Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Runshield review TL;DR: hands down the best waterproof running shoes right now. Give them a try if you often run in wet conditions.
If your trainers can keep your feet dry, there’s a good chance you will avoid the unbearable numbing that comes when temperatures drop. Dry feet will also minimise the risk of getting injuries to your feet such as blisters. But apart from these two very good reasons to buy waterproof trainers, there’s also the fact that having wet feet when you run is never very nice. It’s miserable. For all runners.
Sodden socks make for heavier trainers and harder work. Buying a pair of waterproof running shoes is a luxury, but if you’re out in all weather, it could make a huge difference to success or failure, especially on longer runs. Brands have realised that their most popular models, when updated with waterproof features, sell quickly.
We put Saucony’s Endorphin Speed 2 Runshield to the test.
Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Runshield review: Price and availability
The Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Runshield is available to buy now directly from Saucony US, Saucony UK and selected third party retailers such as Sportsshoes.com for a recommended retail price of $180/£165.
AU price and availability TBC.
Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Runshield review: Features
Already a hugely popular model from Saucony, that frequently sell-out, the Endorphin Speed 2 Runshield gives a winter version for die-hard fans of the Endorphin Speed 2. This shoe stands out not only because of the protection it offers, but the speed it combines with this. It’s the shoe you’ll reach for when the pavements are wet, but you still want to hit top speed in your intervals, tempos or longer runs.
The tech is extensive and starts with the RUNSHIELD upper. It’s water-resistant so rain and surface water beads off it. It’s a thin, flexible upper with a little bit of stretch, that moulds nicely to your foot, unlike some more rigid water-resistant shoes. The fit of the upper was spot on, with plenty of room in the toebox. On the inside, when you first slip your feet in, you can feel the soft thermal backing against your foot.
That’s double protection straight away, with extra warmth provided as well as dryness, something you will appreciate on frosty runs. The upper also offers plenty of reflectivity, so your feet light up in headlights. The tongue and heels are well padded to make you feel that little bit cosier and more stable. There’s a good size pull tab on the tongue, which is easy to grip with your thumb and first finger. There’s a pull tab on the back, but it’s not a loop, just a thin piece of material, so it’s not as easy to grab to pull on shoes when your fingers are cold or wet.
Be excited to run in these, as you’ve got all the features of the Endorphin Speed 2, which makes these shoes the best buy. They’re a fast shoe to run in, with Saucony’s SPEEDROLL technology providing a quick transition from land strike to toe off. With the nylon plate in the insole, you also get bounce to keep legs fresh and fast. Whether speed is your plan or not, you can’t help but speed up due to the DNA of the shoe. Cushioning also gets top marks, with a PWRRUN PB midsole, so together with the nylon plate these shoes feel they are providing excellent padding but remain firm.
Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Runshield review: Performance
The ColdTrac outsole is good. It feels grippy enough at the front of the shoe, but I felt it lacked the same level of traction at the back, and this is the only gripe I have with the shoes. Apart from stripping back everything to reduce weight, it feels like an incredible shoe that needs a slightly grippier or thicker tread – it’s very thin.
If you repeatedly run through puddles up to your mid-calf point, your feet are going to get wet, as water can get in through the top of the shoe via the lacing system. As these aren’t trail shoes and you’re not going to take these on the trails this won’t be a problem. Through cold, wet grass on coaching sessions, they kept my socks and feet dry – and I’m so grateful for that. Rainfall didn’t bother me either.
The midsole is so tall that you’re unlikely to get wet in normal winter puddles. The other big plus for regular runners is that if they do pick up grit from the road or path, they are easy to wash clean. They are versatile too (although I knew they would be as I’ve run in the Endorphin Speed 2). I started off with an interval session, then a tempo, then on to a longer run. They feel so easy to run in that you will reach for them first, whatever’s on the timetable.
Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Runshield review: Verdict
I’ve run and raced throughout the winter in the adidas Terrex Agravic Ultra shoes, the ON Cloudflyer Waterproof and the Under Armour HOVR Sonic 4 Storm – all offering brilliant coverage - but I highly recommend the Saucony Endorphin 2 Runshield as the current leader in the waterproof running shoe market. Having loved running in the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2, the Runshield model is just as easy to run fast in and to love!