Friday, November 11, 2022

On Cloudboom Echo Multi Tester Review with 12 Comparisons

Article by Derek Li, Markus Zinkl, Jeremy Marie, and Matt Crehan

On Cloudboom Echo ($270)


The Cloudboom Echo is the long distance racer from the Swiss brand. It’s not a real successor to the Cloudboom (RTR review), but another take on long distance racing, refining what the Cloudboom offered and trying to catch up to the other brands. The Echo 2 basically offers more and softer cushioning,a refined Speedboard, fit, and keeps on tuning the combination of their Helion foam and trademark CloudTec.

On has been upping their game recently, not on the shoes’ quality, which is always amongst the best out there, but on how their shoes’ ride. The Cloudmonster (RTR review) and Cloudgo (RTR Review) got very good reviews, and despite its age (it has been out for some time now) the Cloudboom Echo clearly sits in the same “wave” of On shoes with softer cushioning. 

Their recent exposure thanks to Gustav Iden’s out-of-this-world marathon leg at Kona IM World Championship proves that they're on the right path right now, keeping their distinctive looks and top-notch craftsmanship and finally nailing the midsole. So now let’s have a look at their current top offering for long distance racing with an Echo 3 not far in the future.


Efficient and aggressive forefoot rocker - Derek/Jeremy/Markus/Matt

One of the more stable super shoes - Derek

Very snappy ride, ideal for intervals and the track - Jeremy/Markus/Matt

Stable at the front - Jeremy

Nice light, airy, breathable soft upper - Jeremy/Markus/Matt

Very good grip even on wet - Jeremy/Matt


Feels awkward at non-race paces - Derek

Maybe too harsh for races beyond half-marathon - Derek/Jeremy/Markus/Matt

Lacks stability at the heel (narrow platform) - Jeremy/Matt

Foothold might be too light for some runners - Jeremy/Matt

Tongue movement- slides towards the external side- Markus/Jeremy


Weight: men's 7.76 oz  / 220g (US9)  /  women's oz / g (US8)

  Samples: men’s US 10.5 8.28oz / 235g     men’s US 9.5 7.97oz / 226g

Stack Height: men’s 35mm heel / 26mm forefoot  

37/29 (measured-Derek)

Available now. $270 including at On HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Derek: If there’s one thing ON are good at, it’s style. It has taken them a while to nail the technical underfoot aspects of a performance running line but I think their efforts are starting to pay off with the likes of the Cloudmonster and their evolving lineup of racing shoes. 

The success of the ON Athletics Club over the last year is certainly helping to put the spotlight on the brand. I think it’s all come to a head this year, with Ollie Hoare winning the Commonwealth Games 1500m title in the new ON super spike (not some camouflaged other-branded super spike), the signing of Helen Obiri to the ON Athletics Club, and most recently, the unbelievable 2:36 marathon run course record of Gustav Iden at the Ironman World Championships in Kona.  

The aesthetics of the CloudBoom Echo are superb. Their signature combination of olive green and white work very well together. Step in feel is good, fit is true to size, and the lockdown is surprisingly good. Walking around, there is a little bit of compression to the midsole, and the forefoot is noticeably bouncier than the heeI. The rocker is very evident here. I have to say, I was quite worried about the comfort and lockdown with the shoe. The ankle opening is quite big, and ON has traditionally gone with a relatively low-cut shallow heel collar and combined tend to increase the risk of heel slippage, especially with carbon-plated shoes where the added stiffness only exacerbates any minor rear slippage. The stock laces are very narrow and thin, which I feared would cause discomfort if the laces need to be tied at high tension. 

The upper uses a relatively thin but minimally elastic perforated mesh. There is an internal toe guard laminate but that is relatively soft. Overall fit volume is on the lower side, and made me want to use only thin socks with this shoe. There are very few overlays for the shoe, and in general, the upper material is quite soft and molds quite well to the shape of your foot. For shorter distance races, I might even be tempted to go sockless with this shoe as the upper has an almost track spike-like feel. The heel has a semi-rigid heel counter and the tongue is a very thin layer of fabric. 

