Saucony Endorphin Speed – 1st Impression Review

The Saucony Endorphin Speed is built to offer accessible performance to your training and act as an affordable option for half and full marathon racing in an era of ever-growing price tags on “super shoes”.

The Endorphin Speed was built as the middle model in Saucony’s new Endorphin lineup, which also features the Endorphin Shift, the reliable and cushioned daily trainer, and the Endorphin Pro, the high performance-oriented marathon racing shoe.

SPECS

  • Stack Height: 33 mm (Heel), 25 mm (Forefoot)
  • OFFSET: 8mm drop from heel to toe
  • Weight: 7.8 oz / 204g (US M9) and 6.8 oz / 197g (US W8)
  • FIT: True to size
  • Category: Neutral
  • $160 MSRP


As the middle model, the Endorphin Speed serves as a dynamic workout shoe and lightweight daily trainer.

Ultimately, The Endorphin Speed seeks to blend its new technologies such as its cushioned yet responsive PWRRUN PB midsole with a Nylon plate to offer a performance-oriented trainer that can accomplish long and steady tempo efforts but also be a viable easy run option.

This all sounds great, but does it hold up to snuff? We are going to find out right now.

UPPER - Materials and Lockdown

Saucony Men's S20597-40 Endorphin Speed Running Shoe, Black Gold - 12 M US

The Endorphin Speed features a FORMFIT engineered mesh upper which was inspired by Saucony's track spikes to stretch and adapt for a lightweight and unrestrained feeling.

This mesh is supported by a 3D molded Heel Support Frame that supports the heel through the gait cycle.

This upper is made with the intent of versatility, it allows you to do a large variety of training without having to think about lockdown issues or discomfort. It just gets out of the way and lets you focus on running.

POSITIVE: The comfortable lockdown on the heel and midfoot.

DRAWBACK: The upper mesh in the toe box area could much up and run on toes.

MIDSOLE - Performance Cushion with Energy Return

Saucony Men's S20597-40 Endorphin Speed Running Shoe, Black Gold - 12 M US

The midsole is made up of the new PWRRUN PB, which is an ultralight PeBa-based foam that provides an extremely bouncy running experience.

The PWRRUN PB foam is ideal for runners who want some solid underfoot protection, but also desire some strong energy return put back into each stride.

This foam is complemented by a Nylon Plate, which keeps your momentum going with a semi-rigid design that provides snappy transitions. Integrating a more flexible nylon plate instead of a rigid carbon plate adds greater versatility to the shoe.

This flexible and snappy plate paired with a soft and bouncy midsole foam allows for a great deal of propulsion without compromising the natural running gait cycle.

Finally, shaping the midsole foam and plate into Saucony’s SPEEDROLL technology creates an “always forward” geometry that creates a lively rolling feel underfoot.

This again feels like it contributes to a more efficient stride by rolling the foot into the push phase of the gait cycle without any extra friction or wasted motion.

The midsole design is where the Saucony Endorphin Speed really shines above the competition. They seemed to nail the “soft yet snappy” lightweight trainer design that is so highly esteemed in the running world nowadays.

Quite frankly, not everyone can or should wear a carbon fiber plated shoe because the natural gait cycle or biomechanics may just not be well suited for the rigidity that comes along with such powerful equipment.

The flexibility of the nylon plate, combined with a solid midsole foam and biomechanically efficient rocker adding some increased efficiency is almost a refreshing feel for the underfoot compared to the forceful and almost aggressive nature of a carbon plated shoe.

Our friend Noble shares a little more on the midsole in his video review. 

POSITIVE: Soft, Snappy, and Efficient Midsole Foam and Plate.

DRAWBACK: May suffer from trying to be too much to too many people.

 i.e not enough cushion or support for someone looking for a true daily trainer, or too much weight for someone looking for a true racer.

OUTSOLE - Simple and Effective

Saucony Men's S20597-40 Endorphin Speed Running Shoe, Black Gold - 12 M US

The Endorphin speed includes a Carbon Rubber outsole, which is placed strategically to increase traction and durability while keeping weight to a minimum.

Not much to say about this section. There is enough traction provided by the rubber that there should not be any big problems taking turns or having slippage on the roads in bad conditions.

The outsole is minimized to keep weight down but placed in the right spots to keep that midsole safe from too much wear and tear. The rubber seems to be durable enough to last in the miles to come.

DURABILITY PREDICTION - 300 to 400 miles

The midsole foam is firm enough to last a good while, and when combined with the strategically placed rubber outsole will probably get to about 300-400 miles before having less of a benefit with cushion and energy return.

This prediction definitely depends on personal biomechanics and how much drag and pressure is put on the shoe over the course of these miles.

It very well may last longer or shorter depending on how often it is used, what it is used for, and the surface it is used on. 

BEST USES - Steady, Tempo Efforts, Long Runs, and Half/Full Marathon Races

Saucony Men's S20597-40 Endorphin Speed Running Shoe, Black Gold - 12 M US

Although the Endorphin Speed can pass as a lightweight daily trainer, it was definitely made to go faster. The shoe encourages the runner to go faster and feel efficient with each stride.

It is definitely passable as a lightweight daily trainer, but in the end, it will provide most benefits at an uptempo pace.

That being said, the Endorphin Speed has the ability to make a great “commuter shoe”.

That means if someone needed to run to a location to do a workout (track, road, dirt trail, or grass patch), but did not want to carry another pair of shoes to switch into for the faster efforts, the Speed would make a great option.

The cushion would preserve the legs during the warmup run to the location and would offer a tremendous amount of energy return during the workout.

The Endorphin Speed is a great option for many run types but will excel in faster-paced activities like interval training.

The price feels a little stiff for a shoe that may only get to 300-400 miles.

You also need to consider what you want in a shoe, because the Endorphin lineup offers a true daily trainer in the Shift and also a truly competitive racing shoe in the Pro.

If you are looking for a more dedicated shoe, then these may be better options.

However, if you want a shoe that definitely has the potential to be satisfactory in a racing scenario for a little less, then the Speed may the right choice for you.

Also along those lines, if you want a shoe that offers more options than just “daily training”, then maybe you will be willing to spend the extra $20 to grab the Speed as well.

Saucony Men's S20597-40 Endorphin Speed Running Shoe, Black Gold - 12 M US
11 Reviews
Saucony Men's S20597-40 Endorphin Speed Running Shoe, Black Gold - 12 M US
  • SPEEDROLL Technology propels you forward with the feeling of continuous momentum, so you can run faster, not harder
  • Full-length, semi-rigid nylon plate is more flexible than carbon fiber, making this shoe equally runnable for speed workouts or on race day
  • PWRRUN PB, A PEBA-based superfoam, is our lightest, most springy performance cushioning ever
  • FORMFIT hugs the foot in 3D comfort and delivers our most personalized fit yet
  • Engineered mesh keeps the upper light and breathable

CONCLUSION - A Fantastic Shoe to “Do It All”

With so much hype surrounding the “super shoe” craze in the running industry as of late, it is refreshing to see a shoe come out that is dedicated to providing snappy cushioning in workouts and long runs accessible to the masses. 

Should you get the Endorphin Speed?

Well, if you want a shoe that provides endless options as a “do it all” workhorse with a focus in picking up the pace and comfortable racing, then you will be hardpressed to find something better than the Endorphin Speed.

If not, then maybe think about going in for either the Endorphin Shift as a daily trainer or the Endorphin Pro as a competitive racer.

Last update on 2020-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API