10 Best Saucony Running Shoes in 2021

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic on
10 Best Saucony Running Shoes in 2021

With a 120+ year history, Saucony has gained extensive experience in the running shoe industry. Not to mention that it has several lineups that have stood over 10 iterations, retaining a wide fan base.

As one of the best-rated running shoe brands, Saucony leads not only in quantity (130+ models) but in quality too. The brand ranks #7 in our running shoe brands’ rating.

We’ve been following Saucony for years and have gathered over 50 of their most recent releases to find the best and brightest. Famous for their speed-oriented Endorphins, we have also selected some excellent daily trainers, supportive shoes for flat feet, as well as some wallet-friendly options.

How we pick the best Saucony running shoes

Every new release from Saucony is thoroughly analyzed by our team of running shoe enthusiasts and an independent RunRepeat sh

oe lab:

  • We measure over 30+ parameters that contribute to the shoe’s performance. That includes cutting each one into pieces, test breathability with a smoke machine, and more.
  • Our testers run 30-50 miles on average in each pair to deliver extensive feedback. 
  • Nearly 300,000 user and expert reviews have been gathered for 130+ Saucony models
  • No free shoes are received from the brand. We purchase every pair with our own funds to avoid bias.
  • Each shoe receives a CoreScore from 0 to 100, reflecting our final verdict.

That way we make sure that only the best Saucony running shoes make it to this list.

Best overall

It’s consistent, and it sure gave us the peace of mind we needed in our short to long-distance runs. Seriously, you just can’t go wrong with the Saucony Ride 14! 

This shoe is a jack-of-all-trades and it does a darn good job at being one - it’s soft enough for recovery days, stable for daily runs, and can go fast if you decide to pick up the pace. Unlike other generalist shoes, it’s not only good at everything, it’s GREAT at everything! 

For us wide-footed runners, this shoe is heaven-sent! At 101.4mm forefoot, it’s much wider than the average 98.7mm (in our lab tests). If it’s a wriggle room you’re after, oh you got plenty alright! 

And just when we thought things couldn’t get better, the upper was there to amp up everything. It’s plush and just screams luxury. Our feet got all the pampering they could get. 

From the box to your runs, there’s really no need to break it in. It’s just as easy and comfortable on the feet from step-in down to the last mile, which honestly, is what makes it a standout

On paper, it’s one heavy shoe at 10.5 oz (average running shoes are at 9.4 oz). On the run, it’s anything but that. Not once did we feel like it was weighing us down. Nope, there’s none of that. 

And if you want a shoe that’s going to last, this is BUILT to last. At 83.5 HC (flex test), the outsole is a tank. Typically, rubber outsoles only measure at 78.4HC.

See our full review and facts

Having been around for more than a decade, the Kinvara sure does something right. And since the Kinvara 12 is dubbed as THE Kinvara among all Kinvaras, we just had to test it out ourselves. 

50 miles in, we sure as hell aren’t disappointed! 

Like the Ride 14, it’s a do-it-all running shoe. It EXCELS at slow runs, high-mileage stretches, and is just as great at speed training. This shoe, hands down, can’t do anything wrong! 

Even better, it doesn’t make sacrifices on weight. It’s as light as a feather. As in, we almost forgot we had shoes on! 

And the comfort is just spot-on. From the upper down to the midsole, the feet are rewarded with cush. What’s great about it is that although the midsole is INSANELY flexible, the insole is there to make the ride stable. It’s stiff at 40.7HA (to be exact, 37% firmer than other inserts). 

Apart from the balanced ride this shoe delivers, it’s also a fun one. It’s still responsive and lively despite its supportive qualities. 

As mentioned, this shoe doesn’t hold back on flexibility. In our lab tests, average running shoes bend at 24.5N, but this shoe only takes 18.3N force. Now, that’s some crazy flex you got there! 

The Saucony Kinvara is nothing but fantastic when it comes to lockdown. In all our test runs, we have ZERO experience with slips or excess motions!

See our full review and facts

Best for race/speedwork

It’s everything fast, and if we had a choice, we wouldn’t take the Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 off our feet! 

In this shoe, beating PBs is no sweat! Among all the carbon-plated shoes we’ve tested, it holds a pedestal among our picks for the best of the best

If there’s a shoe that embodies peppy and energetic, this is IT. It’s got a ton of bounce, it made us feel like we were zooming through the blocks! Even better, it’s unlike other race-day shoes in our arsenal, it’s superbly comfortable. 

The upper and the midsole work hand-in-hand (fantastically), encapsulating the feet with plushness. 

