Our verdict

In racing, the Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 performs admirably, but its real highlight is the extraordinary comfort it provides as a supershoe. It shifts focus from pure performance to a more relaxed, spacious feel. We were impressed by its ability to cater to heel strikers with exceptional durability, making it an excellent choice for mid-to-back pack marathoners. And for us, it's not just a race-day shoe—it excels in long-distance training too. However, the increased weight and more conservative geometry might not appeal to those aiming for peak performance.

Pros

  • Durable upper and outsole
  • Spacious upper fit
  • Enhanced midsole comfort
  • Great value at $225 for a supershoe
  • Versatile across all paces
  • Ideal for heel strikers
  • More stable than ever

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than v3
  • Less suited for forefoot strikers
  • Competitors may feel quicker

Audience verdict

91
Superb!

Who should buy

We think the Endorphin Pro 4 is a prime choice for:

  • Runners seeking a comfortable and slightly cheaper supershoe. The Pro 4 offers a smoother ride compared to its rivals, making it easier on the feet and the wallet.
  • Enthusiasts of the Endorphin Speed series aiming for enhanced performance plus a carbon plate with a familiar feel.
  • Marathoners seeking a reliable, long-lasting shoe for race day and fast-paced long runs, featuring an elite-level midsole.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

Who should NOT buy

Though the Endorphin Pro 4 has the makings of a supershoe, we noticed a modest dip in performance, a choice we think Saucony made to differentiate it from the Endorphin Elite, which boasts a full-length PWRRUN HG midsole and a lighter build.

Additionally, we believe there are superior choices for midfoot and forefoot strikers on the market. The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 and Hoka Rocket X 2 not only provide a stable ride but also offer more forefoot cushioning and a quicker feel. And for unmatched energy return, the record-setting Nike Alphafly 3 is unrivalled.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 parts

Finally, if weight is a crucial factor for you, the Endorphin Pro 4 may disappoint. In this case, we think the Nike Vaporfly 3 is a better competition shoe.

Breathability

Breathability is a key factor for marathon shoes, as maintaining good airflow is essential to keep feet comfortable, preventing blisters and swelling during long races. Impressively, the Endorphin Pro 4 stands out in this aspect, achieving a flawless 5/5 score in our breathability smoke test, marking it as a top performer.

The upper of the Endorphin Pro 4 is remarkably thin, enhancing its breathability to an exceptional level. During our light test, it became evident that this shoe was among the elite few, showcasing a degree of transparency throughout its structure, not just limited to the toebox but extending across the entire upper, which truly impressed us.

Delving deeper with our microscope, we were keen to examine the engineered mesh upper more closely.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 microscope

Our anticipation was met with the discovery of a high-quality mesh that's seldom seen in the industry. The attention to detail and the level of engineering invested in creating such a complex pattern of hexagonal shapes and strategically placed ventilation holes throughout the shoe confirmed our initial impressions.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 mesh

In our manual assessment, we observed adequate padding in the heel area, which is fine for a shoe designed for race day performance.

However, we need to remember that the Endorphin Pro 4 is crafted with a clear focus on achieving personal bests, where comfort is not the main goal at all.

Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 5
Average 3.8
Compared to 234 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

We discovered that the Endorphin Pro 4 boasts an actual heel-to-toe drop of 9.5 mm, which is notably high. This confirms our belief that this shoe is a top choice for heel strikers.

While Saucony lists an 8-mm drop for this shoe, our measurements align with World Athletics official guidelines. For those curious about such differences, we've prepared an informative guide to explain these discrepancies.

Toebox durability

Given the ultra-thin mesh of the Endorphin Pro 4, we were initially sceptical about its durability, especially since similar shoes often succumb quickly under our rigorous Dremel tests.

To our amazement in the lab, the Endorphin Pro 4 showcased exceptional durability, scoring an impressive 4/5 partially thanks to the branded TPU overlay. For those seeking a high-performance supershoe with a robust upper, this model stands out as an exceptional choice.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Toebox durability
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 4
Average 2.4
Compared to 168 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Turning our attention to the heel padding, we anticipated another standout performance—after all, momentum was on our side.

True to our expectations, the EP4 delivered an outstanding result, surpassing our previous assessments and achieving a perfect 5/5. This is particularly remarkable for a race-day shoe that manages to incorporate a notable amount of padding in the heel.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Heel padding durability
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 5
Average 3.2
Compared to 164 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

When we examined the outsole, our first step was to measure its hardness—a reliable indicator of what to expect. Our findings showed an 85.3 HC reading, not only surpassing most shoes but also proving to be significantly tougher than many competitors.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 outsole

Although the EP4 features some exposed foam, it boasts a greater amount of rubber coverage compared to the average supershoe.

