I decided to get myself an early present and picked up a pair of the Pro's this past week from RW - I threw them right into the fire with the longest run of my current training cycle.
I have been hemming and hawing about replacing my Nike 4%'s for the longest time and this is the end result of all the feet dragging. Being optimistic about our timelines for a return to normal, I have a race on the calendar for the end of June. With that in mind, I still haven't exactly been enthusiastic about dropping $250 on a pair of shoes that will likely get beat up before they see a real race. Enter the Endorphin Pro! I realize $200 is not inexpensive but at $50 to $75 less than the Nike offerings, I am less inclined to give these the white glove/race day only treatment.
As for my initial impressions, the first thing you notice is that Saucony's PWRRUNPB foam is not Nike's ZoomX foam. Whereas ZoomX almost feels comically springy, the PWRRUN is stiff. That's probably unkind to Saucony but the difference is stark when set side by side. This is of course not necessarily a bad thing but it was my only gripe. Unlike the Vaporflys, at a standstill these don't quite feel like a super shoe.
The good news is that once you get off of the mark and moving, these very much do feel like a super shoe. I think this is in no small part due to Saucony's Speedroll design. I have mentioned before how much I love the speedroll in the Endorphin Shift and, while I think it is more dramatic in the Shift, the speedroll makes it feel as if someone is giving you a push from behind with each step. This design really rewards you when you get up on your toes or midfoot, which is just as well, because that's where the plate also seems to come alive.
Overall I was really impressed with them during my first run. Again, while the Vaporfly's are amazing because they make me feel like I am bouncing my way to a world record, the Pro's are amazing because they seem to silently make the miles seem effortless. During this run I was able to keep a steady pace around 7:30 - 7:40 for the first 15 miles or so and I even managed the odd 7:15 surge here and there. I started to lose it at around mile 17 and dipped into the 7:50 - 8:00 range... while it was cold (under 40) I didn't take in any fluids during this run, which I think was the issue. Even though I was on fumes, the shoes definitely still felt fresh under foot. To the extent that I could still push on the gas pedal they were ready to go.
I am looking forward to getting in some more runs with these. I am not sure if these will end up as a race day favorite (although they certainly earn a spot at the table in that conversation) but I absolutely will be tossing them into my speed work or whenever I want to challenge myself on a longer run.