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Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 Review (2021)

This is an old, out-of-stock model. Check out our review of the latest one in the series: Saucony Endorphin Shift 3.

Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 Review

The Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 running shoes combine comfort, max cushion, and stability for your long runs.


9.3Overall score
Very good maximal cushioning rockered running shoe for long distances
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.

There are always some minor improvements possible, even for a model that seems to need none. That’s what Saucony must have thought when they released their Endorphin Shift 2 this year, just one year after launching the first model.

Don’t look for a revolution. We are here in the niche improvement, mainly in the upper. The fit is better, giving a more precise foot lockdown. Also, the engineered mesh has a more open construction for enhanced breathability (and, yes, you will see the color of your socks through it).

The PWRRUN midsole remains unchanged and delivers a high-stack responsive cushioning. Combined with the Speed Roll rocker geometry, it boosts your ride and propels you forward naturally. With a stack height of 39 mm under the heel and 35 mm under the forefoot, the Endorphin Speed 2 is a max cushion trainer, albeit with a firm underfoot feel.

In terms of durability, we find carbon rubber in strategic areas of the outsole with thin strips of material. Overall, it’s enough to protect the platform from abrasion, but some runners had concerns about the durability. Also, traction is excellent on the pavement, less so on wet surfaces.

Last but not least, let’s note that Shift 2 is objectively a bit heavy. It’s one of the main drawbacks that runners highlighted during their tests. Luckily, it’s the only real weakness of these otherwise impressive running shoes.

In conclusion, the Endorphin Shift 2 is a very good option if you are looking for an innovative trainer for daily workouts, easy (long) runs, or recovery days.

Please read our full review of the Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 for more information.
Foot lockdown
Value for money
  • Very comfortable
  • Stable platform
  • Impressive ride with the SpeedRoll rocker
  • Excellent foot lockdown
  • Max cushion (for those who like)
  • A bit heavy shoes
  • Little change from v1
  • Lack of versatility
  • Some doubts about the outsole durability

Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 Complete Review Analysis


Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 review

The checkered pattern of the main colorway says it all. The Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 may be a daily trainer but not any trainer. One with a need for speed!

The Endorphin Shift 2 is perhaps the least famous of the triplets in the Saucony Endorphin line. However, it’s not just a filler. It has a clear role. The Endorphin Pro is for competition, the Endorphin Speed for tempo training, and the Endorphin Shift for easy paces or recovery (which should is not a minor workout!). Ideally, Saucony would like you to adopt all 3 (your wallet perhaps a little less).

The evolution of Shift 2 from the 2020 model is very subtle, with only minor changes to the upper. The midsole and outsole remain almost identical. But how do you make an already great shoe even better?

Let’s take a closer look.


Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 midsole cushioning


Saucony kept all the midsole ingredients that made the original Shift so successful:

  • PWRRUN foam based on an EVA/TPU blend, which provides ample cushioning, comfort and springy ride
  • SPEEDROLL technology, Saucony’s exclusive rocker geometry

This combination promises a more efficient ride to run longer. According to the runners who have tested the Saucony Endorphin Shift 2, it’s real! While there’s no plate like on Speed or the Pro, the rocker geometry delivers a good bounce. The exclusive design combined with a rigid forefoot allows for a snappy toe spring followed by a “natural” forward propulsion. The testers were also very impressed with the fluidity of the transitions.

The Endorphin Shift 2 is a max cushion shoe, translating into a high stack of 39 mm under the heel and 34 mm under the forefoot, with a low drop of 5 mm. Comfort and shock absorption are clearly in the air (or at least under the feet), and runners enjoyed the shoe during their long-distance runs.

Finally, the shoe’s platform is relatively wide, which ensures excellent stability despite the thickness of the sole.

During our meta-analysis, the only negative point we noted was the firm underfoot feel, which some runners didn’t find so pleasant. However, it’s a matter of personal preference. While the cushioning is effective, it’s indeed firm, which may not be to the liking of everyone. However, besides the wide design, this density also allows the Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 to remain stable even as you speed up.

