Saucony Endorphin Review Facts
The Saucony Endorphin track spike racing shoe boasts the lightest racing shoe on the planet. It’s easy to see why they make this claim, weighing in at only 2.8 ounces. They achieve this by utilizing a technology called FlexFilm. This technology is a lightweight material that they meld seamlessly to the upper mesh. However, a shoe this light doesn’t come without a price. The comfort on long runs and durability over time might leave anyone but a short distance track runner unsatisfied. Ultimately, this shoe is ideal for track runs under 3000m. You’ll stand out with a pair of these spikes. The neon colors, semi-clear mesh uppers, and sleek styling will make any runner look good crossing the finish line.
The outsole on the Endorphin utilizes a unique piece of Saucony technology. It’s what they call SSL EVA or Saucony SuperLite EVA. According to Saucony, this is their most advanced outsole EVA
blend. The technology is designed to maximize performance by boosting rebound and durability all while reducing weight. They combine this EVA technology with a four pin Pebax Spike Plate. If you're considering taking this shoe beyond the track, which some users have done, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the spikes are removable. With removable spikes, you can handle a wide range of running environments
. However, the narrow base may be a concern for some runners with wide feet.
Where the Endorphin falls short as reported by other runners is the midsole. Several users say that the shoe with the spikes in place is almost unbearable to run in after just a few thousand meters. They claim they feel the back of the spikes, where they connect to the Pebax Spike Plate, up through the insole. This pressure becomes hugely uncomfortable to some when they do any medium to long distance running
. The insole isn’t removable which only makes matters worse. Meaning, if you wanted to add your insole Saucony makes it tough on you.
Runners have also reported inconsistent construction quality. These reports bring into question the claims of durability that Saucony makes. Several users have said their shoes coming entirely unglued mid-race
or after just a few runs.
The is the main area where Saucony shows off their FlexFilm technology. They make the upper out of a single layer of mesh and FlexFilm, which is melded into the mesh. The FlexFilm gives support around the foot since it’s tied into the lacing system. This system is why several users report the shoe to be very comfortable around their feet. Since they make the upper layer from FilmFlex and mesh the shoe is unbelievably breathable. With all the free air also comes water. Making the Endorphin not the best choice for wet cross-country runs
. The thin mesh also offers almost no protection to upper part of a runner's foot.
Weight is by far the most significant selling point for this shoe. Saucony claims it’s the lightest track spike on the market and there’s nothing out there to suggest they’re lying. Every other shoe in its category is heavier than its feather-light 2.8 ounces. Most of Saucony's competition falls between 3-5 ounces. The FlexFilm technology in the upper and the SSL EVA both ensure this is the lightest spike shoe on the market. Everything on the Endorphin is designed to be light. Right down to the lace loops which they make from a piece of elastic sewn into the mesh. Overall, Saucony has ensured this track spike won't weigh you down during a long track meet.
The Endorphin’s feather-light weight is also what makes it incredibly breathable. Since Saucony makes the upper of almost entirely FlexFilm and a single layer of mesh you can expect this shoe to keep your feet incredibly cool. During regular use, Saucony claims this mesh actively whisks perspiration away from the foot and out through the synthetic material. In the event, you do come in contact with water the mesh will ensure proper drainage and ventilation
. Since the upper is synthetic, this also means it will dry fast between track events
In theory, this shoe should be incredibly comfortable. A woven mesh upper in most shoes means, breathability and comfort. This spike is no exception. Users even report parts of the shoe having skin like feel, and they sometimes forget they even have the shoe on.
Unfortunately, a lack of padding through the midsole means runners will feel every bit of the terrain they run on. With the spikes in place, many runners can’t compete in events beyond the 3000m mark due to the pain caused by this lack of padding. However, without the spikes in others have reported the comfort level
to be manageable, even for specific cross country events. The lack of a removable insole or reinforced midsole makes this a feature of the product that you can’t fix.
What this shoe lacks in comfort it makes up for in styling. Runners have the choice of 4 color options. Each option has a unique color scheme that appeals to a broad audience. Several of the choices incorporate some form of neon or fluorescent colors. The coloring extends into the outsole to match the upper. This styling is a nice touch by Saucony showing attention to detail. The shoes proudly display a rather large Saucony logo on the side with the “Endorphin” name right under it. This shoe is a futurist looking and can quickly turn heads at any track meet
The most prominent question with the Endorphin is durability. Specifically with inconsistencies in manufacturing quality. With several complaints of the shoe coming wholly unglued or falling apart entirely, this is no fluke. On the other hand, the majority of buyers report few or zero durability issues. Most track events don’t require prolonged use of spikes. This makes reports of the shoe falling apart somewhat alarming and noteworthy. The shoe fell apart on one user during the middle of a track meet. For these reasons, it’s best to keep a spare pair of spikes
handy if the Endorphin's become your go-to spike.
