Saucony Endorphin Elite Shoe Review

Saucony Endorphin Elite Shoe Review

The Saucony Endorphin Elite is fast. There is a huge difference between the Endorphin Elite and the Endorphin Pro. This brand-new racer has a super aggressive toe spring and propulsive ride. It uses Saucony’s PWRRUN HG foam and is firmer than the Endorphin Pro.

Saucony Endorphin Elite Shoe Review

Saucony Endorphin Elite Quick Facts:

Weight: 7.2 oz
Heel Toe Drop: 8 mm
Price: $275

Saucony Endorphin Elite Intro:

We know by now, carbon plated footwear has changed running. These new technologies are getting more and more advanced. I’m old enough to remember when a waffle racer was your cheapest running shoe, and now your racing shoes are the most expensive. Wow, times have changed.

Saucony has developed several Endorphin versions, including Saucony Endorphin Pro 3  and Saucony Endorphin Pro +. So why come out with the Saucony Endorphin Elite? How many more Endorphin shoes does Saucony need?

The Saucony Endorphin Elite uses PWRRUN HG foam. It has a very light, stripped-down upper, lightweight outsole rubber, and new midsole geometry.

Saucony Endorphin Elite Shoe Review

Saucony Endorphin Elite Fit:

The purpose of the Saucony Endorphin Elite knit upper was to be light.  It uses a combination of knit and mesh plus has ample side ventilation holes. There are also many holes in the tongue which I assume is for breathability. The flat tongue isn’t gusseted, but I haven’t had any issues with it.

There is a strap that wraps around the midfoot and forefoot. This is to secure your midfoot, but I’ve found that it will bother you if you have wide feet. I’ve never seen these types of straps “good,” Usually, they do more harm than good.

The best-running shoe uppers disappear off your foot; for the most part, the Saucony Endorphin Elite does just that. I find that midfoot strap weird, but it still does what it needs without irritation.

Typically, I wear between a size 10-11 wide in running shoes. For the most part, I’ve found racing shoes to be around a 10.5, and the Saucony Endorphin Elite is the same way. In all, the Saucony Endorphin Elite fits true to size. I personally prefer the fit of the Endorphin Elite over the Endorphin Pro. The Endorphin Elite is more wide and less restrictive on my feet.

Saucony Endorphin Elite Shoe Review

Saucony Endorphin Elite Ride:

Is the Saucony Endorphin Elite faster than the Pro 3? Yes. But how?

The main difference is the toe spring and how it curves up. This allows faster transitions from heel to toe, and it’s easier to increase your cadence. Truthfully the Saucony Endorphin Elite is the most similar to the Nike Vapofly of anything on the market.

The PWRRUN HG is entirely different from Saucony’s signature PWRRUN PB. It doesn’t consist of tiny pellets that have been fused. The PWRRUN HG has a firmer ride than the PB foam, making the shoe more bouncy.

The midsole of the Saucony Endorphin Elite is weird. It consists of two different pieces:

  • Green foam at the top provides your feet some stability
  • Uncolored foam at the bottom

This combination makes the Saucony Endorphin Elite look huge. It’s similar to Hoka running shoes; your feet sit very low in the shoe. You won’t feel as rockered as other versions, but it will feel fast. Believe me, it’s not as much shoe as most people are worried.

Saucony Endorphin Elite Shoe Review

Durability and Traction: Sorry to say, the Endorphin Elite has minimum of each. You don’t get many miles out of it (maybe 50-100?). Can you still run in it after that, sure but you aren’t going to get the same benefit of the “fast” carbon-plated shoe.

There isn’t any rubber on the medial side of the heel, so they wear down quickly, and the exposed PWWRUN HG doesn’t last long. Not just that, but the shoe’s rubber is thin, so it gets beat up very quickly. This is the biggest contributor to low durability and traction. But the more rubber, the heavier the shoe is.

There is a decent amount of traction (more than the original Next%). They aren’t my first choice for inclement weather. They are fine; they will do the job but they are not my first choice. If you’re racing in the torrential rain (think Boston), I would probably go for the Endorphin Pro just because I prefer the traction. Although the Endorphin Elite has a better upper, especially for inclement weather.

I knew the Saucony Endorphin Elite would be a fast-racing shoe, and that’s what it is. Running in it for easy runs is unnecessary because it’s expensive and doesn’t last long. If you are looking for a fast racing shoe, that’s what it does. I feel fast in it, and you can feel the aggressive rocker feeling. It does feel more intense than the other Endorphin shoes.

Saucony Endorphin Elite Shoe Review

Saucony Endorphin Elite Conclusion:

If I had one million dollars (LOL), I would always choose the Saucony Endorphin Elite over the Pro 3. But the problem is the Pro 3 lasts much longer. The rides are very different, and the Saucony Endorphin Elite is more aggressive. It’s an excellent and fast shoe, but the durability is not there.

Who should buy the Saucony Endorphin Elite?

If you are looking for one of the fastest carbon-plated shoes on the market, it’s a good option. It has an aggressive toe spring and tipping sensation. If you want the “closest carbon-plated shoe to the Vaporfly, the Endorphin Elite is it.

Who should not buy the Saucony Endorphin Elite?

If you aren’t looking for a very firm and aggressive racer. If you prefer feeling the ground when you race, this isn’t the shoe for you.

Saucony Endorphin Elite Shoe Review

My Current Shoe Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Antepes Muscle Runners, Tracksmith Eliot Runner, New Balance 1080v12,  Saucony Triumph 19, Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra, 361 Centauri

Speed Work: Hoka Solimar, Altra Vanish Carbon, 361 Flame, Nike Tempo Next%, Reebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Nike ZoomX Streakfly

Long Runs: ASICS Superblast

Trail Running/Hiking: Brooks Caldera 6, Saucony Peregrine 12Hoka Torrent 2, Hoka Zinal Shoe, Speedland SL: PDX

Races: Nike ZoomX Streakfly, Asics Metaspeed Sky, Hoka One One Rocket X, adidas Adizero Pro, New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Saucony Endorphin Pro 2Reebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Are you looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths about running shoes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the Saucony Endorphin Elite?

What is your favorite racing shoe?

1 Comment

  1. yep, we still carry racing flats for just a little over $100 lol…..i’m never going to quick enough for anything carbon fibre, but as even every other shoe is running above $200 now, running has become expensive…..and if you’re also doing triathlons, add that shoe price along with a bike and wet suit…..I wonder if at some point someone will come up with an event and a movement to race cheap?

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