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

The Saucony Endorphin Speed series has become a favorite for runners looking for a lightweight, responsive daily trainer who can pick up the pace. The Endorphin Speed 2 and 3 models have some key differences that runners should consider when deciding which version works best for them. This in-depth comparison examines the key features, performance, and value of the Endorphin Speed 2 vs 3.

Similarities and Differences Between Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 And Endorphin Speed 3:

FeatureEndorphin Speed 2Endorphin Speed 3
Launched In20212022
StabilityMediumMedium
FlexibilityMediumMedium
SizingTrue to sizeRuns small, size up 0.5
Weight7.9oz (men’s 9) 7.1oz (women’s 8)8.58oz (men’s 10.5)
CushionPWRRUN PB foamPWRRUN PB foam
OutsoleXT-900 rubberXT-900 rubber
MidsolePWRRUN PB foam, nylon platePWRRUN PB foam, nylon plate
UpperEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$69$170

Features Comparison:

Materials:

The Endorphin Speed 2 and 3 share many similarities in materials. Both feature PWRRUN PB cushioning in the midsole, providing a soft and energetic ride. A nylon plate in the midsole of both shoes offers propulsion.

The engineered mesh upper on each model offers lightweight breathability. Where they differ is in the outsole rubber. The Endorphin Speed 2 uses a mix of blown and carbon rubber in the forefoot.

saucony endorphin speed 2
ENDORPHIN SPEED 2

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3
ENDORPHIN SPEED 3

The Speed 3 features all XT-900 rubber, which offers enhanced durability but may sacrifice some responsiveness. The upper on the Speed 3 also has a more seamless, sock-like construction for reduced irritation.

Durability:

When it comes to durability, the Endorphin Speed 3 gains a slight edge over the Speed 2. The full coverage of XT-900 rubber on the outsole boosts longevity, especially in high-wear areas.

The Speed 2’s mix of blown and carbon rubber tends to wear down more quickly. The upper on the Speed 3 also appears slightly more durable with its seamless, flexible construction that resists abrasion better. However, both models should provide at least 300-400 miles of use for most runners.

Proper rotation is recommended to get the most mileage out of either shoe before the midsole starts to break down. The nylon plate may also lose some snapover on both models.

Fit:

The Endorphin Speed 2 offers a true-to-size fit for most runners, with a secure midfoot lockdown and roomy toe box that accommodates various foot shapes.

saucony endorphin speed 2 TOP View
ENDORPHIN SPEED 2 TOP VIEW

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 TOP VIEW
ENDORPHIN SPEED 3 TOP VIEW

The Speed 3 fits noticeably smaller, requiring most runners to size up at least half a size from their normal length. It has a tighter midfoot wrap and tapered toe box that can pinch wider feet.

The Speed 3’s upper also has less give to it compared to the 2. While the Speed 2 provides a dialed-in fit right out of the box, it’s highly recommended to try the Speed 3 in person to nail the sizing before purchasing.

Stability:

Neither the Endorphin Speed 2 nor Speed 3 are designed as stability shoes. Both versions are best suited for neutral runners with an efficient stride who don’t need correction for overpronation.

The raised midsole sidewalls offer some light guidance but do not prevent excessive inward rolling of the foot. The flexible uppers also don’t provide any focused reinforcement for overpronators.

The nylon plates are made more for forward propulsion than stabilizing side-to-side motion. Runners needing extra stability would be better served by Saucony’s Guide or Omni models, rather than the neutral Endorphin Speed 2 or 3.

Cushioning:

The Endorphin Speed 2 and 3 both utilize PWRRUN PB foam in the midsole, providing a responsive, energetic ride. This proprietary foam delivers a good balance of softness and rebound. The Speed 3 feels slightly softer than the Speed 2, but only marginally so.

Neither model would be described as “plush”. The low profile design and nylon plate limit overall shock absorption. For runners over 150 lbs or those needing more cushioning, the higher stack Endorphin Shift would be a better option. The Speed 2 and 3 offer enough cushioning for lighter runners up to half marathon distance, but lack plushness for high mileage.

Value:

The Endorphin Speed 2 provides tremendous value at its current discounted price of just $69, delivering a lightweight, responsive ride for faster training and racing.

Meanwhile, the Speed 3 costs over $100 more at $170 retail, offering only slight upgrades in outsole durability and upper fit. For most runners, the Speed 2 gives you all the performance you need at a fraction of the price of the 3.

Unless you want the very latest model or have specific needs for greater durability, the Speed 2 is the better bargain and still holds up remarkably well compared to the new version.

Performance Comparison:

For Walking:

The Endorphin Speed models are designed for running rather than walking. The nylon plate and rockered geometry are best for accelerating through a midfoot stride rather than slower heel-toe walking gaits.

Both shoes also lack stabilizing features to control excess side-to-side foot movement common during walking. The low stack cushioning doesn’t provide much underfoot protection for extended time on feet.

The uncomplicated uppers also offer minimal coverage for walking. There are better dedicated walking shoes suited for all-day wear, like the Brooks Addiction Walker or New Balance 928v3 for example.

For Running:

Both the Endorphin Speed 2 and 3 excel as fast, lightweight trainers and racers for mid to forefoot strikers, best suited for 5K to half marathon distances. The energetic foam and nylon plate provides a responsive ride to pick up the pace on tempo runs.

The flexible uppers allow a smooth transition through the gait cycle. The Speed 3 feels slightly softer at faster speeds but has nearly identical performance to the Speed 2.

Getting the sizing dialed in, especially in the Speed 3, is key to unlocking their potential. Overall, experienced midfoot strikers will enjoy the quick turnover in both models.

For Plantar Fasciitis:

Neither model is ideal for runners with plantar fasciitis. The lightweight foam and low heel drop don’t provide enough rearfoot cushioning to protect irritated tissue. The lack of a beveled heel also fails to soften the impact for sore heels. The rockered geometry shifts weight forward quickly off the heels.

Compared to shoes like the Brooks Addiction with ample heel cushioning, the Endorphin Speed 2 and 3 are more likely to aggravate rather than alleviate plantar fasciitis pain. Runners with PF need substantial rearfoot shock absorption, which both Speed versions lack.

For Standing All Day:

Like walking, all-day standing is not an ideal use case for the Endorphin Speed shoes. Their lightweight midsoles compress easily and don’t maintain cushioning over extended periods on your feet.

The lack of stabilizing features also fails to support tired feet as fatigue sets in from standing. Again, the low profile design caters more towards fast running rather than being up for consecutive hours.

Nurses, retail workers, and others needing comfortable work shoes would be better served by CrossFit-style trainers with cushioning technologies like HOVR or FuelCell for all-shift wear.

Final Verdict:

When choosing between the Endorphin Speed 2 and the updated Endorphin Speed 3, the standout option for most runners is going to be the Speed 2.

With its current discounted retail price of just $69, the Speed 2 delivers lightweight responsiveness and a fast ride for everything from tempo runs to half marathons.


Unless you specifically need increased outsole durability or struggle to find the right size fit, it’s hard to justify paying over $100 more for the Speed 3.

For responsive daily training without breaking the bank, the Endorphin Speed 2 gives you all the shoes you need at a tremendous value. It remains a proven winner even compared to the latest model.

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