Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 Review: On Race Days, We Wear Pink
JARRETT (WIDE FOOT): It’s gotten to the point where any shoe from the Endorphin family will have serious hype. At the top of that line resides the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3. We’re talking the crème de la crème. It’s Saucony’s elite racing shoe with all the bells and whistles. I’ve got good news for all you readers: The Endorphin Pro 3 does live up to the expectations and easily launches itself right into the top tier of racing shoes.
MEAGHAN: I agree with Jarrett, the Saucony Endorphin line gets quite a bit of hype, and it’s well deserved. I remember seeing the Pro 3 at The Running Event last year and thinking the updates were everything I wanted: More stack, a softer, bouncier ride, and an altogether ‘race ready’ vibe. Let’s just get into it.
RYAN: When I’m not running, I’m probably spending a good portion of my time putting these reviews together. Our writers generally have it together, so my biggest challenge is usually coming up with a good title. Sometimes that involves putting everything else together and reading back through for something that sticks out, but not this week. No, when a shoe this pink and this good shows up, there’s only one way to go.
I don’t think I’m offending anyone when I say Mean Girls is a great movie. I also don’t think I’ll offend anyone when I say the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 is a great shoe. Honestly, the pinkness is just the icing on top — I’d have run in this even if Saucony sent it over in brown.
After a few years of the Endorphin Pro hovering just under the upper crust of super shoes, it’s good to see it finally break through. Even better, it still costs less than some of the top names in the high-speed game. Jarrett’s got a lot of good to share with you, so let’s move on.
JARRETT (WIDE FOOT): The upper is made of an incredibly light and thin single layer of mesh. Upon closer look, the holes in the mesh have tiny tinsel-looking threads that give the shoe its sparkly shine. The gusseted tongue is paper thin and has three large holes punched out to reduce weight and have it even more breathable. These weight reduction decisions paid off because my US M10.5 came in at a measly 7.9 oz. (223 g).
My need for wide shoes is because I have a chunkier midfoot. My longest run while testing was 13.1 miles, and I had no problems or pain with the width. The toe box feels slightly better than the Endorphin Speed 1 and Endorphin Speed 2, but it’s not as spacious as a true wide shoe might be (as expected). The midfoot is more accommodating than the Endorphin Speed was. I haven’t run in the previous Endorphin Pro, but if you have wide feet and can make the Asics Metaspeed Sky or New Balance RC Elite 2 work, you can live it up in the Endorphin Pro 3.
The midsole is a massive stack of PWRRUN PB. Saucony pushed the stack height to the legal race limits with the 39.5mm heel and 31.5mm forefoot drop. I love how bouncy and soft the foam is. Saucony uses an S-curve carbon fiber plate to provide more rigidity and pop. Additionally, the Speedroll rocker works in unison with the carbon plate to propel you forward. Saucony has so much going on in the midsole, and it works flawlessly. Underneath is an XT-900 rubber outsole in the forefoot and heel for added durability, and I thought the traction was fantastic.
As I’ve previously said, the brighter and louder the colorway on race day, the better. I want my shoes to be more painful to the eye than staring at the sun. I want retinas to explode. Saucony has given me exactly what I wanted with these obnoxiously bright and sparkly pink shoes. While I understand that 90% of women’s shoes have pink in them (please don’t check this statistic as I just made it up), it’s a fun divergence from the green, blue, black, and gray men get. If you don’t like the bright shoes, there is also a black colorway.
MEAGHAN: The step-in feel of the Endorphin Pro 3 is pretty dreamy. The airy mesh upper hugs your feet, while the thick slab of PWRRUN PB gives you a fun, bouncy feeling underfoot. All this, paired with the sparkly pink colorway, really gives you those race day vibes.
While I enjoyed previous versions of the Endorphin Pro, the underfoot feel was a bit firm. That’s all changed in this iteration. The squishier midsole material, paired with the carbon plate, gives the shoe an apparent pop that I was missing before. Saucony has also widened the platform, so the shoes feel more stable overall. No need to worry about that barely-legal stack height — these racers corner just fine.
On top of all that, the shoes got lighter. My W7.5 came in at 6.2oz (177 grams).
RYAN: Jarrett covered all of the important technical stuff — I love when someone else does that. It frees me up to talk about how much I love the shoe. I’m always one to reach for the loud colorways on race day, and this is no exception. The Endorphin Pro 3 is right at home alongside my purple New Balance RC Elite 2 and Tiffany-colored Vaporfly Next% 2. It’s a pretty sweet shelf, not gonna lie.
The upper gives me some serious Rainbow Fish vibes, too. It’s definitely from the iridescent threads that weave through the sea of pink, but I’m all in. The Faster Bastards tend to wear all black on race day, so I have to get a pop of color in somewhere.
More importantly, the Endorphin Pro 3 lives up to the high-performance expectations of the other shoes. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this confident cornering in a super shoe, and I think the outsole pattern is part of the key. It blends a striped section with a series of multidirectional dashes, and I had no problem skirting around sharp corners. Until now, FuelCell was my go-to racing foam for its mix of softness and pop, but the increased stack of PWRRUN PB might have me rethinking a few things. If nothing else, it’s a good way to draw eyes to my feet.
