If you’re looking for just one trail shoe for all of your off-road running endeavors, the Saucony Peregrine 11 is a good one to add to your rotation.
This trail shoe does everything well without any gaping shortfalls. The new upper design is on point for some head-turning looks on the trail. Read on for the full overview from Brian Metzler.
The Saucony Peregrine is a versatile, neutral-oriented trail running shoe. It has the comfort and smoothness of a road running shoe with a low-to-the-ground feel. Add to that it has a nice blend of cushioning, traction and protection.
It’s a classic, do-everything off-road runner. It’s ideal for smooth, rolling dirt paths, moderately technical routes with some rocks, roots, gravel and other obstacles, as well as sloppy trails with a lot of mud and moisture.
The biggest update to the Peregrine 11 is a new upper that’s more durable and protective than the previous edition. It’s a nice final touch that completes this shoe as one of the most versatile and functional models out on the trails.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The Peregrine has a performance-oriented fit that secures each foot to the chassis of the shoe. This avoids excess internal slipping and sliding.
Although it’s only available in a medium width, it resembles the comfortable fit and feel of a road running shoe. It features a narrow heel cup and secure sensation at the mid-foot.
The toe box is compact but not restrictively tight, allowing toes to splay and flex as they adapt to different types of terrain. The step-in feel is soft, pliable and comfortable, but not overwhelming.
The moderate midsole cushioning is accompanied by a flexible rock plate. This allows for a cushy, flexible and protective ride doesn’t inhibit the natural movement of your feet on variable terrain.
The Peregrine isn’t exceptionally energetic, but it feels and runs lighter than its spec weight. This means it serves up an agile, go-get-it sensation on most types of terrain.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
Because it’s so light and comfortable, the Peregrine will appeal to a wide range of runners. From trail runners, from first-timers to those who frequently go off-road and also those who live and breathe nothing but dirt.
It excels as a versatile, three-season trail running shoe for mild to semi-technical, low-alpine, desert and woodland terrain.
The Peregrine 11 could be a great race-day shoe for trail running events from 5K to half marathon. It could be a good choice for trail marathons too, but it doesn’t have hefty cushioning like some maximally cushioned trail shoes.
PROS: SAUCONY PEREGRINE
The full-length, flexible, plastic rock plate in the Peregrine provides ample protection. Pointy rocks, roots and other irregularities on the surface of the trail are eaten up without inhibiting the ability of the foot to move nimbly.
This is the second edition of the Peregrine with PWRRUN midsole cushioning. As a result, the new Peregrine feels softer but also returns a bit more energy than a lot of trail running shoes, especially when running at moderate to fast speeds.
The knobby array of outsole lugs provide exceptional traction on wet terrain and loose dirt. It has a moderate amount of cushioning, enough to keep sharp pointy obstacles and trail debris at bay but not too much to inhibit a proprioceptive feel for the ground. Our wear-testers loved running over muddy trails, wet grass and wet, sloppy terrain in this shoe.
The outsole has aggressive, 6mm directional lugs made from a new sticky rubber compound that is distinctively adhesive on wet and dry rock and wooden stair steps, but sheds mud with surprising ease.
Like its predecessor, the Peregrine 11 has a customizable outsole platform with 12 designated ports. These can be drilled through for improved drainage if you frequently run in sloppy conditions. Alternatively they can be used to add screws for enhanced winter traction on ice and snow.
CONS: SAUCONY PEREGRINE
Like its predecessors, the Peregrine lacks sufficient protection and girth for long, gnarly, rugged mountain trails. However, it is agile enough to handle shorter segments of rocky routes. However, the new upper does provide better sidewall and toe box protection than in the past.
Heading to more technical trails? The ST version of the Saucony Peregrine 11 is also available. This has a more aggressive sole (or would that be soul?) to take on more ambitious terrain. Add to that a new lacing system to dial in the fit to the challenge ahead.
