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Best of Road Running Shoes • January 1, 2024

Best Saucony Running Shoes Right Now (2024)

green saucony racing shoe

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What You Need To Know

Winners

We break down the top Saucony running shoes right now

Variety

From racing to tempo to slow days to trails, we got you covered

Comment

Any questions? Drop it in the comments. Otherwise, let’s get you educated.

Here’s a fun fact for ya: Did you know that Saucony hasn’t always been a Boston-based company? Nope, it’s actually named for the Saucony Creek in little old Kutztown, Pennsylvania. It started there all the way back in 1898, so you could say that Saucony has been around the block a time or two. Our history with the brand doesn’t go back quite that far, but we’ve run in enough Endorphins and Kinvaras to play favorites. Here are the best Saucony running shoes you can buy right now.

Obviously, no single Saucony shoe is perfect for every run (though the Endorphin Speed 3 comes pretty close), so we’ll try to cover the full range. We’ve laced up Saucony running shoes for everything from recovery runs to race days and even taken them for life off-roads. Whether you want a reliable daily trainer or a mud-ready monster, there’s a good chance we’ve got you covered.

Our picks always come from our own experiences here at Believe in the Run. After all, we get a lot of shoes in for testing, and we like to let our feet do the talking. While we don’t always love every shoe that arrives, it doesn’t mean that you won’t. We try to weigh thoughts from our running friends and the community in general. All of our picks should be available for you to buy right now, too.

Key Terms In This Review

PWRRUN Foams

PWRRUN: Tried-and-true EVA

PWRRUN Plus: TPU-based beads

PWRRUN PB: – PEBA beads

PWRRUN HG: PEBA beads, but better

PWRTRAC

Tacky, trail-ready rubber used on the outsoles of the Peregrine, Xodus Ultra, and Endorphin Rift

Speedroll

Saucony’s rocker midsole technology, featured on all of the Endorphin models

FORMFIT

Saucony’s three-layered midsole setup that adapts and conforms to your foot

XT-900

Road-ready rubber that offers great grip without aggressive lugs, found on the Endorphin Pro 3 and Ride 17

Best Saucony Running Shoes Right Now

saucony endorphin elite - wall1

Saucony Endorphin Elite

$275

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Best For

Race day domination

Weight

7.2 oz. (205 g) for a US M9,

6.5 oz. (185 g) for a US W8

Stack Height/Drop

40 mm in heel, 32 in forefoot (8 mm drop)

What could possibly be better than Pro in the pecking order? Elite, apparently. That’s right, the Saucony Endorphin Elite is the company’s new top dog, and it brings a wild design and plenty of new technology to match. As if the unique upper and funky, rounded midsole weren’t bold enough, Saucony paired them with a vibrant green upper that absolutely screams, “look at me!” We’re happy to look, too, since the Endorphin Elite is easily one of the best Saucony running shoes right now, if not ever.

For starters, the Endorphin Elite is the first to adopt the new PWRRUN HG foam, which is Saucony’s answer to Nike’s ZoomX. It’s light and poppy, though just a bit denser than the PWRRUN PB found on the Endorphin Pro 3 — at least in our opinion. Density or not, the Endorphin Elite sings louder the faster you go. Both Thomas and Meaghan found that the harder they pushed the pace, the faster they wanted to go and the happier the Endorphin Elite got.

On top of that high-powered midsole, Saucony has one of the wildest uppers in the game right now. It’s not as bold as the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro, but the cutouts and thin layers make it look almost alien compared to other racers. You might also want to grab some padded socks for the Endorphin Elite, as it sacrifices some padding to save weight.

Ultimately, the Endorphin Elite is Saucony’s best race day shoe to date, and it comes with a $275 price tag that only an Alphafly can love.

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saucony endorphin pro 3 cover 2

Saucony Endorphin Pro 3

$225

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Best For

Speedy long runs and race day

Weight

7.3 oz. (207 g) for a US M9,

6.5 oz. (184 g.) for a US W8

Stack Height/Drop

39 mm in heel, 31 in forefoot (8 mm drop)

Alright, yeah, we just got done calling the Endorphin Elite the best that Saucony has to offer, but the Endorphin Pro 3 might be the best Saucony racing shoe for most people. In fact, it took home our Best In Gear award as the best race day option to end 2022. So, what makes it better than its ultra-premium sibling? Well, the Endorphin Pro 3 is all about forgiveness. It has a slightly wider midsole, which keeps your foot comfortable and level no matter how you strike.

Mentioning striking, can we talk about the bright pink launch colorway? It’s absolutely stunning and led to a Mean Girls reference in the title of our review. Saucony matched the brilliant colorway with a light and breathable tongue, highlighted by a row of holes right down the front. All of this works together to keep the weight feather-light as the Endorphin Pro 3 lands right around its Elite sibling on the scale.

