Carbon Plated, Super Foam Trail Racer!

Article by Canice Harte, Renee Krusemark, Jeff Beck and Sam Winebaum

Saucony Endorphin Edge ($200)


Sam: The Endorphin Edge is a lightweight, highly cushioned and carbon plated trail racer/trainer.

The Edge seeks to deliver the lightest possible weight for the most possible cushion and protection by using Saucony’s PWRRUN PB expanded beads PEBA foam with rock protection and propulsion provided by a ¾ length asymmetrically flexing Carbitex plate. 

At 8.85 oz  / 250g (US8.5) with a max cushion 36 mm heel / 30 mm forefoot stack and with a stout 4mm lug PWRTRAC outsole, it is a tremendous amount of shoe, trail or even road, for its weight. 

It is a thoroughly modern take on the long and fast trail racer competing with entries such as Hoka’s new Tecton X, Salomon’s S/Lab Pulsar, Brooks Catamount, Scarpa’s heavier and more mountain focused Kima RT and the similar PEBA midsole foam equipped Speedland also with a Carbitex plate but a DFX (dynamically flexing) one. 

Topped by a simple, thin and very breathable mesh upper, the package said fast moving, long, smooth trails (and even roads) to me. It clearly compliments other models in the Saucony 2022 trail line: Peregrine 12  (RTR Review) for shorter technical trail runs, the Xodus Ultra (RTR Review) as named and the ultra and all around choice for most along with the soon to come Ride 15 TR as the door to trail option.  


Canice/Renee/Jeff B/Sam: Incredibly lightweight, well cushioned with a roomy toe box and great forefoot ground feel.

Sam/Jeff B: Very leg friendly, yet also stable midsole foam and midsole

Sam/Renee/Jeff B: Explosive and fast on smooth trails, effective at hiking paces

Jeff B: Plenty of toebox space


Canice/Renee: Loose fit in the heel.

Sam: Plate could be more flexible. Not intended for slow pace running on rough terrain when the plate can’t be fully activated.

Sam/Jeff B: Some of our early sample run test pairs saw premature lug wear due to incomplete rubber curing. Corrected for production according to Saucony.

Jeff B: Busy straps and tabs on tongue makes foot pod attachment awkward


Approx. Weight: men’s 9.1 oz  / 258g (US9)  /  women’s 7.84 oz / 224g (US8)

  Samples: men’s  8.85 oz  / 250g (US8.5)  9.66 oz / 274g (US10.5) 

                  women’s 7.84 oz / 224g (US8)

Stack Height: 36 mm heel / 30 mm forefoot, 6mm drop 

Available August 2022. $200

Men’s US 10

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Canice: At just over 9 ounces in a US9  it’s undeniably light for a trail shoe. When I opened the box and picked the shoe up I was surprised at just how light it felt in hand. I next noticed the stack height and how much cushion was under the heel. The materials felt comfortable and the lugs looked to have plenty of traction.

I slipped the shoe on and instantly found my toes had plenty of room to splay out and wiggle freely, something I love. As I laced the shoe up I realized the heel pocket felt loose and I needed to pull more tension across my instep to find a secure fit. I was able to achieve this using the runners lace loop and did not experience any issues while running. 

Canice: The webbing I am pointing at in the photo is free floating within the upper and is attached under the insole below your foot. This enabled me to pull on the lace across the instep and get a secure fit.

Canice: In this photo above can see the webbing I am pointing at from the inside view. Note the webbing is free floating along the side walls and is attached under the insole below your foot.

I wear a men’s US 10 and found the fit to be true to size. I found the upper to be very breathable and quick drying and I did not feel the carbon plate when I initially tried the shoes on. 

Renee: My first impression was similar to Canice’s regarding the Edge’s weight. I zeroed out my scale twice to make sure it was working. It’s hard not to be impressed with the weight of a trail shoe with so much stack and cushion. As compared to other similar options (see comparisons), the Edge sets a new and high standard for weight, stack, cushion, comfort, and a carbon plate. Speaking of carbon plates, yes, the Edge has one without compromising balance in a way a plated road shoe does on trail (see the Ride section). 

