Marathons May Be Canceled But We Can’t Resist Running in the Endorphin Pro.
Whenever road racing officially restarts, you can bet some of us will be toeing the line in this Saucony shoe.
The RW Takeaway: The Endorphin Pro has the usual traits of today’s racing shoes, namely Pebax and a carbon-fiber plate. Add in Saucony’s SpeedRoll technology, however, and you just may be in for a surprise.
- Stiff forefoot geometry promotes quick turnover and efficient toe-off
- S-curved carbon-fiber plate propels you forward
- PWRRun midsole provides supportive cushioning
Before March, we anxiously anticipated what the brand had to offer in the racing shoe wars. There was speculation in the wake of the IAAF’s potential ban on performance-enhancing footwear (which didn’t happen) and excitement post-Olympic Trials when Saucony-sponsored Molly Seidel (who was wearing the shoes) placed second after shaking off a sea of runners in Nike’s Alphafly Next%. She finished behind Hoka-wearing Alphine Tuliamuk, no less. However, in the midst of race cancellations, derailed training, and acclimating to the new normal, the Pro’s launch almost got lost.Then, one day at the beginning of May, I decided to go for a lunch run, not really caring which trainers I grabbed in my testing shoe-littered apartment. But the Pro, I would soon find out, demands to be noticed. Standing in the shoes, you feel like you’re falling forward into racing position. I knew I’d have to abandon my planned slow pace the moment I headed out the door. During my run, my legs pummeled through my workout with the kind of zest I missed before the quarantine. As advertised, this trainer delivered on the dopamine.
“Just As Good If Not Better”
Back in 2018, Saucony sent its pro runner Jared Ward three different carbon-fibre-plated shoe prototypes before the New York City Marathon. After a series of VO2 max and biomechanical tests running in the shoes and Kinvara 9, one pair stood above the rest. “It felt different,” he wrote on Saucony’s blog. “It felt easier.” Ward wore these shoes during the race, where he came in sixth place and was the first American to cross the finish line.
“We’re really fortunate to have Jared as a guinea pig,” said Chad Holt, Saucony’s associate product line manager, over Zoom. “A lot of athletes won’t run in just any shoe that you hand them. Jared is just really amicable and has that sort of mindset where he will take any running shoe and just go after it.”
Holt and his team tested 25 to 40 different iterations of foams and uppers for the Endorphin, gathering data from their lab and wear-testing community.
“When we really pushed on the Endorphin Project, we started off wanting to make sure that our athletes had the best opportunity when they’re on the start line,” said Holt. “Being that they obviously can’t run in competitor products, we needed to make sure that we were just as good if not better.”