LAURA THWEATT TALKS OLYMPIC TRIALS AND SHARES HER ADVICE TO RUNNERS
By Brian Metzler
Saucony athlete Laura Thweatt ran the fiercest, gutsiest race of her life on Feb. 29 at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta, finishing fifth place in 2:29:08 but missing a berth on the U.S. Olympic Team by a mere 18 seconds. Despite the disappointment of narrowly missing the team, that effort galvanized her resolve to return to the elite marathon scene after years of injury. (Prior to being hurt for part of 2018 and 2019, Thweatt ran a 2:25:38 personal best at the 2017 London Marathon, the sixth-fastest time in U.S. history.) But when COVID-19 swept across the world and changed everything, the 31-year-old marathoner had to reconfigure her approach to running and training like everyone else.
We caught up with Laura near her home in Boulder, Colorado, recently to talk about how she’s maintained her training, her favorite new shoes and how she’s looking forward to 2021.
Well, 2020 was going to be a new chapter in your running career anyway, right?
“Yeah, I started training with a new coach, Joe Bosshard, and a new training group, Boss Lady, after several years of great success under Lee Troop and honestly there was a lot of unknown going into the year. I trusted Joe’s coaching, but it took me a while to feel comfortable in training. Anytime you change coaches, you wind up doing things differently, doing different workouts, learning different ways to get fit and approach a race build-up. So that was hard. I was running the miles and getting fit, but it was a big change. Also, I was the only marathoner in the group.
The other women in the group are amazing — Emma Coburn, Cory McGee, Aisha Praught-Leer, Dominque Scott-Efrud — but they’re all track athletes who run shorter, faster events. But it all worked out in the end and about a month before the Olympic Trials Marathon, I felt really good about my training and how it was working out.”
How did you approach the Olympic Trials?
“I was still nervous and a bit worried going into the race. I knew I was running a lot fewer miles than most of the women there. I was running about 80 miles per week and there were plenty of women running 100 to 110 miles per week, but ultimately I couldn’t worry about that. I did a great 27-mile run in my build-up and that gave me a lot of confidence to know that I was fit and that I had to trust my own training.
When I got to Atlanta, I knew that the race was going to come down to how well I could compete and how determined I was. And that’s what I did. Midway through the race, I felt really good, really strong and I kept fighting. I knew I was running a good race and, despite the ultimate disappointment of not finishing in the top three, I was really happy with how well I competed and the final results.”
What is your take away looking back on your result now?
“It was one of those things I wasn’t sure how to feel. On the one hand, I was really proud of the race that I ran and felt like it was the first race since London in 2017 that I was really able to get out there and race with confidence and strength and have the belief that I could do it. So that was really great, but it was also super heartbreaking to come so close and put it all out there on race day and realize it just wasn’t quite good enough.
But overall, I walked away feeling like there were a lot of positives to take away from it.”
What advice can you give to everyday runners who are dealing with the massive changes in the world because of COVID-19?
“Well, we’re all in this together. No matter if it’s elite athletes or recreational runners, we all have to find a way to make things work. I know it’s been a sad year because so many people have gotten sick and died and many more have lost their jobs.
Fortunately, we all have running that can keep us healthy and keep us focused. Running has always been my favorite form of exercise and my daily therapy too, a great time to think and figure things out. So my best advice is to tell people to stay after it, keep lacing up their shoes, keep showing up and keep running.
A daily run can go a long way in making everything else work out smoothly.”
Even amid the crazy year, Saucony released three great new shoes in 2020. How are you using each one?
“It’s been a great year for Saucony with the new line of Endorphin shoes. Each one of them is so different, but so good! The Endorphin Pro is what I wore in the Olympic Trials and it’s an amazing shoe — so smooth, so fast and so easy to run in. The carbon-fiber plate embedded in the midsole makes every strides so smooth and so efficient that you barely feel the shoe when you’re running.
I love the Endorphin Pro for racing and long, fast training efforts, but I think the Endorphin Speed is my favorite. It’s also very fast, but it’s very versatile too. You can run long runs, you run fast intervals and you can run easy runs in that shoe. It has amazing cushioning that feels soft and bouncy, but it’s resilient and quick and not soft and mushy like some shoes.
And then the Endorphin Shift is just a really good all-around training shoe for a marathon, ideal for long runs, recovery runs and even tempo runs.
They’re all really amazing shoes that have really changed the game and helped me train better every day of the week.”
How have changed your outlook since the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down?
