SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO + REVIEW
Brian Metzler | September 24, 2021
The Saucony Endorphin Pro+ is a featherweight, top-tier racing shoe built on an energetic foam midsole embedded with a curvy carbon-fiber plate that enhances forward propulsion.
Designed for all-out racing from 5K to the marathon, it carries a higher price tag than the Endorphin Pro 2 ($200) but it’s lighter, more lively and faster than its predecessor. It’s also not as bouncy as some of the other models in the super shoe category.
The midsole foam is made from the same energetic PWRRUN PB compound as the previous versions of the Endorphin Pro, but this edition has a slightly leaner shape and a new flyweight upper and, as a result, it’s quite a bit lighter and more agile.
The Endrophin Pro+ is very similar to the original Endorphin Pro and Endorphin Pro 2, utilizing the same super-springy PWRRUN PB midsole foam and SpeedRoll technology with a similarly shaped carbon-fiber propulsion plate and rocker geometry. That’s still the speedy secret sauce, but there’s also a new featherweight mesh upper that contributes to this shoe being lighter, leaner and faster.
The outsole configuration of the Endorphin Pro+ is identical to the Endorphin Pro and Endorphin Pro 2. It features large sections of exposed foam complemented by high-abrasion carbon rubber in the forefoot and around the perimeter of the heel to keep the weight down, ensure optimal traction and maintain consistent durability.
The new upper is made from a premium, lightweight suede and an airy nylon mesh that combine to wrap the foot with a second-skin fit. The tongue is thin, smooth and perforated for optimal breathability and fit, there’s no heel counter and only a tiny bit of padding around the heel collar. The wrap-like fit is enhanced by Saucony’s FormFit technology, which allows the upper to move and stretch slightly while still keeping feet locked down to the chassis.
The Endorphin Pro+ fits true to size with a medium to low interior volume from heel to toe. It has a snug, locked-down feeling from heel to toe with a tiny bit of wiggle room in the toe box.
There’s a sleek and semi-firm feeling the moment you lace up a pair of these thoroughbreds, similar to what you feel lacing up a pair of track spikes. Combined with the curvy carbon-fiber plate embedded in the midsole, it results in a lively but very rigid rolling sensation the moment you start running.
There is some softness in every foot strike, but that springiness is quickly converted into a forward rolling sensation by the carbon-fiber plate embedded in the midsole. The Endorphin Pro+ is a one-of-a-kind shoe that’s been stripped-down to make it as light and lean as possible.
WHO IT'S BEST FOR
If you’re seriously training to run a new personal best at just about any distance on the roads — but especially from 5K to the marathon — you will love the Endorphin Pro+.
You still have to put in the hard work, but this shoe might be the closest thing you’ll find to a magic bullet when it comes to guaranteeing a new PB. It’s light, energetic and extremely agile, ideal for quick-cadence running for long periods of time.
ENDROPHIN PRO + PROS
Saucony’s original Endorphin Pro shoes were amazing, but its shoe designers figured out that a slightly leaner midsole thickness produced even better results. The PWRRUN PB midsole in the Endrophin Pro+ is about 4.5mm thinner than its predecessors, and that’s a big reason why Pro+ is more than a half-ounce lighter, more nimble and potentially much faster than its predecessors.
Like other racing shoes with carbon-fiber midsole plates, the Endorphin Pro+ feels better the faster you run. You can definitely use it for fast training — from tempo runs to track intervals — but it’s best when running at race pace for long stretches of time. It eats up the road like high-performance tires on a sports car. Because the curvy plate in the midsole, the Endorphin Pro+ feels awkwardly bouncy at slow to moderate paces. (In other words, it’s best for running fast!)
Given that it’s made for high-end racing, Saucony is only making this shoe available in limited quantities. So if you’re interested in running fast this fall, you’ll need to act quickly before inventory dwindles.