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Saucony Peregrine 12 - Women's Review

When you are looking to ratchet up the speed on technical trails, this is the lightweight and snug-fitting shoe you'll reach for
saucony peregrine 12 for women trail running shoes review
Credit: Saucony
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $130 List | $97.49 at REI
Pros:  Great traction, streamlined profile, encourages speed
Cons:  Less protective, runs narrow
Manufacturer:   Saucony
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 26, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 20
  • Foot Protection - 25% 7.0
  • Traction - 20% 9.0
  • Sensitivity - 15% 8.0
  • Stability - 15% 8.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 6.0
  • Weight - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

The lightweight and streamlined fit of the updated Saucony Peregrine provides a traditional road shoe-like feel but with beast-like traction that rivals much burlier options. The updated rock plate and outsole design add foot protection and a responsive element that we aren't as accustomed to seeing in a trail shoe. Overall, we felt incredibly confident climbing technical trails and bombing down loose terrain with the Peregrine 12 strapped to our feet. The narrower fit and platform likely won't appeal to all runners, especially those with wider feet, but we felt like the shape cradled our anatomy in a way that propelled us forward.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $130 List
$97.49 at REI
$125 List
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Compare at 2 sellers
$140 List
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Pros Great traction, streamlined profile, encourages speedWell-cushioned midsole, excellent traction, good stability, excellent at everything including long distances, high valueLight, very protective, excellent mud shed, superior traction, surprisingly stableUltra-comfortable, lightweight, stable, protective, plenty of toebox spaceAffordable, comfortable, good crossover shoe, great for beginning trail runners
Cons Less protective, runs narrowStack height takes some getting used to, less customizable lacebedNarrow fit, runs small, rigid construction, takes time to break-inPacks out more quickly than others, zero-drop isn't for everyone, less arch supportNot rugged enough for technical trails, less sensitive
Bottom Line When you are looking to ratchet up the speed on technical trails, this is the lightweight and snug-fitting shoe you'll reach forWith a comfortable and responsive midsole and enough room in the forefoot for toe wiggle, you'll be happy running mile after mileStable and deliciously sticky, this contender is just a crusher all the way around, built for training runs and long distances alikeWhile not necessarily built for speed, you'll get a plush ride with all of the space your toes need to spread on long-distance daysIf you are looking for an affordable shoe to run light trails and fire roads, look no further because this is the perfect shoe for you
Rating Categories Saucony Peregrine 12 Hoka Torrent 2 - Wo... Dynafit Feline SL -... Altra Lone Peak 6 -... Brooks Divide 2 - W...
Foot Protection (25%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Traction (20%)
9.0
9.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
Sensitivity (15%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Stability (15%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Comfort and Fit (15%)
6.0
8.0
5.0
9.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
9.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
8.0
Specs Saucony Peregrine 12 Hoka Torrent 2 - Wo... Dynafit Feline SL -... Altra Lone Peak 6 -... Brooks Divide 2 - W...
Measured Weight (per shoe) 7.76 oz (size 7) 7.41 oz (size 7)
8.6 oz (size 9)
9.45 oz (size 7)
9.8 oz (size 9)
7.62 oz(size 7) 8.0 oz (size 7)
Heel-to-Toe Drop 4 mm 5 mm 8 mm 0 mm 8 mm
Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot) 26.5 mm, 22.5 mm 31 mm Not disclosed 25 mm, 25 mm 20 mm, 12 mm
Upper Recycled polyester Air-mesh Engineered mesh Mesh, continuous nylon Quick-Dry Air Mesh Synthetic mesh
Midsole PWRRUN EVA Feline SL midsole Altra EGO EVA
Outsole PWRTRAC rubber Rubber Sticky Pomoco Outer MaxTrac rubber Rubber
Rock Plate? Yes None Not disclosed Yes Yes
Wide Version Available? Yes No No No No
Sizes Available 5 - 12 6 - 11 5 - 11 5.5 - 12 5 - 12

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Peregrine 12 dropped with some really impressive new updates. The redesigned outsole and updated rock plate provide excellent traction with an added element of responsivity that we loved when ripping up the trails of central California. Even though it rides like a traditional road running shoe, its 4mm drop with only a maximum stack height of 26.5 makes it more responsive on the trails than it initially appears to be. This is why we chose to highlight the Peregrine as one of our top choices for runners looking for a traditional fit.