The volume and width of the upper are generous. For sizing, I suggest true to size. Much like the sizing of the Saucony Xodus Ultra, the Edge has a fit that accounts for swelling on long runs. I think runners between half sizes canwear the shorter size if they want the Edge only for shorter (50k or less) distances. 

Despite the generous volume, I have good security across the midfoot, using the same runner’s lace loop method Canice describes. The forefoot and toebox have great height and width without feeling sloppy. Overall, the upper and fit are comfortable. 

For a nimble ride on really uneven terrain, I might prefer a less voluminous fit, but I’d probably choose a different shoe and I don’t think that is a fault of the Edge. Perhaps the heel fit/cup could be tighter for my low volume foot.

Jeff B: Add me to the “impressed by the shoe’s weight-to-cushion ratio” club, my true-to-size 10.5 is sub 10 ounces, and considering how much shoe there is, it’s almost hard to believe. 

The fit is dialed in, with plenty of room up front but very good foothold. There’s not much to gripe about, though I could definitely see some runners having issues with the very flimsy heel counter – but unlike other shoes I’ve run in this year with similar construction such as the Altra Mont Blanc (RTR Review), I didn’t experience any heel slip whatsoever. 

My main issue with the upper is related to the tongue (which is nicely gusseted in a way that’s effectively an inner sock-like bootie) and how much is going on with it. 

I normally appreciate a pull tab on the tongue that goes along with a heel tab (makes it easier to pull the shoe on) but because the pull tab strap keeps going down the length of the tongue, it makes it hard to attach a footpod, such as the Stryd I run with. It also has a recent Saucony mainstay, with the elastic band going across the tongue for you to tuck your laces in, and while I appreciate its inclusion, it’s just one more thing to get in the way. While many runners do put a Stryd or Runscribe on for every run, many more do not, so if you don’t use a similar device, you’ve got one less thing to worry about. 

Sam: Of course bright pink in our test colorway, a color shared by 2022 laucnh color road Endorphin models.

As the others have said the light weight in hand for such a big shoe underfoot is quite stunning. We get to that weight through the use of the expanded bead PEBA foam which is considerably lighter than the usual EVA foams found in trail shoes and the upper.

I was initially skeptical that such a light, soft and pliable mesh with minimal overlays other than the logo and the toe bumper were “enough” for a trail shoe’s need for support. 

The tongue is actually thinner and softer than Saucony’s Ride 15 road shoe and in fact the upper is as well, lacking the A support straps of the Ride with only a single more pliable one linking lace up to heel. 

I was happy to see it as such connections of lace up to heel are key to lockdown and especially in this upper.  The heel counter is also more pliable than the road shoe and is far more pliable heel counter than its cousin Xodus Ultra has, somewhat overbuilt actually.  I do wish as the others do it was a bit more substantial in hold. 

It seemed impossible that there would be enough support but then I realized while soft and pliable the mesh is dense and non stretch designed to really wrap the foot completely. 

Fit is true to size for me with plenty of generous room all around. I noted the light and easy heel hold in the pliable heel counter but was happy to see the lightly padded achilles collar  reaches high. 

In combination with the webbing strap, I found heel hold more than adequate if maybe not high mountain tech trail as much as I might prefer. 

During my various runs and hikes including a trail half on mostly non technical single track I never thought of the upper (it’s so light and soft) and never worried my pace exceeded its capability to lock me to the platform but I am not sure I would feel the same on more technical terrain. Then each time I worried a bit such as on decent stretches of pointy embedded rocks I felt the incredibly lightweight with all that cushion and protection and smiled. 

Yes, it is a race shoe and as such the lightest possible weight for the ride is the prime imperative as it is with the directly competing S/Lab Pulsar, Tecton X and Mont Blanc. In terms of the upper, its fit, comfort and its security the Edge’s succeeds for me but doesn’t quite match the Matryx upper of the Pulsar, snug total race fit or the similar but somewhat more secure if narrower lockdown Tecton X’s upper.


