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Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 review

8 expert score
10 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at a store with our own money.
Review written on 31st January by Brandon Law Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
157 other reviews

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Verdict

The Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 is a good racer which is best suited to marathon racing. It has a soft, stable ride and a very stiff carbon plate but it isn't in the top tier of racers due to its midsole foams and geometry. Version 4 has a softer ride and a less aggressive forefoot rocker so it doesn't have as much oomph but it has more long-distance comfort.

The pros

  • Improved upper comfort
  • Durable midsole foam
  • No more tongue slide
  • Grippier outsole
  • Softer ride

The cons

  • Narrow toe box - need to size up
  • Less aggressive forefoot rocker
  • Feels slower than v3


Rating breakdown

Comfort
8.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
7.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
7.0
Traction
10
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
9.0

Facts / Specs

Brand
Model
Endorphin Pro 4
Family
Previous model
Weight
7.4 oz (210 g)
MSRP
$225.00

Heel
39.5 mm.
Toe
31.5 mm.
Heel drop
8 mm.
Carbon plate
Full length carbon plate

Size/Fit

Sizing
Buy half size bigger
Heel fit
Normal
Midfoot fit
Normal
Toebox fit
Tight

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Balanced/plush
Amount of cushioning
Highly cushioned
Stability
Some stability
Flexibility
Rigid

Usage

Racing  
Speedwork  
Daily training
Long distance racing
Ultra distance racing

Who should buy the Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 ?

If you are looking for your first carbon-plated racer, the Endorphin Pro 4 is a great option which has a “friendly” ride. It has good stability, excellent cushioning and comes in at a lower price than most flagship super shoes.

Who should not buy the Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 ?

If you enjoyed the Endorphin Pro 3 but you want something more aggressive and faster, the Endorphin Pro 4 is not the shoe for you.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Introduction

Picture of Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

When a brand introduces a new product into their range, they often have to adjust existing products to differentiate them from the new product.

An example of this is when Nike reintroduced the Structure (stability) series and they then had to make the Infinity Run series more neutral by toning down its arch and removing its heel clip.

Another example is when ASICS created the Novablast, a daily trainer and in turn had to make the Cumulus fill a different role in the lineup (now a Nimbus Lite alternative).

In the Saucony road racing series, the new product that was introduced is the Endorphin Elite and the existing product which needed to be adjusted was the Endorphin Pro.

Picture of Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

The Endorphin Pro used to be Saucony’s top-of-the-range long distance super shoe but last year, they launched the Endorphin Elite. The Endorphin Elite weighs the same as the Endorphin Pro 3 with the main difference being that the Elite has a more aggressive toe-spring with a more prominent rocker, providing the runner with more speed assistance.

I prefer the Endo Elite to the Endo Pro 3 because it feels faster. It also has a wider toe box so it’s more comfortable for long runs like marathons. The Endo Pro 3 is however a lot more durable because it has more outsole rubber. The Pro 3 is also much cheaper so that’s the shoe I would recommend to most runners (provided they size up).

I didn’t ever use my Endo Pro 3 for racing because I felt that it didn’t provide as much speed assistance as some of the other super shoes, mainly due to its less responsive PWRRUN PB midsole and its less aggressive forefoot rocker.

Since the Endo Pro 3 was a complete redesign, I expected the Endo Pro 4 to be an upper-only update but they have pleasantly surprised me with a brand new design. They’ve added some new upgrades like PWRRUN HG, a new insole and a knitted tongue.

The Endorphin Pro 4 weighs 7.4 oz (210 g). This is 0.2 oz (6 g) heavier than the Endo Pro 3 and the Endo Elite. It is expected to launch next year. I paid 240 USD for my pair but when launched, I expect it to be the same price as the Endo Pro 3 (225 USD) or slightly higher.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 First Impressions

Picture of Saucony Endorphin Pro 4


My first run was an interval workout which was 10 x 500 m. The most striking thing was how much softer it felt compared to the Endo Pro 3. I could also feel that the toe-spring was not as aggressive so the forefoot rocker wasn’t as prominent but it still felt like a fast, long-distance racer.

