Article by Nils Scharff
Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 ($250)
The new Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 is in for testing!
The release color in the pink unicorn look might not be for everyone, but we are sure Saucony will offer more colorways soon after the release in June. What changes from the previous version?
After two years with a quite similar pattern, the outsole gets a complete overhaul. Now we see little nubs in the forefoot area, which improve traction over the predecessors. While the last two versions didn't do very well on anything else than roads the new pattern now also allows for fast running on a little worse subsoil, e.g. during your local park run.
Following other brands Saucony also introduces midsole cutouts under foot which most probably are for weight savings. Those and other measures lead to a weight drop of 13g (or half an ounce) in the sample pair in US 10.5 (224g EP3 vs. 237g EP2).
The midsole itself uses the same PWRRUN PB formula and plate as we know those from the previous models. But thanks to a 4mm higher stack of now 31.5/39.5mm (missing World Athletic's maximum by 0.5mm) a softer ride and more bounce clearly can be felt underfoot compared to the EP1 and EP2.
And while the Endorphin Pro 1 and 2 could be even a little too rigid and harsh for some, the ride is now also more forgiving (while the plate is as stiff and snappy as before). We still need to figure out how the plate placement changes with the higher stack - is it the distance from the plate to the ground which gets bigger or is it the one from the plate to the foot?
While Saucony says they use the same Speedroll technology that we loved in the older Endorphin Pros, of course something has to change to adapt to the higher stack height. Looking closely, the forefoot bevel seems to be a bit steeper now and almost matches the steep angles of ASICS' Metaspeed Sky and Nike's Alphafly. This is clearly felt during the run, resulting in more bounce and a higher knee drive than in the last versions.
But due to the firmer foam and the more rigid plate compared to these other models, this feeling is not quite as prominent as in the Metaspeed or Alphafly.
The midsole width changed as well: Both fore- and rearfoot widened 3-4mm which resulted in more foam under foot and an improved stability. While most of the supershoes make use of a little wider forefoot, just the Alphafly can match the heel width of the new Endorphin Pro 3. Therefore it probably is now one of the best raceday options for runners who need stability in their running shoes.
The upper of the new Endorphin Pro 3 takes some notes from last year's Endorphin Pro+. It is a very open dual layer mesh which can't be more breathable.
There are even big ventilation holes cut out of the tongue to save more weight and let more air into the shoe.
Tongue padding is minimal but fine and at a first glance lockdown and comfort at heel and midfoot seem to be as good as last year - even though the great A-strap from the EP2 is missing.
The heel collar is quite high and while the heel cup itself is on the more minimal side, the midsole encloses the runner's heel. This again improves the stability of the EP3.
The fit of the forefoot is still on the more narrow side despite the wider midsole base and with a very high height and volume at the forefoot area.
Please take everything with a grain of salt as further testing needs to be done before our full review.
Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 - 224g (US 10.5) - 31.5/39.5 stack height - 4mm higher midsole - New outsole pattern - Very breathable upper rework - Same PWRRUN PB as we know it - Same plate design and Speedroll Technology - Release in August- $250