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Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 RUNSHIELD Review: Tackle the Rain Day
By David Salas and Andrea Myers

Winter is upon us and Saucony is bringing the warmth. The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 takes all of the DNA from the normal Speed 3 and brings a warmer package. The Runshield upper is waterproof and meant to keep your feet warm when running through snow, rain, and cold mornings. This brought some minor changes to fit and lockdown but those that enjoyed the Speed 3 will also enjoy the Speed 3 Runshield edition. 

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 RUNSHIELD
Price: $179.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 8.1 oz, g (men's size 9), 7.2oz, 204g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 36mm/28mm
Drop: 8mm
Classification: Performance Trainer/ Racing Shoe



RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

David:
 The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 Runshield (RS) is a performance trainer that brings the speedy components of the Speed 3 in a weather proof package. The upper runs a little bit warmer but still breathes well enough for most conditions. The upper has done a great job of keeping my feet warm and dry in the winter conditions. The Speed 3 RS is an expansion upon the original line. 

Andrea: The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 RS is a performance trainer for cold and wet winter days. We have up to 6 months of this weather here in Connecticut, and these shoes arrived just in time for a string of cold and rainy days. I found a shoe that retained the performance benefits of the original Speed 3 while keeping my feet dry and comfortable, even during long workouts with temps in the upper 30s and 20 mph winds. This shoe will a great performance trainer for those of us with a long winter ahead.




FIT

David: The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 RS fits my foot true to size in my normal men's 9.5. For me the upper fit a little bit more snug throughout with a little less stretch. This actually worked better for me, as the midfoot was a tiny bit wide and I would get a crinkle in the distal part of the tongue in the original. This is all cleaned up in the RS version. The fit is slightly snug in the heel and midfoot with a normal width forefoot. The RS upper does run a little warmer than the original, but still breathes well enough for most efforts. It did a great job of keeping my feet dry in the pouring rain and also has run well in weather as high as 65 for me. This tongue is padded and pretty streamlined with the rest of the upper. This is most likely the best weather proof upper I have run in so far.

Andrea:
I normally size up 1/2 size in the Endorphin line (women's 10 instead of 9.5), but I received a 9.5 in the Endorphin Speed 3 Runshield, which surprisingly fit true to size for me. The main reason I go up 1/2 size is for the length, but the different upper material in the RS provides enough additional length for my regular size 9.5 to fit. I also found the overall fit of the RS to be more secure than the original version due to the different upper material. The tongue sits perfectly flat on the dorsum of the foot and the more structured upper material feels like it hugs the foot without creating any pressure points.

When testing a new shoe, I usually have to play with the lacing quite a bit to get comfortable and secure lockdown, but the lacing was immediately correct for me on my first run. There is enough room in the toebox for mild toe splay, while the midfoot and heel are a little narrower, but not in an uncomfortable manner. There is a fairly rigid heel counter with minimal padding internally, which I found comfortable and secure. I have run in every version of the Endorphin Pro, Speed, and Shift, and this is by far the best fitting version I have tried.



PERFORMANCE

David: In theory the change of the upper should not change the performance of the shoe too much, though I did feel some changes. Because I felt the upper was a little more snug and kept my foot connected to the platform a little bit better the RS version actually felt a little bit quicker and nimble. My feet have a tendency to get cold and this upper seemed to clean up the early mornings quite a bit for me. The PEBA midsole with the nylon plate is still noticeable and the shoe still runs quick through the toe off. Because of the increased connection from the upper the shoe actually felt a little better at easier paces for me as well. The integration of the upper and midsole was done really well and the smooth ride is certainly noticeable. The PWRRUN PB is still soft and bouncy and the ride is firmed up a little bit with the plate. The one thing I did notice was that the shoe from the foam up is very much ready for winter, though I do think there could be a little more emphasis under the foot with outsole traction. In the pouring rain this works ok at easier paces, but the traction on slick conditions could be a little better. I have not run in snow with these but I imagine it wouldn't be something I immediately reach for. The Speed 3 RS is a solid extension of Endorphin Speed line however. 

Andrea: The main purpose of the Endorphin Speed 3 RS is to protect the feet from cold and wet conditions, and the shoe definitely delivers. I used this shoe for several rainy runs, including a 14 mile workout in moderate rain and 15mph winds. My feet stayed warm and dry the entire duration of the workout. The only run in which my feet got wet was in pouring rain where the roads were flooding, and no shoe is going to be able to keep water out in those conditions. I also had excellent traction on wet roads, including at faster paces and with turns. Saucony really hit a home run with this shoe in terms of protection from the elements. The decent rubber coverage on the outsole contributes to traction on wet roads and should provide decent durability.