“It’s been a crazy year since the Olympic Trials. I am so glad I had that opportunity to race because it was only about a week or two later that everything got shut down and races were postponed or canceled. I was going to take a break and then get ready for the spring track season, but once everything got shut down, I took about a month off from running to recover and also work on my strength.
I had hoped to come back and run the New York City Marathon in November and started training for that, but eventually that was canceled too so really I spent a lot of my summer training and being healthy without a real racing goal ahead of me. That was hard but we all have to make the best of it and keep looking forward to 2021 when things will return to some sense of being normal again.”
Have you been training this year?
“Everyone has really approached this year from so many different angles. Some athletes have taken a step back and shut things down. Other people have been trying to stay in some kind of competitive shape and have been jumping into racing opportunities as they’ve come up. And others have just taken the opportunity to train and get ready for next year. There’s no one way to approach it. It’s just all based on what’s best for the individual. And nothing really counts for much, but I know a lot of athletes want to stay sharp and have the experience of racing.
For me, I’ve been training pretty well, but I’m a big planner so it’s been hard for me to approach some of the races that have popped up, only because I like to map things out well in advance of a race. But that’s been hard to do this year.
It’s exciting that the London Marathon is still doing an elite race, but for my first thoughts were ‘Can I plan for that?’ and ‘Can I get over there?’ So it’s been a really strange year for all of us.”
Have you been doing anything differently?
“I think the biggest thing I’ve done differently is that I spent a lot of time at home making my own food and cooking more than ever. I haven’t really changed my diet, but I’ve experimented with a lot of things and tried new things and that’s given me a greater appreciation for the food I eat but also for the time and effort that goes into it. I haven’t made sourdough bread or anything, but I’ve enjoyed learning how to cook more foods and use more ingredients.
And like everyone else, I’ve watched a lot of Netflix but I’ve also read a few books too. It’s amazing how you pass time when everything seems to change.
Fortunately, I still have running to keep me sane.”
TOP TRAINING TIPS FROM LAURA THWEATT
What’s your best advice to recreational runners training for a half marathon or marathon?
“My best advice is to train as best that you can and go into a race with confidence to run as well as you can, but also make sure you enjoy it and that it’s a happy experience. I see so many runners who dread running or are overly worried about a race experience and that’s not good.
We all get injured or sidetrack and sometimes don’t train as well as we could have, but there is no perfect training buildup. You can only do what you can do, but you should rely on that and trust your training.
Also, running should bring you joy, no matter if you’re an elite runner or a new runner just starting out. Make it the one thing in your day that is full of positive energy and you’ll be able to feed on that throughout the rest of your daily life.”
How are you looking forward in 2021?
“The pandemic has changed my outlook for next year, if only because I want to get a qualifier for the 10,000-meter run at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in June. So I’ll focus my first part of the winter on running a fast 10K and see how that goes and hopefully get into the Trials. [Laura was fifth in the 10,000m at the 2016 U.S. Track and Field Trials.]
After that, I’ll switch to marathon training and then hopefully run the New York City Marathon in the fall.”
How do you think running will rebound in 2021?
“Next year will be a huge year for running once things start coming back. I think we’ll have to wait and see, but it’s going to get better and things will return to normal and races will come back, even if it’s different.
It’s an Olympic year, so that will be exciting and just in general to have races come back that you can plan for and train for will be so refreshing after this year. Thinking about training for four months and then running through the streets of New York City is super inspiring right now; I think it must be for a lot of people who don’t have race goals.
If we can all keep that in the back of our mind as we go out for our daily run now, things will be OK.”
Introducing the Saucony X Prinkshop Women Running Collection, a bold initiative to support women from the leading running shoe brand.
SUPPORTING WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP IN POLITICS AND IN SPORT
55 years ago, Lyndon B. Johnson signed the The Voting Rights Act which prohibited racial discrimination in voting, granting black women (and men) the right to vote in every state. This landmark day finally allowed all women, regardless of race, the right to have their voices heard. It granted them the chance to make a difference.
