Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 Review (2022): Great Carbon Pick?
Published on: 11/03/2022The Endorphin Pro 3 are Saucony's carbon plated super shoes. This new version is more stable and versatile while retaining its edge for the half marathon!
THE max cushion carbon-plated racing shoe with built-in speed!
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
The Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 is a carbon fiber plate shoe to help you perform on short to mid-distance road races. It’s not impossible to take it beyond, but the firm cushioning, the signature of this model, is not for everyone when it comes to putting extra miles.
The good news is that the PWRRUN PB foam is thicker (39.5 mm in the heel / 31.5mm in the toe), providing more softness without compromising stability. To do so, Saucony widened its platform by a few millimeters.
The carbon plate works perfectly with the Speedroll rocker geometry to provide a smooth, fun, and bouncy ride. Runners love the forward propulsion feel of the shoe with this technology. The speed gain is there, and it feels natural, almost effortless.
The shoe is incredibly light at 7.2 oz/204 grams for the men’s version. This is partly due to the thinness of its upper, composed of a very thin and breathable upper that maintains the foot well.
In summary, the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 is among the best carbon-fiber plate racers, and this new iteration is even more versatile.
Please read our full review of the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 for more information.
- Fun and bouncy ride
- Efficient energy return
- Soft and responsive comfort
- Speedroll technology delivers a smooth ride
- Better stability despite the higher stack height
- Some testers report friction in the heel area, leading to blisters
- Some doubts about the durability of the outsole
Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 Complete Review Analysis
The Pro is the elite of Saucony’s Endorphin running shoe trifecta, and every year, many runners wait impatiently for it to drop.
The Endorphin Pro 3 is no exception. It’s a technology-packed high-end running shoe that can give you an edge on race day. Of course, the new flashy pink colorway is a plus. And if you don’t agree, you can always go for the boring black version.
What changes has Saucony made to the cream of the crop of its road shoe? Will this 3rd iteration live up to expectations? That’s what we will see in this analysis!
Saucony went big with the midsole of its Endorphin Pro 3, but within the World Athletics’ limit, of course. At 39.5 mm in the heel and 31.5mm in the forefoot, the Peba-based PWRRUN PB midsole foam has grown by a full 4 mm.
The heel-to-toe drop of 8 mm remains standard.
These racing shoes may look massive at first, but they’re no less responsive! The S-shaped carbon plate works in concert with the Speedroll rocker design to allow for impressive energy return and efficient forward propulsion.
According to runners, this extra softness mitigates the harshness of the rocker, which some felt was too aggressive in the previous versions. Make no mistake: the cushioning is still firm, but the ride is a tad more pleasant.
Foot lockdown (upper)
We’re not gonna lie, the first thing that strikes you when you get out of the box is this beautiful sparkling pink color. It’s pretty flashy, isn’t it? Sure, not everyone can handle it – but it’s fun touch!
The engineered mesh is incredibly thin, light, and ventilated, right down to the gusseted tongue. Side overlays provide the durability and support needed to keep the foot locked down.
As for the weight, this super shoe remains in the featherweight category with 7.2 oz/204 g in the men’s version despite a slightly wider base. These few extra millimeters provide good stability despite the higher stack. The toe box is not especially spacious (it runs a bit on the narrow side), but it should remain comfortable for wide feet. If not, you may need to go for a half size up.
The only drawback of the upper is the heel counter. The heel collar is padded, but it’s stiff and sits a bit high. As a result, many reviewers reported blisters from rubbing during their first runs. Not ideal!
Grip and durability
Saucony has completely redesigned the outsole configuration of its Endorphin Pro 3. The higher stack of the PWRRUN PB foam is the main reason. Indeed, such a configuration requires a wider midsole and outsole to keep good lateral stability. According to the runners, the result is quite impressive!
The design of the XT-900 carbon rubber has been revisited with 3 distinct zones: a large continuous band in the forefoot and 2 more in the rear separated by a cutout in the center. A longitudinal groove in the center reveals the Speedroll for easy on/off.
In the general opinion of runners, the traction is excellent at all times. The only downside is the durability of the shoe, with some testers seeing significant wear after 100 km.
Runners were impressed with the great qualities of the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3.
The ride is both smooth and delightfully bouncy with its incredibly thick and responsive foam. Testers also appreciated the firm cushioning associated with the carbon plate.
The combination with the Speedroll rocker is perfect for propelling the body forward naturally, without tiring and without thinking – exactly what any runner needs! The snappy toe-off is especially enjoyable.
As a result, transitions are quick and easy. Also, the platform stability helped runners to feel confident and secure even in abrupt turns at high speed.
Finally, the consensus is that the half marathon is the sweet spot for the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3. It allows it to shine for an intense yet fun ride. Beyond that, some runners felt the firmness of the plate was a bit too much to handle on longer distances.
With the Endorphin Pro 3, Saucony has found the perfect balance between firm cushioning, responsiveness, stability, and performance. This running shoe lives up to the expectations and continues to prove it’s a solid contender in the carbon plate category. Besides, it’s slightly more affordable than some of its competitors, like the Nike Alphafly.
It will suit any runner looking for an edge at the half marathon and even beyond if they don’t mind the firm cushion. Also, its stability makes it a good pick if that’s your first-ever carbon-fiber plated model.
In short, this new version is a big success!
If your Saucony Endorphin Pro 2s have been sitting in your closet for a while now, and you’re wondering whether you should upgrade, check out our comparison below to decide.
|Heel height||39.5 mm|
|Forefoot height||31.5 mm|
|Weight (men)||204 g/7.2 oz|
|Weight (women)||179 g/6.3 oz|
|Features||Carbon-fiber plate, Vegan, Recycled materials, Rocker|
|Outsole||XT-900, carbon rubber|
|Midsole||PWRRUNPB, S-curve carbon-fiber plate, SPEEDROLL|
|Upper||FORMFIT mesh technology|
|Distance||Mid, Half marathon, Long, Marathon|
Reference: Saucony's official site
Comparisons – Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 vs.:
Saucony Endorphin Pro 2
The Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 has undergone some significant transformations compared to version 2.
The most visually dramatic change is the increase in stack height by 4 mm (39.5 mm at the heel), making it just below the official limit to be allowed to compete. The added foam allows the shoe to be more flexible.
But soft doesn’t mean flabby. The ride is more lively, according to the runners. SpeedRoll is the same but less aggressive for more comfort.
Besides the increased stack, there are 2 main changes: a new thinner and more breathable mesh thinner and a wider platform.
Finally, the outsole also changes significantly compared to the Pro 2. There’s more rubber coverage overall, especially in the forefoot. However, counterintuitively, reviews suggest it may be less durable.
In summary, if you’re looking for a more aggressive rocker, stick to v2. If you prefer a more comfortable, versatile, and stable shoe that can accommodate slower paces, consider upgrading to the Pro 3!
- Saucony Endorphin Pro vs. Adidas Adizero Adios Pro
- Saucony Endorphin Pro vs. Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%
- Saucony Endorphin Pro vs. Speed: the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 is kind of the training version of the Pro 3. However, it also has a focus on speed, making it ideal for speed workouts like tempo runs.