I also found an interesting difference between the original version of the Speed 3 and the RS version in terms of shoe geometry. I did not receive the original Speed 3 for testing, but I did go to my local running store to check it out with plans on purchasing it, as I have enjoyed using versions 1 and 2 for training. I immediately was aware of the large amount of lateral sole flare in the forefoot, to the point where it was fairly uncomfortable under both 5th MTPs. I decided not to buy it due to this discomfort. When I received the RS version, I was concerned that I would have the same experience, but surprisingly, I did not. It is possible the difference is due to the fact that I tried my usual Endorphin size 10 at the running store and received a size 9.5 RS, which likely changed exactly where the sole flare interacts with my foot.

I found the Endorphin Speed 3 RS to run very similarly to the Endorphin Pro 3, but with a little more cushion, which is what I have typically found between the Speed and the Pro. At initial contact, the foam feels like it compresses a little more as compared to the Pro but then firms up as the SPEEDROLL propels you into push off. I used the shoe for intervals that ranged from threshold to mile pace, and it performed well at all of them. I also found the Speed 3 RS to be comfortable at easy paces, which was nice for warmups and cooldowns. At 7.2oz for a women's size 8, this shoe is a great training companion to the Pro and could also be used as a bad weather racer for those who prefer a slightly softer shoe. I also found the Speed 3 RS to feel more stable as compared to the regular Speed 1 and 2. This is due to the sole flare in the rearfoot and forefoot as well as the medial and lateral sidewalls in the midfoot. 



STABILITY

David: With the upper changes I think the stability of the shoe has naturally increased some. The lockdown throughout seems to hold the foot on the platform better without providing any irritation. There is also less stretch to the material and so you really feel connected to the platform. The midsole is on the softer end and that brings some inherent instability, though the plate seems to help with creating some torsional rigidity as well. The sidewalls are also integrated pretty well and keep you feeling centered. The biggest thing with the Speed 3 RS for me would be underfoot traction. If I am on a well groomed road in the winter I don't foresee any problems. If I am running hard in slick conditions or having to navigate some snow though, I could see that being a little difficult. With all of this said, the Speed 3 RS is still a neutral performance trainer. The stability is pretty solid for the category. 

Andrea:
The Endorphin Speed 3 RS is a neutral shoe, but its geometry and upper provide decent guidance and stability. The sole flare in the rearfoot and forefoot help to center the foot and in combination with the SPEEDROLL (rearfoot and forefoot rocker) help the foot transition from initial contact to push off smoothly without forcing motion in any particular direction. While the sole narrows in the midfoot, significant sidewalls in that region further help to center the foot in the shoe. The RS material in the upper further contributes to lockdown and overall foot stability. The rocker geometry balances the softer feel of the PWRRUN PB and nylon plate. While I (thankfully) did not have the opportunity to test this shoe in snow, I would not expect it perform particularly well due to the lack of lugs and the amount of exposed midsole in the outsole. This is a well done stable neutral performance trainer and in my opinion, and a nice improvement in performance and stability over versions 1 or 2.


Thoughts as a DPT: If the Shoe Fits
By Andrea Myers

For runners like myself who are between sizes in a particular brand (I wear size 9.5 in non-Endorphin Saucony shoes, but go up to 10 in the Endorphin line), we may find that the geometry of the shoe does not line up with our feet or ankles anatomically. I found this to be the case in the New Balance Rebel v3, which I wrote about here: https://www.doctorsofrunning.com/2022/09/new-balance-fuelcell-rebel-v3-review.html

I found the location of the sole flare in the non-RS Endorphin Speed 3 (size 10) to be irritating around my 5th MTPs, but I did not have this issue in the RS version (size 9.5). I need to go up 1/2 size in the Endorphin line normally for length, but I found the different upper in the RS version to provide sufficient length for my big toes. It is likely that the sole of the two shoes line up with my 5th MTPs differently due to the length of the sole itself. I do not have the non-RS version to compare to the RS version, but it would be logical that the apex of the lateral sole flare would be located more towards my toes in the size 10 non-RS as compared to the size 9.5 RS. This could potentially create a situation where the sole flare encourages me to stay on my lateral forefoot slightly longer in the bigger shoe, creating discomfort under the 5th MTP joint.

