The Saucony Endorphin Pro+ is a featherweight, top-tier racing shoe built on an energetic foam midsole embedded with a curvy carbon-fiber plate that enhances forward propulsion.
Designed for all-out racing from 5K to the marathon, it carries a higher price tag than the Endorphin Pro 2 ($200) but it’s lighter, more lively and faster than its predecessor. It’s also not as bouncy as some of the other models in the super shoe category.
The midsole foam is made from the same energetic PWRRUN PB compound as the previous versions of the Endorphin Pro, but this edition has a slightly leaner shape and a new flyweight upper and, as a result, it’s quite a bit lighter and more agile.
The Endrophin Pro+ is very similar to the original Endorphin Pro and Endorphin Pro 2, utilizing the same super-springy PWRRUN PB midsole foam and SpeedRoll technology with a similarly shaped carbon-fiber propulsion plate and rocker geometry. That’s still the speedy secret sauce, but there’s also a new featherweight mesh upper that contributes to this shoe being lighter, leaner and faster.
The outsole configuration of the Endorphin Pro+ is identical to the Endorphin Pro and Endorphin Pro 2.It features large sections of exposed foam complemented by high-abrasion carbon rubber in the forefoot and around the perimeter of the heel to keep the weight down, ensure optimal traction and maintain consistent durability.
The new upper is made from a premium, lightweight suede and an airy nylon mesh that combine to wrap the foot with a second-skin fit. The tongue is thin, smooth and perforated for optimal breathability and fit, there’s no heel counter and only a tiny bit of padding around the heel collar. The wrap-like fit is enhanced by Saucony’s FormFit technology, which allows the upper to move and stretch slightly while still keeping feet locked down to the chassis.
The Endorphin Pro+ fits true to size with a medium to low interior volume from heel to toe. It has a snug, locked-down feeling from heel to toe with a tiny bit of wiggle room in the toe box.
There’s a sleek and semi-firm feeling the moment you lace up a pair of these thoroughbreds, similar to what you feel lacing up a pair of track spikes. Combined with the curvy carbon-fiber plate embedded in the midsole, it results in a lively but very rigid rolling sensation the moment you start running.
There is some softness in every foot strike, but that springiness is quickly converted into a forward rolling sensation by the carbon-fiber plate embedded in the midsole. The Endorphin Pro+ is a one-of-a-kind shoe that’s been stripped-down to make it as light and lean as possible.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
If you’re seriously training to run a new personal best at just about any distance on the roads — but especially from 5K to the marathon — you will love the Endorphin Pro+.
You still have to put in the hard work, but this shoe might be the closest thing you’ll find to a magic bullet when it comes to guaranteeing a new PB. It’s light, energetic and extremely agile, ideal for quick-cadence running for long periods of time.
ENDROPHIN PRO + PROS
Saucony’s original Endorphin Pro shoes were amazing, but its shoe designers figured out that a slightly leaner midsole thickness produced even better results. The PWRRUN PB midsole in the Endrophin Pro+ is about 4.5mm thinner than its predecessors, and that’s a big reason why Pro+ is more than a half-ounce lighter, more nimble and potentially much faster than its predecessors.
Like other racing shoes with carbon-fiber midsole plates, the Endorphin Pro+ feels better the faster you run. You can definitely use it for fast training — from tempo runs to track intervals — but it’s best when running at race pace for long stretches of time. It eats up the road like high-performance tires on a sports car. Because the curvy plate in the midsole, the Endorphin Pro+ feels awkwardly bouncy at slow to moderate paces. (In other words, it’s best for running fast!)
Given that it’s made for high-end racing, Saucony is only making this shoe available in limited quantities. So if you’re interested in running fast this fall, you’ll need to act quickly before inventory dwindles.
ENDROPHIN PRO + CONS
The only slightly negative aspects to a shoe like the Endorphin Pro+ are that it’s limited to racing and very fast training, and the precious foams and delicate upper are not likely going to have long-term durability if you use it for more than that.
The Saucony Triumph 19 is a neutral-oriented premium everyday trainer with a plush interior, a soft, mildly responsive midsole and an idyllic, smooth-riding demeanor.
The Triumph 19 is very similar to last year’s edition, except that it’s lighter and more breathable.
The Triumph 19 has a new mono-mesh upper that has improved the breathability and a new lacing system with an articulated eye-row that creates an adaptive, semi-custom fit. Best of all, this edition is a full ounce lighter than the previous version.
The thick PWRRUN+ midsole and an additional layer of the foam in the top sole, combined with the soft, contoured EVA sockliner, create a supremely plush sensation with a feeling of bottomless cushioning. It’s not mushy soft, but instead it’s dense, supportive and durable with a touch of responsiveness — though not nearly as much as its cousins in Saucony’s Endorphin line.