55 years later, women are still vying for a place on the podium. There is still the need for women have more than a seat at the table. Saucony has taken this goal to see more women run one step further. In support of a new campaign called ‘Women Running’, Saucony and @prinkshop have joined forces to get behind HER in the race. This special collaboration supporting female leadership in politics and sport has the goal to encourage equal representation in both.
Welcome to the Women Running collection from Saucony and Prinkshop.
Each piece in the Saucony X Prinkshop Women Running collection features bold red, white and blue colors symbolizing a non-partisan approach to supporting female candidates running for office. It’s not about party, it’s about participation.
For each item sold, a 10% donation will be made to She Runs. This is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that supports female leadership in politics. The organization encourages women to run for office, providing them with the tools to get to the starting line.
SAUCONY X PRINKSHOP
The collaboration, the concept of ‘Women Running’, came about through a creative exchange between Saucony and Prinkshop.
Saucony commits strongly to their mission: empowering the human spirit, with every stride, on every run, and in every community. With that, Saucony is truly invested in the #RunforGood platform; it’s more than just a slogan. This collaboration with Prinkshop is testament to that.
When Pamela, the creative force behind Prinkshop’s ‘wear what you care about’ concept, spent time doing a brand deep dive. She was drawn to this piece of the Saucony DNA. In Pamela’s own words, “the idea of “Women Running” just came to me. Prinkshop is very women-centric in terms of the issues we care about. So, the double meaning of Women Running for a running brand like Saucony and in light of the upcoming election, just made sense”.
The Saucony team met with Prinkshop in their NYC studio in November of 2019. Pamela started putting some concepts out there for the crew to react to.
The HERO graphic and idea was one that we all took to immediately. The repeating Venus symbol print was born from the graphic. We use the colors, the bright red and blue, to show we are stronger together. We should be supporting more women as they run – either for sport or for office.
Brittney Hoss, VP of Merchandising at JackRabbit was all-in to support the ‘Women Running’ Collection.
‘As a woman working in the running industry, I could not be more excited to support the Saucony x Prinkshop ‘Women Running’ Collection. In addition to embracing women in the sport of running, encouraging women to run politically is such an important piece of the ongoing conversation around where we belong and the equality we are owed.
I am encouraged to be living in a time where all people are reflecting and changing their perspective on the value of women’s contributions. When we are equal partners in providing access to all facets of society, we create a much more balanced, powerful and complete community.
Not to mention, the design is a beautiful representation of the movement; I cannot wait to proudly sport these Kinvaras on my next run’
JackRabbit is proud to support the Saucony X Prinkshop collaboration. Now available, while stock lasts, the Saucony HERO collection features the bold Kinvara running shoe, plus an on point t-shirt, hat and tote bag.
Whatever your style, you can wear the HERO whichever way speaks to you. We encourage all of us to speak loudly this year, and ‘run’ for what is meaningful to you.
Following the roaring success of the debut JackRabbit x Saucony Jackalope Pack in early 2020, we have been beavering hard this strange year.
To keep inspiring runners to lace up and celebrate all that is good about running. And so, we proudly announce our second collaboration with Saucony. Yes, running friends, the JackRabbit x Saucony Jackalope 2.0 Pack has arrived!
Inspired by the vibes from the 1980s (bonus points if you remember the 1980s), the Jackalopes 2.0 are ready to showcase your running.
Runners can all agree 2020 needs a little color added back into it’s stride and these do not disappoint. Whether you’re taking to the trails (socially distanced), or pavement (socially distanced), these shoes will shout out, ‘I love running, I love life’.
Running has been a lifeline for our community and a (re)discovered joy for so many this year. The Jackalope 2.0 Pack are ready to celebrate that with you.
With this bold looking new 2.0 collection ready to reinvigorate and inspire your runs, we wonder if it would be feasible to ask for a 2.0 on 2020 to go along with them!
WHAT’S WITH THE JACKALOPE?
What is a Jackalope? Gifted with the speed of a jackrabbit and the endurance of an antelope, the Jackalope is every runner’s dream animal. Capable of tackling any distance with ease, the mythical anima should inspire any runner to lace up their shoes and go.
INSPIRATION FOR JACKALOPE 2.0 PACK
Again, we had the chance to sit down with Saucony Footwear Designer, Moira Cunningham, the color and trend lead. We asked her about the style and color inspirations for the even more tenacious JackRabbit x Saucony 2.0 pack.