The recurring theme with the Endorphin is trade-offs. With its paper-thin upper mesh protection is no exception. To make the lightest shoe on the market, Saucony cut weight in the upper and ankle regions of the shoe. For track users
, this might not be an issue. However, if you plan to take this spike to a course country even like some users have, then you can expect your ankles, and joints to be venerable to injury. This spike shoe provides little to no support on your ankles and joints
from regular running impact. Also, the thin upper and midsole give you little protection from unexpected terrains such as rocks and branches.
There’s no doubt this shoe is responsive. The SSL EVA technology and minimal design aim for responsiveness. Some shoes can numb a runner’s foot to the terrain with excessive use of padding and cushion. The Endorphin is the opposite of this. It’s specifically designed to give a sprinter precise feedback of the changing conditions of the track. The minimal design also ensures maximum transfer of power
from a runners foot, through the SSL EVA outsole and into the rubber on the track.
The Endorphin offers a minimal amount of support. The insole, which you can’t remove, comes with a high mid arch. Although in during use the arch support is hardly noticeable. At a weight of 2.8 ounces, it’s hard to expect great amounts of support. One area you will find support in is around the midfoot and toes. The FilmFlex wraps around and hugs the foot securely attaching it the Pebax 4 Spike Base Plate.
Some users report using this shoe for cross country and grass running, but its bread and butter is the track surface. Spike’s mean one thing, track racing or track training. This shoe is by no means an all-terrain shoe, and Saucony themselves categorize this shoe as a track shoe. However, with removable spikes, it’s possible to use this set of racers in a pinch for a cross country meet on grass or fine dirt road. Even with the spikes off don’t expect to wear these out to the supermarket. Several users have reported it nearly impossible to walk with them on tile or indoor flooring. Read also about men's cross country running shoes.
One thing this set of Saucony’s has going for it is the price. Compared to other shoes in its market, it’s reasonably priced. With the limited use case, it’s nice to see Saucony
recognize most runners will use this as a second or third pair of shoes. Overall, the Endorphin presents a great value compared to some higher end named brand race shoes in its category, most of which are double in price.
The Endorphin gives runners exceptional traction. With a Pebax four spike base plate, it’s hard to imagine a scenario that a runner would lose traction with these shoes. Even without the spikes in the shoe still, provides an outstanding about of built-in grip. The outsole has molded spikes separate from the removable metal spike. The four metal spike mounts are strategically placed to give runners maximum traction. Saucony locates two spikes at the front of the shoe near the toes. They set the two remaining spike mounts under the ball of the foot and outer section of the midfoot.
The SSL EVA outsole provides a light, thin and flexible base. Pairing this with the FilmFlex upper creates a flexible but springy shoe. The SSL EVA is specifically designed to be not only flexible but also provide maximum rebound. Compared to other heavier shoes in its class, this is much more flexible.
The Endorphin has a neutral pronation and narrow base. Despite the fact that these many runners feel it provides adequate stability. The Pebax base plate takes up the majority of the front portion of the outer sole. The spike positioning is wide and aids in stabilizing the base of the shoe. Saucony weaves the traditional lacing system into the FilmFlex giving the user the ability to tighten the shoe sufficiently. This design eliminates any wiggle or play of the foot within the shoe.
This shoe is a zero drop
racing spike. Outside of the foot, the shoe lays level on the ground with the toe box slightly curved upward from the ground. A zero drop shoe is going to mimic running barefoot closely, but new users might need time to get used to them. It’s also important to note several runners report the shoe to be a half size smaller than their standard size.
• Extremely light track spike, only 2.8 ounces
• Excellent Traction via Pebax 4 spike base plate
• FilmFlex Technology for exceptional breathability
• Responsive SSL EVA outsole
• Specifically designed for track
Overall, the Saucony Endorphin is a very good but not great track spike. The wide range of technology Saucony manages to fit into these shoes is impressive. The FilmFlex single layer upper hugs the runner's foot and provides outstanding breathability. This technology is coupled with the SSL EVA outsole and Pebax four spike base to provide excellent grip
and performance on the track. It does all this while sporting some fantastic styling and outright stylish color scheme.
However, it’s hard to overlook some very concerning issues like quality and comfort. With that said this shoe is the perfect match for a track runner looking for nothing but the lightest shoe on the market. If you’re willing to overlook a few design flaws and roll the dice on manufacturing inconsistencies, then this is a very good pair of racing spikes.