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In a year where running shoes are becoming more and more democratic, the Saucony Endorphin Shift 3 is no exception. Those who wore the first two iterations of the shoe can attest to its relatively firm, stiff midsole and its safety-first approach to making a running shoe. The third version of this shoe promised a more mellow and less harsh midsole and a completely revamped upper, while maintaining its safe and comfortable feel.
The shoe now features a PWRRUN+ sockliner and a slightly different PWRRUN foam (and more of it!) than what we’ve previously seen in the shoe to give it a softer feel underfoot. Combined with a deeper FORMFIT design meant to cradle the foot and a torsional heel grove, this shoe is designed to support you wherever you need! See what our wear testers, Kyle and Keith, have to say about this brand new update.
STACK HEIGHT: 39mm (heel), 35mm (forefoot)
HEEL TO TOE OFFSET: 4mm
WEIGHT: 8.1oz (229g) women's / 9.4oz (266g) men's
USE: Everyday running, walking
SURFACE: Road, track, urban
Kyle: I did a couple of runs in this shoe. The first run was a bit more of a recovery pace for three miles, and was my first run in the Shift. While still maintaining a standard cadence (170-180 bpm for me), the shoe felt very similar to the Endorphin Shift 2, but with a bit more stability and control under foot.
It felt about how I expected; the cushion was exceptional underfoot and a bit firm. My second run was a bit more of an uptempo/threshold pace run to see how fast the shoes could roll. Maintaining my half-marathon pace for a couple of miles, this shoe also seemed to be pretty snappy, considering the stack height and amount of cushion. I recall doing a similar run in the Shift 2, and the Shift 3 holds up comparably if not even better in that realm.
Keith: The running experience in this shoe is fun and carefree. It's a high cushion, lightweight, and aggressively rockered package. That means plenty of comfort that doesn't get in the way of performance. Runs ranging from 20-mile long efforts to quick tempo 3 milers all come easily without having to change shoes. There is a softness to the underfoot feel, but not so much that the foot sinks in and loses energy, and there is definitely plenty of support.
Kyle: Toebox has a very similar fit to the Endorphin Speed 3: just enough space for most foot types, but not too sloppy either. The midfoot has some solid lateral support throughout the arch area and also extends toward the outside of the foot. In most shoes, I could use a touch more room on the outer side of my midfoot, and this shoe is no exception. The heel cup seems to be at a pretty standard length in terms of where it sits. Definitely enough ankle coverage for me, but could be considered low by others. Tongue is a bit thinner than other models like the Ride 15 or Triumph 20, but still comfortable. No unnecessary rubbing. The upper is breathable, just enough space for most foot types. Not as loose as an Endorphin Pro 3, but more close in fit to Endorphin Speed 3. Pretty true to size. I typically wear 8.5 or 9, but in Saucony a 9 tends to work very well, especially given the significant stack height. In a lower Saucony shoe, I might be able to get away with an 8.5 but most of the Endorphin series I fit best in a 9. I might recommend a half size up for many folks though, depending on what size they normally wear. Again, considering the stack height and the required "tightening" of fit due to stack height, a half size might give a bit more room for the foot.
Keith: I wear my normal size 11 however, if you have a wide foot it may be necessary to jump up a half size. The toebox is on the narrow side. It doesn't squish my toes by any means but making sure you get enough length in your sizing is a must. The length feels true although some will need to got a half size up if they have a wide foot. The tongue is thin and well contoured with just enough padding to protect from the laces bothering the top of the foot or front of the ankle. The midfoot feels solid, supportive, and locked down for a really balanced feel. The heel cup is soft and supportive with the heel counter sitting much lower on the foot than previous versions. I don't think anyone will miss the big plastic heel grabber from versions 1 and 2, so it's a really good update there. The whole upper is cozy and breathable with just enough structure to support the midfoot and protect the toes from poking holes in the tips.
Kyle: The cushioning is about what I was expecting the Ride 15 to feel like. It is somewhat of a hybrid between the Ride 15 and Triumph 20, but still has that signature Endorphin pop and spring. Let me put it this way: if you are a fan of the Endorphin Speed 3 and need some more cushioning in your step, this would be a great shoe for you.
