Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 - Women's Review
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Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 - Women's
$170.00 at REI
$160.00 at REI
$140.00 at REI
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$140.00 at REI
|Pros||Lightweight, responsive, good landing comfort, great for racing||Comfortable, responsive, many size options available, durable, traditional fit||Well-cushioned, protective, available in multiple width options, stable and supportive||Lightweight, comfortable, affordable, responsive||Lightweight, well-cushioned, stable, comfortable|
|Cons||Narrow fit, less stable, non-traditional fit, upper is sparse||Heavier than some, somewhat pricy||Heavier than some, support structures might feel too rigid for some runners||Less laterally stable, somewhat narrow fit||Wide footprint, 5mm takes some getting used to|
|Bottom Line||If you want a svelte and speedy shoe for track workouts and races, this responsive and lightweight shoe might be perfect for you||This smooth-riding, highly responsive, and traditionally shaped running shoe is your one-hit wonder when it comes to running shoes, from speed days to long efforts||This all-around fantastic shoe will support your musculature and provide comfort no matter the distance of your endeavors||This lightweight and responsive shoe is our go-to for faster-paced runs where we crave the sensation of flying||This well-cushioned and comfortable running shoe provides lightweight comfort and protection for your joints as you pound pavement|
|Rating Categories||Saucony Endorphin S...||Brooks Glycerin 20...||Brooks Adrenaline G...||Saucony Kinvara 13...||Hoka One One Mach 5...|
|Landing Comfort/Cushioning (25%)|
|Upper Comfort (15%)|
|Specs||Saucony Endorphin S...||Brooks Glycerin 20...||Brooks Adrenaline G...||Saucony Kinvara 13...||Hoka One One Mach 5...|
|Weight (per shoe, size 7)||6.60 oz||8.61 oz||8.11 oz||5.86 oz||6.42 oz|
|Heel to Toe Drop||8 mm||10 mm||12 mm||4 mm||5 mm|
|Width Options||Regular||Regular, Wide||Regular, Narrow, Wide, Extra Wide||Regular, Wide||Regular|
|Upper Material||Mesh||Synthetic mesh||Mesh||Engineered mesh||Engineered mesh|
|Midsole Material||PWRRUNPB foam||EVA foam||EVA||EVA||PROFLY foam|
|Sole Rubber||XT-900 Runbber||Rubber||Rubber||Rubber||Rubberized EVA|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 is a lightweight running shoe that is built for speed. With each women’s size 7 shoe weighing in at a scant 6.60 ounces, this shoe’s weight won’t inhibit your pace ambitions. The built-in nylon S-plate provides a comfortable ride that is full of prime energy return. This feature provides more support than we are used to seeing in many Saucony shoes and we love. This added element combined with Saucony’s patented Formfit mesh and redesigned rubber outsole culminate to make a speed shoe that we can’t get enough of.
This is the metric in which the Endorphin Speed 3 truly shines. From the moment we slipped our feet into these Formfit-focused shoes, we were inspired to run fast. The S-curved plate propels you from one step to the next without feeling cumbersome or bubble-shaped underfoot.
Everything about the Endorphin Speed is built for speedy paces, from its aerodynamic profile to its architecture and extra-lightweight. The energy return is far better than in many of the shoes we tested, but accessibly so. By this, we mean that the Endorphin is built for speed but can be worn as an all-around athletic shoe.
Over our years of testing, we have found that some shoes that are built solely with responsiveness in mind don’t cross over into being comfortable for life outside of running. Saucony’s Speedroll technology provides the type of energy return that we really want during speed workouts. One footstrike seems to roll right into the next, which we found allowed us to run at top speed for seconds longer than in more cumbersome kicks.
We love that the Endorphin Speed 3 can help you hit your paces goals, take you to the gym, and still feel comfortable. Additionally, the updated grippy outsole adds to this shoe’s overall responsiveness because it provides a bit more traction for flying around corners.