Sam: The midsole combination of PWRRUN PB expanded beads (a PEBA foam) and a Carbitex AFX plate are the signature features of the Edge. 

Saucony uses what I sense is the same PB as in their upcoming Endorphin Speed 3 and Pro 3 road racers, a softer more energetic and lighter flavor than in prior years from what I can tell. PB was in the Endorphin Trail but here clearly there is more rebound and return and a softer feel on a more flexible platform at far less weight. 

The Carbitex plate provides both a propulsive effect and the rock protection. It sits within the midsole with PB foam above and below it. It delivers  clear propulsion with a flex in one direction down with weight then rigid bending the other way.  

At faster paces and when hiking, there is no “harshness” or rigid feel as often the case in plated road shoes and this here on either road or trail. The soft enough foam and outsole even with the plate and all that stack in the mix, deliver a surprisingly agile trail feel with tremendous cushion and protection  t the same time. This combination is extremely fast and leg friendly (during and after). 

I have one caveat as I discovered in the heat during my trail half in Park City… If you are not able to maintain a decent pace (for me 9 to 11 minute miles) over moderate up and down terrain and activate the plate by applying enough force to it to flex, you end up kind of “high and dry”, a bit unstable and flat.  

Interestingly at fast hiking paces on steeper uphills the plate is activated and the hike is as sensational as is the faster flatter paced running for me. The road ride at any pace is fantastic. 

Not to worry as for those longer more plodding paced (at times) trail runs Saucony’s well named Xodus Ultra with its PWRRUN (EVA/TPU) sidewalls and central same PWRRUN PB core and no carbon plate and with a woven plastic rock plate is the choice. It approaches the Edge at the faster end of things but is more capable on rougher terrain and for slower paces.

I wonder why Saucony did not specify the Carbitex DFX plate which dynamically adjusts its firmness/flex as more or less force is applied. It clearly works and well in the Speeland SL: PDX  with my Speedland clearly more flexible and easier to run those slower paces but is not nearly as cushioned, smooth or fast on more mellow terrain.

Canice: Saucony uses their PWRRUN PB foam which I found to have plenty of cushion and nice rebound with plenty of pop to each step. Saucony also uses a Carbite​​​​x 3-quarter carbon-fiber plate in the midsole. I’ll speak to the carbon fiber plate in detail in the “Ride” section of this review but know it is part of the midsole package. 

What is important to note here is that the carbon fiber plate being a ¾ length is that I did not feel it in the forefoot and with 36mm of foam under my heel, I did not feel it there either.

The Saucony Endorphin Edge has plenty of cushioning for any 100 mile trail race I would want to run and will clearly work at shorter distances.

Renee: Canice has all the details about the midsole and the carbon plate. In my opinion, the midsole feels awesome and Saucony’s combination warrants the hefty $200 price of the shoe. 

The midsole is a perfect balance of comfort (not too firm) and responsiveness (not too soft). Like Canice and Sam, I don’t initially feel the carbon plate the way I do in a plated road shoe, and that’s a positive!

On mellow surfaces (flat, rolling, or smooth), the carbon plate will respond to the pace of the runner. In a road plated shoe, I see two  benefits of the carbon plate: one, to help with responsiveness and speed; and two, to help reduce fatigue. On mellow surfaces at faster speeds, the Edge can be fast; on more difficult terrain, the plate is comforting. 

Jeff B: Easily the most subtle carbon fiber plate I’ve run with, it seems almost non-existent until I picked up the pace. The midsole/plate combination is among the best, hitting that sweet spot of soft, but not too soft, with plenty of stability and effectively leg saving cushioning. In my experience if they were a little more bouncy they’d start causing issues with my Achilles, and less bouncy wouldn’t have the same leg saving effect. Saucony’s designers hit one out of the park with the Edge midsole.


Canice: Saucony provides 4mm deep directional lugs which here in Park City, UT provided plenty of traction. I felt comfortable running at speed through rocky terrain and on wet trails. I didn’t have any mud to test the shoes in but I did find plenty of puddles and a few creek crossings and I felt secure with the traction provided.

