Saucony Peregrine 6 Review

For its five past versions, the Saucony Peregrine has been a mainstay on the feet of trail runners as one of the most popular shoes year after year. It has always been a shoe that seems to be able to handle 100 miles while also feeling nimble enough for any shorter distance. In fact, if you could only get one shoe for an entire season, the Peregrine has seemed a smart bet. All of the previous versions have essentially been small tweaks on the original design, which managed to get under the 10-ounce mark by continually improving the upper.

With the Saucony Peregrine 6 ($120), the company bravely creates design tweaks that actually add to the enjoyment of the shoe without losing the soul of the original. In previous years, I have visited my local running store to try on new versions of the Peregrine only to walk away unimpressed. The cushioning seemed uninspired, the fit was exceedingly narrow for an ultra-distance shoe, and Saucony didn’t seem to be pushing the design boundaries in any way beyond its original design. So with the Peregrine 6, we see the first major changes since 2011. Here I will attempt to highlight why and how I think these changes made a good trail shoe even better.

Saucony Peregrine 6

The Saucony Peregrine 6.

Upper

The Peregrine 6 improves on its past uppers in two ways: it widens the toe box and decreases the use of unnecessary laminates. While I understand that this creates a somewhat less durable upper, it also gives my toes enough wiggle room and increases the breathability as well as drainage capabilities over past versions. I did experience some delaminating of welded-on overlays on the toe box on the medial side of one shoe, but I was the only person to experience this to my knowledge. In fact, with three other friends actively using this shoe as a daily trainer, I am the only one to experience any durability issues, so I’m considering this an epoxy fluke.

The fit through the midfoot continues to feel secure without having a sockliner or midsole wrap. Meanwhile, the heel cup gets a complete makeover and is stiffened significantly by the use of thermoplastic supports. This didn’t bother me, and in fact I didn’t notice this heel-cup redesign until inspecting the shoe after my first run. This may bother some truly neutral runners looking for a very flexible heel, but I think that Saucony employed this more rigid heel due to the softer cushioning provided by the combination of the softer outsole and EVERUN cushioning in the heel.

A nicely padded heel collar and tongue are unnecessarily complicated by the addition of braided and colorful flat laces which I will henceforth refer to as ‘friendship laces,’ as they look like an abomination your seventh-grade girlfriend gave you to get smelly around your wrist.

Saucony Peregrine 6 lateral upper

The Saucony Peregrine 6’s lateral upper and heel cup.

Midsole

In the heyday of the minimalist-shoe movement, the original Peregrine had a stack height of 18mm to 14mm. While this same weight  and 4mm drop has been retained, the current stack height of the Peregrine 6 is 25mm to 21mm. Thanks to advances in EVA foam, Saucony adds 7mm of cushioning to this shoe without gaining weight, which I find simply amazing. This added cushioning is appreciated a great deal, and Saucony’s EVERUN EVA is actually made out of the exact same material as Adidas’s Boost, however it isn’t formed into pellets prior to being formed into sheets of EVA. With the EVERUN in the heel, I was worried that I would experience the same lack of forefoot cushioning which felt like torture during my second 50 miler back in 2011 in the Peregrine 2’s. However, Saucony used additional Saucony Super Lite EVA, which is what has been throughout past Peregrines, to make a well-balanced ride. The result is a soft heel with a firmer forefoot and an excellent transition.

Saucony employs a nylon-fiber rock plate as well as their External Bedrock Outsole for the usual amount of midsole protection from rocks. But, this protection is bolstered considerably by the outsole.

Saucony Peregrine 6 medial upper

The Saucony Peregrine 6’s medial upper.

