Thursday, March 30, 2023

Craft Endurance Trail Multi Tester Review; 6 Comparisons

Article by Matt Crehan, Jeremy Marie, Mike Postaski, and Jeff Valliere

Craft Endurance Trail ($160)


Wonderfully energetic Px TPE foam, tremendous cushion: Sam, Matt, Jeremy, Mike P,Jeff V

Shoe literally bounces up hills, great climbing shoe: Sam, Matt, Jeremy, Jeff V

Great heel and midfoot lockdown: Matt

Nice grip of outsole rubber: Jeremy

Versatile ride: easy, endurance, tempo: all but the most extreme paces are well handled: Jeremy, Sam, Jeff V

Durable upper, outsole and midsole: Jeremy, Mike P


Upper lacking medial support causing a lack of stability: Matt, Jeremy, Sam, Mike P, Jeff V

Voluminous midfoot with mediocre hold there for a “trail” shoe, spoils more tech trails ride: Sam, Jeremy, Mike P, Jeff V

Outsole rubber while gripping deadens response (compared to Pro Endur Distance) given soft foam above:  Sam, Jeremy, Mike P, Jeff V

Too much/unstructured upper material - various areas of looseness: Mike P, Jeff V

Super thin tongue which digs into ankle: Matt

Laces are looooong: Jeremy, Mike P, Jeff V

Weight discrepancies (UK9.5 at 325g and UK10 at 315g??): Jeremy


Approx. Weight: men's 10.15 oz  / 287g (US9)  /  women's oz / g (US8)

  Samples: men’s   9.91 oz / 280g US8.5 , 11.1 oz / 314g US 10.0,  11.6 oz / 325g US10.5

Stack Height: 40mm heel (measured) / 31mm forefoot (9 mm drop spec) 

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Matt: The Craft Pro Endur Distance (RTR Review) was a surprise hit for me on the roads last summer in testing, with me initially skeptical but after a couple runs to break them in feeling lively and enjoyable and lasted me well through my London marathon build-up. So receiving the Craft Pro Endur Trail, and with lots of steady paced off-road ‘time-on-feet’ runs planned as part of my build-up for Copenhagen Marathon in May, I was excited to see how the shoe did. 

Straight out the box, Craft have crafted (no pun intended) a smart and stylish looking max cushion trail shoe, I could visibly see the same Px Foam from the Pro Endur Distance (road), supported by a rubber outsole featuring 3mm lugs. I received the flex-dessert colourway which personally is definitely my favourite option in the men’s choices, and if it wasn’t going to get absolutely coated in mud on the British trails near me would be a great ‘one shoe’ holiday pack for taking on the more sandy and drier trails abroad while also just causally wearing, saving on luggage space (UK size 10 shoes don’t half take up space when traveling light). 

Putting the shoe on, the toe box feels spacious, though as I’m currently rotating three pairs of Altra shoes for a lot of my training I don’t mind that, thoughI do wonder if it might feel a little sloppy once out on the trails. That being said, the midfoot and heel lockdown is great. 

The upper does remind me slightly of the On CloudMonster, where I loved the shoe but my negatives came that the medial side of the upper could have done with just reinforcing a little with some structural design just to make it feel more supportive as legs fatigue and possible occurrences of overpronation occur. 

Also as with a lot of shoes I’ve test this last year, the Pro Endur Trail has a super thin tongue which just don’t seem to work with my ankle structure, so I fully expect that to cut and dig in to my ankle for the first couple runs till its sharpness gets worn down a little. 

Size wise a UK 10 fits true to size with my longest toe coming just reaching the beginning of the toe bumper, allowing me to have space for when my feet warm and expand out on the run.  

Jeremy: Just like Matt, the Craft Pro Endur “road” shoe became one of my favorite do-it-all, cushioned and energetic shoe last year - and it’s still part of my rotation. When I discovered that Craft was about to sell its offroad sibling, keeping the same Px foam, adding some lugs and making the upper a bit sturdier (albeit not needed IMO), I must admit that I was really looking forward to running them. 