Keith: The cushion of the Endorphin Shift 3 is dialed in! A medium-firm PWRRUN foam provides a soft enough ride while providing support and balance underfoot. The borderline overaggressive feeling of the past versions arch is gone and replaced by a really consistent feeling all the way around. I don't feel to stacked up or rolled out like I have before with the shift. From front to back the cushion will support both midfoot and heel strikers, while really promoting that forward push and treating the toes with care.
Kyle: This shoe has a fair amount of stability in a forward motion. However, as with many Saucony shoes, I tend to continue to supinate in the shoe (my foot leans toward the outside when running). This is not painful, just something to note, especially if lateral mobility is a concern.
Keith: Very. This shoe is balanced from front-to-back, side-to-side. This is one of the most stable high cushion shoes I have experienced.
Kyle: This shoe can really be used for anything. I recall doing tempo runs and fartleks in the Endorphin Shift 2, and based on my limited time with V3, I believe the same could be done. It is likely designed primarily for your daily training and aid as a recovery shoe. However, the sky does seem to be the limit with this shoe. Used in tandem with an Endorphin Speed V3, I believe runners could have some great results.
Keith:The Endorphin Shift 3 is very versatile, but it truly excels on long haul efforts, making it an ideal half or full marathon trainer. It will even perform well on race day if comfort is the number one priority. I also love it as a recovery day shoe or even as a long shift at work shoe.
Kyle: Again, think of a more cushioned Endorphin Speed V3. Also has similar tones to New Balance FuelCell SC Trainer and the new Saucony Triumph 20.
Keith: The Endorphin Shift 3 borders on max cushion and compares favorably with the Hoka Bondi 8 or Clifton 8. Others that would fit into the same category are the On Cloudstratus and Cloudmonster, Diadora Equipe Atomo, or the New Balance Morev4.
Kyle: Improved version compared to the Endorphin Shift 2, especially in the upper. Upper is a bit more breathable and the stability does seem to be more laterally focused than vertically focused.
Keith: This update brings a much more comfortable long distance trainer to the Endorphin lineup for Saucony. Gone is the oversized plastic heel grabber and extreme arch that pushed my foot to the outside of the shoe. Stretchier mesh and less stitching along the side of the foot helps the shoe wrap the foot in a much better fashion.
Kyle: This shoe is for someone who has tried neutral shoes before but is looking to amplify their cushioning game. I think it might be aggressive as a first shoe for many new runners, but definitely a shoe to transition toward, especially if wearing something like a NB 880, Brooks Ghost, or Saucony Ride.
Keith: This shoe could be for anyone looking for a high cushion lightweight running experience. Those training for a marathon will find this shoe to be an incredible tool in their arsenal. It can even work as a solution she for those with injuries or pain in their feet.
23 year old
Wears men's size 9
I am a multifaceted athlete. I do a mix of triathlons, road races, trail races and occasionally speed around a track. I recently ran the Woodstock 50K and plan to try a marathon in 2023. I have been running for 10 years seriously and work at Running Lab. My favorite thing about running is the ability to share trails or roads with a variety of people from all walks of life. I also started a media company called PawAnRepeat Media LLC and have been documenting a lot of running related events. Feel free to reach out to me on instagram @justkyle.wav or @pawanrepeatmedia to chat about running!
37 year old
Wears men's size 11
Running has always been a part of my life. When I was younger it was mainly a way to stay in shape for soccer; running track in the off-season was a way to train hard and stay competitive. I liked it, but it wasn't until my first marathon in my late 20's that I really fell in love with running. Since then I have completed 7 marathons and a 50 mile ultra while also competing in countless 5k, 10k, and half-marathon races. I enjoy running just about anywhere except the treadmill. I prefer trails in the woods to the road and my favorite spot is the Corsair Trail System in the Huron National Forest near East Tawas, MI. I also frequent the many trails we have in Southeast Michigan. I currently work at Running Lab and have worked there for a total of just over 2 years. My favorite thing about running is that it can be super competitive yet the running community is so supportive of each other.