The 7 Best Saucony Performance Running Shoes in 2023

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The range of running shoes from Saucony is as large as that of any of the popular specialist running brands right now.

But, as with many brands choosing which shoe is best for you can be a minefield!

Here, we are going to guide you through Saucony’s great range of performance running shoes and identify the best model for a range of users, based on speed and support.

Let’s go!

best saucony performance shoes

7 Saucony Performance Running Shoes

1. Saucony Triumph 21

Price: £170 / $160 Weight: Men’s 279g / 9.8oz Women’s 250g / 8.8oz Heel stack: 37mm Toe Stack: 27mm Drop: 10mm

 Saucony Triumph 21
  • USE: Everyday training
  • TYPE: Neutral cushioning
  • SPEED: Easy / Steady pace running

First up is the Saucony Triumph 21.

This is the shoe that’s been in the brand’s range of models on offer here the longest. It’s been their range-topping neutral cushioned running shoe for over 21 years.

The Triumph 21 see only minor changes over the previous version, but for me, they are noticeable and make the shoe an improvement. 

First up is the change to the fit of the shoe on the inside of the heel lining. It’s only a small change and many may not notice, but now it’s a seamless design.

In the Triumph 20, there were seams in the lining on either side of the Achilles and with my very sensitive tendon, I did experience a little blistering from time to time. Thankfully that’s not the case with the 21.

Over the upper has a new flat-knit construction and is one of the nicest uppers around right now. It’s instantly comfortable, soft, and plush and feels luxurious, just like the ASICS Nimbus 25.

The midsole cushioning comes from a deep stack of PWRRUN PB (PEBA-based) foam.

It’s soft but super responsive and in an everyday training shoe like this, it makes everyday training a joy. It does add a spring to your step!

I’ve enjoyed running in the Triumph 21. I’d usually wear a shoe with a little bit of support but was keen to try this shoe if only to sample that deep stack of PWRRUN PB cushioning.

The shoes stand up very well in terms of support and remain stable enough for me on my steady-paced runs up to around ten miles. The feedback from the responsive PWRRUN PB midsole is great and makes for an enjoyable running experience.

2. Saucony Tempus

Price: £165 / $160 WEIGHT: Men’s 252g / 8.9oz Women’s 224g/7.9oz HEEL STACK: 36.5mm TOE STACK: 28.5mm DROP: 8mm

Saucony Tempus
  • USE: Everyday training
  • TYPE: Support / Over-pronation control shoe
  • SPEED: Easy / Steady pace running

Featuring a PWRRUN frame midsole with a PWRRUN PB core, the TEMPUS manages to combine cushioning and control in an everyday training shoe that can handle faster-paced running too.

Whilst the shoe is essentially an everyday training model, the forefoot rocker and PWRRUN PB element of the cushioning do give it a rather more energized feel than you might expect of a support-type shoe.

The fit of the Tempus is a little different from the other models featured here in that it hugs the midfoot and has a roomier, more spacious forefoot. This allows the forefoot to splay a little and in turn, contributes to the overall stability.

I usually do much of my longer runs in support-type shoes, so naturally was keen to try the Tempus.

Offering both the support and responsive foam cushioning it was everything I had hoped for and expected from the shoe.

Stability is great and I’m confident it could provide enough support for more severe overpronators than myself.

Running in the shoe, you are aware of the support and control but it never feels overly intrusive and creates a great balance of control and energised ride.

You can read our full in-depth review of the Saucony Tempus here.

And watch our video review here:

3. Saucony Kinvara Pro

Price: £200 / $220 Weight: Men’s 269g / 9.5oz Women’s 240g / 8.5oz Heel stack: 42mm Toe Stack: 34mm Drop: 8mm

Saucony Kinvara Pro
  • USE: Regular, faster-paced training
  • TYPE: Neutral cushioned, plated training shoe
  • SPEED: Steady to Tempo paced runs

The latest of Saucony’s shoes to be released, the Kinvara Pro is a shoe I’d been excited about trying. Promoted almost as a ‘racing shoe for daily training’ it was just what I was looking for.

I’ve been enjoying running in the Endorphin Elite perhaps a little too much and it was starting to show signs of wear (as expected).

The Kinvara Pro hasn’t disappointed me. It combines a layer of PWRRUN PB foam for a responsive feel along with the brand’s regular PWRRUN foam for added durability.

Sandwiched between the two is a three-quarter-length carbon plate for that added propulsive feel.

The brand’s SPEEDROLL geometry almost aggressively pushes the foot forward to bring everything together in a shoe that offers a race day feel with everyday use durability.

I can see myself putting in rather a lot of miles in the Kinvara Pro over the coming months.

4. Saucony Endorphin Shift 3

Price: £140 / $150 Weight: Men’s 266g / 9.4oz Women’s 229g / 8.1oz Heel stack: 39mm Toe Stack: 35mm Drop: 4mm

Saucony Endorphin Shift 3
  • USE: Regular, everyday use
  • TYPE: Mild support, non-plated 
  • SPEED: From steady miles to faster-paced workouts

The only non-plated shoe in the brand’s Endorphin range of models, the Shift is an everyday trainer that offers a degree of support and control.

The Endorphin Shift 3 still sits within the Endorphin range because it features a deep rocker and curved forefoot that gives it a faster feel and energizes toe-off.

Support comes from the shape of the midsole in the rear foot. The foot sits within the cushioning that wraps up around the heel, cradling it and reducing lateral movement.