What is the design inspiration behind the second collection of JackRabbit x Saucony Jackalope Pack?
The inspiration for the second iteration of our collaboration is rooted in retro 80s fitness and club styles. I was seeing versions of this theme executed across different media beyond the athletic apparel/equipment industry.
A great example of where I was drawn aesthetically is the most recent season of American Horror Story: 1984. The story was nostalgic and campy, and also had a mysterious “after dark” vibe. This led to the special inclusion of glow-in-the-dark elements to this collection. I looked to some of the aerobics scenes for color and mood inspiration.
The colors are amazing for the second collection! So vibrant and eye-catching, what are the color trends you’ve brought into this new collection?
The colors chosen for this collection are a great balance between muted and vibrant. I updated the colors from our first iteration to become jewel tones paired with electric pastels. The true magic of Jackalope 2.0 is in the color application. While Plum and Teal form the base of the collection, Yellow, Pink, and ViziRed are strong contrasting elements. This all brings excitement to the color story.
Finally, each model in the AW20 Jackalope collection feature glow-in-the-dark either in print (Peregrine 10) or crystal rubber outsole (Endorphin Speed, Ride 13, Triumph 18).
I love how this brings a childlike joy to this season’s execution that I can’t wait to share with the runner.
How did you tie the second collection into the Jackalope theme of the first collaboration with JackRabbit?
The Jackalope, as a fantastical creature, symbolizes joy and imagination. So, the Jackalope is a broad thematic guide as much as our collaboration mascot.
I wanted to bring simple excitement to the collection, bringing into play fresh contrasting color sets. There’s also the addition of glowing elements on each shoe. The goal was to surprise and delight our runners in as many ways as possible.
This includes an update to the sockliner graphic. Our Jackalope tessellation, recognizable from the first collection, as well as a special glow-in-the-dark box. The allure of elements changing and glowing in the night further pushes this collaborative story of fantasy and magic.
We loved your wisdom in our first chat. You explained how you determine what colors are on trend and how you use color to tell stories. With every shoe comes a new story – one of your own experiences, as well as the design story. What stories are you hoping to inspire with your designs?
I am really hoping to inspire people to be excitable about the small things that make them smile, and to be imaginative.
Having dreams, stretch goals, and fantasies is the first step to achieving great things. Keeping that lightness and glow in the heart of the runner is something I strive for with color, graphic, and material.
I hope that this collection and the story behind it motivates our runner to lace up and get after their most fantastic adventure.
Brian Metzler reviews the new Saucony Triumph 18 and weighs in on the updates of this perennial training shoe.
Saucony’s premium neutral trainer, the Triumph, has gone through a lot of changes in recent years — some very good, some not so good. However, it’s come full circle in the past two editions and is back to being the super cushioned gem that it was for so many years.
It’s a soft, opulently cushioned everyday trainer that takes the sting and suffering out of long runs.
The new edition of the Saucony Triumph 18 has been redesigned with a more comfortable upper, a more durable outsole and a lighter, faster feel.
This includes a new midsole foam and geometry for a snappier ride and a new engineered mesh upper for a softer, snugger fit.
In addition to the subtle support of the upper, the Triumph 18 also has an internal heel counter. Coupled with a cushy heel collar, this keeps the heel and ankle snug and secure when the foot strikes the ground and starts to roll through the gait cycle.
Saucony’s FormFit upper design molds around your foot and helps create a luxurious, near-custom. The new engineered mesh upper feels soft and stretchy. It perfectly supports and cradles the precise size and shape of your feet. This is achieved by 3D-printed overlays as they roll through the gait cycle.
The carbon rubber outsole of the Triumph has been updated with a new pattern of flex groves for greater flexibility and quicker transitioning to the toe-off phase of the stride. It’s more durable, offers better traction and aids in the enhanced energetic ride of the shoe.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The Saucony Triumph 18 fits true to size with medium volume from the heel through the midfoot area. Add to that, it also features a slightly roomier toe box that allows your toes to wiggle and splay.
