Hoka Mach 5 VS Saucony Endorphin Speed 3: What Should I Buy?

The Hoka Mach 5 and Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 are two of the most popular lightweight trainers on the market. With so many similarities between the two shoes, it can be tough to decide which is the better option for your needs.

This in-depth comparison breaks down the key features and performance of each shoe to help you determine which is the better choice for you.

Similarities And Differences Between Hoka Mach 5 and Saucony Endorphin Speed 3:

FeaturesHoka Mach 5Saucony Endorphin Speed 3
Launched In20222022
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingMen’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11Men’s 7-13, Women’s 5-11
Weight8.5 oz (M), 7.8 oz (W)7.5 oz (M), 6.8 oz (W)
CushionSoftModerate
Out SoleDurabrasion rubberXT-900 carbon rubber
Mid SoleProFly foamPWRRUN PB
Upper SoleBreathable meshEngineered mesh
Retail Price$140$170

Features Comparison

Materials

The outsoles on both shoes provide good grip, with the Hoka using Durabrasion rubber while the Saucony uses XT-900 carbon rubber. The Endorphin’s outsole seems a bit more durable.

Inside, the Mach 5 has a soft ProFly foam midsole while the Endorphin uses PWRRUN PB foam. Both provide responsive cushioning but the ProFly foam has a softer feel.

Hoka Mach 5
MACH 5

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3
ENDORPHIN SPEED 3

On the upper, the Mach 5 uses a breathable mesh material while the Endorphin has an engineered mesh upper. The engineered mesh hugs the foot better and provides a secure fit. Both uppers are lightweight and promote airflow well.

Durability

Regarding durability, the Endorphin Speed 3 seems to have a slight edge. The XT-900 carbon rubber outsole holds up better to high mileage training compared to the Durabrasion rubber on the Mach 5. The Mach 5’s outsole shows signs of wear much quicker according to user reviews.

The PWRRUN PB foam midsole on the Endorphin also retains its bounce and responsiveness longer than the ProFly foam on the Mach 5. However, the uppers on both shoes are quite fragile and prone to tearing with excessive use.

The lightweight mesh simply isn’t built to handle hundreds of miles. So for the outsole and midsole durability, the Endorphin Speed 3 is the winner but both have uppers that may show wear and tear over time.

Fit

The fit of these two shoes differs slightly due to the engineered mesh upper on the Endorphin Speed 3 versus the regular mesh on the Mach 5. The engineered mesh wraps the foot better and provides a really secure lockdown that helps prevent sliding around inside the shoe.

The Mach 5’s mesh upper is softer and more pliable but can allow for more in-shoe movement. Both shoes run true to size with enough room in the toe box for natural toe splay. One slight difference is the heel collar padding – the Endorphin has a bit more padding for a softer, comfier feel around the ankle.

Mach 5 Top View
MACH 5 TOP VIEW

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 TOP VIEW
ENDORPHIN SPEED 3 TOP VIEW

Overall, while both shoes should fit most foot shapes well, the Endorphin Speed 3 may have a slight edge when it comes to foot lockdown and security on faster-paced runs. Those wanting a super soft, pliable upper may lean towards the Mach 5.

Stability

Since both shoes are neutral trainers, there are minimal stability features built into either model. However, testers have noted that the stability of the Endorphin Speed 3 seems slightly better than the Mach 5. The midsole geometry includes a guidance line through the center which encourages better tracking for midfoot strikers.

Additionally, the engineered mesh upper wraps the foot in a really secure way that helps keep you stable inside the shoe. By comparison, the Mach 5’s softer upper allows for more foot movement inside the shoe during transitions or cornering.

Both shoes are best for neutral runners without pronation issues. Still, the extra midsole guidance and foot-wrapping upper of the Endorphin Speed 3 give it a stability advantage for tempo runs or faster workouts when footing security matters most.

Cushioning

For cushioning, the Mach 5 takes the lead with its soft ProFly foam providing a plusher underfoot feel. It excels at absorbing shock and dispersing impact forces, reducing muscle fatigue and joint pain even during longer miles.

The Endorphin Speed’s PWRRUN PB foam has a responsive, energetic feel but testers found it wasn’t as soft. The Mach 5 shines for recovery days or long runs when you want maximum cushion without the mushy feel. However, some runners found the Mach 5’s soft foam felt a bit unstable at faster paces.

The Endorphin Speed balances cushioning and stability well for tempo runs or speed work. For pure plush, shock-absorbing cushioning, the Mach 5 is the winner but the Endorphin provides a responsive ride for faster days.

Value

At $170, the Endorphin Speed 3 costs $30 more than the Mach 5 at $140. Given the Endorphin’s slight advantages in durability, stability, and foot lockdown, many runners feel the extra $30 is justified, especially for a shoe that can handle everything from daily training to race day.

The Mach 5 does provide exceptional cushioning but some report durability concerns over the long term. At $140, the Mach 5 is a great value for the amount of cushioning and comfort it provides.

Overall, while both shoes have strong values, the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 provides features like the engineered mesh upper and PWRRUN PB foam that make it feel like a more premium product.

Unless you really prioritize having the softest cushioning possible, the Endorphin Speed 3 represents the better overall value when factoring in durability, versatility, and secure foot lockdown.

Performance Comparison

Walking

For walking, the exceptional cushioning of the Mach 5 makes it the more comfortable choice. The plush ProFly foam absorbs shock with every step, reducing joint and muscle soreness.

The flexible mesh upper moves naturally with the foot during the walking gait cycle. The Endorphin Speed 3 is quite stiff which can lead to discomfort and fatigue when walking long distances. The snug upper also restricts foot flexibility. For leisurely walking or recovery days, the Mach 5 is the clear winner.

Running

As the name implies, the Endorphin Speed 3 is built for running and outperforms the Mach 5 for everything from daily training to race day. The snug upper and guided stability underfoot allow you to lock in and go at any pace.

The supportive PWRRUN PB foam and rockered geometry make the Endorphin a dream to run in. The Mach 5’s softness excels at walking causing instability at higher speeds. For pure running performance, the Endorphin Speed 3 is the better shoe.

Plantar Fasciitis

The exceptional cushioning of Mach 5‘s ProFly foam makes it the better choice for plantar fasciitis and offers relief from foot pain. It has a softer underfoot feel and absorbs more shock with every step compared to the Endorphin Speed 3.

However, the Endorphin Speed isn’t bad for plantar fasciitis sufferers either – it just can’t match the plush comfort of the Mach 5 for all-day wear.

Standing All Day

Similar to plantar fasciitis, the Mach 5 is the clear winner when standing all day. Its soft ProFly foam never bottoms out or loses its cushioning, reducing fatigue whether you’re on your feet for hours.

The Endorphin Speed 3 offers moderate cushioning but runners found it compresses too much after long periods of standing compared to the Mach 5’s springier and more durable foam.

Final Verdict

Overall, the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 takes the edge for performance, especially for neutral runners looking for a durable and responsive feel at faster paces.


The Hoka Mach 5 can’t match the Endorphin’s energetic ride but provides superior cushioning for recovery days, walking, or standing for long periods.

Choose the Endorphin Speed 3 if you want an all-around trainer and racer, and pick the Mach 5 if you prioritize lightweight comfort above all else. For most runners, the Endorphin Speed 3 offers a better balance of features to handle training and racing at any distance.

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