Performance Comparison


saucony peregrine 12 for women trail running shoes review - for non-long distances, the peregrine is one of our favorites due to...
For non-long distances, the Peregrine is one of our favorites due to its lightweight and nimble approach to trail strength.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Foot Protection


For being such a lightweight shoe, the Peregrine 12 packs quite a few protective elements that we consider necessary when assessing the prowess of a trail shoe. At only 7.76 ounces per shoe for a women's size 7 US, the Peregrine includes a rock plate, a durable yet comfortable toecap, and meaty, chevron-shaped lugs.


While this isn't our top scorer in this metric, we consider the shoes that outscore it to be the most protective shoes on the market. When we tested the Peregrine on the beach, the dual-layer mesh allowed some minuscule sand dust in, but it wasn't enough to feel like it was fully letting sand into the shoe. As with most shoes, we recommend running in gaiters to ensure a particle-free experience. Though the Peregrine dries quickly, it is not the most water-resistant out there. Just splashing through a creek is doable, but anything beyond that leads to wet feet. It definitely wears more like a warm-weather shoe due to its breathability. When it comes to running in super wet or cold conditions, we recommend something with added textile protection. But if you want to rip trails up in a shoe that is protective enough but doesn't weigh you down, go for the Peregrine.

saucony peregrine 12 for women trail running shoes review - we tested each and every shoe on rugged inclines, slippery scree...
We tested each and every shoe on rugged inclines, slippery scree, and forgiving beaches to see which ones shined under certain demands.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

The toecap is made of a much softer rubber than many we have tested, which aids in this shoe's overall comfort, especially on the downhills. The outsole design and tough rubber heel cup help keep you protected from flying rocks that you may kick up into your wake. The protective elements included in the Peregrine 12 are tough enough to be protective but not heavy enough to weigh you down.

saucony peregrine 12 for women trail running shoes review - the rubber toe bumper is subtle and flexible, but provides adequate...
The rubber toe bumper is subtle and flexible, but provides adequate protection from accidental rock kicking.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Traction


By no means a minimalist shoe, the Peregrine is a back-to-basics trail runner that offers a nimble ride down sketchy terrain. The sole features chevron-shaped lugs that face forward through the toe and midsole and then backward through the heel. This common lug pattern continues to prove its grippiness on the loosest, steepest terrain.


Saucony redesigned the outsole for this iteration of the Peregrine. In addition to the traction, that is what provides the responsiveness that we've been drooling over. The lugs are a bit smaller in size than on some of our standout shoes, but they are equally deep. Keep in mind that the epic traction of the Peregrine is what makes it a poor crossover shoe. Even after just running a few miles on the road, the lug texture wore down a noticeable amount.

saucony peregrine 12 for women trail running shoes review - the small yet mighty lugs that line the sole of the peregrine grip...
The small yet mighty lugs that line the sole of the Peregrine grip with the best of them.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Sensitivity


Considering how solid the traction is on this shoe, we were surprised and delighted to see that it also offers sensitivity that is well above average. It has a perfectly flexible sole that allows you to feel what is going on on the trail, but the rock plate prevents you from feeling it too much.


Because the Peregrine 12 is on the more minimalist side for rugged accouterments, its agile profile creates an even more sensitive ride. We could feel branches and rocks beneath our feet. But we felt them in a way that we have come to describe as "intimate" with the trail, not in a way that causes us to adjust our steps out of pain caused by a sharp rock. The sockliner upper also adds to the sensitivity by molding to your foot. After a good break-in period, these kicks fit your unique feet perfectly and can provide protection combined with a personalized trail feel.

saucony peregrine 12 for women trail running shoes review - with the right about of sensitivity, we feel like we can take more...
With the right about of sensitivity, we feel like we can take more air as we fly down trails because we know our shoes will encourage our foot muscles to catch us and adjust as needed.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Stability


The Peregrine is built as a 4mm drop shoe, meaning the heel rides 4mm higher off the ground than the toes. In general, the less of a drop, the more stable the shoe is while in motion. Secondarily, stability can be accomplished by way of a wide base of support. While other options provide real estate for toes to spread and increase stability, the Peregrine does not. The slender platform might not feel as supportive to some runners.


