Among the competition of men's running shoes, the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 received our top reward, making it a standout competitor in the running world, mainly for its comfortable, responsive cushioning design while feeling very quick and agile. Often trying to combine cushioning and responsiveness into one shoe leaves something desired; however, the Endorphin Speed scores high in both test categories, signifying a great all-around trainer and something you could use on your uptempo or race days. Additionally, this model continues to impress with its low weight and comfortable upper design. Some runners may find a lack of support and stability the only downside of this model.Editor's Note: This individual gear review was updated on March 6, 2022, with additional sections to help with your decision-making.
Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Responsive cushioning, breathable upper, lightweight
Cons: Minimal support and stability
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|Pros||Responsive cushioning, breathable upper, lightweight||Lightweight, great cushioning, comfortable upper||Responsive, light, fast affordable||Responsive cushioning, smooth heel-to-toe rocker, durable||Stable, supportive, durable, comfortable|
|Cons||Minimal support and stability||Less responsive, lacks rubber outsole||Minimal support, lacks cushioning, lacks outsole rubber||Loose heel cup, support under heel lacking||Heavier, less breathable|
|Bottom Line||Excellent cushioning that provides great energy transfer with an extremely comfortable, performance fit upper||These lightweight shoes have top landing comfort and maximum cushion with a great upper||A model that makes you feel quick, fast, and light that provides maximum energy transfer and forward-momentum||A rockered design with responsive cushioning keeps legs feeling powerful and fresh into longer efforts||A classic design that is both supportive and stable with a great upper and durable outsole|
|Rating Categories||Saucony Endorphin S...||Hoka One One Mach 4||Saucony Kinvara 12||New Balance Fresh F...||Brooks Adrenaline G...|
|Cushioning and Landing Comfort (25%)|
|Upper Comfort (20%)|
|Lateral Stability and Support (15%)|
|Specs||Saucony Endorphin S...||Hoka One One Mach 4||Saucony Kinvara 12||New Balance Fresh F...||Brooks Adrenaline G...|
|Weight (per shoe, size 9.5)||8.3 oz.||8.1 oz.||7.7 oz.||9.4 oz.||10.3 oz.|
|Heel to Toe Drop||8 mm||5 mm||4 mm||8 mm||12 mm|
|Midsole Material||PWRRUN||PROFLY||PWRRUN||Fresh Foam||EVA|
|Sole Rubber||XT-900||Rubberized EVA||Foam with rubber inserts||Ortholite||Rubber|
|Upper Material||Engineered mesh||Engineered mesh||Mesh||Synthetic, mesh||Mesh|
|Width Options||Normal||Normal||Normal, wide||Narrow, normal, wide, extra wide||Narrow, normal, wide, extra wide|
|Sizes Available||7 - 15||7 - 14||7 - 15||6 - 20||7 - 15|
Our Analysis and Test Results
In our comprehensive review of men's running shoes, the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 receives our highest honor for its excellent cushioning and responsiveness. We often feel that trade-offs must be made with cushioning and responsiveness, but not with this model. The PWRRUN PB foam compresses under load but then feels quick and agile when toeing off. This motion feels natural due to the Speedroll technology, which Saucony claims helps propel you forward. We agree.
With a modest 8-millimeter heel-to-toe drop, this well-rounded shoe is great for long training days and it can easily transition to tempo or race efforts. The lightweight package and comfortable performance fit upper was another reason this made our top spot. Some may feel that this model lacks support and stability if those attributes are high on your priority list.
Cushioning and Landing Comfort
The Endoprhin Speed 2 receives high marks for cushioning and landing comfort. Each landing was comfortable, supple, and compliant without feeling too soft or loose. Each footstrike had gentle compaction that felt solid and precise and never felt overkill or like we were bottoming out.
This was a favorite of ours on long runs, where the foam absorbed much of the footstrike fatigue and left us feeling fresh much longer into the day. Saucony's PWRRUN PB foam was a favorite of ours and had less of a sinking feeling when compared to their competitors. We appreciated the firmness achieved once the foam compressed; this helped rebound us into a more powerful stride moving forward.
