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Reviewed: Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 is even better, evolving into top-notch, maximally cushioned training shoe that runs like a performance trainer

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If you’ve run a race in the past few years in a shoe enhanced with a carbon-fiber propulsion plate embedded in the midsole, you know how good that lightweight, efficient and energetic ride feels. But you’ve probably also wished for that same sensation in the shoes you train every day of the week. Saucony met that need with the Endorphin Speed, featuring a nylon plate that sits in the middle between a carbon-plated race shoe and an everyday trainer.

Now in its third edition, the Saucony Endorphin Speed is evolving with every release. It’s an exceptional shoe because it’s light, comfortable, energetic and, potentially, very fast. Its highly responsive midsole foam and nylon propulsion plate serve up a smooth ride with maximal energy return in every stride. That gives it a bit of a split personality between a high-performance race-ready speedster and an everyday trainer. But it’s also a versatile shoe that feels as good running at slower speeds as it does at faster speeds.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 Pink
Smooth riding with the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 (Photo: Courtesy Saucony)

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3, $170

  • Weight: 7.2 oz.
  • Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm heel-toe drop (36mm in the heel, 28mm in the forefoot)
  • Type: Neutral everyday training shoe

What’s New?

Saucony found a way to make this shoe slightly better once again. The biggest updates to the Endorphin Speed 3 from the previous edition are an updated nylon plate, a slightly thicker midsole and a slightly wider base. With a 2mm thicker layer of PWRRUN PB foam than previous editions and a more stable makeup, it’s essentially a maximally cushioned everyday training shoe that runs like a performance trainer. The updated plate features side wings that add to the propulsive feeling in every stride. The slightly wider base (7mm wider in the heel and 5mm wider in the forefoot) improves the shoe’s inherent stability. 

Who’s it for?

If you’re a runner seeking a lightweight, well-cushioned shoe with a lively sensation, you’ll love the Endorphin Speed 3. It’s agile and versatile enough to run at any pace and tackle any kind of workout with ease. It can also be an ideal racing shoe for any distance from the mile to the marathon. At faster paces, you’ll feel the spring in your stride, but even at slower paces  you’ll experience the magic of what this shoe is all about.

It’s ideal for long runs, tempo runs, fartlek workouts and longer track intervals, but it’s also a shoe you’ll love for slower recovery runs, too. If you primarily rely on one shoe in your quiver, the Endorphin Speed 3 is a high-mileage workhorse and a speed shoe all in one, offering a win-win for the space in your shoe closet as well as your hard-earned dollar. 

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 Peach
sdsd (Photo: Courtesy Saucony)

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3: Pros

  • The Endorphin Speed 3 offers a soft and bouncy feeling when your foot hits the ground,, but feels slightly more firm and energetic as you start rolling through the midfoot to the toe-off phase of a stride.
  • Unlike high-end marathon racing shoes that are bouncy but generally stiff, the Endorphin Speed 3 serves up a more accommodating sensation from a moderate flex pattern that bends slightly as your foot rolls forward.
  • The Endorphin Speed 3 gets high marks for forward propulsion and energy return, especially when running fast with longer strides and a higher cadence. It can allow you to run longer and farther with less metabolic cost than in other shoes.
  • The peppy feeling is created by the resilient PWRRUN PB midsole foam, the rocker shape of the SpeedRoll geometry and the curved nylon plate embedded in the midsole. The foam is both shock-absorbing and responsive, meaning it absorbs the impact with the ground but it also captures a lot of that downward energy and converts it into forward propulsion.
  • The Endorphin Speed 3 fits true to size with a medium-volume interior in the heel and midfoot and a bit of wiggle room in the toe box. The upper moves and stretches while still keeping feet locked down to the chassis below the foot and allowing you to make precise, efficient footstrikes.
  • You’ll appreciate this shoe for its comfort and snappy performance on long runs. Extremely energetic and buttery smooth, it’s a shoe that won’t beat up your feet and lower legs during a long, and that will speed your recovery for your next workout.
  • The outsole features sections of exposed foam and high-abrasion carbon rubber to keep weight down, provide reliable traction and maintain durability.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3: Cons

  • Like a lot of high-stack, maximally cushioned shoes, the Endorphin Speed 3 feels exceptionally high off the ground. If you don’t enjoy that feeling — or if you appreciate a shoe with a better feeling for the ground or more agility—then you might not love his shoe.
  • Saucony came out the gates with eye-catching, style forward designs on the upper for the second edition of the Endorphin Speed. This third version is not quite as vibrant, but the performance of the shoe more than makes up for it.
  • The Endorphin Speed 3 costs $10 more than the previous edition. The new $170 price tag puts it into the same range as many other high-end performance trainers and, given the vast improvements.

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