Outsole

This is where the most obvious changes take place in the new Peregrine. Saucony calls this new outsole PWRTRAC, and it is quite burly. The entire outsole is flared and features hexagonal lugs of various shapes about 5mm thick. Saucony claims that this rubber is stickier than what they’ve used in the past and I can attest to this. While sticky, it does wear fairly slowly and I can’t see wear yet despite approximately 100 miles. Unfortunately, this ‘iron throne’ looking outsole does not shed mud well at all due to the lack of spacing in the rather aggressive lugs. What these lugs are good at is climbing and descending, especially on terrain which may be loose and respond better to a beveled lug made of softer rubber. Also, runners who frequently scrape their trail legs on the opposite ankle or calf be warned. These beveled outsoles have given me several nice stingy scrapes on my calves and ankles. As long as your conditions don’t call for the constant shedding of mud and clay, I count the Peregine 6’s outsole a winner.

Saucony Peregrine 6 outsole

The Saucony Peregrine 6’s outsole.

Overall Impressions

Out of the box the Peregrine 6 is a great trail shoe. If I still worked at a specialty-running store, this is a shoe that I could see being a customer favorite. While the addition of the Game of Thrones outsole may seem like too much, the increased cushioning and soft rubber continue the tradition of the Peregrine as a shoe that can handle all surfaces. For me, Saucony finally dialed in the fit by keeping the midsole snug but widening the forefoot, which will help with foot swelling in ultras. The more breathable upper was appreciated and I love that the Peregrine 6 dries within minutes of getting soaked. At 9.8 ounces for a well-cushioned and protective trail shoe, there isn’t much to dislike in the new Peregrine.

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • Are you a Saucony Peregrine devotee? If so, what do you think of the 6 as compared to the previous iterations?
  • With the design changes to the Peregrine 6 from previous editions, what changes do you like the most? What changes do you think could use some tweaking still?
  • Other thoughts about the Saucony Peregrine 6? Leave a comment and share!
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 40 comments

  1. Jackie

    I wanted to let you all know how much I am enjoying all of the shoe reviews you have been putting out this spring. Very much appreciated!!

  2. Jack Turner

    Tom…any thoughts on shaving out a lug here and there to make the sole more like a trail sole with some lug spacing to shed mud better. Think it would ride the same?

    1. Tom

      Jack-
      If there was a way to do well without altering the ride I think it’d be worth a try. Understand that this isn’t the worst outsole out there for mud retention. I have a lot of bentonite clay mixed in with the soil where I live, and thee are only a couple shoes that really shed that stuff (think Inov-8s, Salomon Speedcross, Fellraiser). But, on just sloppy trails the Peregrine would do well. The lugs do bite through the slop to some degree.
      If you do some customizing, please post photos!

  3. Peter

    More breathable and better locks the heel better than previous versions. The toebox feels wider propably because the protective toe rand is much shorter.

  4. GrumpyHasBeen

    I stepped two strides in that marshmallow skate shoe and I have a few negative thoughts.
    First, can people please stop putting so much padding into ankle collars, all it does is make shoes feel sloppy a week in.
    Second, if that outsole is supposed to handle trails than clearly I’m a redbull fueled extreme cliff dropping mountain running phenom because I will destroy those things in a week on the normal trails I run on.
    And finally I want to find the engineer who thought it’ll be a good idea to make a midsole out of marshmallows, shoot his knees and leave him to die because this level of spongy numbness is unacceptable in anything more precise than a hoka.
    Stick to roads Saucony, you handle trails worse than I handle people.

    1. Oaktown_rnr

      I like this site’s comments section too much to let this one go by…

      Regardless of your positive or negative options of this shoe your violent imagery towards a real person/s behind this product could fall in within the definition of criminal threat. Please reconsider this comment, I think your opinion is worth more than to dilute it with this vitriol.

  5. Tom

    GrumpyHasBeen-

    This made me chuckle, along with your handle and your relationship issues. I’m curious, what kind of midsole do you like? It would be nice to have a constructive conversation about midsole durometer and what others like in a trail shoe. While I found the Peregrine midsole softer than many, I don’t find it marshmallow-like.
    How you could destroy that midsole in a week is beyond me. What kind of surfaces are you running on?

