Saucony Endorphin Pro vs Nike Vaporfly Next% – Which is Closer To My Heart


A lot of people are looking for a Saucony Endorphin Pro vs Nike Vaporfly side-by-side comaprsion.

If you’re wondering what shoe should you buy, the Endorphin Pro from Saucony or the Next% from Nike, then this is really for you.

Both are really nice colors and we’re going to dive a little bit deeper into that question today.

Hopefully, by the end of this comparison, you’ll be able to determine which you should buy and I’ll tell you which I would buy (again).


Saucony Endorphin Pro vs Nike Vaporfly Next%

Let’s start with the specs …


The Nike Vaporfly Next% is 6.6 oz for a men’s size 9. Keep in mind the Vaporfly is a unisex shoe.

I actually had the men’s size 9 and I weighed it myself. It’s like 6.5 oz so I guess they rounded up fair enough.

The Saucony Endorphin Pro is 6.8 oz for a women’s size 8. This is not a unisex shoe, but for my size 10.5 women’s, it was about 7.32 oz.


Drop & Stack


The Next% has an 8mm drop with 40 millimeters of stack in the heel, which is pretty high, and 32 in the forefoot.

Just like the Vaporfly, the Endorphin Pro has an 8mm drop with 32 millimeters of stack in the heel and 25 in the forefoot.



True To Size?

For me, both the Endorphin Pro and the Next% are true to size, but I’ve heard that some people have had sizing issues. So, it’s definitely something that you might want to try on whenever you can.


Now, let’s talk about the uppers…



I have to note that both of the uppers are quite good. I really enjoy both of them, but they’re very different.

Starting with the material, the Vaporfly Next% is using a new technology from Nike called Vapor Weave.

It’s really a material that I’ve never felt before in any running shoe. It almost feels like a rain jacket or something.

I don’t really have any issues with fit, but I do have some areas where it looks baggy almost.

I wouldn’t say that I hate Vapor Weave and I wouldn’t say that I love Vapor Weave.

I understand Nike was trying to make a more lightweight upper that is pretty performance-oriented. Overall, it’s decently comfortable.



As for the upper on the Endorphin Pro, Saucony is using a FORMFIT mesh, which is is more of a traditional kind of fabric type upper.

Apparently, this upper was inspired by Saucony’s track spikes. So, it’s stretchy, it adapts to your foot pretty well, and you don’t feel restrained in there like the Vapor Weave material which is quite snug and not as flexible.

If you do have more of a wide foot, I’d opt-out for the Endorphin Pro upper because it is that bit more flexible.

I have a relatively wide foot and I haven’t had too many issues with the Nike, but that’s something definitely to be aware of when trying to pick between these two shoes.

Again, if your foot’s pretty wide, go for the Endorphin Pro.


Toe Box

If you turn the Next% over, you will see there is a ton of room in the toe box, but it does get really narrow in the midfoot area.

Then if you turn the Pro over, you’ll see there’s enough width there to get your toes to splay, but I don’t have any problems with it being a bit narrow.


If you’ve had trouble finding the perfect running shoes featuring a wide toe box and a narrow heel, don’t worry. Give the article a read!


The laces of the Next% are asymmetrical, which looks extremely weird if you’re looking at your foot from the top view, but from a comfort standpoint, it’s not a problem.

The laces are flat and not stretchy, but they are pretty long.

The laces on the Endorphin are also flat and not very stretchy, but they’re shorter than the Next% laces in my opinion.



The tongue on the Next% has no padding at all. It’s just a thin piece of something and you do get some padding in the ankle area with that black strip of cushion.

This tongue is not gusseted, which means that it’s not attached to the walls of the upper, but I haven’t had any issue with that, to be honest with you.

When I was first lacing the Next% up, the tongue did feel like it was adding a bit of pressure on the top of my foot, however, after I actually got it tied up, the upper felt good.

The tongue on the Endorphin Pro doesn’t really have any padding either, but it is gusseted, which I love. It’s kind of a nice sock-like feel and I find it helps with that lockdown.




The Nike Next% has a bit more structure through the heel and it actually also has a lightly padded anchor collar.

