Saucony Peregrine 8 Review

To begin our review of the Saucony Peregrine 8 ($120), it’s meaningful to look back through this shoe model’s long history. The Peregrine stayed in a fairly predictable mold for the first five updates. There were the minor changes to be expected as a shoe moved from year to year. The update might include new color ways, perhaps some lighter material used here and there, or maybe some slight tweaks to the upper’s patterns in the name of support, but you could always count on the shoe staying close to its original design.

With the introduction of the Peregrine 6, we started to see a departure from that model. The Peregrine 7 continued to divert even more from the past and now with the latest iteration of the Peregrine 8, we have the most radical update so far. The upper shape is almost unrecognizable as being part of the Peregrine family and this toothy trail runner has lost its rock plate. Luckily one thing has held true that keeps this shoe connected to the past, an aggressive outsole and that low-to-the-ground 4-millimeter drop.

Are all of these changes enough to make a die-hard Peregrine wearer like myself think of moving on from this tried-and-true model? Check out the video below to find out.

[Editor’s Note: To look back at our previous Saucony Peregrine reviews: Peregrine 7 (2017), Peregrine 6 (2016), Peregrine 2 (2012), and the original Peregrine (2011).]

Saucony Peregrine 8 Review Transcript

The Peregrine, now in its eighth iteration, has seen quite a few changes over the years—none quite as drastic as what we saw with the 7 last year, maybe with the exception of what the 8 is this year. We maintain a really aggressive type of tread; we maintain that 4mm drop, and it’s roughly the same amount of weight coming in at around 10 ounces. Some of the biggest differences—the upper, the rock plate… the whole thing. We’ll get into details, and we’ll talk about that a little bit more.

What we’re looking at here are effectively all the major iterations of the Peregrine [showing three shoes]. Here in the middle we have the 5, which is the very classic design, very aggressive tread pattern. It started the Peregrine line with the 4mm drop. This was the model and the look and feel they kept for quite awhile until we moved up to the 6 and 7, which we have here and which is a fairly drastic update. You can see the mesh underneath these overlays over the top of it reducing stitching. It kind of changed the overall look and feel of the upper. But we still kept that really rugged outsole the Peregrine was known for and still kept that 4mm drop. They added in some things like this EVERUN top sole, which is a little cushier and a little bouncier but kept that PWRTRAC, which is what this stuff is called in the outsole. This shoe was always really good at that low-profile aggressive type of tread.

Saucony Peregrine 8

The Saucony Peregrine 8. All photos: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Saucony Peregrine 8 Upper
We move here into the 8, and you can see there are quite a few differences that exist here. Let’s start off by talking about this upper. If you are familiar with the Xodus or the Xodus ISO, which was another version of Saucony’s trail line, this upper is, in my opinion, really similar to that. It’s maybe a bit of a combination of the Xodus plus the previous versions of the Peregrine. As we look around here again, you’ll notice the lack of overlays, but there are some really nice strategic ones that help keep this shoe locked down to your foot. You have the lines coming from the back that pull on these tabs that allow this to lock down on your foot. I feel like the ankle area of this fits really similar to what we saw in the 7 with the addition of it being way more cushioned and less aggressive. That was one place where previous versions of Peregrines were really hard on some people’s heels or it took a little bit for it to break in. While still structured, this one is a much looser, much more padded heel collar than what we had before. It maintains the gusseted tongue, so it has that nice sock-like fit, and just all the way around updates, mesh, easier to drain, and just a more streamlined looking and, in fact, less-constrictive type of shoe. The 7 didn’t really give you a lot of room to wiggle your toes because of all those overlays on the upper.

Now, one of the places where that was really beneficial was in these wear zones. This shoe has about 100 miles on it, and you can see here, we’re starting to get some wear already, and on this side we’re starting to get some wear already. That’s something I’m going to have to look out for as I use this because 100 miles for this shoe to be falling apart is not ideal.

So, it’s a really nice upper though besides the wear area—good fit, don’t feel like I slide around a lot, more toe room than the previous one. The shoe locks down really good in the midsole and around the foot for a nice, good feel especially when you’re doing things like cornering or barreling downhill or whatever. It was able to lock in really well. The other thing I’ll note here is the sock liner. You can see this one is kind of muddy and dirty. That’s because it’s been a wet, sloppy mess here the last week or so in the Portland[, Oregon] area, and I’m happy to report that at least in my few really, really wet runs, this thing is not falling out and sliding all over the place. That’s a definite upgrade from the past version where I actually put Shoe Goo on them to glue them down to the insole to keep them from sliding. So far, that has not been a problem. I’ve gone about four hours in these in the wet and not had that as an issue.

Saucony Peregrine 8 lateral view

The Saucony Peregrine 8 lateral upper.

