The Best From Our Tests: Saucony Endorphin Edge Review

Saucony's high-end trail running shoe is one of the best we've worn

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Saucony Endorphin Edge

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

A few years back, Saucony launched its Endorphin line of shoes, which features its proprietary PWRRUN PB foam cushioning. The line featured the Pro for racing and speed workouts, the Speed for speed workouts and uptempo runs, and the Shift for everyday training and walking. Plush, responsive, and fast, the Endorphin line quickly became one of my favorites for hard and fast road workouts and races.

So when Saucony released its first trail shoe in the Endorphin line last summer, the Endorphin Edge, I was excited to try a pair on my local trails and in some trail races. But I also had lofty expectations. Based on my previous experience with other Endorphin shoes, I expected a cushy, responsive, and fast ride. And based on my experience with the Hoka Tecton X trail running shoes—one of the only other pair of carbon-plated trail runners I've tested—I also expected a lot.

A few months and a few hundred miles later, I can confidently say the Endorphin Edge kicks are one of the best pairs of trail runners I've worn. They're on par, if not better, than the Hoka Tecton X shoes. Below, I break down why.

Saucony Endorphin Edge

Saucony Endorphin Edge

Saucony

A secure and comfy fit for speedy confidence on the trails

There are many reasons to love the Endorphin Edge. One of those is comfort with security. The shoes are not overly tight but fit in the correct places for confident speed on trails and surfaces of all sorts. A moisture-wicking mesh upper wraps the foot securely in place. At the base is the PWRRUN PB midsole, which Saucony calls its most dynamic and responsive cushioning. A Carbitex-built carbon plate separates the midsole from the full-length rock guard.

I have wide and flat feet and tend to gravitate more toward wide-width shoes, but this medium fit works well for me. There's a bit more width and space in the toe box compared to Saucony's Peregrine, but it narrows a bit at the midfoot and heel, which helps the shoes feel secure. I also feel these shoes are a bit wider and have a slightly better fit and feel than Hoka's Tecton X. Overall, the shoe fits true to size, and I had no problem immediately taking this pair out for a 10-miler out of the box.

Saucony Endorphin Edge

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

Excellent traction and control on loose rock, mud, dirt, and everything in-between

Next to comfort and fit, traction is probably the second-most important aspect to consider when purchasing a pair of trail running shoes. Excellent traction not only boosts efficiency and confidence but is also safer, helping keep you upright and on the trail. Saucony employs its PWRTRAC outsole with 4-millimeter lugs, which to me, is the perfect lug size for most trails and runners.

I've found the traction of these shoes incredibly grippy on multiple surfaces and conditions. They hold onto loose rock and dirt well and have remained secure in muddy situations. The combination of fit and grip is what makes these shoes really perform well at top speeds. And, again, compared to the Tecton X from Hoka, the grip just feels a tad more secure.

Saucony Endorphin Edge

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

So far these shoes don't have much wear and tear

Two things concerned me about the durability of these shoes. First, I've noticed that some super-foam in super-shoes like these can compress over time. Second, I've had durability issues with Saucony's Peregrine. But more than 200 miles in, and these shoes still look and perform well, sans some color chipping away on the foam (which is sad considering I have the hot pink version).

Maybe Saucony is onto something with its PWRRUN PB foam, which doesn't seem to compress over time like similar foam in the Nike and Asics shoes I've tested. Or maybe it's that the pounding has been primarily on trails instead of pavement. Either way, the foam seems to hold up well.

I also think the fit and width of the Endorphin Edges help compare to the Peregrines, which have begun to rip apart where the upper meets the soles for me after a few hundred miles. The Edges seem to be holding together much better.

Saucony Endorphin Edge

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

The Endorphin Edges are pricey, but worth it

Like any running shoe with carbon fiber plates and futuristic super-foam, the Endorphin Edges are pricey at $200. But I still think they're worth it for a specific type of trail runner (more on that in a bit). I keep comparing them to the Hoka Tecton X because it's really the only other shoe I've run in, similar to the Endorphin Edge in terms of quality and true speed on trails. The Tecton X is also $200, but I think not quite as good as the Endorphin Edge.

Who should buy the Saucony Endorphin Edge?

The Endorphin Edge is for anyone running trail races or looking to buy a speedy shoe for off-road surfaces. The women's version weighs a little over 7 ounces per shoe, and the men's is 9 ounces in size 9. A 6-millimeter drop combined with Saucony's proprietary SPEEDROLL tech propels you forward without feeling like you're going to catapult off the trail. And the 4-millimeter lugs are aggressive enough to boost confidence. I haven't taken these shoes on runs of more than 20 miles, but the wider toe box and fit make me feel like they could handle the foot swelling that occurs in longer trail races. They're not Altra or Topo wide, but wider than the Tecton Xs. Simply put: If you're planning on racing on trails, these are the shoes I currently recommend most.

Why Trust TripSavvy

Nathan Allen is TripSavvy's Outdoor Gear Editor and a competitive trail runner. A former collegiate cross country and track athlete, he simply can't let the sport go and continues to train at high mileage on the trails next to his home in Ventura County, California. Nathan tests shoes on trails year-round. He usually rotates between Saucony, Hoka, Altra, and Topo trail running shoes.

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