Endorphin Elite


Saucony Endorphin Elite Lands Key Updates

Best For

Time to hit the 2023 marathon and half marathon circuit with the Saucony Endorphin Elite! You’re looking at the highest end neutral road marathon racer from the Saucony line. This marathon racing shoe is coming in at 7.0 oz in my size, and with key upper, midsole, and outsole updates. The question becomes from the outset, how does it stack up against it’s older brother, the Saucony Endorphine Pro 3? Read on to hear about the updates and of course that ever important and increasing price point in the marathon racing shoe arena. 


This mesh is special Saucony! The breathability factor is very high. Hot marathon rising for you in 2023? Humidity in the forecast? If your feet tend to heat up in a 26.2 mile bout with the tarmac, then consider the Saucony Endorphin Elite. Not only is the mesh very breathable, they added two holes in the upper through the midfoot on the medial and lateral sides. This hole allows for a piece of mesh to connect to the eyelet  chain, which reduces the weight and adds even more breathability. The tongue is semi-gusseted, and it does the trick, with added holes through the tongue as well, for even more breathability. The best update from the Endorphin Pro 3 to the Elite is their heel counter padding. A huge issue for marathon racers on race day can be blisters. This heel counter crash pad is made of a soft material and will increase the comfort of your race day experience. I’m going to predict many people will appreciate this added pad for their marathon races in 2023. 

Speaking from personal experience, I did get a bad blister on my achilles tendon in my 2021 New York City Marathon, I’m very confident this would not have happened in the Saucony Endorphin Elite. 


With a 37 on the durometer score, the Endorphin Elite becomes a little more firm under step when compared to the Endorphin Pro 3. This increased firmness is a smart move for Saucony, because it helps create a snappy feel understep, rather than too much mush; if you like really soft midsoles on race day I would lean away from this racing shoe. The Endorphin Pro 3 and Elite feel very similar understep with respect to the ride, specificall the lateral motion and stability of your landing. 

The biggest midsole change is to that carbon fiber plate sandwiched inside the PWRRUN HG foam. Rather than a plate that is completely solid, they added a forked design under the forefoot. These are thin slats in the plate to allow for more push off agility and power through the footstrike. This forked approach allows for an adaptive toe-off to help runners remain in control of the shoe, rather than the other way around. The transition of the footstrike did feel a little faster in this iteration, when compared to its predecessor. In addition to bounce, energy return, and a faster toe-off, the resilience of the lattice structure foam is special once again. I can tell this shoe is going to go and go for you through multiple marathon races, and faster training sessions on the roads. Lastly, the angle of the midsole under the toebox really does create an aggressive “speedroll” feel. It is definitely Saucony’s most aggressive toe-off experience. 


Excellent work here Saucony, on the bottom of this elite shoe. Out of the three categories: upper, midsole, and outsole, one might think the outsole is not very important…wrong! The friction you create with the ground is the beginning of the force generation that propels you down the roads of your marathon races. That XT-900 rubber is critical for enhancing your toe-off power. With an extra aggressive speedroll feel through the toe-off, that makes the rubber all the more important. In addition, you know I love this, Saucony enhanced the decoupled groove understep. This groove is much longer and a little wider compared to the Pro 3. This helps reduce the weight of the shoe and creates a little more of a bouncy feel for each runner’s gait cycle.

Would I Buy This Shoe Again?

At the end of the day, the Saucony Endorphin Elite went with a big upper update, I like this step forward. Midsole ride and energy return felt very similar to the Pro 3. And the outsole rubber is spot on. However, you must ask yourself about the price point of $275. With the Pro 3 landing $50 cheaper, you must discern for your own pocket book: are these updates worth the jump in price? I will say that all of these Endorphin Elite updates are a nice step forward. But being aware of that price point jump is key for our scoring system, which is why the Endorphin Pro 3 is getting a slightly better final score of 7.4. I’m excited to see the Endorphin Elite on starting lines in 2023, you know the green machine is going to make it’s presence well known with PRs to prove it’s rank amongst marathon racing shoes on the marketplace. 



  • Drop: 8mm
  • Stack: 39.5mm / 31.5mm
  • Weight: 7.0 oz / 198 g
    Mens (Size 9) – 7.2oz / 204g
    Womens (Size 8) – 6.5oz / 184g
  • Upper: Lightweight Breathable mesh 
  • Midsole: PWRRUN HG
  • Durometer Shore C: 37

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Other Shoes To Buy:

Saucony Endorphin Pro 3


  • Material: Lightweight Breathable mesh
  • Tongue: Semi-gusset


  • Material: PWRRUN HG + Carbon Fiber Plate (forked)
  • Durometer Shore C: 37


  • Material: XT-900 Rubber
  • Feature: decoupled groove

Commissions earned through the Running Warehouse Affiliate links help support this channel’s content creation.