Of course, we can’t talk about the Endorphin Pro 3 without showing some love for the PWRRUN PB formula. Saucony found a way to make its foam lighter and bouncier for version three, bringing it right in line with New Balance’s FuelCell concoction. There’s a little extra stack, which plays beautifully with the SpeedRoll rocker design to keep you rolling right on through your stride.

By the way, we love any super shoe that comes in below $250, so props to Saucony for the $225 price point.

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saucony endorphin speed 3 cover

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

$170

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Best For

One shoe to run them all

Weight

7.9 oz. (223 g.) for a US M9,

6.9 oz. (195 g.) for a US W8

Stack Height/Drop

36 mm in heel, 28 in forefoot (8 mm drop)

It’s not a secret that we loved the original Saucony Endorphin Speed. It quickly became one of our favorite tempo trainers around, as well as a top-tier budget racer for just about any distance. We were content when Saucony didn’t change much for version two ’cause it meant another year of a great, affordable shoe. Now, the Endorphin Speed is even better, and it’s almost hard to believe.

The secret to Saucony’s update is that the Endorphin Speed 3 is slightly more attuned for daily training than purely for tempo work. That means it’s now a true do-it-all shoe for long runs, fast runs, and still a solid racing pick for under $200. The Speed now has a slightly wider, more stable platform and an updated winged nylon plate for even more stability, and a slightly higher stack for just a bit more comfort as you tick off the miles. Don’t worry, Saucony hasn’t messed with the classic 8 mm drop, which is the sweet spot for most days.

Honestly, if you want one running shoe that you can take on a vacation, it’s the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3. It has the right mix of cushion, roll, and pop to keep you smiling for a mountain’s worth of miles.

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Saucony Triumph 21

$160

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Best For

Max-cushion comfort

Weight

9.8 oz. (279 g.) for a US M9,

8.8 oz. (250 g.) for a US W7.5

Stack Height/Drop

37 mm in heel, 27 in forefoot (10 mm drop)

We made a joke that the Triumph was just Saucony’s way of describing its year in 2022, but it wasn’t really a joke. In fact, it was such a good non-joke that the team decided to carry it into 2023. Saucony’s Triumph 21 is its max-cushion beast, complete with a big old slab of PWRRUN+ and an entirely rebuilt upper. Seriously, that’s a lot of comfort.

Honestly, you probably won’t find more cushion on any other Saucony shoe. The Triumph 21 is a cushioned cruiser, through and through. Both Chad and Meaghan loved the Triumph 21 as a marshmallow monster, rolling through recovery days and long efforts without any complaints. The yellow colorway we received might be a little trickier to rock casually than its grayed-out predecessor, but we’re still gonna lace it up for comfort alone.

The Saucony Triumph 21 isn’t an Endorphin in disguise, don’t get us wrong. You’re certainly not going to do speedwork in it, but not every shoe needs to be fast in 2024. It’s at its best as a training companion to the speed day beasts, and the generous upper padding might be more than you want for a tempo effort anyway. Meg might advise you to swap out the Triumph’s laces for ones a bit longer, but that’s entirely up to you.

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saucony triumph 21 - men white shop
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Best For

Stability at any speed

Weight

8.9 oz. (252 g.) for a US M9,

7.9 oz. (224 g.) for a US W8

Stack Height/Drop

37 mm in heel, 29 mm in forefoot (8 mm drop)

saucony tempus cover

Saucony Tempus

$160

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We told you we’d cover a little bit of everything on this list of the best Saucony running shoes, and we meant it. We’ve already hit some racing, trail running, and max-cushion luxury, so why not sprinkle in a little stability while we’re at it? Besides, the Saucony Tempus is one of the most exciting stability shoes we’ve seen in a good long while, so it was getting a mention either way.

Quite simply, the Tempus is as close to sexy stability as it gets. It combines a stiff cradle of PWRRUN foam with a layer of PWRRUN PB for a mix of pop and security that hits just right. Honestly, Saucony could have cooked up some sort of Endorphin name for the Tempus and we probably wouldn’t have blinked twice. The Tempus has a simple mesh upper, too, which we’ll take over some structured-out, built-up stability mess any day. It’s light and breathable and feels pretty dang good when you pick up the pace.

Oh, and you should definitely give faster paces a try in the Tempus. Stability shoes tend to get a bad rap when it comes to speed work, so it’s good to know that at least Saucony is keeping an eye out.

