Saucony has released some impressive shoes over the course of 2020. For us, the Endorphin range tops that list with a handful of standout options that have made a big impression on the running community.
The collection is broken down into three options: the Endorphin Pro - a carbon plate racer that's giving the likes of Nike and Adidas a run for their money, the Endorphin Speed - a nylon plate option focussed on tempo training, and the Shift – built for daily training miles.
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The Endorphin Shift takes some of the design aspects of both the Pro and the Speed and translates them to a daily running experience. Although there's no plate, the shoe is a versatile option for everyday training, combining stability and cushioning with a good level of responsiveness.
We've been putting the Saucony Endorphin Shift through its paces over 70 miles of running. Is it worth investing in as your daily running shoe? Let's take a look.
Price: $150 | Weight: 286g/10.1oz (Men) / 260g/9.5oz (Women) | Type: Road | Stability: Moderate | Heel to toe drop: 4mm | Sizing: Fits to size | Alternatives: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10, Adidas Ultraboost 20, Brooks Glycerin, Hoka One One Bondi, Nike React Infinity Run
The Endorphin Shift is essentially the workhorse of the Endorphin family, designed to be used alongside both of those shoes, offering a reliable experience for all of those sessions where pace isn't your main focus – whether that's a long Sunday run or a short recovery session.
The Pro and Speed have both seen widespread popularity from the running community when it comes to racing or upping the pace. The Shift is, instead, built to minimise stress on the body to help you run for longer.
How it does that is largely down to the ample amount of PWRRUN cushioning which sits in the midsole of the shoe. A material that's used across a wide range of Saucony's line-up and has received praise for its ability to offer cushioning without being too soft.
That responsive midsole is designed to work alongside the Speedroll geometry of the shoe; a rocker that helps promote a smooth movement from heel to toe, allowing you to pick up the pace when you need to.
The upper is made from a breathable, yet robust mesh material. Around the ankle, this includes additional padding for comfort whilst a reinforced heel section adds a rigid structure to hold the heel in place when running. The outsole has a small covering of rubber to help protect the midsole, however, this is minimal.
For us, the fit was true to size and the upper does a good job holding the foot in place securely whilst a roomy toebox allows space for the toes.
Although the Shift is predominantly designed as a slow/long run partner to the other two options in the Endorphin selection, it is a very versatile shoe.
As you would expect from a shoe with this level of cushioning, it does a very good job when the main focus is ticking off miles in comfort. The combination of midsole thickness and support across the upper makes for a stable ride that ensures the foot is firmly planted on the ground with each step.
That PWRRUN midsole material, the same used in many of Saucony's latest offerings, is noticeably responsive –more so than you might expect from the outward appearance. For slower runs, it's definitely helping to minimise impact, but it's a long way from being soft. We noticed a similar thing when testing the Ride 13 and found the material does a competent job when taking on faster runs.
It's by no means a race shoe and, like the Ride 13, it's not a one-size-fits all shoe either. But, it'll allow you to head out for a session and mix slower-paced intervals with faster efforts without wishing you'd brought a second pair of shoes with you.
Aside from its versatility, the biggest plus point we found with the Shift is the locked in fit. It's a shoe that manages to offer the experience of a gentler stability shoe without feeling too heavy or bulky.
The Endorphin Shift is a shoe that cements the Endophin range as one of the most exciting series to be released in recent months. Like the Pro and the Speed, the Shift takes a core use – in this case, versatility in daily training miles – and does an exceptional job at delivering a shoe that ticks a lot of boxes.
Although it's designed as a counterpart to the Pro and the Speed, the Shift is an excellent standalone option, especially for those people looking for one pair of trainers to cover them for all of their everyday mileage.