First Impressions: Saucony Endorphin Pro

#1


I decided to get myself an early present and picked up a pair of the Pro's this past week from RW - I threw them right into the fire with the longest run of my current training cycle.

I have been hemming and hawing about replacing my Nike 4%'s for the longest time and this is the end result of all the feet dragging. Being optimistic about our timelines for a return to normal, I have a race on the calendar for the end of June. With that in mind, I still haven't exactly been enthusiastic about dropping $250 on a pair of shoes that will likely get beat up before they see a real race. Enter the Endorphin Pro! I realize $200 is not inexpensive but at $50 to $75 less than the Nike offerings, I am less inclined to give these the white glove/race day only treatment.

As for my initial impressions, the first thing you notice is that Saucony's PWRRUNPB foam is not Nike's ZoomX foam. Whereas ZoomX almost feels comically springy, the PWRRUN is stiff. That's probably unkind to Saucony but the difference is stark when set side by side. This is of course not necessarily a bad thing but it was my only gripe. Unlike the Vaporflys, at a standstill these don't quite feel like a super shoe.

The good news is that once you get off of the mark and moving, these very much do feel like a super shoe. I think this is in no small part due to Saucony's Speedroll design. I have mentioned before how much I love the speedroll in the Endorphin Shift and, while I think it is more dramatic in the Shift, the speedroll makes it feel as if someone is giving you a push from behind with each step. This design really rewards you when you get up on your toes or midfoot, which is just as well, because that's where the plate also seems to come alive.

Overall I was really impressed with them during my first run. Again, while the Vaporfly's are amazing because they make me feel like I am bouncing my way to a world record, the Pro's are amazing because they seem to silently make the miles seem effortless. During this run I was able to keep a steady pace around 7:30 - 7:40 for the first 15 miles or so and I even managed the odd 7:15 surge here and there. I started to lose it at around mile 17 and dipped into the 7:50 - 8:00 range... while it was cold (under 40) I didn't take in any fluids during this run, which I think was the issue. Even though I was on fumes, the shoes definitely still felt fresh under foot. To the extent that I could still push on the gas pedal they were ready to go.

I am looking forward to getting in some more runs with these. I am not sure if these will end up as a race day favorite (although they certainly earn a spot at the table in that conversation) but I absolutely will be tossing them into my speed work or whenever I want to challenge myself on a longer run.
 
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RW Admin

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#2
I decided to get myself an early present and picked up a pair of the Pro's this past week from RW - I threw them right into the fire with the longest run of my current training cycle.

My Nike Vaporfly 4%'s having been aging and I have been hemming and hawing for the longest time about replacing them. Being optimistic about our timelines for a return to normal, I have a race on the calendar for the end of June. With that in mind, I still haven't exactly been enthusiastic about dropping $250 on a pair of shoes that will likely get beat up before they see a real race. Enter the Endorphin Pro! I realize $200 is not inexpensive but at $50 to $75 less than the Nike offerings, I am less inclined to give these the white glove/race day only treatment.

As for my initial impressions, the first thing you notice is that Saucony's PWRRUNPB foam is not Nike's ZoomX foam. Whereas ZoomX almost feels comically springy, the PWRRUN is stiff. That's probably unkind to Saucony but the difference is stark when set side by side. This is of course not necessarily a bad thing but it was my only gripe. At a standstill these don't quite feel like a super shoe.

The good news is that once you get off of the mark and moving, these very much do feel like a super shoe. I think this is in no small part due to Saucony's Speedroll design. I have mentioned before how much I love the speedroll in the Endorphin Shift and, while I think it is more dramatic in the Shift, in both shoes the speedroll makes it feel as if someone is giving you a push from behind with each step. This design really rewards you when you get up on your toes or midfoot, which is just as well, because that's where the plate also seems to come alive.

Overall I was really impressed with them during my first run. Again, while the Vaporfly's usually make me feel like I am bouncing my way to a world record, these just made the miles seem effortless. I was doing to work but it just felt easier. During this run I was able to keep a steady pace around 7:30 - 7:40 for the first 15 miles or so and I even managed the odd 7:15 surge here and there. I started to lose it at around mile 17 and dipped into the 7:50 - 8:00 range... while it was cold (under 40) I didn't take in any fluids during this run, which I think was the issue. Even though I was on fumes, the shoes definitely still felt fresh under foot. To the extent that I could still push on the gas pedal they were ready to go.

I am looking forward to getting in some more runs with these. I am not sure if these will end up as a race day favorite (although they certainly earn a spot at the table in that conversation) but I absolutely will be tossing them into my speed work or whenever I want to challenge myself on a longer run.
@imnothammer,

Thank you for sharing your first impressions! That is a beast of a run. Also, the picture is awesome!

