The Saucony Peregrine 13 ($140) is the latest iteration of this popular trail shoe. We found that this version went back to the basics, with a lot of what we loved about the original Saucony Peregrine, which may have been lost along the way in some subsequent iterations. Despite some durability concerns with some of the overlays on the upper, we have found it to be a good all-round shoe for a mix of terrain.
We enjoy this shoe so much that it features in our Best Trail Running Shoes guide.
Watch the video below for a detailed review.
Saucony Peregrine 13 Review Transcript
Hey and welcome to Trail Trials, the video review section of iRunFar. My name is Travis Liles and in this video we look at the Saucony Peregrine 13. Let’s check it out.
Let’s start off by talking about the specifications. This shoe comes in just under 9.4 ounces (265 grams) actual weight for a U.S. men’s size 9. It has a 4-millimeter drop from heel to toe. It has a luggy outsole. It’s meant to be low and athletic and a good, tight-fitting type of shoe.
It’s the 13th iteration of the Peregrine, and so it’s been around a while. It’s gone through some very interesting changes over the years. From where it started, which was something I’ve always had a soft spot for, one of these early road running brands that introduced a trail shoe that was trail specific. It wasn’t just this existing road-shoe model that they slapped a gray upper on, or maybe a dark blue upper, and added some kind of luggy-ness to the bottom. They made a specific shoe at the time, and I was always a fan of it. I liked the lower stack height. I liked the fact that it was grippy and had some aggressive tread on it.
But the shoe has vacillated over the years. It’s gone all over the place. It started off and the first several iterations were very much like what the shoe started as. Then it hit some stuff in the middle that got rid of rock plates, the shoe got really heavy, just a lot of stuff changed. I’m happy to say that in this latest version, it’s very much closer to what the initial intent and what most people probably had in their minds if they’ve been trail running for a while, of what the Peregrine initially was.
They do that with some updates. Updated foam, updated sock liner, updated materials. That’s what we’re going to talk about today: all the changes, what’s new, what’s different, what’s good, what’s not. Let’s get up close and personal. Let’s see what this thing is all about.
Saucony Peregrine 13 Outsole
Alright, let’s jump in and start at the Saucony Peregrine 13 outsole. One of the defining characteristics of the Peregrine line, really from its inception, has been a luggy, aggressive outsole. That continues with version 13, albeit a little bit updated.
If you’ve worn them in the past, they tended to be a little like long blades. These are more chevron looking, and larger lugs with more space in between them. In fact, for a quick comparison, this is the Saucony Peregrine 12 — look back at our Saucony Peregrine 12 review — on the right-hand side with the bubblegum purple-blue cosmic outsole. You can see there are a lot more lugs, and they are smaller. Over on the Peregrine 13, we have fewer lugs that are farther spaced out.
The advantage in my testing is that this allows mud to clear out a little bit better while still providing grip. You’ve got these uphill facing lugs, so they face backward so that your traction is behind you, the blades dig in and allow for traction going up. Then there’s some varying lug patterning on the back. Mainly on the outside though, are the braking types of lugs, and then the middle part of the back.
Overall, the outsole works really well — clears out mud a little better. It provides what the Peregrine has normally been about, which is good traction in a trail shoe. This uses the PWRTRAC outsole. That is Saucony’s rubber compound, and compared to say the Peregrine 12, this one feels a little stickier. There’s a little more traction when I wear the Peregrine 13 compared to the Peregrine 12, especially on wet things. But some of that could be because of this lug spacing.
Things can get in between the tread on this. Whereas on the previous version, they were tighter, so it made it harder for that to happen. I don’t know if it’s necessarily the rubber compound or the lug, but overall, this has gotten a little more traction than the previous versions, and maybe over any of the Peregrine tractions before. It’s maybe the most confident feeling outsole I’ve dealt with on a Peregrine.
Saucony Peregrine 13 Midsole
When we look at the midsole at the rear of the Saucony Peregrine 13, you’ll see that there’s no rock plate or anything like that in there. When you move up to the front of the shoe, you see this green color inside and that is the rock plate. Very much, when you’re running downhill, when you’re not heel striking, or on your heels really hard, this shoe excels. If you are someone that’s on your heels more often, you can feel a little bit of that pressure and pointy-ness coming through on the back of the shoe because there just isn’t as much to deflect it. Because it’s a shorter midsole stack, you don’t have as much protection for cushion, for things to absorb into.
The midsole uses PWRRUN. PWRRUN is a medium type of cushion. What I mean by that is it’s not overly cushy, and it’s not overly firm. It’s very much a middle ground type of midsole. I think it’s good. Probably if I was to describe where this fits, it fits more toward the active side of cushioning, meaning that you get a little more rebound out of it. That’s really what the focus is, it’s kind of, “running fast” and “propulsion forward,” versus, “I want a bunch of cushion and comfort.” It’s comfortable. It walks a nice line there. But overall, this is definitely what I would call a quicker midsole. When you look at it, it’s just single foam all the way across.
This shoe has a 4-millimeter drop, which is classic in the Peregrine line. You don’t have a ton of stack underneath here. But you very much have enough protection. It’s doing enough to be a really well-rounded midsole that serves well in a lot of different environments.
