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Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 Review

Excellent cushioning that provides great energy transfer with an extremely comfortable, performance fit upper
saucony endorphin speed 3 running shoes review
Credit: Saucony
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $170 List | $127.46 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Responsive cushioning, breathable upper, lightweight
Cons:  Minimal support and stability
Manufacturer:   Saucony
By Matthew Richardson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 12, 2022
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80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 12
  • Cushioning and Landing Comfort - 25% 9.0
  • Responsiveness - 25% 8.0
  • Upper Comfort - 20% 8.0
  • Lateral Stability and Support - 15% 6.0
  • Weight - 15% 8.0

Our Verdict

Among our review of the best running shoes, the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 receives our top reward, making it a standout competitor in the world of running gear, mainly for its comfortable, responsive cushioning design while feeling very quick and agile. Often trying to combine cushioning and responsiveness into one shoe leaves something desired; however, the Endorphin Speed scores high in both test categories, signifying a great all-around trainer and something you could use on your uptempo or race days. Additionally, this model continues to impress with its low weight and comfortable upper design. Some runners may find a lack of support and stability the only downside of this model.

Editor's Note: our team refreshed this review on October 12, 2022, to showcase the newest version 3 of the Endorphin Speed.

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Pros Responsive cushioning, breathable upper, lightweightLightweight, great cushioning, comfortable upperResponsive, fast, lightweight, affordableStable, supportive, comfortable upperExcellent cushioning, smooth heel-to-toe rocker, improved heel cup
Cons Minimal support and stabilityLess responsive, lacks rubber outsoleMinimal support, lacks outsole rubberStiff, heavier, less breathableLacks support under heel, vague ground feel
Bottom Line Excellent cushioning that provides great energy transfer with an extremely comfortable, performance fit upperThese lightweight shoes have top landing comfort and maximum cushion with a great upperThis affordable ultralight model allows for maximum turnover which provides a snappy and quick feelingIf you're looking for a supportive and stable shoe with a comfortable upper, this is the model for youA smooth rocker design helps provide comfort but can have a vague ground feel due to the substantial cushioning and minimal support
Rating Categories Saucony Endorphin S... Hoka One One Mach 5 Saucony Kinvara 13 Brooks Adrenaline G... New Balance Fresh F...
Cushioning and Landing Comfort (25%)
9.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
9.0
Responsiveness (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
Upper Comfort (20%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Lateral Stability and Support (15%)
6.0
5.0
5.0
9.0
5.0
Weight (15%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Saucony Endorphin S... Hoka One One Mach 5 Saucony Kinvara 13 Brooks Adrenaline G... New Balance Fresh F...
Weight (per shoe, size 9.5) 8.3 oz 8.0 oz 7.3 oz 10.4 oz 10.7 oz
Heel to Toe Drop 8 mm 5 mm 4 mm 12 mm 8 mm
Midsole Material PWRRUN PROFLY+ EVA EVA Fresh Foam X
Sole Rubber XT-900 Rubberized EVA Rubber Rubber Rubber
Upper Material Engineered mesh Engineered mesh Engineered Mesh Mesh Synthetic mesh
Width Options Normal Normal Normal Normal, Wide Normal, Wide, Extra Wide
Sizes Available 7 - 15 7 - 14 7 - 15 7 - 15 7 - 16
Sole Rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber

Our Analysis and Test Results

In our comprehensive review of the best men's running shoes, the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 receives our highest honor for its excellent cushioning and responsiveness. We often feel that trade-offs must be often be made with cushioning and responsiveness, but not with this model. The PWRRUN PB foam compresses under load but then still feels quick and agile when toeing off. This motion feels natural due to the Speedroll technology, which Saucony claims helps propel you forward. We agree.

With a modest 8-millimeter heel-to-toe drop, this well-rounded shoe is great for long training days and it can easily transition to tempo or race efforts. The overall lightweight package and comfortable performance fit upper are more reasons why this shoes makes our top spot. This model does lack some support and stability compared to some other models, so you may want to look elsewhere if those attributes are high on your priority list.

Performance Comparison


saucony endorphin speed 3 running shoes review - the saucony endorphin speed has some of the best responsiveness out...
The Saucony Endorphin Speed has some of the best responsiveness out of any of the models we tested. The blend of responsiveness and plush cushioning borders on perfection.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Cushioning and Landing Comfort


We have great things to say about the cushioning and landing comfort of the Endorphin Speed. Each landing is comfortable, supple, and compliant without feeling too soft or loose. Each footstrike has gentle compression that feels solid and precise and never felt overly squishy or like we were bottoming out.


This shoe was a favorite of ours during our long runs, where the foam seemed to absorb and reflect much of the our footstrike energy and left us feeling fresher and less fatigued much longer into the day. The PWRRUN PB foam is a favorite of ours and has less of a soft, sinking feeling in this shoe compared to other competitors. We appreciate the firmness achieved once the foam compresses; as this helped rebound us into a more powerful stride moving forward.

saucony endorphin speed 3 running shoes review - the larger stack height and the plush, responsive pwrrun pb foam...
The larger stack height and the plush, responsive PWRRUN PB foam make the Endorphin Speed feel luxurious when pounding the pavement or gravel.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Responsiveness


Each comfortable compression of the PWRRUN foam returns a lively amount of energy that helps propel you forward. The use of a nylon plate delivers substantial power transfer from the ground, which makes aggressive running feel extremely satisfying. We had some of our best and fastest runs while wearing this contender, and if we were racing, we would not hesitate to use this model for any distance.


