Saucony Peregrine Review

Saucony has re-tooled much of its running shoe line after the success of last year’s Kinvara (iRF review), which has helped many runners move more towards a more minimalist style that doesn’t leave them hobbling. The Saucony Peregrine has had quite a bit of attention already this winter as a rugged and almost minimalist trail shoe with a low heel drop. Saucony utilized the popular last and heel drop of the Kinvara (and new Mirage model) to create a 10.1 ounce (US men’s 9.5) race ready shoe that feels rugged and supportive enough for ultra distances. As I put this shoe through the paces on a variety of surfaces and will share with you my thoughts on the upper, midsole, and outsole, as well as its overall performance.

Saucony Peregrine
Upper

The Peregrine’s upper features a closed mesh synthetic upper with a synthetic leather webbing that provides protection from the elements and support. Saucony chose to go with oval laces as well as a gussetted tongue that kept debris out of the shoes during even muddy runs. The heel collar is well padded and rides well below the ankle to reduce irritation and improve mobility. The shoe gives you that “locked down” feeling that is a must have for trail shoes. This upper errs neither on the side of minimalist nor built up. It sits right in the middle of the spectrum of functionality. In the past, especially with their road shoes, Saucony constructed the toe box of their shoes in a very shallow fashion, meaning that one’s toes could not wiggle up at all without encountering resistance from the upper. At times this was accompanied by very tapered lasts on the shoes that made for a somewhat narrow and shallow toe box. For this reason, I was unable to wear Saucony shoes successfully in the past. However, the Kinvara changed all of that and the Peregrines sport a deeper and wider toe box that accommodated my average width feet quite well and left my toes room to splay a bit as they would in natural running. On runs above 70 degrees I did feel like my feet were a little warm even when wearing very thin socks. Conversely, they did protect very well from snow, slush, and mud.

Saucony Peregrine upper

Midsole
The Peregrine features the same 4mm heel drop as the Kinvara (18mm heel to 14mm toe). This low drop makes the shoe very agile on technical trail. The midsole also has a good amount of adequately firm cushioning from heel to forefoot that kept my feet protected for the long haul. Saucony uses the same ProGrid lite foam in the heel and SSL (Saucony Super Lite) foam in the forefoot. Support comes in the form of an “external bedrock outsole” which not only protects the foot and acts as a rockplate, but also lends itself to providing some medial support for mild to moderate pronators.

Outsole
The Peregine’s outsole features aggressive lugs and ridges made of a durable carbon rubber compound that felt very grippy over rocks and on muddy trail. This outsole material is harder, and more durable, than most of the shoes I test but it melded nicely with the cushioning to provide an agile transition and fully conceptualized ride. The only drawback I found to having this aggressive outsole was that it picked up a good deal mud and clay that was difficult to shed during the run.

Saucony Peregrine outsole
Performance

Already the Peregrine has received praises for showing versatility and moderation in a trail shoe market that is currently polarized between very minimalist and overbuilt trail shoes. I was very impressed with this shoe right out of box and my satisfaction with this shoe only grew the more I ran in it. The Peregrine feels minimal, light, and flexible, yet it is also protective and supportive enough to wear on gnarly trails for long training runs and ultras. For runners looking to transition into a more minimalist trail shoe, or a trail racer, the Peregrine will be a great match. Other runners who feel that their feet are getting beat up in more minimalist shoes should be able to wear the Peregrine for ultra-distances without the same wear and tear on their feet. This shoe will accommodate mild to moderate pronators but retains the flexibility needed for technical trail running.

Editor’s Addition
Bryon Powell here. Over the past month, I’ve run in the Peregrine in Death Valley, over the redrock of Utah’s southern deserts, and in snowy Park City. Straight out of the box these felt great and they’ve only gotten better. I love the light and racey feel of a shoe that provide me with plenty of support. Due to some long term injuries and imbalances, I’m not generally a fan of shoes with such a low heel-toe drop; however, I had a great, issue-free 13 mile singletrack and slickrock this past week. While I’ll have to see how I fare with the lower drop over longer distances, the Peregrine currently has a strong number seeding as my shoe for the Western States 100. This is a shoe that will surprise many trail runners and that will make big waves this year. It’s very early, but I’ll call this versatile speedster a front runner for trail shoe of the year.

