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Saucony Endorphin Elite review

With a retail price of almost £300, the carbon-plated Saucony Endorphin Elite must be some shoe... but is it a good option for triathlon racing? We find out

Our rating 
4.1 out of 5 star rating 4.1
Saucony Endorphin Elite running shoe

Saucony’s latest carbon shoe, the Endorphin Elite, had us continually wanting to run in them, but does that make them suitable to tri?

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Saucony Endorphin Elite review

Well, let’s start with that fantastic ride… the experience comes from a 39.5mm high wedge of PWRRUN HG foam combined with an ultra-light 189g weight and a spatula-shaped carbon plate that provides high levels of responsiveness (heel-to-toe drop is 8mm).

Breathability is excellent due to the mesh upper and webbed tongue, while areas of the upper are literally missing to aid ventilation and weight reduction.

It certainly achieves that, but frustratingly for triathlon, that slightly coarse upper isn’t ideal for going sockless.

The heel counter also fell inwards at times when trying to put these on at speed, while the slender heel isn’t the most secure, either.

The outsole’s exposed areas are already showing signs of wear, which isn’t what you want on £280 shoes.

On the plus side, we always like to hear that a shoe contains recycled materials, as Saucony says this one does, though we’re not quite sure how much.

Overall, though, there’s much to admire in this speedy and supportive shoe, and if it weren’t for a few missing triathlon-friendly features, it’d undoubtedly score higher.

Verdict: Swift, stable and fun, yet durability concerns for the huge price.

Score: 83%

Also consider…

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

If you’re budget doesn’t stretch to almost £300, you may want to consider the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3.

Part of the same range, the Speed 3 is designed for speed workouts and fast running, so is likely to be suitable to racing as well as training.

Instead of a carbon plate it used a ‘winged’ nylon plate, which the brand says is designed to support your run from toe-off to landing.

This, combined with Saucony’s Speedroll techonology and PWRRUNPB foam cushioning, is said to offer a light, propulsive and fast ride.

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Stack height comes in at 36mm rather than the 39.5 you get from the Endorphin Elite, while the drop is the same (8mm).