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Road Running Shoes • February 3, 2024

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Review: Angled for Attack

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What You Need To Know

Weight

8.5 oz. (241 g) for a US M10.5,

6.6 oz. (187 g) for a US W7.5

Stack Height / Drop

40 mm in heel, 32 mm in forefoot (8 mm drop)

Best For

Your next marathon

Key Features

PWRRUN HG footbed wrapped in PWRRUN PB midsole, Super Responsive Sockliner, carbon fiber plate, Speedroll geometry, lattice outsole

On The Run
Snappy and responsive Just the right amount of cushion Smooth turnover
Price / Availability

$225, March 1, 2024

Introduction to the Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

MEAGHAN: The Endorphin line has been a favorite of mine since it launched, and it’s exciting to see the updates year after year. That holds for the latest iteration of the Endorphin Pro 4, which comes with some pretty sweet updates.

Most notably, Saucony added a layer of PWRRUN HG to the midsole foam, which sits right under the foot. While the Pro 3 contained a full slab of PWRRUN PB, now you’ve got a mix of PWWRUN HG (the same foam found in the Endorphin Elite) and PWWRUN PB beneath the foot. They’re still keeping these street-legal with a 39.5 mm stack of foam in the heel and an 8 mm drop. The Speedroll technology also remains, along with the carbon fiber plate, but the rubber outsole now comes in a lattice design. You also get a new sock liner, called the Super Responsive Sockliner (SRS), and a redesigned mesh upper with a new heel-liner and integrated tongue.

Saucony got a little ahead of themselves and provided samples way back in the Fall of 2023, so I’ve put plenty of miles on my pair (75 or more), and I’ve got some thoughts.

ROBBE: When the first Endorphin Pro came out in 2020, I was in love. Underfoot, it felt fast and snappy. The upper wrapped the foot with a true racer-like feel. It looked absolutely beautiful, and it was impossible not to go fast in the shoe. That said, it probably wasn’t a marathon shoe, at least in this decade. The aggressive nature of the shoe made it a little harsh in distances above half marathon.

The second version was largely the same, and then the three swung wildly to the other end of the spectrum. Cushioned and bouncy, with plenty of comfort for that marathon, but a bit tame overall (for me, anyway — plenty of others loved it). It was also the shoe embodiment of Sparkle Motion, and just like Donnie Darko’s mom, I doubted my commitment to the shoe.

I don’t know if Saucony listened. I doubt they did because this shoe has probably been in development since 2022. But I can tell you this — the Endorphin Pro is exciting again.

THOMAS: The Endorphin Pro started off well, and each update has improved upon the previous version. Despite changes, both major and minor, over the years, Saucony’s high-stack racer always found a way to keep moving forward. Robbe already mentioned the Barbie-esque design of the Endorphin Pro 3, and despite the sus look, we all liked how the shoe performed. Now, the revamped design is more aggressive and looks kind of like an angry shark. Given the — in my opinion — much-improved styling, if the shoe performed as well or better than the previous model, it could be a home run.

What we like about the Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

MEAGHAN: I always start with aesthetics and, well, Saucony did a good job. The nearly all-white shoe with orange and purple accents looks like a true racer. You can’t help but get excited lacing these up. Speaking of which, I’d absolutely love to make fun of Saucony’s new “super responsive sock liner,” but I have to admit the step-in feel is pretty freakin’ great, and I must attribute some of that to the new, fancy insole.

The upper is pretty simple, designed with some flat laces, light padding around the collar, and a super stretchy, integrated tongue. The upper is incredibly breathable — I used this shoe for a couple of 20-plus mile runs in some warmer temps (we’ve had this shoe for a while), and it felt great.

Beneath the foot is definitely where the Endorphin Pro 4 really shines. The PWRRUN PB and HG mixture feels soft and comfortable upon step-in but really comes to life when you start running. The foam, paired with the carbon fiber plate and Speedroll technology, helps to keep momentum in your legs and propel you forward. I found the faster that I was running, the more this shoe came to life. This version feels slightly softer than the third version, but definitely in a good way — more comfortable and didn’t lose any of its pop.

The last thing I have to note about this shoe is the weight. My US W7.5 came in at 6.5 oz, which means it’s lighter than almost every other marathon-distance racing shoe (excluding Nike’s). That’s definitely a win.

Now that’s an aggressive setup

ROBBE: My first run in this shoe was a Turkey Trot 5K. I was terribly unfit for the race, having run about… hmm… zero miles since the New York City Marathon a few weeks prior. Nevertheless, I went out as fast as I could because that’s what you do at a local 5K in central Pennsylvania. Gotta show those cows who’s the boss. Around the dinner table, everyone who finished sub-20 can talk about that guy with a mustache who pulled over and puked on the last uphill as everyone passed him. Good times, glad I could give them a story.

In any case, the first two miles were a ton of fun, and that’s mostly because of the Endorphin Pro 4. It felt so good underfoot — snappy and bouncy with a quick turnover. It’s everything I loved about the first two versions of the shoe, just with a bit more protection and stability underfoot. It feels a lot more like a racing shoe than the Endorphin Pro 3, but without sacrificing the good parts of that shoe. That’s probably due in large part to the super responsive sock liner wrapped in the PWRRUN HG footbed wrapped in the PWRRUN PB midsole. It doesn’t feel harsh at all, but rather, it hits that sweet spot that you want in a racing shoe. It can also handle slower paces without feeling terribly unstable.