There are only 5 rows of eyelets here, excluding the heel lock eyelet, so it came as quite a surprise that even with the thin stock laces, I was able to achieve a quite good lockdown without having to use the extra heel lock loop. Overal,l the shoe has a very good performance fit for me. One final point is that the stock sockliner is very thin. I think one might conceivably eke out a little more cushioning from the shoe just by swapping in a more substantial sockliner for longer runs here. 

Markus: I have to agree with Derek on the aesthetics of the shoes. In the design department, On excels time after time. The olive green and white color combination looks just great. Step in feeling was softer than expected. When I took the shoes out of the box, bending the sole by hand, it was very stiff and rigid torsionally. Given that I was quite pleased with the initial midsole feeling. 

They run a tad bit long for me at my usual size, but not enough to be wanting size down. So I would recommend staying to your regular size. As Derek mentioned, the upper and tongue is very thin. The tongue is not gusseted, so at first I had to fiddle around a bit with it. It tended to fold over on the lateral left side on my right shoe. 

Also, I had a bit of tongue movement downwards in the direction of my toes. Fortunately, this was not noticeable and caused no discomfort. I would have liked a gusseted or at least semi gusseted tongue here. This would have complemented the otherwise exceptional upper greatly. 

The heel-section has a sharkskin like material, which should help with heel lockdown. I had to use the additional heel lock loops to get proper lock down.

Jeremy: My fellow runners are spot on: the aesthetics of the Cloudboom are plain superb. In a very classical On fashion, they look “smart”: the very thin, micro-perforated engineered mesh is soft, pliable, and does a good job of conforming to the foot.

The subtle olive green accents on the semi-rigid (but still a bit flexible) heel counter and on the rear half of the midsole bring that nice, gentle touch to the Cloudboom Echo. As usual, designs are just plain beautiful with On shoes, and this one is no exception.

Step-in feel is astonishingly good and soft for what might look like a thin scratchy mesh at first sight. Midfoot hold is efficient , not too tight, and the forefoot gives some space to the toes.

There are minimal overlays to add structure so people in need with a very solid foothold might find the Cloudboom maybe a tad too loose.

The perforated tongue is really thin, without any padding and despite the thin, flat laces, I did not suffer from any pressure on the top of the foot, even when solidly tightening the laces. They just tend to get untied so be careful when lacing up, or use a double knot.

I have the same issue as Markus with the tongue sliding a bit on the external side and going down the midfoot while running. And just as for Markus, it didn’t cause any harm.

I just wish for a gusseted tongue that would probably solve this issue and which would also ease the step in and lacing.

The heel counter is semi-rigid, quite low, with a minimal shark skin like material. It perfectly holds my heel but just like Markus, I needed to use a heel-lock lacing to ensure minimal heel movement. It might also be due to the very wide opening with a low ankle collar.

Despite this minor issue, I really like the fit of the CloudBoom Echo which combines softness (temperatures are a bit low to go sockless but it was really nice when I tried it at home), breathability and a fairly medium foothold, something I tend to favor and like.

Matt: It might be the controversial opinion but I’m not really a fan of the On signature white and olive green colour palette. That said of course On shoes always look fantastic, hence that is why here in the UK in the Liverpool area, On has taken the Liverpool fashion bubble by a storm and can be found on nearly everyone's feet. That said, personally the olive green colour I just don’t find that appealing and for my race shoes I quite like some mad and out there colourways. 

Upper fit and feel there isn’t much more than I can add that my fellow testers haven’t already commented on, the lower and squarer cut ankle and heel can feel strange to some, and is similar for most On shoes and to get a good heel lockdown I also had to use a heel lock, but again that’s something I do for all my On shoes. The upper is much more spacious than the Cloudboom which was an extremely narrow and small fitting shoe, though again due to the amount of supination I have at toe off, I am still shredding my little toe in the CloudBoom Echo as I did in the Cloudboom. 