The Triumph 19 not only provides long-haul comfort for less stressful long runs, but our wear-testers found that it also helps your legs recover quicker without as much soreness the next day.
The new mono-mesh upper offers a nice blend of comfort and support, while the perforations in the toe box provide enhanced breathability. It features Saucony’s FormFIT technology and a new articulated eye-row pattern in the lacing system that combine to allow for an optimally personalized fit around the shape of your feet.
The Truimph 19 fits true to size with a medium to low volume interior from the heel through the midfoot area, with a slightly roomier forefoot that allows your toes to wiggle and flex. (The fit is noticeably improved from the Triumph 18, which was a bit sloppy in the forefoot.)
The step-in feel is divinely comfortable — as soft and cushy as any shoe available this year. The new mono-mesh upper and gusseted tongue provide a wrap-like fit that keeps your feet comfortably secured to the midsole chassis.
The PWRRUN+ midsole serves up a ride that is soft and compliant and mildly energetic, which is a great combination for this workhorse daily trainer.
The bottom line is that it’s an impressively cushioned shoe that feels soft and a little bit springy when your foot hits the ground, then rolls smoothly through the midfoot to the toe-off phase.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
Runners who log mid- to high-mileage weeks in training will love this shoe for its cushy comfort, smooth ride and modest energy return. It’s best for short to long runs up at slower to moderate paces.
It could be used for tempo runs, but it doesn’t provide enough inherent energy return to be a speed shoe for faster workouts or short-distance racing.
SAUCONY TRIUMPH 19 PROS
The Triumph 19 fits a lot better from heel to toe than its predecessor, due to a sleeker shape, better upper material and more supportive heel cup. While the interior is very padded, it’s smoother and more conducive to a locked-down fit than the excessively cushioned and somewhat sloppy interior of the Triumph 18.
The reduced weight of the Triumph 19 is noticeable and appreciated and makes it slightly more versatile and conducive to up-tempo paces. Most importantly, though, it just improves the overall vibe of the shoe as a durable and reliable daily trainer.
The XT-900 carbon rubber outsole is durable and mildly soft, which means it will endure all of the miles you’ll willing to rack up in this shoe. The reconfigured flex grooves help make the shoe a bit more pliable, which contributes to the smooth ride.
SAUCONY TRIUMPH 19 CONS
The rope-like laces are not nearly as effective at providing a precise fit as flat laces.
When Saucony unveiled its Endorphin Collection of shoes in 2020, runners of all ability levels were delighted with the cushy, energetic feeling that the Endorphin Shift, Endorphin Speed and Endorphin Pro provided for everyday training, up-tempo workouts and all-out racing.
It has updated each of those models for 2021 and added the lively and durable Endorphin Trail to the mix this year. Each of the four shoes in the collection is uniquely designed to provide the right amount of comfort, support, energy and speed for all of the running you do.
Saucony Endorphin Shift 2
$139.95 | Soft, Stable Everyday Training Shoe
Offering an ideal combination of speed, comfort and structure, the Endorphin Shift 2 is maximally cushioned everyday training shoe that helps reduce the stress of running while giving you a spark of energy in every stride. If you’re the type of runner that appreciates soft, comfortable and effortless running with subtle support, lace up pair of Endorphin Shift 2 as your go-to training shoe.
The Endorphin Shift is a lightweight, smooth-riding, neutral-oriented shoe that gives off a soft, enjoyable vibe. It’s built on a lofty bed of PWRRUN cushioning, with built-in ride-stabilizing features and Saucony’s convex Speedroll geometry that guide and propel your stride with continuous momentum. With its supportive and breathable mesh upper, you can look forward to more comfortable, feel-good runs every day of the week.
Soft, lively and bouncy, the Endorphin Speed 2 offer limitless energy and versatility for every type of running you do. You can wear it for slow and easy long runs and recovery runs, fast-paced workouts and tempo runs and even on race day.
The secret sauce of Endorphin Speed 2 is the combination of the highly responsive PWRRUN PB midsole foam and how the semi-firm curvy nylon plate and rockered Speedroll geometry helps create seemingly effortless forward propulsion. The Endorphin Speed 2 has been slightly updated a new mono-mesh upper made from recycled materials, a snugger fit in the heel, anti-slip laces and some soft, suede detailing.
If you want to aim for a new PR in the 10K, half marathon or marathon, pull the Endorphin Pro from your arsenal and hang on for dear life. It’s an extremely energetic and wickedly fast shoe that is almost guaranteed to help you lower your times.