I’ve been sent a nice colorway that Craft describes as a simple “gray” on their website, but it’s more of a linen-colored mesh, with some orange overlays and purple laces. The upper is made of a “durable lightweight nylon”, as  printed on the shoe, yet it feels the same as the engineered mesh of the Pro Endur. It might be tad less pliable to increase its durability, but this is not without consequence on its foot conforming ability.

The base of the upper sees a TPU overlay going all the way round to add some sturdiness here, which is a commonly weak point for many trail running shoes. Upfront, it also adds a little bit of rock protection but given its flexibility, it stays very minimal.

The vertical overlay on the medial side is reminiscent of its road sibling, but I found it to be less effective here, and more globally I’m finding the fit of the Endur Trail to be less refined, fitting/ sitting further from the foot than on the Endur Road. 

It feels like there is too much volume in the midfoot, or that the upper cannot be tied close enough to the foot  to ensure a secure midfoot hold. It’s much more sensitive when going off road, as the stride is less straight and regular than on the road, and that’s where you’d need more foot hold.  

The overall upper is voluminous, almost to excess. As shown in the picture above, I need to really tighten the laces in order to get a decent hold in the midfoot, but it leads to borderline discomfort with the laces,n and the upper is on the fence of bunching up at the front.

As a comparison, here’s how close the upper of the Pro Endur Distance (road) fits with a somewhat similar hold: 

The laces are much further on the sides despite the similar tightness around the midfoot. Needless to say the Pro Endur Road is more comfortable and fits better.

The gusseted tongue does a good job in wrapping the instep, but it does not bring any more hold here. It’s exactly the same construction as in the Pro Endur Road, with the same quality: the tongue is thin, does not move at all, and effectively protects from the very long, too long actually, stretchy laces.

The fit is a bit long in my usual 10.5US, but considering the trail-running orientation of the shoe it does not bother me at all.  I tend to like some space upfront in all my shoes (at least 1 cm) and I can live with this. The forefoot is much wider than the picture shows, with a nice rounded shape and space for the toes.

The heel counter sits a bit higher than Pro Endur Road as to further enhance  the heel hold of the shoe. 

The upper tier is pliable, and it’s well padded: no discomfort nor unwanted movement here, the heel is firmly held in place.

I really like the details and effort Craft put into the insole, marketing it as a “Contoured Chassis insole”. It’s made of a lightweight, cushy material perforated by many holes covered with the thinnest piece of fabric. Breathability under foot is excellent.

Mike P: I received the Pro Endur Trail at the same time as the CTM Ultra 3. My thoughts on both shoes are somewhat colored by the fact that I was testing both of them concurrently. I had an upcoming 24 hour race on a flat, dirt, uneven surface loop, and both shoes out of the box seemed like contenders to wear for that event. I ultimately didn’t pick either though, as I found some issues with both shoes.

The Pro Endur Trail out of the box felt especially voluminous - much more so than the CTM Ultra 3. Both lengthwise and widthwise they felt overly spacious. As with the CTM Ultra 3, snugging up the laces to the max provided not much relief. Both sides of the upper are nearly touching when I tighten the laces, yet still it doesn’t feel quite secure. To me it just seems like there’s too much upper material, and it’s not well structured or shaped to the foot. 

One obvious issue is that the lowest row of laces is located pretty high up on the midfoot. That leaves a huge amount of upper across the forefoot that is really difficult to tighten. When I tighten up the laces, there’s a big foldover of the material below that lowest row of laces - and it still feels like I’d like to have it more secure.

I consider myself to have a regular volume foot, so I’d venture to say that you need to have a high volume foot to feel comfortable or secure in these. I had to go with my thickest socks to passably fill out the upper - socks that I typically never run in, and certainly wouldn’t want to use in warmer weather. I don’t have experience with other Craft shoes, but I’d recommend going down ½ size in these, at least in comparison to the CTM Ultra. 

Jeff V:  My colleagues describe the ins and outs of the upper well.  Out of the box I am struck by the classy good looks of the Endurance Trail.  They feel light in the hand and even lighter on the foot (despite not being particularly light).  