I'm definitely curious to hear if the Pro makes it into your race rotation. I know several people that have added it in (with the Vaporfly). Keep us updated.


Justin
RW Staff
 
#4
What a great way to start the year! (y) I know the struggle with motivation and enthusiasm, I may have to resort to paying to watch The Marathon Project live for inspiration. ;)
 

RW Admin

Administrator
Staff member
#5
I have a solo marathon TT on January 2, which I am still trying to muster enthusiasm for, so these will get another race day audition soon enough. I am glad we have a wealth of options now though!
I definitely admire how focused and motivated you are! I haven't done a TT in too long. Keep it up!


Justin
RW Staff
 
#6
I have been using the Endorphin Pro for races and time trials since June. I don't have any comparison with other carbon-plated shoes so far. However, I like the shoes. I did not have any break out performances in the Pros, but they are comfortable and with the cushioning feel like you get better recovery. For real races I only ran in three different 5K races. Did a 1 mile, another 5K, 10K, and half marathon virtual races. Regardless of shoe I found it really hard to push through in the virtual races, but on a performance scale the 10K felt the best (86% age grade at altitude). I did not really like them for a road mile and will stick with the lighter flats for those. I did one or two comparison workouts with the Kinvara (switching shoes half way through) and found the Pro to be 5-8 seconds a mile faster at a similar effort (and better stride length at same frequency).
 

RW Admin

Administrator
Staff member
#7
I have been using the Endorphin Pro for races and time trials since June. I don't have any comparison with other carbon-plated shoes so far. However, I like the shoes. I did not have any break out performances in the Pros, but they are comfortable and with the cushioning feel like you get better recovery. For real races I only ran in three different 5K races. Did a 1 mile, another 5K, 10K, and half marathon virtual races. Regardless of shoe I found it really hard to push through in the virtual races, but on a performance scale the 10K felt the best (86% age grade at altitude). I did not really like them for a road mile and will stick with the lighter flats for those. I did one or two comparison workouts with the Kinvara (switching shoes half way through) and found the Pro to be 5-8 seconds a mile faster at a similar effort (and better stride length at same frequency).
Thanks for the feedback. Glad you are enjoying them!


Justin
RW Staff
 
#8
I can’t wait to try the pros. Thanks for the feedback. I do like the endorphin speed a lot. I enjoy running in the Nike vaporfly next percent but they are a little narrow for me and I enjoy the comfort of the endorphin speed a little more. I’m hoping the pros can give me similar results to the nikes and get a little more comfort out of the pros.
 
#11
After an a sizing snafu (the Speed seems to be 0.5 to 1 size smaller than the Pro) and exchange I have been able to try the Endorphin Speed 3 or 4 times. It's a great shoe, and actually I could not feel much or any difference between those and the Endorphin Pro, maybe a little less pop. But as far as I felt on the reps and tempo runs, it's hard to say without a measuring device like Stryd.
 
#12
I've been enjoying the Pros a lot! I'm 223miles in so far and still going strong! Used mainly for workouts [400m repeats to longer tempo/fartlek workouts, and 2 long runs (17mi & 18mi)]. The PWRRUNPB & plate setup works really well; a little bit firmer and more rigid vs the Vaporfly. I like how these feel like a lightweight trainer "super shoe"...IMO I'll still take the Next% over the Pros for racing, but the Pros for training over the Next%.

Durability is great. I've only used these on the roads and the main wear is on the lateral side on the right shoe.
Only drawback for me are the laces. For whatever reason, the laces usually become undone after a few miles into my runs even after double-knotted. Doesn't happen with any other shoes.

I got a size 10 in these, just like my vapofly 4%, next%, vaporfly flyknit, daily trainers, adios, adizero pro, carbon rocket, sub2.

Overall: 9.5

20210202_083919.jpg 20210202_083803.jpg
 
#13
@Brutus91731 - agree with every word of your post except for the lace issue, which I haven't encountered.

I think I am at about 75 miles into my pair now and I have been using them exclusively as a training "super shoe". I was initially concerned about their durability (the sole looks like cheap packing styrofoam) but I have been blown away by the shoes in this regard. They feel like feather-light tanks. So far they have especially shined during harder long efforts. Last weekend I ran what was supposed to be a relaxed 13 miles and I ended up finishing a little more than a minute off of my HM PR. I decided to run by feel rather than consciously keeping myself pinned to an "easy" pace and the end result was bonkers because I felt like I could have kept on going forever at that pace.

While that is definitely intended to be a strong endorsement for the Pro's, much like you, I am still reaching for Nikes on race day. You just can't beat ZoomX foam... however I still tend to give the Nike's the white-glove/museum treatment because durability remains a concern. My 4%s retained their pep for long into 200 and 300 miles but they suffered some pretty gnarly damage to the softer portions of the outsole and looked like they had been bombed out.
 
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