The Endorphin Pro 2 is a neutral-oriented, top-tier long-distance racing shoe built on a light and lively PWRUN PB midsole that’s embedded with a curvy carbon-fiber plate that enhances forward propulsion as you engage the rockered Speedroll geometry. It’s a featherweight and hyper-fast PR machine and an ideal choice for your next race. It was updated ever-so-slightly with more heel support, anti-slip laces for a more reliable fit and a new perforated mesh upper material for enhanced breathability.
With all of the best qualities of a road shoe captured in a trail runner, the Endorphin Trail will let you blaze paths to new adventures in animated comfort. With a soft and energetic midsole and reliable traction and protection, it’s a versatile shoe intended for both long adventure races and racing on a wide range of terrain.
A brand new shoe for 2021, the Endorphin Trail brings the same electric feeling to the trials as the Endorphin Speed 2 and Endorphin Pro 2 models bring to the roads. It’s built on a responsive but stable PWRRUN PB midsole chassis enhanced with Saucony’s Speedroll geometry that put a spring in your step going uphill and a soft cushy feeling as you cruise downhills.
There’s not interior rock plate, but it does have a quick-fit trail sleeve that provides a sock-like fit and also keeps trail debris at bay. The sticky rubber outsole features an array of medium-depth directional lugs that can handle mud, loose gravel, soft dirt and rugged rocks.
The Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 is a neutral-oriented top-tier long-distance racing shoe built on an energetic foam midsole embedded with a curvy carbon-fiber plate that enhances forward propulsion.
It’s a featherweight and hyper-energetic PR machine and an ideal choice for your next 10K, half marathon or marathon.
The Endorphin Pro 2 was updated ever-so-slightly with more heel support, anti-slip laces for a more reliable fit and a new perforated mesh upper material for enhanced breathability. Those modifications helped improved the fit and feel without changing the essence of the super-responsive ride.
The new single-layer upper is made from recycled polyester. This has improved the fit and helps make the shoe more breathable and airy. The wrap-like fit is enhanced by Saucony’s FormFit technology, which allows the mono-mesh upper material to move and stretch slightly while still keeping feet locked down to the chassis.
The Endorphin Pro 2 fits true to size with a medium to low interior volume from heel to toe. It has a snug, locked-down feeling from heel to toe. There is a slightly higher volume in the arch area and modest wiggle room in the toe box.
There’s soft and comfortable step-in feeling in this shoe. That is thanks the premium footbed, gusseted tongue and thick midsole chassis. Combined with the curvy carbon-fiber plate embedded in the midsole, it results in a lively but very rigid rolling sensation the moment you start running.
The Endorphin Pro 2 is a race-day tool that is really good at up-tempo running but definitely not as good at slow to moderate paces. The similar Endorphin Speed 2 ($160) nylon-plated, training shoe handles those slower paces much better.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
Runners interested in investing in a pair of carbon-plated racing shoes with the hope of setting a new PR in the 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon will love this shoe.
While it could be used for faster workouts such as tempo runs and longer intervals, the sharp, firm feeling makes it much more conducive to racing than it is for training. (Imagine driving a high-end race car around town to do errands and you’ll understand the singular focus of the Endorphin Pro 2.)
PROS: SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO 2
The secret sauce of the Endorphin Pro 2 is the combination of Saucony’s PWRRUN PB midsole foam, the curvy carbon-fiber plate and SpeedRoll rocker geometry. PWRRUN PB is an ultralight, PEBA-based foam that provides an energetic and propulsive feeling in every stride.
The foam midsole chassis and firm plate are unchanged from the first edition. You can expect the same electric, responsive ride as the original edition of the Endorphin Pro.
Like other racing shoes with carbon-fiber midsole plates, the Endorphin Pro 2 feels best when you get into a groove at a fast and repetitive pace. When you settle into a conisisten rhythm, the sharp feeling of the chassis melts away into effortless running. But running at slower paces or mixing up paces will muddle that smooth, flowy feeling. Despite the responsiveness of the foam, the ride is unflinchingly sharp and rigid.
The outsole configuration of the Endorphin Pro 2 is identical to the original version.It features large sections of exposed foam complemented by high-abrasion carbon rubber in the forefoot and around the perimeter of the heel to keep the weight down, ensure optimal traction and maintain consistent durability.
CONS: SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO 2
The only detractor of the Endorphin Pro 2 is that it’s not very versatile. It’s a high-end racing shoe that can help you lower your PRs, but our wear-testers thought it felt too sharp and rigid to use for faster workouts or long runs.
The Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 is a light, cushy and extremely energetic everyday training shoe. It’s amazingly comfortable and infinitely versatile.