And if you think this makes the ride mushy, you might want to change your mind. This shoe has an optimal mix of softness and rigidity, plus a rockered design. Translation: It’s fast and it’s going to roll you through your strides! 

During our flex test, we have gathered that it takes 94.3N to bend the shoe. Normally, running shoes only take 36.8N to flex. Meaning, this is not a shoe you’d want to wear for around-town walks. This is exclusively for beating competitions. 

At 7.6 oz, this shoe is light, making it an even better speed monster! And for a race shoe, it’s surprisingly durable too. The midsole and outsole combined are dense enough, withstanding all of our rough playtests! 

See our full review and facts

Racing flat slash tempo trainer? Nothing does it better than the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2. This running shoe made us feel like we were bouncing on springs! 

The midsole is where the magic happens. It’s responsive and lively, and unlike other plated shoes, it’s flexible. Meaning, it’s forgiving to the feet. 

Add in the soft and stretchy upper, this shoe’s comfort is just hard to beat!

In our lab tests, we have found that the shoe takes 39.6N to bend while the average running shoes only require 37.2N. It’s just a tad stiffer, but it’s still more enjoyable and comfortable than its race sibling, the Pro 2. 

And its weight (or the lack thereof) is only there to make things even better. At 8.1 oz, it’s CRAZY light! Whether it’s in speed training or race day, this shoe has got what it takes. 

Even though its upper is much beefier than the Endorphin Pro 2, it’s still terrific in breathability. And what’s more is that the added upper padding also means better lockdown. Slipping and falling should be the least of your worries. 

If you don't want to spend extra bucks for a pair of racing shoes and training shoes, we can’t recommend the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 enough!

See our full review and facts

Best for trail

For fast excursions on the trails, the Saucony Peregrine 11 is THE trailblazer we’d take any day! 

Wow, this shoe is just amazingly well-rounded. It’s tough, grippy, and protective, it just crushes everything underfoot! 

Easily, the standout feature of this shoe is it’s unmatched lockdown. In quick turns, we had NO issues with slips or wobbling. If anything, we were surefooted as ever. 

And the traction is just to die for! This shoe bit into everything - from slick mud, snow, to dry/rocky stream crossing, it’s been nothing short of awesome. 

Protection is just impeccable! Even on the rockiest, gnarliest terrain, everything underfoot has been muted, and our legs and feet felt fresh. 

It’s a stiff shoe, but it’s all for the good reasons - protection and durability. At 33.6N, it’s definitely one of the more rigid shoes we’ve lab tested. On average, it only takes 26.2N to bend running shoes. 

Speaking of durability, this shoe kills it in this department! After a series of harsh wear testing, it’s proved itself a trail bruiser. It can take a beating, and it sure will last miles on rough terrain! 

At 11.2 oz, there’s no denying, the Peregrine 11 is a heavy shoe. But for all the trail-ready features it comes with, it’s more than justified.

See our full review and facts

It’s stable and it’s protective, our feet just can’t get enough of the Saucony Xodus 11! 

Yes, protection is paramount in this shoe. It’s heavy-duty and is great at muting out all the jagged rocks and roots underfoot. 

But what really took us by surprise is the fact that it didn’t totally eliminate ground feel! 

Even better, the stiffness underfoot just makes the ride A-OK in the stability arena. If there’s one thing we felt throughout our trail excursions, it’s surefooted

On uneven terrain, there’s so much support underfoot, not once did we feel like we were slipping or falling. From mile 1 to the last, this shoe has been confidence-inspiring! 

And the grip was just off the charts. On wet, dry, technical, and steep surfaces, this shoe rocks! As in, it just sticks to the ground, taking stability up a notch. 

The fit is just first-class. From the rear to the midfoot, the lockdown is as secure as it can get. No slips, no wobbling. And up front, there’s more than enough room. 

Feet swelling after long miles on the trails? Don’t worry about that, the Saucony Xodus 11 has got you covered!

See our full review and facts

Best for flat feet

In all our test runs, the Saucony Guide 14 has been nothing short of marvelous! True to its name, it really guided our feet, keeping our strides stable and in check. 

It’s not filled with a lot of bells-and-whistles, but it sure does a more stupendous job than its more advanced counterparts. Whether you’re a neutral runner in need of extra support or a mild to severe overpronator, this shoe delivers a solid job! 

The fit is just THE finest. From the heel to the midfoot, the lockdown is just top-notch. While in the forefoot, there’s plenty of space for toe splay. 

Unlike other stability shoes, what sets this shoe apart is its unobtrusive ride. At 33.3HA (forefoot flex) and 27.3HA (heel), it’s neither too stiff nor too plush. Support is only in the background, unless you really need it. 