    1. GrumpyHasBeen

      In essence I compare every shoe I slip into to a first generation Inov-8 X-Talon 212 and mudclaw 270. Those are my two most favorite shoes (and ones I always bring up when going on a shoe rant).
      So my ideal shoe characteristics are as followed:
      -A stiff nearly 0 drop midsole that’s dense enough to provide some sense of underfoot protection without a rockplate in spite of a low profile.
      -Largely separated 6-8mm lugs for the outsole. At this point I’m sacrificing hard rock traction for loose surface bite, but my runs don’t include snow 3-4 months out of the year at most. There was a short period when I had shoes where the outsole wore out smoothly over time, rather than shear lugs, and I was able to extract more than 200 miles from a single pair (that’s a lot for me).
      -Minimal upper padding, as in a rand and laces reinforced sock. I fit my shoes snugly so a well padded shoe (like the peregrine or most Altra’s) either fits too small at first or to sloppy later on.
      All put together, give me a nearly climbing shoe with lugs and a hint of midsole and I’ll be happy.

      My home trails are ribbons of scree lined with sharp shale and limestone, and next to no dirt/mud.

      And I’d like to apologize for my earlier comment, wishing violence on people who do me no harm is unacceptable.

        1. GrumpyHasBeen

          southwest montana, around 7-10,000 feet. Not too high compared to colorado, but we have young mountain ranges here that are sharp and lack any real topsoil higher up

  6. John

    I love everything about this shoe except for the hard heel counter. I keep getting a blister on my left foot and have been trying numerous things to alleviate this because the shoe is so good otherwise I can’t give up on it. It’s fast, stable and has amazing traction. Toe box is pleasantly wide. Cushioning is excellent but it no way marshamallowy like the other guy said. Rock protection is effective. I agree with the author if you could only own one pair of trail shoes these would be it. Now I’m just hoping to find a solution for the blisters . . .

    1. Tom

      John-
      That was a common complaint when talking to other wearers. I agree that it is unnecessarily firm, and luckily it didn’t give me a problem. Really my only feedback for Saucony on this otherwise excellent update.

    2. Scott

      Ran in these for a difficult and technical 50k in NC this past weekend. My experience echoes that of John.

      The good: Outstanding traction in technical and sometimes slick terrain. Nicely protective too. My feet were not nearly as beaten up as I have previously experienced in the Montrail Fluid Flex 2, which is a great comfy and fast shoe that I love but is lacking in the protection category.

      The bad: That crazy stiff heel counter tore multiple layers of skin from my left heel. If you feel inside the shoe you can even feel some of the molded plastic ridge and it did a number on me. The ankle cuff also rides a little high and stiff for me but I can live with that.

      Were it not for that overly ridgid heel this would absolutely be my shoe. Let me know if you solve that blister problem John!

      1. Ben

        The peregrine were my go to OCR and trail running shoe for the past 3 years. After one OCR weekend 3 event, 20ish muddy miles my right heal blistered pretty good. I take very good care of my feet and can count the number of blisters in 3 years on one hand. I’m currently in the market for a new OCR/trail shoe.

    3. Dimitris

      Same here…blister on my left ankle everytime i run more than 12-15km on trail.I’ve already run about 80km and the shoe is still very hard on my heels (specially the left). Also from the second time I wore it on the trail, the front part of the outsole (the one that goes a bit over your toes) got rived! I contacted local distributor and they told me to just put some glue on it!!

      1. cptn_jeffers

        I am on my second pair of these now this year. The first pair wore holes in my heels so big I assumed the heel cup was a manufacturing fault. Everthing else about these shoes was fantastic so I took them back and got them replaced. Nope, it’s a design fault. After a couple of blister free runs, my left heel is now completely trashed again with a large blister in the same place. Complete shame but completely wrong for an expensive trail shoe to be able to do this. I’ll be returning these ones too.

  7. joseph

    I have the peregrine with about 70 miles on them. So far they are my favorite trail shoes. I bought them because of their knobby outsole and ‘all around’ capabilities. Many people seem to knock the traction but I love it. Oregon, where I live, is muddy half the year at least, and these things kill it in the mud. I have had no issues with clumping as of yet. In a recent trail half marathon I was able to pass people just because I had traction and they didn’t. The fit is great but I too had a few heel blisters before they were broken in. I am noticing now the fabric is weakening in the forward flex points and am wondering how long it will last. Overall the best trail shoes (of only 4) I have owned.