Saucony Peregrine 8 Midsole
Let’s flip over to our midsole here. This is a neutral shoe with a 4mm drop. This is Powerfoam, which is all along the midsole, so there are not any blocks or pronation-control devices. This is listed as a neutral shoe. It’s good cushion. It’s good general cushion that I felt like provided plenty of cushion, responsiveness on road, trails, rocky sections, mud, and a little bit of everything. This shoe, to me, is a good all-arounder in terms of that. It doesn’t feel sluggish. It doesn’t feel sloppy. It’s firm enough to run fast, but there’s enough cushion there that you don’t feel like you’re taking a beating specifically in rocky sections.

Saucony Peregrine 8 medial view

The Saucony Peregrine 8 medial upper.

Saucony Peregrine 8 Outsole
With that in mind, as we flip over here to the outsole, one of the things I want to point out is that there is a major amount of flexibility that’s been added to this version of the Peregrine. Just for a quick example, you can see me push my hand in and that shoe actually sinks in. I think to even show that more, I can do a simple twist here and squeeze, and this shoe is very flexible in the midfoot. Compare that to our previous version where I can’t really do anything. You’ll also note that in here [showing version 7] we have a rock plate, and in here [showing version 8] we do not. It’s less protective, and you do notice it, not a bunch, but it is noticeable comparatively. The pro to that is that this shoe feels way grippier and way less rigid. I feel like when I’m on some terrain that has me moving around a lot, this thing grips better. I’m going to assume it’s because my foot has a little bit more control over being able to dig in versus being on a much harder platform—so pros and cons there, right?

The last thing I want to talk about is the thing that I think makes the Peregrine a Peregrine and that is this aggressive outsole. It is 6mm rubber lugs called PWRTRAC. You can see there are the uphill lugs, the downhill lugs for braking and descending, and all that kind of stuff. They are a little bit deeper—they are 6mm lugs—and more flexible. So when you look at them, you can hopefully see from my hand here that these move around, and I feel like this is a drastic improvement. One of the things in the previous Peregrine lines that was always a little bit sketchy was being on slick, hard surfaces. You’d slide around because they didn’t have a lot of give in those lugs. They were hard, so it was like something hard on top of something else hard. It created a skating thing, which was not always fun when you encountered those types of obstacles. Because these are a lot more flexible, they sort of diffuse out, they give you a little more grip. They kind of smoosh, if you will, which adds a little more surface area and makes them grip a lot better.

Saucony Peregrine 8 outsole

The Saucony Peregrine 8 outsole.

Saucony Peregrine 8 Overall Impressions
In closing, this is a great shoe. This is the type of shoe I can just throw in my car, keep with me all the time, and whether I’m running some road, some really aggressive trail, some groomed trail, rocks, you name it, this is a pretty good shoe for all of those things. The lack of a rock plate, it’s somewhat noticeable, but man, it’s been very, very minimal compared to what I thought it would be. The biggest thing for me is durability, and this seems to be an ongoing issue with lots and lots of shoes I’ve been trying lately. These pinch points up front just keep getting fried even really, really early on with mileage. That’s my ding on it. Overall, it’s a better fit than the 7. It’s more flexible. I feel like it’s more stable. I’m not rolling my ankles. I just feel like it’s a better, grippy, put-together shoe than what the last iteration was. It will probably be comfortable for a lot more people because of the changes they’ve made.

Questions, comments? Leave those below. Thanks for watching. We’ll catch you next time.

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • What are your thoughts on the Saucony Peregrine 8 overall? And how would you compare it to previous versions that you’ve tried?
  • For you Peregrine devotees, what do you think about the significant updates to version 8, especially the flexibility of the midfoot and forefoot as well as the lack of a rock plate?

[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a shoe brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]

Saucony Peregrine 8 upper view

The Saucony Peregrine 8 view from the top.

Travis Liles

resides in Portland, Oregon where he is a husband, father, and a technical specialist for a software company. In his spare time, he is exploring his new home in the Pacific Northwest, getting more vertical but still not living in the thin air, while producing "Trail Trials with Travis Liles" video gear reviews for iRunFar.

There are 20 comments

  1. Nelson

    Durability is great in the Xodus ISO 2 and the Wildhorse 4, although both are a little more shoe than the Peregrine. Thanks for the review!

    1. Travis

      Having both of these shoes I’d say the fit is a lot different. The Peregrine is a more precise fit where the Lone Peak is generous with the wide toe box. I can lock there Peregrine down where as I can’t seem to ever get that quite as well with the Lone Peak. Also the tread, the Peregrine is pretty aggressive at a 6mm lug and the Lone Peak, while pretty good, is not nearly as grippy or deep. The Peregrine lacks a rock plate where the Lone Peak 3.5 has one. All in all, both lower drop trail shoes but there is enough difference here that they are going to ride and perform different when running.

  2. Stuart

    Past Peregrine models have preformed great for about 200 miles then the uppers disintegrate. There are too many other great shoes to put up with this lack of durability, like the Nike Wildhorse and the Hoka Speedgoat.

    1. Karina

      I destroyed a pair of Peregrines in 28 days once (toes popping out everywhere). Until they fix their durability issues I will not be wearing their otherwise nice shoes. Which is a bummer for everyone involved.

