Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Saucony Endorphin Rift Multi Tester Review: Stretching Boundaries! Astonishingly Light, Supercritical Foam, Big Outsole- 18 Comparisons

Article by Mike Postaski, Renee Krusemark, John Tribbia, Jeff Beck, Jeff Valliere and Sam Winebaum

Saucony Endorphin Rift ($170)


Sam: The Endorphin Rift is an all new trail runner from Saucony. Very light at 8.6 oz / (244g) US9 for its 33mm heel / 27mm stack height, it features a full PWRRUN Pb supercritical foam midsole with a woven rock plate and a big 4.5mm lug PWRTRAC outsole. 

Pb is an expanded bead PEBA foam which is found in multiple Saucony road and trail shoes as their top performance foam until recently (Endorphin Elite has a new foam). In trail, Pb has been in the Endorphin Trail, full carbon plated Endorphin Edge racer, and as a core insert in the Xodus Ultra. 

When we first saw the Rift at the 2022 The Running Event, far down the big table, we were instantly drawn to its cheerful vibes upper and big outsole. We almost thought, before Saucony’s presentation, that it was a near “lifestyle” shoe. It is not that for sure but it sure looks sharp! And trail running shoes are often sold for hiking and more casual uses. Our test team of trail runners of varying paces and on varying terrain in Colorado, Nebraska, and New Hampshire put them to a rigorous test.


Quick ride, feels fast - and mostly controllable on the run Mike P/Sam/Renee/Jeff B/Jeff V

Energetic, rebounding, flexible deeply cushioned ride Sam/Renee/Jeff B/Jeff V

Very high cushion to weight ratio for a trail shoe at men 8.6 oz / (244g) US9 with a big 32mm heel/27mm forefoot stack: Sam/Mike P/ Jeff B /Renee/Jeff V

Excellent Heel lockdown and midfoot hold Mike P /John /Sam/Jeff B/Jeff V

Stable heel landing and one that extends slightly further forward than usual. Credit to upper hold as much as midsole which is soft and forgiving Sam

Sock-like upper John

Upper material has been tightened up (compared to Edge) Mike P/John/Jeff V

Speedroll (toe rocker) feels great on inclines Mike P/Jeff V

More versatile/accessible than its sibling, the Endo Edge Mike P/Sam/Renee/Jeff V


Big, thick lugs seem a bit “much” for the fast/energetic ride & add to shoe weight: Mike P/Sam/Jeff B/Jeff V

A bit heel “prominent” - can feel unstable under the heel Mike P/Renee/Jeff V

Toe box is narrowish (similar to Xodus Ultra from V1 to V2), some may need to size up Mike P/Jeff Not much adjustability to forefoot hold: why so few lace rows orr no extended strap upfront? Mike P/Sam/Renee/Jeff V

Sizing is slightly short Mike P/ John


Official Weight:  men 8.6 oz / (244g) US9 :: women 7.3oz (207g) 

Samples: men’s  8.5 oz  /  241g US8.5, 9.3 oz / 264g US 9.5 

women’s 7.94 oz / 255g  US8

Stack Height: 33mm heel /27 mm forefoot ( 6mm drop spec)

$170. Available July 2023

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Mike P: The Rift was not a shoe that was on my radar. As Sam mentions in the intro, it might be somewhat be mistaken for a lifestyle type shoe - something about that ankle overlay which is connected to the upper two lace eyelets - gives it a unique and different look. But don’t let that impression fool you - inspecting the shoe further, the full PB foam and its impressively light weight does draws your attention. 

Unboxing them, they definitely looked small visually. That visual impression was confirmed upon trying them on- they’re much tighter in the toebox, and also more tapered at my typical Saucony size US 9.5. I took out my Endorphin Edge for comparison, and that shoe is definitely more spacious up front, as well as being a bit longer. 

Looking at the Rift in comparison to the Edge, they have tightened up the upper material (non-stretch) similarly to what they did with Xodus Ultra. Also the upper is a full bootie design, with a semi-fitted integrated ankle collar. I like the non-stretchy material, but do feel like the tapering of the toebox may be a step too far. 

I initially tried them on with my normal/baseline run socks (Drymax Running Lite-Mesh), but they were way too cramped. I have to use my thinnest socks at my true-to-size US 9.5. Even then, I do have some rubbing on the medial big toe sides, so I wouldn’t be able to take them longer distances unless I sized up. BTW, the Endo Edge feels totally fine for me with normal socks at TTS.

[Rift is noticeably more tapered up front]

The shoe definitely feels light on foot - the distinctive PWRRUN PB bounce is felt, even just walking around. I’d say the softness is primarily felt under the heel. Speedroll is also felt when walking around - there’s a distinct forward action at toe off.  I’m not sure if Saucony has used Speedroll in a trail shoe yet - but it’s a first for me. 

Another notable feature is the heel lockdown - which distinctly feels good. That was a minor issue with the stiffer, carbon-plated Edge. 

There’s a nice ring of padding around the inner ankle/heel that really seats the heel well in the heel cup with zero movement. One of the best heel lockdowns I’ve felt. 

[There is a nice, padded insert to eliminate any lace bite from the top rows of laces]

Sam: Mike describes the upper well.  The main mesh is non-stretch, very pliable and quite dense with a rugged outer surface and softer thin inner lining . I took them for a short run in 90 F temps and breathability was good. 

Surrounding the soft main mesh is an exoskeleton of sorts. Its key component is a rugged non stretch panel covering the entire rear of the shoe and incorporating the pliable blue lace up panel. I would emphasize pliable blue panel as sometimes these plastic panels can bite but not so at all here.

The heel and achilles collar is adequately padded. No issues with hold given the non stretch panel that is for sure. Saucony uses a similar design in the road Ride 16 where I think it is a bit overdone for a road shoe . Here it is perfectly suited to the trail shoe purposes. 

I found that the extensive rear panel has a definite positive effect as it maintains the foot well aligned in the direction of travel even heel striking hard on the relatively soft Pb foam. No bottoming out or sensation the heel is low as the foot strikes and then stays central and aligned on the platform yet at the same time with the soft foam and lower and shorter than usual rigid heel counter not making the rear feel over rigid and over stabilized. 

The rear hold also gives the distinct sensation that the heel landing is longer in contact without interfering with transitions. Less collapsing to the sides yet with the soft foam having enough give to keep the rear from feeling rigid and immovable as some trail shoes can feel.

