Saucony Peregrine 2 Review

I’ll never forget my first car. The lady said I could have it if I could get it off her lawn. And, I’m not going to waste time here espousing the virtues that a car has for a teenager. Simple: Freedom. But, like with many first cars, that old ‘83 Mercury Lynx had some serious flaws. It eventually caught fire in the middle of a rural road. However, it lives on for me as that first vehicle for free movement.

I feel much the same way about the original Saucony Peregrines (iRunFar review). Coming from heavier trail shoes, the original Peregrines were my first foray into a lightweight trail shoe. And, like that Lynx, the speed of a lighter shoe, the feel of the trail beneath me, and the freedom of a quicker step were intoxicating. But, like that flame-torched engine block of the Lynx, those Peregrines had a vital issue: their upper. After logging only 250 miles on them, the uppers started to disintegrate.

Saucony Peregrine 2

Enter the Saucony Progrid Peregrine 2 ($100; 9.9 ounces). Still hailing from the proven and well-loved last of the Kinvara line, the Peregrine 2 seek to improve upon their predecessors. And, I believe they do that well. Let’s start from the bottom and move up.

Outsoles
Our Montana March has afforded me with a remarkable variety of conditions to put the outsole through its paces. While we usually only have snow and ice this time of year, this March has been a wild mix of all the white stuff, plus hard-packed dirt, and very wet mud. After putting the Peregrine 2 through it all, the traction pattern that the Peregrine line features remains one of my favorite patterns on the market at the moment. I find that it provides excellent traction whether you’re kicking straight through or skidding sideways on a turn. The tread is deep and greatly varied… perfect stuff for mixed environs.

Saucony Peregrine 2 outsole

The rubber is not a sticky rubber. For those of you looking for a shoe that is going to grip and stick to rocks, you will probably find this outsole to be a bit hard. But, as with any hard sole, the durability is fantastic. The tiniest of lugs are still present, even after some decently hard trails.

Midsoles
In terms of “minimal” trail shoes, the midsole on the Peregrine 2 has more protection than many. There is little need to fear the random root or sharp rock. The midsole presents a moderately-wide platform on which to land. In my mind, they are wide enough for good stability without adding extraneous rubber or foam. But, this does come at the cost of flexibility and feel. For example, the ride in the Peregrine 2 is noticeably stiffer than that of the Brooks PureGrit.

It did feel like the midsole needed time to form to my feet. Out of the box, the Peregrine 2 presents itself as a very “average” fit. If you have average arches and an average volume foot, the fit on the Peregrine 2 is solid. For my high-arched and low-volume feet, there is noticeable room through the arch and around the heel cup. With time, the midsole broke-in and allowed for a better fit.

Like the Kinvara and the original Peregrine, the Peregrine has 4 mm heel-to-toe drop.

Upper
This is where the Peregrine 2 outshines its predecessor. Gone is the soft and webbed upper of the original Peregrine. It has been replaced with a stiffer and, ironically, lighter plastic mesh. This mesh is reinforced with plastic strips throughout. The toe bumper is significantly stiffer than the previous model. Saucony continues to employ lace-through tabs for the lacing system, which allows one to cinch up the shoes with a very reasonable amount of consistency.

Saucony Peregrine 2 upper

The result? While I haven’t plugged 250 miles on these yet, I am very optimistic that the Peregrine 2 will escape the charred engine block experience of the original Peregrine. After taking a couple of sticks in the side of the foot and stubbing my toe on many slush-concealed rocks, the uppers show almost zero wear. The mesh stands up against the midsole well. The upper conforms to the foot without any problems. And, for the vain moments in all of us, the color schemes are awesome.

Saucony also continued to employ its “Hydrator” pads to help keep the foot in place in the heel cup. For some reason, I did not find them as effective in the Peregrine 2 as they were in the first iteration.

Conclusion

For me, the Peregrine 2 retains all the great features of the Peregrine line (lightweight, incredible traction, and moderately-minimal feel), while improving upon the flaws of the original. When the uppers on my first Peregrines started to disintegrate, I shared my concerns with Saucony. They replied promptly and said they would be passing the feedback on. I would like to think that it is this kind of attitude towards runner feedback that produced this solid update for an excellent shoe.