I took the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 out for a critical power test (Coros users know what’s up), and it shined in each phase. The easy kilometers were just that, and the effort sections felt like nothing at all. The SpeedRoll technology pretty much pulls you forward into the next stride and basically takes all the thought out of running. It’s tough to slow the Endorphin Pro 3 back down, but I never felt like the extra speed in my recovery sections did me any harm. No, it’s not a shoe I’d recommend for truly easy runs, but it’s a boatload of fun for any day that you want a little speed.Shop Endorphin Pro 3 – Men Shop Endorphin Pro 3 – Women
JARRETT (WIDE FOOT): The padded heel collar sits pretty high on the ankle. On my long run, I noticed rubbing on my Achilles that was on the verge of causing a blister. On my next run, I had speed work and decided to wear higher socks and pull the laces tighter while heel lock lacing, which helped. I hope this doesn’t continue to be an issue because I’d love to use the Endorphin Pro 3 for longer runs, but I don’t want blisters.
I also thought it was nerve-wracking to take sharp corners at high speeds. Even though it may be more stable than the Endorphin Pro 2 because of the wider midsole, that massive 39.5mm of PWRRUN PB still wobbles. I’m not trying to roll my ankles like the glass ankle master Robbe. Seriously, that dude could find the one rock to step on in the middle of an open field while blindfolded.
MEAGHAN: The only reservation I have towards this shoe is distance. While I’ve enjoyed my runs of less than 10 miles, I started to feel the harshness from the plate on runs over that distance. Despite the cushion, I may stick to the half marathon and below with this shoe.
RYAN: I think I’m inclined to agree with Meg on this one. I loved taking the Endorphin Pro 3 for efforts up to 10 miles, but I haven’t pushed it past that distance. Of course, I tend to stick to shorter, more frequent runs over the summer, but I’m curious to see how it handles longer distances. Look for me to lace it up at the Charles Street 12 in September.Shop Endorphin Pro 3 – Men Shop Endorphin Pro 3 – Women
JARRETT (WIDE FOOT): If I haven’t made it apparent enough, Saucony crushed it with the Endorphin Pro 3. The thicc stack of PWRRUN PB and the carbon plate provide a bouncy and snappy ride that feels oh so good to run in. For my #WideFootFam, I need to reiterate that this is a standard-width shoe, but it is definitely accommodating enough to give you that edge on race day. If you’ve been able to wear some of the previous super shoes on my wide-foot carbon-plated roundup, you’ve probably got the green light to rock the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3.
MEAGHAN: I’m racing a 10K on July 4, and of all the super shoes I’ve got on hand (yes, I have the Alphafly 2), I’m going to lace up the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3. This shoe is light and breathable (it’s going to be stupid hot), feels bouncy underfoot, and truly looks the part. I would recommend the Endorphin Pro 3 to just about anyone looking for a new carbon-plated racer.
RYAN: As I said in the title, on race days, we wear pink. I’m certainly planning to bust out the Endorphin Pro 3 on race day, and I’m glad Saucony has finally burst into the top tier of racing shoes. The extra foam goes a long way, and the Endorphin Pro+ upper should be here to stay. Even better, it’s still more affordable than the top racing options from Nike and Adidas. I’ve already threatened Robbe if he doesn’t hook me up with the Endorphin Elite in the future.
You can pick up the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 for $225 on August 2 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Endorphin Pro 3 – Men Shop Endorphin Pro 3 – Women
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Wide Foot Jarrett likes talking about wide shoes. Did you know he wears wide shoes? You should probably know he wears wide shoes. Besides running, Jarrett is a lover of coffee, donuts, pizza, and tacos. Basically, Jarrett is the ultimate race-cation travel companion because he will be on food duty while you’re busy panicking about whether you want to try and break your PR. Will also sleep on the floor. He’ll also answer any question in his DMs.
All-time favorite shoes: New Balance Vazee Prism v2, New Balance FuelCell SC Trainer, Asics Metaspeed Sky.More from Jarrett
Meaghan signed up for her first marathon three weeks before the race, because it was $10 more than the half she planned to run. She learned everything in running the hard way. Now a USATF & UESCA certified run coach, she loves encouraging friends to go for big goals as she continues to chase faster times. She enjoys a hot cup of coffee, a cold martini, and making bagels for friends and family.
All-time favorite shoes: Nike Alphafly Next%, New Balance SC Trainer, Asics Superblast.More from Meaghan
Ryan is kind of like Robbe’s Igor behind the scenes. He helps to compile and clean up everyone’s reviews, and finds time to get in a few miles of his own. When he’s not running or editing, Ryan writes and reviews for Android Authority, spending time with the latest tech and complaining when things don’t work quite right. If he’s not doing any of that, maybe you’ll find him nose-deep in a crossword puzzle or trying to catch up on an endless backlog of shows to stream.
All-time favorite shoes: New Balance Rebel v2, Adidas Takumi Sen 8 (or 9), Saucony Endorphin Speed 3More from Ryan