A small, external plastic heel counter wraps around the rear of the foot and this adds to the stability.

In terms of support and control, it works very well and for me, it feels as stable as any specifically designed control shoe.

Cushioning is the brand’s PWRRUN midsole as found on the Guide and Ride shoes, so there’s no PWRRUN PB high-performance foam here.

That does make you question a little why the shoe is in the Endorphin range rather than the ‘regular’ line of daily trainers, but it matters not.

The Shift performs well and on that alone, it can sit amongst this company.

5. Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

Price: £165 / $170 Weight: Men’s 229g / 8.1oz women’s 204g / 7.2oz Heel stack: 36mm Toe Stack: 28mm Drop: 8mm

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3
  • USE: Faster-paced training
  • TYPE: Neutral cushioned, nylon plated
  • SPEED: Faster-paced runs, interval sessions and even races

Since first coming to the market, the Endorphin Speed quickly gained a loyal following. Its soft, spring ride and race-like feel made it popular with runners.

Offering some of the benefits of a carbon-plated racing shoe but in an everyday trainer meant runners felt faster the moment they stepped out of the door.

Here a PWRRUN PB midsole is combined with a nylon plate to provide that much-sought-after lively running experience.

The nylon plate extends to both the lateral and medial sides of the midsole and in the midfoot area features small wings that wrap up around the cushioning to provide a touch of stability.

It’s by no means a support or control shoe, but these small midfoot wings do provide a small degree of stability that’s often needed in softer, bouncier shoes.

The Endorphin Speed 3 could be used for daily training, the only issue that may arise could be that of long-term durability.

It’s more at home as a faster-paced training run shoe, ideal for tempo runs or interval sessions a couple of times per week.

6. Saucony Endorphin Pro 3

Price: £210 / $225 Weight: Men’s 204g / 7.2oz Women’s 176g / 6.2oz Heel stack: 39.5mm Toe Stack: 31.5mm Drop: 8mm

Saucony Endorphin Pro 3
  • USE: Racing
  • TYPE: Neutral cushioned, carbon-plated racing shoe
  • SPEED: Racing

The Endorphin Pro is Saucony’s answer to the Nike Vaporfly, ASICS Metaspeed, and adidas adios pro3 and the main contenders in the carbon-plated racing shoe market.

A deep stack of PWRRUN PB foam combined with the brand’s SPEEDROLL geometry and S-shaped carbon plate give it all the essential ingredients.

The Endorphin Speed 3 is one of the best carbon-plated racing shoes on the market right now.

Watch our video on the best carbon-plated shoes here.

It’s light and ultra-responsive.

From top to bottom, the shoe feels fast, with a highly breathable upper, that proven PWRRUN PB foam midsole, and the all-important carbon plate, the shoe was built for speed and it performs every time. 

It could very well be argued that Saucony could have kept the Endorphin Pro 3 as their premium race model and it would do very well, such is its performance on the road.

It is only since the introduction of the shoe below, the Endorphin Elite that the Pro loses its crown as the brand’s top racing shoe.

7. Saucony Endorphin Elite

Price: £280 / $275 Weight: Men’s 204g / 7.2oz Women’s 185g / 6.5oz Heel stack: 40mm Toe Stack: 32mm Drop: 8mm

 Saucony Endorphin Elite
  • USE: Racing, ideal at longer distances
  • TYPE: Neutral cushioned, carbon-plated 
  • SPEED: Racing, the brand’s top-of-the-range model

Taking things to the next level, the Endorphin Elite is that shoe that we didn’t even know we needed until we saw it. The Endorphin Pro 3 did, at the time provide all the key ingredients to a racing shoe, light, fast and responsive.

The Endorphin Elite adds to the mix a maxed-out stack height, a full-length (forked) carbon plate, and a new foam midsole, PWRRUN HG.

The new PWRRUN HG midsole feels a little like that used by adidas in the adios pro 3, it has a different texture to Saucony’s usual PWRRUN PB foam and when running, it feels just a little firmer but at the same time just as responsive.

Given the two foams, PWRRUN PB and PWRRUN HG, I now prefer the HG version, I find it a little more stable, and as such it makes the Endorphin Elite a more versatile shoe for me.

That said you really should be keeping such a shoe for all-out race-day performances, but I must admit I’ve been sneaking a few tempo runs in with the shoe.

The Elite has the SPEEDROLL geometry, but it feels more aggressive here, particularly in the forefoot yet it’s no less comfortable. The shoe wants to go fast and it feels great doing so.

The upper takes on a striking and somewhat minimalist design, with open sections in the midfoot and large apertures in the tongue.

Saucony has tried to shed weight here in every way they could. Remarkably, such a ‘big’ shoe comes in at such a lightweight, just edging over 200g.

The exposed foam in the heel of the Elite would be my only criticism, but again, this is a race-day shoe and I have spoiled myself somewhat with the occasional training run.

Thankfully the Kinvara Pro has now solved that problem and brought the Saucony line-up of performance shoes full circle!

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Paul Freary really does have a lifetime of experience as an athlete. Paul’s father, Mike was British record holder over 10,000m in 1966, so Paul was almost born to run. With best times ranging from 3:56 for the mile to 13:55 for 5k, he also clocked a 2:39 at Berlin in 2022 at age 53 and hopes to go quicker this year. Having worked with several leading brands as well as in retail he also knows running footwear inside out and also has experience in gait analysis and orthotics. Paul writes regular running shoe reviews for our site and our Youtube channel!

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