Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 VS Endorphin Pro 3: What Should I Buy?

The Saucony Endorphin Pro has become one of the most popular marathon racing shoes on the market. The original Endorphin Pro set a new standard for lightweight performance trainers when it launched in 2020.

Saucony recently released the Endorphin Pro 3, promising even faster times with key upgrades. But how does it actually compare to the previous Endorphin Pro 2 model? Let’s break it down in this side-by-side analysis.

Similarities And Differences Between Endorphin Pro 2 And 3:

FeatureEndorphin Pro 2Endorphin Pro 3
Launched In20212022
StabilityModerate stability featuresModerate stability features
FlexibilityFlexible forefootMedium flexibility
SizingRuns small, order 0.5 size upRuns true to size
Weight6.7 oz (M)8.2 oz (M)
CushionPWRRUN PB foam (lively, responsive)Soft foam (less responsive)
OutsoleXT-900 rubber (grippy)Durable rubber
MidsolePWRRUN PB foam + carbon plateSoft foam + carbon plate
UpperSingle-layer engineered meshBreathable mesh
Retail Price$70$225

Features Comparison:

Materials:

When it comes to materials, the Endorphin Pro 2 seems to leverage more advanced technologies for a fine-tuned running experience. The Pro 2 uses a single-layer engineered mesh for the upper which provides a secure fit while maintaining breathability.

ENDORPHIN PRO 2
ENDORPHIN PRO 2

SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO 3
ENDORPHIN PRO 3

The Pro 3 has a more basic breathable mesh upper that some runners found fits too snugly. Both shoes incorporate a carbon fiber plate but the Pro 2 pairs it with Saucony’s PWRRUN PB cushioning in the midsole which offers lively energy return and responsiveness.

The Endorphin Pro 3 uses only a less responsive soft foam midsole. Additionally, the Pro 2 boasts Saucony’s grippy XT-900 rubber in the outsole while the Pro 3 simply utilizes a basic durable rubber outsole. The Pro 2’s sophisticated use of high-end running materials gives it an edge over the Pro 3’s more simple construction.

Durability:

When it comes to durability, testers found both the Endorphin Pro 2 and Pro 3 to be quite durable, capable of holding up well after multiple long runs. However, the Pro 2 seems to leverage more technologies engineered specifically for longevity under the repetitive pounding of daily running.

The Pro 2’s PWRRUN PB foam midsole retains its lively, energetic feel for more miles compared to the softer foam in the Pro 3. Additionally, the grippy XT-900 rubber of the Pro 2’s outsole offers better protection against wear and tear than the basic durable rubber of the Pro 3.

So while both are durable options, the Pro 2 gets the edge for targeted compounds and technologies designed to maintain performance for more miles.

Fit:

The fit profile differs noticeably between the two models. Most runners found the Endorphin Pro 2 delivers on its promise of a true-to-size fit, securely locking the midfoot in place without uncomfortable pressure points.

ENDORPHIN PRO 2 TOP VIEW
ENDORPHIN PRO 2 TOP VIEW

SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO 3 TOP VIEW
ENDORPHIN PRO 3 TOP VIEW

However, the Pro 3 runs quite small, exhibiting a tighter overall fit and more constricting toe box than its predecessor. The Pro 3’s mesh upper pulls the top of the foot back, resulting in irritation for some wearers.

Considering many buyers had to size up for the Pro 3, the dialed-in fit that defines the Endorphin Pro series seems to be lacking. Sticking with your regular size in the Pro 2 is still recommended for ideal security and comfort.

Stability:

Stability remains similar between the two models as they are both neutral shoes most suitable for neutral runners. The snugger fit of the Endorphin Pro 3 does clamp the midfoot tightly in place to provide a stable feel when fatigue sets in later in a run or race.

However, the Pro 2 delivers that same secure midfoot lockdown through its seamless engineered mesh upper while allowing a more relaxed fit through the forefoot and toes for better overall balance.

Unless you need stabilizing features for pronation, either the Endorphin Pro option wins on keeping your foot securely aligned when fatigued or sprinting fast.