The toe-box felt very narrow, just like the Endo Pro 3 and I regretted not going up a half size. The rest of the upper was really comfortable and I enjoyed the new, knitted tongue. I was impressed with how grippy the new outsole felt.

The shoe that it reminded me of was the Puma Deviate Nitro Elite v2, another soft super shoe that also has a gentle forefoot rocker. Both racers have exactly the same weight but the upper of the Endo Pro 3 is softer and more comfortable.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Upper

Picture of Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

The upper of the Endo Pro 4 is softer and more foot conforming than the previous version. It has a knitted tongue, similar to the Prime X 2 Strung which I find to be really comfortable but it does pucker when I cinch the laces. This is the most comfortable Endo Pro upper to date.

The best thing about the new, knitted tongue is that it is attached on both sides to the upper so there’s no tongue slide like on the Endo Pro 3. The downside is that the knitted material absorbs moisture. It also doesn’t have the large holes in the tongue for ventilation that the Endo Pro 3 had. The collar is lightly padded and foot lockdown is top-notch.

The Endo Pro 4 does not fit true to size. The length is fine but it has a very narrow toe-box and I would go up a half size if I bought it again. I have to wear really thin socks when I’m using the Pro 4. This is definitely not an option for runners with wide feet.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Sole Unit

Picture of Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

The Endo Pro 4 feels like a tamer beast than the Endo Pro 3. The ride is plusher, more comfortable and more relaxed. The thing that I miss most when running in the Endo Pro 4 is the higher toe-spring and the more aggressive forefoot rocker of the previous version. This helped me maintain a fast pace when my legs were tiring.

The Endo Pro 4 feels better on longer, slower runs, compared to the Endo Pro 3 which felt better at shorter, faster runs. It lost some of the punchiness but gained more long-distance comfort.

The Endo Pro 4 works for a variety of runs for me, from long, easy runs to fast, short intervals. I would say that it’s best suited to marathon pace which is 4:35 per km (7:22 per mile) for me. I find it lacking some oomph for the really fast stuff like intervals.

You can see a small section of PWRRUN HG sticking out on the upper section of the heel; it has a different texture to the rest of the midsole. Most of the PWRRUN HG is situated in a core inside the shoe, above the carbon plate.

Even though PWRRUN HG is now the premier Saucony midsole foam, I was disappointed when I found out that it would be coming to the Endorphin Pro series. The first time I experienced PWRRUN HG was in the Endorphin Elite: it felt firmer and less responsive than PWRRUN PB.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about because the PWRRUN HG in the Endo Pro 4 feels completely different to the one in the Endo Elite- it feels noticeably softer and bouncier than the first version of it. The Endo Pro 4 has a ride which is softer than most super shoes: only the Vaporfly 3, Rocket X 2 and SuperComp Elite v3 are softer.

There’s a new insole in the Endo Pro 3 and it differs from the PWRRUN+ insole of the Endo Pro 3. This glued-down insole is white and has a spongy texture to it: it’s softer so it provides more step-in comfort. It feels like it could be a supercritical foam insole but we won’t know for sure until it’s launched.

Picture of Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

Something that I notice when wearing the Endo Pro 3 on 1 foot, the Endo Pro 4 on the other foot at the same time is how much more compression there is during foot strikes in the Endo Pro 4. With the higher level of compression, comes better stability because your feet are lower to the ground. The firmer PWRRUN PB edges of the midsole also cup your feet when the soft core of the midsole is loaded so stability is noticeably improved in the Endo Pro 4.

My favourite new feature of the Endo Pro 4 is its outsole. It now has more aggressive forefoot rubber so it bites into the ground better. This is currently the best gripping outsole of this year’s crop of super shoes and if I had to pick one for wet weather racing, I’d pick the Endo Pro 4.