Initial step in comfort is excellent, with a very soft midsole feel and can tell they feel responsive just in the kitchen.  

While the lacing is very secure and somewhat of a chore to lace/unlace, I can tell right away that the volume is going to be too much for my narrow, low volume foot.  While the material feels well structured and like it could be secure, there is just a bit too much material and volume for me to get a snug and precise fit, no matter how I hard I snug up the laces.  This fit/volume really limited my use of the Endurance Trail to be more of a shoe for non technical runs and only for fast in a straight line or uphill.  

As far as length, fit is true to size. I did push them a bit in more technical terrain and while my foot was not sliding around like they might in an Altra, I did not feel at all confident and found myself slowing considerably to stay in control.


Matt: Though seemingly the same Px Foam as in the Pro Endur Distance, which I found to feel firm and quite solid, until after a couple of runs when broken in and then softened nicely. So due to the outsole rubber and lugs, I expected the Craft Pro Endur Trail to feel firm straight on the foot and over the first couple runs. 

But I was wrong, straight on the foot the Px Foam feels a lot more lively than my testing of it’s road counterpart last summer, maybe Craft has tweaked the foam slightly since then and for this model, knowing the outsole would add some firmness?  But it was a welcome difference especially as my first run in them was to be a 2 hours 10 minute time-on-feet run on the local trails and roads, after a tough 8x1km track session the night before. 

Heading out the door the first couple miles of the run where on road, here the shoe felt lively and responsive from the midsole, cushioning the impact and giving my tired legs some pop as I got going. 

Onto softer ground with some muddy trails there was still some trace of that responsiveness but obviously it was dialed down significantly due to the softer ground underfoot dispersing the forces further. I tried to find some firmer rocky trails to see how the midsole felt on that and although there was limited choice near me, the couple gravel tracks I managed to get on the midsole gave a similar bounce to that I had on the road. Plus, though high stack on all three terrains the midsole still maintained a good level of stability, and I still had a good ground contact feeling across them.  

Jeremy: That’s strange as my experience with the midsole is quite different from Matt’s - or it’s my memory playing games. Despite sharing the same Px midsole material as the Pro Endur Road, I found the Endur Trail to be a bit firmer and harsher during the first couple of runs. Nothing too firm here, just not the same smooth but energetic cushioning as in the Endur Road, and it was quite expected to me, given the added layer of outsole rubber.

Despite these first impressions, which lasted for about 50 kms, I’m now retrieving the same tremendous midsole that I still enjoy in the Pro Endu Road. Lively, energetic, never mushy, it’s an excellent compound that is very durable and retains its qualities for many miles: my Pro Endur Road still runs as new after 300 kms and with the same bounce.

So my advice here would be not to judge the Endurance Trail too early, especially if your first runs are on the road, but let the midsole open up a bit, or stay offroad.

Despite its great energy return, the Px midsole foam has a very predictable and  healthy behavior: not overly bouncy so that you can’t control your steps, cushioned and protective but not completely disconnected from the ground.

Given the width of the platform, and the midsole firmness, the shoe is particularly stable, something that’s appreciated when you go off-road on some stony terrain. This could be perfect for more gnarly off roads paths had the upper been more refined. As a consequence of this, I’ll limit the Endurance Trail to moderately technical terrain.

Mike P: I found the Px Foam midsole to be very nicely soft and cushioned, but I did feel the responsiveness was a bit muted. Again, here my thoughts could be influenced by my testing of the CTM Ultra 3 which has a firmer foam and its geometry is much more responsive. The Pro Endur Trail’s Px foam nicely soaks up gravely trails and feels comfortable underfoot for long distances. The foam itself reminds me of the 361 Centauri (and it should as the Centauri also has TPE foam), but just a touch firmer. 

I agree with Jeremy, that the midsole doesn’t give a bouncy feel. Its tendency is to absorb the trail underneath your foot as opposed to bouncing back off of it. Another feeling I had was that they did feel like they could use a bit more width underfoot. At times the stack feels a bit high and maybe a few extra mm’s of width under the heel could give them a more solid feel underfoot. I think the Px Foam is cushioned and dense enough, so ideally I think the shoe would feel better transferring a couple mm’s of foam from the height to the width. 