The one thing that adds to this shoe that I generally don’t call out very often is the sock liner. This sock liner is pretty interesting, I believe this is the PWRRUN. I’ve got some other Saucony road running shoes that have this type of foam in the midsole and this is a really excellent sock liner. It holds up really well and has a lot of life to it. I’ve got miles in these shoes and it hasn’t pitted out. A lot of sock liners get pitted out in the heel and in the toes where all your pressure is. This is very nice and cushiony and rebound-y. What this shoe lacks in cushion and some protection in the midsole, you get a little bit extra in the sock liner. Just a nice touch that you generally don’t see in shoes in general.
Saucony Peregrine 13 Upper
Let’s move up to the Saucony Peregrine 13 upper. The upper is fairly basic, in that it is just mesh, for the most part, all the way around. There aren’t a bunch of overlays creating stuff on the shoe necessarily, in relation to anchor points down. From a comfort standpoint, you don’t have to worry about things poking against your foot or hurting or doing anything like that. As long as your foot fits, the mesh grips really well. There are some of these laces that add a nice wrap on top of the foot. Overall the upper does a fairly good job of locking your foot down and creating an athletic fit. It is mostly gusseted all the way down, which is nice to see, going from the top eyelet all the way down, which creates a nice, sock-like feel. I’d like a little bit thicker tongue but, you know, I’ve made the comment before, that tends to be the way that things are going. The upper seems to be built in a way that I don’t feel a ton of pressure, even if I have to crank the laces down. This might vary depending on your mileage.
The last thing I’ll call out is all this overlay material that’s on the upper. It’s pretty minimal for the most part, but there is no stitching. There’s a little bit under these eyelets, these loop eyelets that help wrap the shoe on your foot. You don’t notice those because of the bootie and sock liner, gusseted tongue situation. But what you can see is some of these black, darker spots, and that’s actually where this overlay is split. It is coming apart. You can see on the right shoe it’s happening even more so. On the interior side of the shoe, this overlay is almost coming all the way off.
As a positive, what I’m not seeing is any of this mesh being chewed up or a problem as an outcome of this, on either side. You can see these high pressure areas. The mesh is holding up well, but this overlay is definitely coming off. It’s unglued, it’s unstuck, whatever. Debris has a potential to get down inside. What this was doing for abrasion on the outside, we’re trading that for the fact that it’s not staying stuck, that I could potentially get debris down inside, and could cause some longevity issues for the shoe. But as it stands currently, all this aside, the mesh is holding up well across the shoe, and I don’t see any mesh breakdown like I’ve seen probably in some other versions of this shoe in the past.
Saucony Peregrine 13 Overall Impressions
In closing, there’s a lot to like about the Saucony Peregrine 13. If you watch my reviews, you know I have a category. I like a shoe that I can do a lot of different things in, that doesn’t narrow me into just groomed trail or just rugged trail, and a shoe that will perform well on a road. Because the reality is, on most courses I run, there is a little bit of all of that stuff anyway, so it’s nice to have a shoe that works across all of them. Then I’m not thinking about, I’ve got to lock this shoe down because it’s really floppy and I’m going to do a long downhill. Or it’s sloppy and slaps when I’m on road and hardpack.
This shoe fits well. For my foot, it rides nice. It does great on road. It does great on groomed trail. It does good on messy stuff because the lugs are nice and deep. It’s protected with a rock plate on the front. It’s low to the ground so my wonky ankles are less likely to turn over, versus something maybe higher stack and a little less stable as it relates to that ride. There’s a lot to like, and I do like this shoe a lot.
The biggest downside is this overlay stuff. If you watch my Hoka Torrent 3 review, I had the exact same problem with it. It’s a shoe that is under $150. It’s falling apart at about 150 miles.
On that front, these plastic overlays, right now, seem to be a big deal. That’s what’s being put on shoes to add structure. Maybe some of it’s just visuals, just to add something to it in a lightweight manner, but they’re not staying on. If abrasion resistance is the goal of having this as I’m running, maybe catching my foot on stuff, it’s fine for this part. But then I’m running in places that have grit and sand and dirt and wood and all kinds of stuff, that’s flying up and it’s going to get stuck, and over time, probably rub holes from the inside versus from the outside. This has to get better.
Maybe that’s a larger commentary over just the Peregrine because I don’t want to be in a spot where buying a $200 shoe or $250 shoe or $300 shoe is what I have to do to get a shoe that’s going to last a longer amount of time. Hopefully this is a bump in the road as technologies update and change, and as we’re seeing more of this, it becomes a little bit better.
The positive side of it, though, is that none of the mesh underneath is beat up. The mesh on this side that’s not covered in some of this rubbery stuff — it’s holding up just fine.
From that standpoint, aesthetically, I could probably cut this off or I could glue it back down. But you just have to know that going in.
This shoe was white and now it’s not, which may be a bad color for a trail shoe in the first place.
The performance of the shoe overall, though, seems to be fine. I don’t have any problems with what it’s doing, in terms of the mesh holding up. I still look at it though, and I’m like, that’s lame.
Do be sure to check out our Best Trail Running Shoes guide, where we’ve named this a top shoe for trail running.
Call for Comments
Are there shoes that you’re running in that are doing the same thing? Is it just me? Do I have bad luck? I don’t know. Leave those in the comments below. Thanks for watching. We’ll catch you next time.
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