However, with the Saucony Kinvara TR on the horizon, one has to wonder about the future of the Peregrine line. For many, these shoes have provided entrance into a minimalist freedom on the trails that stirs the teenage motorhead in all of us. Regardless of their future, I believe that the Peregrine 2 is a solid choice for any trail runner looking to break into the minimalist world or to protect their feet from their favorite gnarly trails.

Adam Barnhart

discovered from an early age that he loved running , but didn’t like starting guns. As a result, he is frequently found wandering the area trails around Anchorage, AK, but only at races after considerable peer-pressure is applied. When not trail running, Adam keeps pace with his wife and kids, works as a pastor and, with the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group.

There are 41 comments

  1. solarweasel

    good stuff. looks like they fixed the weak upper fabric that undoubtedly limited the life of the shoe (for me) while leaving the well-designed bits unchanged. can't wait to pick up a few for the coming months.

  2. mylesmyles

    Very interesting (I really like the original peregrine but felt the toe bumper was insufficient) – does the new toe bumper provide legitimate protection from rocks and roots?

    1. Adam Barnhart

      The coverage hasn't increased any: same material coverage as the original. They did change the material. The old material was a vinyl kind of fabric, which, I have to agree, was quite soft. The new material has a stiffer feel and feels more rubbery. It certainly feels more substantial than my old Peregrine's, but it hasn't seen nearly the amount of rocks and roots yet!

  3. Jacob

    As someone who loves the Kinvara, I really enjoyed the Peregrine as a long run shoe… until they blew out after ~ 150 miles. This happened on both shoes at the ball of the foot, as well as the same location on the lateral side. I picked up a pair of the new model based on what appeared to be reinforcements at the points where I was blowing them out, and I'm hoping the changes solve my problems.

  4. Jeremy

    Thanks for the review, Bryon.

    I've been running in the New Balance MT-110's since January, but found them (and the 101's) to be a little too minimal for anything over 50k. I picked up the Peregrine 2 last week after an exhaustive search for a somewhat minimal shoe that offered up a bit more protection and cushioning for the longer stuff. I believe my search has ended, as this shoe (so far, after ~20 miles) seems to be the perfect fit for me. As long as the upper holds up, I am looking forward to a summer full of racing in these bad boys, including my first 100 in September (Bear). Highly recommended!

  5. Steve Pero

    Love the Kinvaras on the road and these are my daily trainers. I now have almost 300 road miles on them and they feel as good as new, maybe better. I like to wear them without socks and those little pads below the ankle were the only areas that rubbed my bare feet, so to eliminate those from the equation, don't lace up to the top holes and you don't feel them.

    Might have to get me some of these….or maybe wait until the Kinvara TR come out!

  6. Drew K

    I have over 300 miles on a pair of first generation Peregrines, and I think they come close to getting it right for me, but miss on a few key points:

    The upper is definitely starting to pull apart in a few small spots, not the all out breakdown others have mentioned, so it looks like the new version will fix that.

    The other issues I've had are personal preferences. While the outsole does offer great traction, it picks up ridiculous amounts of mud and does a poor job of shedding it.

    Coming from a pair of Inov8 295s, I found the toe box on the Peregrine to be a bit tight. I will frequently develop hot spots on the inside of my big toes and inside of the balls of my feet.

    Lastly, the arch is a bit too pronounced for me, but I prefer a shoe with a minimal arch.

    If you don't need a larger toe box and like arch support, these will likely be great shoes for you!

    1. Steve Pero

      Thanks for this input, Drew. I do need a wider toebox and it'll need to be wider in the 2nd 50 miles of a 100. Looking at NB MT1010 (July) or Inov-8's. Have been breaking in a pair of Montrail Rockridge for Hardrock, but these are just way too much shoe for other than the 2nd half (2nd day) at Hardrock.

  7. Brian D

    I have about 400 mucky trail miles on my peregrines (I live in Portland). I discovered a product called Seam Grip that has helped to keep the uppers intact and dramatically extend the life of the shoes. Just thought I'd pass this along as I think this product can help ensure our shoes don't die an early (<500 miles) death. First learned about it here …

    http://joekleffner.blogspot.com/

    1. Adam Barnhart

      Hadn't considered treating them with Seam Grip! I suspect a thin layer of Shoe Goo would also be appropriate. I use that frequently on other gear.