Jeff V:  I find the Px foam midsole to be energetic and responsive, quick on uphills and shock absorbing on the downhills.  Cushioning is excellent, soft enough to feel comfortably plush, yet not at all mushy, with excellent support, stability and a predictable feel.  I found protection to be very good underfoot and certainly adequate for the more mellow terrain that the Endurance Trail is intended for.


Matt: I’m not sure on the exact rubber used for the outsole, but it doesn’t seem as tacky or grippy as the likes of Continental rubber or Puma’s PumaGrip and I’m not sure I’d really trust it on slippy wet rock surfaces. Yet it’s 3mm lugs held up well on the muddy trail paths I tested them on and the lugs didn’t feel overly rugged and detrimental when hitting the roads. 

Jeremy: I’d describe the lugs as “middle of the road”. Their 3mm height is enough to ensure some grip on looser terrain, preferably dry, and they don’t feel “too much” when hitting the road.

The rubber compound is vastly superior to the one found in the previous Ultra CTM which was incredibly slippery -almost unsafe- on wet asphalt. It might not be the grippiest of rubbers around, but it works pretty decently. I can’t tell for sure that it’s shared with the Pro Endur Distance road, but it feels the same, the differences coming from the larger contact surface on the road version.

The outsole even shares the exact same geometry and cut outs under the forefoot and at the heel. Despite the added rubber the shoe retains the same flex as the Pro Endur road, giving the Endurance Trail an almost nimble feeling that is not expected by looking at the thick midsole.

The outsole seems also quite durable as I can’t detect any wear signs after around 70 kms shared on trails, some rocks and on the road. As a comparison, I’d put the Pro Endurance Trail in the same ballpark as the Pegasus Trail 4GTX in the outsole department.

Mike P: The outsole rubber and lugs seems optimized for gravel-style terrain. There’s enough lug depth to grab in a bit of loose terrain, but they’re flat so the ride still feels smooth, even if you have to cover some road sections. I don’t consider them a moderate/technical trail shoe (primarily due to the upper), and I think the outsole doesn’t support that either.

[Pro Endur Trail (bottom) in comparison to CTM Ultra 3 (top) - the forefoot segmentation of the outsole provides a smoother landing, but saps a bit of responsiveness and speed]

I do like the segmentation of the outsole - especially up front. My midfoot/forefoot landings feel smooth. That outer segment running along the lateral side absorbs the initial impact well, then rolls smoothly to the medial side. Also limiting the coverage under the midfoot is a good choice to maintain the flexibility front-to-back with such a high stack. It works, as I don’t feel any stiffness in the rear of the shoe.

Jeff V:  I view the outsole of the Endurance Trail to be adequate for its intended use on moderate to more mellow trails, providing good grip on gravelly surfaces.  I ran in them on snow, packed/icy snow, rocky technical, some steep off trail, mud etc…. and traction was reasonable, but I will confess that because of the limitations of the not so secure upper, any more outsole performance would really be unnecessary because you really can’t push the limits of traction in this shoe before you reach your (at least my) foothold limits.


Matt: The Craft Pro Endur Trail has a fun and lively ride, for me it topped that of its road counterpart, mostly due to having that bouncy responsive feeling straight out the box. It had a nice smooth transition from heel to toe off, and that 36mm heel and 27mm forefoot stack height meant there was plenty of cushion underfoot at all points of impact. Though weighing in at 315g/11.1oz in my UK size 10,  the Pro Endur Trail actually felt really quite light on foot, I think due to the one piece mesh upper and the responsiveness of the Px Foam.   

Jeremy: As I stated previously, the ride has evolved quite a lot between my first outings and after 50 kms. I was initially a bit let down by the shoe, as it feels flatter, more dead to me than the Pro Endur Road. I was putting this on the outsole’s fault , and the weight was also an unpleasant surprise, at 325g / 11.46 oz (in my US10.5),  it’s 50g heavier per shoe than the Pro Endur Road. This seems quite excessive given the apparent differences between the shoes.