So, if you’re looking for some kind of heel support on the Next%, we have kind of something going on there compared to the Endorphin where there’s little to no structure back there.

For the heel support on the Endorphin, there’s really not much there. I’d say the Next% has a little bit more of that.

However, there’s more padding around the ankle in the Endorphin Pro than there is in the Next%.

Also, with the Endorphin, you do get this like little elf-like heel flare like the Hoka Clifton mini elf heel flip there.

That does kind of help with lockdown, but I think the lockdown through the heel on the Nike is better. That’s going to be something you have to be aware of.

Now, using the runner’s knot in the Endorphin Pro does help that lockdown a little bit, but I do think that it would benefit from a little bit of structure through the heel.

The Upper I Like?

For me personally, if I had to choose between one of these uppers, I think I’d go with the Endorphin Pro.

But don’t get me wrong, Vapor Weave is a really nice material and it’s water-resistant a hell of a lot more than the Endorphin is, but in terms of that fit and how it feels while I’m running, I think about the Endorphin Pro’s upper a lot less than when I have the Next% on my foot.

The upper of the Endorphin Pro is more of a traditional running shoe upper and the one on the Next% is more of an alien invasion upper. I’m just kidding, it’s just really different.

Off to the midsole…


Everybody knows that what makes both of these shoes special is the midsole.

Both the Next% and the Endorphin Pro are using a Pebax-based midsole foam.

I will say that although they’re both Pebax-based midsoles, they are quite a bit different, actually drastically different.

There’s something that makes them so different, and I think it is the shape of the carbon fiber plates in both of these shoes.

The Next% features a full-length midsole of ZoomX foam which is world-renowned and it has won many marathons. ZoomX is way softer than the PWRRUN PB foam in the Endorphin Pro.

ZoomX is a Pebax-based foam, which means it’s highly responsive, highly cushioned, and feels like a spring.

The Saucony Endorphin Pro uses a full-length PWRRUN PB midsole which is also a Pebax-based foam.

It kind of looks like Adidas boost, but it’s lighter and it feels better.

I did actually hear recently that the Endorphin Pro uses castor beans when they’re making their midsole. That’s quite interesting because we’re already at plant-based midsoles.



When you land on the heel in the Next%, you can seriously feel you’re squishing right down into that midsole but then it’s bouncing you right back up.

When you’re landing on the heel in the Endorphin Pro, it just doesn’t have that same feeling. However, I do feel a little squish, though.

The Next% is a little unstable than the Endorphin because of the higher stack height.


Carbon Plate


Sandwiched in between those two layers of ZoomX is a lightweight carbon fiber plate.

I’ll tell you right off the bat, I loved ZoomX in the original 4% that I wore and I loved it in the Next%. And I love that there’s more of it in the Next%.

If you’ve tried any of the Vaporfly shoes, whether it’s the 4% OG, the Flyknit, or the Next%, you know there’s really nothing else like stepping into a Vaporfly shoe.


And of course, sandwiched in between the two layers of PWRRUN PB, there is an S-Curve shaped carbon fiber plate.

Before the Endorphin came out, I did try a couple of other carbon fiber-plated running shoes and I was like these are really good and they can maybe compete, but they never feel quite the same as the Next%.

The Endorphin Pro is the closest thing to that, but it offers something different, which I think is a good thing.

Not only that, but Saucony is also using SpeedRoll technology which just helps to roll you forward faster in your stride.

So, when you’re landing and by the time you’re at the midfoot to the transition, you can definitely feel the curvature of the carbon fiber plate.

Energy Return

The energy return on the Next% is super solid. I haven’t worn this shoe in a marathon yet to be completely honest, but I have worn it in a half marathon that I PR’ed. I was feeling pretty good.

The Endorphin Pro is still soft, it’s still incredibly bouncy and springy, and has high energy return, but it’s just a little bit firmer of a ride. It feels smooth and efficient.



One negative for me that I do have to mention with the Next% is because of the arch collapse that I have on my right foot, this shoe can feel kind of unstable at times.

If you turn the shoe over, you can see just how narrow the midfoot area is, which sometimes tends to have me roll my ankle in a little bit.

But I still wore it because nothing really can compete with it until the Saucony Endorphin Pro entered.

