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Saucony Endorphin Speed review

Super light, springy, and a lot of fun, this motion control shoe is hard to fault.

Saucony Endorphin Speed
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

If you want to shave a few seconds off your personal bests, or just feel like you've lost your running mojo lately, the Saucony Endorphin Speed could be exactly what you need. It's a super light motion control shoe with a nylon plate and a soft, well cushioned sole that feels springy and, quite frankly, fun. The use of nylon rather than carbon makes it a good option for both races and training runs, while keeping down both price and weight. It's not the best shoe for particularly slow runs, but for anything else, it's easy to recommend.

For

  • Feels fast and springy
  • Well cushioned
  • Lightweight design
  • Durable

Against

  • Not for slow runs

Two-minute review

The Endorphin Speed is a motion control shoe that uses an internal plate to control movement and help your foot roll forward with each step. Unlike the Endorphin Pro, which uses carbon for stiffness, here Saucony has opted for nylon. This keeps both weight and price down, making for a more affordable motion control shoe.

Bouncy and lively, they may feel a little strange during your warmup, but they really come to life once you pick up speed. Together with the high drop, the plate really helps propel you forward and reduces perceived effort.

Saucony Endorphin Speed

(Image credit: Future)

Saucony has pared weight down to a minimum through careful use of materials, but this is still an extremely comfortable shoe. Your heel is gripped securely, and the flat laces provide a snug fit (though take care not to overdo it; the tongue has minimal padding).

It's tough to find fault with the Endorphin Speed; it may take a couple of miles to get used to, but once you're familiar with it, it's great fun. We can't guarantee that it'll improve your race times, but we wouldn't be at all surprised.

Price and release date

The Saucony Endorphin Speed was announced in May 2020, and began shipping on June 1. It costs $160 / £155 / AU$259.99, though the shoe's popularity means stock might be limited.

Other shoes in the line include the Endorphin Pro racing shoe at $200 / £190 / AU$319.99, and the highly cushioned Endorphin Shift training shoe at $140 / £130 / AU$239.99.

Design

The Endorphin Speed is a motion control shoe with a highly cushioned sole unit, and a nylon plate for motion control. This is a little less stiff than carbon, but still delivers a fast, springy ride that's a lot of fun once you're used to it.

It's super light (7.8oz for men) thanks to Saucony's PWRRUN PB cushioning, which has a popcorn-like appearance, but is surprisingly tough (as we discovered in our runs).

The laces are flat, which will suit you well if you like a secure fit, but bear in mind that there's very little padding on the tongue, so you may need to allow a little more give than usual. The upper is also very thin, but again proved surprisingly robust. 

The Endorphin Speed available in men's and women's sizes, and comes in three bold colorways: Bright Future/Black and White Mutant (which we tested here), with an extra , Cobalt/Silver color scheme for men and Black/Gold for women. Additional colorways are available in certain territories.

Saucony Endorphin Speed

Saucony's Bright Future colorway for men (left) and women (right) (Image credit: Saucony)

Performance

If you haven't tried a shoe with a plate before, the Endorphin Speed is a great first option – not just because of its relatively modest price, but also due to its versatility. This is a motion-control shoe that's a great choice for both training and racing, and holds up well even during longer sessions.

You might find that the nylon plate feels a little strange and perhaps even slightly unstable during a warmup, but really comes into its own on the road once you get up to speed.

Saucony Endorphin Speed

(Image credit: Future)

It's a neutral shoe, but in our tests it still provided a decent amount of stability – likely due to the efficient transference of forces

We found it extremely comfortable as well, with good grip around the heel, and flat laces that lock securely into place. The toe box is roomy (though not quite as wide as a typical Asics shoe)

Despite its light weight, the thick sole absorbs impact well and feels nicely cushioned – though the high drop means that if you're a mid-foot striker, you may want to try a pair at your local running shop before investing to make sure it works for you.

We were surprised how well the shoe stands up to heavy mileage, as well. It doesn't look particularly robust, but we can see only minimal sign of wear on its popcorn-textured sole unit. 

The upper is very thin (your socks are clearly visible through the engineered mesh), which made us somewhat concerned about its durability, but several months and many miles later, there's no sign of it wearing through. It's also, as you'd expect, very breathable, making this shoe a good pick for warm weather runs.

Saucony Endorphin Speed

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if

You're chasing a new PB
If your race times have plateaued, this shoe may well help you shave off a few seconds, helping you rediscover your motivation.

Your running mojo is low
If running no longer feels as fun as it once did (particularly understandable at the time of writing, when the world is gripped by a pandemic), this fun and light shoe will help you rediscover your love of hitting the roads.

You want to try something new
This shoe is a joy to run with, so if you're considering something different to your usual go-to, we highly recommend you give the Endorphin Speed a try.

Don't buy it if

You're at couch-to-5k stage
This is a shoe that feels great at speed, but if you're spending part of your training sessions at a slow pace or with periods of walking, you may find it feels somewhat unstable.

You struggle to maintain a steady pace
With this shoe, you may find yourself heading out faster than initially intended, and then tiring too soon. Keep an eye on your running watch to make sure you're keeping to your planned pace.

You dislike cushioning
This is a heavily cushioned shoe, with a high drop – certainly not the best option for anyone who prefers a more barefoot feel.