A subtle heel-to-toe rocker helps get you on your forefoot for maximum energy transfer, and while not as pronounced as some of the other models we tested, we found this to be the most refined and least cumbersome design. On our first run, we noticed that it felt like the ends of our toes dropped off the front of the insole when toeing off, but we experienced no rubbing sensation, meaning the shoe was sized correctly. We believe this is due to a steeper toe-off angle. At first, this took some getting used to, but we found that it did a great job of letting our toes drop that last little bit to initiate a powerful toe-off. This became one of our favorite features out of all we tested, and it allowed for a great rocker without the need for overbuilt outsole designs.

We did not expect a shoe with such excellent cushioning to also be the model we would also choose for our tempo or race efforts. Getting into a rhythm makes each stride feel powerful even when the fatigue slowly starts to set in.

saucony endorphin speed 3 running shoes review - the endorphin speed 3 has a subtle heel-to-toe rocker that helps...
The Endorphin Speed 3 has a subtle heel-to-toe rocker that helps make it feel light and responsive for uptempo training runs or races.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Upper Comfort


A thin, lightweight upper almost mimics what is found on the lightweight Saucony Kinvara 13, a model that we also love. The upper material is thin, breathable, and has a slotted fabric design that dumps heat and allows for fast drying. The tongue is also a thin piece of fabric that is flexible and easily conforms to the top of your foot. This stays in place well, with two internal elastic pieces maintaining centeredness over the foot's top. We experienced no issues with the upper, and while not as form-fitting as some one-seam knit uppers, this does a great job of conforming to our foot shape. The toe drop that we mentioned in the cushioning section feels comfortable overall. While it feels unique at the start, we ended up loving how comfortable it made our toes feel when applying pressure to the ground.


The heel cup is well-positioned and has enough support and rigidity to feel locked in. There is minimal arch support found on this model, and your foot is left in a natural state. There is a slight taper to the toe, which helps prevent unwanted side-to-side movement when taking corners. The lacing design is snug and comfortable, with no hot spots on the top of the foot. While not the most luxurious upper we've tested, we found this upper to be simple, comfortable, and not over-engineered. A minimal pull tab is included for easy on and off.

saucony endorphin speed 3 running shoes review - we think saucony did a great job with this upper making it...
We think Saucony did a great job with this upper making it performance snug but also keeping it comfortable for all-day use. We experienced no blisters or hotspots during our testing.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Lateral Stability and Support


The Endorphin Speed ranks highly in all metrics except for lateral stability and support. Due to the lightweight nature of this model, there is a lack of support or stability. We think that this design will be sufficient for the average user, but some runners that require more support and stability may feel underwhelmed. The stack height of this model is quite high, which makes it feel a bit less predictable on uneven surfaces or when cornering.


There is little added structure or rigidity throughout this model except for the nylon plate, which was mentioned in the responsiveness section. Other models contain added rigidity designs that may be something to look into if you prioritize support and stability.

saucony endorphin speed 3 running shoes review - the saucony endorphin speed 3 is less stable and supportive than...
The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 is less stable and supportive than other models, which requires more focus on good running form and engaging your lower leg muscles for added support.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Weight


To weigh only 8.30 ounces in a men's size 9.5 while housing several high-performance features is another win for the Endorphin Speed 3. While not always the case, weight is often a corresponding factor when looking at cushioning and responsiveness. But, as we mentioned before, this model excels in both categories, and we did not hesitate to pick this model up for our long runs and our race efforts.


Saucony has done a great job designing such a responsive cushioning model in a lightweight package. There is a lack of a sturdy, durable outsole with such a low weight, but we have not experienced any issues or early signs of wear. Testing these in rainy conditions still gave us confidence in cornering on slick surfaces. Those looking for a more durable model will probably need to look at a heavier shoe.

saucony endorphin speed 3 running shoes review - we are glad saucony decided to implement some outsole rubber on this...
We are glad Saucony decided to implement some outsole rubber on this model. It adds enough traction to take on slippery or uneven surfaces while still keeping the shoe's weight pretty low.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

Should You Buy the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3?


We think this contender is worth its price tag, given its overall performance and how well it scores in every one of our test metrics. If you are looking for an all-around shoe that you will put on for your long runs and your tempo workouts, we would highly recommend this model. With its performance cushioning and springy rebound, we think Saucony developed a model which will be popular for years to come. With a great fitting upper and lightweight design, this would be the first we would recommend for those looking for a lightweight all-around trainer.

saucony endorphin speed 3 running shoes review - running in the endorphin speed is pure joy, and whenever we slip it...
Running in the Endorphin Speed is pure joy, and whenever we slip it back on we are reminded why it's our favorite.
Credit: Matthew Richardson

What Other Running Shoes Should You Consider?


While the Endorphin Speed 3 is our favorite overall men's running shoe, it may not be for everybody. If you're looking for something with a little more support and stability, take a look at the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22, which stands out on that metric with its built-in Guiderails technology. If you're looking for something with a similar design as the Endorphin Speed but that's slightly lighter and a bit more affordable, we'd recommend the Saucony Kinvara 13.

Matthew Richardson
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