Renee: I did not experience any durability concerns with the outsole, but I’m not running mountainous terrain so that might be why. I have a slight tear after 50 miles, but I’m certain that’s from hitting a tree root at just the right angle. The 4mm lugs and outsole material are softer than the Peregrine 12, and similar to the lugs on the Xodus Ultra. 

(Left to Right: Peregrine 12, Edge, Xodus Ultra) 

Running on my Nebraska woodland single tracks or gravel/dirt roads, this outsole is great. As compared to the Peregrine 12, the lugs/outsole have give, but because of the stack height and plate, I can’t feel the gravel or tree roots underfoot. 

The space between the lugs helps to shed mud and the 4mm depth lugs work as well as any other trail shoe in terms of traction in mud. I did not run on pavement with the Edge, but given the stack height and 4mm lug depth, the shoes should be fine for a short amount of road between trail heads. 

Jeff B: I am very impressed with the level of traction on the dirt, but not overstepping while on pavement. Similar to the last few models of the Xodus, this is a trail shoe that’s nearly as good on the road as it is the trail, which is surprising given how much dirt/rock traction it has. I didn’t get any mud experience, but deliberately ran a trail with some sandy sections, and the Edge didn’t give me any trail insecurity at any time. 

While I have seen some premature lug wear in my ~20 miles, I’m curious and willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that the pre-release rubber has flaws that the retail release model will not have.

Sam: Another fine PWRTRAC outsole with a great combination of all terrain grip and smooth flow over more mellow terrain and road as the lugs while chevron angled also have large contact surfaces  up front. The rubber feels to be of the same firmness as the Xodus Ultra, maybe a touch softer. 

I saw some premature shearing of a few front lugs after about 30 miles which included a trail half with sections of sharp protruding rocks. Saucony believes this is due to issues in curing the rubber of our early samples, pre production. Given I see no such wear on my Xodus Ultra, albeit with less use on rough trails, we will take Saucony’s word that production outsoles will be more durable but will retest with production pairs and update here.


Canice: A few things really stand out to me in regards to the ride of the shoe. 1.) I love that there is lots of cushion under the heel. 2.) The Endorphin Edge is lively and has lots of ground feel in the forefoot which really surprised me. 3.) I felt the stiffness of the Carbite​​​​x 3-quarter carbon-fiber plate, but did not find it obtrusive.

My reaction to the “ride” of the Endorphin Edge is terrain dependent. I found this shoe to be at its best on smoother hard packed trails. It handles great in technical terrain but the feel of the “ride” is different. 

When I ran intermediate single track and fire roads I noticed the shoe had a nice pop during toe off and propelled me forward which is great. In this terrain I did not feel restricted by the Carbite​​​​x 3-quarter carbon-fiber plate at all. 

When I ran the Endorphin Edge in tight technical terrain the shoe still felt good, but I noticed the stiffness of Carbite​​​​x 3-quarter carbon-fiber plate. This is not problematic but it’s worth pointing out that depending on the terrain I chose to run, I had different experiences.

For my part I really enjoy the ride of the Endorphin Edge and it would be my choice for Western States and/or Leadville and certainly shorter races where I wanted to go fast. The Endorphin Edge is a high performance trail running shoe and the ride reflects that. Plenty of cushion under the heel, lots of ground feel in the forefoot and a nice feeling of propulsion when I toed off.

Renee: Re read Canice’s Ride review! I’ll repeat for emphasis. The cushion underfoot is plenty for ultra distances without feeling heavy and chunky for shorter distances. The ground feel under the forefoot is surprisingly great, and the shoe climbs and descends like a more nimble/less stack height shoe (for those striking on the forefoot).


I never found the carbon plate obtrusive or unstable, in fact I hardly notice it unless I’m running on flat smooth terrain for an extended time. For slower running, the plate helps with fatigue reduction, and while it’s not as “fast feeling” as a plate in a road racing shoe, I do notice it when I’m able to stride out on smooth terrain.

I’m not sure Saucony could have designed a better midsole/ride/plate combination and I hope they don’t change it. On single track when the footing is narrow and against a ledge, I had to walk some because I wasn’t confident about landing stable. 