As I said in my review of the Cloudmonster, I feel that On are missing just some form of medial support in their uppers to provide just that extra bit of stability on the medial side, whether a gusseted tongue might help or just as I mentioned in the Monster review the printing of the large ON logo on the media side to simply better reinforce it.    


Jeremy: Putting the very recent Cloudgo aside, the CloudBoom Echo is the softest On shoe I’ve run and it is far from a soft shoe. Actually, the Helion foam used in the Echo is on the firmer side of the spectrum, and completely different from the usual PEBAX foam found nowadays in long-distance racing shoes.

A Helion foam layer tops the carbon-infused Speedboard with the trademark Cloud Tec elements in the lower part of the midsole and are of a much firmer foam: the idea behind the Clouds is that they compress and do the cushioning, and less so the foam they’re made of.

The Helion layer is much thicker at the front, especially under the ball of the foot. 

This is one clear clue of the forefoot strike bias of the CloudBoom Echo: the most responsive and softer foam is found in a greater amount under the forefoot: strike here!

The Speedboard has a very aggressive toe spring, and a slight heel bevel, resulting in a pronounced rocker shape. Transitions are therefore very fast and favor an “aggressive” stride

I find this geometry to work quite well even at slower paces for me. But It’s clearly not a shoe meant to go easy, it doesn’t really shine there, unlike the far more natural Puma Deviate Nitro 2. Yet, it is not too cumbersome, less so than the Nike Tempo Next% for me, despite the greater amount of softer cushioning in the Nike shoe. The rocker clearly helps here.

The Speedboard is fairly flexible, and the flex point occurs quite far back versus what I usually experiment with (Adios Pro 2, Endorphin Pro 3 or Vaporfly, which are very hard to flex…or the Deviate Nitro 2 which is flexible but more upfront, just like the Tempo Next %). I think that due to the very aggressive rocker and toe spring, this allows for a very long curvature from the midfoot to the toes for an efficient transition for midfoot strikes.

The rocker works really well with my stride, be it during short fast intervals, where I tend to really strike with the forefoot, or during tempo intervals where I land more on the midfoot.

Derek: Jeremy has done a great job explaining the midsole set-up. As mentioned, the Speedboard plate is very aggressive in the curvature here, and the rocker really helps with a fast transition through the shoe. The greatest amount of spring to the underfoot sensation comes from loading the forefoot for me. Unlikely, Jeremy, I found the ride to be awkward at jogging paces and it was much smoother at uptempo paces. Vibration dampening is decent. The overall underfoot feel is on the firmer side for this amount of stack. 

Markus: Jeremy described the midsole set-up perfectly. Unlike Derek, I found the shoe at slower paces not too bad, but this is clearly not what it is intended for or where it shines. When you really use the Speedboard and push into it at toe-off, the shoe comes to life. 

I agree with my teammates, the overall underfoot feel is on the firmer side. If I go for example from the Cloudboom Echo to the Puma Deviate Nitro 2, the plushness of the Deviate Nitro 2 is vastly different. So don’t expect a plush underfoot feel as from other PEBAX or other supercritical foam based plated racers. Instead, you can expect a snappy and springy midsole, which I enjoyed quite a bit. I would recommend the shoe up to half-marathon distance , if you have good running form.

Matt: I think the guys have done a great job at talking about the science and set up of the midsole and some comparisons to other brands shoes and uses for this shoe, so I’ll simply compare it’s midsole against the On shoes I’ve tested and where I feel this shoe sits. 

I’ve had two pairs of Cloudboom Echo, one more resent to test, and one I purchased when they were released back in 2021, I also had a pair of Cloudboom (shown below) which the Echo is the update to. 

The original Cloudboom was said to be On’s marathon racer, it was low in stack, not particularly rockered or cushioned and had an extremely narrow fit, making  them “unfi” for most feet, I would never run a marathon in it. That being said, I found it to have great grip and loved to use it for track sessions, and even as mad as it may be as a multi-terrain racing shoe. 

