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Finlay McAndrew  •  Running Gear •  28.02.2023 •  6 min read

Saucony Endorphin Elite Review - Ridiculously Fast

While the Saucony Endorphin Elite is designed for everyone, it’s been specifically designed to bring even more speed to race day performances and make everyone feel like an elite. The Endorphin Elite features a brand new superfoam and carbon plate. The result? Unrivalled levels of rebound and propulsion.

Pair of Saucony Endorphin Elite road racing shoes in slime green against concrete background

Shop the men's and women's Saucony Endorphin Elite.

Behind the tech

The science of Saucony’s HG superfoam

Saucony spent 4 years meticulously testing and designing the brand new Endorphin Elite. The most significant outcome of this work is the creation of PWRRUN HG. The following figure is not a typo - it boasts 95% energy return. Simply meaning, you only lose 5% of the energy you’re putting into the shoe - an astonishing figure. HG stands for ‘high gradient’. This means the foam molecules in the midsole go from a small diameter at the edges of the midsole to a large diameter in the middle. 

Propulsive carbon plate

A full-length carbon fibre plate is added to the midsole to add some structure and rigidity to the superfoam. However, the plate is slotted at the forefoot to increase flexibility. This smooths out the transition from the lateral to medial side and enables it to conform to your stride.

Incredible momentum

The observant will notice the significantly angled forefoot design. This geometry, combined with the superfoam and slotted carbon plate, is designed to create an ultra aggressive toe-spring. Ultimately helping make your turnover quicker. Meaning you spend less time on the ground and move forward faster. Saucony calls this SPEEDROLL technology. 

Is it race legal?

Yes, the Saucony Endorphin Elite conforms to World Athletics standards. The midsole offset is 40mm to 32mm. It only weighs 204g and 185g for men’s and women’s respectively. The next-to-skin upper reduces weight. While a sock-like ankle design offers lightweight support, a more traditional engineered mesh runs through to the forefoot. A very thin layer of outsole rubber provides some traction and durability. It’s not all stripped back though. As a PWRRUN PB (PeBa based) sockliner is added for even more comfort and cushioning.

Close up of outsole of Saucony Endorphin Elite road racing shoe

What’s the Saucony Endorphin Elite for?

You’ve probably come to the conclusion that this is to help you run faster. The key is that pace is all relative and it’s the effort level that’s important. It doesn’t matter what speed you’re running at, if you’re trying to run faster, running shoes like the Endorphin Elite are specifically designed to help you achieve this. 

While it’s called an Endorphin Elite, it’s not for elites, but anyone that runs in them will probably feel like an elite. With the goal being to improve your race experience. The geometry is most likely best suited to keeping you at a set pace for a long time. Prime example being a marathon. 

Left lateral view of Saucony Endorphin Elite road racing shoe in slime green balanced on industrial pole

Most runners can run at their target marathon pace - they just can’t necessarily run at this pace easily enough to sustain it for 26.2 miles. While there are multiple reasons as to why a runner slows down, a significant one is simply the cost of moving forward and this increases as we fatigue. As the Saucony Endorphin Elite returns roughly 95% energy return and creates incredible propulsion, it has the potential to significantly lower the amount of energy to run at a given speed. For the physiology enthusiast, that means your running economy is better. This means you can hold a set pace for longer. 

How does it compare to other options

The Saucony Endorphin Pro features PWRRUN PB foam and a full-length carbon plate. It’s designed to feel slightly softer than the Elite and lends itself to more training miles, as well as racing. The Saucony Endorphin Speed features PWRRUN PB foam, like the Pro, but features a ‘winged’ nylon plate. This offers the most forgiving underfoot feel and is a great choice for interval sessions, tempo miles and specific pace work. Check out the entire Saucony Endorphin collection.

Left medial view of Saucony Endorphin Elite road racing shoe in slime green balanced on industrial pole

The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly and Air Zoom Alphafly are all-out racing shoes, but are used by many runners for training sessions. In a similar way as to how the Endorphin Pro is used. This is where the Endorphin Elite is different. It’s designed to be used only on race day and for a couple of key sessions in the build up. The £280 price tag is justified by the fact that the Endorphin Elite delivers more speed than anything else and is potentially “one of the most metabolically efficient shoes that exists today”. 


If you’re the type of runner who really wants to set your fastest time possible in your next marathon, the Saucony Endorphin Elite could be the running shoe you’re looking for.

specifically designed to bring even more speed to race day performances and make everyone feel like an elite

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