The Saucony Endorphin Pro was on the medal stand at the US Olympic Marathon Trials (courtesy of Molly Seidel) and we’ll probably see it on more podiums when road races start again. As we discussed in our recent Nike Alphafly Next% vs Saucony Endorphin Pro comparison, the Endorphin Pro is legit and will challenge both the Alphafly Next% and Nike Vaporfly Next% for road racing supremacy.
Saucony’s version of pebax cushion is PWRRUN PB. It looks like adidas’ Boost but is much lighter and similar in squishiness and feel to Nike’s ZoomX. When paired with the S-curved carbon fiber plate that’s sandwiched between the two layers of PWWRUN PB, you get a snappy bounce on every toe off. The feeling is similar but stiffer than the Vaporfly Next%.
The pebax and carbon fiber plate combo is paired with a rocker shape that Saucony calls Speedroll. I enjoyed how smooth the Speedroll midsole shape made the heel to toe transition. The cushion, carbon fiber plate, and Speedroll shape combine for a smooth and efficient ride.
The Endorphin Pro features a traditional chevron pattern over the entire forefoot with plenty of cutouts for the pebax to expand. The midfoot only has rubber on the sides while the heel has some extra rubber on the lateral landing zone. While the rubber doesn’t appear thick, it’s durability is incredible. I’ve put over 50 miles on my pair and the outsole barely looks used. The traction is built to last in a way that the Vaporfly and Alphafly can’t match.
On top of that crazy durability, the rubber sticks to everything. I travelled a lot of wet ground and rainstorms in the Endorphin Pro. I never felt slippage. They even handled mildewy wooden bridges without issue. If you’re faced with bad weather on race day, reaching for the Endorphin Pro will be a great choice.
There’s no internal heel counter but I felt secure at all times. There’s no tippy feeling like you get with other road racing shoes and the offset is a traditional 8mm. The forefoot widens nicely and a flared midsole provides extra support. You sit inside the midsole at both the heel and midfoot to help prevent rollovers. Finally, the gusseted tongue locks you in place. If your previous race day shoes were too wobbly, the Endorphin Pro will be a better option.
The entire upper consists of an ultra-thin engineered mesh called Formfit. There are some vinyl overlays at the lace loops, the heel, and logo but they’re mostly ornamental. The tongue is a double-layered mesh that feels like super thin neoprene.The shoe’s materials are common on traditional daily runners so there’s nothing to get used to. I didn’t experience any hotspots. It’s a minimal upper that does its job and stays out of the way.
The Endorphin Pro fits true to size without any dead space above the toes. The gusseted tongue provides a comfortable, locked down feel without feeling too tight. The tongue has a small bungie sewn on so you can tuck your laces into it. It’s perfect for people who hate the laces banging around as they run.
Some people I talked with needed a runner’s loop to get perfect heel lockdown. However, my heels stayed put from the beginning using the standard lacing configuration. In totality, the fit feels like a (very light) traditional running shoe.
The Saucony Endorphin Pro is a near perfect shoe. Fit, traction, and cushion are just awesome. True, it doesn’t have the extreme stack height and cushion of the Alphafly or Vaporfly, but not everyone needs that level of squish while racing.
With the Endorphin Pro’s $200 price tag being $50-75 less expensive than its closest rivals, any trade offs are worth the price. Based on my testing, I’m confident we’ll see the Saucony Endorphin Pro on a lot of podiums in the near future.
Saucony was not given any editorial control of the review. This review is based on our weartesters’ experiences using the shoes for speed workouts, trail runs, treadmill training, long runs, casual wear, and more.