We gave a pair of Saucony's Endorphin Speed 2 to RRCA Level 1 certified running coach Evan Wood. He tested them out on speed workouts, intervals, and long-distance runs, as well as multiple surface types. Scroll below to see how the Endorphin Speed 2 performed.
The fact that Saucony opted for a nylon midsole plate over a carbon fiber one was a good move as far as the durability and longevity of the shoe go. The nylon plate also assists in propulsion and responsiveness, both top-notch.
I would primarily recommend this shoe as a road shoe for speed workouts and racing, though they can hold their own on easy, non-technical dirt trails such as tourist paths.
The heel is also comfortably snug, with a pleasantly cushioned heel counter that isn't overwhelming. While running, they felt secure without feeling claustrophobic, and I experienced no irritation around the heel whatsoever. It's truly rare that a lightweight trainer and racer such as this can feel as luxurious as an everyday trainer.
Since there weren't any sizing issues, I didn't have to adjust the lacing too much. And as far as the laces go, I didn't experience any irritation or rubbing on the top of my feet.
The Endorphin Speed 2 runs true to size. If you are a size 8.5 on other Saucony running shoes, these should fit perfectly in the same size.
The arch support is virtually unnoticeable, which is a compliment! Most of you neutral runners out there will know what I mean. Due to my personal needs, I replace the insoles with Currex Medium Profile, but most neutral runners should be OK with what comes in this shoe.
As far as breaking them in goes, no break-in is necessary. They felt comfortable and responsive right away, and the proof is in the pudding–I was able to nail a demanding workout of 1km intervals on my first outing!
As far as optimal climates go, they also did well in the cold New York City winter and the desert heat of Arizona. These really don't have a regional limit when it comes to the weather you're running in.
The traction is decent enough for training, but it can feel slightly slippery at times if the road is damp and you're pushing the pace. Nonetheless, the shoe is wonderfully responsive in every situation I tested them in.
The only improvement I would suggest would be to see if there were any way to improve the traction ever so slightly. On those rainy days when I still need to get my speed workouts in, it would help me feel just a tad bit safer from slipping and give me a greater feeling of control off the ground.
The overall construction feels high quality, is aesthetically appealing, and they're fun to wear. There really hasn't been much wear to the tread yet, either.
The heel counter is just as soft and springy as the midsole. While it is slightly stiff to lock your heel in place, it provides a good deal of flexibility for light and snappy movements. It requires very little break-in period.
I also love that the midsole of this shoe includes a nylon plate. While other daily trainers utilize a carbon plate to help even out your gait cycle and roll through each stride, Saucony opted for something a little different. Swapping out a carbon plate with nylon makes your stride feel less rigid and more natural and doesn't wear down as fast.
Whether I'm doing short intervals on the track, long intervals on the road, tempo runs, or long, grueling marathon pace workouts, these shoes are an excellent choice not only because of their versatility but also because of their comfort and ease of use–a combination that is rare in lightweight trainers.
The nylon plate in the midsole gives me an incredible feeling of propulsion and responsiveness, so much so that one could easily mistake it for a carbon fiber plate seen in high-end racing shoes such as Nike's Vaporfly or Saucony's own Endorphin Pro shoe.
I love this shoe and will personally be using it to do my speed workouts as I train for the NYC Half in March and Boston Marathon in April.