This Is Our Review of the Saucony Axon 3
Saucony, a brand synonymous with innovation and quality in the running shoe arena, brings us the Axon 3. In a marketplace where performance and cost often go hand in hand, the Axon 3 is a beacon of balance, offering high-end features at a budget-friendly price. Known for their reliable and performance-centric footwear, Saucony’s latest addition, the Axon 3, continues this legacy, promising to cater to both the casual jogger and the competitive runner.
Diving into the specifics, I’ve scrutinized its design elements, sifted through customer feedback, and weighed Saucony’s own claims about the shoe. The emerging picture is one of a well-rounded running shoe that doesn’t cut corners on quality despite its affordable price tag. It promises a fusion of durability, comfort, and a streamlined running experience. But how does it really stack up? Is the Axon 3 the pair of shoes that will support you through every stride and sprint?
Let’s take a closer look at the Saucony Axon 3 review, exploring its features, pros and cons, and overall performance to determine if it deserves a prime spot in your running shoe collection.
Saucony Axon 3 Full Review
First Impressions & Feel of the Saucony Axon 3
The Saucony Axon 3 greets you with a design that’s both practical and aesthetically modest. Foregoing the flashy elements seen in many of its contemporaries, the Axon 3 opts for a more understated appearance, focusing on function over form — a big bonus for those of us who don’t like really loud shoes. The shoe feels tailored for the serious runner, with an engineered mesh upper that promises breathability and comfort, especially on warmer days.
The fit is spot-on, true to size, with a snug heel and a toe box that progressively widens, offering ample room without compromising on the secure feel. This thoughtful design is a nod to the long-haul runner, for whom comfort is as crucial as performance. Unfortunately, I’ve still managed to find a few runners who found it too narrow for very wide feet and from what I can see, the Axon is not available in a wide model.
Cushioning is where the Axon 3 really shines. Featuring Saucony’s PWRRUN material, it offers a balance of firm support and responsiveness, a crucial blend for any running shoe. The added bounce in the sole unit and the improved grip of the outsole, particularly under wet conditions, are indicative of Saucony’s focus on improving the overall running experience. With these features, the Axon 3 presents itself not just as a shoe, but as a reliable partner for various running endeavors, be it a quick sprint or a marathon. Let’s explore further to see if the Saucony Axon 3 truly lives up to its first impressions.
Features of the Saucony Axon 3
Engineered Mesh Upper: The Axon 3 sports an upper crafted from engineered mesh, ensuring a breathable and lightweight experience.
PWRRUN Midsole: The heart of the Axon 3’s performance lies in its PWRRUN midsole. This feature provides a firm yet responsive cushioning, catering to runners who seek a balance between support and a lively step. The midsole’s 35mm heel and 31mm toe stack height indicate substantial underfoot cushioning, promising comfort without sacrificing responsiveness.
Rocker Design: A standout aspect of the Axon 3 is its aggressive rocker design. This feature not only aids in propelling the runner forward but also facilitates a natural transition from heel to toe, contributing to an efficient and comfortable running experience.
Carbon Rubber Outsole: Saucony updated the Axon 3’s outsole to carbon rubber, a change that enhances durability and traction.
Overall, the Saucony Axon 3 doesn’t attempt to reinvent the running shoe but rather refines and enhances the essential features. With a focus on breathable comfort, responsive cushioning, efficient transition, and durable traction, the Axon 3 emerges as a well-rounded shoe capable of supporting a wide range of running activities, from daily training to competitive racing.
- Affordable Price Point: The Axon 3 offers high-quality features typically found in more expensive running shoes, making it a great value.
- Ample Cushioning: With its PWRRUN midsole, the Axon 3 provides substantial cushioning, balancing firm support with responsiveness.
- Bouncy Feedback: The updated sole unit adds a bit more bounce, enhancing the overall running experience.
- Excellent Grip: The new carbon rubber outsole delivers superior traction, especially on wet surfaces, boosting runner confidence.
- Versatility: Excelling in various types of runs, from short sprints to long distances.
- Upper Heat Retention: On warmer runs, the upper can get hot, potentially affecting comfort.
- Stiff Midsole: Some runners might find the midsole a bit too firm, lacking the plushness seen in some higher-end models.
- Limited Aesthetic Appeal: The more subdued colorway and straightforward design might not appeal to runners who prefer more visually striking shoes.
- Toe Box Fit: The rockered design may cause toes to slide forward, which could be uncomfortable during longer runs.
Who Is This Shoe For?
The Saucony Axon 3 is ideal for:
- Neutral Runners: Its balanced cushioning and stable design make it a great fit for those with a neutral gait.
- Budget-Conscious Runners: Offering high-end features at an affordable price, it’s perfect for runners looking for quality without a high cost.
- Versatile Training: Whether for daily jogs, long runs, or speed work, the Axon 3’s responsive cushioning and good grip make it suitable for a variety of running activities.
- Runners Seeking Firm Cushioning: The shoe’s firmer feel will appeal to those who prefer a more supportive ride.
- Marathon and Long-Distance Runners: Its ample cushioning and durability are well-suited for long-distance endeavors.
Who Is This Shoe NOT For?
The Saucony Axon 3 might not be the best choice for:
- Runners Seeking Plush Cushioning: Those who prefer a softer, more plush underfoot feel might find the Axon 3 too firm.
- Runners Who Prefer Flashy Designs: Its understated design might not appeal to those who favor shoes with a more striking aesthetic.
- Overpronators: Runners who need specialized support for overpronation may require a shoe with more targeted stability features.