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saucony peregrine 13 cover

Saucony Peregrine 13

$140

Best For

Technical trail crushin’

Weight

9.2 oz. (260 g.) for a US M9,

8.1 oz. (230 g.) for a US W8

Stack Height/Drop

28 mm in heel, 24 in forefoot (4 mm drop)

If every road runner starts in a pair of Brooks, every trail runner starts in the Saucony Peregrine. Alright, maybe a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one. There’s just something about the lightweight, low-stack formula that works perfectly with the PWRTRAC outsole and rock plate. We have a long history with the Peregrine, in versions both good and bad, and we can confidently say that the Peregrine 13 is more Taylor Swift than Friday the 13th.

Like quite a few of the best Saucony running shoes, the Peregrine 13 benefits from a little more cushion underfoot. It has an extra 2 mm in both the heel and forefoot, and the latest formulation of PWRRUN is the best it’s ever been. Sure, Saucony still calls it PWRRUN, but there’s something softer about it, and the responsiveness is just that much better. Overall, it makes for a more comfortable ride across technical terrain without sacrificing the low-stack aggression that makes the Peregrine so popular.

By the way, Saucony keeps making the Peregrine lighter, and we don’t know how. Version 12 trimmed an ounce over version 11, and version 13 trimmed a few more fractions for good measure. The upper has just enough overlays to offer peace of mind, and it’s narrow enough to feel fast without being so narrow as a Salomon or La Sportiva shoe.

If you have some sloppy terrain in mind, check out the Peregrine 13 ST and Peregrine 13 GTX while you’re at it.

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Saucony Endorphin Rift

$170

Best For

Trail racing without a plate

Weight

8.6 oz (244 g.) for a US M9,

7.3 oz. (207 g.) for a US W7.5

Stack Height/Drop

33 mm in heel, 27 in forefoot (6 mm drop)

Endorphins… they ain’t just for the road anymore. After two wildly different trail offerings, Saucony finally seems to have settled on a “just right” option. We all remember the Endorphin Trail for what it was (trash) and the Endorphin Edge for making us feel like we were gonna be yeeted off the trail, but the Endorphin Rift feels like just the right balance of fun.

On a slightly more serious note, the Endorphin Rift’s trail-crushing ride comes from its premium mix of materials. It starts with an aggressive layer of PWRTRAC rubber decked out in 4 mm chevron-style lugs. On top of that, you get a massive slab of PWRRUN PB foam — the same stuff in the Endorphin Pro and Speed. This time, however, there’s no plate — Carbitex or otherwise — to send you flying off the side of a mountain. As Saucony has finally realized, the fun comes from the Speedroll geometry and the foam itself rather than a forked plate underfoot.

If there’s one thing you might complain about with the Endorphin Rift, it might be too white for some. If you’re ripping through mud and debris, it’ll probably pick up a new hue before too long. Also, PWRTRAC isn’t always the best rubber on hard, wet surfaces, though you shouldn’t have to worry about wild, muddy trails.

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saucony kinvara 14 cover

Saucony Kinvara 14

$120

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Best For

Lightweight daily training

Weight

7 oz. (200 g) for a US M9

6.2 oz. (175 g) for a US W8

Stack Height/Drop

31 mm in heel, 27 mm in forefoot (4 mm drop)

Thomas will readily admit that we have the Kinvara to blame for all of this. Without it, there would probably be no Believe in the Run. Wild, isn’t it? He’ll also tell you that we haven’t loved every single version of the Kinvara — there were a few stinkers in the pre-teen years. However, the lovable, low-stack Kinvara is back, baby. It’s gone back to some of the basics that made it great in the first place, and it has Thomas running down memory lane.

The important thing is that Saucony has stopped trying to make the Kinvara into something it’s not. Sure, it has an extra 3 mm of foam in the midsole, but the upper is light and minimal, and so is the rubber coverage on the outsole. That makes for a shoe that’s lighter, leaner, and ready to rock. The main benefit of Saucony’s added foam is that the Kinvara features slightly reworked geometry, allowing for a little more roll through the stride. It also has a PWRRUN Plus insole, which helps to liven up the main PWRRUN layer.

The easiest thing to do is to compare the Saucony Kinvara 14 (yes, FOURTEEN) to a Mazda Miata. It’s light, nimble, and fun, even if the Porsche-like super shoes will still win in a race.

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Saucony Ride 17

$140

Best For

All-around miles with a little speed

Weight

9.9 oz. (282 g) for a US M9,

8.4 oz. (238 g) for a US W7.5

Stack Height/Drop

35 mm in heel, 27 mm in forefoot (8 mm drop)

This section used to be reserved for Saucony’s budget-friendly (if somewhat confusing) Axon, but, well, we didn’t get a new iteration for 2023. So, we’ve decided to bump up the price bracket just a bit with the Ride 17. It’s still an excellent value for a daily trainer, but it now stands a bit further apart from the Kinvara than before.