When trying on shoes, it is important for runners to remember that there is more to comfort than just the length and width of the shoe itself. The geometry of the shoe needs to work with your unique anatomical structure, and some shoes that fit for length and width will not be comfortable due to the interaction of the shoe with your biomechanics. This underscores the importance of not just trying on a shoe and walking around, but actually running in the shoe before purchasing. 




RECOMMENDATIONS

David: I felt Saucony integrated the Runshield upper really well. The transition feels natural and not forced. I think my biggest recommendation for the Speed 3 RS is to focus a little more on some small outsole changes to better fit the winter conditions. For running on well groomed roads in the winter there are no issues. Cornering on wet conditions or navigating snow would be difficult though.

Andrea: I think Saucony did a great job with the Endorphin Speed 3 Runshield. My main recommendation would be to make the original Speed 3 fit more like the RS version. Saucony could also potentially improve the shoe's traction on wet roads by providing greater outsole rubber coverage and including an inverted tread pattern. 

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR

David: The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 RS is a performance trainer incorporating DNA similar to many super shoes. The focus of this model specifically is to have it ready for winter conditions. The Run Shield upper keeps your feet warm and dry when running through rain or snow. For those that want that next generation performance trainer taken to colder and harsher weather conditions this would be a really solid add to the arsenal. 

Andrea: The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 Runshield is a stable neutral performance trainer that excels in wet or cold conditions. Runners who do well with the Endorphin Pro or Speed but need a shoe for winter weather will find a great option in the RS version. I personally found the fit of the RS to be different than the original, so runners who normally go 1/2 size up in the Endorphin line may want to try their normal size in the RS.

 

FURTHER THOUGHTS

As the temperatures drop and the snow and ice begin to accumulate here in Wisconsin, my footwear selections do change. I like an upper that blocks wind to keep my toes warmer, particularly for longer efforts. I like a more accommodating upper to fit thicker socks. I like foams, such as PEBA based foams, that are more resistant to firming up in colder temperatures. I also like outsoles with some additional traction, even if it is as simple as more grooves in the outsole. The Runshield version of the Endorphin Speed 3 checks almost all of these boxes. The upper fit is fantastic, allows for thicker socks, has a more temperature-resistant foam, and the material really allows the foot to stay warmer. However, I think the miss (for those of us needing a shoe to handle snow/ice) is in the outsole. Saucony didn't make any modification to the outsole rubber design, and I think a few small tweaks could make it the perfect winter running shoe. I wish they would add 1-2mm of rubber and create more ridges in a zig-zag or triangular pattern to enhance the grip just slightly. I think I'd be looking at my perfect winter running shoe if that happened. 

- Nathan Brown, Senior Contributor



GRADING

David
Fit: (This fit me much better than the original Speed 3. Everything felt dialed in and secure. Not sure I'd make any noticeable changes here.)
Performance: 
A- (Lightweight responsiveness that meets weather proof materials, though the traction could be better to help with full winter weather integration)
Stability: A- (Upper integration and stability is really good, sidewall integration is solid, though traction could be better)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (Nothing overly revolutionary here as it is an expansion of the original Speed 3 model. Though good weather proof integration.)
Personal: A (I actually enjoy the Speed 3 RS more than I do the original. The fit is better for me and I can trust that my feet will stay warm.)
Overall: A- (A solid expansion of the popular performance trainer with an upper that genuinely feels weather proof.)
 
Andrea
Fit: (Fits true to size, unlike the rest of the Endorphin line for me. Excellent upper security and comfort.)
Performance: A 
(Excels at a variety of interval paces and is comfortable for WU and CD. Great protection from rain and cold temps. Likely won't perform well in snow, but that is what trail shoes are for.)
Stability (stable neutral) A-(Balanced medial and lateral sole flare in the rearfoot and forefoot in combination with sidewalls in the midfoot help center the foot, while rocker geometry guides forward motion.)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Improved overall fit helps the geometry of the shoe work better with my feet than the original Speed 3.)
Personal: A (A great performance trainer that will keep my feet dry and warm through the many winter months in CT. Very pleased with improved fit as compared to original Speed 3.)
Overall: (Better fit and performance than the original and provides excellent protection from cold and wet weather.)


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FURTHER READING

The Best Gifts for Runners: Our favorite things we use daily!
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New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v13 - A big update to this classic stability cruiser
Topo Athletic Ultraventure 3 - Moderately high stacked road to trail runner with a wide fit
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Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your
local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Saucony for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v13

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