The tongue is a moderately stretchy mesh that is attached to the main upper at the level of where the laces go through the brown lace webbing loops. The brown straps extend down a ways for some support. They are not attached to the midsole lower down where they end. To improve hold they might or extend down yet further on the outside.

I do think forefoot hold could be improved by extending the last brown loop forward or by including some internal underlays. 

My pair is my usual true-to-size US8.5 and has plenty of toe box volume and length, maybe to much as there could be a bit more front structure as noted above. My Xodus Ultra 2 is a half size up and has a more secure overall hold and less overall volume but includes a gusset tongue and internal underlays. I felt no medial side toe or bunion pressures.

Renee: The Rift was a welcomed surprise for me with the shoes arriving during my biggest week of training ever (100 miles in one week). I had great runs in the Rift, and while I agree with my RTR colleagues that the lugs and overall purpose of the shoe can be confusing, it’s a great compliment to Saucony’s quality line up of trail shoes.

The shoes looked short initially, but I had no fit issues. I’m typically between half sizes, and all of my Saucony trail shoes are a women’s size 8. I have no need to half size down in the Rift and thought they fit similarly to the Peregrine 13 and Edge. 

The ankle panel overlay provides stability that the Edge lacked, and while I don’t always have good lockdown with bootie/sock uppers with my low volume feet, the Rift works well for me. In theory, I’d like more lace holes across the forefoot/midfoot. However, I had no issues with the fit or security during any of my runs, so I’m not sure a change is needed. 

John: Like Renee, I was pleasantly surprised to receive the Rift in the mail and have been enjoying my Peregrine 13s as of late, making me think the timing was fortuitous. I have enjoyed running in the Rift and it feels like an ultra focused, long distance Peregrine. I normally wear a men’s US9 and noticed the shoe length was not as standard like other Sauconys I’ve tried, rather my right foot is up to the toe bumper and gives me concern for black toenails. Agreeing with Renee and others, I liked the ankle overlay and yet I didn’t feel fully secure with the bootie/sock uppers. Overall, the running experience isn’t compromised by these fit issues yet, so I think I’m just being observant. 

Jeff B: My initial impression was nothing shy of wonder - I got my pair a few days later than my colleagues and had already seen pictures, but I wasn't ready for how good these look in person. I’d argue they aren’t very photogenic, they look that much better in person.

I appreciate Michael P’s addition to the team - no longer am I the only one screaming into the void that toeboxes are too tight. And yes, this one definitely is too narrow in my true-to-size 10.5 to go longer than an hour or so without discomfort. I don’t think going a half-size larger would help, lengthwise they feel great, there’s just not enough give in the toebox. After my initial run in some middle-of-the-road thickness socks, I tried my two thinnest socks, and in both cases I was ready to take them off after 45-60 minutes.

I’d also agree that the midfoot-to-heel hold is nothing shy of exceptional. Many shoes with similar booty construction face issues with hold, but the Rift has zero problems keeping my foot planted.

There are a number of little touches at the upper gets right (the pad at the top of the “tongue”, the pull tabs on the heel and in front of the shoe, the fairly minimal heel collar that outpunches its weight), but if only the toebox was just a little bit wider, I’d be inclined to rave that much more.

Jeff V:  I had sort of forgotten about the Rift, but was excited when they showed up on my doorstep.  As mentioned above, they are not the most photogenic shoe, but in person, I think they look really amazing.  I had trouble at first defining them though.  The big aggressive lugs and light weight tempted me to look at them as a fast all mountain shoe for technical terrain, but after trying them on and snugging them up, they feel more like a cushioned and relaxed long distance speedster.

My colleagues cover the details of the upper quite well, so I will focus on fit and performance for me.  I find them to fit a touch on the short side, with my toe very close to touching the front just a little on downhills, but has not yet been a problem for me.  If you ride the upper end on sizing, you may want to consider sizing up a half size (though am reluctant to suggest this for fear of further compromising foothold (see below)).  

Overall though, the Rift has a roomy enough toe box to feel adequate for long days, allowing for plenty of room for splay and swelling.  Heel hold is amazing and midfoot fit is good.  While I find foothold to be good overall (and markedly better than say the Endorphin Edge, or the first Xodus Ultra), they are not quite well held enough for steep and technical terrain.  A little of this may have to do with the slightly spacious toe box, but additionally, I think the Rift would benefit greatly from an extra forward set of lace eyelets to help snug up the fit.  

When running down steep, technical terrain and off trail, I don’t feel completely confident with the stability, some of which is rooted in foothold.  That said, on less steep technical terrain, flats, uphill and especially moderate and less technical terrain, the upper holds my foot appropriately to run fast and confidently.

The booty/sock ankle cuff is nice, a better design than in the average shoe, but it does not cling perfectly around the ankle, or at least not as much as I would like, as there is still the possibility to get some debris in the shoe.  I am splitting hairs here though, like I say, an improvement over the usual shoe design, but still could be better executed.

I have not run in temps over 80 degrees F, but the upper seems to be very cool and well vented.


Sam: The midsole is PWRRUN Pb foam with a front woven flexible rock plate and is the same plate as other Saucony trail shoes have.  Pb is a supercritical expanded pellet PEBA foam and is also found in other top end Saucony trail and road shoes. It is an energetic foam and light. This allows the 32mm / 27mm stack height Rift to come in a very light 8.6 oz / (244g) US9 in a US9 even with the giant outsole. The beauty of supercritical foam!

The comparable Xodus Ultra with a Pb central core and PWRRUN EVA/TPU blend firm outer carrier comes in at 9.25 oz  / g (US9) with the same stack height and a very slightly lower lug profile, rubber being the heaviest material in a shoe. 

The midsole is super energetic with plenty of cushion. The flexible woven rock plate adds protection and some mild propulsion. I am concurrently testing the 361 Futura with a similar energetic and quite soft ride. It has a similar big (but not quite as big) outsole but lacks the propulsion up front of the Rift which in addition to the plate has the Saucony Speed Roll which is felt. They climb great with the Pb foam, flexibility, plate and SpeedRoll really bounding you uphill and more so than the stiffer Xodus Ultra. They are a bit shakier downhill  than the Xodus Ultra  due to the front upper hold, foam softness lacking the Xodus firmer outer carrier. 

I found the heel fantastic with a longer than usual and stable landing platform and deep rebounding cushion. This was particularly felt on hard smooth surfaces and even and especially pavement where you just bounce up and away. 