Where the Ride used to be a thicc Kinvara, it’s now a bona fide cruiser. Saucony swapped the PWRRUN foam for PWRRUN+ and completely rebuilt the upper, too. The Ride 17 has an open, airy mesh that keeps your dawgs breathing easy through summer and winter and summer again. Honestly, we didn’t mind the previous upper, but the change of midsole foam is where the real improvement lies. PWRRUN+ is just so much better than Saucony’s original formula.

If you’re after a slightly more stable ride (pun intended), you might want to check out the Saucony Guide 17. It used to be nearly identical to the Ride, but it now offers a more traditional flavor with PWRRUN underfoot and hefty medial posting. Oh, and don’t expect much from the Ride 17’s heel tabs — almost all of our reviewers accidentally ripped them off.

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saucony xodus ultra 2 cover 2

Saucony Xodus Ultra 2

$150

Best For

Traversing technical trails with a little extra comfort

Weight

9.6 oz. (272 g.) for a US M9,

8.5 oz. (241 g.) for a US W7

Stack height/Drop

32.5 mm in heel, 26.5 mm in forefoot (6 mm drop)

Last, but certainly not least, we have the Saucony Xodus Ultra 2. That’s right, a little more trail love to round out the best Saucony running shoes. We don’t usually see this much of a reboot from a first-generation shoe to the second, but somehow, Saucony made it work. After basically resurrecting the Xodus family a year ago, the main change is a revamped upper with tons of security.

Other than that, Saucony’s secret with the Xodus Ultra is that it’s not doing anything fancy. The midsole offers a PWRRUN PB core with a solid shell of PWRRUN around it, mixing in comfort without sacrificing durability. That tougher frame also means that the Xodus Ultra has plenty of natural stability — you won’t be rocking back and forth on a soft foam with this one. Of course, the Xodus Ultra is a bit thicker than its Peregrine cousin, offering about 33 mm of heel cush, but it’s still responsive enough while you tackle the trails.

Both Matt and Taylor applauded the Xodus Ultra 2 as a solid rebuild, and the upper is a certified winner. Saucony added an internal midfoot brace, which keeps you locked in even on unbalanced terrain. It’s roomy without being cavernous and cushioned without being smothering. By the way, the Xodus Ultra only costs $150 — easily beating Hoka’s Tecton X 2.

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How We Make Our Picks

All of our recommendations come directly from our feet to your screen. We test countless running shoes here at Believe in the Run, and we let our reviews guide our decisions. However, we also consider other reviews and our BITR community, as not every runner has the same experiences. We also aim to stick with shoes that are currently available so you can give our recommendations a try.

Want to learn more about how our review process works? Check out this guide.

10
Comments

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. TH says:

    Most places report that regular PWRRUN is a EVA/TPU blend, rather than straight EVA.

  2. Elisa Spears says:

    What about the endorphin shift?

    1. Robbe says:

      Solid shoe, just not sure it’s on the best list. Saucony across the board is very solid, so we just have to pick our favorites overall.

  3. FitGAG says:

    Thank you for this comprehensive guide to the best Saucony running shoes. As a long-time fan of Saucony shoes, I appreciate the detailed reviews and recommendations in this article. I recently tried the Saucony Kinvara 12 and was impressed with the lightweight design and responsive cushioning. It’s become my go-to shoe for speed work and tempo runs. I also appreciate how durable and well-made Saucony shoes are, making them a great investment for serious runners. Have you tried any other Saucony shoes that you would recommend for different types of runs or terrain? Thank you for sharing your expertise and helping runners like me find the right shoes for our needs!

  4. Chris P says:

    Nice to see the Kinvara geting some love. It’s been slightly sidelined with the move to super shoes, but I keep comin gback to it as a lightweight shoe that I can run in all the time and not have to think about. The Endorphin Shift sometimes gets overlooked too, makes for a nice recovery shoe or daily trainer, just not as fun as the Speeds which I adore.

  5. Michael Siniff says:

    I’m really enjoying the Xodus Ultra at the moment. Also helping me get back on my feet is the Triumph 20. I’m finding them a great one/two punch for trail and roads. Tell Jarrett thanks for the support.

  6. Tim says:

    I’ve read some commentary suggesting that the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 is not a great shoe to race a marathon as contrasted with shorter distances. Do you have an opinion on that?

    1. Robbe says:

      If you’re looking for a more budget racing shoe, the Endorphin Speed 3 can work that way, though the 4 will improve upon that.

  7. Hunter B. says:

    I’ve been training in the Saucony Guides for the last decade because I need the bit of support the shoes has. What would be the best race day shoe for me if I need that little bit of support?

    1. Robbe says:

      You should check out the Salomon S/Lab Pulsar that’s coming in May. That or the Hoka Rocket X 2.

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