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  • Writer's pictureAnupam Gupta

My first fling with Saucony Endorphin Pro 2






Disclaimer - Saucony or anyone has not reviewed this review prior, nor has anyone sponsored, paid for or influenced any of the content. This is purely my experience sharing/review for our community of amateur runners - similar to the reviews of Endorphin Shift done in recent past (Check 'Reviews' section on OrganizedRandoms.com for those)


Fling it had to be with the Endorphin Pro 2 - can be off and on.. Not an affair like with the Endorphin Shift


Being carbon plated, soft soled - the pro 2 are meant not for training. Of course one may chose to train in them but it'll be like running with some boost that may guise one's actual effort, performance measurement due to the support it gives. And yes the pro 2 is a fast very fast shoe! How? Some stats - 19 kms at 5.17 min/km pace last weekend in Endorphin Shift and yesterday 21.1 kms at 4.58 min/km pace - same body weight, same day, same weather, same terrain.. And gone Saturday too had the Pro 2 propel me at 4.55 min/km pace for approx. 9 kms which was a pleasant surprise.


You may read about the features of the Pro 2 online here but to me the key are the carbon plate, very different upper and the PWRRUN PB foam.


Okay let's see what the first impression of this race shoe is right from unboxing last week to till yesterday having done a half marathon in them -


I have to admit - the fluorescence and the zillion colors did make me feel little insecure - you wear whatever or look whatever- there's no way these shoes go unnoticed. Rather the runner would :-). They seem too bright and flashy for my taste but guess it may grow over you with time.


The shoe felt much lighter than any of my other running shoes (Saucony Endorphin Shift, Nike Pegasus 37, Asics Kayano Gel 26, even lighter than the Puma canvas minimals). I smiled big seeing and feeling the upper - mesh material, very breathable and with tongue which is not padded. This upper setup works beautifully to not retain sweat or water plus helps ventilate the feet much much better than the other shoes. A must need for someone like me who towards end of a 90 minute run sweats like hell and shoes begin filling in with more weight due to that.


Okay so you slip on the shoes and begin walking around your house to get a feel of them and boy - the bounce... the bounce really bounces you around - a pleasant and exciting feel for sure. All set to run next day for just 42 minutes per the training plan, I head out - and let the shoe and feet get to know each other - settling in and trying understand how they both behave and like/dislike each other. The shoe is neutral and not that stable as the Endorphin Shift but again that's expected. The feet sink in, and then the Garmin's audio prompt in my ears tell me 3 minutes have already passed and the pace is 5.17min/km... Surprise surprise!! My power meter still said I'm running easy, my feel told me I'm going slow (my mind thought it's 6 mins/km - my warmup pace). But well no sir - it was faster much faster. And my HR is still in control.. which was such a beautiful feeling.. much like turbo power kicking in when pressing the gas pedal and engine revving over a set RPM.


This realization of the bounce helping you run faster was pleasant but also reminded me that this is like that extra push, like NOS in your car - adds to standard equipment, and is hence not true measure of your own performance, but yes so desired for a race. So 42 minutes gone Saturday were like 9 kms at 4.55 min/km pace and yesterday's half marathon was at 4.58 min/km pace - both unexpected but pleasant finishes. Your feet adapt I'd say in the first 3-4 kms.


Let me list down the pros and cons of this rocket shoe to help some of us decide if we should or not go in for them. Again this is my personal feel having only done approx. 30 kms on this shoe. So remember this is subjective and just an early impression -


Pros - Super light, carbon plate does not make your feet feel rigid which I was fearful of, super bouncy (interestingly more evident when walking around as that time you hit the heel to the ground where most bounce is due to the PWRRUN PB foam), awesome ventilation, good cushion, No unnecessary foam or padding - again since this is not a training shoe but for those off and on races


Cons - Colors (Too bright and flashy for me), Lacing - well I think since there is no cushion on the tongue like the other shoes, the laces kept undoing themselves in the half marathon yesterday - had to infact stop 3 times to do them - I'll have to use the last set of eyelets near the ankle and maybe a different knot to ensure they don't untie in future runs - Won't say that's a displeasure but just something of an extra effort over the Endorphin Shift


Who should not buy them - If you are new to running and still haven't done some races, I'd say avoid buying them as you still need get hang of running and doing races/events in your training shoes. Wait for some time before you go pro, guess once you know you have reached or are reaching the limit of performance with your current pair and need the boost. Having said that, there's no hard and fast rule. If you just want the best and run fast, just go in for them. They just though aren't meant for slow speeds. And that's relative :-)


Who should buy them - Guess folks who feel their cardio and strength levels are still untapped but limited in pace and power owing to the shoe and for sure for those looking to break certain pace barriers, interval runners maybe too


Shoe life - Seems it'll be much lesser than any training shoe as like any race shoe this has softer mid sole and pretty exposed too - the hard rubber outsole is not that much as in other shoes like Endorphin Shift or the NIke's Pegasus 37 etc. But that's expected again - you don't race everyday so well keep it for those races only. Ofcourse need break in and do few runs like I did to be ready for the D day. Mine's coming Sunday :-)


Feedback and thoughts - post in comments. I'll do another long use review maybe when have done few hundered kms in these. Which I think will take time as they'll be sparingly used.


Cheers,


Anupam

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