    1. Rita

      I never ran a marathon before this week. I started training in May with Wrapped ankle and wrapped knee and wearing a back brace. I bought these asking for durable stable trail runners as I entered in one of the toughest half marathons in our northern mountains. I ran about 160 km in training with these. I love the cushioned feeling and bouncy spring. Along the way I lost all my wrap supports and just completed the marathon after rain and thunderstorms made a mess on the narrow trails with mud bogs and bedrock cliffs. I slipped only once in 20 km and ran down the old mining exploration road at the end feeling confident while others were slipping. I am so happy with these runners. I consider my great placement is due to the traction on the wet shale slopes as well as mud bogs.

  8. Joe

    I feel like all the new Saucony’s are shorter in length than they always were, perhaps a quarter inch, which may seem small, but it’s enough to make the size 12 that I’ve always used in their brand, feel too small. I’ve found this in both the Peregrine and the Triumph road shoes.

    1. Tom

      Alan-
      Not bad. I probably wouldn’t want to do a full road run in them, but they aren’t bad for a hybrid shoe. I haven’t experienced much outsole wear, and the softness comes from the midsole rather than the outsole rubber in my opinion. I’ve probably only spent about 10% on the roads though.

  9. Kim

    I’ve been running in Peregrine 5s since they came out and LOVE them. I recently won a pair of the new 6, and put them on last night to walk around in the house. After just a few minutes I felt dismayed about the new higher-cut ankle collar. Am I the only one who can’t stand to have the collar rubbing against my ankle bone? I have tried and rejected Salomons for this same issue – love the shoe and lugs, but can’t stand that ankle rubbing after a couple miles, especially on a technical or cambered trail. I’m not sure whether to try to wear the new 6 and see how much they actually bother me, or go ahead and sell them now as brand new/never worn. Maybe I can still find a pair of Peregrine 5s out there somewhere.

  10. John M

    I’ve run in Peregrines since the first version and have had every edition, save last year’s Peregrine 5.

    I like the 6 – haven’t run in them enough to love them yet, though.

    I don’t mind or notice the additional padding/support in the heel. What I do notice is the padding in the tongue – it’s too thick for my preference and when it slips towards the lateral side of the shoe, it’s an annoyance. I used to run in Mirages and quit them when Saucony went with the overly padded tongue in the third or fourth version. It could use some thinning down, in my opinion.

    The previous outsold was brilliant for the conditions we have here – steep, rocky, muddy with tree roots holding the whole mess together. The new outsole does hang onto too much mud, but it seems equally good otherwise. (And you can tenderize a steak by stepping on it once.)

    I do tend to clip my ankles with the opposite shoe – you will do that once with these Peregrines and then you will start wearing higher socks. They are ankle scythes.

    I think I will learn to like the additional cushion in the shoe. The previous versions version wore very well (outside of some tearing in the upper that seemed to get to a point and then never get any worse), but I thought the cushioning started to get very compressed after a while which made the shoe a little hard-riding. I didn’t mind it, but I’m enjoying the extra give in this shoe.

  11. DRB

    I bought these after reading your review and they are my new go-to trail shoes. They’re light and low to the ground, with just the right amount of protection and cushioning. Thanks for the great review.

  12. Rand

    I’ve worn Peregrines since they first came out. They’ve been my consistent, favorite trail shoes, the Pearl Izumi N2s being a close second. Peregrines, though, have always been better for me on talus and rockier terrain (better rock plate). I had to stop running in the Peregrine 6, though. The heel gave me blisters on both feet. For me, I don’t think it was the stiffness of the heel. I think it is that there are 2 seams inside the heel, which create friction (other shoes do not have these 2 seams). If Saucony ditches these seams, I’ll be back with the Peregrines.