I think the stack height and the somewhat voluminous upper might not be the best choice for super technical running on single track when the wrong foot landing might mean falling. I have a low volume foot, so other runners might disagree. That’s a really minor note for a shoe with an otherwise excellent ride. 

Jeff B: I can’t disagree with a word Canice or Renee has said. This thing is incredible on hard packed trails, but doesn’t have issues on technical terrain either. I’m not eyeing any ultras anytime soon, but regardless of distance, this would be my shoe of choice for virtually any trail race. As a heavy runner I don’t find the support or cushioning lacking in any way, and found that my time ran short well before my legs gave out on any of my Endorphin Edge runs, almost like little pink Fountains of Youth. 

Sam: Quick and agile feeling (when pushed), deeply and forgivingly cushioned, the plate mostly is a clear plus in the mix stabilizing the foam, protecting and giving a clear snappy impulse. I say mostly as the Edge is clearly designed to be pushed and for me ideally on smoother trail terrain, dirt roads, and even pavement where there it is a joy to run. 

It is capable on more technical terrain.. if you can push the pace. Get flat footed and slow and on more dancing terrain they can feel like you are “high and dry” if you can’t drive the plate. Most should head to the equally excellent more flexible Xodus Ultra for ultras at slower paces or on more technical terrain. This said, and a bit strangely,  they are also excellent at fast walk paces on steeps up and down.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Canice: My experience has been when a footwear company designs a shoe for cushioning and distance they give up ground feel, and conversely when a footwear company designs a shoe for ground feel, you lose cushioning. What Saucony has done here is phenomenal. Not only do you get both cushioning and ground feel but thanks to the Carbite​​​​x 3-quarter carbon-fiber plate you get lots of pop with each stride, and it feels fast. This shoe may not be for everyone but it’s now my go to trail shoe.

Canice: As much as I don’t like paying $200 for running shoes I am afraid it’s the new normal (ugh!). The cost of everything is on the rise and running shoes are becoming more technical in materials, design and construction. At least you get a lot for your money with the Endorphin Edge. Besides, how much is a smile worth!

Canice: Score: 9.9/10

Ride: 10, Fit: 9.8, Value: 9.5, Style: 10, Traction: 10, Rock Protection: 10

Smiles  😊😊😊😊😊

New! The Smiles score is about how pleasing/fun (or in the case of race type shoe effective) the experience is on the run and to a somewhat lesser extent its upper comfort.

Renee: The Edge is a winner. $200 is costly, but appropriate for a plated trail shoe capable of being a fast and comfortable race option for a variety of distances and terrains. The midsole feel is perfect; soft enough for comfort at long distances yet responsive enough for speed thanks to the superb implementation of the carbon plate. If I had to improve anything, it would be the fit of the upper; The stability on uneven single track might improve with some change to the heel fit, although I’d hate to add any weight.

Renee’s score: 9.7/10 (-.15 cost/durability ratio, -.15 heel/upper hold)

Smiles  😊😊😊😊

Jeff B: It seems that Saucony has gone and made a trail focused super shoe with virtually zero compromises. The toebox is ample, the upper holds well, the outsole sticks to everything, the midsole has plenty of cushioning and bounce, the plate gives just a bit of spring to keep things in control – oh, and it weighs next to nothing. While it is $200, we’ve seen plenty of shoes well over that mark that don’t perform nearly as well. Runners looking to stand on podiums or just trying to finish will all be impressed by the Endorphin Edge.

Jeff B’s Score: 9.9/10

Ride: 10 Fit: Value: 9.5 Style: 10 Traction: 10 Rock Protection: 9.5

Smiles 😊😊😊😊😊

Sam: A rush to run fast,  the Edge is light, multi surface capable, highly and energetically cushioned racer/trainer with clear carbon plate impulse (and protection). The platform is incredibly leg friendly. 

It sets the bar high in the emerging trail super shoe race and most particularly for those mostly smooth fast Western US states single tracks and dirt roads run fast and where most of my testing and the others’ here occurred.