The grip was satisfactory, though not stellar, leading us to believe that Saucony aims to establish the Endorphin Pro 4 as an exceptionally durable supershoe, which seems to be its niche in the market.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Outsole hardness
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 85.3 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 285 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

To assess whether the high outsole hardness translates to durability, we fired up the Dremel once more, this time at a higher RPM.

Our test resulted in a mere 0.6-mm indentation, indicating impressive durability.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Outsole durability
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 0.6 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 146 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

In our final step, we measured the outsole thickness and found a robust 2.1 mm of XT-900 rubber. This thickness suggests the Endorphin Pro 4 should easily withstand at least 300 miles of fast running.

While individual results may vary based on factors like footstrike, weight, and running surface, we're convinced that few supershoes can outlast this one in terms of durability.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Outsole thickness
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 2.1 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

One crucial aspect of running performance is the shoe's weight, and unfortunately, this is where the Endorphin Pro 4 falls short. Although it's still relatively light at 7.8 oz (220g), it's noticeably heavier than the 7.3-oz Endorphin Pro 3 and lags behind many competitors.

Ultimately, compromises are inevitable in running shoes. The added weight is a trade-off for enhanced durability and cushioning compared to its predecessor, which explains the increase. However, for runners prioritising raw performance over comfort, this might not be an appealing trade.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Weight
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 7.76 oz (220g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

A critique of the EP3 involved its cushioning, which was notably 5 mm below the World Athletics official limit.

This issue has been addressed in the new model, with a cushioning height of 38.1 mm, adding an extra 3.1 mm of foam. This boost is sure to offer significant support during the final miles of your next marathon.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Heel stack
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 38.1 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

Our calliper measured the forefoot at slightly below the 30-mm mark (28.6 mm).

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 foam forefoot

This reading is satisfactory but might feel insufficient for forefoot strikers that want to tackle 26.2 miles.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Forefoot stack
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 28.6 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
36.9 mm

Drop

We discovered that the Endorphin Pro 4 boasts an actual heel-to-toe drop of 9.5 mm, which is notably high. This confirms our belief that this shoe is a top choice for heel strikers.

While Saucony lists an 8-mm drop for this shoe, our measurements align with World Athletics official guidelines. For those curious about such differences, we've prepared an informative guide to explain these discrepancies.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Drop
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 9.5 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

The heel, while still narrow, has been widened in the Pro 4 to 89.2 mm from the Pro 3's 86.0 mm. This enhancement further supports heel strikers, facilitating a smooth transition from heel to toe with Saucony's Speedroll technology.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Insole thickness
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 6.1 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Beneath the sockliner lies the true highlight—the midsole. Saucony's approach with the Endorphin Pro 4 marks a significant evolution from its predecessors.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 dual density midsole

This model introduces a brand-new, dual-midsole system, featuring a top layer of PWRRUN HG (same as the Endorphin Elite) and a bottom layer of the tried-and-true PWRRUN PB, with a carbon plate nestled in between.

The foundational foam layer, PWRRUN PB, has been a staple in every Endorphin Pro iteration. Crafted from 22.0-HA Pebax pellets, it guarantees enduring performance and a stable, well-balanced ride.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Midsole softness
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 22.0 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 232 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Secondary foam softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

The headline feature of the Endorphin Pro 4 is the debut of PWRRUN HG foam in this series—a groundbreaking supercritical Pebax blend from Saucony, reminiscent of Nike's ZoomX, and utilised in the pricier Endorphin Elite.

Positioned above the carbon plate, this layer is a tad softer (18.5 HA) than PWRRUN PB and does not come in form of pellets. It avoids a too-soft, mushy sensation, opting instead for a springy, responsive feel that propels you forward with a quick and snappy rebound in each stride.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Secondary foam softness
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 18.5 HA
Average 24.9 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.

Difference in midsole softness in cold

Pebax foams are renowned for their stellar adaptability across multiple temperatures.

We subjected the EP4 to a cold stress test, putting it in the freezer for 20 minutes. The outcome was truly noteworthy—the foam's firmness increased by a mere 5.1%!

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Difference in midsole softness in cold
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 5.1%
Average 25.5%
Compared to 231 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Plate

A quintessential supershoe must include a stiffening element in the midsole, and Saucony has chosen to continue with the S-shaped carbon plate, given its proven track record of success.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 cutout

The midsole cutout not only contributes to weight reduction but also provides an opportunity for Saucony to showcase their proprietary Speedroll branding.