An early A/B test with the Road version confirmed that the Endurance Trail seemed to have lost something…But after some runs, things changed drastically. The shoe regained a bit more flex, the midsole pop that I still appreciate in the Pro Road was back, and I enjoyed the shoe for many different sort of runs: shorter ones, longer ones, easy, tempo, hills, and some reflex-testing ones with my dog who loves stopping right in front of me at 4’/km pace.

The shoe is protective but not disconnected from the ground, and I ended my longest run of ~2h with quite fresh legs.

The outsole is effective and I find it very secure on many ground types. It’s not ideal on the road but yet it’s no slouch here.

The only drawback is the fit of the midfoot that hugely compromises the foothold. The heel is perfectly held, the toes have adequate space not to get squeezed even during long runs, but I’ve been unable to come up with a secure midfoot hold. That’s not an issue on easy trails, but become a bit more tricky as soon as you go to more uneven terrain. That’s something to keep in mind.

I’m also a bit astonished by the differences between Matt and I about the foam, and even about the weight: his 10UK shoe weighs 315g whereas my 10.5US/9.5UK shoe weighs in at a hefty 325g. That’s quite a huge difference, and it should be the other way round.

Mike P: I found the ride of the Pro Endur Trail to be smooth and comfortable, but not overly exciting. A little flat feeling, as Jeremy states. I get the sense that the Px Foam is really a very good compound, but it’s really held back by the rest of the shoe. The upper is the main culprit here. There’s just too much volume and not enough structure to the material. I don’t have any sense of attachment to the shoe overall - it just feels like my foot is barely held on to the top.

As I was testing for my upcoming 24H race, I did a lot of slow-paced flat-dirt testing. The shoe worked fine for those conditions, but unfortunately I sensed that I wouldn’t want to take them beyond that realm. They do weigh in at a hefty 11.1 oz (314g), so that’s another consideration. A somewhat heavy shoe that just doesn’t “feel” good on foot is not a great recipe for me.

With our funky winter/spring conditions here, I also took them up on a steep dirt road loop in muddy/slushy/snowy/icy conditions. They handled the terrain ok, but I never felt comfortable, especially on the descent. With the amount of give underfoot from the Px foam, I’d definitely want to feel more connected to the shoe, but the upper just does not provide that at all. 

Jeff V:  I found the ride of the Endurance Trail to be lively, responsive, energetic and fun, with a quick, smooth transition, particularly on the uphill, but mostly limited to easy terrain.  I think if the upper were more dialed, this would be a really fast shoe, but because of the upper I am reluctant to push this shoe to its limits.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Matt: OverallI I found the Craft Pro Endur Trail to be a fun and lively trail shoe best suited for light, non-technical trails and mix of road and trail. Compared to its road counterpart, I found the Endur Trail to feel bouncy and fun right out of the box, while the Road needed a little breaking in. 

My main negatives are with the upper, which is lacking in some medial support through the midfoot, and some may find the toe box a little roomy, though it wasn’t an issue for me as I am used to the natural shaped toe box of Altra shoes. 

The outsole tread was great for light mud and gravel dirt paths, I’m not sure on how well it would be on wet rocks on more technical trails as it did slip a little on wet road surfaces yet the lugs weren’t too deep to make road running feel uncomfortable and the shoe worked well as really nice hybrid shoe. 

As someone who isn’t a huge trail shoe fan, due to their tendency to feel firmer, and who will often just throw on a road shoe to head out on the trails, the Craft Pro Endur Trail is definitely a shoe I shall keep in my arsenal for road to trail and trail runs, especially those exploring runs on holiday, plus it’s a really stylish looking shoe as well which is a great bonus and credit to Craft’s design team.

Score: 9/10 

(Ride: 10/10, Fit: 8/10, Value: 10/10, Style: 10/10, Traction: 8/10, Rock Protection: 9/10)

Smile Score: 😊😊😊😊😊   

Mike P: Craft definitely has something to work with here - the Px foam. But unfortunately the upper of the shoe is a major miss for me. Honestly, after testing a bit - I started browsing the Craft website for other shoes that utilize the Px foam compound. For a true trail shoe, upper fit and security is paramount - and this is the area where the Pro Endur Trail is most lacking. As much as I like the Px foam, I can’t find a spot where the Pro Endur Trail would fit into my rotation. I have many better options for light-duty and/or long distance trail runs.

