Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 Review: All This For $170, Really?!

Alastair shares how this versatile, stylish running shoe excels in both races and training without breaking the bank.

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All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links, we may earn a commission.

In this Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 review, I’ll be sharing all the insights from my runs over the past few weeks with these dynamic trainers and race day running shoes. I’ll cover the key specs, the features I’m loving, and those that could use a tweak in future iterations. Plus, I’ll dive into how these features play out on the run, for better or for worse, and ultimately, whether they’re worth the investment.

Despite its modest price tag of $170, the Endorphin Speed 4 isn’t just any entry-level running shoe; it’s designed to be a multipurpose workhorse, capable of handling everything from speedy training sessions and race day efforts, to your regular daily miles. It offers the flexibility needed for diverse running demands, possibly even becoming a single go-to shoe in your arsenal if you’re not a fan of max cushioned recovery/long run trainers.

When it comes to race day, however, you may be wondering whether this model can hold its own or if you’re better off leaning towards a more specialized super shoe – I’m going to help you answer that today, as well as how the Endorphin Speed 4 stacks up in varied training scenarios, and if it can handle the rigors of both high-speed work and long-distance comfort.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 Review | Trail & Kale
Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 Review | Trail & Kale

Keep reading for a thorough breakdown in this review, and if you have any questions afterward, feel free to drop them in the comments below!

🔔 As a reminder, we always create video reviews of all the running shoes we review, so you can watch our Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 video review, next, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for reviews of all the latest running shoes as they drop.

The Key Specifications

  • Price: $170 at saucony.com
  • Sizing and fit: I recommend going with your usual sizing. If you’re on the bottom end of your current sizing, you may want to go down a half size, but for wide feet, stick with your usual size.
  • Weight: 8.5oz (241g) for a size US(M)9 (my pair).
  • Drop: 8 mm drop (heel: 36 mm / forefoot: 28 mm)
  • Toe box width: Medium/wide.
  • Support: Neutral, although the winged nylon plate does make them stable.
  • Midsole Cushioning: SPEEDROLL geometry for speedy smooth turnover and propulsive forward motion. Features PWRRUN PB foam that has a well balanced mix of cushioning and response and a nylon plate for extra propulsion.
  • Best for: Daily training, tempo runs, interval sessions, race day.

Does this sound like what you need? Then keep reading…

The Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 is an economical choice for race day, switching out the conventional carbon fiber plate for a more cost-effective nylon plate. While this substitution may slightly reduce propulsion compared to carbon fiber, it greatly enhances the shoe’s flexibility in all directions, which I demonstrate in my video review on our Youtube channel.

The Nylon plate features a winged design, which I’ll detail further in a moment but essentially this feature contributes to the shoe’s stability and propulsion on the run, making it an excellent pick for runners seeking a high-performing yet budget-friendly option. Whether it’s daily training or more intense speed sessions, including tempo runs and intervals, this shoe can handle it all really well.

This budget-friendly option (for a race day shoe) promises a lot, and it absolutely delivers; the Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 is a fantastic running shoe.

Expanding on the key specs, and what they mean for you on your run

Before I share my performance breakdown, I want to quickly go over the key and innovative features of the Saucony Endorphin Speed 4, and explain what they mean for your running experience, as it will help when reading my performance review in a moment.

Priced at $170, the Endorphin Speed 4 offers substantial value, especially when compared to higher-end models like the Nike Alphafly 3 at $285 and the HOKA Cielo X1 priced around $275. While these models are designed as elite race day shoes, the Endorphin Speed 4 brings a similar level of performance, making it highly effective for both race day and regular training runs at a significantly lower cost.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 Review: All This For $170, Really?! 1 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

In terms of fit, they run true to size, so sticking with your regular shoe size is advisable – there’s ample room inside, but if you find yourself at the lower end of your usual size, consider sizing down a half size for a snugger fit. Conversely, if you have wider feet, your standard size should suffice.

The pair I have, sent by Saucony, is my usual size (US(M)9), and they provide a comfortable airy fit with plenty of space, and the upper material cinches down nicely, offering a secure, hugging feel around my feet, thanks to an effective lacing system.

Now, moving on to the midsole, the Endorphin Speed 4 utilizes Speedroll technology, a design choice involving a specific combination of foams that supports a smooth transition from heel strike to toe-off.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 Review: All This For $170, Really?! 2 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

This design aims to enhance the efficiency of your run over longer distances, where the smoothness of each step reduces fatigue. The midsole’s PWRRUN PB foam strikes an really nice balance between cushioning and responsiveness, leaning slightly towards the latter to favor speed and agility. However, I still find there’s enough cushioning – see my compression test below.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 Review: All This For $170, Really?! 3 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

Additionally, the nylon plate embedded within the midsole (the black line you see in the image above), which is winged, enhances stability during runs. This feature, while not converting the shoe into a stability model, provides noticeable support that adds to the overall stability during runs.