I attribute this, in part, to the non-stretch rear panel really locking the rear and first part of the midfoot to the platform. 

In summary, there is plenty of high energy well managed cushion here that performs well at my slower paces on trail and on smooth trails and on pavement even better and faster and this despite the big and noisy outsole 

Mike P: The Rift’s full PB foam feels just as energetic and bouncy as Edge’s. But the lack of carbon plate doesn’t quite “launch” the foot as in the Edge. The flexible woven plate, as usual, works very well and does not feel stiff or tippy at all.  In comparison to the Edge’s Carbitex plate, Speedroll is a nice substitute, especially when climbing. It gives a quick toe-off that enhances the overall feeling of “quickness”.  It’s surely is a more accessible ride for the majority of runners than the Edge.

The midsole sidewalls look to be raised on both sides around the midfoot - in front of the heel area. 

This was probably designed to add a bit more stability, and control lateral foot motion from the energetic PB foam. It seems to work in conjunction with exterior overlay straps design - which is integrated into the top of lace eyelets. 

That was the part of the shoe that gave me the initial impression of a lifestyle shoe. It looked somewhat plasticky, but that’s not the case and it’s definitely functional. The entire panel really tries to strap your heel and midfoot down since the foam can be so bouncy. 

But up front, in comparison to the midfoot/rear, I get the impression that the forefoot is just “hanging out”. There are very few lace eyelets in the lower portion of the shoe (effectively 1, maybe 2?). To be fair, it’s totally fine for me since the toebox is narrow and the material is tighter, but it could be an issue for narrow feet. If I sized up to 10 for a better fit - hold could be an issue.  It just feels like there’s less attention paid to the front of the shoe than the midfoot/rear. 

Renee: The midsole is bouncy. The PWRRUN PB foam was fast when I wanted it to be (thanks to the Speedroll) and cushioned when running slow.  The cushion/comfort/weight ratio is fantastic and greatly appreciated as someone who prefers lightweight shoes. 

The woven rock plate has a lot of flex while providing some stability, and given the lug depth (4.5mm!!) I was surprised at how soft the midsole felt. I was able to run strides on packed dirt/gravel at the same pace I do with road shoes. I was very surprised how fast the shoes felt on even surfaces despite the stack and lug depth. 

As Mike wrote, the shoes don’t have the launch of the Edge but that doesn’t make necessarily make it a slower shoe . On foot, the Edge and Rift feel similar, but while running, the Edge is clearly firmer and more propelled while the Rift has more give and a more prominent use of the Speedroll. I had creasing and minor wear on the midsole after my 23 mile run, which I expected when running uncleared/ungroomed areas. 

John: The PWRRUN PB foam feels bouncy, soft and responsive. It provides a great feel underfoot and the Speedroll rocker feels like it is helping me move forward more efficiently by rolling the foot from heel to toe in a smooth motion. 

The woven rock plate is lightweight and flexible, offering good protection from rocks and other debris. 

The Rift feels like a versatile shoe that can be used for a variety of trail running activities, including running on packed dirt/gravel, running strides, and running on even surfaces. I haven’t run in the Endorphin Edge, but I find the Rift to be a faster and more efficient shoe compared to the Peregrine. 

Jeff B: Add me to the “runs very similar to the Endorphin Edge” crowd. It is a versatile shoe speedwise, feeling very comfortable at my slow cruising pace around 10:00/mile, and bouncy and fast when I turned up the pace down into the 8:30/mile range. The woven rock plate isn’t super protective, but it does reduce the sting when landing on rocks. As soft as the midsole is, they don't resemble sluggish in any way, making them versatile and likely to find a spot for almost any trail runner.

Jeff V:  The PB midsole here is amazingly bouncy, energetic, responsive and fun.  While the woven plate does not have the snap of the Edge at toe off, I honestly do not feel the need for the carbon plate, as the Rift is wonderfully quick and lively, while still having much better trail manners without that rigid, non conforming feel on trails.  

The woven rock plate, especially on technical trails is an advantage over the carbon found in the Edge and flexes over terrain quite well, where with many (most) carbon plated trails shoes I find to be a liability, often resulting in an awkward landing on the odd embedded rock or root on an otherwise non tech trail can result in an ankle roll. I will brag that I have especially strong ankles and am quite skilled/confident in technical terrain, but rigid carbon plated shoes mostly have me feeling wobbly and not so confident on even moderate trails).  

While the Rift can handle the terrain much better, I still find myself exercising some caution when trying to move quickly on steep, technical downhills.  Some of that is related to the not so ideally secured upper when it comes to pushing the limits, but also due to the soft midsole foam which while it gives great cushioning/response, does not provide enough predictable stability for rocky, technical terrain.  

Overall, protection underfoot is very good for most trail running, but I do start to notice rocks underfoot on prolonged rocky sections of trail.  Never any sharp jabs, but I do feel it and would not recommend this shoe for long days on rocks.


Mike P: Are the Rift’s lugs too big? At 4.5mm plus, they definitely remind me of the recently tested Peregrine ST (Soft Trail). But surely this shoe is not designed or optimized for that type of terrain. Surely smaller, lower profile lugs would be faster or a better road/trail option - more in line with the “speed” orientation of the shoe. As Sam mentions, even more weight could be saved here.

During my testing, I didn’t have any issues. With the weather drying up a lot recently, they’re gripping well in looser sand and rocks of many of the trails that are accessible now. In more varied conditions, I would expect similar good all around performance as other Saucony trail shoes I’ve tested and raced in - Xodus Ultra 1 (50M), Endorphin Edge (two 50Ks). 

Sam: The  outsole is the usual PWRTRAC rubber in an aggressive and what I would call a “soft ground” profile given the 4.5mm plus lug height and sharp lug shaping. It for sure visually conveys “traction” and in general consumers associate big traction with grip on trail, witness the eternal popularity of the Salomon Speedcross , very limited in uses as far as I am concerned with Saucony doing better with its Peregrine ST . 

I measure the lugs at close to 5mm in height and they are sharply profiled. I agree with Mike that the outsole is overdone.  For most trail running conditions a 3.5mm or 4mm  height is just fine outside of mud and snow.  As rubber is the heaviest material in a shoe, lower profile lugs would reduce weight yet more. Flatter lower lugs would also improve smooth surfaces and pavement running yet more with more contact area and less slapping noise as there is plenty on pavement here despite the good flexibility and smooth ride otherwise.  I also found on my rocky and rooty New England trails such a big outsole profile can catch on roots and this was occasionally true during my testing of the Rift. 

