Adidas Adizero Boston 12 vs. Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

Written By Sunny

The Boston 12 and Speed 3 both combine responsive foam and propulsive plate super speed.

But which one reigns supreme?

You know, choosing the perfect running shoe that is ideal for your run is crucial.

Because it will fuel your PRs and give you comfort and the wrong one will lead to blisters and bruised dreams.adidas-adizero-boston-12-vs-saucony-endorphin-speed-3

Luckily, in this head-to-head showdown, I’ll dissect the tech, the feel, and the performance of each shoe so you can lace up with confidence, knowing you’ve picked the perfect partner for your next running adventure.

Let’s begin!

Overview of Adidas Boston 12 and Saucony Speed 3

Adidas Adizero Boston 12

The Boston 12 sits at a sweet spot between a speedy racer and a comfy long-distance trainer.

It’s part of Adidas’s performance line alongside speedsters like the Adios Pro 3, but it’s built to handle big miles without blowing up your legs.

The secret sauce is the dual-foam midsole with energy rods.

Also, the outsole is like glue on various surfaces, so you can take corners confidently, regardless of terrain.

It’s not the lightest trainer, especially for shoes with plates. But the extra weight comes with stability and comfort.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

The Speed 3 is like a bouncy sidekick ready for anything.

It’s got a curved sole that feels like you’re constantly rolling forward, making tempo runs and workouts a breeze.

Plus, it’s surprisingly light.

Don’t worry about sacrificing squish because the heel’s nice and high, keeping your feet comfy even on longer runs.

Characteristic Comparison between Boston 12 and Saucony Speed 3

Both shoes belong to the competitive category of performance running, but they differ in features such as cushioning, responsiveness, weight, durability, and overall design.

Understanding these characteristics lets you make informed decisions aligned with your running style, training goals, and comfort preferences.

FeatureAdidas Adizero Boston 12Saucony Endorphin Speed 3
CategoryPerformance TrainerLightweight Trainer
Weight9.1 oz (259 g)8.5 oz (240 g)
Heel-to-Toe Drop7mm8mm
Stack HeightHeel 38mm, Forefoot 31mmHeel 36mm, Forefoot 28mm
MidsoleDual-density Lightstrike Pro & Lightstrike Eva 2.0 with Energy Rods 2.0PowerRun PB foam with nylon plate & SpeedRoll rocker
OutsoleContinental rubberXT900 rubber
UpperEngineered mesh with minimal paddingEngineered mesh with heel padding
BreathabilityLess breathableMore breathable
RideFirm and StableSoft and Bouncy
VersatilityDaily training, Faster runsTempo runs, Workouts, Racing
PriceLess expensiveMore expensive

The information provided in the table shows that both the Adidas Boston 12 and Saucony Speed 3 are excellent running shoes.

However, a closer examination of each element reveals that one outperforms the other.

To determine which shoe is superior, refer to the subsequent section.

Key Differences between Adidas Adizero Boston 12 and Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

Understanding what features make Adizero Boston 12 different from the Endorphin Speed 3 is crucial for anyone seeking optimal athletic performance or comfort in their running shoes.

These distinctions include shoe design, cushioning technology, responsiveness, and overall fit, which can significantly impact a runner’s experience.

Here are the discrepancies between Adidas Boston 12 and Saucony Speed 3:

Construction Quality

Evaluating the construction quality of running sneakers is crucial for athletes and fitness enthusiasts seeking optimal performance, comfort, and durability.

Let’s understand the nuances of these two models’ design, materials, and craftsmanship.

Upper design and materials

The Boston 12 goes for a barefoot feel vibe, which means thin padding and not much structure. Sure, it felt a bit quick initially, but my feet begged for air after a while.

Plus, the laces kept coming undone, and the heel felt like it would slip out any second.

On the other hand, the Speed 3 is like a comfy hug for my feet.

The mesh is super breathable and stretchy, and the laces stay tied tighter than a sailor’s knot. The heel cup is perfect for my feet—no more worries about wobbly ankles.

The only downside?

They might be snug if your feet are wide, but these shoes are ideal for average folks like me.

Ultimately, the Saucony Speed 3’s upper won me over big time. Comfort, breathability, and lockdown – it ticked all the boxes.saucony-speed-3s-upper

Midsole Composition and Technology

The Endorphin Speed 3 is like a trampoline for your feet.

The PowerRun PB foam, the nylon plate, and the SpeedRoll rocker are a trio that screams soft, bouncy, and downright dynamic.

Now, enter the Boston 12.

It’s got this dual-density Lightstrike Pro and Lightstrike Eva 2.0 thing going on, plus the fancy Energy Rods 2.0 for that firm and stable vibe.

But here’s the kicker – it’s missing that playful energy, that responsiveness that the Speed 3 provides.