It likes to be pushed, the plate really activated more than jogged along.  There is a surprising amount of  highly protected and agile trail feel in the mix here as well, again most felt and effective at faster paces rather than slower ones particularly on more technical terrain taken on the run although it also hikes fantastically well. 

It is excellent on road and I would daily train in it there for most runs. It should also prove a near ideal winter snowy roads and muddy trails, understanding its highly breathable light upper will keep you as cool in winter as in summer! 

As a plated trail (and road)  hybrid with a wide range of uses and distances its only competitor is the Hoka Tecton X with the heavier, more stable and I think more effectively plated Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT and Speedlands the more tech trails plated options. 

Understanding the focus here is an elite long distance race shoe, I personally would have liked to see a bit more flexible and dynamic plate that adjusts better to varied paces such as provided by the other Carbitex option, the DFX and a bit more substantial upper.. 

Sam’s Score: 9.36 / 10

Ride: 9.5  Fit: 9.5 Value: 8.8  Style: 9.5 Traction: 9  Rock Protection: 9.5

Smiles 😊😊😊😊



Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Saucony Xodus Ultra (RTR Review)

Renee: Saucony showed up in 2022 with trail shoes! Both the Xodus Ultra and Edge are ultra distance capable. The Xodus is softer and more comforting underfoot, without the responsiveness of the Edge with its carbon-plate. The Xodus weighs a bit more than an ounce more in my women’s size 8, although neither shoe is heavy as compared to other trail shoes in similar categories. For all-day soft comfort, I’d choose the Xodus. For everything else, the Edge. 

Jeff B: Absolutely, both outstanding shoes and among the best trail options on the market. Similar to what Saucony did with the Endorphin Pro and the Endorphin Speed, the Xodus feels like the day-to-day dirt options with the Edge coming in for race days or big efforts – not that the Xodus doesn’t excel at those either. Can’t miss either way, the Xodus has a more supportive upper, especially around the heel, while the Edge has a little more under foot protection and cushioning. 

Sam: Agree with Renee and Jeff here. At $150 the Xodus Ultra is a better value with nearly the same fast and smooth trails capabilities and somewhat better slow and technical ones.  Its woven rock plate provides more mellow and more versatile propulsion, its EVA outer midsole frame  and same as Edge PWRRUn PB central core much of the same rebound as the Edge’s full PB midsole with a touch more overall stability and its upper is more supportive particularly at the heel (maybe overly so). It’s not the same rush as the Edge but is more versatile.

Saucony Peregrine 12  (RTR Review)

Renee: Saucony had a great update to the Peregrine in 2022, with the shoe losing a good amount of weight from version 11. Still, the Edge is .50 ounce lighter in my women’s size 8 compared to the Peregrine 12. The Peregrine is lower to the ground and has a rock plate, making it more nimble and stable as compared to the Edge. For more technical terrain, the Peregrine is a good choice. For mixed terrain and/or ultra distances, the Edge is the winner. 

Hoka Tecton X  (RTR Review)

Sam: Very similar shoes on a number of levels including price with nearly identical stack heights and weights, carbon plates, and state of the art midsole foams. The Tecton is a 4mm drop shoe whereas Edge is 6mm with 3mm more heel cushion (felt) and 1mm more forefoot cushion. Overall the Tecton is a bit firmer and more responsive while Edge has a bouncier feel with Tecton having a layer of firmer supercritical foam below a soft and bouncy top layer. The Tecton X’s dual plates and Vibram Light Base outsole make it stiffer with less front to back flex and less longitudinal flex and thus it not as stable up front on more technical terrain but more responsive and snappier than the Edge on the straights if somewhat firmer. 

While the Edge upper is all easy secure comfort, the light but somewhat denser less pliable Tecton upper and especially the heel and toe box are more secure if a touch narrower and lower volume and my upper preference.

Hoka Speedgoat 5  (RTR Review)

Jeff B: The latest in Hoka’s fabled trail shoe line brought some subtle, but great improvements, giving it just a little more room up front, while not losing any great foothold and traction. While the midsole isn’t bad by any stretch, worn against the Edge it feels a bit like a relic, with less cushioning and bounce. The Speedgoat would be my choice for extremely technical terrain however, but I’d go Endorphin Edge for any other kind of run.

