This Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 review is part of our 2022 SELF Certified Sneaker Awards, where the shoe won Best for Speed Training. You can see the rest of our award winners here.
Even if you’re new to running, it won’t take long for someone to pop the question: Any races coming up? Races—from charitable 5Ks to big-city marathons—can provide a clear goal, a sense of community, and, often, some healthy motivation. Of course, you can be a runner your whole life and never run a race (and that’s fine!), but if getting a little competitive now and then or trying to set a new PR sounds like something you’re interested in, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a pair of sneakers that are designed for race days and speed training. The right pair of sneakers can help you improve your time, add bounce to your step, and mentally put you in the right place.
Enter the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 ($225, saucony.com). The much-revered sneaker is back with a few upgrades for 2022 that make an already-great speed training and racing shoe even better. You’ll want to wear these for your race days, yes, but count them in for track work, tempo runs, and interval training too. For that reason, we’ve crowned these the best speed training sneaker of the year. Read why below.
How We Tested
We had two testers, both experienced long-distance runners, take the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3s for a spin. One tester has run 23 marathons over the span of her career—including one in a previous version of this shoe—and continues to run between five and six times a week, logging a total of 30 to 40 miles on average. She took these sneakers on two five-mile road runs. Our other tester, who is currently pregnant, does walk-runs about five times per week. She tested these sneakers several times on both pavement and gravel for 30 to 60 minutes at a time.
The Saucony Endorphin Pro 3s fit slightly more snugly than you might expect for a running sneaker. (For running sneakers, we usually recommend a half-inch of space between your toe and the tip of the shoe.) That said, these sneakers are made for times when you really want to pick up the pace, so a more streamlined fit can work to your benefit. Depending on your preferences, you may want to purchase these true to size or go a half-size up. One of our testers liked her true-to-size pair, while our second tester preferred the roomier half-size up. It’s likely worth trying both sizes and seeing which feels most comfortable (more on Saucony’s return policy below).
The heels fit securely, even though the heel counter (the part of the sneaker that hugs the back of the foot) has a light and minimal feel (rather than being more rigid or thick). The mesh upper also keeps your feet feeling flexible.
Shape of the Shoe
One tester said her wider, flatter feet fit perfectly in these. The arch felt supportive in just the right spot and seemed to map to the foot even better than previous iterations of the style, with slightly more width through the midsole.