One of our favorite things about the Endorphin Speed 3 is that it takes a shoe built for speed and makes it comfortable, as mentioned above. Landing comfort and cushioning are relative in this case. But when it comes to shoes that feel good while performing the way they are intended to, the Endorphin Speed shows up. While not a plush shoe, Saucony’s Formfit design makes for shoes that form to your unique foot shape.
Each shoe has a light underfoot cushion to help dampen the impact on your joints and provide comfort, especially if your mileage starts to add up. During our testing process, we were struck by the unique underfoot feel of the Endorphin Speed. It feels unlike any other shoe in our lineup, and that is part of what we like about it.
Compared to other shoes in our roundup, the Endorphin Speed sits a bit higher and feels a bit cozier; this is typically what we expect from an ultra-responsive shoe. The neutral support and 8-millimeter offset somehow make your feet feel like they are above the ground, which is different from many shoes that feel more like they are housing your foot at ground level. Additionally, the narrow fit makes for a tighter-than-average feel on your foot.
Though not a stable shoe built to help correct over-pronation, the Endorphin Speed feels stable enough and speedy in motion. We attribute much of this stability to the reconfigured XT-900 outsole design. This outsole patterning provides extra external grip, which we love.
As usual, this isn’t a shoe that we would recommend to long-distance runners who have postural imbalances that they are trying to correct. But if you are in the market for a shoe that provides speed and enough traction to encourage standard stability, the Endorphin Speed will treat you right.
Despite their fairly narrow profile, the Saucony Endorphin Speed offers above-average upper comfort. The Formfit-engineered mesh balances a sturdy body with comfort. This shoe is not plush or well-cushioned, but the materials are certainly soft and forgiving.
Our main complaint regarding the upper comfort of the Endorphin Speed is that it is narrower than most. While this makes sense and is quite functional for speed work, it is unlikely to accommodate all foot shapes. The speed-forward structure doesn’t leave much space for toes to splay, and the overall body feels snug – to the point that even our narrow-to-average-footed tester didn’t feel comfortable wearing thick running socks while running in the Endorphin Speed 3. If the body of these kicks fits your foot, we think you’ll love running in them. But as far as upper comfort goes, if you have wide feet, there are better options in the world of responsive shoes.
Unsurprisingly, a shoe built for speed weighs incredibly low. The Endorphin Speed weighs 6.60 ounces per women’s size 7 shoe and feels very lightweight while running.
This low weight is matched only by a few other kicks in our roundup, none of which provide as much responsiveness as the Endorphin Speed. If you are a narrow-footed, speed-focused runner, this lightweight shoe is likely to be a great match for you.
Should You Buy the Endorphin Speed 3?
Because the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 fits into a fairly niche category of running shoes, it won’t be the right fit for all runners. It offers enough to not be considered a specialty shoe, but it is built for speed above all else. This is very apparent from the moment you slip your feet into them. The slim fit has an aerodynamic appeal and the midsole's shape has fantastic energy return. If you want a shoe in which you can train for a marathon, the Endorphin Speed probably won’t be it. As we have mentioned, it might be, but as expert gear-testers and seasoned runners ourselves, that certainly wouldn’t be our choice. When it comes to speed workouts or track days, though, we often reach for the Endorphin Speed above others to help us find our wings.
What Other Road Running Shoes Should You Consider?
The most obvious alternative to the Endorphin Speed 3 is the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39. While the Pegasus doesn’t score as high across the board, it provides a few key elements that many runners might prefer. For one, the toe box of the Pegasus is wider than that of the Endorphin. The Pegasus is a more pliable shoe, and while it provides less lateral support, it might be more comfortable for more people. Nike also offers a wide option for the Pegasus. Saucony doesn’t provide any width options outside of regular for the Endorphin Speed. Other shoes by Brooks, such as the Brooks Glycerin 20 and the Brooks Ghost 14 are exceptional shoes that provide some responsiveness, but also the support and comfort of a long-haul running shoe. If short, speedy runs are your thing right now, opt for a shoe that provides responsiveness first. If you want to move fast across more miles, something a bit more standard with structure and support might serve you better.
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