Given the fact that the Saucony Kinvara is one of my favorite road shoes (mostly for marathon racing and long runs these days), I was excited last winter when I found out that Saucony would be releasing a trail running sibling to the Kinvara: the Saucony Peregrine.
You can tell from the photos included in this post that I’ve had my Saucony Peregrine’s for quite some time now (these were a personal purchase). I first started running in the Peregrines while the streets and sidewalks around my home were covered with a healthy layer of snow and ice. They performed great in those sloppy and sometimes slick conditions, but for some reason they didn’t initially grab me in the way that some other shoes have. However, I’m glad that I didn’t jump the gun and write this review earlier based on those initial impressions. As the weather has warmed up and the shoes have broken in a bit, I’ve actually come to like them quite a lot. The Peregrine is probably the most “maximal” of the trail shoes that I currently run in, but it is a great step-down shoe for those who might be looking for a trail shoe that provides a bit less underfoot.
The Saucony Peregrine is a really nice looking shoe – rugged and subdued, but I like the blue color with the black webbing. Very well designed. It’s extremely comfortable in terms of fit and feel, sharing the softish Progrid-Lite midsole of the Kinvara. If you like a firm trail shoe, this is not the shoe for you. The interior of the Peregrine is plush and very nice – I’ve run sockless in them on several occasions with no problems. The material that Saucony used to line the interior in the region of the forefoot and midfoot is fantastic and feels great against the bare foot – I’d love to see it incorporated into more shoes. If I had to use a single word to describe this shoe for me, it would be “comfortable.”
Having worn/reviewed dozens of shoes over the past few years, I’ve become very attuned to slight variations in fit. I could tell immediately that the Peregrine was built on the same last as the Kinvara, but after putting a bunch of miles on them I had the distinct sense that there was a bit more room in the forefoot of the Peregrine. I emailed a friend at Saucony, who in turn got in touch with their design department, and they confirmed that although it is built on the Kinvara last, they did indeed add a bit of volume to the forefoot. The fit is really nice on my foot, and I’m quite pleased that my feet were sensitive enough to be able to sniff out that difference! Though still not as wide in the forefoot as the New Balance MT101, they are plenty roomy for me.
The outsole of the Peregrine is rugged and well lugged – grip was great on the ice and snow last winter. The lugs are not so large that running on the road is uncomfortable, but unlike the New Balance MT101, I probably would not recommend the Peregrine as a hybrid road/trail shoe. This one is better suited for the dirt.
In terms of specs, the Peregrine midsole is touted as 4mm drop (24mm heel, 20mm forefoot), but as with many Saucony shoes, the insole adds a bit to the heel raise. I use my flat Nike Free insoles in them to minimize heel lift. Running without any insole is also an option as the bed below the insole is smooth (unlike the scratchy mesh material under the insole of the Saucony Grid Type A4) – this would add further volume to the shoe. Weight in my size 10 is just a hair under 10oz, so nearing my self imposed 10oz limit on shoe weight. However, they don’t feel terribly heavy to me, so no major complaints there. It may just be that I don’t notice weight as much when running on trails.
The Saucony Peregrine is the most substantial trail shoe that I currently wear (just got a pair of the 5mm drop La Sportiva X-Country, which will likely be comparable in that sense), but they are incredibly comfortable and offer a great fit and feel for my foot. As I’ve stated previously here on Runblogger, I generally either like shoes with a bit of softness, or shoes with virtually nothing at all under my foot. With regard to trail shoes, the Peregrine fits in the former category, whereas shoes like the New Balance Minimus Trail or Merrell Trail Gloves fit in the latter. They all serve their purpose in my rotation, and my choice of which to wear largely depends on how I feel on a given day.
In summary. if you’re looking for a rugged shoe with a bit of cush, and are interested in a transitional-style trail shoe with less than the usual heel-forefoot drop, the Saucony Peregrine is an excellent choice.
Check out the Saucony Peregrine page on the Saucony website for more information.