Call for Comments
If any of you have worn this shoe, what did you think? Got any questions? Well, ask ’em!

Saucony Peregrine review

The Saucony Peregrine in action.

Tom Caughlan

is iRunFar's Minimalist Gear Editor. Tom’s passion for trail running and specialty running retail experience shine through in all of his highly technical reviews, which do range outside minimalist shoes.

There are 63 comments

  1. patrick

    the rogue racer review was my favorite so far, as it had a video with a dude running in the shoes. why make a video about a shoe that doesn't show any running? i suppose it wouldn't be so redundant if you had just the text and photos or just had the video, but both?

    with all the tiny cameras out there, why not take the shoes for a spin and then show the viewer "hey man, there's some damn clay stuck to my shoe!" or "whoa, the upper on this shoe has chewed my ankle into raw meat, see?"

    that would be awesome. in the meantime, nice write-up and i've added these shoes to the wish list!

    -patrick

  2. Anthony

    JUST BOUGHT THESE!

    Wow, I was wondering (after a quick run in these shoes) why there werent more reviews out there. This is a very nice nice shoe, low, stable and very comfortable out of the box. I little big but I couldn't size down (wear a 14, too much to jump into a 13). I really think these will work well for Colorado summer running – which means hot, dry, some high elevations and maybe snow.

  3. tom caughlan

    Patrick,

    Point well taken. I'm not much of a videographer, and the attempt at creating a video about the shoe was targeted towards the growing number of elementary school and illiterate irunfar readers. Just kidding.

    I'll work on it for the next review. Thanks for the feedback.

  4. mylesmyles

    I own this shoe and when I first ran it in (on the bridle path of NYC – which means half my run was on roads) they didn't feel great (too firm). Then I took them for a nice 10 miler up at Harriman State Park, and they were awesome. The review nails it in that it's a lightweight shoe that offers support and protection without being bulky. I previously ran in the Xodus and Xodus 2.0, but theses are now my go-to shoes on the trails. Excellent job Saucony.

  5. Matt Smith

    It looks like the Peregrine is lacking any kind of toe bumper/protection – any feedback about how they fared on rocky and rooty technical trails?

    Very attractive shoe with solid specs – if they can get it down below 9oz, they've got the 'Shoe of the Year' for sure.

    1. Mark

      Being very happy with Montrail Masochist I got Peregrine thinking mostly about nice 4 mm drop. But after many miles on rocky trails I think that

      the lack of toe protection is the main reason I put MMasochist above Peregrine.

    2. Surfing Vol

      I've trained in the Peregrines and you're right — no toe bumper. That said, I didn't feel any pain when bumping rocks or roots (I didn't hit so hard as to sprawl out, though).

  6. antirabbit

    Ive been waiting for Irunfar to review these.

    Ive been running in the Kinvaras since they came out last year. I love them and I am still in the 1st pair I bought. I run trail in Inov8 roclite 295's, which I find over kill for most of the trails I run.

    The one hazy aspect of these shoes for me is-does it or does it not have a rock plate? From what I am reading above is it does not, but has as aspect of the sole that acts like one? Could you clarify perhaps that sharp rocks and other trail nasties that would cause harm with out a rock plate are either an issue or not an issue with the Peregrine?

    Im gonna get these regardless…

    1. Surfing Vol

      No rock plate. I thought that the aggressive tread would provide ample protection, but I had a good bruise on my heel following a run. The bruise wasn't too bad though — I noticed it only a day or two. I've run the same trails in New Balance MT 101s and not had a similar issue.

      1. Anthony

        I ran almost all my runs and races last year in the 295s, love them. But had to switch over due to an injury, I think these fit for a nice trail shoe, nothing to technical but overall a very nice shoe to run lots of miles in.

        Ran a mixed terrian trail run today, some rocky technical stuff and didnt think it was bad at all with or without a "rockplate"

  7. Jon

    I LOVE my Peregrines. I bought them 2 months ago and have run on everything from icy roads to heavy packed snow with microspikes. Last night I used them on technical trails for the first time and they were great. I have been using Inov8 Roclite 315's for 4 years and this is the first worthy replacement I have found. Kinvara users will love them.

  8. David

    You mention that the toe box of the Peregrine is wider than the Kinvara… Is that toward the outside (more room at the little toe)? I only have a couple complaints against the Kinvara, and the taper of the toe box is one of them.

