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Road • March 24, 2020

Saucony Endorphin Shift Performance Review

saucony endorphin shift - feature

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 11.6 oz. (329 g) for a US M11.0
  • The easy day/recovery shoe of the Endorphin Line
  • PWRRUN midsole (EVA-based) with PWRRUN+ topsole (PU-based)
  • Shifts into the real low gears for those long hauls

Saucony had our endorphins firing since we saw the three horsemen of the Endorphin lineup in person at The Running Event back in December. The colorways looked like sour Airheads had escaped from the candy factory and made a shoe, and we were more than okay with it. Plus, they all featured a form of Saucony’s all-new PWRRUN cushioning. We’re always down to try some new cush.

A couple months later, we were more than salivating to try these out when we saw Molly Seidel take second in the Olympic Trials for the marathon (we poured one out for you, J. Ward).

In any case, we finally got the shoes, and boy, do we got some great stuff to say about them. While the reviews of the Pro and Speed will be coming later this week, we thought we’d start out with the chunky monkey of the fam, the Endorphin Shift.

Looks can be deceiving, this shoe was more than we had hoped for.

saucony endorphin shift - side

The Good

MEAGHAN: The Saucony Endorphin collection is finally here and I am pumped! I’ve been wearing the Shift, Speed and Pro, but today we’ll focus on the Shift; the everyday trainer from the lineup. 

The upper, a white breathable mesh, has been paired with neon yellow laces, a bright orange interior, and a teal-colored midsole. I’m a fan of the aesthetics. The collar and tongue have ample cushioning and come with (believe it or not) TWO pull tabs — one attached to the tongue and one along the heel. There’s an external TPU heel counter that adds a good bit of support & structure but doesn’t feel too rigid.

The midsole is designed with PWWRUN foam, Saucony’s latest upgrade in EVA-based cushioning. It feels a little bouncier than previous Saucony models I’ve worn. Paired with SpeedRoll, Saucony’s proprietary always-forward geometry; these shoes have a rocker feel that keeps you rolling right through every stride. There is some serious stack height to the Shift, but only 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 a great easy day/recovery shoe.

THOMAS: When I first saw the Endorphin Shift I dismissed it. Its beautiful siblings (the Endorphin Pro and Speed) had me in a trance. They are both light and sleek with the promise of fast times. Why would I care about the Shift? 

Turns out you should care, because the Shift has something to offer even if it ain’t speed. The sibling with the baby fat is a pure cruiser. The thick PWRRUN midsole with a topsole of PWRRUN+ gives the Endorphin Shift its personality. Soft landings with a hint of bounce are reminiscent of the adidas Ultraboost. The Speedroll set-up and 4 mm drop help the Shift glide through your stride. This shoe is made for pampering the feet and legs. 

Just like the other two Endorphins, the upper is stellar. The Shift fits even though I had to go up a half size due to sample availability. It would’ve been nice to have my size 10.5 for a more dialed-in fit, but the 11 worked.

Let’s move on to the tongue. I have never met a gusseted tongue I haven’t liked. The Endorphin Shift is no exception. The comfy padded tongue and collar add to the overall plush feeling of the Shift. In an effort to keep the shoe from becoming a pile of unstructured pillows, the Saucony team added a substantial TPU heel counter and a medial rubber wrap.

A small amount of rubber on the outsole helps with traction, and the exposed PWRRUN is holding up well.

Shop Endorphin Shift – Men Shop Endorphin Shift – Women saucony endorphin shift - feature - side upper

The Bad

MEAGHAN: C’mon Saucony, no one needs two pull tabs. And that tongue– too high.

Last comment on the downer side of things– the Shift is a little heavy. My W7.5 came in at 8.95oz. It didn’t bother me too much out on the run, but I always prefer a lighter shoe. 

THOMAS: Meg might have an issue with too much tongue here, but it didn’t bother me. Also is she crazy? I love pull tabs, throw in a third if you like, Saucony.

That said, I also had an issue with the weight. My size 11 weighs 11.6 oz/329 grams! That puts the Shift in Ultraboost territory. However, even with the weight, I still like the Shift for easy days and cruising miles. It works in tandem with the Pro like peanut butter and jelly. When you strap the Pro on after these, your legs will feel fresh and super light.

Shop Endorphin Shift – Men Shop Endorphin Shift – Women saucony endorphin shift - - outsole

Saucony Endorphin Shift Conclusion

MEAGHAN: I’ve really enjoyed my miles in the Saucony Endorphin Shift. It’s not a versatile shoe; I wouldn’t use it for any sort of speed work or race day, but 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. You can snag a pair on July 1, 2020. 

THOMAS: I used to pan a shoe on weight alone, but things have changed. I enjoy the extra cushion and luxurious feel on my easy runs. The Endorphin Shift’s stable and cushioned ride makes up for its heftiness.

There aren’t too many daily trainers that feel this good underfoot. I would compare the Shift to the adidas Ultraboost PB, HOKA ONE ONE Clifton, Nike Zoomfly, and the ASICS Glideride. Pair it with the Endorphin Pro and you have a killer combo.

The Saucony Endorphin Shift goes on sale July 1 for $140. You’ll be able to pick it up at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Endorphin Shift – Men Shop Endorphin Shift – Women



Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Steve says:

    Thanks for the review! How do they compared to the Triumph 17? Since both shoes have similar weight and are soft and bouncy.

    1. Jason says:

      I’d like to know this too. ^^

      1. Robbe Reddinger says:

        Rocker is there but it’s much less prevalent without the rigidity of a plate. It’s not as exaggerated as say, the HOKA Carbon X. It’s a super smooth transition.

  2. Ryan says:

    Question: I noticed in a review for the Endorphin Speed that one reviewer cautioned against wearing it every day because of the presence of the rocker (or what Saucony calls “Speedroll”. Would this also be an issue with the Shift, since it also has a rocker? Or is the rocker in the Shift less prevalent?

    1. Robbe Reddinger says:

      Rocker is there but it’s much less prevalent without the rigidity of a plate. It’s not as exaggerated as say, the HOKA Carbon X. It’s a super smooth transition.

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