Saucony Endorphin Shift Women's review: Cushioned running shoes for both everyday miles and bursts of speed

The Endorphin Shift is for those longer, easier runs, and boasts increased PWRRUN foam cushioning for protection, while its SPEEDROLL technology promotes speed

T3 Platinum Award
Saucony Endorphin Shift Women's review
(Image credit: Saucony)
T3 Verdict

The enhanced super cushioning does make every mile tick by easier and SPEEDROLL will propel you forward, but this shoe is more than an option just for longer runs. Other brands may have been offering maximum cushioning for longer than Saucony, but if you’re looking for a Diet Coke moment, this shoe is not only well chilled but has a twist of lemon. They performed just as well in speed work, while providing stability and protection. A half-marathon runner's dream shoe that is beautiful to look at.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Extra cushioning for ultimate protection

  • +

    Iconic, standout design

  • +

    Excellent heel support provides stability

  • +

    Not ridiculously overpriced

  • +

    Versatile and will adapt to your session

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    They won’t stay white for long

  • -

    Grip on the outsole could be enhanced

In this Saucony Endorphin Shift Women's review, we'll see if the most-cushioned model of the Endorphin Collection is worth your hard earned money. Are the Endorphin Shift the best running shoes for women who prefer softer running shoes?

Saucony have released a more cushioned, supportive yet fast shoe into its Endorphin family with the Shift, giving you the final part of the trilogy for your training. Aimed to complement the Endorphin Pro (a race day shoe) and the Endorphin Speed (tempo sessions), the Endorphin Shift aims to provide a supportive yet speedy shoe for all of your other training sessions. 

Your first run doesn’t need to be tentative; they are so comfortable you can go as far as you want straight away. The PWRRUN midsole feels soft but not squidgy on ground contact. This foam is softer under your heel to the midfoot section, then more dense in the front section, to provide a firm toe-off. 

Surprisingly versatile, they have a firm feel, although the front of the shoe, used when you push-off, has a little flexibility to help with forward thrust.

Saucony Endorphin Shift Women's review: tech and ergonomics

You’re certainly getting a thick, plush heel cuff; as soon as you slip on the shoes you feel the snug support of the upper. The top third of the tongue is also thick, enhancing comfort for the top of your foot which you need in longer runs to prevent irritation. The rest of the upper is thin, flexible, breathable mesh that does the job it’s designed for. The lightweight TPU heel counter was a real bonus as your foot stays in a locked in position for the whole of your run.  

The forward roll of your foot, provided by Saucony’s SPEEDROLL tech, feels a little less dramatic and more subtle than in the SHIFT’S big sisters, the PRO and SPEED. The rocking motion is there, but feels natural and effective. 

Yes they feel great for easy, longer runs, but I’ve done tempo and VO2 max sessions in them and felt that I was getting a double bargain. Both the cushioning and natural forward rocking motion support you, however fast you want to run. They feel light to run in, too.

Your foot is held in place around your heel with a snug fit, with plenty of space in the mid shoe and toe box for splaying on ground contact. They performed well, including in wetter conditions, but the outsole isn’t as amazing as the rest of the shoe. Fit was spot on, both in length and width, being snug but allowing for movement where it’s needed so no hotspots.

Saucony Endorphin Shift Women's review

(Image credit: Saucony)

Saucony Endorphin Shift Women's review: aesthetics

Out of the box these are stunning. Then they look good on. And then they look even better in your photos. The Mutant colourway, white with neon bursts, is iconic, but it’s inevitable that the upper will dull over time to a slight grey. Saying that, it wasn’t a one-run wonder with these as plenty of January puddles have been run through and the upper does hold up well. The plastic heel counter protects the colour at the back of the shoe, and the top stayed white too, so expect only the lower edge, next to the midsole, to pick up the most dirt.

The new main colourway, which won’t sell out quite as fast as the white version, is going to stand up to the weather much better. And this darker colourway, contrasting black with orange and pink flashes is still striking and uber cool. Branding is quite subtle too, a clever evolution from Saucony.  

Saucony Endorphin Shift Women's review

(Image credit: Saucony)

Saucony Endorphin Shift Women's review: verdict

If there was as much thought put into the outer sole to bump up the grip in wetter conditions, this shoe would offer just about everything a runner could want for an everyday shoe. Cushioning, stability and speed are nicely finished off with style, and even though these are billed for easy miles, the Shift is much more versatile than this. They may be a little heavier than some racing shoes, but that extra weight brings comfort and security, giving an all-round shoe that makes you want to wear them for all runs, and turns heads when you do.

Is the SAUCONY ENDORPHIN SHIFT the very best running shoe out there?

It’s not the lightest or springiest shoe on the market, but it’s a brilliant all-rounder that holds its own, and doesn’t fall into the category of shoes that are overpriced and under-deliver by the second or third run. If you’ve been recently disheartened with other big brands, this model may see you defecting to Saucony. They really hit a sweet spot when it comes to combining cushioning and speed.