  9. Tom Caughlan

    David,

    A little toebox clarification. If I gave the impression that the toebox is wider than the Kinvara, I apologize. The seem to be exactly the same as far as upper dimensions. However, I wore out the pinky toe area on my Kinvara after 200 miles and I haven't had any problems with the Peregrine.

    Antirabbit-

    There is a rockplate. Saucony calls it the EBO (external bedrock outsole) and I run on some pretty rocky trails. Plenty of protection in my opinion.

    Matt-

    The toebox is reinforced with synthetic leather overlays, but there is no extra protection like a rubber toe bumber. I didn't have any problems on rocky/ rooty trails in Boulder, CO or in the Colorado Springs area where I live. This is not a flimsy toebox/ upper like the kinvara. Its made to take a beating.

    Hope this helps everyone. I think my review should have gone into greater depth. I always appreciate the feedback!

    1. Anonymous

      Tom, thanks for the feedback on these. Sounds to me like this will be my next trail shoe of choice. I like the Kinvara model and have them on snow trails, muddy trails, knarly trails, but like most road shoes they have pathetic protection. Currently in my favorite (INOV-8 Roclite 305), but they are pretty much gone. Peregrine will be a sweet replacement.

  10. Ben

    Tom's review was spot on! I've been running in these for almost 4 weeks and have about 280 miles on them so far. The Montrail Mtn Massochist was my "go-to" shoe for a while, but now the Peregrine has taken its place. The cushion is excellent and the sole is stiff enough to be a more than adequate rock plate. Light and nimble in the technical stuff and cushioned enough for the longer easy stuff.

    My ideal shoe would have this sole paired with the upper of the Mtn Massochist from Montrail, but this upper suffices well enough to make this my new favorite. The outsole has already lasted longer than any of my Massochists which wore down way too quickly.

    Great review Tom and Bryon!

    1. Ben

      My only 2 complaints on these are as Tom mentioned, they don't shed mud well (at all?) and my left instep is bruised slightly from the lacing design. Probably more from how I step than anything else, but relacing it has helped. Other than that, VERY solid trail shoe from a road shoe company.

      BTW, I also own and run in the Kinvara and find them to feel like VERY different shoes.

  11. Speedgoat Karl

    I know I"m a little biased to what I like, but each company that continues to come out with "minimal shoe" always look the same. When will someone bend the rules and come out with a shoe that's "different" :-)

    I threw the book out…..

    1. Matt Smith

      This might a case of 'convergent evolution' – there are only so many ways to make a functional shoe with minimal materials, so everyone ends up engineering a similar design.

      With that said, I think there are some significant difference between the Peregrine and the Minimus, for example.

      They ain't no Hokas, that's for sure… ;)

    2. MikeC

      I will try/buy any shoe that fits these qualifications.

      -Fits well

      -Lightweight

      -Minimal heel drop

      I also like options, like changing tires on my mountain bike. Different tires for different conditions/trails. Right now I have 4 go to shoes

      Merrell trail glove – minimalist, feel like it strengthens my weak ankles

      NB MT100 – All around

      Inov8 f230 – Roads, very light

      Vasque Transistor – rocky trails and ridgelines, very low profile and good protection

  12. Sarah

    I love Saucony! I run roads in the Kinvara and do speed work in the Fast Twitch. I bought a pair of the Peregrines online in my usual size but when they came, they were way too big. I'm sending them back for a half size down. I can't wait for my new pair to come.

    Speaking of, has anyone seen the new Kinvara magazine ads with Matt Hart? Pretty freaking cool.

  13. solarweasel

    +1 for the Peregrine.

    I've been running in the MT101 for most of a year now, but needed something with slightly more cushion for longer efforts (3+ hrs) without sacrificing that minimal heel-to-toe and low-to-the-ground feel I enjoy.

    I first tried the Rogue Racer, but it had too much heel and lacked in forefoot protection. I've never had luck with Saucony before, so I didn't get my hopes up for these, but…

    …they're great! I hardly notice the extra ounce of shoe and they'll definitely be my choice for an upcoming 50-miler. I've put about 200 miles on these in the past 2.5 weeks on technical/rocky CO trails; no complaints yet, and they seem to be holding up so far.