Another good change is that the rubber on the rearfoot lateral side now extends right to the edge, unlike last year’s version which stopped a couple millimetres short, so the midsole foam has more protection if you’re a heel striker.

The Endo Pro 4 has held up exceptionally well during the testing with minimal wear on the outsole. There also aren’t many creases on the midsole due to the beaded PEBA foam so I expect it to have better durability than the average super shoe.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 Conclusions

Picture of Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

The Endorphin Pro 4 is vastly different to the previous version. It’s softer, stabler, has a grippier outsole and has a more comfortable upper. The big downside is that it doesn’t feel as fast because of its less aggressive forefoot rocker and its plusher ride.

I would pick the Endo Pro 3 over the new Endo Pro 4 because during racing and workouts, I prefer more speed assistance over comfort. Version 4’s ride feels a lot more relaxed to me. I chatted to an elite marathon runner who has tried both, and he also prefers the Endo Pro 3 over the Endo Pro 4.

Saucony is definitely trying to differentiate it from the Endorphin Elite which is designed for very fast runners. They intentionally gave the Endo Pro 4 a less aggressive ride because otherwise, nobody will purchase the $50 more, less durable, Endo Elite.

The Endorphin Pro 4 will suit a wider range of runners due to its “friendlier” ride- it feels better at slower paces and has softer cushioning. Fast runners who loved the Endorphin Pro 3 and are looking for something similar will now have to shell out extra cash for the Endorphin Elite if they want to stick with Saucony.

Picture of Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

I personally don’t think that Saucony needed to change the Endo Pro to the extent they have with this latest version. Their plan to differentiate it from the Endo Elite could backfire and runners who were previously Endo Pro fans might switch to something like the Adios Pro or the Vaporfly instead of upgrading to the Endo Elite.

The Endorphin Pro 4 is not one of the top-tier racers in my opinion and this new version has gone down a level in the super shoe rankings.

It is however still a very good marathon racer with no major flaws (if you go up a half size) at an excellent price point. If Saucony can keep the Endo Pro 4 at $225, it will continue to be one of the best value marathon racers on the market.

How does the Endorphin Pro 4 compare?

Saucony Endorphin Elite
Saucony Endorphin Pro 4
Saucony Endorphin Pro 3
Expert score
9
8
8
User score
Retail price
US$275
US$225
US$225
Weight
7.2 oz
7.4 oz
7.2 oz
Heel Drop
8 mm
8 mm
8 mm
Recommended for
Racing
Racing, speedwork
Racing, speedwork, long distance racing
Cushioning type
balanced
balanced/plush
balanced
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Flexibility
rigid
rigid
rigid
Stability
some stability
some stability
some stability
Sizing
true to size
buy half size bigger
buy half size bigger

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of Saucony at a store  with our own money.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about our policy.

Reviewed by Brandon

This review was written by Brandon Law on 31st January.
Brandon is a South African who lives and trains in Malaysia. He is a marathon runner who eats, sleeps and dreams running shoes. While most people wear shoes to run, he runs to wear shoes.

User feedback (4)

  • avatar-comment-1033558
    Dallob
    5 months ago

    I don’t get why a company would make their supershoe less aggressive for longer distance racing but force you to squeeze into a narrow toebox better suited to short distance. Poor move, Saucony.

  • avatar-comment-1033479
    Faris
    5 months ago

    Thanks for another great review. So based on that this shoe wouldn’t be great for 5k, 10K races either. I really cannot wait for the Speed 4. Hope saucony will actually make it a dedicated speed shoe,

  • avatar-comment-1033415
    Robert
    6 months ago
    10 score

    Great review with a lot of info.
    Question: How stable is the heel cup ? E.g. Like Speed 2 or flexible like pro 2. I prefer to have a stable one.

  • avatar-comment-1033388
    @fabsterun
    6 months ago
    10 score

    Thanks for an amazing review, going to be a fun ride shoe for sure than

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