Renee: What is the deal with 4.5mm lugs on this shoe? I’ll agree they seem a bit misplaced, although I can’t say they had a negative impact on me. Between the midsole and flexible plate, I couldn’t feel the lugs underfoot even when running strides on harder packed dirt. I think the lugs might help with the cushion underfoot and stability. 

While I think lower lugs would be a better choice for the shoe, I wonder how that would impact stability. Given that they felt fine on gravel and were useful on ungroomed terrain, I’m not sure I want lower lugs. For more technical terrain, especially if I need a nimble shoe to avoid roots, balance on rocky terrain, or simply to stay balanced on narrow single trail, I’d choose the Peregrine 13. As compared to the Edge, which was not a great choice for me on wet/muddy rocky terrain, the Rift is more stable, but that’s very dependent on terrain and on a runner’s ability to manage the propulsion of the plate in the Edge. 

John: Like everyone else, I wish this shoe had shallower lugs. I’m a big road-to-trail person (i.e. I despise driving to places to run) and would totally use the Rift more frequently if it had more road outsole orientation. That said, the lugs and outsole are super grippy on off-camber and off-trail stuff. I haven’t had the opportunity for much mud, but they do have a solid hold on more slippery terrain. I love the Peregrines for technical running and could find myself using the Rift if I were going on longer rolling terrain sections in between. 

Jeff B: Not to be a contrarian, but I liked the big lugs. The amount of grip they had on various types of dirt and mud were fantastic - though virtually every single Saucony trail shoe I’ve tested has had great grip, so perhaps that’s not much of a stretch. The sound they make on pavement or hard surfaces is a little off putting, they remind me a bit of walking with football cleats on, but I think the sound is the biggest issue. My last run in them was on my sparsely populated neighborhood trail and I was wearing noise canceling headphones, and once I got off the trail and ran a bit through the neighborhood I thought they ran better than I did when I could hear them.

Trimming the lugs a bit would definitely drop the weight, though they’re already astonishingly light for what they are, and the midsole is thick enough I don’t think shorter lugs would increase the shoe’s flexibility in a remarkable way. That said, shorter lugs would widen the shoe’s trail application - over lugged shoes catching roots is a good way to stop running those trail in the shoe.

Jeff V:  I am a fan of big lugs, but only when done right with the rest of the shoe having to “keep up” so to speak.  I appreciate big lugs most when I am pushing a shoe on steep, loose terrain where I am depending on bite for efficiency going uphill and to minimize my feet coming out from under me on a steep downhill.  I guess I also like big lugs for mud and snow, but I personally rarely encounter mud, at least for any sustained distance, as I typically plan on routes where it does not exist when wet.  Of course they are helpful for snow, but there are better shoes for that.  

The limitations of the upper and the midsole of the Rift when used on steep technical terrain (where big lugs would be an advantage) negates the outsole in my opinion.  Because of the not ideally secure upper and soft midsole, I cannot crank up the Rift to the point where the big lugs are a notable advantage.  While I would like to see a lower profile lug design with a more versatile pattern, I have not found the lugs to really be much of a liability outside of slabby rocks (not enough contact surface area), on the road or very hard packed dirt/rock (they are noticeable underfoot).  Traction is very good in dry conditions, loose dirt and off trail, but am not completely sold on their wet traction.  On a recent descent with an immediately threatening thunderstorm and deluge, I wanted to hurry down the mountain as fast as possible, though I struggled a bit with traction on the wet rocks.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Sam: Fun looking and fun running, the Rift mostly succeeds in serving multiple audiences and uses: superfoam light and energetic ride for speedy trail runners, more casual smooth road to trail and also mud all around uses, and as a high tech, high performance visually appealing lifestyle and light hiking shoe to compete with the likes of the Speedcross. A lot of audiences Rift is seeking to please! And it succeeds quite well indeed in doing so.

The ride is energetic and fun that is for sure with clear energy return from its Pb foam. Rift is flexible, yet with some propulsion and response from its plate and the SpeedRol to balance its foam softness and provide some stability and front protection. The Rift loves to climb fast.  Downhills and especially smoother ones, even on pavement can be gobbled up with a smile given the rear deep rebound and support from the stout panel to the back of the shoe. 

That said,  I do wish for a bit more front of midfoot support and lockdown into the toe box to yet better balance with the soft front ride. Extending the front webbing straps further down, angling the front one forward  or including some strategic underlays might help 

I do think a less aggressive outsole is in order to deliver a yet more versatile ride, tone down the feel of the outsole on smoother surfaces and reduce yet further the already amazingly light weight. While I do not think a carbon plate is needed, I do think a slightly more substantial rock plate would help increase front stability, protection and add some more propulsion.

The first edition of the Rift is a winner in my book. It is a near ideal shoe for long cruises or races on smooth Western single track and on forest paths, for quick climbs and for daily door to trail runs especially if you may encounter mud and snow where on pavement it does fine and fast but with its big outsole a bit noisy and felt in the mix. 

Need a bit more shoe for the technical? Saucony has the Peregrine for that and for longer more rugged runs and ultras the Xodus Ultra , both compared below. 

Finally this beautiful cheery design makes the Rift a mighty fine all around hiker look shoe, actual day hiker and daily walker. 

Sam’s Score: 9.22 /10

Ride: - 9.4 light and energetic for so much cushion! Excellent cushion to weight ratio

Fit:  - 9 could use more front structure

Value: - 9 slightly better technical trails upper hold and less and more versatile outsole would add to value

Style: 10 - Love it!

Traction: 9 - fine but overdone and not as any surface versatile as I prefer

Rock Protection: 9 a thicker rock plate could add to propulsion and improve protection

Smiles 😊😊😊😊

Mike P: On the run, the feeling of the PB foam under the heel is very prominent - under the forefoot, not as much. Perhaps this is due to the tightness or narrowness of the upper up front? It could also be the feeling of that midfoot to rear panel overlay - separating the feel of the front and rear of the shoe. For me, it even makes the 6mm drop more noticeable than a typical 6mm shoe.

As mentioned above, Sacuony has traded out the carbon plate from the Edge, and swapped in Speedroll toe rocker up front. It makes the ride less explosive, but more controllable, with a bit more forefoot feel. This iteration in the Endorphin family will likely appeal to the majority of runners over the front-of-the-pack oriented Edge. 

