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Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Review

Excellent cushioning that provides great energy transfer with an extremely comfortable, performance fit upper
Saucony Endorphin Speed 2
Photo: Saucony
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $160 List | $159.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Responsive cushioning, breathable upper, lightweight
Cons:  Minimal support and stability
Manufacturer:   Saucony
By Matthew Richardson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 15, 2021
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80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 10
  • Cushioning and Landing Comfort - 25% 9
  • Responsiveness - 25% 8
  • Upper Comfort - 20% 8
  • Lateral Stability and Support - 15% 6
  • Weight - 15% 8

Our Verdict

The Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 received our top reward for its responsive cushioning design that is comfortable while feeling very quick and agile. Often trying to combine cushioning and responsiveness into one shoe leaves something to be desired. This model scores highest in both of these categories, signifying a great all-around trainer and something you could use on your uptempo or race days. The model continues to impress with its low weight and comfortable upper design. Some may find a lack of support and stability the only downside of this model.

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Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $159.95 at Amazon
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Pros Responsive cushioning, breathable upper, lightweightLightweight, great cushioning, comfortable upperResponsive, light, fast affordableResponsive cushioning, smooth heel-to-toe rocker, durableStable, supportive, durable, comfortable
Cons Minimal support and stabilityLess responsive, lacks rubber outsoleMinimal support, lacks cushioning, lacks outsole rubberLoose heel cup, support under heel lackingHeavier, less breathable
Bottom Line Excellent cushioning that provides great energy transfer with an extremely comfortable, performance fit upperThese lightweight shoes have top landing comfort and maximum cushion with a great upperA model that makes you feel quick, fast, and light that provides maximum energy transfer and forward momentumA rockered design with responsive cushioning keeps legs feeling powerful and fresh into longer effortsA 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%)
9.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
Responsiveness (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
Upper Comfort (20%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Lateral Stability And Support (15%)
6.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
9.0
Weight (15%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
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

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, we found this is a great all arounder for your long training days and 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.

Performance Comparison


The Endorphin Speed 2 has excellent cushion and responsiveness...
The Endorphin Speed 2 has excellent cushion and responsiveness, shown here on the paved portion of our testing route.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Cushioning and Landing Comfort


The Endoprhin Speed 2 receives high marks for its 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.

A great blend of cushioning and responsiveness makes this our top...
A great blend of cushioning and responsiveness makes this our top model.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Responsiveness


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 our best and fastest runs out of all the models we tested this year. If there were a race on our calendar, we would not hesitate to use this model for any length event.


A subtle heel-to-toe rocker helps get you on your forefoot for maximum energy transfer, and while not at 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.

The Saucony PWRRUN foam returns a lively amount of energy in the...
The Saucony PWRRUN foam returns a lively amount of energy in the Endorphin Speed 2.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Upper Comfort


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 maintains centeredness over the top of the foot. 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, and 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.

A breathable upper due to the thin fabric which is slotted for...
A breathable upper due to the thin fabric which is slotted for maximum airflow.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Lateral Stability and Support


The Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 ranks high on all of our 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 which may be something to look into if you place a high priority on support and stability.

The Endorphin Speed 2 does not put a priority on support and...
The Endorphin Speed 2 does not put a priority on support and stability but we found it to be sufficient as a lightweight trainer.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Weight


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. With the reduced weight, there is a lack of a sturdy, durable outsole, 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.

Minimal outsole rubber but it still allowed for confidence cornering...
Minimal outsole rubber but it still allowed for confidence cornering even in wet conditions.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Value


While the list price is a bit higher than some of the other models we've tested, Saucony has done a great job of providing this many quality factors for this price point. We think that this product is worth the value, given the number of high-scoring metrics. Plus, this shoe should see lots of all-around milage being a go-to for all types of activities.

Conclusion


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. If you find yourself looking for a more supportive & stable model, we recommend you check out our models, which scored higher in this category.

BIC Saucony Endorphin Speed 2.
BIC Saucony Endorphin Speed 2.
Photo: Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson

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