Sure, it’s stable, but where’s the fun?

So, if you’re like me and want a shoe that propels you forward, the Speed 3 is the undisputed champ.

Outsole Composition and Design

When it comes to the outsole, the Boston 12 takes the lead for the best outsole in this comparison.

Even though the Endorphin Speed 3 features strategically placed rubber, the Adizero Boston 12 boasts thick pieces that offer a more comprehensive grip.

The slab has no cutouts, unlike the Endorphin Speed 3, where major gaps are noticeable.

The Boston 12 utilizes Continental rubber, renowned for its exceptional grip and resistance to wet and slick roads.

This sneaker is an excellent choice for winter, especially on icy and wet roads.

On the other hand, the XT900 rubber on Speed 3 performs adequately without slipping.

However, the Boston 12 stands out as the superior option overall.

Performance and Stability

The Adidas Boston 12 was my reliable sidekick for a while. This shoe is all about control and precision.

It’s got this chunky EVA heel that makes you feel like you’re landing on solid ground.

Great for stability.

But here’s the plot twist – that firm heel can be stubborn on the turns. And the lack of heel lockdown of the upper reduces stability.

Then, we have the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 – the speedster in my shoe collection.

Thanks to the nylon plate, the midfoot stays locked in, and the broader base is like a stability upgrade from its predecessor.

It’s nimble, natural, and a real crowd-pleaser for those who love to run.

Now, although my heart still has a soft spot for the Boston 12, the Saucony Speed 3 steals the show for most runners craving stability.performance-and-stability-of-saucony-speed-3

Fit and Sizing

First things first, both shoes are true-to-size and suitable for standard foot width. But, they take a detour regarding comfort for different foot shapes.

The Boston 12 provides a cozy, snug fit, especially if you have narrow feet.

But, every time I put them on, I felt a bit of pressure up top from the laces and tongue.

It’s like they’re giving your feet a tight hug, which you might like, but not my cup of tea.

Now, let’s talk about the Saucony Speed 3.

This shoe comes with a wider toe box, making it the chill spot for wider feet to kick back and relax.

But here’s the kicker.

If your feet are on the narrow side, you might have some extra room to spare.

In that case, tighten those laces a bit harder for the perfect fit.

Overall, the choice between these shoes boils down to personal foot shape.

Narrow feet may find comfort in the Boston 12’s snugger fit, while wider feet will likely appreciate the Speed 3’s spacious design.

Both shoes offer solutions to potential heel rubbing, ensuring a comfortable experience regardless of your choice.

So, in terms of comfort, It’s a tie between Boston 12 and Speed 3.

Running Performance Test

Both Adizero Boston 12 and Endorphin Speed 3 are versatile trainers, but each shines differently.

For pure speed, Boston 12 takes the crown.

It’s snappier at high paces, propelling you forward with a direct, responsive feel. However, this comes at the cost of some comfort, especially compared to the Speed 3.

The Saucony Speed 3, on the other hand, is all about smooth efficiency.

This shoe excels in longer, more challenging workouts, providing a relaxed yet cushioned ride that helps you maintain pace without fatigue.

Both shoes handle a wide range of paces, but the Boston 12 leans towards fast stuff while still being comfortable for easy runs.

But the Speed 3 thrives in longer, more demanding sessions.

Upper comfort is another point of difference.

The Boston 12 has a racier, less forgiving fit, while the Speed 3 prioritizes plushness and relaxation, making it a better choice for easy runs.

Finally, the outsole grip differs slightly.

The Adidas Boston 12 is superior with its Continental rubber, offering excellent surface traction.

And, the Endorphin Speed 3, while still good in wet conditions, can struggle on greasy surfaces.

So, who wins?

It depends on your priorities.

If you crave a direct feel and explosive speed for strenuous efforts, the Boston 12 is your match.

But for my running test, I’d choose Speed 3 as the winner for its versatility and comfort.running-performance-of-saucony-speed-3

Overall Comfort and Feel

Adidas Boston 12 is a sturdy runner.

It feels planted and stable underfoot, ideal for serious mileage and challenging workouts.

But don’t expect lightning speed at slower paces. However, once you pick up the tempo, the shoe kicks in with a smooth, firm responsiveness.

I can always depend on Boston 12 for steady runs.

On the flip side, the Endorphin Speed 3 feels softer and lighter.

The rockered geometry encourages a rolling, effortless stride, and the bouncier cushioning feels springy at every pace.

This shoe is all about making running fun and easy, whether you’re cruising on recovery miles or pushing for a PR.

In short,

  • Boston 12 is stable, firm, and made for serious training.
  • Speed 3 is light and bouncy for effortless speed.