The step-in feel is heavenly — soft and cushy from all sides, almost as if the shoe is hugging your foot. The ride gives off a slightly bouncy feel with cushioning for days. This provides a little bit of an energetic spark as your foot rolls to the forefoot.
WHO IS IT BEST FOR?
Runners with a neutral gait who appreciate and enjoy a really soft, cushy training shoe will love the new edition of the Saucony Triumph.
Bigger runners who rely on a lot of cushioning and inherent support will love it, too.
The lighter, more energetic feel is reminiscent of Saucony’s Ride shoe, only with more interior creature comforts and more structure.
With all this in mind, this new edition is ideal for long runs and recovery runs and can also hold its own on a tempo run if called upon.
Pros: Saucony Triumph 18
The secret sauce of the Triumph 18 is centered around the new PRRRUN+ midsole compound and geometry. The thick layer of this next-generation foam feels light, springy and energetic, but it also aids the flexibility, durability and agility, too.
Our wear-testers think this is one of the best updates of 2020. The increased comfort, new foam, enhanced fit and more lively feel put it a rare category among luxe everyday trainer. It’s one of those shoes that feels sublime, and that definitely contributes to the overall running experience.
Cons: Saucony Triumph 18
This edition of the Triumph is amazing for a lot of reasons, but the one thing it is not is super light or especially nimble.
It’s not going to be your first choice for short, speedy workouts. But that’s OK because of how it excels at longer, slower to moderately paced runs!
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher. He occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times. He was and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine.
As an author, he has penned “Kicksology“, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”
One of the best new shoes to hit the market in 2020, the Saucony Endorphin Speed is a lightweight, resilient and cushy everyday training shoe with a very speedy vibe.
The Endorphin Speed is built on a platform of a highly responsive foam and rigid nylon plate. The style combines a soft, comfortable feeling with a pop of energy in every stride.
Truly, it’s an amazing shoe for long runs, recovery runs, tempo runs and all types of speed workouts.
The Endorphin Speed is an entirely new shoe, an offshoot of Saucony’s top-tier Endorphin Pro racing shoe with a carbon-fiber plate.
Although the Endorphin Speed doesn’t have a carbon-fiber plate, it does have the same PWRRUN PB foam and a similar SpeedRoll geometry that propel a runner’s feet forward as a new stride begins.
This midsole is the secret sauce of this shoe. Saucony’s PWRRUN PB is an ultralight, PeBa-based foam. This provides a bouncy and propulsive feeling in every stride and at every pace. This foam is found in other Saucony shoes, but the semi-rigid nylon plate makes it really come to life in the Endorphin Speed.
The outsole features sections of exposed foam and high-abrasion carbon rubber to keep the weight down, ensure optimal traction and maintain consistent durability.
“We knew it was good. Real good. But this just seals the deal. Introducing Runner’s World Editor’s Choice award winner, the Saucony Endorphin Speed.”
– Runner’s World Magazine
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The Saucony Endorphin Speed fits true to size with a medium interior from heel to toe. Likewise, it feels soft and comfortable when you step into it and lace it up and noticeably pliable and bouncy when you start running.
On longer and slower runs, the cushioning and nylon plate provide a cozy but peppy sensation, but on faster paced runs the Endorphin Speed feels almost effortless.
The fit of the Endorphin Speed is enhanced by Saucony’s FormFit mesh upper, inspired by the upper material of elite track spikes. This upper moves and stretches while still keeping feet locked down to the chassis below the foot. It creates a lightweight but reliably secure connection that contributes to precise, efficient strides.
Interval workouts on the track and tempo runs are hard, but they feel a heck of a lot better wearing this shoe. There aren’t many shoes that fit, feel and ride like this one.
WHO’S IT BEST FOR?
Runners who appreciate a lightweight, well-cushioned shoe with a lively demeanor will love the Endorphin Speed. It’s agile and versatile enough to run at any pace and tackle any kind of workout with ease.
Equally, it can also be an ideal shoe for racing any distance from the mile to the marathon. It’s also especially inviting for 10K and half-marathon races.
PROS: Saucony Endorphin Speed
It’s rare that a shoe capable of doing everything well — long runs, recovery runs, speed work, tempo runs, intervals — offers so much high-performance zest.
