Saucony has launched a new trail running shoe, the Endorphin Edge. It is for runners who want to go faster and over longer distances. A key component is a carbon-fibre plate to aid speed.
The Endorphin Edge are already on sale in the US and go on sale in UK shops and on-line on September 1, 2022. I have been testing the running footwear for around six weeks and it has become my go to for general trails.
A quick synopsis is that the shoes are comfortable, have great cushioning, feel responsive when I want to run faster and the look great. The negatives are that the thicker sole is not so good on rough terrain and I find the forefoot and ankle area too roomy. They are also very pricey.
Features of Saucony Endorphin Edge trail running shoes
- SPEEDROLL Technology to “propel you forward effortlessly”
- Ultra-light, responsive PWRRUNPB foam cushioning for a light and fast feel
- Carbitex AFX carbon-fibre plate – purpose-built for trail running with the aim of offering incredible speed and efficiency without sacrificing ground feel or stability
- Three-quarter plate design allows for a more adaptable heel strike in varied terrain
- Lightweight mesh upper for “higher absorption and faster evaporation”.
- Clear mudguard adds durability and protection
- PWRTRAC outsole for “incredible traction on the trail”.
- Support level: Neutral
- Cushioning: POWRRUN PB
- Sockliner: EVA
- Materials: Vegan and contains recycled materials
- Lug height: 4mm
- Offset: 6mm
- Weight: Men 255g; women 221g
- Sizes: Men 7-13, 14; Women 5-12
- Price: £200
- See: Saucony. You can buy on the Saucony American site just now and they will be available for sale in the UK on September 1.
Full review: Saucony Endorphin Edge trail running shoes
There is a lot that I like about the Saucony Endorphin Edge trail running shoes, although the price of the footwear makes me wince. £200 is very costly.
The positives of the shoes is that they feel lightweight yet still supportive and nicely cushioned.
I have run on a variety of surfaces, from tarmac to hills and mountains. They are best suited to harder packed and more even tracks and trails. They offer a medium amount of cushioning, which I like, and when stretching out my stride or trying to run faster on flat or gently rolling routes, I feel like I am able to run fluidly and easily. The cushioning allows for responsive foot strike and push off.
I have no idea if the Carbitex AFX carbon-fibre plate is helping with speed and efficiency but certainly it hasn’t appeared to hinder me. These are easy running shoes to run many miles in, which I have been doing week after week.
The stability on mostly predictable trail terrain is good too. My feet land evenly and positively. I don’t think I lose much momentum from the level of cushioning and so the Endorphin Edge shoes have become a favourite for me. I also wear them for walking, as well as running.
For now, they have even replaced my other number ones, the Hoka Torrent IIs. The Saucony Endorphin Edge feel lighter and easier to run faster in.
There is a reasonable amount of grip when running on slopes that are rocky and rooty but there are shoes that are better for this because they have more aggressive lugs. The Saucony Endorphin Edge trail running shoes are designed, as far as I can see, for grip on gently rolling and hard-packed tracks and paths. They work well on this terrain.
There are a few issues I have had with the shoes. I find the forefoot and ankle cuff area quite roomy. They do lace up comfortably and I like the sock-style tongue better than a thicker, more cushioned tongue.
I do have a slim foot and the shoe is a medium width so I think these will suit someone with a more average foot. The width and fit has not stopped me choosing these shoes for almost every run recently, but that is because the comfort and cushioning outweigh the niggles about the fit.
Saucony claim the “lightweight mesh on the Endorphin Edge actively pulls moisture away from your foot, keeping you cool and dry”. I have no idea how mesh might do this and that seems like a bit of a nonsense. The shoes do allow moisture to evaporate although I find that in very wet conditions, the Endorphin Edge stay quite damp inside. The dampness leads to movement in the insole and that is a bit annoying when running on uneven terrain and especially downhill. To counter this I usually stop to retie my laces tighter.
However, as I have said already, these shoes are best suited to more even terrain and are not ideal for the more unpredictable nature of hill and mountain paths.
Another reason that I feel these shoes perform best on hard-packed tracks is that if you are running on unpredictable terrain, the thicker soles can sometimes cause the ankle to roll. Now, my ankles are not the strongest and the do tend to roll when I am running on rougher terrain, but I find a thinner sole makes the foot more stable.
The features to counter wear and tear on the trails are sufficient for terrain that is not overly covered in thick vegetation. I can’t see the uppers lasting too long if I was to be constantly running through heather and bracken. We have a lot of this in my area of Scotland.
Also, I find the use of silly words, such as PWRTRAC and PWRRUNPB, really irritating! What do they mean and why make up words when it is better simply to explain what the features are?
I very much like the look and colour of the footwear. Some women will love the pink, while others will loathe it but the good news is that Saucony plan to introduce a couple of other colourways in due course.
Conclusion: The Saucony Endorphin Edge trail running shoes are comfortable, fairly lightweight and easy to run in. The cushioning is great for both tarmac and hard-packed trails. These are not ideal for rough and unpredictable mountain terrain. The price is very high but I like many of the features.