But, for those who this shoe fits, it is stable. Aside from the strong rubber around the heel cup that helps secure the back end of the foot, the Peregrine was released with a strong, reinforced structure across the lateral edges of the shoe. This well-designed feature helps encourage lateral stability, creating a more secure feeling overall. We love the balance between stability and a customized ride due to the sock-like overlay with supportive lateral architecture.

saucony peregrine 12 for women trail running shoes review - testing running shoes for sandy and wet foot protection on warm...
Testing running shoes for sandy and wet foot protection on warm California days remains our favorite activity.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Comfort and Fit


Upon unboxing, these shoes feel a bit more rigid than others we tested. Since the upper is mainly constructed of an EVA sockliner, this shoe breaks in and forms to your foot to create individualized comfort.


The Peregrine 12 is far from a plush ride. The heel cup is well-cushioned enough to stay in place, but the narrower fit could potentially create hotspots and other discomforts on some feet. The base of the shoe is stacked with 22.5 - 26.5mm of underfoot material that really helps dampen the impact of each footfall. This shoe offers some arch support, but not so much that it feels invasive.

saucony peregrine 12 for women trail running shoes review - though not the cushiest shoe in our lineup, the peregrine offers a...
Though not the cushiest shoe in our lineup, the Peregrine offers a strong balance between comfort and strength.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

The Peregrine is one of our most-worn shoes for laying down daily trail miles. Since it offers less underfoot cushion, they aren't our top pick for all-day excursions or ultra distances. But we find them to be beyond comfortable for daily runs and hikes. They get bonus points for their ability to look fashionable (to us, professional gear testers) during post-run happy hours.

saucony peregrine 12 for women trail running shoes review - for varied terrain, we often reach for the updated peregrine by...
For varied terrain, we often reach for the updated Peregrine by Saucony.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Weight


The Peregrine 12 is one of the lighter trail shoes we have tested. A women's size 7 US weighs 7.76 ounces per shoe. Though we've mentioned that it isn't a plush shoe, it offers a great combination of comfort and rugged features for this surprisingly low weight.


The only other lightweight shoe with such strong lugs is the Altra Lone Peak 6, which we also love. Compared to the Lone Peak, the Peregrine is built for speed, though. It provides great traction and protection with enough comfort to make it an awesome, traditionally-shaped trail runner.

saucony peregrine 12 for women trail running shoes review - these shoes are responsive, stable, comfortable, and they look...
These shoes are responsive, stable, comfortable, and they look stylish as heck - at least we think so.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Should You Buy the Saucony Peregrine 12?


The Peregrine 12 is one of the more affordable shoes in our lineup of superstar trail runners. Though the lug texture wears down slightly when worn on roads, we believe these kicks to be a worthy investment. If you want to cross over from running roads to trails, the Peregrine is a great gateway shoe. It offers the fit of a traditional road running shoe but with the traction and protective elements of a trail shoe.

saucony peregrine 12 for women trail running shoes review - we love feeling light and free while cruising mellow trails in the...
We love feeling light and free while cruising mellow trails in the Peregrine.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

What Other Trail Running Shoes Should You Consider?


Since the Peregrine 12 is a bit niche in the world of running shoes, we recommend outlining what features are your top priorities before committing to them. If you want a trail running shoe that rides like a road running shoe built for off-roading, this is the shoe for you. If you are more interested in a wide toebox, we recommend other options put forth by Altra, like the Altra Lone Peak 6. The Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 is our best overall trail running shoe because of the toe space, sensitivity, and features it offers. But with a moderate amount of trail sensitivity, strong traction, and a lightweight, the agility-inducing Peregrine is a great trail investment.

Ally Arcuri
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