Ultimately, choosing the two depends on your running goals and preferences.

Do you prioritize stability and durability for long distances or want a shoe that encourages light and energetic stride?

Consider what feels best for you and will help you achieve your running aspirations.

Target Audience

For those who crave a firm, controlled ride and push for fast paces, such as sub-3-hour marathons, the Boston 12 shines.

It’s versatile for marathon-pace runs, long distances, and even fast workouts.

If you’re a runner seeking a shoe for all your training needs, the Adidas Boston 12 might be your perfect match.

But if you prefer a lighter, bouncier, and softer feel, the Endorphin Speed 3 takes the lead.

This shoe is ideal for long runs at a marathon pace or slower, especially if you enjoy a fun, responsive ride.

However, I wouldn’t use the Speed 3 for fast paces like 5Ks or sub-6-minute miles. Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference.

Do you prioritize a firm, stable ride for speed and versatility?

Just go with the Adizero Boston 12.

Or do you want a softer, more playful experience for long runs at moderate speeds?

Then, the Saucony Speed 3 is your perfect running partner.

But no matter which shoe you choose, both the Boston 12 and Speed 3 are top contenders in the world of running shoes.

Pricing and Value for Money

The Boston 12 is arguably the better value at around $160.

It’s a stable, cushioned trainer that can handle daily runs, tempo efforts, and even longer distances.

Even though I’ve felt a few cracks due to the carbon fiber EnergyRods, the overall feel is smooth and supportive.

This versatility makes it an excellent investment for runners who want one shoe for most training needs.

That said, the Endorphin Speed 3, at around $170, is a more specialized speedster.

Its nylon plate and PWRRUN PB midsole deliver a lighter, snappier, and more responsive ride, ideal for tempo runs, race day, and interval training.

However, I didn’t find it comfortable for longer distances or high mileage.

Ultimately, the Adidas Boston 12 offers better value for most runners. It’s more affordable, versatile, and comfortable for different terrains and distances.

But the Endorphin Speed 3 is definitely worth the extra investment if you prioritize pure speed and responsiveness for faster workouts and races.pricingof-saucony-speed-3

Boston 12 vs. Speed 3: Pros and Cons

By comparing the strengths and weaknesses of these two runners, you can make a well-informed choice based on your specific running preferences, performance goals, and comfort requirements. It’ll ensure that you invest in the footwear that aligns best with your needs.

Let’s find out the advantages and disadvantages of Adidas Boston 12 vs Saucony Speed 3.

Adidas Adizero Boston 12

  • »Gives out a heavy-duty training shoe vibe.
  • »Cheaper.
  • »Firmer and more stable ride.
  • »Provides better wet-weather traction.
  • »Excels at faster paces.
  • »Chunkier EVA heel.
  • »More stable.
  • »Higher durability.
  • »Heavier.
  • »Less breathable.
  • »Lacks solid lockdown.
  • »Less comfortable.
  • »Less responsive at slow paces.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

  • »Lightweight.
  • »More breathable upper.
  • »Excellent heel lockdown.
  • »Softer, bouncier, more responsive.
  • »More relaxed and comfortable.
  • »Makes running easier.
  • »May require tight lacing for narrow feet.
  • »More expensive.
  • »Less grippy on greasy surfaces.
  • »Less durable.


By now, it’s evident that personal preferences, running style, and individual needs play a significant role in choosing the ideal shoe.

The Boston 12 impresses with its sleek design, responsive cushioning, and high durability.

On the other hand, the Speed 3 shines with its advanced energy return technology, lightweight build, and exceptional traction.

So, choose Endorphin Speed 3 if you

  • want a lighter, more responsive shoe.
  • prefer a higher drop.
  • prioritize speed and weight savings.

Or, choose Adizero Boston 12 if you

  • want a more stable, cushioned shoe.
  • prefer a lower drop.
  • prioritize durability.

In the end, the decision is in your hands.

Remember, it goes beyond the footwear; it’s about the impact those shoes can have on your goals.


What is the Adizero Boston 12 good for?

The Adidas Adizero Boston 12 excels as a lightweight, responsive trainer for faster runners seeking a propulsive race-day feel. Its glass-fiber-infused ENERGYRODS minimize energy loss, while Lightstrike Pro cushioning provides snappy rebounds, making it ideal for tempo runs, intervals, and race day.

Is the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 a daily trainer?

Yes, Speed 3’s increased cushioning and wider platform make it a capable daily trainer. But remember, it leans towards faster paces and lacks the robust support of dedicated stability shoes.

Can you run a marathon in Adidas Boston 12?

The Adizero Boston 12 can definitely handle a marathon. Designed for training and speed workouts, it offers a responsive, stable ride with good cushioning, making it ideal for long runs and tempo efforts.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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