Saucony Peregrine Review

[For the latest on the Saucony Peregrine, read our full Saucony Peregrine 11 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.


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.

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.


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!

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.

View Comments (60)

  • 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

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  • 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.

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  • This shoe was on my radar to try out. Great review, thanks.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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).

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  • 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...

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    • 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.

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      • 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"

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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    • 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.

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  • 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!

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    • 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.

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  • 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.....

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    • 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... ;)

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    • 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

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  • 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.

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  • +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.

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  • Thanks for the review. I now know where my REI dividend is going,

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  • 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.

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    • 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.

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      • 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.

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  • 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

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    • Thanks, sounds like a good plan. (It is on the lateral side, but a bit below my pinky toe area.)

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  • 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.

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  • Is the arch support the same as the Kinvara or less?

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    • Peter, to me it feels like the Peregrines have about the same amount of support as the Kinvaras.

      The Kinvaras definitely feel "squishier" due to a softer foam sole material and fit perhaps a bit more snug.

      To those interested, here is my writeup/review of the Peregrines: [Removed broken link to Solar Weasel blog]

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  • 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.

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