Heel-toe drop: 8mm
Type: Neutral/race shoe
The Endorphin Speed has become a household favourite among distance runners who like to run in a fast-feeling shoe for every session – and the latest iteration retains that trademark. Whether its long, slow runs, intervals on the track or a PB-beating marathon, the Endorphin Speed 3 performs impeccably, thanks to its snappy – yet forgiving – nylon plate and ultra-light cushioning. The fit has changed, though, with a noticeably wider base that not all runners will get on with…
What is the Endorphin Speed 3 like to run in?
Our tester has been running in the Endorphin Speed 3 for two months now – pulling the shoe on for almost every session, while training for an Ironman 70.3. He also wore the shoe for the run leg of the race itself (13.1 miles). ‘I’ve done around 150km in the shoe so far, wearing them for long runs (some with blocks at race pace) and speed intervals – for example, 10x 1km at 4min/km pace (on the track and on the road) and have raced in them, finding that they worked perfectly in all scenarios. I ran in the Endorphin Speed 2 previously, which I was a big fan of, and have been just as impressed with the latest model – I love how versatile they are and how fast they feel.’
Like the Endorphin Speed 2, the Endorphin Speed 3s feature a nylon plate, which when combined with Saucony’s lightweight PWRRUN PB midsole foam (the same foam that is used in its Endorphin Pro 3 super shoe) delivers a fast-feeling ride akin to a carbon-plated racer. However, as nylon is more flexible than carbon, the Speed 3s are designed to be more forgiving than typical carbon shoes, making them more comfortable for training in at a range of paces.
‘The shoe is really springy, which I like, but not so overly as to feel out of control, as you sometimes can in carbon shoes,’ said our tester. ‘It feels like you’re being propelled forward with each stride, and because of this, they feel great to race in. The cushioning is also the perfect level for me – it’s light and relatively low-profile so is responsive vs shock-absorbing.’
Up top, the two-layer mesh upper, designed to give runners an extra bit of structure, felt comfortable and breathable. ‘I experienced no rubbing and found it extremely breathable,’ he said. Underneath, the XT-900 rubber outsole also posed no issues and provided ample traction. ‘Having ran in both the rain and the dry, I had full confidence in the shoe's grip.’
How does the Endorphin Speed 3 fit?
Although the Endorphin Speed 3 (very nearly) ticked all boxes for our tester, an updated fit proved to be a bit of a bugbear. ‘Lengthwise, I don't think there has been a change in sizing between the two models but the base of the shoe has definitely been widened and it is noticeable when running. My foot feels less secure than it does in the Speed 2, which is a bit disappointing.'
How is the Endorphin Speed 3 different to the Endorphin Speed 2?
Aside from the widened base, two other changes have been made to the Speed 3. In the new model, wings have been added to either side of the nylon plate, to cradle the foot and ensure it stays in the correct position. However, this went unnoticed by our tester. The shoe has also increased in stack height by 1mm – with 0.5mm more foam at the forefoot (28mm) and 0.5mm more at the heel (36mm) for increased bounce, although this also went noticed by our tester. Saucony has also brought out a range of new colourways in the men’s and women’s models and the new Ocean colourway went down a treat with our tester. ‘I love how the foam and midsole are both blue, you don’t see that very often and it looks really striking.’
For anyone searching for a light, fast and comfortable shoe to be used in pretty much all running scenarios – from track efforts, to recovery runs to marathons –you’d struggle to find much better. At £165, it’s not cheap but when you consider that most carbon shoes are upwards of £220 these days, with this being a legitimate do-it-all option, you actually get plenty of bang for your buck.
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