The RW Takeaway: Saucony’s speedy Endorphin collection has a new trail shoe. The Endorphin Edge promotes smooth, fast turnover on uneven terrain with a dynamic ¾-length carbon-fiber plate.
- Speedroll tech provides quick heel-to-toe rocker transitions
- Carbitex midsole plate is specifically designed to handle gnarly, technical trail
- Full-length rock guard delivers added protection
Weight: 9.1 oz (M), 7.5 oz (W)
Drop: 6 mm
More From Runner's World
Last year’s Endorphin Trail was a lot to take in, its high stack underfoot a result of the thick slab of Pwrrun PB foam and Speedroll design. (Speedroll is Saucony’s rocker technology meant to propel you forward.) Our Endo-Trail wear-testers gave favorable reviews, however, saying the shoe had “excellent tread” and felt “decently comfortable” over long distances. What did it lack? A carbon-fiber plate, which the new Endorphin Edge has inside its Pwrrun PB foam.
I’m no stranger to carbon fiber, having previously spoken with Carbitex founder Junus Khan about super shoes’ secret sauce, for the July/August issue of our print magazine. I had also raced this year’s Boston Marathon in the Altra Vanish Carbon, which has Carbitex’s asymmetrical AFX plate sandwiched in its midsole. So, I find it makes sense that Saucony chose to use the AFX in the Endorphin Edge. Unlike rigid plates commonly found in other racing shoes, the plate is stiff in one direction (to propel you forward) yet flexible in the other (so you remain nimble). This helps provide the stability you need to go fast confidently on technical trails.
One of our testers, a self-proclaimed Saucony junkie who favors the brand’s Xodus, a toothy, maximally cushioned trail shoe, ran a half marathon on his first day testing the Edge. “I’ve tested a lot of shoes over the years,” he said (the first model he tested was a Peregrine, 10 years ago). “These were perfect right out of the box.”
Need a second opinion? Take it from this tester who’s run in Topo Athletic and Altra—both brands known for ample toe room: “The toebox was roomy and, when combined with the well-designed upper, the shoe was able to be cinched down for an assuring fit regardless of the terrain.”
More Wear-Tester Feedback
Sean O., Phillipsburg, NJ | Tester since 2021
Arch: High | Pronation: Neutral | Footstrike: Forefoot
Previously tested: Brooks Caldera 6
“This shoe is fun and fast. I felt like the carbon plate really responded on West Coast-style terrain. It was not clunky or heavy-feeling at all. I ran on roads in this shoe and I actually felt like it really shined there, too. The foam’s softness along with the snappy plate really gave the Endorphin Edge that ‘super shoe feel’ that I think Saucony was going for.
“I think the shoe’s stability is going to be a problem for many runners out there. In the Hoka Tecton X, I felt a little lower to the ground and therefore more confident I wasn’t going to turn an ankle. This shoe’s drop is 6mm, but with the bouncy midsole and the lack of a more stable upper, I felt like I could roll off the shoe at any moment. I’d love to grind these down a little and see if this changes. Unfortunately, that would destroy the lugs, so no bueno.”
Rip C., Bethlehem, PA | Tester since 2021
Arch: High | Pronation: Neutral | Footstrike: Midfoot
Previously tested: Saucony Peregrine 12
“The weight of the Endorphin Edge is advantageous to generating (and maintaining) speed. This is a speed shoe. Evidently, my paces were quicker than my perceived effort would indicate. This was my first foray in a carbon-plated shoe and I immediately felt the benefit on sweltering summer runs. From rail trail to light-to-moderate trail, they performed flawlessly. There is just the right amount of moderate, supple cushioning to comfort the feet on longer (over two hour) efforts. Ultimately, I noticed PRs on sections of trail that I’ve been running for over four years. That said, these shoes also felt completely natural at a slower, recovery pace.”
Amanda is a test editor at Runner’s World who has run the Boston Marathon every year since 2013; she's a former professional baker with a master’s in gastronomy and she carb-loads on snickerdoodles.