Good Content from: Ted Fitzpatrick, Senior Director of Product Management
Shop: The Endorphin Collection
Carbon-plated racing shoes have been all the rage in the running industry this year. The Saucony Endorphin Pro hit the market this Spring with a bang when Molly Seidel qualified for Tokyo in a pair. Then it went on sale in May and almost every pair was snapped up immediately by runners looking to try it out despite no races taking place due to COVID-19. The reviews on the shoe were overwhelmingly positive. The Endorphin Pro was hyped up before it released so it was great to see it live up to the expectations.
The success of the Pro makes me when think about when you don’t get all the hype because you are overshadowed by your big brother or big sister. That’s exactly where the Endorphin Speed at $160 comes into play for Saucony. The Endorphin Speed is the “little brother” or “little sister” to the carbon-plated Pro and it debuts July 1st.
This story starts with the genesis of the Endorphin Speed. During the development of the Pro we began to see some of our Freedom Track Club athletes wearing prototype test pairs for more than racing or hard tempo runs. Brian Shrader was often spotted in a test pair on his non-workout days. The quicker transition, forward roll and lightweight feel was something he liked even on easy days, long runs and maintenance runs. The PwrRun PB foam is second to none. It is super light with amazing energy efficiency. And we were hearing from our athletes that it was sensation they loved to run in frequently if not daily. This insight led to the co-development of the Endorphin Speed while we were building the Pro. We realized there was a huge unmet need with a lightweight, high-energy-return everyday shoe with our SpeedRoll geometry. We decided that you don’t have to be an elite athlete racing a marathon or trying to set a road PR to enjoy what the Endorphin and SpeedRoll geometry is all about. We set out to democratize the new feel of fast in the endorphin Speed. We wanted to bring fast to the everyday runner.
The product team identified three “creature comforts” to engineer into the Speed. First, we took inspiration from the Kinvara and designed an upper with a bit more comfort and support. That’s where the more substantial heel counter, collar foam and tongue package come into play. Second, we traded out the super thin single layer engineered mesh in the Pro for a more substantial engineered mono-mesh. The mono-mesh construction keeps it light and breathable, but with added structure and durability for everyday. Finally, we traded out the carbon plate for a nylon plate. We knew through testing that the plate was critical to create a more efficient “hips forward” sensation and our signature SpeedRoll. Swapping from carbon to nylon kept SpeedRoll as part of the package, but in a slightly more flexible everyday form. Testing proved out the changes we made to deliver a great everyday shoe with a faster feel and more efficient ride. And the best part is it came in under 8 oz. for a men’s size 9 and under 7 oz. for a women’s size 8. It truly has everything a runner could want. Lightweight, energy return, soft cushion, everyday comfort and it looks fantastic. All for $160! Buyer beware though. Once you start logging the miles in the Speed your other running shoes won’t feel the same. You are welcome.