And having tested 200+ stability shoes, this is a first! 

Like a true Saucony, this shoe is built tough. From the upper down to the outsole, this shoe has got durability written all over it! 

Whether it’s on wet or dry concrete or asphalt, it’s a real ace.

For a shoe that weighs 10.65 oz, it just tips our scales. But with all the benefits we reaped from it, it’s something we can easily write off! 

See our full review and facts

Seriously, choosing between the Hurricane 23 and the Guide 14 has been the real challenge and not our test runs! 

Oh Saucony, you just can’t do anything wrong, can you? The Hurricane is yet another stability shoe that blew our minds. With its feet-friendly ride, it just won us over! 

Like the Guide, the ride is unobtrusive. It sits in the background until your feet decide to roll far off to the sides. Given this, it’s just as enjoyable for neutral runners as it is for overpronators. 

And the fit just makes everything better! It’s neither constricting nor loose, it’s just right. Meaning, it’s supportive without punishing the feet. Now, that’s something you don’t get everyday from stability models! 

But what really wowed us was the shoe’s fun and lively ride. Stability shoes, in general, tend to be brickish stiff, but NOT this one. If anything, its ride has been nothing but fun. 

Apart from beating stability stereotypes, this shoe is also a real stunner in the comfort arena. And the upper is the hero behind all this. It’s plush and memory-foam like, it’s a fluffy heaven for the feet! 

And although the Hurricane 23 is a road shoe, it’s got a solid grip. On both wet and dry surfaces, and during sharp turns, we had NO experience with slips. 

If there’s one thing that held it back as our top pick, it's the poor lacing system. They easily come undone mid-run. We found ourselves re-lacing them time and time again.

See our full review and facts

Best budget shoe

Who doesn’t love a budget shoe, right? But what if we tell you there’s an affordable shoe that’s just as great as the expensive shoes we’ve tested? Everyone, the Saucony Axon. 

And yes, you read that right. It’s got the makings of the higher-end shoes on the market! It’s everything performance-oriented. 

It’s a speedster and it does a darn good job at being one! It’s fast-transitioning, rolling through your strides is as smooth as butter. 

For a shoe that skimps on price, it does NOT skimp on sturdiness. After hammering it on the pavement, it came out looking fresh and untouched! Expect it to last 400 to 500 miles before retiring it in the closet. 

Even better, it’s a shoe that keeps us up on our toes! As in, it will literally push you forward. And because it’s on the stiffer side, it’s a touch more stable than other tempo trainers. 

But what’s great is that it doesn’t make the ride uncomfortable. It still has enough give, keeping it easy on the feet. So much so, there’s really no need to break it in! 

From the box to the run, it’s straight-up FANTASTIC. 

For a shoe that has so much padding in the midsole, we were taken aback with how light it actually is! At 9.75 oz, it never dragged us down. 

See our full review and facts

If you’re new to the running scene, the Saucony Cohesion 14 is easily the trainer we’d recommend. It’s a no-fuss running shoe that has great value! 

At $65, it just does everything right. For daily runs, it’s both comfortable and stable. There’s enough space in the forefoot for toe splay and the fit is just swell! 

We had NO issues with lockdown. The upper just wraps around the contours of the feet, keeping them securely in place. 

The midsole is also sufficiently padded. With each pound on the pavement, the foam is there to dampen impact, keeping our feet and legs fresh mile after mile. 

For such a pocket-friendly price, this shoe packs so much! The outsole is not only sturdy, it’s also very sticky. On asphalt, concrete, gravel, sand, dirt, and grass, it just bit into everything! 

If you’re looking for a neutral running shoe that won’t break the bank and one that doesn’t have any reservations on comfort and strength, the Saucony Cohesion 14 can fit the bill.

See our full review and facts

Overview of Saucony running shoes

Unlike most popular athletic brands, Saucony keeps its focus on running alone.

Over the years, the brand has developed a wide range of running shoe categories for any type of run: easy, fast, race, trail, mud, etc. The sections below will help you make an informed decision on which models match your needs.

Saucony running shoes
Road Trail
Daily running

Speed trainers

Race shoes
Neutral Stability

Daily running shoes from Saucony

If you are after a hardy workhorse for daily miles or training for a marathon, Saucony has quite a selection to choose from. Minimal or highly cushioned, neutral or stability, find out more about each collection below.

Neutral or stability?

TIP: Choose neutral shoes if you’ve never experienced discomfort or pain in most footwear.

