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Founded in 1898, Saucony predates the likes of Nike and Adidas by more than half a century. w based in the running nucleus of Boston, the shoe brand originally hails from Kutztown, PA, and took its logo from Saucony Creek, which flows through the town's center. Although the company didn't get into the athletic footwear game until mid-20th century, but it's held a place at the front of the pack with design innovations that earned early performance shoes like the 7446, Hornet, and Jazz accolades and acclaim.
Runners today might be more familiar with the Kinvara, a popular all-rounder in its 14th iteration, and the speed-oriented Endorphin line, which propelled Molly Huddle to a 9th-place finish at the 2023 New York City Marathon. A lot of the design and technical innovation that's aided elites is present in our pick for the best overall Saucony running shoe, the Endorphin Speed.
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Best Overall Saucony Running Shoe: Endorphin Speed 3
Endorphin Speed 3
Even though this member of Saucony's increasingly popular Endorphin line has Speed in its name, that's definitely not all it's geared for. Don't get us wrong; with a winged nylon plate sandwiched inside PWRRUN PB foam, this thing has the pop to move and can handle extended bouts of race pace during our test runs. It doesn't have that same rigid, springboard feel of shoes that are wholly dedicated to racing and tempo workouts, which helped it fare well on slower easy-paced days. Additionally, this new version is a bit softer than previous iterations of the Endorphin Speed. Therefore it's perfect everyday shoe for runners who something that can handle easy running, workouts, and races.
- High cushion.
- t ideal for those who favor stability features.
Weight: 8.1 oz
Heel-Toe Drop: 8 mm
Best Everyday Saucony Running Shoe: Ride 17
In a world where new tech has led to an innovative array of running shoes for every purpose, the Ride 17 is traditional. It has a comfy and universal fit, with a roomy toe box and enough midfoot lockdown to support it; a little bit of stability; and a platform that's neither overly squishy nor bouncy, but a little bit of both. If you're familiar with previous versions of the Ride, this one has a new upper and lighter PWRRUN+ midsole. The mix may not be ideal for long runs, but provides a fun and supportive ride for shorter everyday efforts. It's utilitarian, not flashy, and we mean that in the best way.
- Solid all-around feature set.
- Roomy toe box.
- Affordable compared to other Saucony shoes.
- Heel pull tab rips off.
Weight: 9.9 oz
Heel-Toe Drop: 8 mm
Best Saucony Running Shoe for Racing: Endorphin Pro 3
Endorphin Pro 3
The Endorphin Pro comes with all the prerequisites of a super-shoe: minimalist upper, forward-rolling rocker, huge landing pad made of PEBA foam, and a carbon fiber plate. When you want to run your fastest, this shoe is here to help you. If you've never run in one of these types of shoes, know that it's not a great match for everyday running (go for the Endorphin Speed or Kinvara Pro if you want an everyday shoe with extra pep). If you have, you know what to expect. On our test runs, we found the Endorphin Pro to be similar to race shoes from other companies—light, responsive, and springy. If the Endorphin Pro stands out in the crowd though, it's with a notable rolling-forward feeling due to Saucony's SPEEDROLL rocker tech.
Saucony also makes the Endorphin Elite for carbon-fiber racing, but we think the Endorphin Pro is better suited to the needs of non-elites. And it's $50 cheaper.
- Very responsive and snappy.
- Great cushion.
- t great for everyday running.
Weight: 7.2 oz
Heel-Toe Drop: 8 mm
Best Budget Saucony Running Shoe: Axon 3
These days, it's difficult to find a decent running shoe under $140 without making significant compromises. The Axon 3 defies that rule. At 8.5 ounces, it's light. It has a high-stack of supportive EVA PWRRUN foam. And its mesh upper is comfy and breathable. Like some other Saucony shoes, the heel pull loop is too small to be functional, but it's the only issue we could find. The shoe has surprisingly good grip (which helped on snowy test runs), a roomy toe box, and decent forward momentum. Saucony calls it plush, and while it does have a hefty wedge of foam underneath, we found it feels firmer than the bouncy maximalist shoes we're now used to. It's still plenty comfy though, even on longer runs. It also has a 4 mm heel-toe drop—the lowest on this list, if that's your preference. If you're looking for a classic running shoe and price is more important than premium materials, the Axon is a great choice.
