Saucony Endorphin Speed 4

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Key Stats

Price: £180
Weight: 245g (mens UK 8.5)
Drop: 8mm
Stack height: 36mm / 28mm
Type: Neutral / Road
Key Tech: PWRRUN PB Midsole + Nylon Plate

Intro

Every now and again a shoe comes along that shakes up the status quo. Since its initial unveiling way back in 2020, the Endorphin Series from Saucony and more specifically the Endorphin Speed has developed an almost cult like following.

Offering near super shoe levels of performance in a more versatile, accommodating and approachable package, the Endorphin Speed has always been held in high regard by runners far and wide.

Now in it’s 4th iteration, Endorphin Speed 4 looks to build on the silos lineage with subtle yet impactful updates. Pro:Direct Running Club Wear Testers (and general running shoe fanatics) Tom Folan and Dan Prettejohn got their hands on a pair to see what all the fuss is about so keep reading for all the scoop!


First Impressions

Tom
Well, first of all I should say that after missing out on the first generation of Endorphin Speed, I absolutely adored the Endorphin Speed 2 racking up almost 750km on my pair. There is not a week that goes by without some kind of steady or progression run of varying volume on the plan and this type of sub-threshold effort is where the Endorphin Speed 2 really shone for me.

Straight out of the box, the ES4 is a real looker. If you know me, you know my affinity for white shoes so the White/Viziorange colour way I got are doing all sorts for me in the aesthetics department.

Looks aside, the main thing that struck me is the seeming increase in build quality over its predecessors. From the updated upper, to the plusher tongue and more considered midsole tooling, the Speed 4 feels overall like a more premium product both in hand and on foot.

Dan
I’ve been a huge fan of previous versions of the Saucony Endorphin Speed, so naturally I felt nothing short of excitement to get the latest update and see if they live up to the standard I’ve come to expect.

Immediately you can’t help but notice that the overall silhouette of this shoe is more modern, it looks more aggressive, retaining some of the smooth flowing lines on the midsole and adding more jagged contemporary shape with some bold statement colours throughout.

The upper feels light and super breathable but still has some reinforced padding around the ankle/heel area to aid comfort. There looks to be a sensible amount of rubber on the outsole so I would hope to be able to clock up some good mileage in this shoe. Overall, it looks like a strong update.
Fit

Tom
In terms of fit, I went true to size with a UK 8.5 and found that to be spot on for me. About half a thumbs width of length in the toe box, enough volume to wiggle around without feeling like my feet are in a straight jacket and solid heel lock down without unwanted Achilles pressure.

The only caveat I’ll add is that those with particularly wide feet may want to consider a half size up or looking elsewhere. Now I can’t say I’ve gone round and compared my feet to a sample size of the general population and honestly even the thought of that makes me feel a bit queasy but I would say I have a pretty normal set of trotters. That said, I was acutely aware of narrowing around both the lateral and medial sides of the midfoot region in the Endorphin Speed 4. Nothing that has caused any issues, just something to be aware of.

As mentioned, lockdown is excellent and a secure fit is easy to achieve thanks to luxuriously elasticated laces and redesigned eyelet chain.

Dan
There isn’t much to say here other than the fit was spot on! As a regular 9.5 UK in many other shoes, this felt perfectly familiar on foot. For me personally it felt like the type of shoe that you could lace up in seconds and hit up a half marathon effort straight out of the box without any thoughts of discomfort. That’s the dream, right?
Performance

Tom
Ohh yes, the juicy bit. I could save you a few minutes and say right off the bat that the Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 is still undoubtedly one of the very best do it all running shoes on the market but if you’ll entertain me, I’d love to dive deeper into exactly why.

I’ve done about 50km in the ES4 at the time of writing this review. A mixture of easy miles, strides, progressions runs and a 90 minute long run to be precise and to be honest, its incredibly hard to find fault with this update.

May sound like a funny place to start, but the redesigned lattice outsole that resembles a delicious pastry is very effective in wet conditions and a big update on its sometimes squirrelly predecessor.

The midsole continues to provide a comfortable ride at easier paces thanks to the 36mm of PWRRUN PB throughout but immediately leaps into action when clipping along at a steadier pace once the nylon plate is engaged. Whether you’re more of a rear or mid/forefoot striker, I think the enjoyment factor of this shoe transcends all gaits.

It is lightweight but still substantial in construction meaning I was perfectly comfortable for the duration of my long run and thanks to a relatively wide base of the shoe, stability was no reason for concern either.

Dan
For me this shoe is a bit special, there aren’t many shoes you can do almost everything in, but this is that shoe.

I’ve covered interval sessions, tempo runs and easy runs and all of them felt great. It’s got enough cushioning to look after your legs but the sensation of ‘pushing you onto your toes’ is something I’ve always enjoyed about this shoe due to the strong forefoot curve in the midsole. It means if you land on your heel or midfoot you benefit from the cushioning on impact, but when you push off with your toes they feel closer to the ground and therefore you are able to get a strong push off.

Combine that with the plate that is buried within the midsole foam to aid propulsion, and you’re onto a winner. For lovers of the previous versions this feels like a familiar sensation on foot but in my opinion the cushioning is notably better.

Conclusion

Tom
In conclusion then, I could shout from the rooftops about how great this shoe is and with an ever-growing, increasingly competitive market place, Saucony are doing gods work with the Endorphin Speed keeping it firmly at the top of the heap. Id have no hesitation recommending the Endorphin Speed 4 to anyone who’s looking for a desert island, one shoe to rule them all type purchase. Cushioned enough for easy miles, packs enough of a punch for race day.

As far as comparisons are concerned, I’d also highly encourage checking out the plateless, slightly lighter and super foam powered New Balance Rebel V4 as well as the HOKA Mach 6.

Dan
This might just be the most versatile shoe on the market right now. If you are a runner who is looking for one pair of shoes to do everything then this could be a brilliant option. Equally, if you already have a top end carbon racing shoe, then these are the perfect training companion to mix into your shoe rotation.

 

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Tom Folan

My name's Tom, former professional football freestyler turned long distance runner. As a self-proclaimed running shoe aficionado, I love keeping up with the latest performance innovation and product releases almost as much as I enjoy running in them. With a running specialty retail background, I hope to provide some valuable insight and aid you in finding your next favourite item of running kit!
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Saucony Endorphin Speed 4

Grab a pair for yourself now!

Shop Men's Shop Women's

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