Moving to the Echo, the midsole finally jumped into the supershoe max cushion profile, the width of the upper got better as well, making it a potential marathon racer, but it’s firmer ride still placed it as probably only up to half marathon distance in reality. Again I’ve used mine mostly for track sessions in my current marathon block or for longer marathon paced runs, where it has felt great above, at, and below marathon pace. My feeling is though that if I was really going to pick an On shoe to race a marathon in out of the ones currently on the market (excluding the Echo 3 which is mostly only on the feet of On’s Pro athletes currently) then I’d choose the On Cloudmonster, as it’s midsole is what the Echo should be.


Jeremy: The outsole clearly indicates how the shoe is intended to be run: a large horse shoe like piece of rubber covers the front part of the sole, and there are only three little patches of rubber at the heel: two on the external side, where a heel strike would probably occur, and one on the medial side.

In true On’s fashion, the middle part of the outsole is occupied by a deep guideline groove to ensure some…guidance during the foot roll.

I have nothing but good things to say about the outsole of the Cloudboom Echo. At least two of my runs with the shoe occurred under pouring rain, and they proved to be perfectly grippy on wet tarmac. I also had perfect confidence on the track despite some dirty area with fallen leaves in one turn. The tiny cross-shaped lugs clearly work well, and the rubber compound hits the sweet spot between softness and ruggedness.

I still can’t see any wear on the outsole as of today with ~60kms on the shoes as shown above..

Derek: I agree, the outsole has performed better than expected for me, and grip has been outstanding on damp pavement and track surfaces. Even the exposed midsole in the middle shows very little wear. 

Markus: I can’t really add anything else to Jeremy and Derek here. The outsole performed well in dry and wet conditions. Wear is very minimal at this point.

Matt: The outsole as I mentioned for the original CloudBoom is great. It offers fantastic grip on wet surfaces from road to track, making it perfect for speed sessions in the rain. Although the increased stack height in comparison to the CloudBoom means I probably would risk taking them onto the trails for races as I did in the original, if I really had no other choice I would be happy to trust in its outsole to at least give me the grip I’d require, whether I’d roll my ankle with the stack height and undulating terrain would be another question. 


Jeremy: The ride is definitely on the firmer side, as usual with On’s shoes, save for the most recent ones (CloudMonster, Cloudgo). Considering the CloudBoom Echo has been on the market for some time now it has the more usual On’s flavor of firm, stable ride, that may lean towards a dull side for some people.

What has been true for me for less race-oriented shoes from the Swiss brand (Cloudultra, Cloudrunner), is not so clear with this racer. The carbon-infused Speedboard is flexible, and the Helion foam is not as dull as in the Cloudultra, for example. It has a bit more rebound, more pop. And considering that this is a shoe made to go fast, those two elements which ruined the ride of the Cloudultra and Cloudrunner both trainers for me, make for a very snappy, directed ride in the Cloudboom Echo. 

The Echo has a very classic “racing flat” feel, but with a modern take on it: more cushioning, propulsion helped by the plate (which gains flexibility after the first 25 miles), and a more conforming upper. And of course, not “flat” at all with the very strong rocker. Yet it really has a “racing flat” feel thanks to the direct and responsive, firm cushioning than in geometry.

The pronounced rocker helps in quick transitions, as does the big toe spring. It really is a shoe that rewards a strong engagement while running, and as a consequence it falls short of being a long distance racer. I wouldn’t choose it for a marathon. It  lacks comfort, is a bit too firm and is not as “easy” a shoe as the top racers nowadays (Vaporfly, Endorphin Pro 3).

Still, I really enjoyed it for hard sessions (1000m repeats around 5k pace, 200m repeats on track where I put down some of my fastest intervals: thanks to the snappy ride of the shoe!

The wide forefoot and firm platform brings inherent stability  without any dedicated artifact. I’m more tepid on the rear part of the shoe, where the narrower heel and the Clouds construction doesn’t feel as secure.


Derek: The CloudBoom Echo has a very directed and aggressively rockered ride. One thing I haven't touched on yet is the high degree of torsional rigidity of the shoe, and this likely stems from the use of a very stiff carbon  SpeedBoard. In many ways, it reminds me of the Saucony Endorphin Pro 1 or even the Nike Tempo Next% where the shoe really only wants to go straight, and fast! 

