overall, this is a really commendable running shoe, perfectly fitting as a daily trainer or as a versatile workout shoe.

It strikes me as the kind of footwear that’s adept at handling a variety of tasks very well, rather than excelling supremely in a singular aspect. I hope that makes sense and that distinction comes across clearly in this part of the review.

Here's you can see how nice and stretchy the upper material is when I wiggle my big toe upwards
Here’s you can see how nice and stretchy the upper material is when I wiggle my big toe upwards

First off, let’s talk about breathability; earlier, I mentioned the upper is knitted and stretchy, which feels fantastic during a run and even when simply flexing your toes, as you can see in the photo above.

However, on a hot day, it’s apparent that the airflow and breathability could be significantly improved. Enhancing ventilation would undoubtedly aid in better temperature regulation within the shoe, making for a more comfortable run.

Moving on to the shoe’s collar, this area sits higher on the ankle compared to most running shoes I’ve tested, and I can definitely feel its presence but thankfully it’s very cushioned so doesn’t cause any major irritation or rubbing – see image below:

Hylo IMPACT soft cushioned collar and heel counter with pull tab
Hylo IMPACT soft cushioned collar and heel counter with pull tab

A lower collar in future models could offer a better fit for a wider range of runners, especially those with ankles that closer to the ground. While it’s not exceedingly uncomfortable, it’s not something I’d expect to notice in a modern running shoe.

Despite being marketed as “highly responsive” on the Hylo Athletic website, I’d argue these shoes lean more towards cushioning and comfort than outright responsiveness. They don’t quite deliver the quick, energetic feel one might look for in a shoe designed for speed training or tempo runs.

Instead, they excel as daily trainers, ideal for logging those easy, recovery miles in total comfort. That’s where they seem to shine the brightest, in my opinion.

Another point of consideration is the shoe’s weight; at 9.5 oz, they’re on the heavier side, which, while contributing to their stability (thanks to the midsole design that wraps higher around the foot for added support), does make them feel somewhat bulky.

This weight factor, though not excessive, may not suit runners looking for a lighter, faster shoe – they will however suit heavier runners who want a cushioned daily running shoe with some built in stability.

Hylo IMPACT review running shoes 9

Lastly, the laces feel a bit traditional and bulky for my taste; while they function just fine, opting for a sleeker design could potentially elevate the overall feel of the shoe and reduce overall weight. So, those are my highlights and the areas I believe could use some tweaking.

Some alternatives also worth considering

Looking at alternatives, the shoes share similarities with options like the Saucony Ride 17 or even the Triumph 21, which I find offers a bit more in terms of cushioning and responsiveness, making it a more fitting choice for runners. Then there’s the Salomon Aero Glide 2, another max cushion daily trainer that’s also worth considering.

So, while these shoes have their place, especially for those seeking a hybrid for gym and running, there are indeed other models on the market that might cater more directly to pure running needs at a potentially better value.

Are the Hylo Athletics IMPACT running shoes worth buying?

Hylo IMPACT review running shoes 20

Priced at $165, are they truly worth your investment? It’s a considerable sum for a pair of running shoes, after all. In my view, their value shines through if you’re in the market for a daily trainer that doubles up as a versatile gym or workout shoe. That multifunctionality is where they justify their price tag best.

However, if you’re seeking a pair of shoes solely for running, you might find better value elsewhere, like the examples mentioned above.

I hope you found this review of the Hylo IMPACT insightful – If you did, subscribe to our Newsletter for more in-depth running shoe reviews just like this one. Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you on the next one. Peace!

Hylo Impact Video Review

Join my on the run as I test out the Hylo Athletics IMPACT running shoes on one of my local running routes, here in beautiful Northern California. Watch it now on our YouTube Channel.


Hylo Athletics IMPACT review gallery

As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.


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