- Roomy toe box.
- Good for casual wear.
- Heel pull loop is too small to use.
Weight: 8.5 oz
Heel-Toe Drop: 4 mm
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More Saucony Running Shoes We Love
Best Stability Saucony Running Shoe: Saucony Tempus
Runners looking for a shoe with added stability can be assured that the Tempus has the extra structure they need. It impresses because it's not like other stability shoes, which too often feel clunky and rigid. It has extra stiffness around the heel and a nice wide platform to land on, but it also has a mix of PWRRUN PB and PWRRUN foams, a combo that makes it feel snappy and responsive. Stability shoes have traditionally existed in a category apart from "regular" daily trainers, but the Tempus straddles the line. Need extra support but still want something snappy when you need to pick up the pace? The Tempus has got you. Just don't bother using the heel loop to pull them on, it's way too small.
- Lightweight for a stability shoe.
- Heel loop is too small.
- Narrow toe box.
Weight: 8.9 oz
Heel-Toe Drop: 8 mm
Best Max Cushion Saucony Running Shoe: Triumph 21
If you've never stepped into a squishy maximalist running shoe, the Triumph 21 will blow your mind. It's oh-so-comfy straight out of the box, thanks to a huge platform of Saucony's PWRRUN+ foam and an upper that wraps your feet tight into a cockpit that's ready for takeoff. The comfort extends into the run, but all that squish can sap energy if you're out for a speed workout. Save this shoe for easier efforts; it's an excellent daily trainer for runners who want to max out comfort. It's not a bad choice for just walking around, too.
The Triumph 21 is also available in a waterproof version and an eco-friendly model containing 55% corn-derived PWRRUN BIO+ foam and 80% natural rubber.
- Soft and springy,
- t ideal for speed.
Weight: 9.8 oz
Heel-Toe Drop: 10 mm
Best Saucony Running Shoe for Uptempo Runs: Kinvara Pro
If the "Pro" in this shoe's name and the partial carbon fiber plate in its midsole makes you think the Kinvara is a super high-end marathon shoe, think again. The Kinvara Pro is a daily trainer through and through. It does have nice premium features though, like PWRRUN PB foam mixed with regular PWRRUN, a combo that provides more oomph. Then, there's the aforementioned carbon fiber plate, rarely seen in a shoe that costs less than $200. Here, it provides rigidity that's not ideal for recovery runs but is nice and springy during intervals and strides. It's a solid choice for someone adding speed workouts into their routine but wants to stick to one shoe.
- Feels good at a wide range of paces.
- Strong underfoot grip.
- A little narrow in the forefoot.
Weight: 9.5 oz
Heel-Toe Drop: 8 mm
Best Saucony Trail Running Shoe for Technical Terrain: Peregrine 13
A shoe doesn't get to a 13th iteration without being widely accepted and adored. And there's a lot to like about the Peregrine 13, which is lighter than older versions and has more PWRRUN foam. It's not so much foam that the shoe loses its ground feel—one of its notable traits—but enough to keep your feet feeling supported on varied surfaces. There's some welcome give there, but it's not bouncy by any means. Speaking of surfaces, even with 5 mm lugs, the Peregrine felt good and grippy on all kinds of ground where we tested it: dirt roads, farm ruts, snow, rocks (there's a soft terrain version that has deeper lugs for soggier places). As for fit, the Peregrine feels like a technical trail shoe; it's a smidge narrow in the forefoot and hugs close through the midfoot. Bonus features include a lace loop and a D-ring for gaiters to adventure in all seasons.
- Great balance of cushion and responsiveness.
- Lace loop on the tongue.
- Works with gaiters.
- Fit not ideal for wide feet.
Weight: 9.2 oz
Drop: 4 mm
Lug Size: 5 mm
Best Max Cushion Saucony Trail Running Shoe: Xodus Ultra 2
Saucony bills the Xodus Ultra 2 as a shoe for full days on the trail (hence "ultra" in its name). The features include a 32.5 mm stack of foam that's plenty comfy but not so squishy that it saps your energy over multiple hours. It's light and comes with a slight rocker that rolls you through your stride. It has plenty of grip, 4.5mm lugs—along with a toe bumper that saved me from numerous ice chunks—and a comfy sock liner, which make the Xodus perfect for a variety of trails and distances.
- More versatile than expected.
