- Better fit with the ISOFIT frame
- A similar level of protection
- Feels like less cushioning with increased sensitivity
- More breathable upper
The Saucony Peregrine ISO wins our Best Buy Award for its bomber traction and an excellent balance of protection to sensitivity. This shoe stands out a choice for any type of runner, from the beginner to the expert, on distances ranging from 100 miles to your first. It's one of our favorites, and it almost won our Editors' Choice award.
This shoe offers impressive protection in the form of enhanced cushioning and an upper that keeps feet protected from the outside environment. We only wish for a more burly toe box.
Let's start with the protective foam that shields our feet from underfoot hazards. The midsole has 18.5 mm of cushioning in the forefoot and 22.5 mm of cushioning in the heel. The cushioning itself is called PWRFOAM and feels squishy, but also responsive. On the top is a thin layer of EVERUN, which offers more response and protection, protecting your feet from sharpness underfoot.
In this iteration, there is no rockplate, and the amount of foam is a little less than the previous Peregrine 8. Even with less foam, we didn't notice rocks poking through the bottom of the outsole. We took it on many runs, including a few super steep hikes in the alpine, with sharp rocks and roots abound. Our testers all said this shoe provides adequate protection for all these surfaces, making it great for technical terrain.
When running in the sandy terrain of the desert, the upper mesh and collar completely wrap the foot, keeping out pesky debris. The only ask we'd like to request is a less flexible toe cap with a little more protection. On a downhill descent, we accidentally kicked a few rocks while in full sprint and could feel the impact.
While this shoe isn't waterproof by any means, it does dry quickly, as the upper mesh is composed of a less absorbent plastic material. As a result, we do recommend the ISO if you're going to be splashing through water crossings or patches of snow. We appreciate the fantastic protection of this shoe, earning it a high score in this category.
The new Peregrine ISO offers a fantastic balance of sensitivity, particularly for the protection that it offers.
Its predecessor, the Peregrine 8, offered more foam (24.5 mm in the heel, 20.4 mm in the forefoot) than the current version, which has 22.5 mm in the heel, and 18.5 mm in the forefoot. While the cushioning isn't as ample, it still offers a comfortable ride. You can feel most of the trail underfoot, allowing you to position your body accordingly, especially on technical terrain.
While this shoe isn't as sensitive as thinner contenders, it offers the ideal amount of sensitivity and protection for trail runs over technical terrain, even for the ultra-distance runner.
Wow! The outsole on this shoe is still as bomber as ever! With over 78 aggressive lugs that offer multi-directional traction, this shoe does well on pretty much every surface. Even after 60+ miles of testing, we didn't detect any major signs of wear and tear and found they continued to offer amazing traction.
Patterned in chevrons throughout the outsole, these lugs are long and grabby. While hiking up steep paths in the Rocky Mountains of the San Juans, this shoe was our go-to because it didn't slip when traveling terrain littered with loose rocks over hard-packed, dry dirt.
In muddy conditions, it bites into the dirt…until the lugs get clogged; this shoe doesn't do the best of shedding clay-based mud constituents. We appreciate its performance when the trails are a bit wet or when running in grassy conditions.
Over hardpacked dirt and roads, its outsole provides a nice, smooth take-off and landing. The lugs are sticky and hard and don't collapse under the impact of hitting a harder surface. Over slippery rocks, it'll maintain traction under most circumstances; however, if the rocks are full of slime or algae, don't be surprised if you slip off, as there is virtually no shoe out there that can perform well in these conditions.
We love the outsole of the tail-biting Peregrine ISO. It does well in various terrains, including treacherous and unstable. It sticks well to rocks and offers some potential for low-key scrambling, particularly if you love hoofing it to summits.
We think this shoe offers an average to a high level of stability that provides great functionality on uneven, or technical terrain.
The regular fit (which is what we tested) provides a reasonably spaced toe box, which allows for some level of toe-spread. The shoe is somewhat flexible, molding around on-trail hazards. The stack of this shoe isn't very high, which provides a more 'grounded' feeling when running on the trail. With higher sensitivity, you can feel most of the trail hazards and move around them easily.
This shoe doesn't have any 'stabilizing' elements like shanks, but its stability comes in the form of a wider toe box, lower stack height, and effective flexibility. The outsole is wider around the fringe as well, which grabs the trail for great lateral support. While your safety comes in the form of your balance and running style, this shoe helps you stay upright. Overall, stability is good, and it offers adequate support for short or long runs on most terrain.
This ISO is comfortable and provides a versatile fit for all types of feet. It is a neutral trail shoe that offers a little bit of arch support. It also has a 4 mm drop, so it fits into our 'low-profile' category and is suitable for all types of foot strikers.
The comfort elements? One of the stand-out features is the super lavish and cushioned collar that encapsulates the foot. When we first saw this shoe out of the box, we were unsure if this collar was going to be comfortable; once we slipped our foot inside, we noticed how plush it felt. The material is super soft with the insole offering a little 'grab' to prevent slippage. The upper is also soft, without any hard elements surrounding the toe box, which makes it flexible and moldable, whether your feet are wide or narrow.
The best part of this shoe is the new ISOFIT dynamic upper, which is revolutionary. The flat laces pull through the system to completely wrap your foot. The one-pull tightening design is a step-up from the previous version, and on the run, it really helps to keep your foot in place. The long tongue is super soft against the top of the foot and doesn't put any added pressure in one particular place. The tongue is thin throughout its body but thickens up at the top to add protection from trail debris.
The ISO was tested out by many friends, with both narrow and wide feet, with the consensus being that they are a comfortable trail running option. One of our main testers has a large bone spur on the outside of her foot, and because of the flexible upper said these shoes were perfect.
What's even more unique is the Peregrine ISO is offered in both a regular and wide size. While we didn't test the wide size, we imagine there is more space in the toe box if you want a lot of room for foot wiggle. Overall? This is a super comfortable trail shoe with a versatile fit.
The ISO is a lightweight shoe weighing in at about 9.8 oz for a women's size nine. While it's not as low profile or thin as other contenders, its weight is average for the level of protection and cushioning it offers.
Trail running shoes have a wide range of pricing options. While this shoe isn't the cheapest, it's one of the lower-priced options amoungst the highest contenders. It's also held up after 100 miles of use without issue. When perusing the internet for consumer feedback, we couldn't find any reviews stating that durability is of concern. Is there value in this shoe? Heck ya, the best in this review. It's a perfect option for those that truly want to run on any surface without hesitation.