Sam: Jeff has it right.

Brooks Catamount (RTR Review)

Jeff B: One of my favorite “minimal-ish” trail shoes, the Catamount is a nimble and lightweight option compared to most trail shoes, but against the Edge it’s nearly an ounce heavier in the same size with decidedly less protection and traction. The Edge does everything the Catamount was trying for, and then some – which makes the $40 price difference sting a little less. The Catamount is a great trail shoe, but the Edge outclasses it by a country mile.

Speedland SL  (RTR Review)

Sam: Almost double the price, modular with its plate removable, and featuring a similar PEBA midsole and the more dynamically flexing Carbitex DFX plate, the Speedland has two advantages over the Edge: a truly superb easy to BOA dials and adjust upper and its more dynamic flexing plate which is any pace and terrain more friendly than Edge’s. Thus on tech terrain Speedland.  It lags on less technical terrain and in overall cushion that is for sure and is not as good an option for hard smooth surfaces. 

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT  (RTR Review)

Sam: Considerably heavier, denser in foam feel with a very well executed flexible carbon plate, the Kima is the more technical trails complement to the Edge in carbon trail shoes. Its plate is yet more propulisve on uphills, its stability is superior, and its upper more armored. I ran similar terrain (not very tech) and distance (half and 25K) trail races in the Kima and Edge and despite the felt weight difference had a smoother go of it in Kima as when tired I could still activate its plate better than Edge’s.

Altra Mont Blanc (RTR Review)

Jeff B: This Altra debuted with a lot of promise this year, lightweight with a large stack of their impressive midsole material, Ego MAX. And while there was a lot to applaud, the minimal upper construction caused quite a bit of heel slip and foot hold issues – while the Edge’s similar lightweight upper didn’t cause the same problem. The Altra has a wider toebox, as expected, and a little more stack height up front but the Edge has it in ride, midsole, traction, and protection. The Mont Blanc is an interesting step forward for Altra, and I’m excited to see what a bit of iterating does, the Edge is incredible right out of the gate.

Sam: Agree with Jeff here. Zero drop, less than ideal heel hold yet a nearly as dynamic midsole the Mont Blanc needs a few adjustments to compete. 

Salomon S/Lab Pulsar SG (RTR Review)

Sam: Comparing to the SG version here as the additional lug height provides more cushion than the regular along with comparable traction to the Edge. Over 2 oz / 57g  lighter!,  not quite as cushioned but getting close with a 32/26 stack to the Edge’s 36/30, the Pulsar has a narrower  heel landing platform, an almost as energetic foam, a snug race fit upper, and a hardened foam plate for protection and some clearly felt propulsion. It is incredibly fast and versatile. Would I run it as regularly as the Edge, no, but it not only handles the smooth equally as well with plenty of cushion but it can tackle climbing and the technical rock dancing better. Not as long distance capable and comfortable on smooth or as forgiving it is the standard for fast on any trail and as I found also is fantastic on road. Clear choice for Pulsar for short and fast here with a pairing to Xodus Ultra for other runs.

Watch Jeff Valliere’s Endorphin Edge Initial Video Review (9:04)

The Endorphin Edge will release August 2022

Tester Profiles

Canice is a 2 x finisher of the Wasatch 100, the Bear 100, Moab 100, Western States 100, and Leadman as well as many other ultras. He regularly competes in Expedition Length Adventure races with his longest race to date 600 miles as well as in traditional road races and triathlons.

Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

Jeff is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup, and as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less. Jeff runs 30 miles per week on roads and trails around Denver, CO (and sometimes on the treadmill when the weather gets too much for a Phoenix native). Jeff only got into running in his 30s, as a result his career PR’s are 4:07 for the marathon and 5K at 23:39. Jeff has finished several ultra marathons, from 50K up to 50 miles, and is still debating if he wants to go down that road again.

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 64 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 will be Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes.RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors’

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