I’m just a few weeks removed from a recent marathon and struggling with hamstring tendinopathy at the moment, so unfortunately my testing of the shoe at speed is very limited. That said, what I have managed in the shoe suggests that it would be very capable at the 10-21 km distance. I suspect it might be a little too harsh for the full marathon, but unfortunately I’m not in shape to test it over longer uptempo runs at this time. I like the stability and lockdown of the shoe a lot, and it just hugs the curves on the track really well, and the very good outsole traction make it an excellent option for track work.

Markus: The recently reviewed On Cloudgo goes in a little bit different direction than the Cloudboom Echo. As Echo has already been on the market for some time, it offers the firmer ride On was known for in the past. I’ve to say it is not quite as firm and dull as I expected out of the box. Due to the snappy Speedboard and firmer Helion foam, I expected a much firmer experience. But directly at the first step-in I was quite surprised, which also continued during my testing. 

I would not put this shoe in the same category as other recent marathon supershoes . Where it shines for me is at shorter distances, up to half-marathon. So for me, it is more comparable to shoes like the Adidas Takumi Sen 8. I like the snappy forefoot quite a lot, especially if you really focus on an aggressive toe of. Also its light weight for sure helps. Put the shoe on and it feels like and wants to go fast!

Matt: Overall the ride is a great update from the Cloudboom, but knowing version 3 already exists and having experienced the ride of the Cloudmonster, both shoes that released after the Echo, I’d say that On swung and missed with the Echo 2, though what they learned from it I’m sure is what we have already got to feel in the CloudMosnter and what we’re seeing in the Echo 3 which is a need for softer yet more responsive Clouds, a stiffer Speedboard to then generate more spring out of those softer clouds.  

Conclusions and Recommendations

Derek: Compared to the first Cloudboom, the Cloudboom Echo is a big step forward for ON in terms of creating a world-class distance racer. The shoe has the right stack numbers, but some combination of plate stiffness, positioning and midsole foams still leaves a ride that is perhaps too firm for most people for the marathon distance. 

The best feature of the shoe for me is actually the upper. The fit is very good for me, right up there with the likes of the ASICS Metaspeed OG range. I think the shoe works best for people with mid to lower volume feet, people who have more efficient mid- to forefoot strikes, and especially people who want something a little more stable and predictable underfoot.

Derek’s Score: 9.48 /10

Ride: 9.4 (50%) Fit 10 (30%) Value 8.5 (15%) Style 10 (5%)


Markus: I would recommend the Cloudboom Echo for runners searching for a fast shoe for distances up to the half-marathon. My only gripe with the upper was the tongue. If this gets improved, it would move up to a 10/10 upper. 

Markus’s Score: 8.6 /10

Ride: 9 (50%) Fit 8 (30%) Value 8 (15%) Style 10 (5%)


Jeremy: The Cloudboom Echo is by a large margin the best racer from On to date, and actually one of their best shoes. 

The soft, thin, breathable upper provides a very comfortable feel and adequate foot hold, traction is very good and the shoe is very stable.

Now, it’s not a shoe for a runner seeking softish cushioning. It definitely leans on the firmer side of the spectrum and as a consequence might not fit the bill as a true “modern” long distance racer. 

But, not everybody’s running marathons, and this shoe would be perfect for 10km-21k races. It's snappy, firm, reactive and confidence inspiring. As a trainer for short/medium intervals, it’s also one of the best super shoes out there.

My only gripe would be the folding/sliding tongue and the laces that can come untied.

Jeremy’s Score: 9 /10

Ride: 9.2 (50%) Fit 9 (30%) Value 8 (15%) Style 10 (5%)


Matt: An On racing shoe is the one I’m excited for as it’s the brand I feel can offer me something to allow me to step away from the Alphafly, with the CloudTec offering the same type of compression and spring mechanism that Nike’s AirPods offer. This said, On have yet to crack this in a widely available racing shoe.  But, as we know,  Echo 3 and some other prototypes show that On does have such a shoe and coming more widely soon.