The shoe features an 8mm drop, with a stack height of 36mm at the heel and 28mm at the toe, supporting a nice running posture.

And finally, weighing in at just 8.5 ounces for a US size 9, it’s very lightweight for its price category, contributing to its status as an excellent option for both training and racing. This combination of lightweight design, responsive cushioning, and enhanced stability makes the Endorphin Speed 4 a really great choice for those who need a versatile trainer.

👋🏼 If this is your first time on Trail & Kale, welcome! This site (and our YouTube channel) are designed to help you run your best, through our training plans, 101 run tips, and insightful, honest running shoe reviews, just like this one. Subscribe to our Newsletter to get full access to our Training Plans, and to stay up to date with all the latest running gear reviews.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 performance review

Alright, you’ve made it to my performance review – hopefully, my breakdown of the key specifications was helpful, I always aim to clarify what all the technical jargon actually means for your runs, as it’s crucial for understanding whether these features perform as expected when you’re out running in them.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 performance review
Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 performance review

The Endorphin Speed 4 is, frankly, a phenomenal shoe for the price, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with its performance during my test runs and it has earned a permanent spot in my rotation of training shoes just because it’s so lightweight and easy to run in. It has also earned itself an Editor’s Choice Award.

While I’m lucky to have access to a variety of high-end “super shoes” due to my line of work, I totally understand that for many people, they are prohibitively expensive.

Not everyone can or wants to invest in such costly gear, which makes the more reasonably priced $170 Endorphin Speed 4 a highly attractive option.

Breathable upper and roomy toe box
Breathable upper and roomy toe box

This shoe is incredibly comfortable and responsive on the move. The upper is highly breathable, which aids in temperature regulation inside the shoe, an essential feature for those high intensity training sessions or races – but also on hot summer days.

This roomy upper design also gives your feet room to expand without feeling cramped during your run, and the traditional lacing system secures a snug fit, enhancing overall support.

The tongue of the shoe is stretchy and stays in place without sliding down, adding to the overall comfort.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 Review: All This For $170, Really?! 4 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

I appreciate how difficult it can be to strike a balance between cushioning and responsiveness – and I have a feeling that some may feel the cushioning is slightly lacking. However, it’s important to remember that excessive cushioning can detract from the versatility of a running shoe.

For those who prioritize racing and speed training, a responsive shoe is preferable. The Endorphin Speed 4 offers a fine balance, making it an excellent partner for both fast-paced sessions and slower, recovery jogs.

Adding to this point, using the same shoe for training and racing can boost your confidence on race day. You’re already familiar with how the shoe feels, whether you’re running a marathon or shorter distances, this familiarity is invaluable.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 Review: All This For $170, Really?! 5 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

For $170, you get a shoe that not only supports a wide range of training sessions but also holds up well over many miles thanks to the durable PWRRUN PB foam in the midsole.

➡ If you’re enjoying this review do me a favor, drop a comment down below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more running shoe reviews just like this one. If you’re familiar with these running shoes, share your thoughts on them in the comments.

Is the Endorphin Speed 4 worth buying?


So, is the Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 worth the $170 price tag? From my perspective, laid out in this review, it’s probably clear that this shoe is an excellent buy at that price. The versatility alone makes it a significant asset, as it seamlessly transitions from training sessions to race days.

Aesthetically, my colorway has a vibrant orange colorway that may not appeal to everyone, but there’s much more to appreciate beyond the hue, and there are plenty more color options to choose from. The silhouette and overall geometry of the Endorphin Speed 4 give it an aggressive yet streamlined look, which in my opinion, looks very attractive on foot.

I’m eager to hear your thoughts on this model – have you had a chance to run in the Endorphin Speed 4, or perhaps a previous version? What are your impressions of its design and performance? Do you like how it looks? Drop your experiences and opinions in the comments below, I’m looking forward to reading about how this shoe has worked out for you in your own run training.

Thank you for reading this Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 review, I hope you found the insights helpful – and if you did, consider sharing it with friends who might also find it useful. Don’t forget to subscribe to our Newsletter, so you don’t miss our other in-depth running shoe reviews as they drop. Your support means a lot us, and I look forward to bringing you more running shoe reviews you can rely on. Until next time, take care and keep running. -Alastair

YouTube Video review

Did you know we also create shoe review videos on our YouTube Channel too? Click the image below to watch our Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 review on YouTube next.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 Review: All This For $170, Really?! 6 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure
Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.

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