The only downside I can say about the ride is that I detect some instability under the heel. Again, the bounciness of the PB foam is more prominent under the heel. On the run, you can feel how the midfoot overlay “straps” and raised sidewalls are working to keep your foot stable . In general it feels like there’s more movement under the heel that needs to be controlled than at the forefoot. 

I’m not quite sure where to place this shoe - the spec sheet we received identifies it as a “speed shoe”. But the outsole does seem a bit overdone, and I’d like to feel a bit more grounded under the heel when really cranking up the pace. Perhaps a little less under the heel (4mm drop?) would work a little bit better at faster paces, and certainly so in more moderate/technical terrain. 

But aside from that minor quibble, the Rift does offer up an enticing package - very low weight, race-ready upper, supercritical PEBA foam, and a lively, fast-feeling ride. It’s more stable than its predecessor the Edge, and likely a more accessible trail speed shoe for the majority of runners.

Mike P’s Score:  8.93 / 10

Ride: 9 - Fast, lively, fun, a touch unstable at times under the heel

Fit: 8 - Midfoot & rear is perfect, they narrow the toebox too much for my tastes

Value: 9.5 - Competitively priced for the amount of fun & speed you get

Style: 10 - The general design and that midfoot overlay are eye-catching

Traction: 9 - Overall great PWRTRAC performance, perhaps too much for this shoe?

Rock Protection: 9 - Woven plate blunts impact decently, but with the PB foam, I’d pay more attention to stability than protection

Smiles 😊😊😊😊

Renee: From 4 miles to 23 miles, the Rift was fun and comfortable. I think the Edge lends itself to be the more race-oriented shoe, especially for fast runners, but for more mediocre runners like me, I think I prefer the comfort of the Rift for daily runs. Without the Carbitex plate, the Rift is more stable for me as compared to the Edge. The shoe flexes underfoot, so while it does not explode forward like the Edge, it allows for even landings. That said, if I’m running on wet or muddy rock, I wouldn’t choose neither shoe and I’d elect for the Peregrine 13.

Given the bounce of the Rift and slightly overbuilt heel (I’ll agree with Mike: the 6mm drop seems higher at times), I’m not sure I would feel confident to run on single track with these shoes if I’m next to a ravine or high drop off. 

In summary, the shoes are a safe bet for most runners for a variety of paces and distances. As someone who runs mostly hilly gravel roads and woodland trails, the Rift is a great choice. For single track trail, I’d prefer a shoe with more ground feel . The Peregrine, Edge, and Xodus Ultra all have a clear purpose and terrain usage, whereas the Rift is a bit difficult to categorize and I imagine each runner could have varying opinions of the shoe. 

Renee’s Score: 9.4/10 (-.10 midsole wear, -.30 easy-to-moderate terrain specific, -.20 slight stability issues). 


Jeff B: One of the best looking shoes to ever be released, the Rift toes the line between trail-oriented super shoe and day-in-day out dirt trainer. While the outsole may be a little overdone for speed work, for me the fatal flaw is the narrow toe box. It has an exceptional cushioning-to-weight-to-speed ratio regardless of how you measure, I just couldn’t spend very much time in them before my largest and smallest toes would start to ache.

Jeff B’s Score 8.65/10

Ride: 9.5 Fit: 7 Value: 9 Style: 10 Traction: 10 Rock Protection: 8

Smiles 😊😊😊😊

Jeff V:  I really like the Rift for it’s very light, lively, energetic ride, good protection and cushioning under foot, a comfortable upper that for me offers all day comfort and overall good traction.  

Not to mention, the Rift is really stylish and catchy looking.  

I would highly recommend this shoe for anyone looking for a very fast daily trainer or even racer for most distances up to 50 miles, but the caveat would be softer (not rocky) for the longer distances and less technical terrain for any distance, with moderate to non technical ideal, but also OK for short sections of tech if not too steep or moving too fast.  

I would love to see the upper lockdown improved for the next version, specifically with an extra set of forward eyelets, a more versatile lower profile outsole and add a bit of stability for the midsole/heel when in technical terrain, although if the upper security and midsole stability were addressed, perhaps the lugs would then be handy?  Or keep the upper and midsole as is and just adjust the lugs accordingly, so it would all match up?.

Jeff V’s Score:  9.2 / 10

Ride: 9.5 - Responsive and energetic, super fun to run and bound

Fit: 9 - Toe length is a touch short, would like a bit better lockdown

Value: 9 

Style: 10 - Really stylish looking, both in design and colors

Traction: 9 - More lug than necessary for the ideal use of this shoe

Rock Protection: 9 

Smiles 😊😊😊😊

18 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Saucony Endorphin Edge (RTR Review)

Sam: 3 mm higher stacked front and back with a ¾ length Carbitex carbon plate and the same Pb foam midsole, the Edge is for fast and directed in the line of travel. Get back on the heels and can’t get forward with a powerful drive and you will get in trouble as due to the plate the shoe “flattens” out, gets less stable, gets harder to move forward and is less stable. The Rift’s much more minimal but still present woven flexible rock plate contours to terrain better, still provides rock protection and is mildly propulsive. Overall, the Rift is more practical at more paces and just as much fun.

Mike P (9.5): As Sam alludes to, the Edge needs to be run at speed to get the full explosive effect of the PB foam/Carbitex plate combo. They are surely one of the flat-out fastest if not the fastest trail shoe out right now. Stability is a bit of an issue though as the rigid plate and bouncy PB foam can be unforgiving if you don’t have solid ground to plant toe off from. Size-wise, as mentioned in the review - the Edge is fine at true-to-size, with the upper material being a bit loose, but it can be cinched up. The Rift is narrower, more tapered, and even a bit short in the toebox. I suggest going up a half size to get a comparable fit compared to the Edge.

Renee: I agree with Sam and Mike. The Edge is the faster shoe for the fast runners, but they can be unstable with the rigid/firm plate if landing on uneven terrain (I fell multiple times during a muddy/wet/rocky 50k with the Edge). My women’s size 8 in both weigh about the same and I found the sizing similar. 

Jeff B: I didn’t have any issues with the Edge at my standard pace (which is glacially slow compared to Renee, Mike, and Sam), so maybe my larger frame just appreciates the extra squish and I can more easily activate the plate. The Edge’s plate is appreciated for rock protection, but for me the biggest differentiator is the toebox - the Edge’s is wide enough, the Rift needs more space.

