Why is your friendly neighborhood shoe reviewer tackling two shoes at the same time? Because the Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 and Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 are the two most complementary shoes on the market. Yes, other brands try to match the look and feel of their speed shoe/super trainer/daily trainer to their race day shoe but no one has done it quite so well.
We’re talking iPhone Pro vs regular iPhone here. These shoes are so similar it’s scary. But like iPhones, what’s inside (and a couple outwardly visible things) help differentiate these shoes and make them great options for speed day or race day.
Let’s dig into the Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 and Endorphin Pro 4, find out what they’re made of, what they’re good at, and who they’re best for.
Saucony Endorphin Speed 4
Release Date: February 29, 2024
Weight: Men’s 8.2 oz., Women’s 7.2 oz.
Sizing: True to size
- Rundown: The Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 is an uptempo super trainer that can easily carry you through a marathon training cycle.
What Changed on Saucony Endorphin Speed 4?
Gone is the more rounded PWRRUN PB midsole, replaced with a more aggressive geometric design. Despite appearances, the Saucony Endorphin Speed 4’s midsole feels similar to the Endorphin Speed 3.
The nylon plate is re-engineered with some vertical reinforcement to be more rigid side to side while keeping that front to back flexibility that make the Speed series so approachable.
The Saucony Endorphin Speed 4’s upper features larger cut outs and allows slightly more airflow than v1. The tongue is also redesigned so it’s no longer at risk of falling below the laces and is more comfortable overall.
Finally, the outsole is changed to a criss-crossy pattern that improves forefoot durability and improves wet traction, one of the Speed 3’s weaknesses.
Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 Pros
- Saucony’s smooth Speedroll rocker
- Similar feel to the Speed 3
- Versatility – it can handle daily miles, workouts, and races
- Aesthetics – the Speed 4 looks, well, speedy
Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 Cons
- Narrow toebox
Is the Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 worth $170?
When the Endorphin Speed 3 jumped to $170 last year I was worried it wouldn’t justify the price increase. But back then I didn’t have a problem finding it plenty value packed. The Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 continues the high level performance and again earns the $170 price point.
If you loved the Speed 3, I’d recommend grabbing a pair now while they’re on discount and then transitioning to the Speed 4 when that pair wears out. There’s just not enough difference between the two not to take advantage of the Speed 3 sales while they last.
Saucony Endorphin Pro 4
Release Date: February 29, 2024
Weight: Men’s 7.5 oz., Women’s 6.5 oz.
Sizing: True to size
- Rundown: The Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 is a race day shoe at a great price that’s marathon or half marathon ready.
What Changed on the Saucony Endorphin Pro 4?
The Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 is now more accommodating and more similar in fit to the Speed 4 than it is to the Pro 3.
The Pro 3 had a narrow heel, a tighter forefoot that crunched some pinky toes, and a midfoot build that left some runner’s arches hanging off the side. The Pro 4 solves all those issues.
And the Pro 4 does it while adding a speed lacing system that improves lockdown and an integrated knit tongue. The knit tongue feels like it’s hardly there while protecting from lace pressure. It also weirdly has a top piece that can fold over so you can vary your Saucony logos. It reminded me of old school basketball shoes. It’s unnecessary but a fun aesthetic touch. Breathability is improved a touch but it’s hard to tell since the Pro 3 let in plenty of air.
Despite the differences in the midsole appearance, the Endorphin Pro 4 provides a squish, bounce, and forward push that mimics the Pro 3.
The outsole dispenses with the forefoot cutout which allows Saucony to include more PWRRUN PB while only adding 0.2 ounces to the weight of the shoe. I like this particular change because it provides more forefoot ground contact which improves traction. As a larger runner, any time I can have more of my forefoot pushing off the ground, the better I feel on race day.
Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Pros
- Similar feel to the Pro 3 with a better fit
- Comfy built-in knit tongue
Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Cons
- Narrow toebox
Is the Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 worth $225?
With the $225 price point located a full $25 below the majority of race day shoes, you’ll get plenty of value out of the Saucony Endorphin Pro 4. It’s plenty bouncy and Saucony’s Speedroll provides fantastic transitions. It’s a high level race day shoe but doesn’t come with a high level price tag.
Are the Endorphins 4 wide foot friendly?
The Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 is less wide foot friendly than the previous version due to a narrow-ish toebox. It swoops in dangerously close to my pinky toe. That’s going to make it a rough fit for wide footers. I’d recommend wide footers wait for the wide version of the Speed 4 to release before grabbing a pair. The Speed 4 does fit true to size lengthwise.
The Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 is more accommodating than the previous version, but like the Speed 4, swoops in a bit too much near the pinky toe. This is more expected in a race day shoe but is something to monitor if you’re a wide footer. The Pro line doesn’t typically come in wide. If the Endorphin Pro 3 worked for you, the Pro 4 will as well. The Pro 4 fits true to size and your normal Saucony size (or Nike, Asics, New Balance size) will work well.
Saucony Endorphins 4 Summary
The Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 and Endorphin Pro 4 are a complementary set of shoes. The Speed 4 is built to handle any workouts and easy miles while the Pro 4 takes it to a different level of cushion, bounce, and weight for race day. The killer feature is that they feel so similar on foot.
Buy them as a pair and race day won’t feel any different except for the extra impact protection and propulsion. The extra millimeters of foam along and swapping the flexible nylon plate for the stiffer carbon plate doesn’t change the on foot feel as much as it unlocks even more performance benefits for road racing.
Coaches constantly advise their runners not to change anything on race day and using the Endorphins 4 for your training and race day companions is one of the best ways to do that.
How does the Author Run?
Drew Whitcomb (age 42, 6’6″ 195lbs): Runs daily with a once a week rest day. Runs a lot of miles due to testing needs and a growing affinity for long-distance races. Regularly competes in marathons, half-marathons, 10k, and 5k races.
While Saucony did send pairs of the Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 and Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 to facilitate this review, they had no involvement in this review, didn’t receive an advance look at it, and have not attempted to influence it.