  3. Matt

    I tried these on and loved so much about them, especially the upper, except one area: inside the shoe by the bottom of the tongue where the toes start there’s a flap of fabric that is where the tongue is stitched on. Seems like over time in a long race/run that would cause a lot of chafing/blistering. Can you comment on that and if you noticed it and if it. Aided any problems? Thanks!

    1. Menno

      Hi Matt. I’ve used the 8 on both a 10 and an 8 hour run now and no chafing/blistering at all. I hadn’t even noticed the flap you mentioned. But then again I have few issues shoes in general so your mileage may vary. Love them BTW, comfortable and traction is great. A worthy mud/all-round successor to the Xodus I had previously.

  4. MW in Utah

    I can’t put my finger on why but even after breaking in my 8’s I still find myself going back to my 5’s again and again. I even tracked down a new pair of 5’s on E bay a few weeks after buying the 8’s. The 5 just ticks all the right boxes for me. To me it feels lighter and more responsive. The 8 has proven to be a great shoe for mud/snow/slush so I am keeping it in my arsenal for the nasty days.

  5. Pierre Filiatrault

    What about OCR type races such as Spartan Races. How would these new Peregrine 8 stand up to being immerse in water, mud? How is the drainage?

  6. Karsten

    Hi, thanks for a nice review. What are your thought on sizing? I had to go up ½ a size with the Peregrine 7 and I can see this is an issue for others than me.

  7. Andrew

    I agree that this shoe will probably have a broader audience than the 7. It may be a TOUCH heavier (not really noticeable) but the fit in the heel, better breathability, and better traction all make this shoe hands down better than the 7 IMO. The heel change alone I think will attract more people. The midsole is maybe softer than I’m used to (it may partly be the soft, deep lugs flexing as well) but I actually enjoy it and may find it hard to go back. The 8 is a keeper for me.

  8. Jon

    Have peregrine 6 and 8. Great shoes apart from the mesh in both shoes started to break down very quickly i.e. 100km. By comparison upper/mesh on other leading brand trail running shoes I have last much longer and have only retired when soles blow out. Shame cause they are good shoes otherwise and they seem to be on sale quite a bit in Australia.

  9. Dave Mount

    Thanks, Travis. I’m trying to find a way to a lighter shoe than the Hoka Stinsons I’ve been dragging through races for years. I’m a size 14, and when those big boys get wet, they are so heavy! The older Peregrines didn’t work for me, but I’m hoping that with the increased cushion and more flexible sole, the 8 will be just the ticket.

    You’re one of the few reviewers I’ve read who’ve articulated the problem with those hard hiking-boot-like soles like the Peregrines used to have: a hard thing on a hard thing is going to slip! Good to see some other companies besides Hoka figuring that out.

    Btw, people reading this who are interested in this kind of shoe might also want to check out the North Face Ultra Trail III, another update that takes its last edition’s cushioning to a whole new level. This is a completely different shoe than the II. And it seems to be kind of a sleeper, although it has the same midsole material as their more publicized Rob Krar Flight RKT shoe. It’s just a little too minimal for me above 3 hours or so, but it’s a shoe that’s so comfortable and well-cushioned, despite its light weight and low profile, that I want to wear it for virtually everything else, running and otherwise. Maybe you should review it? I think a lot of runners would be able to wear it for ultras. The reviews on the TNF site (including mine) are all raves.

    https://www.thenorthface.com/shop/shoes-mens-running-training/mens-ultra-tr-iii-nf0a39i4?variationId=4EV

  10. Jane Ashby

    What do you think the 8 would be like on sand? I need something light but suitable for sand and rock. I was thinking of INOV8 but when I tried them recently was disappointed. I have Saucony road trainers which are so comfortable.

    1. Menno

      Hi Jane. I’ve logged quite some miles on sand with the 8 by now and for me they’re doing fine: sand stays out. I wouldn’t know how to judge traction on sand, but what I really like about the 8 is that it’s a nice all rounder: from sand to mud to rocks it gets the job done. On the road I use the Saucony Kinvara. The upper of the 8 seems bit a less flexible, especially in the toe cap (more protection). Cushioning is great though, it’s my 50+ mile shoe.

  11. Clint Allen

    I’m really keen to try these. Having had peregrine 5 + 6 I purchased a set of 7’s only to find the tough but restrictive overlays (and possibly decreased height in the shoe from everun?) crushed my little toes and could not wear them. Contemplated going up a size but the length was perfect in my regular size. This one looks more like the 6 in terms of upper and I like the idea of a more flexible sole even if it comes at the cost of some sharp rock protection.

  12. Dave Mount

    I posted earlier about how excited I was to try these, but they didn’t end up working for me. The forefoot just seemed too narrow, among other things. But the shoe I finally settled on, and am completely in love with, is the Salomon Sense Ride. It’s in a similar category to the Peregrine, more protected feeling than the North Face I mentioned in my previous comment. To me, it feels like a super-well-thought-out, un-gimmicky shoe that just works.

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