Jeff V: I like both shoes, finding the Edge to be great for fast running on less technical trails and the Rift to be better on technical trails (though not the ideal tech shoe).  The woven plate of the Rift is more flexible and stable.

Saucony Xodus Ultra 1 and 2 (RTR Review)

Sam: The Rift ride as it has a full Pb midsole vs the Ultra's core of Pb with firmer PWRRUN surrounding. The Rift is softer, more energetic, more flexible and a touch less stable. While implemented differently heel to midfoot hold is comparable and great in both. The Ultra 2 has more conventional lacing and is more secure at the forefoot with a lower volume toe box. The Rift (and despite its big outsole) will lean longer runs on smoother terrain or gravel than the latest Ultra for me. I was a half size up in the Ultra 2 and true to size in Rift and the Rift for me has a more accommodating higher volume toe box if not quite as secure as Ultra 2’s. 

Mike P (9.5): Definitely more underfoot with the Xodus Ultra than the Rift, and the PB bounce is way more controlled by its firmer carrier foam. Xodus Ultra - think cushion, Rift - think bounce. Despite riding “taller”, the Xodus Ultra V2 feels more controlled underfoot than the Rift - with a much smoother ride for longer distances. But the Rift is by far the lighter and faster shoe. Both have a more tapered and narrow toebox than their “predecessor” (Ultra V1, Endo Edge). I hope this does not become a trend for all of Saucony’s trail shoes going forward. I’d go a half size up in both shoes compared to other/past Saucony trail shoes.

Renee: I have the XU v1 (not v2). The week before I ran in the Rift, I took the XU v1 out for a 4 hour run. The upper has more give, but when laced tight the security is good. The Rift is more fun to run, but the XU is more stable for me. For faster and less technical terrain, the Rift is overwhelmingly my favorite. For slower, more controlled/stable paces on technical terrain, the XU v1. I wore a women’s size 8 in both, and the XU v1 has more room in the toebox/length. The Rift is much lighter in weight. 

Jeff B: I’d agree with John’s final point, the Xodus is more the trainer with the Rift being better at faster runs. Interestingly enough, I think the Rift toebox has overall more volume than XU2 with more vertical space, but the XU2 has a slightly wider toebox. The XU1 toebox is much better than either. Both work well for easy paces, but the Rift definitely has the speed advantage.

Jeff V: I only tested the Xodus Ultra 1, which I found to be quicker in a straight line, but whose upper was not well held at all on anything technical.  The Xodus Ultra I do think has a more versatile outsole with lower lugs for better all around running.

Saucony Peregrine 13 (RTR Review) and Peregrine ST  (RTR Review)

Mike P: I’d say the Peregrine 13 is a somewhat similar shoe to the Rift, but less dynamic. It runs smoother, with less bounce, but therefore with a bit more control in moderate and uneven terrain. The added 3mm underfoot on top of the smoother ride I think makes it a better pick for longer outings and especially so in rougher terrain. If you want to go out and have a short and fun blast of a run on known terrain - go with the Rift. 

The ST version feels a little bit more stable underfoot (compared to regular Peregrine) due to the thick, solid rubber outsole. The lugs are great in soft terrain, and also work well in loose, rocky, mountain terrain as well. One big difference is that the Rift’s bootie style upper is better than the ST’s. The big factor is the great heel lockdown of the Rift - with the ST there is a slight bit of heel movement - there’s not quite the same amount of cushion or the panel to hold the heel down. Or perhaps the shoe is more rigid. But I’d surely still pick the ST in moderate/technical terrain - it’s much more stable and I feel comfortable throwing my footfalls around in those.

Jeff B: I only tested the Peregrine 13 ST, which has similar massive lugs. The more pedestrian PWRRUN midsole in the Peregrine feels like a massive downgrade from the PWRRUN Pb in the Rift, but the toebox width of the Peregrine ST is nothing to sneeze at in comparison.The firmer PWRRUN makes the Peregrine a couple hours at most type of shoe for my larger frame, though I tend to keep them for muddy/softer days, so I don’t mind the firmer ride all that much.

Renee: I wore a women’s size 8 in both. The Peregrine 13 is better for technical terrain and has better ground feel, making it more nimble and stable. The Peregrine 13 is slightly heavier (not that noticeable), but both shoes are light shoes for what they offer. The midsole of the Rift is softer and more cushioned, and the Speedroll makes it a faster shoe on moderate/easy terrain. 

John: Renee’s comparison is well articulated. I think the Peregrine 13 is best for technical terrain and is my go to for shorter steep and rocky stuff. It is more stable and feels more protected. With better cushion, the Rift is best for rolling trail runs and longer adventures with the occasional technical section.  .

Jeff V:  Agreed with Renee and John.  Peregrine is better on tech terrain and overall has a better outsole, but the Rift is more lively and responsive, softer cushioned and better for speed on less technical trails. 

Saucony Endorphin Trail (RTR Review)

Sam: The first Endorphin with Pb foam the Trail was in contrast to the Rift very stiff relying on a rigid rocker profile. 2 oz heavier with somewhat more stack height and a similar outsole it was closer to a hiker than the Rift is although wind up the rocker and they moved along  It has more front rock protection and considerably deeper more protective cushion with less trail feel. Its upper is more substantial, almost too much so and heavier. Both likely targeting multiple audiences, the Rift is a more fun and superior run shoe.

Renee: The Endorphin Trail is the black sheep of Saucony’s trail lineup . The outsole was great for mud, but that’s the only positive. The upper was loose, the shoe was heavy, and it’s more of a hiker than a running shoe. If you want to run, buy the Rift. 

Jeff V:  I am trying to forget the Endorphin Trail.  While they sound fast, they are essentially a big lunky checkered hiking shoe disguised as a trail runner.


Salomon Ultra Glide 2 (RTR Review)

Sam: Salomon's comparable main distance shoe sits on a wider platform top and bottom and weighs considerably more at 10.15 oz / 289g (US9). Its Energy Foam is fine but does not have the.. energy of the Rift's Pb supercritical foam. Its 3.5 mm lug outsole is more versatile. I had a half size up from my normal in the Glide and at that size front fit was wider and not significantly more secure than Rift.

Jeff V:  The UG2 is not as light, energetic or fast, but they are more protective, stable, versatile and have a more secure upper.