Neutral shoes are meant for runners with normal pronation (no excessive inward or outward rolling of the foot), while stability shoes have supportive components to prevent overpronation.

Learn more in our guide on pronation.

Neutral running shoes from Saucony

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Kinvara and Freedom are on the firmer, more minimal side. Ride is more cushioned. Triumph is the softest, max-cushioned option.

Saucony Kinvara

lightweight trainer for easy-to-fast runs

Simple, fast, light, nimble, it feels minimal in all the right places. The firmest and lightest of Saucony daily trainers, it makes a great speedwork option.

Saucony Freedom

light, responsive trainer for any run

It is a versatile lineup that is ready for slow daily miles as well as speed training. It is more cushioned and durable than the Kinvara.

Saucony Ride

solid daily trainer

The Ride has a more traditional feel and a great fit. Moderately firm and responsive, it’s the middle ground between Triumph and Kinvara.

Saucony Triumph

max-cushioned daily cruiser

“Cadillac of easy run shoes,” it is a series of premium, highly-cushioned trainers, perfect for building up the mileage.

Stability running shoes

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Guide is a staple stability shoe from Saucony

Saucony Guide

subtle stability version of the Ride

This lineup shares most design components with its neutral counterpart. Its inherent support not only works for mild overpronation but is also unobtrusive for neutral runners.

Saucony Hurricane

max-cushioned stability

Pulling cues from the Triumph series, the Hurricane is a highly-cushioned premium stability shoe from Saucony. Recommended for moderate overpronation.

Saucony Omni

maximum pronation control

The most stable in this lineup, the Omni is recommended for moderate to severe overpronators.

Saucony Endorphin collection

In 2020 Saucony made a hit with its Endorphin trinity, which provided tough competition to the revolutionary Nike Next% race shoes.

It is a premium lineup that includes three models for different purposes, from easy runs to setting personal bests. Equipped with the latest technologies from Saucony, these are meant to minimize energy loss and maximize your running performance.

Saucony-endorphin-pro-2-pair.jpg

Saucony Endorphin Shift

a daily trainer for easy and long-distance runs

  • most durable
  • highly cushioned
  • stable and supportive
  • heavier (10.1 oz / 286g)
  • less expensive ($140)

Saucony Endorphin Speed

a versatile shoe for speed training and racing

  • less propulsive than Pro but still snappy (flexible nylon plate)
  • light (7.8 oz / 221 g)
  • expensive ($160)

Saucony Endorphin Pro

an elite race shoe

  • most propulsive (stiff carbon plate)
  • thinner and reduced upper for higher speed
  • the lightest (7.5 oz / 213 g)
  • the most expensive ($200)

Saucony trail running shoes

You’ll need something more rugged to go off the beaten path and explore the forests and mountains. Here is an overview of the brand’s dedicated trail shoes.

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Peregrine is the brand's flagship trail shoe that can do it all

Saucony Switchback

minimalist trail shoe

This shoe prioritizes ground feel above anything else. Light, nimble, grippy, it can take you fast along moderate trails. An innovative BOA closure is a welcome touch. Has a rock plate.

Saucony Mad River TR

softer shoe for semi-technical trails

More flexible, plush, and forgiving than the Peregrine, Mad River works best for cruising on less demanding terrain. No rock plate.

Saucony Xodus

versatile trail-to-road workhorse

This heavy, max-cushioned trainer can go from paved roads to technical trails easily. Its high stack and rock plate will keep you surefooted at all times.

Saucony Peregrine

flagship, high-performance trail runner

This lineup is not only best within the brand itself, it is also among the top-rated shoes in the market. Outstanding grip, durability, and lockdown that work at any speed and terrain. It also comes with a rock plate for extra protection.

Editions:

  • Peregrine ST (“soft terrain”) has aggressive lugs for the muddiest trails

Peregrine GTX - waterproof version

Some of the road running shoes are also released in trail versions (see shoes with “TR” in the name, i.e. Guide TR). They are meant to bring the familiar experience of your favorite road shoes to the trail, but with added grip and protection.

Let’s talk tech: Special features in Saucony shoes

Technology name means nothing if you have no idea how it benefits you. Here we briefly explain the most common and popular features used in Saucony shoes.

ISOFIT

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ISOFIT is an upper design that was present in nearly all Saucony running shoes throughout 2015-2019. It was meant to provide a more adaptive fit by separating the inner sleeve and the external floating support cage. However, it received criticism for making it harder to lace the shoe up and adjust the tightness. That’s why more recent releases come without it.

FORMFIT

saucony-formfit.jpg

First seen in the 2020 editions of the Triumph and Guide, this design offers a holistic approach to comfort. It aims to cradle the foot from above, below, and behind to give a secure fit with no pressure points.