- Great fit for most.
- Firmer and less peppy than expected.
Weight: 9.6 oz
Drop: 6 mm
Lug Size: 4.5 mm
Most Versatile Saucony Trail Running Shoe: Endorphin Rift
The Endorphin Rift makes a play for speed. It has SPEEDROLL rocker and upgraded PWRRUN PB foam. It's lightweight for a trail shoe, too, at 8.6 oz. But the actual experience of running in it quickly reveals that it's far more versatile than most race-oriented trail shoes, which are typically too minimalist for everyday running. In our testing, the Endorphin Rift feels a smidge softer than the Peregrine, and it's also bouncier, with more room in the toe box. Its lugs are less aggressive and worked fine for between-trail stretches of pavement and sidewalk.
- Great fit with room in the toes.
- Lightweight, sock liner keeps debris out.
- Upper doesn't have much extra protection.
Weight: 8.6 oz
Heel-Toe Drop: 6 mm
Lug Size: 4.5 mm
Why You Should Trust Me
I've been running since middle school, and running half and full marathons since 2017. I've run five marathons and managed to snag a 2:56 PR at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon. My trail pursuits include a run of the Presidential Traverse in New Hampshire (20 miles with 8,300 feet of elevation gain) and a circumnavigation of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, which is 700 square miles in size. I've been writing about running—training, nutrition, races, and gear—for over a decade. I constantly talk to athletes and industry pros about shoes and have tested multiple earlier iterations of the Sauconys on this list.
For this guide, I also spoke with Fan Zhou, general manager of running and footwear at REI, for insight on technology, innovation, and trends in the running shoe space. Zhou has been running for more than 15 years, has completed 13 Boston Marathons, and recently ran the California International Marathon. "The rhythm of my life is dictated by running," he told Men's Journal.
What We Look for When Choosing the Best Saucony Running Shoes
We know from our own professional experience—testing and evaluating running shoes and working closely with athletes and industry pros—that the perfect running shoe for one person might be the worst running shoe for another. Zhou agrees: "It depends on where they are in their own personal running journey, and what they want to accomplish while wearing that product." As such, we've evaluated the shoes in this guide based on the quality of the features and build of each one, keeping in mind their potential intended use for any individual
We tested each shoe included in this list—and numerous others—across a range of surfaces and distances. Knowing that all runners have different feet, gaits, and styles of running, we also take into account outside reviews and experiences.
Remember: It's always a good idea to try on a shoe before you commit to it. When shopping for a new pair of running shoes, Zhou recommends noting the "step-in feel" at try-on. "A good running shoe is one that when you take your first steps and you walk around it should just feel comfortable, supportive, and then get you excited to start running in it," he says.
Key Features of Saucony Running Shoes
PWRRUN refers to Saucony's in-house EVA foam found on most of its running shoes. It comes in a few varieties: PWRRUN is Saucony's base-level EVA foam; PWRRUN+ is slightly softer and lighter; PWRRUN PB is a beaded PEBA (polyether block amide) foam that's light and durable, most commonly found in super shoes; and PWRRUN HG is an even more responsive PEBA foam found only in the elite-grade Endorphin Elite.
Saucony has integrated PWRRUN PB into many of its non-super running shoes (it's even in the Endorphin Rift trail running shoe). When I spoke with Zhou, he expressed that the thing he's most excited to see running shoe companies do is experiment with how they construct their midsole, particularly with stack height, foams, and plates. He calls Saucony a leader in the industry in those aspects.
Saucony uses proprietary carbon rubber to give its shoes grip on a variety of surfaces. You'll find PWRTRAC on many of the company's trail running shoes, like the Peregrine, Xodus Ultra, and Endorphin lines, and you'll find XT-900 and XT-600 on road models like the Endorphin Pro.
FORMFIT is a term attached to a number of Saucony running shoes, referring to a three-layer fit system that adapts to the shape of your foot. It consists of an underfoot cradle and a layer of foam that molds to your foot shape over numerous runs, plus flexible upper materials that conform to various foot shapes.
SPEEDROLL is Saucony's in-house term for rockers, characterized by a rolling rise in the toe or heel that's becoming more common in running shoes. The design element is meant to help runners roll through each stride from landing to push-off. Saucony describes SPEEDROLL as consisting of a high platform and a stiffer forefoot.
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