Upper Design of the Saucony Axon 3
The Saucony Axon 3 features an engineered mesh upper that combines breathability with a comfortable fit. This design ensures your feet stay cool and dry, crucial for long runs or warm conditions. The fit is snug yet accommodating, especially around the heel, providing a secure feel without being restrictive. The ample toe box in the Axon 3 offers sufficient room for toe splay, enhancing comfort during extended runs. The simple, no-frills design of the upper underscores the Axon 3’s focus on functionality, making it an ideal choice for runners who prioritize performance and comfort over aesthetic flair.
Midsole Design of the Saucony Axon 3
The Saucony Axon 3’s midsole is a key feature, primarily composed of PWRRUN material. This provides a firm yet responsive cushioning, ideal for runners who prefer a supportive feel underfoot. The high stack height (35mm in the heel and 31mm in the toe) offers ample cushioning, ensuring comfort during long runs. The midsole’s rockered design aids in smooth heel-to-toe transitions, contributing to an efficient stride. While some may find the midsole a bit stiff, this design choice ensures stability and responsiveness, making the Axon 3 suitable for a wide range of running activities.
Outsole Design of the Saucony Axon 3
The outsole of the Axon 3 has been significantly updated, featuring carbon rubber material for enhanced durability and traction. This tougher composition is particularly effective on wet surfaces, providing a reliable grip and improving runner confidence under various conditions. The design of the outsole complements the rockered midsole, contributing to the shoe’s efficient gait and smooth transition. Despite the added durability, the outsole maintains a degree of flexibility, allowing for natural foot movement and responsiveness. This well-considered outsole design is a testament to the Axon 3’s overall focus on providing a balanced, versatile running experience.
Weight and Stack Height of the Saucony Axon 3
- Weight: The Axon 3 maintains a relatively lightweight profile, with the men’s version weighing around 9.3 oz (264 g) and the women’s version around 8.2 oz (232 g). This weight makes it a light option compared to other shoes with similar cushioning and support features.
- Stack Height: The shoe features a high stack height of 38 mm in the heel and 34 mm in the forefoot. This substantial cushioning depth provides a comfortable buffer between the foot and the ground, enhancing the shoe’s overall comfort and responsiveness.
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: With a 4 mm drop, the Axon 3 offers a more natural foot position, suitable for a variety of runners, particularly those who prefer a closer-to-ground feel while still benefiting from significant cushioning — as well as the forefoot strikers among us.
Support of the Saucony Axon 3
The Axon 3 is primarily designed for runners with a neutral gait. It offers a supportive platform that encourages a smooth transition from heel to toe with each stride. The midsole’s design provides a balance of flexibility and support, suitable for a variety of running surfaces. Additionally, the rockered sole and firm cushioning contribute to the shoe’s overall stability, making it a reliable choice for neutral runners. While it doesn’t offer specialized features for overpronation, its design elements make it a stable and supportive option for daily training and long-distance running.
FAQs about the Saucony Axon 3
How does the cushioning in the Saucony Axon 3 fare for long-distance running?
The cushioning in the Saucony Axon 3 is designed to support long-distance running effectively. The PWRRUN midsole offers a firm yet responsive feel, providing the necessary support and shock absorption for extended runs. The high stack height adds to the comfort by reducing ground impact. This combination ensures that runners can maintain a comfortable stride over longer distances, making the Axon 3 a suitable choice for marathon training or lengthy weekend runs.
Is the Saucony Axon 3 a good choice for daily training?
Absolutely. The Axon 3 is tailored for daily training thanks to its durable construction and versatile design. The carbon rubber outsole ensures longevity, while the breathable mesh upper keeps feet comfortable during various running conditions. The shoe’s balanced cushioning caters to different training demands, from easy recovery runs to more intense speed workouts. Its stable and responsive nature makes it a reliable choice for runners who need a shoe that can handle the rigors of daily use.
Can I use custom orthotics with the Saucony Axon 3?
Yes, the Axon 3 is compatible with custom orthotics. The shoe features a removable insole, which allows you to easily replace it with your own orthotic inserts. This flexibility is beneficial for runners who require specific arch support or have particular foot conditions. The accommodating fit of the shoe, particularly in the midfoot and forefoot areas, ensures that custom orthotics can be used without compromising comfort or performance.
What are the best alternatives to the Saucony Axon 3?
For runners seeking alternatives to the Saucony Axon 3, there are several options to consider, each with its unique features:
1. Brooks Launch: Known for its balanced cushioning and responsiveness, it’s a good alternative for those who prefer a similar ride with a different fit or style.
2. New Balance Fresh Foam: Offers a plush cushioning experience, suitable for runners who seek a softer ride.
3. Nike Winflo: This line combines responsive cushioning with a sleek design, appealing to runners who prioritize style along with performance.
4. Adidas Solar Glide: Known for its energy-returning properties, it’s a great option for those who want a more springy feel in their stride.
5. ASICS Gel-Cumulus: Provides excellent cushioning and support, making it a solid choice for runners who need a bit more in terms of foot support.
Each of these alternatives offers a unique blend of comfort, support, and performance, catering to different preferences and running needs.
Final Thoughts on the Saucony Axon 3 Review
The Saucony Axon 3 is a well-rounded, high-value running shoe. It strikes a balance between affordability, comfort, and performance. Ideal for neutral runners and those seeking a firm yet responsive cushioning experience, the Axon 3 is versatile enough for various running activities. While it may not cater to runners seeking plush cushioning or flashy designs, its strengths in durability, responsive cushioning, and comfortable fit make it a strong contender in its category. Overall, the Axon 3 is an excellent choice for runners who value functionality, comfort, and affordability in their footwear.