Daily Running Co Sustainability Project
This review is part of Daily Running Co’s Sustainability Project where we run in pairs of shoes targeted to reduce our impact on the environment. As part of the Project, we want to assess and determine the experience, feasibility, and learnings from threading lighter as a user. At the end of the project, we will publish a report on our findings.
Discount code at the end of article
About Hylo Athletics – The Green Company
A footwear company that was launched in 2020 with the goal to make trainers with minimal impact on the planet. Hylo Athletics not only makes more sustainable running shoes but complement it with a full recyclable program for runners after they are done with the shoes. This includes running shoes from other brands too and matches their goal of reducing shoes going into landfill. Hylo Athletics also successfully completed their Series A funding of approx. USD 3.2 million in March 2022.
The company has one product in its line-up, the hylo Run 2.0, with 14 colourways. The hylo Run 2.0 is marketed as the shoes for road running, gym, and everyday performance. Additionally, one of the more transparent companies for sustainability, Hylo Athletics informs buyers of the materials used in the shoes, its manufacturers, and how they lessen the impact on the planet.
Prior to the review, it is important to establish my runner profile to better gauge my opinions on the shoes. For example, a lighter runner will experience differently the effects of midsole compared to a heavier runner. I am on the heavy side for a runner (75kg – 80kg) range and stands at 1.75m tall. My average weekly mileage ranges from 25km to 35km. I am a mid-foot/fore-foot strike with a neutral foot. I am normally a US size 11 although it varies depending on brands.
First Impression Review
First let us kick off with the statistics of my pair of the hylo Run 2.0.
- Weight: 295 grams (Size: US 11.5)
- Stack Height: 17mm (forefoot), 27mm (heel)
- Drop: 10mm
- Insole thickness: 4mm
- Outsole thickness: 5mm
At 295 grams, the hylo Run 2.0 sits nicely in the daily trainer weight category. It is lighter than my Puma’s Velocity Nitro 2 but heavier than the ASICS’s Dynablast 2. Additionally, it is one of the thickest outsoles I have seen in running shoes, you probably not going to wear it down anytime soon.
Five Main Pointers
Point 1 – Wide feet fits but concern remains
In my US 11.5, the Hylo Run 2.0 fit nicely for my wide feet (2E). However, this is a half-size up from my usual US 11. For runners with non-wide feet, it should fit true to size.
To provide the necessary structure to the upper of the Hylo Run 2.0, what the company did was to have strips of semi-harder material under the upper. It connects the different parts of the upper together to wrap a net/cage around the foot. When the laces are tightened, the upper will create the secured feel on foot. However, the structure could be the company’s challenge too.
During my run, the inner structure created pressure points for my feet. These pressure points surfaced at the forefoot where my foot is the widest and on the midfoot. After loosening up the laces, the issue went again. This issue could be due to my wide and bulky feet. Although, I have loosened the laces, the secureness of the Hylo Run 2.0 remains good.
Point 2 – Secureness in the heel is not great.
While the Hylo Run 2.0 secureness overall is good, it lacks the secureness in the heel. It does not slip out during runs and my heel certainly felt loose. As such, it does not make a choice for any runs that goes faster pace. Comparing Hylo Run 2.0 to other running shoes, I concluded that it is likely due to the design of the heel cup.
The Hylo Run 2.0’s heel cup does not have a differentiable degree of curvature as compared to the other running shoes. Additionally, there isn’t any support cushion or structure which prevents the heel from slipping out too easily. This could be the reason for the loose feeling I had in the heel.
Point 3 – A very stable pair of running shoes
There are design elements which the company built into the shoes. The first is in the outsole design. The lateral rigidity + the almost full outsole rubber coverage. The second is the forefoot is also one of the widest, rough estimates is about 11.8 cm.
Are there anything which I hope to improve, perhaps the flexibility. While there are flex grooves on the medial side, the flexibility is limited with the lateral design. Perhaps it is to cater to more runners hence the mixed design. However, given its wide base and firmer foam, I believe the company could re-look into the design.
Point 4 – Firm Corn Spring Midsole
The midsole is firm and likely due to the design of the outsole adds to the firmness and blocky feel. However, the heel feels cushioned when compressing on feet. Touching and compressing the insole and the midsole under foot, it felt cushion and a certain level of compression. Hence my conclusion is that the outsole is likely the cause of the firmness and blocky feel.
That said, the midsole provides sufficient cushioning for easy runs and felt appropriate for distance lesser than 10 KM. Should the midsole soften up over time after more runs it will improve its overall usability.
Point 5 – Can Breathability and Comfort of the Upper Improve?
Limited by the materials they can use while balancing the need of a functional upper, Hylo Athletics faces a huge challenge in the upper department. The company choose a single layer of sturdy material, made from mostly corn fibre and born-based reinforcement. In areas which touches my skin, the material is much gentle and softer to touch. Additionally, the upper also has other materials such as bioform in the hell, organic cotton for its laces and heel tab, and polyester for logo.
Earlier I highlighted the pressure felt in the internal layer, and I believe this is something which the future versions can address to enhance its competitiveness. Aside from the comfort, the breathability of the running shoes can be improved as airflow into the shoes is not as good. Testing it against wind flow, it was hardly present inside the shoes. However, as the upper is a single layer and non-gusseted tongue, heat can likely escape during the runs.
The important question remains to be answered as we take the pair of running shoes to 100KM or more: the durability. It is important for us to review the performance and the durability of the running shoes. Both help us to formulate our view on the feasibility of going more sustainable.
We hope you have found our initial review of the hylo Run 2.0 informative and useful. Do share with your running friends and community if this has been helpful for you or anyone who might benefit from our work!
Do keep a lookout as we cover other brands who have practices and products aiming to reduce our carbon footprint. Remember to check out our short clip for a first look at the Adidas x Allbirds collaboration below.
Promotion & Discount Code
Disclosure: Hylo Athletics has a referral program where purchases made through the link is entitled to the 20 dollar discount. At the same time, Daily Running Co will also be able to receive 20 dollars Hylo credit with every purchase made through using the link/code.
Link for Discount: https://lnk.rise-ai.com/KjJYPq1a3Zu7yxh