Saucony has secured a place in many a runner’s shoe cupboard with the highly successful “Endorphin” collection. Reducing the near-infinite amount of choice to only three options: Pro, Speed or Shift. And although this shoe review focuses on the Pro 2 Orange vs Speed 2 Orange (and how to tell them apart), the Shift deserves a special mention here.
Before we dive deep into the features of the Pro 2 and Speed 2, let’s take a moment to celebrate the workhorse of the Endorphin family. If you are looking for a stability shoe with great cushioning and support for those long mile runs, the Shift is your friend. I wear them on non-running days to give support to my feet and posterior chain (calves, hamstring, lower back). Yes, the shoe is heavier and bigger than its faster brother and sister but if it is longevity and comfort you are after, the Shift takes the prize.
And with that said, we can move on to the comparison between the less obvious differences between the Speed 2 and the Pro 2.
Training or racing
Many runners are tempted by the advantages of the carbon plate technology, only to find out that their style of running isn’t exactly suited to the stiff and unforgiving plate technology. More than once have carbon-plated shoes been returned to the shops accompanied by the phrase: “these don’t work for me”. So how to know if you are better off with a Speed 2 or a Pro 2?
The major difference in this latest bright orange model of the series is, of course, the carbon plate in the Pro 2 and the nylon plate (still pretty stiff) in the Speed 2. The Pro 2 is a pure speed shoe with all the pros and cons that come with that. Lighter (single mesh) upper, stiff carbon sole, and aggressive drop. But also less durable, less comfortable, and harder on the soles of the feet.
The Speed 2 has a more durable upper double mesh, a slightly more forgiving sole for those long training runs, and a few more comfort designs that make the shoe good for both training and race purposes. The Speed 2 is probably the all-rounder of the Endorphin family. It handles well in races, long training runs, and performs surprisingly well on track sessions too.
The good news is that with the same color schemes and the three categories of shoe, the options are narrowed down considerably. But that paradoxically makes the choice between the Pro 2 or Speed 2 harder. Since these are now your options left, think carefully before you choose. The all-rounder of the Speed 2 is a great choice but will leave you wondering if that PB could have been just a little faster with the carbon plate. Likewise, the Pro 2 is a great choice for race-day but having to do all your training runs in the Pro 2 might be a bit too much for your feet to handle.
In the end, you could always simply buy both and not have to worry about your choices. However, if that is the route you are taking, the next choice is to add the Shift 2 to complete the series. I guess there are a few choices to be made after all.
April 2022 - Erik Bohm, Effortless Running
Disclaimer: Saucony nor any other brand pays me to review their products. I don't receive compensation for these articles and all of the opinions voiced in this article are my own.