Saucony Endorphin Elite VS Endorphin Pro 4: What Should I Buy?

For runners searching for lightweight, highly responsive marathon racing shoes or trainers that can pick up the pace on training days, two models from Saucony’s popular Endorphin line stand out—the Endorphin Elite and the Endorphin Pro 4.

We put these two fast, cushioned shoes head to head to compare key specs and test performance to help you decide which is the better option for your needs.

Similarities And Differences Between Saucony Endorphin Elite And Endorphin Pro 4:

FeatureEndorphin EliteEndorphin Pro 4
Launched In20232024
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingStandardStandard
Weight7.4 oz8.4 oz
CushionHighHigh
OutsoleEVERUN TopXT-900 Carbon Rubber
MidsolePWRRUN PB FoamPWRRUN PB Foam
UpperMeshEngineered Air Mesh
Retail Price$275$248

Features Comparison:

Material:

The Endorphin Elite utilizes a single-layer mesh upper made of tightly woven synthetic fibers for lightweight breathability. In the midsole, Saucony’s PWRRUN PB cushioning foam delivers a responsive feel without excess rigidity. Carbon rubber in high-wear areas of the outsole improves durability.

Saucony Endorphin Elite
ENDORPHIN ELITE

SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO 4
ENDORPHIN PRO 4

The Endorphin Pro 4 features an engineered air mesh upper using a mix of open and tight knits strategically placed for support and stretch. A full-length carbon fiber plate in the PWRRUN PB midsole enhances energy return while the XT-900 rubber compound in the redesigned outsole optimizes traction and flexibility in an exceptionally durable package.

Durability:

When it comes to durability, testers give the edge to the Endorphin Pro 4 thanks to key upgrades from the previous version. The redesigned engineered air mesh upper resists tearing mile after mile while showing minimal creasing or sagging over time. The expanded XT-900 carbon rubber coverage protects high-impact zones of the outsole for impressive longevity with little signs of wear.

While the Endorphin Elite is no slouch, some testers did experience midsole packing out around 250 miles. The Endorphin Pro 4’s carved foam retained its energetic bounce with no flattening well past 300 miles of testing across multiple runners.

Fit:

Both shoes run true-to-size according to Saucony’s sizing charts. The Endorphin Elite relies on a generous toe-box and a compressive midfoot wrap to hug the foot securely.

Saucony Endorphin Elite Top View
ENDORPHIN ELITE TOP VIEW

SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO 4 TOP VIEW
ENDORPHIN PRO 4 TOP VIEW

Most runners found the upper roomy but adaptable. The Endorphin Pro 4 balances a slightly wider midfoot platform for stability without the need for rigid overlays that create pressure points.

A remodelled heel counter and plush collar provide a dialed-in rearfoot fit. Testers give a marginal edge to the Pro 4 for its forgiving and accommodating engineered air mesh upper fitting a wide range of foot volumes with no irritation.

Stability:

With their 8mm drop and neutral midsole platforms, both models cater to neutral runners rather than severe overpronators. The Endorphin Elite provides inherent stability through its firm, single-piece outsole and lower midsole height.

The Endorphin Pro 4 gains some midfoot flexibility from its embedded carbon plate but introduces guidance sidewalls along the midsole edges to prevent excess rolling during transition.

Testers noted both shoes provide great footing for neutral runners during everything from intervals to the marathon distance. The Pro 4 has a slightly more balanced underfoot platform while the Elite promotes grounded foot strikes. Either delivers sound stability for neutral gaits.

Cushioning:

The standout PWRRUN PB midsole foam delivers a distinctly responsive and energetic ride in both models. Testers praise the cushioning as delivering soft landings without an unstable or mushy sensation underfoot.

The Endorphin Elite features a slightly firmer density foam for more road feel during faster paced efforts. The Endorphin Pro 4 implements a softer foam compound while a molded heel insert and more carved sidewalls heighten shock attenuation for the long haul.

With ample cushioning for marathon distances, the Pro 4 gives a more forgiving ride but the Elite provides snappy toe-offs coveted by performance runners logging high mileage.

Value:

Considering the upgrades in both materials and technology, most testers found the Endorphin Pro 4 well worth its $248 price tag, which comes in $27 cheaper than the $275 Endorphin Elite.

The Pro 4’s redesigned upper, carved midsole, and integrated carbon plate make it a high-mileage trainer and racing shoe in one durable and versatile package.

While fans of the Endorphin Elite’s firm, responsive marathon pacing and interval ride appreciate the precise performance characteristics trusted across versions, the Pro 4’s cushioning meets more needs for both high mileage efforts and faster sessions. Overall, with its versatility, the Pro 4 gives better value per dollar over the Elite’s $275 tag.

Performance comparision:

Walking:

When walking, the Endorphin Elite’s flexible Everun topsole and exposed foam midsole allow for a smooth heel to toe transition at slower paces. The curvature under the forefoot encourages natural rolling through each step. In contrast, testers found the Endorphin Pro 4’s stiff carbon fiber plate caused an awkward rockering sensation during walking.

While the Pro 4’s upper remains comfortable for casual wear, the rigid plate underfoot isn’t ideal for striding at walking speeds. For incorporating walking intervals into a run, the Endorphin Elite provides a more natural ride.

Running:

Testers logged personal bests at multiple distances thanks to the snappy, firm ride of the Endorphin Elite. The shoe encourages quick turnover and energy conservation at faster paces.

While the Pro 4 also provides a responsive feel for PR chasing, its broad sweet spot makes it more versatile. The carved foam and integrated plate make the Pro 4 a joy to run in from tempo sessions up through the full marathon distance.

For elite racers focused on specific goals, the Elite still rules, but as an all-around trainer for runners of all speeds, the Pro 4 strikes the better balance of cushioning and efficiency.

Plantar Fasciitis:

The soft yet energetic PWRRUN PB cushioning in both the Endorphin Elite and Endorphin Pro 4 helps attenuate shock to reduce pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

Testers with plantar flare-ups appreciated the all-around comfort from landing to toe-off in either shoe while running. However, the Pro 4’s plusher ride edges out the firmer Elite for high-impact pain relief.

For recovery though, the insufficient arch support in both models means rigid orthotics or stability shoes specifically addressing overpronation are better choices during non-running phases for severe or chronic cases.

Standing All Day:

The Endorphin Elite’s thin padding and low drop aren’t suitable for extended standing. The Pro 4 has moderate heel cushioning but its rigid plate also reduces all-day comfort. Neither shoe works well for jobs requiring extensive time upright. Recovery running shoes are better options.

final Verdict:

When it comes to versatile, responsive cushioning enabling personal bests across training efforts, the Endorphin Pro 4 takes the prize. Testers found the Pro 4 encourages speed with joy across tempo runs, long miles, and everything up to 26.2.


A few ounces heavier than the Elite, dedicated racers obsessed with shaving seconds specifically on race day still prefer the snappy firmness of the Elite for marathon pacing.

For runners focusing more on training durability and inclusive ride comfort over fluctuating distances day to day, the Pro 4 has broader appeal. Considering performance and value combined, the Pro 4 satisfies more runners but the pure speed of the Elite remains enticing.

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