The secret sauce of this shoe is the combination of the lively PWRRUN PB midsole foam and how the semi-firm curvy nylon helps create seemingly effortless forward propulsion.
Our wear-testers believe it’s one of the best shoes of 2021.
The Endorphin Speed 2 has been slightly updated a new mono-mesh upper. This is made from recycled materials, has a snugger fit in the heel, anti-slip laces and some soft, suede detailing.
The new upper made from recycled nylon has improved the fit but also helped make the shoe more breathable and airy. The wrap-like fit is enhanced by Saucony’s FormFit technology, which allows the upper material to move and stretch while still keeping feet locked down to the chassis.
The outsole configuration on the Speed 2 is identical to the original version.It features vast sections of exposed foam complemented by high-abrasion carbon rubber in the forefoot and around the perimeter of the heel to keep the weight down, ensure optimal traction and maintain consistent durability.
The bottom line is that it’s been tweaked slightly without changing the spirited essence of the original Endorphin Speed.
The Endorphin Speed 2 fits true to size with a medium to low interior volume from heel to toe. It has a slightly lower volume in the arch area, good wiggle room in the toe box and a snug feeling in the heel.
The step-in feeling is soft and secure with a very noticeable light and bouncy sensation the moment you start running in them. While the curvy nylon plate and advanced foam create a sprightly vibe at up-tempo paces, the shoe feels equally as comfortable and peppy on longer and slower runs.
At top speed, the shoe feels almost effortless with just a tad less energetic pop than the Endorphin Pro 2 ($200) carbon-plated, race-day shoe at the top of the line. But it’s the versatility of being able to handle all types of running with aplomb that make the Speed 2 such an amazing shoe.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
Runners who appreciate shoes with a light, soft and animated ride will really enjoy running in the Endorphin Speed 2.
It’s not quite as high off the ground as some maximally cushioned shoes, but it’s not a low-to-the-ground lightweight performance-oriented trainer, either.
It’s versatile enough to run long, run fast, run slow and just about everything in between. It could also be a good choice for racing from mile to the marathon.
If you’ve previously run in Saucony’s Kinvara, you’ll find the Endorphin Speed 2 to be a premium upgrade.
PROS: SAUCONY ENDORPHIN SPEED 2
Saucony’s PWRRUN PB is an ultralight, PEBA-based foam that provides a bouncy and propulsive feeling in every stride and at every pace. That foam midsole chassis is unchanged from the first edition, so you can expect the same agile and responsive ride.
Like the original version, the Endorphin Speed 2 has a curvy, rocker geometric profile that contributes to what Saucony calls SpeedRoll technology. Combined with the nylon plate and energetic foam, it creates a lively, forward-rolling sensation at every pace.
Versatility is the name of the game for the Endorphin Speed 2. Whatever you ask it to do — long runs, recovery runs, speed work, tempo runs, short races, long races — it will do it with a high-performance, energetic zeal.
If you’re looking for a do-everything model as the only shoe in your quiver, this is a great one to consider.
CONS: SAUCONY ENDORPHIN SPEED 2
Honestly, there’s nothing to dislike about this shoe. However, if you appreciate shoes that are lower to the ground or shoes with a less bouncy ride, this won’t be the one for you.
Nutrition is a key part of any athlete’s playbook when it comes to training, performance and recovery. Saucony athlete and nutritionist Elyse Kopecky has been serving up (pun intended) a cornucopia of recipes for runners and athletes that meet the demands of taste buds as well as the training load.
Elyse’s athletic background started as an elite collegiate cross country runner where she met her longtime running partner, friend and Olympian Shalane Flanagan. As her running career took her abroad, she attended cooking classes throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. Armed with amazing recipes from around the world, Elyse began cooking to fuel her athletic endeavors.
She discovered that by incorporating more fats into her diet, she was stronger, healthier, and happier than ever before. Inspired to share her message, she has authored two cookbooks with Shalane.
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if sensitive)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1⁄2 cup raisins, chopped dates, or chocolate chips (optional)
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 zucchini)
1 cup grated carrots (about 2 carrots)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1⁄2 cup dark amber maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, and walnuts, raisins, dates, or chocolate chips (if using).
In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, zucchini, carrots, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. The batter will be thick.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each to the brim.
Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a tooth-pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes.
