Plus Exclusive, Test

Plus Exclusive, Test

The Ultimate Test: I Ran the Boston Marathon in Saucony\u2019s Endorphin Pro+

A brand new upper makes this sold-out shoe one of the best racers out there.

10/22/2021 9:36:00 PM

A brand new upper makes this sold-out shoe one of the best racers out there.

A brand new upper makes this sold-out shoe one of the best racers out there.

Related StoriesThe Best Saucony Running ShoesUpper Upgrade on the Way to Pro 3Saucony uses three key technologies, called Speedroll, to make the Pro the fastest shoe in its Endorphin series. To promote a quick turnover, the midsole is curved for a rocking chair-like effect where you feel like you’re slightly tipping forward. That pairs with an S-shaped carbon-fiber plate to increase energy return. The final piece is the midsole material itself, a top-tier Peba-based foam called Pwrrun PB.

The Plus has the same midsole and outsole as the OG and Pro 2.Lakota GambillI had raced in the OG and Pro 2, lauding both for their quick transitions and propulsive kick. But, both models plagued me with a sore instep; the upper put a lot of pressure on the top of my foot. Worse, if I loosened the laces to relieve some pressure, my gait became unstable and my ankles turned inward, making me wary of sharp turns. Saucony’s own professional athletes said they wanted an upper makeover, as well.

While developing the Pro 3, the brand’s product team had conversations with its elite runners, including Jared Ward, Laura Thweatt, and Parker Stinson. The overall consensus was that they absolutely loved the Pro 1 and 2, shared Saucony product line manager Jessie Petersen with headtopics.com

Runner’s Worldon a video call. But, one change would make the shoe even more race-ready: a more “deconstructed” upper. And so, as the team was in the process of creating the Pro’s third version, the Plus came to be.Think of the Plus as a behind-the-scenes look at an intermediary model usually only worn and tested by elites. It’s a surprise release to keep us all sated as we wait for the Pro 3, which is tentatively scheduled to launch in June 2022.

The lacing system is slightly curved to alleviate pressure when tied.Lakota Gambill“Several years ago, you’d make prototypes for an athlete and people would wonder what it was (read: those suspect shoes worn by the pros at major races) but it never went to retail,” said Petersen. “You never could find it, it wasn’t available. So, we thought that it would be a fun angle to kind of open it up for more people to buy.”

The Plus is about half an ounce lighter (in both men’s and women’s sizes) than the Pro 2. Saucony trimmed down the weight by replacing the upper’s cloth-like engineered mesh with ultralight mesh and suede. It feels airier and has a second-skin fit like a track spike. The tongue has perforated holes for more breathability, and the lacing system is slightly curved, which makes the fit more secure and relieves pressure on the top of your foot. We’ve seen similar lacing systems on other racing shoes, such as

.Racing in the Pro+I chose to run in the Plus at this year’s Boston Marathon. I was a Sauconic outlier amongst most of the runners who were laced up in Nikes, including our RW deputy editor Jeff Dengate. Read more: Runner's World »

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