Saucony just officially entered the super shoe chat. Endorphin Pro 3 sees that Saucony completely overtakes its most popular road racing shoe in carbon fiber. The brand has changed the upper, and added more PWRRUN PB foam under the feet to change the shoe’s turn completely – it is extremely fast, but still comfortable on the run.
Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 specifications
Weight: 7.2 oz (M), 6.2 oz (W)
Loose: 8 mm
Neutral / stability: Neutral
But how does it compare to some of the best carbon fiber running shoes on the market? The maximum stack height and $ 200 plus price puts this shoe in the same league as the Nike ZoomX Alphafly Next% 2 and Asics Metaspeed Sky +. How does it compare to its fast counterparts, and is it worth saving money on Endorphin Pro 2, which is guaranteed to go on sale now that the newer shoe has launched? Read my full Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 review below to find out more.
Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 review: Price and availability
Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 is available now on saucony.com and selected ongoing retailers such as sportsshoes.com (opens in new tab). At launch (June 2022), Endorphin Pro 3 is available in a pink hue, called “Prospect Quartz” in both men’s and women’s sizes. Endorphin Pro 3 will be available in men’s sizes US 7-15, and women’s sizes US 5-12.
The shoe will cost £ 210 / $ 225, which is more expensive than Endorphin Pro 2, which cost £ 190 / $ 200 at launch. Endorphin Pro 2 is probably cheaper now that the newer shoe has been released; If you are looking for a cheap carbon fiber running shoe, now is a good time to buy one. That said, as I will outline below, there are some major improvements on the Endorphin Pro 3.
Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 review: Design and fit
Saucony has a complete overhaul designed for Endorphin Pro 3, which right out of the box looks like another shoe, not an updated version. The stack height has increased to 39.9 mm, which makes it only legal in the World Athletics guidelines, and is similar to the stack of the Nike ZoomX Alphafly Next% 2. The upper has also been overhauled to more of a mesh – there is quite a lot of through and during testing I found that it was one of the most breathable tops on the market.
When it comes to fit, I found that the shoe was a bit short – I use a UK 5 in most running shoes, and use a UK 4.5 in my everyday shoes. I found that I did not have much space between the big toe and the end of the shoe in Endorphin Pro 3, and wish I had dimensioned up an extra half size. That said, you do not want your racing shoes to be too big, since you will not stop to tighten them when trying to set a new personal record.
As mentioned above, the upper is designed to be super light. The netting is thin, with good stretch. The tongue is minimal – there is no plush or padding over the top of the foot – in fact, Saucony has cut large holes in the tongue to save weight. That said, it was a good deal of lockdown in the shoe. The mesh is not too tight over the top of the foot, and I did not experience any hot spots during testing. The shoes stained my white socks bright pink on the first run, but I will not hold this against them; maybe I’m just a runner with particularly sweaty feet (fine).
The middle part of Endorphin Pro 3 is where the magic happens. Saucony has added a thick stack of its PWRRUN PB foam, giving the shoe a completely different underfoot experience than the Endorphin Pro 2, which just did not have enough pop to compete with any of the better racing shoes on the market. Endrophin Pro 3, on the other hand, is more bouncy and faster than its predecessor – it is far softer than the foam used in the earlier versions of the shoe, but it is not too plush. It is comfortable and efficient, and it is easy to set the pace when you need it in this shoe.
The other element that is worth mentioning in the midsole is Saucony’s ‘Speedroll technology’ which is the geometry of the shoe, designed to keep you rolling forward on the football for a quick transition. There is also a full-length S-shaped carbon fiber plate in the midsole of the shoe, designed to propel you forward as you run.
Although Saucony markets this as a neutral shoe, it has used some design features to add some stability to the cyclist, especially as many runners find that their form struggles during the last miles of a marathon. There are side walls in the midfoot on both the medial and lateral sides of the shoe, which provide some support through this area of the shoe. The center foot is also wider than on previous versions, which provides more stability. I think I overpronate when I run on tired legs, but did not do so in this shoe, which makes it a solid marathon shoe for my autumn run.
The outsole of the shoe is made of Saucony’s XT-900 rubber for a more gripping ride than previous versions. There are no big bumps on the bottom of the shoe – it is definitely still designed for the road, but during testing I had no problems slipping on the sidewalk while running, even in wet conditions. After 30 or so miles clocked in the shoe during testing, there is no sign of wear on the outsole, but like most carbon fiber running shoes, you probably will not have this on all your training miles. Carbon-plated shoes are not designed to last miles and miles – they are built for racing, but by adding a more durable outsole, I would guess Saucony is trying to increase the endurance of this shoe. I will report back on signs of wear and tear after running several miles in it.
Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 Review: Performance
Until now, I have not been a fan of Endorfin Pro. To me, the second version of the shoe did not feel so good to run in – the foam was too firm, and the shoe just felt a little unstable underfoot when I tried to run fast in it. I did not look forward to running in Pro 3, despite the fact that it looked like another shoe when I lifted it out of the box, and I am the first to admit that I have been pleasantly surprised by it.
The shoe feels light and fast underfoot. I have used it in a tough kilometer repetition session, and found that I could easily run faster without feeling it in my legs – even my cooling session was 8.15 minutes mile instead of my normal 8.30 minute mile. On a long run, the shoe felt a bit awkward to run at a lower speed, but I think that carbon fiber sneakers always do, and as my legs warmed up, I soon found that the run became more of a progression run, with the shoe encouraging me to run faster.
I really enjoyed running in this shoe, and would say that it is definitely a competitor for those who buy a racing shoe. In addition to this, I have tested Nike ZoomX Alphafly Next% 2 and Ascis Metaspeed Sky +, and Endorphin Pro 3 had a similar amount of bounce and response underfoot.
Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 Review: Dom
This is an excellent running shoe in carbon fiber. Fans of the Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 may not recognize this as an update – it feels and looks like a completely different running shoe. It is fast underfoot, has an excellent amount of cushioning and is an enjoyable ride on days where you really want to increase the pace.
Although it is not the cheapest carbon fiber running shoe on the market, especially compared to the previous version of the shoe, in my opinion the higher price tag is well worth the changes that have been made. It’s about the same price as the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2. But since Nike’s racer has been around for a few years now, if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, you’re more likely to find a last-season colorway at a discounted price.
If you are looking for a running shoe that fits an entire marathon training plan, you will want to buy one without a carbon fiber plate. check out best running shoes on the market here, which includes the Saucony Ride 15 – a comfortable, reliable workhorse that takes you comfortably from A to B, no matter what speed you choose to travel.