THAI QUINOA SALAD
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups grated carrots (about 2 large)
2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
3 green onions, white and green parts sliced
1 cup packed mint leaves, chopped (cilantro works too)
1 cup packed basil leaves, chopped
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeds removed, minced (optional)
1⁄2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄3 cup fresh lime juice (2 to 3 limes)
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
1 tablespoon fish sauce, optional
Here is a foolproof method to cook quinoa: In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring to a boil 11⁄2 cups water and the quinoa. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
Transfer to a large salad bowl, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, put the olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce or tamari, honey, and fish sauce (if using) in a glass jar or bowl and stir to combine.
Once the quinoa is cool, add the carrots, cabbage, onion, mint, basil, and pepper (if using) to the bowl and toss to combine. Add the dressing and toss again. Taste and, if needed, add more fish sauce or soy sauce.
Top with the peanuts. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. 5 This salad will stay fresh in airtight glass containers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
CAN’T BEET ME SMOOTHIE
1 steamed beet*, peeled and quartered
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 small frozen banana
1 cup unsweetened almond milk or other milk of choice
1 cup coconut water
1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled (use edge of a spoon)
1 tablespoon almond butter
In a blender, place the beet, blueberries, banana, milk, coconut water, ginger, and almond butter.
Blend on high speed for several minutes until smooth.
For rushed mornings, this smoothie can be made the night before. Simply stir in the a.m. and sip while you lace up.
*QUICK STEAMED BEETS Cut unpeeled beets into quarters. Place in a steamer basket in a small pot and fill with just enough water to reach the bottom of the basket (to preserve nutrients you don’t want the beets simmering directly in the water). Cover and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool, peel, and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
GREEK BISON BURGERS
1⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1⁄4 cup almond flour or almond meal
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground bison (buffalo) or ground beef, lamb, or turkey
4 whole-wheat pitas or hamburger buns, optional (or serve on top of a salad)
Optional toppings: hummus or guacamole Preheat the grill to medium-high.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, feta, almond flour or meal, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Add the meat and use your hands to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.
Form into 4 equal-size patties about 1 inch thick.
Grill the burgers, flipping once, until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 160°F and the meat is no longer pink, 3 or 4 minutes per side.
In the last minute, warm the pitas or buns on the grill (if using).
“One of the classic legacy shoes in the ASICS line, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 is a neutral everyday trainer with sufficient cushioning, a comfortable ride and a versatile, do-everything vibe.” Read more…
“The HOKA Mach 4 is lightweight, smooth-riding, neutral-oriented everyday training shoe that gives off a soft, lively vibe. It has enough comfort, versatility and giddy-up to handle the rigors of all types of workouts.” Read more…
“The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2 is a lightweight and responsive, neutral-oriented everyday training shoe. It’s a versatile shoe with an elite midsole foam and enough cushioning and bounciness to make it amenable to both running longer or faster.” Read more…
REEBOK NANO X1
“In its 11th version of the training shoe, the Reebok Nano X1 is back and better than ever! This year Reebok took a step away from its cross-training roots to create the new – Shoe of Fitness. We tested the Nano X1 during strength and cardio workouts to see how it measured up.” Read more…
The Saucony Freedom 4 is a premium-level, neutral-oriented performance training shoe that inspires fast running, especially for short to medium-length runs. It’s light, cushy and energetic and comfortable with a flexible, low-to-the-ground feeling and a slipper-like feel.
The biggest improvement to the Freedom 4 is the replacement of the PWRRUN+ foam with the lighter, ever-so-slightly thicker and notably more energetic PWRRUN PB midsole.
There’s also a new engineered mesh upper and outsole, but it’s the lively foam that really upgrades the performance and experience of this shoe.
There are no stability mechanism built into the midsole of this shoe, but the nature of the PWRRUN PB foam is that it’s quite stable. So if you very mildly pronate, you’ll probably be fine wearing this shoe for everything except longer runs. But that stable sensation also makes this shoe a great shoe for the gym.
Another seemingly small but impactful change to the Freedom 4 is the overhaul of the outsole. Gone is the tacky, flexible crystal rubber and in its place is a firmer rubber in a new pattern that offers durability and traction but less softness.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The Saucony Freedom 4 fits true to size, and similar to other Saucony models with a mildly cushioned medium to narrow interior volume.
The step-in feel has been enhanced by the new upper, which, along with a gusseted, slightly padded tongue, feels snug and comfortable as it cinches your foot down to the midsole.
Although it’s not a minimalist shoe, the Freedom 4 gives off a decidedly low-to-the-ground sensation. This allows you to engage the ground as you touch down, roll through the gait cycle and toe-off again.
You can feel the ground, but the midsole foam sufficiently absorbs shock and cushions each stride without bottoming out. As you roll through the midstance phase, you get a boost of forward propulsion. This is created from the energy stored in the compressed midsole foam.
