Content from: Saucony Athlete, Katie Asmuth
Shop Now: Get your feet in the Endorphin Trail
I could not wait to get my hands on the highly-anticipated Endorphin Trail. The day I received a pair in the mail, a flood of emotion arose. “Where will these shoes take me?!” I thought as I ripped open the box.
My first take on the design of the shoe was that these shoes are for having FUN! They exude a wild time on trails and I just couldn’t wait to get out the door.
My route was a 13-mile loop in John Muir Wilderness and Inyo National Forest outside of Mammoth Lakes, CA. The Mammoth Crest Duck Pass Loop runs from Lake George to Crystal Lake, finally passing Duck Lake and making my way back to the beginning with many smaller lakes dispersed in between. With about 2800 feet of vertical gain, it’s a stunning alpine route in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, with magnificent views of the entire Lakes Basin and wildflowers galore.
The route starts with a 2-mile, single-track climb through a fir and pine forest, eventually leading to a sandy switchback to Mammoth Crest. I felt propelled forward on the ascent with the Endorphin Trail’s PWRRUN PB midsole. This is the same award-winning superfoam as the others in the Endorphin series, but this has been modified for trail. It has extra protection, aggressive lugs and SPEEDROLL Technology — and gives you that spring-like “pop” when pushing off the ground.
At about 4.5 miles, I hit the highest point of the crest where I began a steep descent to Deer Lakes.
I was impressed how my foot sat into the shoe, supported and enveloped with a sock-like feel. The snug fit is perfect for technical descents. I cruised with arms wide open, admittedly some whoops and hollers from the endorphin rush (pun intended:). When I got to the valley, I reached Deer Lakes, 3 alpine lakes surrounded by high mountain walls. After a quick jump in the lake and a snack, I headed up the mountain wall. The trail up was less defined, with some rocky scramble. I was appreciating the Endorphin Trail’s lugs, when I saw a snowy patch that I would have to cross. Ready for anything, I charged ahead and, again, wanted to kiss the outsole as the shoe handled with ease. It felt like my shoes were just as excited to be on the trail as I was. After I crossed the plateau, another bowl opened up to Duck Lake. The expanse of the open sky with the lake glittering in the distance was breathtaking. I crossed a meadow and then floated down the descent to Duck Pass Trail. The Endorphin Trail’s cushion and highly responsive foam carried me to the pass, which led me back to the Mammoth Lakes Basin. Passing more lakes, more technical descent, I made my way back home. I felt like the Endorphin Trail was my running buddy all day having as much fun as I did! This shoe is meant to make memories exploring.
The Endorphin Trail is a highly efficient running shoe with the comfort and responsiveness needed for long adventure days. It is going to be my new go-to for daily training but will dominate as a racing shoe for shorter trail races or ultras. It combines the best of road with trail protection and durability.
Running in these shoes, you feel wild and free, which is exactly how you are supposed to feel outside. Speedy adventures await! Endorphin Trail: I can’t wait to see what records you will break.