Saucony Endorphin Pro+ review and lab test

Go fast, go light! Saucony finally has a competitive race shoe!

 

In an interesting update from Saucony, they took the recently released Endorphin Pro 2 and updated the upper, cutting weight and making the shoe feel more like a racing spike with its minimally structured design. 

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Pieces.jpg

The more breathable upper is a bit more restrictive than the Pro 2 which fits wide feet well, making this update feel more like the Nike in its narrow stature, and let’s be honest, it’s color and design! 

Ultimately though, the complainers of a 7.6 ounce Pro 2 should be happy with the updated weight on Saucony’s flagship racing flat. 

Who should buy the Saucony Endorphin Pro+

Buy the Endorphin Pro+ if you are a Saucony Endorphin runner and just need that extra weight advantage to give you peace of mind. If you are a speed-runner this is a great shoe, and idea for half-marathons and down in distance. 

Who should not buy it 

The Endorphin Pro has hot and cold reviews, those that like it love it and others think it’s too stiff and jarring underfoot. 

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Single.jpg

Don’t buy this shoe if: 

  • You prefer a slightly softer ride, maybe the Vaporfly or the Metaspeed Sky are for you, but if you’ve liked the Endorphin Pro in the past, its ride hasn’t changed much for this update. 
  • You’re not a fast-paced runner. This shoe demands you run fast and on your toes. Check out the Endorphin Speed 2 instead. 
  • You’re running on windy courses. There’s not much support in the upper and the platform is narrow making it a little wobbly at times. The Endorphin Pro 2 does have a bit more support in the ankle. 

Fits like a racing shoe… A bit narrow 

The upper fits like a racing spike. There’s not much structure or form to the shoe, but there’s also not much stretch, making for solid lockdown over the forefoot. 

Where this shoe struggles a bit is in the heel. The limp heel counter (scored 1 out of 5 on the stiffness index, 5 being the stiffest) leads to a touch of heel slip without proper lacing. The laces are a touch short too which can make a heel lock lacing pattern a challenge. 

It runs a bit narrower than it’s predecessor the Pro 2 and feels more like the Vaporfly and other narrower race shoes. If you have a wider foot, stick with the Pro 2. 

Enjoyable to run in but not the Pro 2

Whereas the Endorphin Pro 2 was one of the most comfortable race shoes in 2021, the Pro+ loses some of that charm.

It’s just not as wide and accomodating, and even though the midsole and outsole are the same as the Pro 2, it feels stiffer. 

Saucony removed the stretchy gusseted tongue too which I really liked on the Pro 2 as most racing shoes opt-out of that feature. And the tongue is thin, at just 1.3mm thick, you can feel the laces over the top of your foot when pulled tight. 

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Lacing.jpg

Endorphin Pro+ has a consistent ride 

If you are a fast runner who spends a lot of time on your toes, this shoe is magic! Its extremely stiff ride is perfectly paired with its rockered design to give you a smooth, efficient stride underfoot. 

It’s not as bouncy and the toe-off is not as pronounced as other race flats with a carbon plate, but it efficiently rolls through your gait with effortless ease. 

I will mention again though this shoe is extremely stiff. At 86N on our flex test it’s way above the average shoe (37N) and above other super shoes (Asics MetaSpeed Sky 62.9N, Nike Vaporfly Next% 2 83.7N)

I personally love the Endorphin series and the pairing of their Speedroll design with their soft cushioned PB foams and stiff scooped carbon plates make it a joy to race around in.

Need to get used to the narrow platform

All carbon-plated shoes and rockered shoes take a bit of time to adjust to if you are not used to them, but this shoe is pretty easy to get used to in my opinion. 

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Outsole.jpg

The one part of the learning curve that’s a bit steep with this shoe is the unbalanced feeling you get around sharp corners. With tall stacks (27.2mm in the forefoot and 35.9mm in the heel) and a steep drop (8.7mm), they can roll over easily. Beware! 

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Cut.jpg

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ nears 7 ounces

At 7.1 ounces (201g) these are insanely light. There are lighter shoes on the market, but nearing the 7-ounce mark is impressive for sure! 

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Weight.jpg

Well done Saucony, I didn’t know you had it in you! 

