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SHOE REVIEW: Saucony Endorphin Pro

Three key features differentiate Saucony's take on the carbon-plated shoe: the S-shaped plate (to complement what they call Speed Roll Geometry), the durability of the shoe and the price point

Saucony’s first-ever carbon-plated shoe is here. The Endorphin Pro, which was released today, is the highly-anticipated shoe that runners will want to get their hands on. Each shoe company’s carbon-plated racers are looking to achieve the same thing: go as fast as possible in road races, but each get there a slightly different way. Three key features differentiate Saucony’s take on the carbon-plated shoe: the S-shaped plate (to complement what they call Speed Roll Geometry), the shoe’s durability and its price point.

RELATED: SHOE REVIEW: Saucony Endorphin Speed and Shift

Category: Neutral cushion
Drop: 8 mm
Weight: 7.5 oz (213 g) for men’s size 9
Stack Height: 35 mm
Available: May 5, 2020 (shipping May 19, 2020)
MSRP: $250.00

The upper

The Endorphin Pro’s upper is inspired by Saucony’s track spikes. It sits really close to the foot, has no seams and is made of an extremely light engineered mesh. This provides a really comfortable fit, with no chafing or burning anywhere. This shoe also fits true to size. I ordered my typical size and had to shimmy my foot in a bit, but once I was in it was perfect (though I would recommend wearing thin socks).

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The midsole

The carbon-plated shoe uses SpeedRoll Geometry to deliver a significant rocker and pop at toe-off to help the runner move quickly through their stride. The shoe’s midsole is made of the ultralight PWRRUN PB cushioning that’s 40 per cent lighter than Saucony’s PWRRUN+ (which is used in the Triumph). The S-shaped carbon-plate runs the full length of the shoe, and gives the rigidity it needs to perform.

I found the midsole gave the pop it promised and also felt firmer, more durable and more stable than other carbon-plated shoes. After 100K of wear, this shoe is still performing like it did in kilometre one. That kind of durability isn’t consistently available in this category of shoe. The rocker really feels comfortable and fluid–you certainly feel propelled forward on toe-off (thanks to SpeedRoll), making it super easy for tired legs to turn over.

This shoe also feels better the quicker you’re moving, to a certain point. The Endorphin Pro isn’t designed for an easy cruise, so save this shoe for a tempo workout, hard long run or race. You want to wear it when you’re ready to run fast. However, if you’re heading to the track, opt for another one of Saucony’s flats. I found that once I hit roughly 33 seconds per 200m, the shoe began to slip. I’d recommend a shoe like the Saucony Kinvara for a speedy track session.

The outsole

The shoe’s outsole is minimal, but highly effective. It performed well on both wet and dry roads, and impressively well on gravel and dirt paths. The only spot where it left something to be desired was at a fast pace (faster than even Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon pace) on the track.

Overall thoughts

This is a very, very good shoe–one that I’ve really enjoyed running in. It ticks all of my boxes for hard workouts on the road: it’s got a firm feel, a smooth transition and it’s super durable. The price point is also a draw, as the Endorphin Pro delivers a similar performance, at a slightly lower cost than several of its competitors. The U.S. Olympic Trials proved this, with Molly Seidel making her first-ever Olympic team in this shoe.

A consideration for racers: don’t worry about the shoe’s durability, you can take it out for a few training runs before your race to make sure you like the fit. This is another vote for choosing the Endorphin Pro as your goal race shoe.

If you’re looking to run a personal best this fall, or even if you’re just looking for a top-of-the-line training shoe, consider trying the Endorphin Pro. The shoe is available for pre-order tomorrow at 9am EST at saucony.com (shipping May 19) and if you want to shop local, it will be available through these Canadian retailers on June 1.

RELATED: Saucony announces launch of carbon-plated Endorphin Pro