This carbon plate is central to Saucony's Speedroll technology, designed to create a rolling sensation, particularly beneficial for heel strikers. The EP3 gained popularity among this group, and undoubtedly, the 4th iteration will continue to serve heel strikers well.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Plate

Rocker

In the current world of rockered running shoes, the Endorphin Pro series stands out for its subtler rocker design, a trend the v4 continues.

We appreciate this approach in a market overwhelmed by extreme rockered designs, offering those who prefer a more traditional feel a perfect option in the EP4.

Stability

Lateral stability test

Right off the bat, we noticed a significant boost in stability with the Endorphin Pro 4 compared to its predecessor, thanks to an all-new geometry and the firmer foam.

We believe enhanced stability is a key feature distinguishing the Pro 4 from other supershoes, allowing for its use in easy and moderate runs if you're at ease with a carbon plate. In these scenarios, it essentially transforms into a supercharged daily trainer!

Torsional rigidity

With the inclusion of a carbon plate, we anticipated a high result in this test, and the Endorphin Pro 4 did not disappoint, earning a solid 4/5 in our lab assessment.

We often award a 5/5 to carbon-plated shoes, highlighting that this model is slightly less focused on peak performance and more on offering a smoother, gentler ride as a supershoe.

Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 283 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter is exceptionally soft (1/5). Lacking any stiff components, the EP4 is a great choice for those prone to Achilles discomfort.

Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 1
Average 2.8
Compared to 267 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

A significant update from the previous model is the wider midsole, notably in the forefoot area, where it now measures 118.9 mm, up from 109.3 mm.

This adjustment greatly impacts the shoe, enhancing stability and comfort, particularly for forefoot strikers. However, it also leads to an increase in weight, which is quite perceptible.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 118.9 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The heel, while still narrow, has been widened in the Pro 4 to 89.2 mm from the Pro 3's 86.0 mm. This enhancement further supports heel strikers, facilitating a smooth transition from heel to toe with Saucony's Speedroll technology.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 89.2 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

We've already highlighted in this lab review that the Endorphin Pro 4 incorporates a carbon plate within its midsole, a feature synonymous with exceptional longitudinal stiffness.

Our 90-degree bend test yielded a 69.1N result for the Pro 4, a level of stiffness that's characteristic of shoes equipped with a rigid carbon-fibre plate. Consequently, some runners might find the shoe clunky for easy runs, though those who favour a stiff ride could find it suitable for slower paces.

Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 69.1N
Average 29.2N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

Following another 20-minute chill session in the freezer, we conducted the stiffness test once more on the Pro 4, with impressive results. The shoe became only 9% stiffer, a testament to the remarkable performance of its Pebax-based foams!

Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 9%
Average 35.9%
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Everything we've discovered about this shoe leads us to believe it's one of the most accommodating supershoes out there, and here's the ultimate evidence.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 roomy

Unlike the overly snug and narrow uppers common among its rivals, the Endorphin Pro 4 boasts an impressive maximum width of 99.0 mm in the widest part of the upper—a true standout.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 99.0 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The space around the big toe also exceeded our expectations for a racing shoe, measuring 78.1 mm. Without a doubt, for those with wide feet seeking a more spacious supershoe, this is the go-to choice.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 78.1 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 179 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

A significant change from previous Endorphin Pros is the shift to an Alphafly-style, sock-like tongue, moving away from the semi-gusseted design that was standard in this series. Both styles offer effective lockdown, ultimately boiling down to personal preference.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 Sock like

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue is exceptionally well-ventilated and notably thin. At 1.7 mm, it's almost twice as thick as the tongues of other supershoes, which often measure less than 1.0 mm—a feature those with sensitive insteps will surely value.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 tongue and lacing

The EP4 lacks the notched laces found in other supershoes—perhaps a feature for future versions.

Our tests revealed that the tongue's thickness strikes a perfect balance for a comfy racing shoe. Given that the Endorphin Pro 4 is designed for high performance but still ranks below the Elite model, Saucony's decision to opt for a slightly thicker tongue seems logical.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Tongue padding
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 1.7 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 302 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

Saucony has continued the trend of omitting heel tabs in their recent Endorphins, and the Pro 4 maintains this choice.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Heel tab
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 None

Removable insole

Unlike many racing shoes, the Endorphin Pro 4 features a removable insole, allowing for customization if necessary.

However, the insole's unique design, especially its ultra-narrow heel, is tailored for performance. And this insole is crafted from supercritical foam, enhancing the shoe's performance, an advantage you might forfeit by switching to a third-party option.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Removable insole
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

We didn't spot any reflective elements on the Endorphin Pro 4, but in our opinion, they're not essential for race-day shoes, so that's fine!

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Reflective elements
Test results
Endorphin Pro 4 No