Not a trainer, save for race day

It’s a race shoe, so durability shouldn’t really be something that’s a deciding factor, but with a thin (2.5mm) and sparse outsole, and a thin mesh upper, it’s probably got about 100-200 miles in them. 

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Outsole (2).jpg

Save them for race day, this is not a trainer. 

Limited grip but adequate

Do race shoes need to be super grippy? It’s not top of the list for me, as these are designed to go straight and fast on hard surfaces, but the outsole durometer is a bit stiff at 82HC (average is 80.2) meaning they may be a touch slick if you’re racing in the rain or freezing temps. 

There’s also a lot of exposed midsole on the bottoms of these shoes, so be careful as you wear down the thin outsole and start running mostly on the PB foam. 

Insanely breathability

The all-mesh upper is unobstructed without any welded overlays making this shoe breath extremely well. 

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Upper.jpg

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Upper (2).jpg

Did they hire someone from Nike

No checkered flags on the Pro+! 

Not sure if NASCAR finally secured their trademark back from Saucony, or Saucony just wanted this shoe to look a bit like a VaporFly, but the shoe looks sleek and sexy in its white and black design. 

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Single (2).jpg

Nike AirZoom Vaporfly Next% 2 (2).jpg

Did they just copy Nike though? Looks eerily similar, even with the silver accent on the midsole, and the Saucony logo looking suspiciously like a swoosh… Nice try Saucony, but I don’t think consumers are going to accidentally buy this thinking it was the Vaporfly! 

Cold weather doesn’t affect the shoe

One surprise is that in our freezer tests, the shoe is really not that affected by cold weather and should perform consistently on chilly race days. 

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Freezer.jpg

The midsole stiffened up 21.6% (18.5HA at room temp and 22.5HA at cold temps) where the average midsole stiffens 29.7%. And the overall flex of the shoe only stiffened 2.6% (86N at room temp and 88.2N at cold temp) where average shoes stiffen 37.2%. 

No night racing in the Endorphin Pro+

Most races are during the day, but if you find yourself out past dark beware. There are no reflective elements on the Pro+. As you can see next to a highly reflective shoe the Pro+ struggles in this department. 

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Reflective.jpg

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Reflective (2).jpg

Conclusion 

If you want to go fast, and light, and don’t like the other super shoes, or are just a Saucony fanatic, this is the shoe to buy. 

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ Pieces (2).jpg

It’s the pinnacle of consumer racing design from Saucony in 2021!

Complete lab-specs overview 

  Endorphin Pro+ Average
Whole shoe
Weight (g) 201 264
Drop (mm) 8.7 8.3
Flexibility of the shoe (N) 86.0
37.0
Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 20 min) (N) 88.2 48.2
Flexibility of the shoe (% of change) 2.6 37.2
Lace slip test with the knot (N) 29.1 23.1
Longitudinal flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 5 3.2
Torsional flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 5 3.3
Upper
Thickness - Tongue (mm) 1.3 5.5
Width Upper - Forefoot (mm) 92.6 98.6
Width Upper - Heel (mm) 66.2 75.9
Lace Stretch (1-5 scale, 5 being the most stretchy) 4 2.9
Flexibility of the heel counter (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 1 3.2
Tongue: gusset type None -
Heel: pull tab No -
Midsole
Width Midsole - Forefoot (mm) 107.1 112.6
Width Midsole - Heel (mm) 81.5 89.6
Stack - Forefoot with insole (mm) 27.2 24.6
Stack - Heel with insole (mm) 35.9 32.7
Durometer Midsole Heel (Room temperature) (HA) 18.5 21.9
Outsole
Outsole thickness (Heel) (mm) 2.5 3.5
Lugs Depth (mm) N/A 3.3
Durometer Outsole Heel (Room temperature) (HC) 82.0 80.2
Insole
Insole Heel Thickness (mm) 5.1 4.3
Insole: removable Yes  

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Rankings

How Saucony Endorphin Pro+ ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 18% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Top 35% Saucony running shoes
All Saucony running shoes
Top 28% maximalist running shoes
All maximalist running shoes

Popularity

No popularity data available for this shoe at the moment.
Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.