Perhaps if you are really looking for a high-volume upper, these would work well for you. If the fit is ok, they would surely be able to handle big miles on easy-light trails, dirt roads, and gravel/park paths, etc.

Mike P’s Score: 7.55 / 10

Ride: 8 - Nice and smooth on easy terrain, but terrain-limited due to upper

Fit: 6 - Too much volume in the upper, not much structure, security

Value: 7 - High price for a terrain-limited trail shoe, but should be extremely durable if you’re looking for a gravel or rail trail cruiser

Style: 8 - Like the light gray with splashes of color

Traction: 9 - Good enough for light trails

Rock Protection: 9 - Lots of foam underfoot, your feet will be fine over long distances on say, gravel, but I wouldn’t take them anywhere near real rocks. 

Smiles 😊😊😊

Jeremy: Despite the issue with the too voluminous fit, I must say that I really enjoy the Craft Endurance Trail. It was not  love at first run, but after some miles I’ve finally retrieved the character I loved in the Pro Endur Road: bouncy, smooth, energetic, with a very healthy behavior of the midsole. The shoe can easily become a miles muncher given its deep cushioning, and I can see it becoming a big part of my rotation as the paths around home are a mix of roads, trail, light gravel and some light mud: all terrains on which the outsole of the Endurance Trail excels and its midsole shines. Based on its road sibling durability, it will also be able to cover lots of hours before losing its qualities.

Score: 8.7/10 

(Ride: 10/10, Fit: 7.5/10, Value: 10/10, Style: 9/10, Traction: 8/10, Rock Protection: 9/10)

Smile Score: 😊😊😊😊😊

Jeff V:  I am torn about the Endurance Trail.  On one hand, I am really impressed by the Px foam and I really enjoy the energetic, responsive, smooth ride.  The look of the shoe is classy, quality seems very good, they are very comfortable and fun on mellow terrain or door to light trail.  But, the upper is a bit of a struggle for me and I just can’t get seem to dial them in to feel confident pushing fast in them, especially on anything moderately technical.  This is unfortunate because they just beg to go fast and I want to push them (sort of like a Ferrari on wagon wheels).  

What would I recommend them for?  I think they are great for those with large volume feet and want a lot of room for door to easy trail, easy to moderate trails, daily training.

Jeff V’s Score: 8.2 / 10

Ride: 9 - The ride is excellent on easy trails/door to trail

Fit: 7 - Upper is too roomy and I am not able to secure properly

Value: 7 - $160 is a lot given the limited use

Style: 9 - Classy with a good contrast of colors

Traction: 9 - reasonable for light trail use and intended purpose.  

Rock Protection: 9 - no issues here, even on the rocks I have run on, but honestly with the loose upper, not much time will (should) be spent on rocks

Smiles 😊😊😊

6 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Pro Endur Distance (RTR Review)

Matt: Utilizing the same Px Foam as in the Pro Endur Distance, the Endur Trail even with its trail outsole rubber, which more often than not firms up a shoe, felt softer and livelier than the Distance straight out of the box. The Distance required quite a few runs to get it to a point where it felt like it had the same bounce and cushion that the Trail simply had  from day one.  The Trail was a much more pleasant experience overall and with the lugs not being too large to make road running uncomfortable. 

If I was to choose between the two, it would be a simple answer of the Endur Trail everytime. 

Also from a style perspective the Endur Trail I received in the flex-dessert colour was a lot cooler than the all black Endur Distance I tested but that is very much a personal taste thing. 

Jeremy:  Despite the first tepid impression, Craft has perfectly managed to create an offroad twin to its tremendous “do it all” shoe from past year. The same energetic ride, pop is now heading to (light) trails, and it can be the perfect shoe for the drier spring/summer season.