It’s a distinct ride that feels very smooth, slightly firm and extremely energetic.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
The Saucony Freedom 4 can serve a wide range of runners from beginners to lifelong runners, but it’s best for those who are condition to run in shoes with low heel-toe offsets.
What is heel-toe offset? That’s the difference in height off the ground where the heel sits inside the shoe and the height off the ground of where the toes sit inside the shoe.
The 4mm offset of the Freedom won’t feel dramatically different than a 6mm offset. However, it will feel a lot different than a shoe with a 10mm-13mm offset. If 4mm works for you, you’ll probably love this energetic shoe for faster workouts and tempo runs.
It can suffice for long runs for some runners and recovery runs for most, but the nature of the foam is such that it inspires faster, quick-cadence running.
PROS: SAUCONY FREEDOM 4
PWRRUN PB is a high-performance PEBA-based foam that debuted in Saucony’s stunning Endorphin Pro and Endorphin Speed shoes. Those racer/trainer shoes have a much firmer demeanor because they’re built with rigid plates.
There isn’t a plate in the Freedom 4, so the foam offers a more pliable but almost equally energetic feel and moderately bouncy ride. If you have run in Endorphin shoes, you’ll sense some similarities but also enjoy the more traditional flex pattern in the forefoot.
The meshy upper is silky soft as it wraps the specific shape of your feet without any binding. There’s little structure to it, except some suede overlays in the rear and forefoot and a TPU Saucony logo. It seems to help lock down the foot as it works in conjunction with the firm interior heel counter.
Believe it or not, the upgrades to this shoe have actually given a runner’s feet less freedom. That’s not a bad thing at all, but it has a firmer feel than the all-way pliability of the Freedom 3.
CONS: SAUCONY FREEDOM 4
Overall, this is a really good shoe, but the stretchy, semi-round tube laces are a slight detractor. They can be a bit cumbersome and more constrictive than traditional flat laces.
It’s an easy fix, though, because you can just replace them with any other pair of laces.
The Saucony Ride 14 is a versatile and reliable neutral-oriented everyday training shoe with a soft, flexible demeanor and a do-everything mentality.
It’s a comfortable, smooth-riding workhorse with an accommodating fit and capable of high-mileage weekly volume and running at a variety of paces.
The significant changes include a new upper that’s more breathable and slightly more pliable, a cleaner look and a slightly updated shape.
But don’t take the lack of major updates as a sign that the Ride 14 is somehow a lackluster shoe. Much the opposite, the Ride 13 was so great that Saucony opted not to mess up a good thing.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The Saucony Ride 14 fits true to size with a comfortably snug but not restrictive interior feel. Once you lace it up, it feels supple, cushy and flexible. The gusseted tongue and the new engineered mesh upper help cinch up your foot in the medium-volume interior.
The ride is smooth, flowy and semi-soft, but not bouncy. The eye stays holding the laces are far more pliable in this edition and now the suede-like overlays on the upper are separated, contributing to the softer flex in the front end of the shoe.
In general, it fits, feels and rides very similarly to the previous edition of the shoe. It’s not too flashy compared to some other models, but it is very comfortable, reliable and consistent.
The new shape and upper, combined with the dynamic midsole properties, give this edition of the Ride a slightly more nimble and athletic sensation out on the run. Each of those elements contributes to the fit and security. This allows you to pick up the pace for high-cadence running and turn corners with more agility.
The outsole of the Ride 14 has segments of both firmer and softer rubber for traction and durability. We appreciated the grip running along wet roads and sidewalks and through lingering spring snowmelt. We believe it will be a long-wearing shoe that should hold its form for several months (or upwards of 400 miles of running) before showing signs of wear.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
The Saucony Ride 14 has always been a great shoe for a wide range of runners. Beginners will love it for its comfort and fit, while more advanced runners will appreciate it for its versatility. It’s not overly cushy, but it’s not low-to-the-ground minimalist either.
If you want a jack/jill-of-all-trades for all of your weekly workout needs, the Ride 14 is a good choice. It’s a great long-run shoe, quick enough for tempo runs and could be a race-day shoe for a 5K to a half marathon.
It’s not an all-out speedster, so it won’t be as ideal for track workouts but it can get the job done in a pinch if called upon.
PROS: SAUCONY RIDE 14
The best aspect of the Ride 14 is the moderately thick PWRRUN foam midsole layer. The EVA/TPU blend gives it an energetic vibe. This allows it to offer just the right amount of softness and just the right amount of responsiveness. Soft but not marshmallowy, resilient but not bouncy.
The upper features Saucony’s FormFit closure design that includes a thin, lightweight internal construction under the sturdier outer layer of the upper for a comfortable, near-custom, sock-like fit. It’s one of those shoes that feels like it becomes an extension of your foot. There’s no sloppy wiggle room once it’s laced up.