  13. Ralph Havens

    I liked the shoe on a test run but actually liked the more narrow toe box so that it would feel nimbler.
    With such a roomy toe box it is less responsive on trail runs.
    But over all a good shoe.
    I don’t need the extra cushioning either but it’s ok that they added it.

    Ralph Havens, PT

  14. Johan

    On my second pair of the Peregrine 5 now and both have given me blisters on the right heel.

    My fix have been to cover the inside with sports tape, a couple of layers, and it works fine.

  15. Amanda

    I’d only discovered Perigrines in the past year and have loved them, being able to race in them straight out of the box. The only problem I’d been having is the upper tears after about 15 runs or less than 200 miles for me so I was replacing them every 3 months instead of once a year like previous shoes.

    Next came the 6 and whilst I appreciate the increased cushioning and better grip for ultras I’m overall disappointed. The new shoe fit is very sloppy and I have very wide feet so even I can get them laced up enough to hold my foot in place. The stiff heel counter chewed holes in my wool socks and gave me blisters after one run; something I only ever experienced with la sportiva anakondas. The upper has huge gaping holes after 5 runs and less than 100 miles which is really poor.

    I’d love the old version with the new cushioning and grip and stronger upper but if this is the design of the future then I’m going to have to stockpile version 5 if I can find some.

  16. Zeev

    I bought Peregrine 6 recently, was looking for a candidate to the upcoming 50K (North Face CA/SF). Little history, I’m hybrid runner/triathlete running with Saucony Kinvaras for past 5 years, still like to explore NorCal trails from time to time, Kinvara 4 has been incredible shoe for everything during last years. Well, I’ve also tried few times Saucony’s failed attempt to make Kinvara a trail shoe, TR2, including last year North Face CA/SF half. And Kinvaras are my road shoe for the road, up to marathon distances,so far. Back to 50K, as much as like Kinvara, looking for something more robust and dedicated, Peregrines came up,honestly resemble Kinvara so much (thanks to heel drop off, mostly?). I tried 5, somewhat liked but didn’t have the right size at the moment (subject for another thread) then tried 6. Have mixed feelings so far, my feet are narrow, P6 toe box is wide-ish… but like how heel is locked. Reading about heal rubbing, will apply Vaseline generously (hooray Scott Jurek tip).

  17. Martin T

    Nice to read a great review while reflecting on the 6’s …

    I bought a pair back in the spring under the recommendation from my local running shop. They’re a good bunch but you can’t help but have a degree of scepticism. Afterall they need to move stock to make money etc

    However … I was impressed with the Peregrines from my first run. I just need to find some road specific shoes with similar feel and characteristic!

    These are my go-to shoes at the moment. From a 1 mile race on tarmac to 100k trail (RTTS back in July – original reason for the purchase) … love them.

    The ‘friendship’ laces are great too. I find they don’t budge … either at the knot or through the eyes. Helps with the midfoot hold while enjoying that spacious toe-box.

    I know different shoes suit different people but I’m yet to hear of anyone who has bought these and not got on with them.

    Happy running

  18. todd

    I’ve been running in peregrines for the past 4+ years for my preferred trail shoe. I really like the changes to the 6. my only complaint is that the sole has peeled off from the toe on both pair i have had. the first pair i did not pay much attention to, but trimmed some off the front when it started to flap too much. after several hundred miles they wore out the toe box and i tossed them. the next pair, i watched more closely. the toe started peeling after the first run (18 miles) I trimmed that off and seemed ok for the next 100 or so, now the tread is continuing to peel from the toe going back. maybe i’ll get some gorilla glue and stick the sole back on.

    1. Karl

      I think they would be excellent if you don’t worry about the ankle protection boots give. I do road and trail, but the trails I do are very slippery. I always had brooks cascadia but abandoned them for these. The grip is so good I fell on tarmac when suddenly changing direction because they don’t slide at all.
      They do retain mud if its dryish but grip through it.
      I haven’t noticed the heel issues but I have orthotic insoles so wouldn’t expect to. They are the best shoes I’ve had for me in 20 years of running.

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