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97
/100 by Kim Urmaza, posted on .

Three words: Saucony. Nailed. It. 

Saucony has unleashed a complete line-up of road-racing shoes set to cross the finish line at record speeds—and I must admit: The Endorphin Speed has exceeded my expectations. 

 

Saucony-Endorphin-Speed-midsole.jpg

Specs

  • Release year: 2020
  • Shoe type: Road, racing
  • Arch: Neutral
  • Weight: men’s = 7.8 oz (sz 9) / women’s = 6.8 oz (sz 8)
  • Stack height: Heel = 33mm / forefoot = 25mm
  • Price point: $160 

Aesthetics 

What a colorway! The shoe is vibrant, and the choice of colors for the OG model brings about the excitement to lace up and take this shoe for a ride. The Saucony logo is displayed on both sides of the shoe, and "Endorphin Speed" is detailed on the lace eyelets. 

 

Saucony-Endorphin-Speed-design.jpg

Upper

The upper is comprised of a light, mesh-like material and is laced with a series of ventilated holes for added breathability. The upper is incredibly comfortable and wraps around the foot without any feeling of rigidity or stiffness, particularly near the toe box. 

 

Saucony-Endorphin-Speed-upper.jpg

 

The laces are perfect on this shoe. I typically encounter issues with some laces being too long or too smooth and will replace the stock laces with a lock lacing system.

However, I had no issues with the laces untying or getting in the way during my run with the Endorphin Speed. Besides, the lime green adds a bit of "pop" to the shoe's overall appearance. 

Fit and performance

Race-ready out of the box! 

I had purchased the Endorphin Speed to use primarily as a long distance (10+ miles) trainer. However, I may lace them up for some track-based speed work. 

I have worn the Endorphin Speed on two long runs thus far for a total mileage of 25 miles. Each run had some tempo-based intervals followed by short periods of active recovery, and one word comes to mind when running in the endorphin speed: Smooth. 

The Endorphin Speed runs true to size, and I do not have any issues with rubbing, chafing, or slipping. The heel cup does offer some structure throughout the shoe and may contribute to the overall security of the fit.

Though the Endorphin Speed is marketed as a trainer in comparison to the Endorphin Pro, the Speed fits like a racing shoe—just a bit more comfortable. 

Midsole

This is where things get interesting. 

Saucony integrates a nylon-based plate throughout the midsole. The classic "pop" as described among carbon-plated racers is not as apparent in the Endorphin Speed; however, the nylon plate does offer some stiffness to help propel you through your stride and keep you pushing off of your midfoot/forefoot.

 

Saucony-Endorphin-Speed-heel.jpg

 

The propulsion is subtle, particularly in comparison to a shoe like the Nike Vaporfly Next%. Nonetheless, the ride is smooth and effortless. I was able to switch gears from tempo-pace to recovery and vice-versa without feeling a large lapse in paces. 

The underfoot of the Endorphin Speed is cushioned with Saucony's newest foam: PWRUN PB. The shoe is light, bouncy, and responsiveness—highly responsive. I do not feel my feet sinking into the shoe, and I can quickly transition through my stride. 

With 33mm and 25mm of PWRUN PB, the overall cushioning is incredibly forgiving. Despite such a high stack height, the Endorphin Speed feels stable—even when turning corners. 

Outsole: Traction & durability

Rubber thinly lines the medial/lateral heel and covers the midfoot/forefoot in its entirety. The remainder of the outsole is exposed PWRUN PB. Although I have only run 25 miles in this shoe, I did not notice any significant issues with traction.

 

Saucony-Endorphin-Speed-outsole.jpg

 

At this point, I do not have clear expectations regarding the shoe's lifespan. However, I do anticipate to run many more miles in this shoe whilst maintaining its overall integrity and performance quality. 

Final thoughts 

At $160, the Endorphin Speed offers a fast, responsive, race-ready ride for a significantly cheaper price than current plate-based racers. Honestly, I am already considering purchasing a second pair!

This shoe is easily my favorite shoe of 2020. Hands down. No questions asked.

Though I had initially purchased the Endorphin Speed as my long-distance trainer, I do anticipate pushing this shoe through the paces during track sessions. I am curious to see how this shoe responds are faster speeds. 

Kim Urmaza | Level 2 expert Verified
I am currently the Head Athletic Trainer for a high school in Hollywood, FL and am pursuing a Master's degree in Kinesiology with a double concentration in sports performance and orthopedic rehabilitation. I am also a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and a member of the USA National Duathlon Team. I currently run 70-80 road miles per week & have run numerous distances from the 5K to the marathon and aim to dabble into the ultramarathon world within the next year. My background in sports medicine has also allowed for a better understanding of running mechanics relative to shoe wear, shoe type, and foot striking patterns. It is a privilege to share my experiences with various running shoes.

The Endorphin Speed is built for athletes looking for optimum speed performance on every run. Designed with comfort and durability in mind, this highly cushioned running shoe from Saucony is aimed to take your racing to new levels. It can take on any activity from daily running to marathon racing, all while offering a natural feel at the same time.

The shoe’s best feature is the PWRRUN PB cushioning which is 40% lighter than Saucony’s PWRRUN+ cushioning. This makes the Endorphin Speed feel lightweight and perform faster. It is powered by a nylon plate that isn’t only flexible but also reduces fatigue to your legs more than the carbon fiber plate found in other Endorphin models.

Keeping your feet cool for longer won’t also be a problem any more thanks to the perforated mesh upper. It keeps this neutral running shoe well ventilated, keeping your feet cool, dry, and comfortable at all times.

The shoe wouldn’t also be called Endorphin Speed without its SPEEDROLL technology. This provides a responsive rolling feel underfoot, making the shoe an excellent fit for road runs and jogging.

Endorphin Shift. The Shift is the base model in this collection. It is best for all-day wear or when you’re just taking it easy on recovery days. It uses the PWRRUN cushioning combined with a thin layer of PWRRUN+, which means it slightly heavier than the Endorphin Speed because of its midsole.

Endorphin Pro. A carbon-fiber plate makes it different from the Endorphin Speed, which uses a nylon plate to power its PWRRUN PB midsole. The use of a carbon-fiber plate in the Pro means it packs power ideal for runners competing at a professional level. A perfect example would be Molly Seidel, who wore the Endorphin Pro and placed second at the 2020 US Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials.

Even though each shoe in the Endorphin collection varies from one another in design and performance, it all has the same endgame: to offer you a Saucony running shoe that suits your activities and helps you achieve your racing goals.

Size and fit

True to size based on 20 user votes
Small (7%)
True to size (92%)
Large (0%)
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Fit
Tight Loose
Forefoot fit
Narrow Wide
Heel fit
Narrow Wide
Toebox
Tight Roomy

How Endorphin Speed compares

This shoe: 88
All shoes average: 86
54 98
This shoe: $160
All shoes average: $119
$40 $350
This shoe: 7.8oz
All shoes average: 9.5oz
3.5oz 16.2oz
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com