Salomon S/Lab Genesis (RTR Review)

Sam: Only slightly heavier and lower stack at 9 oz / 255g (US9)  30 mm heel / 22 mm forefoot with a bit more drops 8mm,  the Genesis is Salomon’s friendlier, softer elite long race shoe. Its Energy Foam is not quite as dynamic as PWRRUN Pb but overall it is a more tech trails solid long option. Both have front flex with the Rift’s flex point behind the woven rock plate and the Genesis closer to the front. Key to its performance is its Matryx upper which delivers a consistent hold front to back with more room than the usual S/Lab shoe. The Endorphin Rift is more playful and pleasing but, unusually for an S/Lab shoe the Genesis gets close. 

Jeff V: Sam nails it.  The Rift is lighter, more quick/responsive, but for longer distances and especially if technical and foothold is important, the Genesis are the better choice.

Nike Zegama Trail (RTR Review)

Renee: The Zegama is max cushion territory for me. The Rift offers just as much comfort underfoot for long runs (for me) as compared to the Zegama and within a much lower weight. The midsole of the Rift is softer yet faster. The Zegama is a high stack shoe that requires strong ankles on technical terrain, but if that’s you, then you might find the Zegama more stable in comparison. Sizing is tricky for me. I wore a 7.5 in the Zegama and an 8 in the Rift. The Zegama has a notch in the forefoot to help with forefeet flex while climbing, which cuts into my toe. 

Sam: I mostly agree with Renee but did find the stiffer rocker based Zegama very fast on road when pushed but not nearly as pleasant and light elsewhere or at slower paces. 

Jeff V:  Agreed with Renee.  I never really jived with the Zegama, much as I tried, I found them to be a bit big, not particularly quick, plus they pinched my forefoot awkwardly.

Hoka Tecton X (RTR Review)

Mike P: The Tecton X is only slightly heavier, but incredibly you get so much more shoe underfoot - enough to handle long ultras including more than a few 100 milers for me, and easily. These are really different shoes from my perspective - Tecton X is smooth and efficient, with great fit and stability for longer ultras. Rift has a tighter, short-distance fit and bouncy, fast ride for shorter blasts. For me, there’s not much overlap between these two.

Jeff V:  Agreed with Mike

Hoka Speedgoat 5 (RTR Review)

Renee: The Rift is more fun and more comfortable. The rocker of the Speedgoat isn’t my favorite, although the firmer midsole and Vibram outsole make the Speedgoat a much better choice for technical terrain. For anything else, I’d choose the Rift. In Hokas, including the Speedgoat, I wear a half size down from other brands. My 7.5 in the Speedgoat is comparable to my size 8 in the Rift, although I have more space in the mid and forefoot in the Rift. 

Jeff B: I’d completely agree with Renee’s assessment, except for the sizing down. The Rift is much more fun and comfortable, and makes the Speedgoat feel a bit dated - though the SG fit and outsole make it the better shoe for technical terrain.

Jeff V:  The Rift are lighter and much faster, more energetic, and agile, but the Speedgoat is all around more versatile, protective and supportive with a superior outsole.

Hoka Mafate Speed 4 (RTR Review)

Mike P: One of the hallmarks of the MS4 is its massively deep and luggy outsole, and the rest of the shoe matches the intention of that outsole. Great fitting upper, secure, massive slab of cushion, made for long distances in any type of terrain. The Rift has almost as much lug depth, but not the same qualities to make it an all-mountain, all-distance machine.

Jeff V:  Agreed with Mike, though I don’t find the Mafate Speed to be all that stable/agile in tech terrain (the 3 was better than the 4 in my experience) and thus could potentially argue that they too have a bit much outsole, though I never really think that when running in them.  The Rift are definitely way lighter, faster and more agile though.

361 Futura  (RTR Review soon)

Mike P: I’ve rounded out my testing of the Futura - review coming soon. As Sam mentions - it has a full TPE midsole, and feels denser. It does still feel lively, but not the same level of bounce as the PWRRUN PB of the Rift. The Futura is taller and heavier as well, and I find it more unstable than the Rift, mostly due to the aforementioned heft. Even though the Rift is more bouncy, it’s also much lighter, so easier to maneuver my footsteps around. The Futura is more of a cruiser shoe.

Sam: Similar rides here in being energetic, highly cushioned and on the softer side. The Futura has a somewhat denser TPE supercritical foam midsole, no rock plate (none needed) and a more versatile pattern Vibram MegaGrip outsole with slightly lower profile lugs and areas with more ground contact. This outsole blends in better with the midsole than in the Rift. Instead of the Rift rear non stretch panel and outer partial webbing straps the Futura has internal midfoot straps. Rear to mid foot hold is comparable although Futura plusher rear collars are a bit more relaxed. 

Lots of toe box height and decent width upfront with comparable more road shoe like lock down up front. The Futura is a big shoe, a wider and more outrigger rear platform and weighs considerably more at 10.65 oz  / 302g (US9)  which is felt in comparison to the light and lively Rift but not as much as one would expect.

Jeff B: The Futura definitely is a better cruiser, and importantly has a much better fit up front. Sam’s right, the outsole pairs with the shoe much better than the Rift. It’s a fun, and well cushioned shoe that can be a bit bouncy, but feels muted when worn alongside the Rift. I don’t mind the weight, but there’s definitely a difference there.

Topo Ultraventure 3 (RTR Review)

Jeff B: The Topo has a similar stack, but otherwise is a very different shoe. The Topo outsole is possibly under-tractioned, while the Rift is arguably over-tractioned. The Topo fit is as comfortable as it gets, the Rift is tight up front. The Topo has the hint of bounce, the Rift could be substituted as one of those inflatable castles at a kids birthday party there’s so much bounce. The UV3 is very clearly a superior daily trainer on dirt, and is fantastic on roads as well, the Rift excels at the faster stuff.

Norda 002 (RTR Review soon)

Sam: Very similar in ride and purpose both have flexible platforms that are not max max in cushion. The Norda upper is far superior in overall hold, especially up front. Made of Dyneema super rugged material it just hugs the foot consistently from front to back and with more toe box room than the Rift. The Norda midsole is a special light compression molded EVA from Vibram and is smoothly and seamlessly integrated to the Megagrip outsole by Vibram, so a single unit from a single source. 

Not as energy returning or springy as the Pb foam it is nonetheless a very high rebounding stable EVA with just the right softness to stay stable and responsive. 

Traction and feel is fantastic on all surfaces including firm where the Rift outsole is more noticed in feel and noise. I would like to see a rock plate in the Norda as the Rift has, as much for more rock protection as a bit more propulsion off the flexible front. All of this refinement comes at a cost as the Norda 002 is $295, investment grade pricing for a piece of what should be super long lasting "equipment".