Each comfortable compression of the PWRRUN foam returned a lively amount of energy that propelled us forward. Receiving high marks in this category, the Endorphin Speed 2 felt aggressive and springy. The use of a nylon plate delivered substantial power transfer from the ground, which made aggressive running extremely satisfying. We had some of our best and fastest runs while wearing this contender, and if we were racing, we would not hesitate to use this model for any distance.
A subtle heel-to-toe rocker helps get you on your forefoot for maximum energy transfer, and while not as pronounced as some of the other models we tested, we found this to be the most refined and least cumbersome design. On our first run, we noticed that it felt like the point of our toes dropped off the front of the insole when toeing off, but we experienced no rubbing sensation meaning the shoe was sized correctly. We believe this is due to a steeper toe-off angle. At first, this took some getting used to, but we found that it did a great job of letting our toes drop that last little bit to initiate a powerful toe-off. This became one of our favorite features out of all we tested, and it allowed for great rocker without the need for overbuilt outsole designs.
We did not expect a shoe with such an excellent cushion would also be the model we would also choose for our tempo or race efforts. Getting into a rhythm made each stride feel powerful even when the fatigue slowly started to set in.
A thin, lightweight upper almost mimics what is found on the Saucony Kinvara 12, which we also loved. The upper is thin and breathable and has a slotted fabric design that dumps heat and allows for fast drying. The tongue is also a thin piece of fabric that is flexible and easily conforms to the top of your foot. This stays in place well, with two internal elastic pieces maintaining centeredness over the foot's top. We experienced no issues with the upper, and while not as form-fitting as some one-seam knit uppers, this did a great job of conforming to our foot shape. The toe drop that we mentioned in the cushioning section felt comfortable. While unique at the start, we ended up loving how comfortable it made our toes feel when applying pressure into the ground.
The heel cup is well-positioned and has enough support and rigidity to feel locked in. There is minimal arch support with the Speed 2, and your foot is left in a natural state. There is a slight taper to the toe, which helps prevent side-to-side movement that is not wanted when taking corners. The lacing design is snug and comfortable, with no hot spots on the top of the foot. While not the most luxurious upper we've tested, we found this upper to be simple, comfortable, and not over-engineered. A minimal pull-tab is included for easy on and off.
Lateral Stability and Support
The Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 ranks high on all metrics except lateral stability and support. Due to the lightweight nature of this model, there is a lack of support or stability. While in our opinion sufficient for the average user, some that require more support and stability may feel underwhelmed. The stack height of this model is quite high, which makes them a bit less predictable on uneven surfaces or when cornering.
There is little added rigidity throughout this model except for the nylon plate, which was mentioned in the responsiveness section. Other models contain added rigidity designs that may be something to look into if you prioritize support and stability.
To be close to 8 ounces (men's size 9.5) with this many positive features is another win for the Endorphin Speed 2. While not always the case, weight is often a corresponding factor when looking at cushioning and responsiveness. But, as we mentioned before, this model excels at both categories, and we did not hesitate to pick this model up for our long runs and our race efforts. Coming in at 8.28 ounces, Saucony has done a great job designing such a responsive cushioning model in a lightweight package. There is a lack of a sturdy, durable outsole with reduced weight, but we have not experienced any issues or early signs of wear. Testing these in rainy conditions still gave us confidence cornering on slick surfaces. Those looking for a more durable model will probably need to look at a heavier shoe.
Should You Buy the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2?
We think this contender is worth its value, given how well it scored in our test metrics. If you are looking for an all-around shoe that you will put on for your long runs and your tempo workouts, we would highly recommend this model. With its performance cushion and springy rebound, we think Saucony developed a model which will be popular for years to come. With a great fitting upper and lightweight design, this would be the first we would recommend for those looking for a lightweight all-around trainer.
What Other Running Shoes Should You Consider?
If you find yourself looking for a more supportive & stable model, we recommend you check out the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21, which scored higher in that category.
— Matthew Richardson
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