Craft CTM Ultra  2(RTR review)

Jeremy: One of my favorite shoes of recent years, the Ultra CTM was more enjoyable on dry roads than on trails, as its fit was even looser than the Endurance Trail. The latter loses a bit of efficiency on the roads, but it runs even more lively, and there’s no match between those on the trails. Even with its loose midfoot fit, the Endurance Trail is more secure than the Ultra CTM, and its outsole is more adequate for trail - and I’m not even talking about wet asphalt or rocks where the CTM was almost dangerous.

Mike P (10.0): Size-wise, go ½ size down in the Pro Endur Trail in relation to the CTM Ultra. I can understand giving more upper volume for a trail shoe, but they took it a bit too far here. The CTM Ultra 3 has an incredible ride - firmer foam, but with a more dynamic geometry. Turnover is so quick and the shoe rides so fast. With its dirt-ready outsole, it’s a much better pick for me for long, flat path/trail runs at all speeds. It does have its own upper issues though - again too much upper material, wide, and hard to lock down (see my upcoming review). But the CTM Ultra 3 fills a gap in my rotation whereas there are many better options than the Pro Endur Trail.

Jeff V: I ran in the first CTM Ultra and found them to be very fast on the road with a similar energetic feel, and perhaps more so.  The Endurance Trail is more trail capable, with better lugs/outsole. I had similar fit/security issues in both.

ON Cloudmonster (RTR Review)

Matt: Minus the trail outsole and the obviously different constructed midsoles, from Px Foam to Helion and CloudTec design in a blind test these two shoes would be near identical in feel from the responsive cushioning, to the uppers which though offering good lockdown, lacked medial support, allowing slight overpronation and  paper thin tongues which dug into the ankle bone. Both shoes are shoes  I can only describe as being extremely fun to run in, with the Pro Endur Trail having obviously the grip and design to allow you to take that fun feeling onto the trails, while the Monster is solely suited to road uses.   

361 Centauri (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): The Centauri’s TPE midsole feels somewhat similar in character to the Craft’s Px foam. Very dense and absorptive, cushioned in feel, yet not mushy. The Centauri may have just a little bit of bounce in comparison to the Craft. The Centauri is a road shoe, and works well there. With its flattish rubber outsole, there’s not much overlap in terms of terrain. I’d stick with the Pro Endur Trail on any type of dirt or gravel-ish stuff. The Centauri’s upper felt a touch snug for me, but I’d take it any day over the Craft’s insecure fit. The foam is the star of both shoes, but personally I get much more usage from the Centauri. 

Saucony Ride 15 TR (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): Just one of the great trail shoes from Sacuony’s lineup, it’s in the same terrain realm as the Pro Endur Trail. The Saucony feels much softer underfoot, and more flexible. I’d give the edge to the Pro Endur Trail in underfoot cushion and protection if you’re going really long, but the Ride TR has enough to handle several hours. Plus you save a full 1.5 oz. The Ride TR’s upper isn’t secure enough for technical terrain, but it fits much better than the Craft, and I can handle moderate trails easily in them. For most conditions, the Ride 15 TR is a better shoe, and a much better value.

Jeff V:  Mike sums up the comparison well, though I found the Ride TR to have an adequately secure upper for technical terrain, though the Ride TR is not really made for that terrain.

Topo Ultraventure 3 (RTR Review)

Mike P (10.0): If you’re looking for an all-day trail cruiser for light-moderate trails, you can’t go wrong with the Ultraventure 3. There’s a lot of overlap between these two shoes, but I’d say the Topo ends up far ahead. More trail-capable, with much better foothold, plenty of cushion underfoot, amd with a nice, smooth all-day ride. In terms of the foam itself, I’d give a slight edge to the Craft’s Px Foam, but next Gen Zip foam is in no way lacking. Plus the Craft is nearly 0.5 oz heavier, and much of that likely comes from the foam’s greater stack height. The Ultraventure 3 can handle everything the Pro Endur Trail can, and more, and is slightly less expensive.  

Jeff V:  Mike nails it exactly and I agree on all points.