  14. Ben G,

    Thanks for the great review as always. I have about 75 miles on these and I really like them. I was mostly using nb 101s before and my feet are a lot happier with these on more hardcore trails and on longer trail runs.

    Tom or other IRF "shoe college" graduates, I recently blew out/ ripped the upper, just above the sole, in the outer mid foot area. Same thing happened on my Kinvaras after about 260 miles, same foot.

    Any suggestions?

    Has anyone had a similar problem? Maybe I just have weirdly shaped feet.

    1. antirabbit

      My Kinvaras have done that as well. My left foot is at an angle that may be a bit off due to an issue I have in the joint. The upper fabric does get a little fragile over time. I thought it was from running through Ice crusted snow for a few miles, but the tears have appeared on the other side of the shoe in the same fashion. I have about 550 miles on mine.

      1. Ben g.

        Good to know. I did mistreat them a bit with snow, salt, ice, and trails but 550 miles seems more reasonable to me than 250.

  15. tom caughlan

    Ben G.-

    I've seen folks utilize shoe goo on areas of the upper that wear out easily, and it sounds like your shoes wore out around the pinky toe area on the lateral side (outside) of the foot? You would want to apply it thinly over a large area. This is similar to what skateboarders used to do when they would rip their vans or chucks from ollying. Anyways, it may prolong the life of your shoe.

    Otherwise, I develop corns on my pinky toes which rip up shoes pretty good. When I file those bastards off I don't have any problems.

    -Tom

  16. Jacob

    I have a pair of peregrines and I think they are amazing. Before this pair I had/have salomon xa comp5's. I run on trails that are 80% rock and roots and i have never had a problem with bruising or gripping. I even purposely step hard on the pointy parts of rocks trying to feel it out.

    My legs and feet never feel fatigued from how heavy the shoe becomes later in the run. In my salomons i would feel my feet starting to drag late in my runs, but since switching I almost never have that sensation at all.

    It does seem to cling to the mud. But even so it keeps traction. The only time i've ever slipped in them has been when the mud itself moved me after planting my foot. Also it drains immeadiately. My running partner runs in the new cascadia 6's and we both run sockless. When we did our last run we splashed as much as we could through deep stream and found as many sandy spots on the trail/roads as possible. My shoes were none spongy immeadiately and dry with in probably 30 minutes. after we took our shoes off at the end his feet and insole were covered in sand. My feet and shoes were still clean.

    I love the Peregrines.

  17. Rebecca

    I just got the Peregrines this weekend, and took them out for an 11 mile trail run with 2500 ft of climbing. My feet fell asleep from the ball of my foot to the toes. Has anyone else had this problem, and does it go away? I've been running in the Inov8 F-lite 220s and NB 101s for a few months, so I thought maybe the Peregrines were just too stiff. Too bad, I love the cushioning.

  18. Ken

    I've been running in the Peregrines for a couple of months now, and have been really happy with them. Most of the runs have been single-track 15 – 25 milers, and I've had NO problems. No bruising, no achy feet after the runs, and the shoes seem to be holding up well. I'll be sticking with these shoes for a while

  19. Dave

    I bought these shoes because i wanted a minimal shoe to run in. Inspired by "born to run" and after reading " Relentless forward progress", i find my self confused. Many "minimalist runners" as i'm aware run on the midfoot/forefoot with little if any time on the heel/rearfoot. If this is the case when your running trails etc why are we even worried about "drop" or even rearfoot cushioning. I run in peregrine's, a4 and climacool and the only thing i would really like is some extra forefoot cushioning for the metatarsals. that said you can't go wrong with the peregrines and although they do get clogged in the sole, it does easily fall out as you go. I love mine and found then true to size.

    1. briderdt

      Actually, it's your first assumption that's incorrect. While the minimalist runners tend to LAND on the forefoot/midfoot, the heel does (or should) come down immediately after. Need to remember to relax the calves. The reason to pay attention to drop is because the built-up heel gets in the way of the natural midfoot landing.

      Altra Instincts are a great shoe with zero drop, but not minimal (there's good forefoot cushioning). They have another trail model, the Lone Peak, coming out soon, which is an off-road version of the Instinct (which is pretty capable in itself).