The heel-toe offset is a moderate at 8mm. No matter if you’ve run in shoes with a higher offset (12mm or so) or lower slope offset (4mm) you won’t have any trouble adjusting to this shoe.
CONS: SAUCONY RIDE 14
The Ride is a great shoe, but it doesn’t have the technological bells and whistles of some other trainers — advanced foam or a nylon propulsion plate — so it might seem a little less inspiring during faster-paced running. But it gives good bang for the buck at $130.
In observance of International Women’s Day 2021 the United Nations is celebrating with the theme ‘Women In Leadership’.
With that in mind, we’re honored to showcase some of the bold female founders and leaders in the running industry and the thriving companies they lead.
WOMEN-LED BRANDS AT JACKRABBIT
The companies these amazing women have founded, the organizations created and the activism they champion, all contribute to adding gender equity to an industry where everyone has the right to lace up, show up and run equally.
RABBIT RUNNING APPAREL
With a name like Rabbit, we knew we had to be BFFs with a brand that shares our name and our philosophy of serving up runners the best.
Let’s meet Monica Devreese and Jill Deering, the founders of Rabbit running apparel. Monica has been in the running business for 20 years and as experienced and, let’s admit it, badass runners, they had some experience to bring to the table. As lifelong competitive runners they came to the apparel business like others before them; they never found anything they really loved.
Monica and Jill considered their own needs as well as those of other runners when it came down to the most complex of running garments, the running short. Having added up the pros and cons of every short they could get their hands on, they believed they could create something better. And so they did.
Founder and CEO of MOBOT Nation, Lani Cooper patented the first combined foam roller and environmentally sustainable water bottle. With a call for society to be more conscious and sustainable, MOBOT has delivered an innovative product that teaches us to constantly reimagine our perspectives.
Each foam roller water bottle is made from 100% recycled stainless steel and non-toxic, high density EVA foam. Since their inception in 2013, they have already saved over 180MM+ single use plastic water bottles from landfills and waterways.
Two of the most necessary practices for health and wellbeing, hydration and massage, are actually sometimes the most neglected (by everybody). So check out MOBOT at JackRabbit to get your body back on track.
BALEGA RUNNING SOCKS
Tanya Pictor is co-founder of Balega Running Socks. In a recent interview, she championed the power that running has to bring us together. ‘Running is a sport that does not see gender, color, it is all inclusive, forgiving and keeps us grounded.’
Balega stands out in the sock world for its commitment to giving back. Since the beginning, Balega has sought meaningful ways to pay tribute to organizations via their company culture and commitment to quality in everything that they do.
Tanya’s advice for women considering following a career path similar to that of hers? “Be yourself, be authentic, and respectfully unapologetic about who you are and what you bring. Follow your passion and remain true to your calling.”
President of Performance Lifestyle at HOKA ONE ONE, Wendy Yang has set the running world on fire with supporting innovative performance lifestyle campaigns that have helped to shape the running world as we know it – beyond the shoes.
“I’m most proud of the teams I’ve built and the work those teams have done, which have made a lasting impact across the multiple companies and brands I’ve had the good fortune to steward over the course of my career.” – Wendy Yang, Footwearnews 2019
From working with Reebok, New Balance, Timberland and more, Wendy has found her place to grow with HOKA. Beyond the sale numbers, Wendy has placed a special focus on equality in the workplace. Starting the first Deckers Women’s Leadership Summit in 2018, to having hired 75% of current employees, Wendy keeps equality and equity at the forefront.
HOKA continues to be a brand that empowers movement for everyone, everywhere, any kind.
Britt Olsen is the GMM at On Running North America. A brand that has shaken up the industry, On is leading the way with innovative cushioning and a sleek look that has been a hit with runners and street walkers alike. Britt joined On in the US as employee number six and now she is leading a team approaching 200.
Of the experience of leading the North American team of this entrepreneurial company she comments, “I know that we can help influence and shape sport culture in a very positive and impactful way. That feels really good.”
A brand that is smart and dialed in having recently founded the On Running Group hoping to launch and support the Olympic careers for their members as well as a new technical tennis-inspired sneaker with Roger Federer.
On Running continues to challenge the norm, supporting professional runners and inspiring the rest of us to be a little bit better every day.
Senior Vice President of New Balance Athletics for North America, Melissa Worth is a savvy and respected leader. During 2020 New Balance navigated the unknown by calling up on their commitment to civic duty and serving others. They seamlessly pivoted production to create personal protective equipment for front line workers via the New Balance Foundation.
