Hoka Clifton 9 VS Saucony Endorphin Speed 3: What Should I Buy?

Finding the right running shoe can be a challenging but important endeavor for runners. With so many options on the market, it’s hard to know which shoe is the best fit for your individual needs and goals.

Two popular neutral daily trainers that are worth considering are the Hoka One One Clifton 9 and the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3. Both shoes provide cushioning and support, but they have key differences that may make one a better choice than the other depending on your running style and preferences.

This in-depth comparison of the Clifton 9 versus the Endorphin Speed 3 breaks down the specs, features, and performance of each shoe to help you decide which is right for you.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Clifton 9 And Saucony Endorphin Speed 3:

FeaturesHoka Clifton 9Saucony Endorphin Speed 3
Launched In20232022
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateOutSole
SizingMen’s 7-15, Women’s 5-12Men’s 7-15, Women’s 5-12
Weight9.2 oz (M), 7.8 oz (W)8.7 oz (M), 7.5 oz (W)
CushionHighModerate
Out SoleDurable rubberDurable rubber
Mid SoleCMEVA foamPWRRUN PB foam
Upper SoleEngineered meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$145$170

Features Comparison:

We will now judge Clifton 9 and Endorphin Speed 3 based on the features they bring to the table.

Materials

The Clifton 9 uses a CMEVA foam for its high-cushioning midsole. The upper is made of engineered mesh for breathability. The outsole is durable rubber to provide traction.

Clifton 9
CLIFTON 9

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3
ENDORPHIN SPEED 3

The Endorphin Speed 3 utilizes PWRRUN PB foam in the midsole, which is softer and more responsive than the previous version. The engineered mesh upper provides ventilation, and the durable rubber outsole gives grip.

Durability

The Clifton 9 is fairly durable for a cushioned trainer, lasting around 300-500 miles for most runners. The midsole foam may lose some responsiveness over time.

Meanwhile, the Endorphin Speed 3 has less durable materials that may break down earlier than expected, around 200-300 miles. The foam midsole is softer and loses bounce quicker.

Fit

The Clifton 9 runs small and has a narrow toe box that may not work for wide feet. However, it has a secure heel lockdown.

Clifton 9 Top View
CLIFTON 9 TOP VIEW

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 TOP VIEW
ENDORPHIN SPEED 3 TOP VIEW

Similarly, the Endorphin Speed 3 also fits narrow, especially in the forefoot. The heel area has a secure hold. Both shoes fit best for runners with average to narrow foot widths.

Stability

As neutral shoes, both the Clifton 9 and Endorphin Speed 3 are designed for natural pronation and provide a little extra stability.

The Clifton 9’s higher stack height and rockered sole give it a slight stability edge for heel strikers. The Endorphin Speed 3 has a lower profile that caters to efficient midfoot strikers.

Cushioning

With its high-cushioning CMEVA foam midsole, the Clifton 9 offers plush, pillowy softness underfoot that absorbs shock well. This makes it better for recovery days and longer distances.

The Endorphin Speed 3 has a moderately cushioned PWRRUN PB foam midsole that provides a responsive, snappier ride. This caters to faster paces like tempo runs and races.

Value for Money

The Clifton 9 costs $145, which is fairly priced for the amount of cushioning and comfort it provides. Most runners get at least 300 miles out of the shoe to justify the cost per wear.

At $170, the Endorphin Speed 3 is pricey for having less durable materials that break down faster. However, the snappy, responsive ride appeals to performance-focused runners.

Performance Comparison:

Here we are going to see what Endorphin Speed 3 and Clifton 9 brings to the table when compared on Performance. This will give you a clear idea on which model to go after.

For Walking

The plush Clifton 9 is ideal for walking due to its soft, cushioned midsole that keeps feet comfortable on long walks. The rockered profile encourages smooth heel-to-toe transitions.

The Endorphin Speed 3 has less cushioning, so the firmer ride may feel fatiguing on extended walks. The lower drop also provides less heel support.

For Running

The Clifton 9 is a reliable daily trainer suitable for easy and long runs at recovery paces. The soft cushioning absorbs shock mile after mile.

With its snappy foam midsole, the Endorphin Speed 3 excels at tempo runs, intervals, fartleks, and race day. The shoe keeps runners feeling fast and efficient.

For Plantar Fasciitis

The Clifton 9 offers high cushioning and arch support, which helps take pressure off the plantar fascia. This makes it a top choice for runners with plantar fasciitis.

The Endorphin Speed 3 has less cushioning and medial support, so it may worsen pain from plantar fasciitis. It’s better suited to neutral runners without overpronation issues.

For Standing All Day

The plush Clifton 9 effectively cushions feet and absorbs shock, reducing fatigue from standing all day. The meta-rocker sole promotes smooth transitions.

The Endorphin Speed 3 has thinner, firmer cushioning that loses its comfort over many hours of standing. It lacks the plushness needed for all-day wear.

Final Verdict:

The Hoka One One Clifton 9 is the winner for runners seeking a well-cushioned, supportive daily trainer suitable for recovery days, long distances, and walking. Its soft, pillowy ride and rockered geometry provide comfort mile after mile. It also works well for runners with plantar fasciitis. However, it runs small and may be too narrow for wide feet.


The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 takes the lead if you desire a responsive, snappy shoe for faster training and races. Its PWRRUN PB foam midsole provides an efficient, propulsive ride ideal for tempo runs, intervals, and race day. Just be aware that the materials are less durable than the Clifton 9.

So in summary, choose the Clifton 9 if you prioritize cushioning and support or have plantar fasciitis, while the Endorphin Speed 3 is better for runners who value responsiveness and speed. Analyze your running needs and foot type to decide which neutral trainer is the better pick for you.

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