Cushioning:

When it comes to cushioning, the Endorphin Pro 2 seems better equipped for absorbing impacts while still offering energetic toe-offs. The Pro 2 incorporates Saucony’s PWRRUN PB foam which remains lively and smooths out harshness from concrete while providing a propulsive feel.

Comparatively, test runs found the Pro 3’s soft foam cushioning compresses too easily, creating a firmer ride lacking the energetic snap of the Pro 2.

Additionally, the Pro 3 picks up more road vibration through a less cushioned forefoot. For balancing cushioning with race-ready responsive stiffness, the Pro 2 beats out the Pro 3’s pared-back foam.

Value:

Considering the Endorphin Pro 2 retails for $70 compared to the $225 price tag of the Endorphin Pro 3, the value proposition strongly favors the Pro 2 model.

At less than one-third of the cost, buyers still get access to the propulsive carbon plate along with Saucony’s resilient PWRRUN PB cushioning matching shoes three times the price.

Additionally, the Pro 2 delivers a tuned ride spec for racing and speed drills rather than just stripped-down cushioning in the Pro 3. Unless budget is no concern, get similar top-level performance for far less in the Pro 2. Its prowess beating out $200 models proves you don’t need to overpay for excellence now found affordably in the Pro 2.

Performance comparison:

Walking:

Due to the stiff carbon plates and midsoles prioritizing speed, neither Endorphin Pro model truly excels for walking. Testers found the Pro 3’s compressed foam makes for an awkward walking feel compared to shoes with cushioning better suited for lower-speed movement.

The Pro 2 leverages a flexible forefoot along with its well-cushioned PWRUN PB foam to fare somewhat better, but still not ideal for walks. For walking specifically, choose shoes engineered to keep feet and legs happier over prolonged low-intensity movement rather than explosive racers like the Endorphin series.

Running:

As expected for shoes with “Pro” branding, both the Endorphin Pro 2 and Pro 3 deliver superb performance for running, whether speed work, tempo efforts, or racing.

Testers set personal records in the Pro 2, chopping minutes off times from 5K through the marathon distance thanks to the propulsion from its plate and PWRUN PB cushioning.

For shorter distances, the Pro 3 shines as well relying on that rigid snap. However, for half and full marathons, the Pro 2 ensures legs stay fresher later into the miles while still providing a finely tuned, responsive ride.

Plantar Fasciitis:

The minimal cushioning of both Endorphin Pro models offers insufficient relief for aggravated plantar fasciitis. Testers found the firm plate feel and thinner heel padding do little to calm pain from inflamed tissue along the bottom of the foot.

Comparatively, the Pro 2’s extra PWRRUN PB cushioning softens impacts slightly better. But for managing plantar fasciitis flares, pivoting to more heavily cushioned trainers specifically targeting injury-prone areas works better than low-profile racers like the Endorphins. The lack of overall foam padding cannot counteract discomfort from the condition’s aggravated nerves.

Standing All Day:

The stripped-down, lightweight construction of both Endorphin Pro racing models proves insufficient for all-day standing. Testers experienced significant fatigue and pain standing for long stretches in the Pro 2 and Pro 3 given the minimal foam padding and stiff plated design targeting explosive efforts over comfort.

For prolonged standing, choose shoes engineered specifically to combat fatigue across muscle groups with technologies keeping feet, legs, and back happier. Leave the Pro 2 and 3 for short intense running bursts rather than extending the discomfort of rigid racers lacking standing comforts.

final Verdict:

When all areas are weighed, the Endorphin Pro 2 prevails as the clear preference over the Pro 3 update. Despite costing a fraction of the price, the Pro 2 better achieves the balanced “pro” ride expected through advancements like the energetic PWRUN PB foam and engineered mesh upper.


These technologies create a finely tuned platform ready for racing and training up to 26.2 miles. While the Pro 3 sheds weight, it does so by stripping key features that provide both speed and comfort.

For most runners targeting new PRs from 5K to marathon, the Endorphin Pro 2’s complete package continues delivering on race day without extra cost one year after launching.

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