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Tester Profiles

Matt is the owner of Made to Run an independent running store based between Manchester and Liverpool in the UK, which he runs alongside his mother Susan who competed in the 1987 Rome World Championships 10,000m and 1988 Seoul Olympic Marathon for Great Britain. So with running in the family, Matt has high goals of replicating what his mother did and having raced at the national level over in the UK for the last 15 years, Matt made a further step towards his goal on his 30th birthday when he won the 2021 Manchester Marathon in 2:18.23, followed two weeks later by winning the Liverpool Rock N Roll Marathon. Matt also has PR's for the 5km -14:18, 10km  - 30:11 and HM - 65:28. Matt's next goal will be to try and run the 2022 Commonwealth Games Qualifying standard in the marathon over at the Seville Marathon in February. Matt is also the author of The Art of Running, a graphic novel about legendary runner Steve Prefontaine.

Jeremy MARIE, French, 40y/o. Running since 2013 and quickly transitioned to trails, focused on ultras since 2015 : TDS, Maxi-Race, “100 miles du Sud”, 90 kms du Mt Blanc, GRP 120kms, Some shorter more mellow races (Saintelyon 45 kms, Ecotrail Paris 45 kms…) with always in the mix road and flat running, but not many road races. Recovery/easy runs ~4’45/km - 4’30/km. He has an un-official marathon PR of 2h54 (solo) and 10K PR of 36’25. He does few timed road races.

Mike Postaski currently focuses on long mountainous ultras - anywhere from 50K up to his favorite - 100M. 5'10", 138 lbs, midfoot/forefoot striker - he typically averages 70 mpw (mostly on trails), ramping up to nearly 100 mpw during race buildups. A recent 2:39 road marathoner, his easy running pace ranges from 7:30 - 9:00/mi. In 2022 Mike won both the Standhope 100M and IMTUF 100M trail ultras within a 7 week period - both extremely rugged Idaho mountain races. Mike's shoe preferences lean towards firmer, dense cushioning, and shoes with narrower profiles. He prefers extra forefoot space, especially for long ultras, and he strongly dislikes pointy toe boxes.

Jeff Valliere loves to run and explore the mountains of Colorado, the steeper and more technical the better. He has summited all of the 14ers in the state and can be found on mountain trails daily, no matter the weather, season, conditions or whether there is daylight or not.  On the side he loves to ski (all forms) bike and hike, often with his family, as he introduces his 12 year old daughters to the outdoors. Jeff was born and raised in New Hampshire, but has called Colorado home for over 25 years. He is 5’9” and 145 lbs.

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

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azer89 said...

I own 2 pairs of Pro Endurs (the road version). I agree that the toebox is really roomy, but it's a plus for some people. The laces are so long and I have to replace them with shorter ones. I like them so much, pebax midsole without plates makes the shoes great daily trainers.

I also think the stack height is just too high and I agree with the assessment that the shoes aren't the best choice for technical trails, but would be ideal for smooth gravel

Jeremy said...

Hi azer89,
Thanks for reading Roadtrailrun reviews.
The toebox is not the issue here - i love roomy toe boxes , and I love the shape of the Pro Endur Road. The issue is here is more located around the midfoot, with too much volume and a not pliable enough upper. For instance the Ultra CTM was gigantically roomy in the midfoot, but the thin upper made it quite conforming. It’s not so much the case here.
Totally agree on the midsole. Energetic, dynamic, smooth and cushioned ride :)

Mike P said...


That's the shoe I spotted that I'd like to try out. Same foam, and maybe the upper will be better for me??

If you've read my other reviews, I definitely like space in the toebox and across the forefoot. I agree with Jeremy though - there's just too much material in the upper, mainly in the midfoot. And furthermore, it's just not structured at all or shaped to the foot. So it's kind of like chance as to whether your foot shape fills in the right areas to give a decent fit.

geometry dash said...

Yeah, I totally agree that the stack height is way too high and the shoes might not be the best for technical trails, but they'd be perfect for cruising on smooth gravel.

Mike P said...

geometry- that's spot on. I actually wouldn't take them on any type of trails at all where there are uneven surfaces.

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