REVIEW: Saucony Endorphin Edge
Written By: SportsShoes
Push your boundaries and release your inner trail seeker.
The Saucony Endorphin Edge is packed with PWRRUN PB foam cushioning and a Carbitex carbon-fibre plate that helps propel you forward. A lightweight shoe that is built for speed on the trails.
|Most suitable for:||Built for speed on the trails. Perfect for fast off-road sessions and trail racing.|
|Stack height:||35mm (heel) / 29mm (forefoot)|
|Lug depth:||4mm (best suited to firm trails)|
|Fit (length):||Fits large|
|Fit (width):||Wide fit|
|RATINGS:||(out of 5)|
The Saucony Endorphin Edge in summary;
- A great choice for long trail races where speed, protection and comfort are all essential.
- The perfect shoe for running long or ultra distances over dry trails
- The Carbitex plate gives speed and efficiency without sacrificing ground feel or stability
- A wide fit with a roomy toe box allows toes to splay during long trail races
- Perfect for training and light enough for racing (255g)
- Fast, responsive, protective and cushioned.
Fresh out of the box the shoes look great. I have been testing the blue colour-way but to be honest I really like the pink too. I think they look modern and I like the monochrome look. They feel quite chunky but fairly light to hold. This is Saucony’s first trail shoe with carbon technology. The Carbitex MonoFlex (formerly AFX) plate in the midsole is purpose-made for trail running.
Starting with the upper, this is compromised of a lightweight mesh. I’ve mainly used these shoes over winter but I think they will definitely excel at dissipating heat in the summer months as the upper mesh is very breathable. The overlays offer a good level of support and protection around the perimeter of the shoe. The heel counter contains a plastic bumper which helps provide a good lockdown in the heel but also adds protection too. Similarly, there’s a laminated toe-bumper which provides excellent protection at the front, without being too harsh against the toes when descending. The materials used around the ankle collar are super comfy, even next to bare skin. The high heel tab is very flexible and forgiving and I’ve had not issues with blisters etc. I also really like the large pull-tab at the back. The shoes are vegan-friendly and contain recycled materials.
There’s a traditional lacing system and the laces themselves are made from quality materials and are at the right length, but I think they could afford to be slightly thinner. However, they tie-down well and I’ve not had them come undone once. There’s extra eyelets at the top of the shoe to allow a more snug and personalised fit. Interestingly the second-to-top lace loop goes through a strip of material that connects directly to the midsole and this helps improve lockdown. This reminds me of Nike’s Flywire technology but just used once in this shoe. I’ll discuss the fit in more details later but overall the lockdown is good, but there’s some room for improvement.
The tongue is very lightweight and breathable but with a little bit of soft padding so it is quite comfortable. The tongue is also semi-gusseted so stays central when running. I really like the tab on the tongue that allows you to pull the tongue up when putting the shoes on. My only slight gripe (and it is slight!) is the tongue is a fraction too small. I think it could do with having and extra few millimetres of fabric at the top as the when I have used the extra eyelets, the laces tend to lie above the tongue and dig into the foot a little. I can’t comment on the footbed as I run with orthotics.
The midsole is comprised off Saucony’s PWRRUN PB foam cushioning (made from expanded Pebax beads) and it is very comfortable. At lower speeds the shoes feel really cushioned and comfy. I’ve mainly used these shoes over the winter months for off-road tempo and fartlek sessions, usually on canal towpaths as they tend to be quite rough underfoot at this time of year so opted for these over road shoes. The shoes have been perfect for these types of sessions: the foam is cushioned and provides a great level of protection. I’ve also definitely noticed some reduced fatigue after these sessions compared with using other trail shoes or road flats. The Carbitex plate was great at faster paces. The combination of the foam and the plate meant at faster paces they feel very responsive and there’s a noticeable ‘pop’ during toe-off. During these sessions the shoe has been able to provide the fast-feeling response of a quick and cushioned road shoe but with the added security of better grip and upper protection. The plate doesn’t feel super thick and manages to strike the balance between speed and efficiency but there’s still a good amount of lateral flexion and ground feel.
At 35mm the stack height feels pretty high for an off-road shoe and that is noticeable when I’ve ventured onto more technical terrain. That being said, the shoes are quite wide through the midsole and outsole so they are quite a stable platform to land on. So far, despite the high stack height, I haven’t rolled an ankle or been close to doing so. The heel-to-toe differential (drop) is 6mm which for me is about the upper limit for an off-road shoe.
The outsole is comprised of Saucony’s PWRTRAC outsole gives very good traction on trails. The lug depth is 4mm and the lugs themselves are a chevron shape so grip well. The rubber compound is quite soft so grip particularly well on dry rock and fairly well on wet rock. I’ve mainly used them on rocky trails and canal towpaths and they’ve been great. On wet muddy stuff they struggle a little but they’re not really designed for this.
SIZING - FIT AND FEEL
The shoes feel quite wide and come up large. The toe-box is also very roomy. This allows the toes to splay during long runs but is worth noting for those who prefer a narrower fit. I normally wear a UK 10.5 in the majority of brands but I would prefer to have sized down at least a half size in the future. Overall the fit is good and once fitted properly, give a good lockdown. That being said, I would like to have seen the tabs that help improve the lockdown with the laces (the ‘Flywire’ style tabs) extend further down the laces to improve lockdown down the midfoot.
The shoes are very comfortable. Even at slower paces they feel very cushioned and comfortable. They are designed to be very lightweight and they are - in my size (UK 10.5) they are around 270g but for some reason they do feel heavier than that. I think this is because the midsole is very chunky.
Overall, the shoes are designed to be a fast, long-distance trail racer. I think they fit this bill excellently. I could see them being perfect for things like the UTMB or other long distance races in Europe or the US. I say this as I think they will be better suited to drier terrains.
I would recommend this shoe for anyone that wants the performance of a fast road shoe (think Saucony’s Endorphin road line-up) with the grip and protection of a trail shoe.
I’d suggest it is suited to both training and racing but it definitely is ‘at home’ at faster paces, and the Carbitex plate comes into its own when you get up onto your toes. Although that being said, I have used them at slower paces and they still retain the same level of comfort and they don’t feel ‘too fast’ for easier runs.
For me, I will continue to use this shoe as an option for off-road long runs when I want to go a little faster but not on particularly technical fells and trails (e.g. long tempo runs on a rough canal towpath or buffed out trail).
Ben Rothery is an elite fell and trail runner. You can follow all of his running adventures here