Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Low-to-the-ground, lightweight, great traction, enough protection, form-boosting.
Cons: Though great when wearing gaiters, the gaiter loop on the shoelace seems extraneous.
Best Uses: Trail running on technical and smooth trails. Trail racing. Okay on road.
This product is discontinued. Check out our first look review of the latest Saucony Peregrine 4.
The Saucony Peregrine 2 wins our Editor’s Choice for being a perfect blend of lightweight minimalism and protection, cushioning, and traction to run comfortably on trails of all sorts. While traditional road and trail running shoes have a 10 to 12mm “off-set” or difference in “stack height” between the cushioning in the heel and the cushioning in the forefoot, barefoot-like minimal shoes have a zero drop—that is, the rearfoot and forefoot cushioning platforms sit level. This jump to zero drop jump shoes is often too drastic for runners used to traditional shoes, causing strained calves, achillies tendons, and achy calves, knees, feet or hips. The Peregrine 2 has a 4mm off-set, which still gives runners the low-to-the ground, natural feel that inspires a mid-foot strike as opposed to landing on their heels, while not going full-bore on the barefoot trend.
This is a great shoe for a range of runners. The Peregrine 2 is not as minimal as the New Balance MT 10, but also not as bomber as the La Sportiva Wildcat. Like the Asics Gel Fuji Racer, it won’t hold you back in a race, and it can protect you in the mountains like the Salomon XA Pro 3D or Salomon Speedcross.
We liked this shoe for everything from casual, short runs, to longer mountain epics, and even reach for it for trail races. The upper is more supportive than earlier versions of this shoe, and much more supportive than the similar Saucony Kinvara--which is a road shoe with a 4mm drop similar to the Saucony Peregrine.
And while multi-directional lugs underfoot grip the trail both uphill and down, they're not so bulky or sticky--like those made of sticky rubber on the La Sportiva Wildcat--that you can't use this shoe on the road. It's a decent choice for mixed road and trail outings, though it truly excels off-road.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Peregrine 2 also has toothy traction underfoot that made us feel sure-footed on everything from mud to dust to loose gravel, and the midsole cushions pounding mile after.
The cushioning isn’t so bulky that you don’t feel the trail underfoot (a good thing), and, the shoe flexes well in the forefoot for comfortable running, fast or slow. We also love how lightweight the Peregrine 2 feels on the foot, while still providing protection from rocks and roots and a touch of stability.
Without being too bulky, the Peregrine 2 has just enough protection for just about most trail situations. The only time we wanted more was on epic, super-rocky scree fields or running off-trail, where more protection underfoot or on the upper might have made us feel more secure.
The Peregrine 2 is a neutral trail shoe, but the low-to-the-ground profile, responsive cushioning and 4mm drop combine to give a good feel for the trail. For us, that translated into stability.
This shoe packs a lot of great features into a relatively lightweight shoe. We've even worn this shoe in 7 and 8-mile trail races because it's light enough to not weigh us down, and feels aggressive and fast.
The Peregrine 2 flexes well in the forefoot, making it comfortable running uphill, and on smooth, flat sections of trail and even pavement.
— Mark Eller
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Most recent review: January 24, 2014
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