Stability-wise, the Endorphin Pro is slightly wider in the midfoot area than the Next%.

While I haven’t taken it as long as I have in Next%, I still feel like this would be better on my ankles and my feet overall by the end of a marathon potentially.

The Midsole I Like?

So, if you’re asking me which midsole I would choose, I think I would go with the Endorphin Pro.

I love the Next% and lots of people would still pick this, but I think the Endorphin Pro just works slightly better with my running stride.

And the cool thing about the Endorphin Pro is that it’s not trying to copy the Next%.

It’s offering a similar but different package so runners really do have a lot of options.

Alright, let’s chat about the outsole…


Nike Vaporfly Next%


The Nike Vaporfly Next% features some blown rubber in the forefoot, some exposed ZoomX material in the midfoot, and some high-abrasion rubber in the heel.

Compared to the original 4%, this has a much better traction pattern and far superior rubber.

This forefoot rubber is tacky and it’s durable. I’ve taken it in wet conditions, dry conditions, mostly pavement, but it’s held up perfectly every time with no issues.

Of course, because you have some of that exposed ZoomX in the midfoot, there is a little bit of fraying, but I really think that’s just cosmetic and I don’t think it’s anything serious.

Saucony Endorphin Pro


Now, in the Endorphin Pro, we have carbon rubber in the forefoot, some exposed PWRRUN PB in that midfoot area, and a little more carbon rubber in the heel.

The traction on the Endorphin Pro is pretty good. I have taken this on slightly damper days and it holds up well.

I’ve gotten a little bit of slipping on wet roads, but nothing terrible. There’s no fraying on the exposed midsole material so that’s a thumbs up.

The Outsole I Like?

Again, if you’re asking me to pick an outsole that I like better, I think I like the rubber better on the Next% a little bit more.

Durability-wise, I’m really not sure which one would be better. I’m thinking over time, the Saucony Endorphin Pro will hold up a little bit better, but I don’t have enough miles in it to really determine.

So, just based on how both of these feel on foot from the outsole to the upper, I think that the Endorphin Pro is going to hold up a little bit better.

Now that we got the specs, the upper, the midsole, and the outsole out of the way, let’s quickly talk about durability and price.


There’s a $50 difference with the Saucony Endorphin Pro being the cheapest.

I can’t tell you how much these shoes would cost the day you’re reading this comparison, but with the Nike Vaporfly, your child is not going to go to that nice school and you’re probably going to have to eat oatmeal and rice for a few days. I’m just kidding of course.

Final Thoughts

  • Zoom X is much more forgiving than the PWRRUN PB.
  • When compressed, Zoom X literally bounces you to the next step.
  • ZoomX is super soft but also extremely responsive and it feels fantastic.
  • The Next% is great for heel strikers.
  • The Endorphin Pro is great for forefoot strikers.
  • The Next% has a snug fit, which is not ideal for long-distance runs.
  • The Nedorphin’s upper is more flexible and more forgiving for wider feet or when fee swell.

Saucony Endorphin Pro vs. Nike Vaporfly Next% – My Favorite?

So as of right now at this point of time in this very moment, which of these carbon-fiber plated beauties would I pick?

I love both of these shoes. I’m not a Nike Next% hater and I just don’t think it loves me back as much as the Endorphin Pro does.

What I mean by that is I just think the Saucony Endorphin Pro is better for my running stride.

It just feels a little bit more stable and makes my ankle scream a little bit less.

For you guys, I think it’s either going to come down to price or what you like in a running shoe.

Do you want the softer propulsive ride with a slightly less traditional upper of the Vaporfly Next%?

Or, are you looking for something a little more familiar and a little more running shoe-like but it’s a little bit firmer like the Endorphin Pro?

The decision is up to you.

So, shoes are so unique and we need to try them for own selves.

This is just my opinion and I’m sure people have much different opinions than myself, especially elite runners who would probably have a completely different opinion than me.

Well, guys, that concludes this Saucony Endorphin Pro vs Nike Vaporfly Next% comparison.

Which should you buy, the Nike Vaporfly Next% or the Saucony Endorphin Pro?

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About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

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