Saucony Endorphin Shift review
The Endorphin Shift does not have any bells and whistles but gets the job done and will last for several miles. While the Endorphin Shift can be used as a recovery shoe, it works better at tempo speed.
Who should buy the Endorphin Shift
This shoe works best for runners who have mild overpronation and are looking for a maximalist, stable, and durable daily trainer to use mostly on roads.
Who should NOT buy the Endorphin Shift
Look away if you:
- prefer a plush daily trainer (the Saucony Triumph line is worth checking for, especially for neutral pronators or the Hurricane models for mild stability)
- wants a flexible, neutral shoe like the Saucony Kinvara 12
- looking for a shoe with a lower stack height (in this case, look at Saucony Ride 14)
Heel slips in the Endorphin Shift
The Endorphin Shift is true to size, but I did experience some heel slippage, which made me think I should have gone down a half-size.
While I attempted to tighten or modify the laces, to address the heel slip issue, the shoe became tight and uncomfortable. Like the Saucony Kinvara, the Endorphin Shift uses FORMFIT, but I found that the Kinvara fits much better around the ankle.
The Endorphin Shift offers a stable ride
The ride of the Saucony Endorphin Shift is not as smooth as the Brooks Ghost but includes mild stability components that do not drastically alter your stride. The shoe also uses SpeedRoll technology, which has a similar look and feels to Sketchers GOrun Ride 7, which used M Strike technology.
The shoe strongly encourages a midfoot strike, which took a little time to adapt to. When I slightly picked up the pace, the ride improved and it felt more natural. There are some noticeable stability features, but they were not overbearing.
A little firm but gives a noticeable bounce
While I was expecting a plush daily trainer, what I experienced was a fairly responsive shoe with just the right amount of cushion. Your feet will not be pampered, but they will never ache. The midsole of the Endorphin Shift is a little firm but gives you a noticeable bounce.
I would prefer a more flexible shoe, but the payoff is that it gives you a small amount of energy return in each step.
Plush, cushioned upper
The first thing you notice about the Endorphin Shift is the soft cushioned upper material, which is very plush around your ankle. The Endorphin Shift knows how to make a good first impression.
The laces on the Endorphin Shift are just the right length and have the perfect amount of stretch.
Upper runs a little warm
The ankle collar is thickly padded and the toe box area felt a little warm but was not uncomfortable.
The Saucony Endorphin Shift is a well-made shoe
Stability shoes have an average price of $131 and the Endorphin Shift is priced at $140. This is a good price for a well-made shoe that will last a few hundred miles.
The Endorphin Shift has carefully placed rubber in the outsole of the forefoot. This should make the shoe more durable than the lightweight Saucony Kinvara, which has almost no outsole rubber in the forefoot.
A tad heavy
At 10.1oz/286g, the Endorphin Shift feels heavier compared to other road running shoes that have an average weight of 9.7oz/275g. This may be due to the very thick bed of PWRRUN foam.
A fairly high stack height
While the Endorphin Shift has a low drop of only 4 mm, I realized that drop is not as significant as the forefoot and heel height. The Endorphin Shift feels much steeper - the heel height is a whopping 38 mm and the forefoot is 34mm.
Some elements of the shoes are unnecessary
The most prominent part of the Endorphin Shift is the thick (almost bullet-proof) exterior clear plastic heel counter. This seems unnecessary (or at least over-built) and adds unnecessary weight.
Another odd feature of the shoe is that it includes a large loop (resembling a pull-tab) on the front of the tongue. It doesn’t seem necessary (I never used it) since there is a very well-designed gusseted tongue.