  8. CraigR

    I own the original Peregrine, but have yet to race in them. And have trained sporadically in them. To me they feel long and a bit wide for my foot Currently wear the Brooks Pure Grit for trail racing. However, I am a monster Kinvara fan for the road and can't wait for the Kinvara TR to come out. Just hoping it comes black or dark gray compared to that nasty looking green.

  9. Chad

    yeah, at about 75-100 miles the webbing started falling off, then last week tears developed along the seam where the mesh meets the sole around the first joint of my big toe. I emailed Saucony about this and the will replace (hoping with the Peregrine 2). As far as foot feel and protection goes, they are fantastic. Not sure they are as comfortable as the Rogue Racers, but they can go where I would not take the Rogues.

  10. Joel

    I've been running in the Peregrine 2's for three weeks in Colorado. Mostly dry, hard-packed dirt trails with some rocks. I have about 75 miles in them and LOVE the shoe. This is my first 4mm trail shoe (road shoe is the Brooks Pure Flow) coming from Salomon XR Crossmax. There is plenty of cushion and protection for a 50-miler and the traction is simply amazing. I haven't tested them in mud or wet conditions but so far so good.

  11. Patrick

    How about the height/make of the collar?

    While I liked the overall feel of the Peregrines (as far as a run around the block can tell), the no-go-factor for me was the collar being too high and pushing against the bones on the outsides of my ankles.

    1. Adam Barnhart

      Good question! Just put them alongside each other for comparison. The collar height has not changed. Nearly identical, as far as I can see. So, if it pushed on you with the 1's, I would suspect the 2's would be similar.

      As I noted in the review, the amount of padding around that collar decreased on the 2's. It looks like they cut it down almost by half. Same internal mesh, same padding… just a thinner profile. Not sure if that would help the fit for you, but I figured it worth mentioning again.

  12. Kiley

    Great review. I've been looking at these as I have really like my Mirage2 for the roads. Any idea if the fit is similar between the Mirage and the Peregrine?

    Thanks-

  13. Justin

    Great review and good to know. I just purchased some La Sportiva Vertical K's and some NB 110's because I was frustrated that my Peregrine 1's upper fell apart. Glad to hear the upper got some attention…

  14. Andy

    Love the review. I'm a Kinvara fan and should have gone with the Peregrine's for my latest pair of trail shoes. Instead, I opted for the Brooks Pure Grit. I've found them to be too soft. While I enjoy the trail feedback, I would like a little more protection and isolation from the glacial rocks in my area. The sole on the Pure Grit seems to be wearing prematurely and your comments on the durability of the sole have me thinking it's time for another pair of shoes…

  15. Adam Barnhart

    I haven't had any experience with the Mirage2's. Sorry that I can't provide any comparison… perhaps someone else will be able to chime in?

  16. Adam Barnhart

    Hey Andy,

    I think you're heading in the right direction. I actually prefer the ground-feel of the Pure Grits, but appreciate the protection of the Peregrine 2's. If you are looking for a slightly stiffer ride without adding a bunch of weight, they should be spot-on.

  17. Jon Arrowsmith

    Anyone compare this to the Exodus 3? I have New Balance MT110s and they hurt the balls of my feet. I like the 4mm drop, but need a bit more cushion while training. Any comments would be appreciated.

  18. Kelly

    I have over 100 miles on the Peregrine 2. At first I loved these shoes. Not so much now and I even find myself wishing I had not worn them while out for a run. I have run up to 12 miles in them. The issue for me is the amount of cushioning. I can feel nothing. These are not minimalist shoes. There is a ton of cushioning and it is not firm. I'm not saying they are not good shoes, but to each his own. Now I use them mainly for cutting grass and am trying the Roclite 285 instead.

  19. julien

    try to run more miles at on time and you will love to have more cushionning…

    for shorter trainning, i really like my trailglove ;)

    Juste 1 race with this V2 50km / 2700m climb and still love it.

