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 has 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 forwarding 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. The 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: 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: 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-around 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.