      1. Dave

        Hi Briderdt,

        I understand the heel getting in the way and the reason for zero drop! I just see so many runners and especially trail runners, using a forefoot style of running with a shorter gait and their heels would just "kiss" the trail as they move. Very few runners spend anytime on their heels. I have heard of runners "shaving" down the heel to reduce weight and bulk.

        Pose runners spend very little time on their heels as they move through "pose-fall-pull". So extra forefoot cushioning would be great.

        I have spent some time considering altra but i think their are better choices out their for minimalist runners. Especially from INOV-8. thanks

  20. steve

    Just starting out with the Peregrines. I find them quite a stiff shoe too. Much prefer the flexibility of my inov8 x-talon and f-lite, but it's still early days…

    How have yours broken in over the months?

  21. George O

    I consider myself to be a minimalist runner but not for the same reasons as some. "minimalist" for me means less material on the shoe to weigh my feet down and less sole means that my foot is lower to the ground for a better feel. As trail runners, we rarely land on our feet in a identical fashion and pronation and supination is rarely an issue. Running, hopping, skipping, walking and the constant change in terrain makes it pretty hard to foot strike the same for any amount of time. The perigrines are an awesome blend of low profile, light weight, aggressive traction with just enough cushion to run 100's. Kudos to Saucony for creating an awesome shoe!

  22. Anonymous

    Just wanted to share my excellent experience with the Saucony Peregrines at 2011 Mountain Masochist last week. While I have been something of minimalist, wearing Inov-8 and NB 101s even for 100s, for MM50 I knew I needed something tougher, but I didn't have good experiences with Montrail (despite the namesake)–that shoe works as a light hiker for me, but way too much shoe for running. The Peregrines by contrast really found the sweet spot for me. I was worried the outsoles might be too stiff, but no such problems. Also had no issues with the mud pickup some have reported. Ran through a stream (icy cold) at one stage, but the shoes dried out quickly.

  23. MIGUEL

    PROBABLY ONE OF THE GREATEST TRAIL SHOES IVE WORN BUT WITH ONLY 150 MILES ON THE SHOE THE OUTSIDE OF THE SHOE TORE. THE TEAR WAS LONG ENOUGH TO FIT A BUSINESS CARD THROUGH. I WILL BUY ANOTHER PAIR AND HOPE IT WAS RUNNER ERROR THAT WAS THE PROBLEM.

  24. Ben G.

    I had the exact same issue and tried the same (see above). Pair 1 had 100 miles on them before ripping, pair 2 146 miles, including a 50k race where they got destroyed.

    Regretfully, I just ordered a pair of True Grit to replace these.

  25. Tom L

    Hey, I've recently moved down from Saucony Omnis to Mirages. I love the lighter, lower feel that's instantly made me a midfoot runner, but I run all winter and while my Omnis were serviceable in the winter the Mirages are pretty chilly and a little slippery. How does the Peregrine compare to the Mirage? I feel like I need the bit of medial support the Mirage offers over the Kinvara, I'm not a minimalist. I intend to try out a pair, but does anybody else go between Mirages and Peregrines?

  26. Roger

    Tom, I'm running in the Mirages on road and light trails and also have a pair of Peregrines for trail use only (I have a pair of Xodus's and Triumph's lying around now…..Saucony fan here…..). I find these two shoes comparable and would recommend to have both. The Peregrine is definitely warmer because of a more substantial upper and has more traction than the Mirage.

    I also tried the Kinvara, but liked the Mirage more.

    Hope this helps….

  27. Lena

    Great detailed review!

    One question: how does sizing for the Peregrine compare to other brands? I've seen some reviews that say Saucony's generally run 2 sizes small, while others say the Peregrine is absolutely true to size. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  28. Rory

    Hi Lena

    I dont run in the Peregrine, but I do run In the Kinvara which uses the same last. In the Kinvara I need to take between a half size and a full size larger than most other brands. I have noticed very slight variations in size between different pairs of Kinvara's so I would suggest fitting them in a store first. As an aside, I do love the Kinvaras for my road runs.

  29. Sonia

    I think the Peregrine's are true to size. I tried a half size larger and smaller but my "average" size in other shoes was also the correct one for these. A little room for my toes and no slipping. They're great!

  30. Toby

    I run in the Saucony Peregrine on the trails and the Mirage on the road. In a size 10.5 they feel true to size and the same between the two models.

