Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 VS Endorphin Speed 4: What Should I Buy?

The Saucony Endorphin Speed series has become a favorite among runners looking for a lightweight, responsive daily trainer who can pick up the pace.

The Endorphin Speed 3 was released in 2022 to much fanfare, but now in 2024, Saucony has updated the shoe again with the Endorphin Speed 4. How do these two versions of this popular shoe compare? Read on to find out!

Similarities And Differences Between Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 And Endorphin Speed 4:

FeatureEndorphin Speed 3Endorphin Speed 4
Launched In20222024
StabilityModerateModerate
FlexibilityModerateModerate
SizingTrue to sizeRuns slightly small
Weight8.58 oz (size 10.5)8.2 oz (M9) / 7.2 oz (W7.5)
CushionPWRRUN PB foamPWRRUN PB foam
OutsoleXT-900 rubberXT-900 lattice rubber
MidsoleNylon plateNylon plate
UpperEngineered knitZonal mesh
Retail Price$170$227

Features Comparison:

Material:

The Endorphin Speed 3 features PWRRUN PB foam and a nylon plate for a propulsive, responsive ride. The durable XT-900 rubber outsole provides traction, while the engineered knit upper offers a lightweight, breathable fit. With cushioning that springs back and an upper that disappears on your foot, the Speed 3 is built for speed.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3
ENDORPHIN SPEED 3

Saucony Endorphin Speed 4
ENDORPHIN SPEED 4

Building on the popular Speed 3, the Endorphin Speed 4 retains the responsive PWRRUN PB foam and propulsive nylon plate. Updates like the XT-900 lattice rubber outsole enhance traction and flexibility.

The zonal mesh upper provides targeted support and breathability. Keeping the speedy DNA of the 3, the Endorphin Speed 4 fine-tunes the fit and adds grip for a more dialed-in ride.

Durability:

The Endorphin Speed 3 has proven to be a durable shoe, with testers getting several hundred miles out of it before the midsole starts losing responsiveness.

The PWRRUN PB foam remains resilient and the XT-900 rubber outsole shows minimal wear. The engineered knit upper also resists tearing even over high mileage.

The Endorphin Speed 4’s updates, like the new lattice outsole rubber and engineered mesh upper, are likely to make it even more durable than its predecessor, with early testers reporting it lasts just as long, if not longer.

Fit:

The Endorphin Speed 3 fits true to size for most, but some find the unstructured knit upper causes a sloppy fit at faster speeds. The Speed 4’s new engineered mesh upper offers a more tailored fit with better midfoot lockdown, while still maintaining breathability.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 TOP VIEW
ENDORPHIN SPEED 3 TOP VIEW

Saucony Endorphin Speed 4 Top View
ENDORPHIN SPEED 4 TOP VIEW

The integrated tongue also enhances security around the foot. The Speed 4 runs slightly snug in the toe box but still allows for a natural toe splay. The Speed 3 may accommodate more foot shapes, but the Speed 4 provides a more refined fit.

Stability:

With its firm-yet-responsive midsole foam and torsionally rigid nylon plate, the Endorphin Speed 3 provides moderate stability for neutral runners.

The Speed 4 maintains a similar stable platform, with the addition of some light arch support from the new mesh upper. However, neither model was designed for severe overpronators who need motion control features.

Cushioning:

Offering a responsive firmness for energy return, the Endorphin Speed 3 still provides adequate cushioning for most runners. However, some find it harsh for longer miles.

The Speed 4 uses the same midsole foam but feels slightly softer due to its more flexible outsole rubber. This makes the Speed 4 a bit more cushioned for long runs while the Speed 3 may be better for faster strides.

Value:

Great Value, Great Shoe in the Endorphin Speed 3 Boasting carbon plate speed at just $170, the Endorphin Speed 3 packs propulsion and responsiveness into an impressively durable package for the price.

Comparable racing flats are far pricier while daily trainers often lack the snappy foam and poppy plate. Delivering versatile cushioning and an energetic ride, the Speed 3 brings exceptional value to any runner.

Speed 4 Loses Some Steps on Value While retaining the Speed DNA, the $227 Endorphin Speed 4 took a big leap in price from its predecessor which impacted overall value.

The updates likely contribute to increased costs, but with the similarly equipped Speed 3 now widely available under retail, the Boost in price is harder to justify. Unless the revisions are must-haves, the Speed 3 gives more value for the money.

Performance Comparison:

Walking:

Unstable Design and Minimal Cushioning Causes Quick Fatigue The Endorphin’s rigid, running-focused build severely lacks the stability, arch support, and plush cushioning required for comfortable walking over longer distances.

The pronounced plates and sparse foam lead to rapidly accumulating foot fatigue, while the slick outsoles and low heel drop create an unstable, awkward ride at slower walking paces. Neither option adequately cushions or supports the feet during walks.

Running:

Optimized for Speedwork, Surprisingly Capable for High Daily Mileage Ready to pick up the pace at a moment’s notice, the responsive Endorphins provide an ideal fit for tempo runs, intervals, and any tough training.

But the energetic cushioning compounds and smooth heel-to-toe transitions can still easily handle heavier high mileage days as well. The Endorphin 4’s slightly more flexible platform gives it better versatility to handle both speed and distance demands.

Plantar Fasciitis:

Severely Lacks Protection for Already Sensitive Feet The minimal cushioning and highly pronounced plates of the Endorphins cannot provide nearly enough shock absorption for injured runners.

Their unstable build also lacks adequate arch support or pronation control to help manage delicate conditions like plantar fasciitis that require protective comfort and support.

Standing All Day:

Lack of Cushioning and Support for Extended Wear Like most running shoes, the Endorphin series lacks the plush cushioning, stability, and arch support required for comfortable standing all day.

The firm midsoles grow uncomfortable quickly without absorbing body weight properly, while the low heel drop fails to adequately hug the arches. Without a reinforced structure for lateral movements, feet can also roll over the smooth curved last leading to pain.

For extended standing, cushy walking shoes or supportive work clogs are far superior options tailored toward stability and below-foot comfort. The Endorphins simply cannot provide the combination of cushiony softness, secure foothold, and anatomical foot support needed for hour-after-hour wear.

Final Verdict:

In the end, both the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 and Endorphin Speed 4 are excellent lightweight trainers that can pick up the pace when needed. The main differences come down to price and intended use.

The Endorphin Speed 3 has a firm ride, and snug fit, and provides great value at around $150 now for a daily trainer with propulsive carbon plate technology. It excels at faster runs but can be too stiff for easy days.


The Endorphin Speed 4 has a softer cushioning feel that makes it more versatile for long slow runs as well as speedwork. The engineered mesh upper also provides a more tailored fit. However, it comes with a much higher $227 price tag.

For most runners looking for an affordable, fast daily trainer, the Endorphin Speed 3 is still a great option. However, if you want a plushier feel underfoot and don’t mind the higher cost, the Endorphin Speed 4 is now the premium option in the Speed series.

Try them both on if possible to decide which model best matches your running needs and budget. Either way, you can’t go wrong with these light, responsive tempo trainers from Saucony.

Leave a comment