If you’re looking for a cheaper race day option which you can also do your training in, the Endorphin Speed 3 is your shoe. Its excellent versatility ensures that it can handle most runs with ease however it isn’t as fast as a carbon fibre racer.
Either beginners looking for an easy-run shoe or serious competitors looking for carbon-fiber performance.
Normally, it’s the carbon-plated super shoe in the range that gets all the attention, with the training companion being like the forgotten middle child. The Endorphin series is an exception because the Speed has outshone the carbon-plated Pro for the past 2 years.
The reasons for this were simple: the Speed was cheaper and most runners felt that it had a very similar ride to the Pro because they both share the same midsole foam. Normally, the best midsole foams are reserved for only the top-tier racers.
The Speed is an incredibly light shoe for the high level of cushioning it has. This means that it’s a great shoe for not only training but also for racing marathons. The Speed was designed for running fast, hence its name.
I used both versions of the Endorphin Speed. I thought they were really good shoes but overhyped a bit. I normally prefer a stiffer trainer for workouts so I preferred using the Endorphin Pro for tempo runs and workouts. The Speed just didn’t have that snappy midsole that launched me forward like the Pro did.
My favourite thing about the Speed 1 and 2 was how durable they were- Pwrrun PB is a very tough, abrasion-resistant foam. My least favorite thing about them was how unstable they felt: it felt like the medial side of the rear foot was collapsing inwards during transitions due to the narrow base.
The Endorphin Speed 1 and 2 had the same sole unit but the Endorphin Speed 3 has been completely redesigned from the ground up. It features a new plate shape and it has a new midsole geometry which is wider.
The official weight of the Speed 3 in a men’s UK8 is 8.1 oz (229 g) but my pair comes in lighter (7.9 oz for the left and 8 oz for the right). The Speed 2’s official weight was 7.9 oz (224 g) with stack heights of 35.5 mm and 27.5 mm. The Speed 3 has an extra 0.5 mm in both the heel and the forefoot and also costs $10 more than version 2.
The Endorphin Speed 3 is one of the most anticipated running shoes of 2022. When pictures of it first came out at the beginning of the year, I couldn’t wait to get it on my feet because the design has changed so much from the first two versions.
My first two runs were both speed workouts, one was 4 x 1.6 km and the other was a tempo 10 km run. The Speed 3 felt amazing right out of the box.
I found it very easy to increase my cadence because of how light it was and there was a good amount of energy return from the midsole, however, it didn’t feel as fast as the carbon super shoes that I’ve tested recently.
It felt softer and more cushioned than the previous versions for sure. It also felt more stable due to the redesigned sole. Overall, it was a very good, very exciting first impression.
In my opinion, the upper of the Endorphin Speed 3 isn’t as good as the first or second versions. The biggest change is that the tongue is now flatter and shorter. This causes tongue sliding issues- during every run, when I stopped, I had to pull the tongue back up which was very annoying.
The laces are softer so they fray much easier and start to look “fluffy” very quickly. I much prefer the tougher, more durable laces of v1 and v2.
Lockdown is still amazing. There are both internal and external heel counters so there’s no heel slippage. The external heel counter is reflective so cars coming up behind you in the dark can see you.
The fit is true to size and if previous versions were too narrow for you, the good news is that Saucony now offers the Speed 3 in wide versions of both the mens and ladies. The regular width is also roomier and more accommodating than previous versions.
I’ve always thought of PWRRUN PB as Adidas Boost 2.0 but it feels as if Saucony has taken Boost and injected air into the pellets. PWRRUN PB is lighter, less dense and more lively than Boost. PWRRUN PB is PEBA while Boost is TPU but the 2 foams look very similar.
The Endorphin Speed 3 is one of the most versatile running shoes I’ve ever used. It’s now stable and cushioned enough for easy runs due to the extra 0.5 mm of foam in the rearfoot/forefoot and the wider net base. It has more long-distance comfort than previous versions.
I find the forefoot a little too relaxed for short intervals and if you’re a sub 3 hour marathon runner then you’ll probably find it not punchy enough for workouts and races but for the majority of runners, the Speed 3 will feel fast enough.
It’s also a great long run shoe. The longest run I did in it was 30 kilometres and my legs have never felt as fresh after a long run. The SpeedRoll technology really works and it feels not only efficient but energy-saving.
The nylon plate has a new design with wings that extend out from the midfoot. This is similar to the floating Trusstic system that was in the Kayano 28 and it gives the shoe more structure and stability. It’s now much easier to corner and make U-turns in the Speed 3.
The plate is flexible so it doesn’t make easy runs feel awkward. It’s a lot more flexible than the plates in the Zoom Fly 5, Deviate Nitro 2 and Magic Speed 2 so the Endorphin Speed 3 feels the most similar to a daily trainer of all the training companions.
The outsole of the Endorphin Speed 3 has less rubber on its forefoot than the Endorphin Speed 1 and 2 but has more rubber on its midfoot and rearfoot.
The biggest worry for me is that the rearfoot rubber doesn’t cover the edges of the outsole- it stops a couple mm short of the edge, so the lip scrapes the ground if you’re a lateral heel striker. I’ve only put 80 kilometres on my pair and the outer heel edge is so jagged that it looks like it has been chewed by a rat.
Traction is much better now because the rubber has raised pieces. This is an improvement over the flat profile rubber that was used on v1 and v2- many runners found it slippery on wet surfaces.
Overall, the Endorphin Speed 3 is a good update and an improvement over the Endorphin Speed 2. The biggest and most important update is the higher level of stability which makes it much better for over pronators and slower-paced running.
The Endorphin Speed 3 is a little less capable of doing what it was originally designed for: speedwork. It has a softer ride so it’s harder to tap into its speed. The nylon plate doesn’t make the forefoot feel all that snappy and SpeedRoll technology feels muted because of the flexible forefoot.
The Endo Speed 3 will stay in my rotation however I would have liked its plate to be slightly stiffer and more propulsive. I won’t be using it for workouts or tempo runs because it doesn’t give me as much assistance in holding a fast pace- I’ll be using it for easy to moderately paced runs.
I wanted the Endorphin Speed 3 to be more similar to the Endorphin Pro: a similar riding trainer with extra durability but the Endorphin Speed 3 went in the other direction, the daily trainer direction. It’s now an excellent long run shoe and an extremely versatile running shoe.
The other training companions such as the Deviate Nitro, Boston, and SC Trainer all have stiffer plates/rods which makes them more explosive on toe-off. The Endo Speed 3 on the other hand is much more flexible so it has a more relaxed ride.