Foot lockdown (upper)

Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 mesh upper new heel counter

Engineered mesh

The upper is the only part of the Endorphin Shift 2 that has undergone a noticeable evolution compared to the 2020 model. However, there’s no need to break out the drum rolls, as the updates remain minor:

  • a more streamlined new upper constructed from a lightweight, comfortable and more breathable mesh (made from recycled materials) with soft suede detailing. Pro tip: choose your sock color carefully when out and about, you can see it through the toe box!
  • an enhanced shape that provides a snugger fit for better support, especially for narrow feet
  • a padded and gusseted tongue, to protect the top of the foot and avoid unwanted slipping while running
  • Last but not least, the two pull tabs on the heel and tongue have been removed, much to the dispmay of some runners. Although they unamimously judged that two was clearly too many, they would have appreciated a little less radical decision from Saucony by keeping at least one pull tab!

In terms of space, the toe box, midfoot and forefoot areas are spacious enough for runners with wide feet.

As on Shift #1, the trim new heel counter remains relatively high and well adapted to the generous stack of the shoe. A TPU slab surrounds the ankle on all three sides, providing good lockdown and stability. Testers felt no stiffness or heel slippage. However, some found that this construction can impede the natural movement of the foot upon landing.

Finally, the main issue with the Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 is its weight. At 10.1 oz/286 g for the men’s version (9.3 oz/263 g for women), it’s certainly not a lightweight shoe, although it’s acceptable for a trainer. However, runners note that the shoe doesn’t feel bulky as the rocker helps to ensure a smooth and nimble ride.

Grip and durability

Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 rubber outsole

XT-900 Rubber

XT-900 carbon rubber is the hallmark of Saucony’s road models. On the Endorphin Shift 2, the American brand has focused on optimizing the coverage. As a result, we find even less rubber than on the previous version, with mainly reinforced high abrasion zones in the forefoot, and the heel.

Unfortunately, there’s an impact on durability, as noted by testers. Some of them even witnessed the rubber coming off after just 80 miles!

If only this had helped reduce the weight, but that’s not the case as we saw before!

The outsole offers a good grip on the road and other easy dry surfaces in terms of traction. Don’t tempt the devil on different, slightly more slippery terrain like gravel, wet surfaces, or even grass. Some testers have tried it without much success.

The Saucony Endorphin Shift 2’s Ride

Endorphin Shift 2 heel support

The runners appreciated the Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 for what it is: a road shoe for easy daily runs or recovery.

They find the ride smooth with adequate traction and easy transitions through the phases of the gait cycle, mainly thanks to the rocker and the precise foot lockdown. They also appreciated the high-stack PWRRUN cushioning that delivers a good energy return at any pace.

Also, runners who were initially suspicious of the rocker geometry warmed up to it after a while. Indeed, they found that Saucony’s Speedroll technology was not intrusive but rather helped achieve a pleasant and natural ride without forcing it.


Endorphin Shift 2 Saucony

Despite its only two young years, the Saucony Endorphin Shift 2 already has everything of a great running shoe. Comfort? Check! Cushioning? Check! Smooth transition? Check! Stability? No problem! Stunning design? Double-check!

Saucony has done a great job with its Endorphin line, and the Shift 2 is just another reminder that the future is here. While some runners may prefer good old-school traditional shoes with no gimmicks, it’s great to see an innovative alternative like the Shift 2 for easy daily running, recovery runs, and maybe even long-distance sessions for marathon training.

If you do get the Saucony Endorphin Shift 2, please let us know about the durability in the comments as it’s the only real doubt left to clear.


Technical Specs

Pronation typeNeutral shoes
Drop4 mm
Heel stack height39 mm
Forefoot stack height35 mm
Weight (men)286 g/10.1 oz
Weight (women)263 g/9.3 oz
FeaturesWide feet
Release year2021


Softness (1-5)2 – Firm
Bounce (1-5)4 – Bouncy


UpperEngineered Mesh


SpeedSlow, moderate
DistanceMid, long, 10k, half marathon, marathon
WorkoutDaily runs, recovery


Saucony Endorphin Shift (v1)

After a very successful first version, Saucony decided to refine its Endorphin Shift without significant changes.

Thus, the shoe’s sole (outer and mid parts) remains almost identical. The main improvement is in the upper, which has a better-fitting cut for a more effective lockdown.

So there is little reason to opt for v2 if you can find the original Endorphin Shift at a reasonable price.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

See the detailed comparison with our review here.

Saucony Triumph 21

See the side-by-side comparison with our reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How’s the fit of the Saucony Endorphin Shift 2?

The Shift 2 runs true to size so that you can choose your regular size. It also has enough volume for wider feet, yay!

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner's Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He's also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.

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