By Kieran Alger
Since launch, the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 has been a big hit. This punchy, versatile daily trainer earned many accolades. It was among the first daily shoes to stick a plate in the midsole and it practically set the blueprint for the slew of so-called super daily trainers that we’ve seen follow suit since. In fact it still holds its own against newer shoes. But how does it stand up to the test of time on feet and serious mileage? Read my Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 review to find out.
Note - You will see in the shoe pics that the shoes are somewhat worn out. These shoes have put in over 650 miles at the time of writing this review.
Stack Height, Drop, Weight and Price
At launch the Saucony Endorphin Speed price was set at $170. That’s at the higher end for a daily trainer. Though you can now find them cheaper on deals if you do some digging and when the Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 eventually launches, that price is likely to drop even further.
The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 stack height has 36mm in the heel and 28mm in the forefoot for an 8mm drop. They weigh 8.1oz or 229g in our test UK men’s size 8.5. So they’re at the lighter end despite a very generous midsole stack.
Endorphin Speed 3
Daily training and faster efforts
36mm heel / 28mm forefoot
8.1oz / 229g
Suggested Retail Price
True to size
The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 was designed to be slightly softer, wider and more stable than the snappier and more direct Endorphin Speed 2.
The midsole combines springy, responsive, high-energy PWRRUN PB foam, a winged nylon plate and Saucony’s SPEEDROLL midsole tech – a curved rocker shaping that smooths your heel-to-toe transitions.
Up top, there’s a fairly dense but quite breathable mesh uppers that wrap and hold the foot without feeling restrictive. The heel collars have balanced padding and the tongues wrap the top of the foot nicely, with enough padding to prevent any lace pinch.
Flip them over and the outsole features reinforced high-abrasion rubber zones designed to boost durability and deliver reliable traction.
In testing, I used the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 to become the first person to run the length of Europe’s second longest river, the Danube, travelling from sea to source. I covered a total of 1,830 miles in 67 days, using three pairs of shoes, including doing around 650 miles each in two pairs of Speed 3.
I averaged a marathon a day, but often ran around 35 miles. I moved across everything from harsh freeway tarmac and river paths to trails – pretty much every terrain you care to mention. And I was carrying a 22lb backpack, so with my own weight, I put close to 200lbs through the shoes, and that midsole day in, day out.
Most experts recommend that you rotate your shoes to give the midsole elements the chance to relax and reform but I couldn’t do that. I also ran in temperatures ranging from 80 up to 104 Fahrenheit. So they had to cope with quite a lot of heat as well.
Oh, and I also had to wear the shoes when I wasn’t running – they were all I had. So when it comes to durability tests, I’ve put this shoe through it all.
When it comes to the ride, one thing that really surprised me is how these shoes ran almost the same from day one and mile one, right through to mile 650.
In terms of the overall ride, the comfort, the feel underfoot, the response from the midsole and the roll through from the Speed Roll technology, these ran like a dream.
My paces ranged from slow and heavy 12-minute miles down to 8.5 minute miles but there was excellent consistency throughout. I really expected there to be quite a lot of degradation after maybe three or 400 miles but even into the 600+ miles the Speed 3 still performed well. The midsole didn't really lose any of its spring.
The midsoles show a few signs of degradation, a bit of crinkling that suggests some of that PWRRUN PB foam has compressed but nothing extreme. For 90% of the miles I ran the midsole performed perfectly.
However, about three to four days before I decided to swap the shoes out for the second pair, I started to get a burning sensation in my plantar. It felt like my foot was being stretched, which could suggest some of the arch support had gone. Perhaps the nylon plate had stopped working or collapsed. But it went the moment I moved to a new pair.
The uppers also performed incredibly well. They held strong. No rips, no tears and very little signs of wear at all aside from the obvious dirt and grime. Even the heel collars that can wear through are still largely intact.
One criticism levelled at the Speed 2 was that the outsole rubber lacked durability. People saw a lot of wear and tear and I don't think the Speed 3 has necessarily fixed that. Over the 650 miles, I still saw degradation in some key areas. Where the midsole is unprotected, the foam took quite a hit. Though I’d argue there’s not an unreasonable amount of damage considering the mileage and conditions.
The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 is a highly capable do-it-all daily trainer that can eat easy miles and happily shift up the gears into race mode too – right up to the marathon and even beyond. It’s also incredibly durable.
They offer a punchy response that excels during faster training miles but also covers you when the tiredness kicks in, serving up a reliable, stable, cushioned and supportive platform. If you find yourself on the struggle bus, they really help.
After 1,300 miles in two pairs, I don't think I can fault the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3. If you’re looking for a high mileage, versatile daily trainer than can cope across a range of paces but excels at the top end, these firmly fit the bill.
They handled pretty much everything I threw at them during those 650 miles and aside from that loss of arch support later into the run, I think everything else held up extremely well to some very intense testing.
In terms of durability, these shoes represent really good value for money. Significant heel strikers may feel like they want more outsole rubber in the key heel impact areas to protect the midsole. But overall, in the Speed 3 you’ve got a shoe that's going to run well from mile one right up to 500 miles and beyond.