Saucony Peregrine 12 - Women's Review
Cons: Less protective, runs narrow
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Saucony Peregrine 12 - Women's
$97.49 at REI
$100.99 at REI
|$58.48 at Backcountry|
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$99.99 at REI
$80.93 at REI
|Pros||Great traction, streamlined profile, encourages speed||Well-cushioned midsole, excellent traction, good stability, excellent at everything including long distances, high value||Light, very protective, excellent mud shed, superior traction, surprisingly stable||Ultra-comfortable, lightweight, stable, protective, plenty of toebox space||Affordable, comfortable, good crossover shoe, great for beginning trail runners|
|Cons||Less protective, runs narrow||Stack height takes some getting used to, less customizable lacebed||Narrow fit, runs small, rigid construction, takes time to break-in||Packs out more quickly than others, zero-drop isn't for everyone, less arch support||Not 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 for||With a comfortable and responsive midsole and enough room in the forefoot for toe wiggle, you'll be happy running mile after mile||Stable and deliciously sticky, this contender is just a crusher all the way around, built for training runs and long distances alike||While not necessarily built for speed, you'll get a plush ride with all of the space your toes need to spread on long-distance days||If 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%)|
|Comfort and Fit (15%)|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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