The CloudMonster is a great example of being nearly there, it just needed to be as light as a race shoe. And that’s where my conclusion sits. The CloudBoom Echo is a fast feeling race shoe but if I was going to race half marathon or above in an On shoe, and from what is currently widely available, I’d go with the CloudMonster, and if I was doing anything under the half distance I’d probably go with the Cloudflash. I like the On brand, the On Athletics Club and the Coffee Club Podcast a lot. I’m always wanting that bit more from their shoes because I know the potential is there.     

Matt’s Score: 8.3 /10

Ride: 8 (50%) Fit 9 (30%) Value 8 (15%) Style 9 (5%)


12 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

On Cloudboom (RTR Review)

Matt: The Cloudboom Echo is the update to the CloudBoom, hence the Echo 2 even though there wasn’t an Echo 1, confused yet? The Echo is a completely different shoe with a much more max cushion feel, and definitely stepping further in the direction of being a marathon race shoe compared to the CloudBoom, which only had a 20mm heel stack height actually making it a legal supershoe for track racing, for those who can’t cope with the drop or lack on spikes (me)  compared to the 35mm heel stack on the Echo. The fit of the Echo in comparison to the Cloudboom is much more foot friendly, having a wider fit and a slightly more forgiving upper material.  

Adidas Adios Pro 3 (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The AP3 is the bouncier and has a more cushioned ride, but the CloudBoom Echo has the more aggressive rocker (read: more assistive ride) and the better upper. The ON is actually the more enjoyable ride for me, but I just that I am not sure I can handle it over longer distances. 

Adidas Takumi Sen 8 (RTR Review)
Markus: I wear US10.5 in both shoes. For me, both shoes serve a similar purpose. They can go both up to half-marathon distance. The Takumi has quite a bit softer underfoot feel and not quite the aggressive snap at toe off. The Cloudboom Echo offers better stability for my tastes.

Jeremy: Different takes on the same purpose: short to mid-distance racing (up to 21k), the Takumi is way softer, bouncier, with less of a rocker and much less snap at toe off. The Cloudboom is much more stable, snappy and I actually like it more for short intervals. The Takumi might be more leg-saving.

Matt: I’d probably say the complete opposite to Jeremy, I find the CloudBoom Echo much more leg-saving than the Takumi, finding the Echo bouncier and softer, yet less stable and with less snap on the toe off than the Takumi. I’d use the Takumi for 400m-1km efforts and the Echo for any efforts over 1km. 

ASICS Metaspeed Edge (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. Both shoes have great grip, durability and uppers. The Edge is a bit softer, a bit lower to the ground but also bottoms out a bit more. The ON has the more assistive rocker. Both are incredibly good for short intervals for me. I think I would favor the ON for 10-21km races while the Edge might be better for 5km or shorter.

ASICS Metaspeed Edge+ (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The Edge+ has a similar degree of softness to the ON at the forefoot, but the Edge+ feels a lot more cushioned and with less ground feel. I like the Edge+ for longer distance runs, while I think the ON is better for shorter distances.

Jeremy: Same kind of firmness upfront, as Derek stated, with more response from the FF Turbo. No question here for longer runs or races, the Edge+ is the winner. But for short fast-paced efforts, intervals, track work, the CloudBoom Echo is better.

Puma Fast-R Nitro Elite (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. Both shoes are quite similar. The Fast-R has an even lower fit volume than the ON. The ON has better outsole grip and fit for me. Both shoes have sort of similar degrees of underfoot feel but the ON feels more assisted with the better rocker geometry. 

Jeremy: The Fast-R is…faster! Better foothold with the stretchy adjusted upper, more pop, more cushioned, but a tad less stable. I clearly prefer the Puma as it works equally well for short bursts, but is more leg-saving for longer efforts and I can easily “roll” with the Puma despite its extreme carbon plate.