Typically shoes with that much energy are found in the racing category and are limited only to fast running. The Endorphin Speed truly can do it all, no matter how fast or slow you run in them.
CONS: Saucony Endorphin Speed
Our wear-testers didn’t really find any drawbacks to the Endorphin Speed, but to be fair it has a higher price tag than a lot of everyday training shoes.
Sure, $160 might crimp your budget, but it’s $40 less than the top-tier Endorphin Pro race rocket and it’s much more versatile and quite a bit more comfortable. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth if you opt for the Endorphin Speed.
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He’s the author of “Kicksology“, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”
The Endorphin Pro is Saucony’s long-awaited entry into the world of long-distance racing shoes. The Endorphin Pro features a carbon-fiber plate embedded in a soft, resilient midsole foam.
This new style has been in the works for two years from Saucony. It debuted on the feet of Saucony pros at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in February in Atlanta, including women’s second-place finisher Molly Seidel.
WHAT’S NEW: SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO
The Endorphin Pro is a brand new racemshoe that represents the best of Saucony’s engineering and design efforts. It’s built on Saucony’s SpeedRoll technology, a forward-leaning geometry that propels you forward with the feeling of continuous momentum, so you can run faster and more efficiently without running harder.
The Saucony Endorphin Pro feels light, firm, energetic, efficient and smooth, especially at faster speeds.
The Saucony Endorphin Pro fits snug and lean around your feet from heel to toe with a tiny bit of wiggle room in the toe box. The step-in feeling is soft, but the interior comfort isn’t overwhelmingly cushy and plush. It’s a lightweight shoe that without much structure — there is no heel counter and barely there upper, though the sockliner is highly molded and provides additional support in the heel and arch.
The magic of this shoe becomes apparent once you put it in motion. We found it to be light, lively and surprisingly stable during our initial training runs. It has a decidedly stiff flex demeanor, but it produces a buttery smooth rolling sensation from the moment your foot impacts with the ground to the moment your forefoot lifts off the ground to start a new stride.
For those reasons and more, we consider this race shoe to be one to be among the very best of this new class of carbon-fiber-enhanced racing shoes.
WHO’S IT BEST FOR?
Runners who are training with performance-oriented goals in mind will love the Saucony Endrophin Pro. It’s light, it’s fast and it’s efficient. It makes running fast speeds smoother and easier and can help take you down a path of progression in your fitness and your racing goals.
The secret sauce of the Endorphin Pro is SpeedRoll Technology, the combination of the new ultralight PeBa-based PWRRUN PB foam midsole cushioning and the full-length, S-curve carbon fiber plate embedded in the middle of it. The curvy carbon-fiber plate acts as a lever that propels a runner’s foot forward after impact, but it also reduces energy exerted from the muscles of the forefoot as it lifts off into a new stride and decreases fatigue in the lower calf muscle and Achilles tendon.
PROS AND CONS: SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO
Pros: Saucony Endorphin Pro
The Endorphin Pro has a moderate 8mm heel-toe offset, which falls into the modern sweet spot of heel and forefoot stack heights. It doesn’t feel as high off the ground or as egregiously bouncy as some of the other shoes in this category.
The lightweight upper of the Endorphin Pro is breathable and accommodating, thanks to the FORMFIT technology that wraps a runner’s foot and ensures a personalized, locked-in fit for optimal performance.
This shoe has been in the works for nearly two years and has helped Saucony elite athletes Jared Ward, Molly Seidel, Parker Stinson and Noah Droddy run fast times, set records and achieve new levels of success.
The Endorphin Pro is a part of a series of shoes that includes the mid-range Endorphin Speed and cushier Endorphin Shift. Each shoe shares some of the same basic design tenets and materials.
Each of those shoes will be released in July 2020.
Cons: Saucony Endorphin Pro
To keep the shoe extremely light, Saucony used only small sections of durable rubber on the outsole, so there is a lot of exposed foam that is susceptible to wear and tear as the miles add up.
It’s not a huge detractor (as most shoes in this category are built with similar outsole design constructs) but it’s a reminder that this shoe should be reserved for racing and key speed workouts.
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He’s the author of “Kicksology”, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”