PWRRUN / PWRRUN+ / PWRRUN PB

A step-up from the EVERUN, PWRRUN was first introduced in Saucony Guide 13 (2019 release). Based on runners’ feedback, it feels noticeably lighter and softer than the EVERUN.

saucony-pwrrun.jpg

Comprised of small TPU “bubbles”, it may look very similar to Adidas Boost but it has a lighter, livelier ride.

A more advanced version is the PWRRUN+. First seen in 2019, it is now incorporated into such premium lineups as Triumph, Hurricane, and Freedom. It is 28% lighter than the standard PWRRUN and is highly praised for its responsiveness.

Comprised of small TPU “bubbles”, it may look very similar to Adidas Boost but it has a lighter, livelier ride.

The PWRRUN PB stands at the help of the series. It is considerably lighter than the PWRRUN+ (by 40%) and embodies an elite-level of energy return abd durability. “PB” stands for Pebax, a material that’s used in the high-end race shoes like Nike Alphafly and Vaporfly. This foam is currently only employed by Saucony Endorphin Pro racer.

SPEEDROLL

The Speedroll was introduced along with the Endorphin collection. It is the brand’s take on the rocker design, which promotes a faster and livelier forward roll.

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The upturned forefoot helps to create a rocker-like sensation.

Carbon-fiber plate

Used only in the Endorphin Pro race shoe, this full-length piece of stiff carbon creates extra propulsion for the speediest runs. It helps you maintain a high tempo on long distances and push through those final marathon miles easier.

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The black elements inside the white foam are carbon plates.

PWRTRAC

Used on the Peregrines and some other Saucony trail shoes, this tacky rubber compound works together with the lugs for efficient traction in all conditions. It is also more resistant to abrasion than standard rubber.

saucony-peregrine-11-outsole-closeup.jpg

Frequently asked questions

Are Saucony running shoes good for walking?

Yes. All daily running shoes from Saucony can double for all-day wear. If you want to expand your options for casual wear, we recommend looking at stylish Saucony sneakers.

How long do Saucony running shoes last?

The brand itself estimates around 400 miles for its shoes’ lifespan. However, some models can be more durable, while others may not live up to that claim. Here are some of the signs that you need to replace your pair:

  • worn-out treading, lack of grip
  • tears, holes, creases and other deformities that affect comfort
  • the cushioning feels “dead”

Seasoned runners keep several pairs in their rotations to avoid burning through one shoe too fast. You can also use apps like Strava to keep track of your miles.

What Saucony shoe is best for plantar fasciitis?

Shoes with more cushioning, ample underfoot and upper support will make sure your foot condition doesn’t aggravate. There are more than a few lineups from Saucony that can help you feel more comfortable.

Are there cheap Saucony running shoes?

Saucony Echelon: stable, orthotic-friendly running/walking shoe

Although marked as a neutral shoe, the Echelon is constructed with a wide, straight base that offers stability. It is recommended for people with flat feet and other foot conditions as its spacious interiors accommodate custom orthotics.

Saucony Cohesion: cheap, beginner-friendly

An entry-level running shoes that is easy on the wallet and can double for gym and athleisure.

See our full list of affordable running shoes from Saucony.

Is Saucony made in the USA?

Not anymore. The manufacturing shifted abroad back in 1990s.

How do you pronounce “Saucony”? What does it mean?

Pronounced as [saw·kuh·nee], the brand is named after Saucony Creek in Pennsylvania where it was founded in 1898. It is translated from Native American as “place of outlet.”

Who owns Saucony?

The company is owned by Wolverine World Wide, an American manufacturer of footwear which also produces shoes and boots from Caterpillar, Merrell, Keds, Hush Puppies, Sperry, among others.

Are Saucony running shoes vegan?

Only two models are currently marked as ‘vegan’ on the brand’s official website: Endorphin Speed and Pro. It implies that they contain no animal products, by-products, or derivatives.

Is Saucony an ethical company?

According to Good On You, a company that ranks fashion brands based on to the principles of ethical and sustainable production, Saucony is “Not good enough.” There is no evidence on its reduction of environmental impact, low scores on labor standards, and lacking animal welfare policy.

Author
Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic

Whether it's a vertical kilometre or an ultra, climbing in the Alps or exploring local mountains, Jovana uses every opportunity to trade walls and concrete for forests and trails. She logs at least 10h/week on trails, with no off-season, and 4x more on research on running and running shoes. With a background in physics and engineering management, she prefers her running spiced with data.