Also, it looks great. The Phoenix Suns colorway really pops on the feet, making it a nice race-day option for style points alone. And at $225? You’re getting a lot of shoe for a significant discount (10-20%) over its race day counterparts.

THOMAS: I will start with the good news, if you’re a fan of the previous version, the feel is very similar. The upper is sleeker and feels more sock-like. While Meg wasn’t the biggest fan of the new tongue (oops, jumping the gun a little bit), I like the way the stretchy woven tongue is integrated into the upper. The collar and heel counter are similar to the previous version, but the part of the heel counter that sits near the Achilles is more flexible. The upper, as a whole, feels softer and more breathable, and I was able to get a secure fit without issue.

The PWRRUN PB midsole has the same durometer as the previous version — soft and bouncy without feeling mushy. The addition of PWRRN HG seems minimal to me and didn’t change the ride of the shoe. The Speedroll shape of the midsole and carbon plate remains the same. Why change it when you get a beautiful transition from heel to toe?

The outsole has a lattice design and works well. Most of my testing miles were done during the fall and early winter, so I was able to test out the grip in warm weather, cold temps, rain, and even some snow remnants.

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What we don’t like about the Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

MEAGHAN: I love a stretchy tongue. Love one. But, for whatever reason, I felt like the padding wasn’t quite enough where I cinched down the laces on the Endorphin Pro 4. I ended up having to fold the tongue over and use the extra material as padding between my laces and the top of my foot. It actually worked quite well, though I’m sure that wasn’t the intended design. Outside of that rubbing issue in the middle of a long run, I don’t have much else to complain about.

ROBBE: As Meg pointed out, the tongue design could use a little bit of work. The knit tongue is integrated into the upper, but the length of it is bizarre. It may be the longest tongue I’ve ever experimented with (let your imagination run wild). You can fold over the top tab, but even then, it’s still long. Just not sure why it needs to be like that.

THOMAS: I’m the only one that liked the new tongue, oh well. I will say that without the gusseted tongue, there was more room in the interior of the shoe. With a low-volume foot, I opted for thicker socks.

I hate when I have to report a shoe getting heavier, but… The Endorphin Pro 3 in a US M10.5 weighed 7.9 oz, and the Endorphin Pro 4 went up to 8.5 oz. Putting weight on a race-day shoe is never good news.

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Final thoughts on the Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

MEAGHAN: The Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 is a really nice update. I think fans of the previous version will love the changes to both the upper and midsole design. I found this shoe to be pretty similar to the New Balance SC Elite v4, which is also one of my favorite race-day options.

ROBBE: In both this shoe and its training counterpart in the Endorphin Speed 4, Saucony has brought back the propulsive magic of the first two versions and combined it with the restraints of the third, making it a perfect blend of the Endorphin line as a whole. I truly think this is the best version of the Endorphin Pro yet, and it easily competes with any other race day shoe in its class. What a time to be alive.

THOMAS: If you like the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3, you’ll enjoy the Pro 4. The design makes for a better-looking race shoe, but if you’re fine with the Pro 3’s glittery look, I’d snatch it up on sale. The Endorphin Pro 3 is lighter, and the ride feels nearly identical. There are several shoes that you’ll have to decide between that share characteristics of this one, including the New Balance SC Elite v4 and the Diadora Gara Carbon. They all weigh about 8.5 oz. (241 g). They’re so similar that it will probably come down to whose branding and colors you like better. Remember when you only had one Pebax shoe to reach for?

You can pick up the Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 for $225 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) using the buttons below.

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Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 | Full Review

3
Comments

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Nick says:

    Where does this fall in the calculus between the Pro 4 and Elite?

  2. Brendan Wise says:

    Awesome review. Definitely excited about the pro 4. That colorway is incredible. I’ve been using the adios pro 3 (I like neutral stable) for half and full marathons and leaning towards picking up the Saucony pro 4 to alternate with.

  3. David P says:

    When is the wide foot review coming? Glad ya’ll like it, but if it’s too tight up front all else are secondary.

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Authors

meaghan nyc marathon
Meaghan Murray
Boss Lady
  • Strava
  • Instagram

Meaghan signed up for her first marathon three weeks before the race, because it was $10 more than the half she planned to run. She learned everything in running the hard way. Now a USATF & UESCA certified run coach, she loves encouraging friends to go for big goals as she continues to chase faster times. She enjoys a hot cup of coffee, a cold martini, and making bagels for friends and family.

More from Meaghan
Shoe Size

7.5

Fav. Distance

26.2

PRs
  • 2:45

    Marathon
  • 1:21

    Half Marathon
  • 18:51

    5K
Robbe Reddinger
Senior Editor
  • Strava
  • Instagram

Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.

More from Robbe
Shoe Size

7.5

Fav. Distance

13.1

PRs
  • 3:27

    Marathon
  • 1:30

    Half-Marathon
  • 40:36

    10k
  • 19:17

    5K
Thomas Neuberger
Founder
  • Strava
  • Instagram

As the founder of Believe in the Run, Thomas’s goal is to help runners pick the shoes and gear that will make their running experience the best that it can be. 

More from Thomas
Shoe Size

10.5

Fav. Distance

26.2

PRs
  • 10:28

    50 Mile
  • 5:43

    50K
  • 3:20

    26.2
  • 1:36

    Half Marathon
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