Talking about the challenges of 2020, Melissa told Footwear News “We have been able to rethink the way we use our inventory, how we drive our digital business internally as well as with key partners and how we communicate and connect with each other.”
Melissa has committed to a culture of empathetic leadership amid the pandemic and supporting diverse leadership.
“As leaders we need to commit to diversity and inclusion goals to change the face of the industry and hold ourselves, and each other accountable to achieve positive systematic change. We need to get comfortable talking about the problem, and we need to give a platform to associates of color, listen to what they have to say and act on it.”
Anne Cavassa is the President of Saucony. A brand with an unapologetic focus on empowering Her and inviting slogan of “Run for Good,” Anne has worked alongside many others in the company to have these words and meaning brought to life.
Most recently, through the Saucony x Prinkshop collaboration this past Fall. With the goal of helping to encourage women to run – however that may be – Anne, prinkshop founder and creative director Pamela Bell, along with Saucony marketing director Jessica Newton and director of apparel Sarah Clark created a line dedicated to the cause.
“With this collaboration, we are taking a stand to further support gender parity and encourage women everywhere to find their personal pathway to leadership. We invite everyone to join us as we rally behind the women who are committed to the race with their eye on the finish line. When women run, we all win.” – Anne, Running Insight
Along with of-the-time campaigns and company follow-through, Saucony continues to be a great leader in the running space through continued footwear innovation across road running, carbon fiber plates and trail running shoes as well as inclusive marketing and partnerships.
In the world of running how we act, support, challenge and how we speak are powerful tools. We are privileged to have bold women creating organizations and support systems as well as media committed to reporting on women’s running news.
A grassroots, Indigenous-led foundation by Altra runner Jordan Marie Brings Three Horses Daniel that works to “dismantle white supremacy and racism, rebuild a better future and elevating Indigenous, Black, Brown, Asian, Immigrant, Muslim, Jewish, Two Spirits, LGBTQ+, & Non-binary voices and relatives with disabilities.”
The Rising Hearts Foundation has also worked hard to provide resources for the community regarding wellness, COVID-19 relief, running with purpose and has been a leader in providing education for external communities about what it means to run on Native Lands.
Jordan is an Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier, Project Manager and TIN Liaison, outdoor enthusiast. Jordan is also well-known for her Prayer Runs and bringing light to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Find ways to support and participate with the Rising Hearts Foundation here.
Based in New York City, Latinos Run is a running group focused around serving the Latino population through fitness and providing access to running information, education and community. Founder, Maria Solís, has created this in-person and online community to meet needs and create space that was not initially there. Taking it one step further – she expanded Latinos run to create a more specific group for women called Latinas Run.
“Latinos Run and Latinas Run are two running platforms that promote running as a way to improve physical and mental health within Latino community. I created these groups as a safe space for runners to feel welcome in the running community.” – Maria Solís, Your Sole
Now in 2021, Maria has developed an audience of 25,000 people – newbies to running all the way to elites. She provides for an online community and uses her visibility to partner with others to provide things like her all women’s trail running summit.
Women’s Running Magazine has come into its own in the media space covering women’s running. They have matured into a leading voice focused on reporting on the talent and breadth of women’s running.
They cover everything from the latest news from pro athletes to training techniques, advice from female athletes who have navigated path particular to female athletes. The publication is an advocate for a healthy approach to running. They tap into professional athletes, science and experiences of others to further a positive future for the next generation.
Alysia Montaño is an Olympian, national champion, activist, author, and mother of three. In 2014 she famously ran an 800m race while 8 months pregnant
Alysia is the founder of the non-profit &Mother.org the organization dedicated to breaking the barriers that limit a woman’s choice to pursue and thrive in both career and motherhood. She also hosts the podcast ‘Keeping Track’ alongside Molly Huddle and Roisin McGettigan with the mission of giving more media coverage of women’s sport.
Not only an activist, Alysia brings her A-game to social media and well worth the follow.
Mechelle Freeman is 2007 World Track and Field champion, and a 2008 Olympian in the 4×200-meter relay. She founded the organization TrackGirlzin 2015 as a way to provide exposure and access for girls to the track and field world that so often gets left behind after college.
JackRabbit is so proud to be working directly with TrackGirlz in 2021 offering financial support for their grant program to grow the sport of track and field for female athletes.
“I want to get more Black, Indigenous and people of color involved to expand the conversation,” she says about the future of the organization. “I want to bridge the gap between track and the rest of the running community. I want to bring out all different body types to show just how inclusive this sport is.”
Follow TrackGirlz and help spread the word about their mission. Learn more about Mechelle and their grant programs here.