Puma Deviate Nitro Elite (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The DNE has a softer and springier ride, and with a more flexible plate  is also more natural at slower paces. Most importantly, the DNE has better vibration dampening overall. I find the ON to be better at faster paces because of the more aggressive rocker, but the DNE seems to be better for longer distances. 

Puma Deviate Nitro 2 (RTR Review)

Markus: I wear US10.5 in both. The Deviate Nitro 2 has a much softer and bouncy midsole set-up. This makes it a better all round solution and it can go to all the ranges of paces. I found the On better on faster, shorter efforts due to the aggressive forefoot configuration.

Jeremy: Much more natural, flexible, comfy and switch a softer, bouncier midsole, the Deviate Nitro 2 is one of my best shoes of 2022. It’s more versatile and can double as a very good trainer no matter the pace. The Cloudboom Echo will excel for short races/intervals thanks to its snap and aggressive toe off.

Nike Vaporfly Next% 

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The ON has the more aggressive rocker and the upper fits me better, but the Vaporfly has much better underfoot cushioning for longer distances. I think the ON is the better shoe for me for any distance 21km or shorter. 

Nike Vaporfly Next% 2 (RTR Review)

Markus: I wear US10.5 in both shoes. Similar to Derek's comparison to the Vaporfly Next% 1, the On has the more aggressive rocker and the better upper. Also, the On offers better stability. The Vaporfly provides more underfoot cushioning, which makes it the better marathon shoe.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 1&2 (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. Both shoes have very similar, aggressive forefoot rockers, and both shoes are pretty firm in terms of underfoot ride. I think the ON wins out in terms of better upper and lockdown, and much better outsole performance. Neither would be my first choice for a marathon. I would go with the ON for shorter distances.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The EP3 is the better shoe for longer races and even longer training runs. It is much softer and more cushioned with still a good effective forefoot rocker. The outsole rubber is on the softer side and wears out a bit quickly compared to the ON. The ON feels faster and more efficient for short intervals and 5-10k pace work. Both uppers work well for me, although the ON has the better performance fit. 

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Tester Profiles

Markus from Germany is mainly a recreational runner, currently running about 5 times per week. He runs about 50:50  on trails and roads. He is also an avid hiker with a focus on ultralight and fast. This is where his geek for gear and shoes comes to light. Likewise, he loves the mountains and tries to spend as much free time there as possible.

His only preference in terms of shoes is that they are not too heavy. Other than that, he runs in everything, from zero drop Altras to high stack Vaporfly. Racing times for the 10k are 39:48 min and 1:51:32 for a half-marathon.

Derek is in his 40’s and trains 70-80 miles per week at 7 to 8 minute pace in mostly tropical conditions in Singapore. He has a 2:39 marathon PR from the 2022 Zurich Marathon.

Jeremy, French, 40y/o. Running since 2013 and quickly transitioned to trails, focused on ultras since 2015: TDS, Maxi-Race, “100 miles du Sud”, 90kms du Mt Blanc, GRP 120kms as well as some shorter more mellow races (Saintelyon 45kms, Ecotrail Paris 45kms…) with always in the mix road and flat running. Recovery/easy runs ~4’45/km - 4’30/km. He has an un-official marathon PR of 2h54 (solo) and 10K PR of 36’25. He does few timed road races.

Matt is the owner of Made to Run an independent running store between Manchester and Liverpool in the UK, which he runs alongside his mother Susan who competed in the 1987 Rome World Championships 10,000m and 1988 Seoul Olympic Marathon for Great Britain. So with running in the family, Matt has high goals of replicating what his mother did and having raced at the national level over in the UK for the last 15 years, Matt made a further step towards his goal when he won the 2021 Manchester Marathon in 2:18.23, followed two weeks later by winning the Liverpool Rock N Roll Marathon. Matt also has PR's for the 5km -14:18, 10km  - 30:11 and HM - 65:28. Matt is also the author of The Art of Running, a graphic novel about legendary runner Steve Prefontaine. Instagram - GoCre91

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
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Men's and Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE Shipping on most orders over $40

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's and Women's SHOP HERE


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