Craft Endurance Trail (RTR Review)

Mike P: I didn’t get along with the Endurance Trail - the upper is the complete opposite of the Rift - the Craft’s is overly loose and baggy, runs long, and difficult to get a good lockdown. It’s a shame though as the PEBA midsole does feel nice and lively - but it gets lost in the slop of the upper. Perhaps those with much higher volume feet can have a better time with the Endurance Trail. It’s hard for me to compare the qualities of the shoes due to the Craft upper, but I do think the Rift does a better job of hitting its intended target as a “speed shoe”.

Jeff V:  Right on board with Mike here.

New Balance More Trail v3  (RTR Review)

Jeff B: The New Balance Behemoth Trail v3 would be more accurate name, this shoe is absolutely the biggest shoe I’ve ever put on my foot. It doesn’t have nearly the bounce of the Rift, and there’s no plate, but it’s got so much cushioning underfoot it really doesn’t need anything extra to help protect your feet. The toebox is also substantially wider, and while the New Balance brought some pretty burly lugs to the party, they run much smoother on pavement than the Rift does.

Jeff V:  Agreed with Jeff B, but these two comparisons are in two different categories, max vs. mid.

Brooks Catamount 2 (RTR Review)

Mike P: The Cat 2 features a firmer foam, less bouncy ride, but a similarly quick toe flex up front as the Rift’s Speedroll. Where the Cat 2 far outshines the Rift is stability - the Cat 2 is rock solid underfoot in any type of terrain at virtually any speed. I feel totally grounded with no hesitation about slips or ankle rolls. The Cat 2 also has a nice and wide toebox, and is not tapered at the toes - one of the best toeboxes. While the Rift may “feel” very slightly quicker on the run, the Cat 2 is also a quick-feeling shoe, and much more versatile. No surprise as it’s my favorite shoe - I think it’s a better shoe and better value.

Jeff V: Again, agreed with Mike here.

Tester Profiles

Mike Postaski currently focuses on long mountainous ultras - anywhere from 50K up to his favorite - 100M. 5'10", 138 lbs, midfoot/forefoot striker - he typically averages 70 mpw (mostly on trails), ramping up to nearly 100 mpw during race buildups. A recent 2:39 road marathoner, his easy running pace ranges from 7:30 - 9:00/mi. In 2022 Mike won both the Standhope 100M and IMTUF 100M trail ultras within a 7 week period - both extremely rugged Idaho mountain races. Mike's shoe preferences lean towards firmer, dense cushioning, and shoes with narrower profiles. He prefers extra forefoot space, especially for long ultras, and he strongly dislikes pointy toe boxes.

Renee is a former U.S.Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

John Tribbia (5' 6", 130lbs) is a former sponsored mountain/trail runner who has run with La Sportiva , Brooks/Fleet Feet, Pearl Izumi, and Salomon. Even though he competes less frequently these days, you can still find John enjoying the daily grind of running on any surface, though his favorite terrain is 30-40% grade climbs. He has won races such as America's Uphill, Imogene Pass Run, and the US Skyrunner Vertical Kilometer Series; and he's held several FKTs on several iconic mountains in Boulder, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah. If you follow him on Strava, you'll notice he runs at varying paces between 5 minutes/mile to 12 minutes/mile before the break of dawn almost every day.

Jeff Beck is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup, and as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less. Jeff runs 20 miles per week on roads and trails around Denver, CO (and sometimes on the treadmill when the weather gets too much for a Phoenix native). Jeff only got into running in his 30s, as a result his career PR's are 4:07 for the marathon and 5K at 23:39. Jeff has finished several ultra marathons, from 50K up to 50 miles, and is still debating if he wants to go down that road again.

Jeff Valliere loves to run and explore the mountains of Colorado, the steeper and more technical the better. He has summited all of the 14ers in the state and can be found on mountain trails daily, no matter the weather, season, conditions or whether there is daylight or not.  On the side he loves to ski (all forms) bike and hike, often with his family, as he introduces his 12 year old daughters to the outdoors. Jeff was born and raised in New Hampshire, but has called Colorado home for over 25 years. He is 5’9” and 145 lbs.

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 66 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 was Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he gets lucky,, training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah be it on the run or nordic skis. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

The Endorphin Rift will be available July 2023

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Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes.RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content and RoadTrailRun and its contributors received no other compensation for this article. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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Jeff said...


John Tribbia said...


Charlie said...

Thank you for a very detailed review spanning multiple testers, perspectives, and categories (e.g., fit, cushioning, outsole).

I have >200 miles in my Endorphin Edge, which included several >6-7 hour runs and a 50K. I also have >150 miles each in the Peregrine 13s and Xodus Ultra 2. I plan to purchase the Rifts when they are available.

I'm happy to see taller/bigger lugs on the Rift's outsole; I live and run in the southwest US, mainly on hard rocky trails, and have lost a few lugs on my Edges, and the remaining lugs are getting pretty flat and smooth with >200 miles in them. I think they will hold until 270-300 miles or so and then they will have to be retired because they won't have grip. I'm hoping that the Rift, with it having more outsole, will last longer.

70's Teen said...

For a light, fast, grippy, trail shoe, do you see these as better or worse than the Salomon Pulsar 2 SG?

Mike P said...

Hard to say "better or worse". I'd say the Pulsar (Original or SG) is more of a pure racing shoe. It's foam is definitely not as bouncy as Rift's PB, but the shoe is extremely light. You have to be up on the front of your foot, and agile to run those. The Rift is a bit more forgiving, especially under the heel. But you just have to be careful about the instability of the bouncy foam. As far as uppers, both are quite snug and secure. I'd say the Pulsar is tighter, but still well-wrapping and comfortable. I ran those in a 50 miler, but due to the toebox taper of the Rift, I wouldn't consider them for a long race.

Anonymous said...

Comparison to Zinal 2 seems right? Similar type of shoe? (I know you guys are just putting the Zinal through the paces)

Jay said...

Regarding toe boxes, right with ya Jeff B (& Michael P). These kicks from Saucony sound intriguing; however, have learned my lesson the hard way (through lwr leg injuries) and will stay away due to that narrow toe box. Narrow toe boxes on climbing shoes is one thing, everything else from approach shoes, to running shoes (including fells running), and work shoes = wide toe boxes only for this pup.