A thoughtfully designed, maximalist shoe for long weekend miles and weekday foundation runs, the Saucony Endorphin Shift 3 is well cushioned but still feels balanced at low speeds, and has a more robust build than its racier counterparts without adding too many extra grams.
Lightweight at 9.4oz/266g (average men's)
Snug fitting upper
Good grip in wet conditions
Affordably priced and already discounted
Fits slightly small
Firm arch support won't suit all runners
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Saucony Endorphin Shift 3: first impressions
The Saucony Endorphin Shift 3 is a lightweight maximalist road running shoe with a rocker shape at the forefoot and generous cushioning at the heel to absorb the shock of heel-striking.
• List price: $150/£140
• Weight (per shoe): 9.4oz/266g average men's
• Drop: 4mm
• Materials: woven upper, PWRRUN foam midsole, XT-900 rubber outsole
• Colors: Infrared/black, agave/basalt, indigo/black and more
• Compatibility: Everyday training
I'm a fan of the Saucony Endorphin series – light, springy shoes that'll give you an extra boost in races or make training that little bit more fun. The Endorphin Elite, with its curved carbon plate, really pushes you forward and is particularly great on hills provided your wallet can take the hit, while the Endorphin Speed 3 (my personal favorite) replaces carbon with nylon for a similar feel at a more affordable price.
The Endorphin Shift 3 is perhaps the best option for long, slow runs, with a focus on shock absorption rather than speed. Its rocker shape is less aggressive than many other shoes the Endorphin series, there's no rigid plate tucked away inside the thick midsole foam.
What you do get are practical touches, like a soft mesh upper with lightly padded, gusseted tongue, and an elasticated heel loop for easier removal after a long training session. The heel collar is particularly soft and sits high, so if you're the type of runner who's prone to rubbing on your Achilles tendon no matter which running socks you use, the Endorphin Speed 3 is well worth a try.
The Endorphin Shift 3 is available in a range of bright colors or Saucony's blue Vizipro material, which reflects light to make you more visible at night. Saucony doesn't do subtle, so nobody will miss you during the day whichever option you choose.
It comes up ever so slightly small, so if you're usually between sizes I'd recommend choosing the larger one.
It's also one of Saucony's most affordable Endorphin shoes, with a list price of $150/£140, and can be found for around $110/£90 at the time of writing. We've rounded up all today's best prices for you here:
Saucony Endorphin Shift 3: on the road
I'm currently training for the Manchester Marathon, so I've been able to put plenty of miles in the Endorphin Shift 3. Overall they're a dependable everyday option, particularly for putting in long miles on the weekend. Although they're heavily cushioned, the PWRRUN foam isn't bouncy or enough to feel unstable at slower speeds, so they're well suited to zone two training runs.
The upper, which comprises two fine layers of mesh, fits snugly, and the round laces have minimal stretch, allowing you to lock the shoe down tight. Although the tongue is lightly cushioned, there's enough foam to protect your metatarsals.
The sock feels pleasingly robust and ready to withstand plenty of wear, though I found the arch support higher and more noticeable than in other Endorphin shoes, which was interesting. Although not uncomfortable, it was hard to ignore and made me more aware of the slight size difference between my feet.
There's a heel clip at the back, but it doesn't come very high, so you won't need to worry about it digging in.
The Endorphin Shift 3 has a groove running from the midfoot to the heel, similar to the cutout in the sole of the Endorphin Elite, but without the carbon peeking through. Saucony says this guideline will help your foot roll more naturally, though I suspect this sensation comes mostly from the rocker shape.
Unlike Saucony's racier Endorphin shoes, the Endorphin Shift 3 has a respectable amount of rubber on the outsole to provide grip in wet conditions, and I found the shoe worked well paired with Sealskinz waterproof running socks in particularly heavy October downpours. I've yet to notice any visible wear on the rubber either, despite all the long road sessions. I also appreciated the toe protection for steps and other urban hazards.
Overall, despite the thickness of foam, this is a surprisingly stable feeling shoe, and one that comes highly recommended if you're looking for a dependable everyday trainer that won't break the bank. If you'd prefer something a little stiffer, the Reebok Floatride Energy 5 is another one to check out.
Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.