Saucony has launched its “lightest, fastest and most energy efficient running shoe” to date. The new Endorphin Elite footwear follows a trend from a number of brands for lightweight, high-performance running shoes. The latest innovations include thicker, more cushioned soles plus carbon plate inserts.
The new Endorphin Elite is called a race day shoe. It is designed with a deep sole maxing out at 40mm at the heel to 32 mm at the toe (so that’s an 8mm heel-to-toe drop). According to Saucony, the average men’s shoe weighs 205g, while the women’s is 185g.
The headline features are what the brand describes as its “highest rebound foam” PWRRUN HG and a new heel-to-toe fork-shaped carbon plate. Saucony report that the PWRRUN HG foam cushioning is the brand’s most energy efficient foam, while the new carbon plate is more flexible and adaptive and aims to "maximize energy return”
The shoe’s upper combines knitted and mesh materials for “next-to-skin, weightless performance”, while midfoot mesh webbing aims give a secure, race-ready fit.
There.s also a PWRRUN PB sockliner to offer an extra layer of cushioning and an outsole designed with Saucony’s XT-900 carbon rubber.
The shoes are vegan and contain recycled materials (note, the recycled content is not detailed). The suggested retail price when they reach retailers from February 21 is a somewhat eye-watering £280.
What is the Saucony Endorphin Elite for?
Saucony says the goal of the Endorphin Elite road running shoes is to “propel runners toward their next personal best”. This is a bold claim!
Saucony athlete Parker Stinson, who is an American record holder for 25K, adds to the superlatives. He was part of the team that has designed the new shoes.
He says: “This shoe is the result of testing, lots of prototypes and, yes, crushing workouts. The energy return defies gravity and its speedy turnover, propulsion and efficiency allow me to capitalise on my quickness across my hardest of workouts and on race day.
“This shoe just seems like something that is really going to help you stay smooth, stay strong and get you ready to close out a marathon. For me it’s a real game changer.”
Growing trend for 'fastest, lightest' running shoes
There has been something of a trend for running footwear companies to design shoes that are packaged as "high performers", with speedier, more lightweight and more cushioned performance.
More specifically, carbon plate running shoes were first developed by Nike with the advent of the Vaporfly 4% shoe. The Endorphin Elite follows on from Saucony's Endorphin Pro 3, as well as others such as Asics Metaspeed Sky+, Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 and New Balance FuelCell SC Elite V3.
The launch of the Endorphin Elite coincides with Saucony’s 125th anniversary celebrations. We're currently testing the shoe, and will bring you a full review very soon.
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Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favorite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing (both downhill and backcountry). Aside from her own adventures, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy getting outside and exploring, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.