    No hole coming in spite very long descent (ex: 800m D- on 5km) but i'm still watching as i had to throw my peregrine V1 after 500km :(

  20. steven

    I have about 70 miles on the original Peregrine and really love them. I just ran a trail marathon (Yankee Springs trail marathon near Grand Rapids, Michigan) in them. I had never run so far in quasi-minimalist shoes, and was a little worried my feet might get sore, but they had felt great in training runs of 10-15 miles, so I took a shot. They felt great and seem none the worse for wear–though they were a muddy mess, but every one's were. Since I got them for $55 as a close out at Running Warehouse, I won't be too sad if the uppers don't last super long, but I do hope for better luck than what others have experienced. They are getting hard to find, but might try to snag another pair before stepping to the Peregrine 2

  21. paul

    I bought a pair and took them on a serious run. I have very narrow feet so La Sportiva, Sacony, or Speed X (with thick socks) are the the only trails runners that fit. NB-B width for road shoes.

    1. I ran up a river on a hard (hard) pack dirt trail with lots of 1/2 buried stones/rocks and was glad they had some padding to smooth out the ride. These little turtle shells knock me around in a hard or minimalist shoe. We have lots of this on the northshore of Vancouver. My Electrons are good for this too.

    2. then the hike up brought me to a very technical trail (liked the up hill traction).

    3. Kicked a rock and the small toe guard did OK. My La Sportivas have huge toe guards.

    4. Ran across wet roots and root webs just fine. The spaced lugged shoes and fingered root webs = learn to float (I never learned).

    5. Liked the traction on the rocks. I had some out-of-control down hill burst onto bolder hopping sections and they stuck really well. But as I jumped and landed on the ball of my foot the shoe over pronated for me (shimmed the insoles now).

    6. On this note, my confidence did increase and I jumped through a narrow slot and stepped on a rock and the rock rolled out of the ground and my ankle rolled too (not a bad roll). But I wanted a sticky shoe. I run down steep mnt. bike trails and they use flatter boulders for the steeps and to bank turns. Sometimes its a 30 min out-of-control downhill. X-lites are ok for this, but I ran up and down rocks with an X-lite on one foot and the P2 on another and the P2 was stickier. I think they are about the same stiffness too. The Electrons are the stickiest, but they can only go on the baby carriage trails and some of Mnt Bike trails (I have poked 3 holes in them — now filled with shoe goo). I have not tried the vertical K, but would like too if they fit.

  22. Roland

    Would be great if they reduced the stack height of this shoe from

    Heel (24mm), Forefoot (20mm)

    Down to ….

    Heel (18mm), F/foot (14mm)

    .. :0)

  23. Randy

    I put about 500 miles on my first pair of Peregrines with no major wear/tear problems. I'm now working on a second pair and just ran a trail marathon in them where I wore off the plastic webbing in a couple of spots (this didn't happen with the first pair). I just picked up a pair of P2's and love them. They seem to have a bit more room in the toebox which I need (I had three black toenails after the marathon in the P1's). The P2's also seem to be more flexible right out of the box. Both pair of P1's felt stiff at first and needed about 50 miles to loosen up.

  24. paul

    On wet days over granite, I find these shoes unpredictable / slick.

    Then on long steep uphills (in alpine) when I'm on the balls of my feet 1/2 the time, it feels like my heel is going to to tear off. There is no soft ankle collar like the Salomon Race Cross to keep the shoe on my foot. There is only the heel cup and lacing.

  25. Keeler

    Thnx BP for the review!
    I bought both these and the MT110 and while the cushioning in this is ok, the fit and feel goes to the New Balance. I'd recommend it to starter runners but for more technical retain the glove-like fit and traction of the 110 make the Saucys a learner pair for me.

  26. Kevin

    how is the sizing of the P2? I currently run in a Pure Flow sz 10, ran in a ghost 4 (10.5) should I got with a 10.5 in the P2?

  27. Jake

    Typically, I'm a 10 1/2. I have two pairs of Kinvaras, one pair of twos and a pair of threes. Both fit me perfectly in size eleven.

  28. Adam Barnhart

    I run 11's in almost everything. My PureGrits and Peregrines are both 11's. The toe box on the Peregrine 2 is narrower in the 11, but not enough to bump up to 11.5.

  29. Mike C

    The Peregrine 2 Are Great Road Racing Shoes, I Have Raced in Them Running Races Up To Hilly 10K's, Running A Half Marathon in Them Soon!

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