  31. Daryl Reed

    I had achilles surgery last week. Chronic issues, I have been putting the surgery off for at least a year. Anyways, I read reviews on this shoe and was so impressed I decided to buy even knowing that I'm out of running for an extended time. Wow is all I have to say.

    Did a 13 mile trail run over all types terrain the day before my surgery. Probably the most comfortable trail run I have ever had. I wanted to postpone the surgery and sign up for a race. Can't wait to get back. Will probably still rotate my merrell's and vibrams, but the peregrine's will move to the top for races and technical trail runs.

  32. Ana

    In the event you haven't purchased but are still interested in these shoes, theclymb.com is having a 50% sale with $4.98 shipping on these shoes. That's an excellent price but it only last two more days.

  33. James @RedDirtRunner

    I bought a pair largely based on the review above. I used them at Athens Big Fork Trail Marathon (technical and steep) and at Rocky Raccoon (flat, wet and muddy) and I really like these shoes, more than the Brooks Grit. Thanks for the tip Bryon.

  34. Paul Rowland

    The Xodus 3 is a heavier shoe, but has a very flexible sole. 2 things I didn't love about the Xodus 3.0 compared to the Peregrine.

    1. Xodus doesn't lock down my foot like the Peregrine, causing me to tighten my laces a lot and causing me some irritation on the side of my foot just below my pinky toe and lacbite.

    2. The Xodus has a wider outsole than the Peregrine, which makes it feel more stable, but for me that's a huge difference in mud clinging to the heel and a little more area to catch a root or rock on a decent .

    Upside, the Xodus feels more cushioned and more breathable and it dries out faster when I got into all the mud and snow. Both shoes have great traction. But sadly due to the irritation and not lockin in as well as the Peregrine, the Xodus 3.0 got returned and I ordered another pair of Pergrines.

  35. Jim T

    Based on recommendations from fell running (that's slogging up and down near vertical marshes and talus slopes for anyone not in the know) friends, I bought my first pair of Peregrines about four weeks before my first marathon (trail, with 5,000' of climbing, I didn't want to do things the easy way). I got through the marathon fine, with no foot or leg problems at all, and then did my first 50 mile race two weeks later. Again my feet were comfortable all day and I didn't even bother to change socks. It was about 85 degrees in the middle of the day, too…

    They seem to give about 200-300 miles of wear, so I invested in a new pair in January and have since done a windy 28 miler on a mixture of road and trail and back to back 50ks mostly on trail, but the ground was frozen hard on the first day, and there was a 6" dump of snow overnight which stayed for the second day. Again, no sock changes and no foot problems whatsoever. The low drop suits my running style (at least while I'm fresh enough to be forefooting) and makes them quite similar feeling to the inov8s I usually use for fell running, so I have some continuity.

    Downsides: the uppers wear quickly and there is little lateral stability compared to lower rise shoes such as x-talons.

    Upsides: before I bought my first pair I'd never run further than 24 miles. In the last five months with the Peregrines, I've done two trail marathons, two 50k races (back to back), and a 50 miler with no foot trouble at all :-)

  36. Jesse

    Does anyone know whether the Peregrine 2 fixed the problem with the tearing of the upper of the Peregrine 1? I loved those shoes, 160 miles and I tore a hole in the upper near the pinky toe.

  37. Fredrik Nilsson

    Hi,
    I agree to all the praises of the characteristics of the' Peregrine shoes. However, that's until they broke, which occured as a big crack were the upper meets sole. Well before estimated e o l . Anyone with same experience?
    //Fredrik

  38. Fredrik

    running mirage as well :-) also "a hole issue" on those. The peregrines have more like "a tore issue" about 8cm/2.5inch long, the upper released from the sole. Not able to copy the picture to this comment.

  39. SuperKuper

    There were definitely durability problems with tearing and cracking of the "fishnet" material on the uppers of the original Peregrines. The uppers on the Peregrine 2's have been totally redone. Time will tell whether the changes they made have fixed this issue. Anyone logged substantial miles in the 2's?

  40. Joe Buffa

    My Peregrines are ripping in the same area. The rt on is ripped through and the lt one is on it's way. I probably have about 200 or so miles on them. Has anyone had any luck sending them back to Saucony?

    Joe

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