Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 Performance Review
MEAGHAN: We were huge fans of the Saucony Endorphin line in 2020. From the speedy carbon-plated racer in the Endorphin Pro to our best overall shoe of the year in the Endorphin Speed to the more daily trainer-ish Shift. Coming off that hotness, I had fairly high expectations for round two.
To be honest, not a lot has changed in the line this year (aside from the wild checkerboard design). The midsole and outsoles all are identical to last year’s version (a good thing), while some things have been tweaked in the uppers. We’ll still cover the good and the bad, but if you’re familiar with this shoe already, then you’ll find a familiar friend in the Endorphin Shift 2.
THOMAS: Meg covered all that needs to be covered, let’s get into the review.
MEAGHAN: Well, not much has changed, but there are a few things to point out. We’ll start with the upper. The mesh material feels nearly identical, although the mesh pattern has changed ever-so-slightly. It’s still light, breathable, and comfortable. The tongue and collar lost a little bit of the padding, and both pull tabs got nixed this round. Honestly, that was disappointing. More on that later. Saucony kept the external TPU heel counter in place, which adds a good bit of support and structure but doesn’t feel too rigid.
The midsole is designed with PWWRUN foam, Saucony’s EVA-based cushioning. It’s firm, but bouncy. Paired with Saucony’s SpeedRoll technology (their proprietary rocker geometry), you get a nice roll through every stride. There is some serious stack height to the Shift – 38 mm in the heel and 34 mm in the forefoot, for a 4 mm offset. This shoe doesn’t feel quite like a neutral trainer or a stability shoe, but somewhere right in between. It’s great for those easy/recovery days.
THOMAS: The Endorphin Shift 2 remains a solid daily trainer that takes advantage of the Saucony rockered sole dubbed “SpeedRoll.” Ideally, Saucony would like you to pair the Endorphin line up to meet all your running shoe needs. Shift for easy runs, Speed for tempos and workouts, Pro for race day. All the shoes use the SpeedRoll geometry.
The Shift 2 feels stable underfoot and provides a thick midsole for long-distance cushioning. At 11 oz./312 grams for a size 10.5, the Shift 2 is tipping the scale in the wrong direction, but the rockered sole keeps the shoe moving through the stride.
The new upper is less puffy and more streamlined than the original. I was able to get the lockdown I like with the “Adaptive Lacing” setup. There weren’t any hotspots or heel lifting on my runs. The upper fit my narrow foot well. The generous stack with well-thought-out rubber placement will ensure you can rack up miles on this trainer. My guess is the average runner could get at least 500 miles out of this trainer.Shop Endorphin Shift 2 – Men Shop Endorphin Shift 2 – Women
MEAGHAN: So I wrote this in my original review of the Shift “C’mon Saucony, no one needs two pull tabs. And that tongue– too high.” and I am now regretting it. Yes, two pull tabs are one too many, but no pull tabs!? These suckers are hard to get on. Bring back the pull tab (but just the one)!
I was hoping the Shift would lose a little weight, but no such luck. My W7.5 came in right around 9 ounces – nearly identical to the previous model. That’s on the heavy side of daily trainers these days.
Lastly, the Shift 2 feels a little on the firm side, more so than the original. I know nothing has changed underfoot, so maybe this is a ‘me’ issue, but figured I’d make note.
THOMAS: The weight is the biggest drawback for the Shift 2. Subjectively, the Shift 2 lacks pop. The Rocker is nice, but there isn’t a launch off the toe for me.Shop Endorphin Shift 2 – Men Shop Endorphin Shift 2 – Women
MEAGHAN: I’ve enjoyed my miles in the Saucony Endorphin Shift 2. It’s perfect for recovery runs or easy days. While it falls into the heavier category of daily trainers, it also provides plenty of structure and support. If you liked the original, and you also like NASCAR, you’re going to be thrilled with the Endorphin Shift 2.
THOMAS: The closest shoe the Shift 2 is the ASICS GlideRide 2, both have similar rockered high stack soles. The ASICS is slightly softer underfoot and has a nylon plate to add structure and a little snappiness. The Shift 2 works for what it is designed for, cruising easy miles. Is it exciting to run in? I will leave up to you to decide. For me, I’ll go for the Endorphin Speed.
You can pick up the at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Endorphin Shift 2 – Men Shop Endorphin Shift 2 – Women
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I like how Meaghan has to put pull tabs as drawback in “The Bad” part of the review to be able to share two (more like 1.5) problems with the shoe. I know a lot of people have been saying this lately, but Saucony’s been killing it!
Ok, I guess she listed 3 drawbacks. (More like 2.5)
I have the Endorphin Shift I and managed to get 500 miles out of them before the foam felt dead and wasn’t giving me the support my aging knees need these days. The sole was barely worn. Usually the soles on my shoes are heavily worn at 350 miles (Kinvara, Nike Zoomfly).
A major objection is no pull tabs? Really? Ii think if any company could develop an upper material that would be impervious to rubbing a hole through the upper above the big toe THAT would be a major breakthrough! I just tried on a pair of the Endorphin Shift 2 am am really impressed with the trim, supportive fit.